Poker is one of the most popular games globally. According to the World Poker Tour (WPT), more than 100 million people worldwide take part in the game every year. Whether it’s sitting around a table playing with friends, watching the game on television, or playing in a casino – poker is a game for people from all walks of life.
Today, technology has changed the game, allowing millions of people from anywhere in the world to connect and play. If this new frontier excites you, you can read on to learn five facts about online poker.
1. States Online Poker is Legal In
It’s illegal to play poker online for real-money in most U.S. states, except for a few. The states that have specific legislation that allow online poker for real-money, as of this writing, are only five: Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
Supposedly, West Virginia could be included in the list as a state that has passed laws allowing online poker for real-money, however there are no live real-money internet sites yet. Also, Arizona is another state that could be next in line because it doesn’t have any legislation that specifically prohibits online poker for real-money, despite its many anti-gambling laws. As of today, online poker for real-money is very limited in the U.S.
2. Online Poker Began in 1998
On January 1, 1998, the first real-money online poker game was dealt in a game played through an IRCbot. An IRCbot is a computer program designed to deal poker games using Internet Relay Chat (IRC) as its communication medium. This was where it all began, only to explode years later to where online poker is today – a worldwide network of poker enthusiasts.
3. Great Poker Players Started Out Online
All of the greats started somewhere, and Justin Bonomo, ranked as one of the best poker players of all time, started his career by playing during the online poker boom. Known online as ‘ZeeJustin,’ he became the youngest poker player to be featured at a televised final table on February 19, 2005 at 19-years-old. Since then, he has won 3 World Series of Poker bracelets (1 in 2014 and 2 in 2018), which are considered the most coveted non-cash prize a professional poker player can win. As of 2021, he has earned more than $57,000,000 in lifetime poker tournament earnings.
4. Online Poker Sites Need to Be Verified
Some unverified online poker sites are just after your personal details and credit card details, so be careful! As we’ve mentioned previously, the best way to protect against online scams is to use a proper verification website that helps locate reliable poker sites. The verification process is accomplished through scanning and authenticating a website as safe and legit, as opposed to fraudulent and scam-like.
5. Poker is in the Metaverse
Two buzz words, ‘metaverse’ and ‘crypto’, are now combined and are readily available to anyone who wants to play virtual poker in the metaverse with cryptocurrency. Players can enter through a virtual space in a web browser, choose their personal avatar they want to appear as, and visit a casino. They can sit at a virtual poker table, smoke a virtual cigar, and buy virtual poker chips using cryptocurrency – all in a virtual world.
In keeping with the times, poker has evolved from being a simple table game to being a worldwide phenomena through the internet via online gaming. With the new developments in technology, poker can be enjoyed anywhere, at any time, with anyone.