US POKER ONLINE FAQ
We have thrown out a lot of information here at PokerOnline.us, so here are some common Frequently Asked Questions - a 'Cliff's Notes' if you will - to help you get a better picture about the poker online world and how, as a US player, you can sail the wild Texas Hold'em seas more smoothly. Good luck!
1. Is US poker online legal?
The simple answer is 'yes', although some states have outright banned it (see below). With PokerOnline.us, you can discover what the best sites are for American players.
2. Are there any states it is specifically not legal in?
Currently it is only legal in Nevada (via intra-state sites.) Some states, like Washington, have made online poker a Class C felony. Delaware and New Jersey are finalizing their own intra-state plans, but currently have no official state status.
3. What is the UIGEA?
Originally part of the Safe Port Act covering port security in the US, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) is a US-only piece of legislation regulating online gambling. The lawmakers that tagged this bill onto the larger piece of legislation felt it was relevant, as it would curb money laundering to terrorists. What it meant for online poker rooms was that they were forbidden to accept deposits from online players in the United States. Banks in the USA were also forced to reject all transfers to and from Internet gambling companies. The law did not, however, outlaw the actual playing of poker online.
4. What is Black Friday?
In April 2011, the FBI, in conjunction with the Department of Justice, raided the US offices of three major online poker sites - PokerStars, FullTilt Poker, and Absolute Poker/UB. The poker rooms' Stateside operations were simultaneously shut down, funds seized, and the principals of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker charged with bank fraud, illegal gambling offenses, and laundering billions of dollars in illegal gambling proceeds. American poker players with funds on the sites were unable to play on the sites any more - worse, they couldn't access their funds. Some players have been able to get their money - many more haven't after it turned out major figures at Full Tilt embezzled millions of dollars' worth of players' money.
5. Are the sites you recommend safe for US poker players?
Sounds horrific, right? Well, if the drama of UIGEA and Black Friday showed us anything, it was that the online poker scene in the US needed a re-haul. As it is, we recommend only the online poker sites where it is absolutely safe for you to deposit and withdraw your cash.
6. How do you rate and review poker online sites?
We are keen online poker players just like you. We deposit our own money at every online poker site open to US players, raise it up on the gantry, and give it a good once-over to see if it passes its Roadworthiness Test. We test out the level of customer service, the poker client (software) to see if it's truly intuitive, assess every single deposit option open to US customers, and see if those claims of huge player traffic are real or not. What's more, we will hunt out the best welcome bonuses on offer from the US-friendly online sites.
7. What deposit / withdrawal methods can I use?
There are many different deposit methods open to US poker players wanting to play real money poker online. Visa and prepaid Visa cards are two of the most common options open to American players, but many others exist. Mastercard, debit cards, eWallets, and player transfers are some of the other ways you can deposit and withdraw money onto online poker sites. However, every method differs - often massively - in the time it takes to get your money on and off.
8. Will the legal situation in the US change?
Yes, we certainly hope, and believe, that it will. The fact of the matter is, that in mid-2013, the legal situation in the US is changing. As you read this, the laws, both state and federal, may well be on course to change massively. Currently it is only legal in Nevada (via intra-state sites.) Some states, like Washington, have made online poker a Class C felony. Delaware and New Jersey are finalizing their own intra-state plans, but currently have no official state status. As more states come on board, we will be there to tell you.
9. Can I play legally for play money?
Absolutely! All good online poker sites offer a play money option on their games. They are a good way to practise your game and learn the ropes before taking the plunge on a real money online poker site. Some poker sites, meanwhile, even offer a purely play money option. Rather than offering any cash prizes, they offer prizes like seats to major tournaments. The World Poker Tour's play money poker site, ClubWPT.com, works on subscription. Players pay a monthly fee to the site then get to take part in play money tournaments every week. Winners can get seats to major WPT legs and win other things, such as official merchandise.
10. Can I play online poker on my cellphone?
Yes, although different sites offer different options. Some sites offer a mobile version of their poker clients so that you can download the software directly to your phone or tablet. Some sites offer a no download version, however, so you can play via the web browser on your phone.
11. Do I need to download software to play online poker?
Not always. Some sites offer a 'no download' option, meaning you can play your favorite games via your web browser. It's instant, it simply requires a login, and what is even better, you can play on the move. Simply turn up, logon to a remote computer, and off you go! Some no download sites are better than others, and at pokeronline.us, we will pick out the very best.
The UIGEA can be confusing, especially when it comes to knowing if your money is safe. Let us clear everything up.
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