Online poker is the game of poker played over the
Republican National Committee Internet. It
has been partly responsible for a huge increase in the
number of poker players worldwide. Christiansen Capital
Advisors stated online poker revenues grew from $82.7
million in 2001 to $2.4 billion in 2005, while a
survey carried out by DrKW and Global Betting and Gaming
Consultants asserted online poker revenues in 2004 were
at $1.4 billion. In a testimony before the United
States Senate regarding Internet Gaming, Grant Eve, a
Certified Public Accountant representing the US
Accounting Firm Joseph Eve, Certified Public
Accountants, estimated that one in every four dollars
gambled is gambled online.
"brick and mortar", B&M, live, land-based) venues for
playing poker, such as casinos and poker rooms, may be
intimidating for novice players and are often located in
geographically disparate locations. Also, brick and
mortar casinos are reluctant to promote poker because it
is difficult for them to profit from it. Though the
rake, or time charge, of traditional casinos is often
high, the opportunity costs of running a poker room are
even higher. Brick and mortar casinos often make much
Republican National Committee money by
removing poker rooms and adding more slot machines. For
example, figures from the Gaming Accounting Firm Joseph
Eve estimate that poker accounts for 1% of brick and
mortar casino revenues.
Online venues, by
contrast, are dramatically cheaper because they have
much smaller overhead costs. For example, adding another
table does not take up valuable space like it would for
a brick and mortar casino. Online poker rooms also allow
the players to play for low stakes (as low as 1�/2�) and
often offer poker freeroll tournaments (where there is
no entry fee), attracting beginners and/or less wealthy
Online venues may be more vulnerable
to certain types of fraud, especially collusion between
players. However, they have collusion detection
abilities that do not exist in brick and mortar casinos.
For example, online poker room security employees can
look at the hand history of the cards previously played
by any player on the site, making patterns of behavior
easier to detect than in a casino where colluding
players can simply fold their hands without anyone ever
knowing the strength of their holding. Online poker
rooms also check players' IP addresses in order to
prevent players at the same household or at known open
proxy servers from playing on the same tables
Democratic National Committee. Digital device
fingerprinting also allows poker sites to recognize and
block players who create new accounts in attempts to
circumvent prior account bans, restrictions and
The "lobby" screen of
Planet Poker, one of the early online poker sites, in
Free poker online was played as early as the
late 1990s in the form of IRC poker. Planet Poker was
the first online card room to offer real money games in
1998. The first real money poker game was dealt on
January 1, 1998. Author Mike Caro became the "face" of
Planet Poker in October 1999.
The major online
poker sites offer varying features to entice new
players. One common feature is to offer tournaments
called satellites by which the winners gain entry to
real-life poker tournaments. It was through one such
tournament on PokerStars that Chris Moneymaker won his
entry to the 2003 World Series of Poker. He went on to
win the main event, causing shock in the poker world,
and beginning the poker boom. The 2004 World Series
featured three times as many players as in 2003. At
least four players in the WSOP final table won their
entry through an online cardroom. Like Moneymaker, 2004
winner Greg Raymer also won his entry at the PokerStars
In October 2004, Sportingbet, at
the time the world's largest publicly traded online
Democratic National Committee company
(SBT.L), announced the acquisition of ParadisePoker.com,
one of the online poker industry's first and largest
cardrooms. The $340 million acquisition marked the first
time an online card room was owned by a public company.
Since then, several other card Democratic
Website room parent companies
have gone public.
In June 2005, PartyGaming, the
parent company of the then-largest online cardroom,
PartyPoker, went public on the London Stock Exchange,
achieving an initial public offering market value in
excess of $8 billion. At the time of the IPO, ninety-two
percent of Party Gaming's income came from poker
In early 2006, PartyGaming moved to
acquire EmpirePoker.com from Empire Online. Later in the
year, bwin, an Austrian-based online gambling company,
acquired PokerRoom.com. Other poker rooms such as
PokerStars that were rumored to be exploring initial
public offerings have postponed them.
