Is Online Poker Legal?

online poker

Online poker takes the classic game of poker and cranks it up a notch. Players can play for free or for real money and can even win satellite entries into live tournaments around the world.

To begin playing poker online you’ll need to create a user account and download the software. This process is usually fast and easy and requires only a small amount of memory on your computer.


Online poker has been a legal activity in some states since 2012. While the industry has seen some growth, many questions remain about the legality of the game. This is partly due to the fact that state laws have differing interpretations of federal law.

Fortunately, federal court decisions have helped to clear up some of the confusion. A recent ruling struck down the Department of Justice’s 2011 opinion that any gambling activities that cross state lines are illegal. This ruling has implications for real money online poker, but not for regular players.

The most important factor for the legality of online poker is whether a site is licensed in a specific state. This ensures that the company adheres to state gambling laws and that all gambling transactions are conducted within that state’s borders. Additionally, state-regulated i-poker sites offer advantages to customers, such as a readily available remedy in case of a dispute and convenient deposit and cashout methods.

Games offered

Online poker games offer players a wide range of choices. They include freeroll tournaments where players can pit their wits against fellow amateurs and earn bonus cash, as well as high-stakes events with huge guaranteed prize pools for US players. Some sites also have rakeback, which redistributes a portion of the real money pots to loyal players.

While the rules of poker are the same whether played live or online, playing online requires a different set of skills. For instance, the lack of physical ’tells’ makes it difficult to read opponents, and multi-tabling can be challenging on mobile devices.

Most online poker sites provide safe gambling environments. They offer tools like time and deposit limits to prevent over-spending. In addition, they offer help for problem gamblers through self-exclusion and a number of other resources. Players should always be aware that online poker can become addictive. This is why it’s important to keep an eye on their spending habits and limit the amount of money they spend per session.

Deposit options

If you’re looking to deposit money into an online poker site, there are a variety of good options available to you. These include credit cards, eWallets like Skrill and NETELLER and even cryptocurrency payments such as ecoPayz, CryptoPay and Luxon. Some of these options might not be available at all sites, however.

You can also deposit through direct bank transfers, although these are usually slower and more expensive than other methods. Some sites might have minimum deposit amounts and/or maximum deposit limits for this method. You might also have to pay a fee for this transaction, as some sites treat it as a cash advance and charge interest.

Prepaid debit cards are another popular option, especially in Europe where they are available at thousands of sites. These can be funded with either Visa, MasterCard or direct bank transfer and are a great way to avoid having your real credit card information online. Some of these cards may have a nominal fee, which will be listed on the poker site’s cashier page.


The online poker scene is vibrant and lucrative, but it also attracts a wide variety of criminals and hackers. It seems like not a week goes by without a news story about hacker groups stealing user names and passwords or credit card information from gaming websites. This makes many people wonder whether it is safe to play poker online.

The good news is that most reputable sites take security seriously. They implement software to monitor gameplay and prevent collusion and chip dumping. This helps keep the game fair for all players. In addition, players should use a dedicated Internet connection for their poker games. This will prevent malware from infecting their router or modem, and will make it more difficult for a hacker to target them.

Other security measures include 2-Factor authentication, which requires a player to provide not only their password but a second form of identification such as a code sent to their phone or email. This extra layer of security is important to help protect against data breaches that could expose personal and financial information.