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Poker is one of the best games anyone can get into. The origins of the game can be traced to ancient China and the Middle East, but it is enormously popular in the United States. States like Louisiana were the first jurisdictions with a record of introducing the game. In the city of New Orleans, poker was introduced by French and British sailors in the early 1800s. 

While the game is popular in plenty of land-based venues, playing poker online is gaining in popularity as it now offers as much excitement and even better wagering terms. There are many benefits of online poker players in the US can enjoy. This guide will provide a concise look at the advantages, and we will also expand on top poker sites to wager on. In addition, we look at the steps to play poker online and the difference between online poker and conventional poker.

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Is Online Poker Legal in the USA?

The power to choose whether online gambling is legal or not resides with the individual state governments. Hence, you will find online poker banned in some US states. No one prosecutes players who decide to play at offshore poker sites though.

There are four states currently that offer online poker legally: 


Nevada was the first state to allow online poker, back in 2013. The state is home to top-rated poker tournaments, including the World Series ofPoker. 


Delaware also went live with online poker in 2013, although it was legalized in 2012 via House Bill 333. Terms of the legislation gave powers to the three racinos based in the state to offer poker and other games via the 888Poker site and software.

New Jersey

New Jersey followed suit by legalizing online poker on February 26, 2013. Gov. Christie appended Bill 2578 into law. Currently, you can find various poker sites operating in the state. Together with Nevada and Delaware, New Jersey online poker players can enjoy multi-room gaming with players from these states. 


Pennsylvania followed next, legalizing online poker in October 2017. Gov. Tom Wolf signed House Bill 271, which was the gambling expansion bill, and it regulates online poker. This new legislation allows the state’s gambling board, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, to handle and issue licenses to operators in the state. 

The following states are expected to legalize online poker soon:

Online Poker Game Types

Due to the high popularity of this game, there are now many variants available for players to try. Each can be accessed on poker sites at any time. Let’s take a look.

Texas Hold ’em

Texas hold ’em is across US online casinos. The rules are the basis of other poker game types. Here are some features of this variant:

  • All players are dealt three cards each to start, in a face-down position. 
  • The remaining two cards are offered separately to players after a round of betting.
  • The best hand wins the pot. 


Omaha is similar to Texas Hold ’em. Its impressive game style allows players to enjoy different variants like the pot-limit, no-limit, and fixed Omaha poker. Here, all players are offered four hole cards each, and five community cards are placed on the board. You can combine three community cards and two hole cards to make a five-card hand. 

With Omaha, the betting rounds are named pre-flop, flop, turn, and the river. It is an exciting way of playing poker, depending on your budget. 

Stud Poker

Stud poker is an older interactive game that was popular until hold ’em was introduced. Seven-card stud is the most famous, although you can find other variants to play. 

One unique feature is that all players are involved in the game round. The game style requires everyone to place a bet first (known as the ante) before the cards are dealt. The amount varies from one casino or poker site to another and is displayed on the game’s bar. 

Game rounds are referred to as “streets.” Just like other poker game types, there are different actions available to a player after receiving cards. They include:

  • fold
  • check
  • bet
  • call
  • raise 

Other stud poker game types include seven card stud hi/lo, five card stud, and razz. 

Five-card Draw

Five-card draw poker is the variant almost everyone grew up playing. The style requires all players to make the best five-card hand after a draw. It’s easy to learn, like hold ’em, but mastering the skill involved is challenging. 

A game round here involves small and big blinds and a dealer’s button. Players are dealt five cards, face-down. The actions available for the first player are:

  • fold 
  • call
  • raise

Cards can be reshuffled on the deck since. 

Other excellent poker game types to check out are:

  • badugi
  • fusion
  • showtime hold’em
  • six+ hold’em, 
  • crazy pineapple
  • Chinese poker 

Rules to Play Poker Online

Playing online poker involves rules. Like most casino card games, certain poker hands determine who the final winner of the pot is. The part where everyone shows his hand is known as the “showdown.” Let’s look at the different poker hands. The best hands are at the top, with the more common and weak ones at the bottom. 

Hands in Poker

When learning about poker rules, understanding the poker hand rankings is essential. Although there is a general format, most varieties have slight differences. 