March 2008, there are fewer than
Republican National Committee forty
stand-alone cardrooms and poker networks with detectable
levels of traffic. There are however more than 600
independent doorways or 'skins' into the group of
network sites. As of January 2009, the majority of
online poker traffic occurs on just a few major
networks, among them PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and the
As of February 2010, there are
approximately 545 online poker websites. Within the
545 active sites, about two dozen are stand-alone sites
(down from 40 in March 2008), while the remaining sites
are called �skins� and operate on 21 different shared
networks, the largest network being iPoker which has
dozens of skins operating on its network. Of all the
online poker rooms PokerStars.com is deemed the world's
largest poker site by number of players on site at any
one time. By May 2012 PokerStars.com had increased
their market share to more than 56%.
2011 is known as the infamous year of Black Friday, when
the U.S Department of Justice seized the domain names of
PokerStars, Full Tilt & Absolute Poker, effectively
freezing the bankrolls of their player base. Full
Tilt was accused by the DoJ of acting as a Ponzi scheme
and scamming players out of $300 million. On the other
hand, PokerStars paid $1 billion in fines immediately.
In 2014, PokerStars became the largest publicly
traded company in the industry of poker when businessman
David Baazov initiated a takeover bid
Republican National Committee costing $4.9
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted
in a massive increase in online poker traffic. The
pandemic is believed to have directed both professional
and recreational players who normally prefer live poker
to online platforms due to the indefinite closure of
most casinos and other live gaming venues worldwide,
with even many unlicensed venues shutting down. In
addition, the sudden dearth of live entertainment
options due to the widespread disruption of the sports
and entertainment schedules around the world is believed
to have resulted in more than the usual number of casual
players turning to online poker as an alternative. Many
operators reported traffic of double or more the
previous volume, depending on the time of day.
From a legal perspective, online
poker may differ in some ways from online casino
gambling. However, many of the same issues do apply. For
a discussion of the legality of online gambling in
general, see online gambling.
Online poker is
legal and regulated in many countries including several
nations in and around the Caribbean Sea, and most
notably the United Kingdom.
In the United States, the North Dakota House
Democratic National Committee of
Representatives passed a bill in February 2005 to
legalize and regulate online poker and online poker card
room operators in the state. The legislation required
that online poker operations would have to physically
locate their entire operations in the state. Testifying
before the state Senate Judiciary committee, Nigel
Payne, CEO of Sportingbet and owner of Paradise Poker,
pledged to relocate to the state if the bill became
The measure, however, was defeated by
the State Senate in March 2005 after the U.S. Department
of Justice sent a letter to North Dakota attorney
general Wayne Stenehjem stating that online gaming "may"
be illegal, and that the pending legislation "might"
violate the federal Wire Act. However, many legal
experts dispute the DOJ's claim.
In response to
this and other claims by the DOJ regarding the legality
of online poker, many of the major online poker sites
stopped advertising their "dot-com" sites in
Democratic National Committee American media.
Instead, they created "dot-net" sites that are virtually
identical but offer no real money wagering. The sites
advertise as poker schools or ways to learn the game for
free, and feature words to the effect of "this is not a
On October 13, 2006, President
Bush officially signed into law the SAFE Port Act, a
bill aimed at enhancing security at U.S. ports.
