Poker is a family of comparing card games in which players wager over which hand is best according to that specific game’s rules. It is played worldwide, however in some places the rules may vary.
While the earliest known form of the game was played with just 20 cards, today it is usually played with a standard deck, although in countries where short packs are common, it may be played with 32, 40 or 48 cards.
Thus poker games vary in deck configuration, the number of cards in play, the number dealt face up or face down, and the number shared by all players, but all have rules that involve one or more rounds of betting.
What is Online poker
Online poker is the game of poker played over the 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.
Online Poker vs. Conventional Poker
Why would you want to play poker on the Internet rather than at your local poker room? The biggest reason beginner poker players prefer online poker is because they find traditional poker venues too intimidating. The second most popular reason is that one often has to drive very far to get to your local poker venue and online poker can thus save you time and gas money.
Not every casino offers poker because the game is not as profitable (for them) as slots or other card games. They do charge a fee but running the poker room is sometimes more expensive than the money they make from the rake. This is the reason that you sometimes visit your local casino only to see that they have replaced their poker room with more slots games.
What is Live poker
Live poker online provides a fresh and realistic option to the online poker sphere. So, what is live poker? Essentially it is online poker with real dealers, meaning it’s the closest alternative to playing around a real table.
The latest innovation of virtual poker, its ability to be played anytime, anywhere while offering real-time play suggests an exciting future for live dealer poker. Follow our in-depth guide on the ins and outs of live poker.
For years poker existed primarily in the back of smoky bars or casinos but that all changed in the early 2000s when the internet and an accountant from Tennessee elevated poker to primetime.
Prior to 2000 most poker played on the internet was done in chat rooms and, understandably, was just recreational. That changed when technology advanced and secure online poker sites launched that were able to safely hold players’ cash and let them wager against other.
People started taking online poker sites more seriously in 2003 when an amateur poker player named Chris Moneymaker qualified for the World Series of Poker Main Event through a $40 tournament online. Moneymaker ended up taking home $2.5 million for winning the tournament and he single-handedly revolutionized the game. It wasn’t long before poker was being showcased on ESPN and hundreds of thousands of players flocked to play online poker.
Why is Online Poker So Popular?
Online poker is popular for many of the same reasons that people love live poker. It’s a fun, easy-to-play, intellectual game that can be thrilling. The game rewards actual skill unlike slots or the lottery. It’s also something you can do at any time, for as long as you like, for any stakes you’d like from the comfort of your own home.
6 Reasons Why Live Poker is Easier Than Online Poker
There are a handful of reasons that online games and players end up tougher than their live counterparts. Some of these reasons are more prevalent than others, but they’re all common in the poker world. Let’s take a closer look at 6 of them.
- Money Is More Valuable to Online Players
- Live Players Tend to Neglect Online Resources
- Live Player Cliques Are Less Likely to Challenge Each Other
- Online Players Play More Hands And Take Advantage of Tracking Software
- Live Player Experience More Short Term Variance
- The Online Poker Lifestyle Attracts the Best Players
Poker Live V Online: 6 Differences
Live poker and online no limit holdem both function the same exact way. The blinds are posted, the button moves the same way, players are dealt 2 cards each, some betting happens, and people win/lose by the same hand ranking chart. However, both games differ quite a bit when it comes to dynamics, default assumptions, and even available information.
It’s way more common to see multi-way pots when playing live poker games. One person raises, gets a bunch of callers, and they see a flop with a low SPR and many players to contend with.
In live games it’s much more common to see larger open-raises sizes compared to the big blind. Online an open-raise size tends to be 3-4x with some min-raises/2.5x raises from later position.
Postflop All-In Ranges
If you see two online players with 100bb starting stacks stack off postflop you usually expect to see two strong hands (big pairs, two pair+, etc.) or a strong hand vs a big bluff.
Simply put; live players get extra information via tells and online players get extra information via their HUD.
If I had to choose three words to describe live and online games I would use the following:
- Live Poker: Loose/Passive/Inelastic
- Online Poker: Tight/Aggressive/Elastic
Now these are my default ideas of each game and of course they could change once I get information on the actual table I’m playing. But as a default if I sit down at a live game I’m going to expect it to be loose/passive and I’ll expect a default online game to be tight/aggressive.
Let’s be honest…live poker is slow. In most rooms you’ll be lucky to see 30 hands/hour, which is painfully slow when you consider online you can get 60 hands/hr at a normal table.