Here’s a general description of poker hands:

  • Royal Flush: five cards ranking from A, K, Q, J, 10. Suits do not matter here.
  • Straight flush: five cards ranked in numerical order and of an identical suit. If there is a tie between players, the highest-ranked card becomes the decider. 
  • Four of a kind: four out of the five are of the same rank. The last card is referred to as the kicker and becomes the decider in the case of a tie. 
  • Full house: like four of a kind, three cards have the same rank. The remaining two are of either the same or different ranks. A tie is decided by the top three cards when compared. With community cards, the last two cards decide. 
  • Flush: This hand comprises five cards with different ranks but the same suit. The tie is first decided by the first ranking card or followed by the second and continues. 
  • Straight: five cards in a ranking sequence. Like the flush, a tie is decided by the highest ranking card. The ace plays a crucial role here as it can be used as a top or bottom. 
  • Three of a kind: this hand features three cards with the same rank and two cards with random values. 
  • Two pair: here, two separate pairs with different ranks and the kicker. 
  • One pair: only two cards have similar ranks. 
  • High card: the high card is the lowest hand and does not beat any of the above hands. 

To begin playing online poker, there are simple steps. Since legal poker is available in several US states, here’s a guide to help you get started.

1.   Choose a relevant online poker gaming site

The first step is hunting for the best site to play on. We understand that every player has their taste, so the next section highlights essential features to look out for when choosing a poker gaming site.

2.           Register 

Now that you’ve chosen your preferred site, the next step is to get an account so access can be granted. This process involves filling out relevant details, including confirming your identity and email account. 

Depending on the site, you could be done within a few minutes. 

3.           Fund your account

Making a real-money deposit is essential as soon as the registration is done. The online bonuses the operator offers are only available when you fund the account. Confirm whether you need a bonus code to get the promotions before proceeding to fund the account. 

4.           Choose your favorite game or competition

Now that your account is set up, it’s time to pull out a virtual seat and start playing. Take advantage of the various tournaments or cash games and play to win. 

How US Online Poker Players can Choose the best Poker Websites

When selecting the fitting online poker room, it is essential to play at reputable sites. Since there are numerous poker competitions or tournaments, choosing a good site is necessary. Here are some tips to guide you on the best site to wager on. 


Searching for the best poker site with amazing bonuses or incentives is essential. The welcome bonus should be substantial, and look for promotions for regular players. The bigger the offers, the better. Keep an eye out for the wagering requirements. You don’t want an offer that requires longer playing hours before you can withdraw.

Poker Game Varieties

The next factor to look into is the size of the game collection. We understand some players may have favorites, but it does not hurt to have other options to play with. There should be a variety of games to load and play. This should also spread to many types of cash games and tournaments to jump on. 


You should confirm that the site’s operator is licensed by the relevant regulatory body. This will protect you from problems that could lead you to lose your funds. 

The security of the website is also crucial. This includes essential features like strong firewalls, DPOs, and SSL.

Customer Support

The customer support provided by the site must be active and readily available. Players can choose from a number of options like phone, live chat, and email support. 

Real-money Online Poker Strategy

A strategy is necessary for every poker game. As stated, playing this beautiful game is easy. However, understanding and learning the skills involved is challenging. You must use techniques to further your winning chances of being a winner. 

Play for fun or real money

Every new player must first consider whether they’re playing just for fun or to win real money. 

When starting out, the mission should be to play and get the best hand possible. As you progress, your skills will develop.

Poker is mathematics

You should understand that poker is a game of math. You may think it is complicated since you don’t have all the relevant information available. However, while trying to calculate the moves of others, also concentrate on having the best hand open. 

The higher your hand ranking, the better your chances of winning or sharing the pot. 

Starting with a strong hand is good, but the rest of the play is important

Another essential strategy is perfecting your next play with your current hand. It won’t be every time the dealer offers a suitable combination of cards to you. However, knowing your next play based on your hand is vital. 

This begins with knowing and mastering the poker hand rankings and understanding your current position. These two factors should give insight into what to do. 

Avoid Tilt!

As you play, please stay away from tilting. In the game of online poker, there are chat rooms where players can interact with each other. Many people use this forum to try to bluff and intimidate other opponents. This skill can be useful in the right situation but it can also cause problems.

But If you want to go far in poker, ensure you use only logic. Playing with your emotions will make you weak, and others can use it as an advantage against you. Anyone can become a victim, and maybe the best chance of redeeming yourself is taking a break. Whether you decide to return to the game the next day or 10 minutes later, take the opportunity to calm down and think logically.

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