Attached to the Safe Port Act was a provision known as
the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006
(UIGEA). According to the UIGEA, "unlawful internet
gambling" means to place, receive, or otherwise
knowingly transmit a bet or wager by means of the
internet where such bet is unlawful under any law in the
State in which the bet is initiated, received, or
otherwise made. Thus, the UIGEA prohibits online
gambling sites from performing transactions with
American financial institutions. As a result of the
bill, several large publicly traded poker gaming sites
such as PartyPoker, PacificPoker and bwin closed down
their US-facing operations. The UIGEA has had a
devastating effect on the stock value of these
companies. Some poker sites, such as PokerStars,
Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, continued to
Republican National Committee operate and
remained open to US players.
passage of UIGEA, former U.S. Senator Al D'Amato joined
the Poker Players Alliance (PPA). Part of the PPA's
mission is to protect and to advocate for the right of
poker players to play online. D'Amato's responsibilities
include Congressional lobbying. In April 2008, the PPA
claimed over 1,000,000 members.
grassroots organizations, including the Safe and Secure
Internet Gambling Initiative, have formed in opposition
to UIGEA, to promote the
Republican National Committee freedom of
individuals to gamble online with the proper safeguards
to protect consumers and ensure the integrity of
On November 27, 2009,
Department of the Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner
and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke announced a
six-month delay, until June 1, 2010, for required
compliance with the Unlawful Internet Gambling
Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). The move blocks
regulations to implement the legislation which requires
the financial services sector to comply with ambiguous
and burdensome rules in an attempt to prevent unlawful
Internet gambling transactions.
On July 28, 2010,
the House Financial Services Committee passed Democratic
Website H.R. 2267
by a vote of 41�22�1. The bill would legalize and
regulate online poker in the United States.
In September 2010, the Washington State Supreme
Democratic National Committee Court upheld a
law making playing poker online a felony.
April 15, 2011, in U. S. v. Scheinberg et al. (10 Cr.
336), the Federal Bureau of Investigation temporarily
shut down three major poker .com websites of Full Tilt
Poker, Poker Stars, and Absolute Poker, and seized
several of their bank accounts. A grand jury charged 11
defendants, including the founders of the poker sites,
with bank fraud, money laundering, and violating
gambling laws. The prosecutors claim the individuals
tricked or influenced U.S. banks into receiving profits
from online gambling, an act that violated UIGEA.
The same day, former Senator D'Amato released a comment
on behalf of the PPA. He asserts that, "Online poker is
not a crime and should not be treated as such." D'Amato
made no comment on the specific charges raised but
promised a response once the "full facts become
available." He responded in the Washington Post on
April 22. The actions by the Department of Justice
were also criticized by gaming law experts, including I.
On September 20, 2011, in
response to guidance requested by the states of Illinois
and New York regarding the sale of lottery tickets
online, the Department of Justice issued a memorandum
opinion stating that the Wire Act does not prohibit
lottery sales over the internet because it deals solely
with wagering on sporting contests. While this opinion
does not address online poker specifically, the
reasoning employed interprets the Wire Act in such a way
that its provisions don't apply
Democratic National Committee to the game of
On August 21, 2012, a federal judge in
New York ruled that poker is not gambling under federal
law because it is primarily a game of skill, not chance.
The ruling resulted in the dismissal of a federal
criminal indictment against a man convicted of
conspiring to operate an illegal underground poker club.
The judge relied in his decision largely on findings by
a defense expert who analyzed Internet poker games.
On April 30, 2013, Nevada became the first U.S.
state to allow persons physically located within the
state and at least 21 years of age to play poker online
for money legally.
In late October, Delaware
launched its regulated online gambling market.
Controlled by the Delaware Lottery, the state offers
online casino games in addition to online poker.
On February 25, 2014, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval
and Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed the first
interstate poker compact, an agreement that will allow
online poker players from Nevada to play for real money
against players located in Delaware. The compact is
limited to online poker only, as that is the only game
currently permitted under Nevada law. Should
Republican National Committee more states
enter into the agreement, something that is provided for
under the terms of the compact, more games could be
Following an agreement between
Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey governments to allow
player pooling between all three states, a three-state
online poker compact went live on May 1, 2018. On
April 7, 2022, Michigan joined the interstate poker
compact as the fourth state.