The Best Online Poker Sites
Ignition Casino was established in 2016 by Lynton Limited, the same company behind Bodog, Bovada, Joe Fortune Casino, and Ignition Poker. Envisioned as a US-friendly online casino, Ignition Casino has a lot to offer to its players, from game selection to a strong bonus and nice promotions.
Is Ignition Casino Legit?
- It works with reputable, well-known gaming companies which have been around for a long time
- There are no major player complaints about Ignition Casino on popular gambling web forums
- This site runs on a secure, SSL-encrypted connection. Visit it, and you’ll see the word “secure” in green beside the web address
GGPoker is worthwhile not only because of the amount of promotions, but also because you play against rather weak players. In return, the rake at GGPoker is a little higher than at most competitors.
Pros of GGPoker
- Excellent reputation.
- There are no complaints against this casino at the time of writing this article
- Provably fair.
- Random Number Generator is certified by BMM Testlabs
Exclusive poker games.
- All-In or Fold, Spin & Gold, Rush & Cash, Flip & Go
Casino Games for everyone.
- Over 1000 casino games including slots and Live Casino
GG Poker mobile app.
- Available for iOS or Android
- Features not found at other casinos like SnapCam, Pokercraft, and more.
Americas Cardroom is a member of the Winning Poker Network. It is sister site to True Poker. The network is operated by the same parent company as Bookmaker and Betcris. This company is held in very high regard in the online gaming industry.
The Americas Cardroom brand was relaunched after DoylesRoom was acquired by the company. Doyle Brunson no longer wanted his name associated with online gaming after Black Friday. The Americas Cardroom brand was revived in 2011. It was previously active from 2001 to 2007.
Is Americas Card Room legal in the US?
Absolutely. There are no Federal laws that make online poker illegal. Furthermore, only one US state has any language that specifically addresses online poker (Washington State). As such, it is perfectly legal to play on America’s Cardroom, Black Chip Poker, True Poker, or any other online poker site while residing in the United States.
You’ll find an in-depth evaluation of Americas Cardroom throughout this review. But a good place to start is always going to be with some real player analysis, and as poker players with extensive experience, we’re well placed to compile a starting list of positives and negatives. We’ll follow this further on with some detail around key performance indicators, but here are the high-level pros and cons as we found them while playing at the site:
What we like about Americas Cardroom
- USA and 98% of countries accepted
- 100% up to $2,000 bonus
- Supports Bitcoin + dozens of altcoins
- Exclusive $10 no deposit bonus: PRB10FREE
- 27% rakeback available
- Lottery-style Jackpot Poker
- Multi-million dollar tournaments!
What we don’t like about Americas Cardroom
- Limited mobile client
- Casino + sportsbook SUCK
- Rakeback users don’t get $10 free
- 3 hour+ late registration in MTTs
BetOnline sportsbook has been a driving force in the sports betting industry for nearly two decades. It is one of the largest online sportsbooks and offers a clean interface with early odds on many popular sporting events. They are also known to have some of the highest betting limits in the game on popular North American sports, as well as some of the more generous bonuses available. Our BetOnline review covers these details and more!
They began their journey as Best Line Sports in 2001, then changing names to BetOnline.com, and finally BetOnline.ag in 2007. Operating out of Panama, they accept sports bettors from around the globe, including the United States and Canada. They are the sister site of Sportsbetting.ag and share many of the same qualities and odds.
BetOnline Pros & Cons
- Great Banking Options
- First-rate Sportsbook
- Cryptocurrency Bonuses Available
- Don’t Offer Independent Poker Network
BetOnline Bonuses and Promotions: 3.5 out of 5
The bonuses and promotions we found here at BetOnline.ag are fairly decent! We found a generous welcome bonus of $3,000 for new casino customers as well as a few deposit matches geared toward returning players. Sports bettors can claim 50% up to $1,000 on their first deposit and participate in ongoing contests. Honestly, we would like to see some more daily deals for regular casino players at some point in the future.
That is really our only criticism when it comes to bonuses at this site. Other than that, we were impressed with the welcome offer and the contests and tournaments that are featured at the site on a daily basis.
Red Dog Casino
By now, Red Dog Casino has caught the attention of many online casino-goers. However, since it is still relatively new to the industry, many people still question whether or not it is a legit place to play casino games online.
That’s why we put together this in-depth review of Red Dog Casino to help give you a better understanding of what to expect when you check out their site. At the bottom of this page is a FAQ section to help answer any questions you may have about this online casino.
The bonuses offered by Red Dog Casino are a bit lacking, as they only ever have a few being offered one time. They also tend to have high rollover requirements, which locks you in for the long run when you choose to cash in on a bonus.
