by Max Bellamy
The card game of poker played over the Internet is known as online poker. Poker itself is one of the most popular card games, and the online version contributed to a remarkable increase in the number of poker players worldwide. In 2004, the estimated revenue from online poker was $35 million and is growing at a rate of 25%.
Running a casino, the most-preferred place for playing a poker game, has become less profitable over time, given the risks and possible legal troubles. Online venues offered a cheaper and technologically sophisticated alternative. Online poker games are extremely player friendly and the low entry fees attract more and more players.
One of the arguments against online poker games is that they are vulnerable to fraudulent play. In fact, many of the online poker rooms possess collusion-detection facilities and the ability to check the player's IP address to prevent proxy players. The big ones claim 100% security. Online poker games have the tightest security measures among any online business.
Online poker is legal in many countries, including the United Kingdom and some Caribbean countries. In the U.S., though the North Dakota House of Representatives passed a bill to legalize online poker gaming, it was defeated by the State Senate in March 2005. Many of the online poker sites are certified by Gaming Commissions and major auditing firms.
There are numerous poker rooms, and it is difficult to choose the right place for playing. The most popular online poker room is Party Poker. It has around 70,000 players online at any given time. Paradise Poker, another established and popular poker room, has a diverse range of poker tournaments. Pacific Poker is another successful poker room with a huge clientele.
Thickly populated with experienced players, online poker rooms are no heaven for new players. Newcomers are advised to stay at lower limits and build up their confidence and experience.
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