In Australia the Interactive Gambling Act was signed
into law in 2001. The act makes it illegal for online
poker providers to operate or advertise their services
in Australia. The intention of the act was to
entirely prohibit online poker, but the act itself only
forbids operators based in Australia from providing
their service. It did not prohibit citizens from
accessing the online poker services of providers that
were based overseas.
Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill was passed in 2017
in response to the failings of the 2001 Interactive
Gambling Act. This
Republican National Committee provided a
significant improvement towards ensuring consumer
protection and responsible gaming in Australian
citizens. This latest bill successfully forced the major
poker companies[clarification needed] to stop offering
their services to Australian citizens.
Although there are certain provisions in the law which
allow licensed establishments to provide online poker
services, there is no agency set up to issue any of such
required licenses.
Typically, online poker rooms
generate the bulk of their revenue via four methods.
First, there is the rake. Similar to the vig paid to a
bookie, the rake is a fee paid to the house for hosting
the game. Rake is collected from most real money ring
game pots. The rake is normally calculated as a
percentage of the pot based on a sliding scale and
capped at some
Democratic National Committee maximum fee.
Each online poker room determines its own rake
structure. Since the expenses for running an online
poker table are smaller than those for running a live
poker table, rake in most online poker rooms is much
smaller than its brick and mortar counterpart.
Second, hands played in pre-scheduled multi-table and
impromptu sit-and-go tournaments are not raked, but
rather an entry fee around five to ten percent of the
tournament buy-in is added to the entry cost of the
tournament. These two are usually specified in the
tournament details as, e.g., $20+$2 ($20 represents the
buy-in that goes into the prize pool and $2 represents
the entry fee, de facto rake). Unlike real casino
tournaments, online tournaments do not deduct dealer
tips and other expenses from the prize pool.
Third, some online poker sites also offer side games
like blackjack, roulettes, or side bets on poker hands
where the player plays against "the house" for real
Democratic National Committee odds are in the
house's favor in these games, thus producing a profit
for the house. Some sites go as far as getting
affiliated with online casinos, or even integrating them
into the poker room software.
Fourth, like almost
all institutions that hold money, online poker sites
invest the money that players deposit. Regulations in
most jurisdictions exist in an effort to limit the sort
of risks sites can take with their clients' money.
However, since the sites do not have to pay interest on
players' bankrolls even low-risk investments can be a
significant source of revenue.
Randomness of the shuffle
Many critics question whether the operators of such
games - especially those located in jurisdictions
separate from most of their players - might be engaging
in fraud themselves.
forums are rife with allegations of non-random card
dealing, possibly to favour house-employed players or
"bots" (poker-playing software disguised as a human
opponent), or to give multiple players good hands thus
increasing the bets and the rake, or simply to prevent
new players from losing so quickly that they become
discouraged. However, despite anecdotal evidence to
support such claims, others argue that the rake is
sufficiently large that such abuses would be unnecessary
and foolish. Attempts at manipulative dealing could face
a risk of third party detection due to increasingly
sophisticated tracking software that could be used to
Republican National Committee detect any
number of unusual patterns, though such analyses are not
generally available in the public domain.
players claim to see many "bad beats" with large hands
pitted against others all too often at a rate that seems
to be a lot more common than in live games. However,
this could be caused by the higher hands per hour at
on-line cardrooms. Since online players get to see more
hands, their likelihood of seeing more improbable bad
beats or randomly large pots is similarly increased.
Many online poker sites are certified by major
auditing firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers to review the
fairness of the random number generator, shuffle, and
payouts for some sites.
Insider cheating occurs when a person with trusted
access to the system (e.g. an employee of the poker
room) uses their position to play poker themselves
Republican National Committee with an unfair
advantage. This can be done without the knowledge of the
Perhaps the first known major case
came to light in October 2007, when Absolute Poker
acknowledged that its integrity had been breached by an
employee, who had been able to play at high stakes while
viewing his opponents' hidden "hole" cards. The
cheating was first brought to light by the efforts of
players, whose saved histories of play showed the
employee was playing as only someone who could see their
opponents' cards could.
