Since the beginning of the online poker boom in the early 1990s this form of gambling has become very popular all around the world, despite its questionable legal status in many countries. The first real money online poker game was dealt in January 1st, 1998. Since then, online poker has become a billion-dollar business.

Online poker – how to choose the right poker room

Given the popularity and the profitability of online poker, there are a host of establishments that offer the opportunity to gamble online. Because of the huge number of online poker rooms, it can be hard to find the right one for the inexperienced player eager to bet.

Before starting to play poker online, make sure your country’s laws allow that. Some countries are clearly against online gambling, others allow and regulate this kind of activity. In Australia, for instance, it is legal to gamble online, but it’s illegal to provide online gambling services to people physically present in the country. In India online gambling is strictly prohibited, and in Israel all kinds of games of chance are illegal, including online backgammon.

If the laws applicable permit it and you are of legal age, you can start to look for the right establishment to start playing poker online. There are a variety to choose from, each one with their pros and cons. There are some aspects to keep in mind when choosing the right site for your needs.

First of all, if you want to play only poker, there are several sites specialized in this game. If you consider playing other types of games of chance, it’s better to choose an online casino with other games – such as online slots, roulette or keno – besides poker rooms.

When you find sites that look right, start digging for user reviews. Try to avoid sites with many negative user reviews, go for the ones with lots of satisfied customers. Also, most of the sites offer sign up bonuses and other benefits to their players – compare these before deciding.

Before signing up, check for the rake of the online poker site you are willing to choose – usually, the online casino or online poker room takes about 5 to 10 per cent of the winnings as commission. Some card rooms charge more, others charge less.

Table traffic is also an important thing to check before choosing a poker room to play – make sure the poker tables are populated around the time you usually play. Sitting at the poker table all alone is not the most uplifting experience for the player eager to gamble.