Online poker is legal in the United States only at regulated, licensed and operated sites. This includes state-regulated websites and branded poker rooms operated by major land-based casinos, as well as social casino sites that are legal in some states. Players in legal online poker sites are protected by strict regulatory bodies that ensure games are fair and that player information is secure. These sites are also subject to age restrictions, and they must meet certain minimum standards of operation.
Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar poker rooms, online poker requires a different set of skills. In addition to a good understanding of the rules, online poker players must learn to read virtual tells and monitor how other players bet to gauge their intentions. Online poker is a game of psychology, where the slightest differences can have a huge impact on the outcome of a hand. A few key differences between live and online poker are:
In the wake of poker’s Black Friday in 2013, Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey became the first states to launch regulated online poker sites. Pennsylvania and Michigan have joined them since then, though operators have yet to launch in Connecticut and West Virginia because those markets are too small to sustain profitable poker operations. The three states that share a player pool have already seen significant growth in the industry, and it appears likely that more states will follow suit and offer regulated online poker in 2023.
Is live poker legal in Alabama? No. There are no pieces of legislation pending that would allow for the legalization of online or live poker in Alabama. As such, players must travel to other states to find a home game or play for real money.
While Utah lawmakers have considered legalizing online gambling in the past, they currently don’t plan to change the law any time soon. The state has some of the most stringent anti-gambling laws in the country, and while many states take a wait-and-see approach to online gaming, Washington actively opposes it.
New Mexico has a thriving live poker scene but isn’t planning to introduce any form of online gambling. While state lawmakers have discussed the possibility of introducing online poker, they are more focused on the recent rollout of sports betting. If New Mexico does decide to legalize online poker in the future, it’s likely to be through a ballot measure. In the meantime, New Mexico residents can enjoy online poker at a number of reputable, regulated New Mexico-based sites that accept US players. The state isn’t home to any branded online poker rooms, but there are a number of quality options to choose from. In addition, there are a number of social casino sites that feature popular poker titles and are a great way to try out the game before investing real money. The best of these sites offer free-to-play versions of their games. You can even redeem prizes from these sites for real cash.