- $40 no-deposit bonus is easy to claim
- Large 225% deposit bonus
- Large range of promotions
- Full live dealer game selection
- Large collection of Realtime Gaming slots
- USA players accepted for real money
- Bitcoin Casino supported for deposits and payouts
- Fee-free transactions
- Official license from Curaçao
- High wagering requirements
- Caps the winnings you can earn from your bonuses
- Low deposit and withdrawal limits
- Only games from Realtime Gaming
- No native apps for iOS or Android
- No license information on the homepage
- Weak selection of Roulette games
Bovada is a recreational player friendly poker site that has completely anonymous games. With high traffic, #1 in the United States, the games are among the softest in the world. Bovada shares its player pool with Bodog and Ignition and features exceptional customer service, fast payouts, and is a safe legit place to play poker.
After a strange year-long absence where Bovada “sold” its online poker operation to Ignition Poker (I still believe they own both brands), the OG is relaunching. Bovada Poker has all the strengths and weaknesses (but mostly strengths) of the old days.
Is Bovada Poker Legit?
To me, Bovada Poker is one of the most legit online poker sites in the world, simply because I’ve had such a good experience there over so many years. Also, Bovada Poker outpaces player traffic of any other US-friendly poker site by a 2 to 1 margin, regularly landing in the top 5 for the world.
Thanks to their casino-and-sports-tinged flavor, Bovada Poker also attract one of the loosest clientele of gamble-it-up online poker players on the planet. Bovada Poker is one of only 2 USA poker sites to offer real money mobile play. Bovada.lv was also the first USA poker site to offer a Mac download.
- Speedy payout speeds with cryptocurrency options
- Large player pool so there will always be a poker room open
- Live chat and phone call support options are both efficient
- Welcome bonus is not as large as the other competitors
- Not currently licensed
Everygame was the first online sportsbook to hit the world wide web and paved the way for many of the online sportsbooks we see online today. Everygame was established in 1983, in the pre-internet days, and certainly, before online gambling became a thing. Phone wagering was popular at the time, many had to call into their bookies to place wagers. Then the internet happened, and the first online sports wager was placed at Everygame on January 17th, 1996 from a Finnish bettor.
Not only did Everygame claim the first online sports wager, but they were the first sportsbook to offer a mobile betting site in the year 2000. Many sportsbooks have come after them, trying to mimic the experience one might get from the Everygame experience, but there are few that can match the quality offered by this unique oddsmaker.
If the name Everygame sounds familiar to you, this isn’t much of a surprise. The company was founded all the way back in 1996 at the start of the online gambling revolution. At that point, it was primarily a sports betting company, but as you will see, it has expanded its product offering over the years.
The company has changed hands over the years, and the current owner is listed as a company called Thinkquick Ltd., which is based in St. Kitts. While the changing in ownership always causes some concern, there isn’t much information I can find out about the current ownership, either positive or negative, so I’ll just leave that be for now.
The company has had a love/hate relationship with the US over the years. At its launch, the company accepted American players, but then after a change of ownership and the introduction of the UIGEA, it stopped taking them. Now, the company is once again open to US players (at least for the time being).
As I mentioned, Everygame started out as a sportsbook, and in fact, they lay claim to having accepted the first ever online sports bet. Today, while they have a multitude of other products, sports continues to be front and center for the company.
The interface at Everygame shows its age in some spots, but overall, for an in-house product, it gets the job done. When I clicked on the sports section of the website, I was brought to a screen which featured most of what I am looking for in a sportsbook. There are highlighted odds in the middle of the screen and a list of the most popular bets on the right-hand side of the screen.
- Wide variety of sportsbook bets available
- Sports welcome bonus of 100% up to $250
- Bonuses eligible for small deposits of $20-25
- Over 300 slots games
- Very quick response from Live Chat operators
- Casino splits between two different webpages (Classic and Red)
- $50 withdrawal fee for bank transfers and check
As a whole, we’ve rated SportsBetting.ag at a solid 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. There are lots of things to love about their website including their quality sportsbook and collection of casino games. Our only chief complaint about them relates to the small size of the lineup for their mobile-friendly casino games.
Having been launched in 2003, SportsBetting.ag isn’t one of the newcomers in the online gambling space. With over 15 years to perfect things, it’s clear that their team understands the industry and is applying that knowledge to help build an excellent online casino and sportsbook for their clients.
If you’re wondering if you can play here, the chances are good that you can. Luckily, they’ve got one of the shortest lists of restricted countries we’ve ever come across in the industry. As long as your country isn’t listed below on the restricted countries list, you’ll be accepted as a player on their platform.