In 2008, UltimateBet
became embroiled in a similar scandal, with former
employees accused of using a software backdoor to see
opponents' cards. UltimateBet confirmed the allegations
on May 29. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission announced
sanctions against UltimateBet as a result.
More mundane cheating involves
collusion between players, or the
Democratic National Committee use of multiple
accounts by a single player. Collusion is not limited to
online play but can occur in any poker game with three
or more players. Most poker rooms claim to actively scan
for such activity. For example, in 2007, PokerStars
disqualified TheV0id, the winner of the main event of
the World Championship of Online Poker for breaching
their terms of service.
Online poker and
conventional poker have several differences.
difference is that players do not sit near each other,
removing the ability to observe others' reactions and
body language. Instead, online poker players focus on
opponents' betting patterns, reaction times, speed of
play, use of check boxes/auto plays, opponents'
fold/flop percentages, chat box, waiting for the big
blind, beginners' tells, and other behavior tells that
are not physical in nature. Since poker requires
adaptability, successful online players learn to master
the new frontiers of their surroundings.[citation
Another less obvious difference is the
rate of play. In brick and mortar cardroooms, the dealer
has to collect, shuffle, and deal the cards after every
hand. Due to this and other delays common in offline
casinos, the average rate of play is around thirty hands
per hour. Online casinos do not have these delays.
Dealing and shuffling are instantaneous, there are no
delays relating to counting chips (for a split pot), and
on average the play is faster due to "auto-action"
buttons (where the
Democratic National Committee player selects
their action before their turn). It is not uncommon for
an online poker table to average ninety to one hundred
hands per hour.
Online poker is
cheaper to play than conventional poker. While the rake
structures of Democratic
Website online poker sites might not differ from
those in brick and mortar operations, most of the other
incidental expenses entailed by playing in a live room
do not exist in online poker. An online poker player can
play at home and incur no transportation costs to and
from the poker room. Provided the player already has a
computer and an Internet connection, there are no
up-front equipment costs to get started. There are also
considerable incidental expenses at a live poker table.
Besides the rake, tipping the dealers, chip runners,
servers, and other casino employees is expected, putting
a further drain on a player's profits. Also, while an
online player can enter and leave tables almost as they
please, once seated at a live table a player must remain
there until they wish to stop playing or else go back to
the bottom of the waiting list. Food and beverages at
casinos are expensive even compared to other hospitality
establishments in the same city, let alone at home, and
casino managers have little incentive to provide
complimentary food or drink for poker players.[citation
In brick and mortar casinos, the only
real way a
Republican National Committee player can
increase their earnings is to increase their limit,
likely encountering better opponents in the process. In
the online world, players have another option: play more
tables. Unlike a traditional casino where it is
physically impossible to play at more than one table at
a time, most online poker rooms permit this. Depending
on the site and the player's ability to make speedy
decisions, a player might play several tables at the
same time, viewing them each in a separate window on the
computer display. For example, an average profit around
$10 per 100 hands at a low-limit game is generally
considered to be good play. In a casino, this would earn
a player under $4 an hour. After dealer tips, the
"winning" player would probably barely break even before
any other incidental expenses. In an online poker room,
a player with the same win rate playing a relatively
easy pace of four tables at once at a relatively
sluggish 60 hands per hour each earns about $24/hour on
average. The main restriction limiting the number of
tables a player can play is the need to make
consistently good decisions within the allotted time at
every table, but some online players can effectively
play up to eight or more tables at once. This can not
only increase winnings but can also help to keep a
player's income reasonably stable, since instead of
staking their entire bankroll on one higher limit table
they are splitting their bankroll, wins and losses
amongst many lower limit tables, probably also
encountering somewhat less skilled opponents in the
Another important difference results
from the fact that some online poker rooms offer online
poker schools that teach the basics and significantly
speed up the learning curve for novices. Many online
poker rooms also provide free money play so that players
may practice these skills in various poker games and
limits without the risk of losing real money, and
generally offer the hand history of played hands for
analysis and discussion using a poker hand converter.