Pros and Cons of SportsBetting.ag
In order to deliver you an honest review of SportsBetting.ag, we took a deep look into both the pros and cons of the website. How can we be completely honest and unbiased if we do not review both the good and the bad aspects of the site? Although there are flaws in this online sportsbook, it is a gambling site we highly recommend!
- Sportsbook, horses, poker, and casino
- Accepts 18 cryptocurrencies
- Payouts in as little as 48 hours
- Free sports betting contests
- High rollover requirements on bonuses
- Does not offer free casino games
- High minimum deposits on some banking options
SportsBetting Gets Acquired by BetOnline
So much has changed for SportsBetting since 2012 because BetOnline bought the site out. While BetOnline has had its own fair share of issues (read our BetOnline.ag review to learn more), the company took responsibility for its newest asset and paid back all the customers who hadn’t received payouts.
BetOnline had to pay to acquire SportsBetting, plus the company had to take on $1.5 million of debt. Reports at the time of the acquisition said that BetOnline’s management was shocked by the amount of debt, which means that the previous management hadn’t been upfront about it.
Black Chip Poker
Black Chip Poker is a member of the Winning Poker Network. It once operated on Merge Gaming before that network booted all of its non-core skins. Black Chip Poker was one of only two that found a new home, as opposed to simply shutting down. Poker Host is the other.
Personal Opinion of Black Chip Poker
What I like about Black Chip Poker – Black Chip Poker survived adversity when it was pushed off Merge Gaming in 2013. Its player base was thought to be large enough to be significant to the Winning Poker Network.
The main cashier took its players in and there have been no complaints since. Most Merge Gaming skins threw player points away. That didn’t happen at Black Chip Poker. The move was seamless and everybody got paid in full. Cashouts to this day, including VIP points moved from Merge Gaming, have been moved in full. This move makes me appreciate how legitimate Black Chip Poker is.
Pros of Black Chip Poker
- ‘Player Protection’ on cash tables.
Player are protected from predatory practices by being anonymous to anyone not seated at the table
- Restricted programs exclusion.
Prevents play with software that provides an unfair advantage; everyone is on a level playing field
- Option of a 27% Rakeback program.
This is available if you request it, instead of the Elite Benefits program
- Provably fair gaming.
To ensure provably fair games, the site’s Random Number Generator meets or exceeds best practices
- Mobile poker app.
Play anywhere on your favorite device.
- Over 60 cryptocurrency options.
If you don’t see the one you want, you can suggest it!
- Exclusive Blackjack game.
Choose from seven different high-definition games only available at Black Chip Poker
- Preferred seating.
Sit in the same spot at each table you’re playing during multi-table play
- Multi-table play.
Play on up to 24 tables at the same time
- Exotic betting odds.
Bet on all major sporting events, Grammys, politics, reality TV, and more!
Cons of Black Chip Poker
- No anonymous play.
When you create an account, you will be asked to provide your first and last name, address, a valid email, address your birth date, and a valid telephone number.
- Difficult to navigate.
Because you are playing games from three casinos, it’s a little difficult to navigate, but the extra games may be worth it.
Both Black Chip Poker and America’s Cardroom are on the Winning Poker Network, sharing every table and tournament with each other like an old married couple eating early bird. Poker players should thank their stars, because Black Chip Poker and Winning have been killing it for years now.
Every year, Black Chip Poker has gained players, ideas, and promotions. They’re in a good spot. In fact, Black Chip Poker is one of only 3 US poker networks I think will be shuffling up and dealing long-term.
Is Poker Gambling or Based on Skill?
There are many people out there who scoff at the thought of playing poker, deriding it as a simple game of luck, just like all other casino games, such as roulette and slots. To put it bluntly, however, these people are entirely wrong and don’t understand the finer points of the game – the finer points that allow a player with skill the chance to gain a huge upper hand over their opponents.
Poker is a game that combines elements of both skill and chance. While the outcome of each hand is determined by the cards that are dealt, players can use their knowledge, experience, and strategies to increase their chances of winning. This means that poker is not purely a game of chance like some other forms of gambling, such as slot machines or roulette.
However, it is also important to note that the element of chance is still a significant factor in poker. Players can have the best hand and the best strategy, but they can still lose if they are dealt poor cards or if their opponents make unexpected moves. As a result, some people consider poker to be more of a game of chance than a game of skill.
Overall, the question of whether poker is a game of skill or a game of chance is a complex one, and it depends on how you define these terms. Some people believe that poker is primarily a game of skill, while others believe that it is more of a game of chance. Ultimately, the answer may depend on individual perspectives and experiences.