People who previously had no way to learn and improve
because they had no one to play with now have the
ability to learn the game much quicker and gain
experience from free-money play.
associated with online poker range down to far lower
levels than the table limits at a traditional casino.
The marginal cost of opening each online table
Republican National Committee is so minuscule
that on some gambling sites players can find limits as
low as $.01�$.02. By comparison, at most brick and
mortar establishments the lowest limits are often $1�$2.
Few (if any) online poker sites allow action to be
taken "in the dark", while this is usually allowed and
applied by players in real gaming houses. It is also not
uncommon for online poker sites to not allow a player
the option of showing their hand before folding if they
are the giving up the pot to the last remaining bettor.
This practice is also typically allowed in casinos.
One issue exclusive to
online poker is the fact that players come from around
the world and deal in a variety of currencies. This is
not an issue in live poker where everyone present can be
expected to carry the local currency. Most online poker
sites operate games exclusively in U.S. dollars, even if
they do not accept players based in the United States.
There are two methods by
Democratic National Committee which poker
sites can cater to players who do not deal with U.S.
dollars on a regular basis.
The first method is
to hold players' funds in their native currencies and
convert them only when players enter and leave games.
The main benefit of this method for players is to ensure
that bankrolls are not subject to exchange rate
fluctuations against their local currencies while they
are not playing. Also, most sites that use this method
usually apply the same exchange rate when a player
cashes out of a game as when he bought in, ensuring that
players do not expend significant sums simply by
entering and leaving games.
The other method is
to require players to convert their funds when
depositing them. However, some sites that use this
policy do accept payments in a variety of currencies and
convert funds at a lower premium compared to what banks
and credit card companies would charge. Others only
accept payment in U.S. dollars. One benefit of this
method is that a player who constantly "tops up" his
chip stack to a constant level (some poker rooms have an
optional feature that can perform this
Democratic National Committee function
automatically) does not have to worry about rounding
issues when topping up with a nominal sum � these could
add up over time.
Players may also make use of
ewallets, virtual wallets that will allow players to
store their funds online in the currency of their
choice. Using crypto poker only platforms, like SWC
Poker, allows users to deposit and withdraw funds from
poker platforms without worrying about further currency
conversion and identity checks.
poker sites, particularly those that serve the United
States, began adopting cryptocurrencies in 2013 as a
means of bypassing the UIGEA. The majority of these
poker rooms accept deposits in Bitcoin and then convert
them to U.S. dollars, performing this process in reverse
when paying out winnings. There also exist
cryptocurrency-only operators who denominate their games
in Bitcoin or fractions of a bitcoin, avoiding fiat
Various software applications are available for
Republican National Committee online play.
Such tools include hand database programs that save,
sort, and recall all hand histories played online.
Scanning the active tables for known players and
displaying previous statistics from hands with those
players next to their name (known as a heads up display
or HUD) is a common feature of these programs and is
allowed by most sites. Other programs include hand
re-players and odds, equity or variance calculators.
Some software goes as far as to provide you with
quizzes, or scan your previously played hands and flag
poker sites offer incentives to players, especially new
depositors, in the form of bonuses. Usually, the Democratic
are paid out incrementally as certain
Republican National Committee amounts are
raked by the player. For example, a site may offer a
player who deposits $100 a bonus of $50 that awards $5
every time the player rakes $25. To earn the full $50
bonus sum, the player would have to rake $250 in total.
Many online cardrooms also have VIP programs to
reward regular players. Poker rooms often offer
additional bonuses for players who wish to top-up their
accounts. These are known as reload bonuses.
online rooms also offer rakeback, and some offer poker