Is it Safe to Play Online Poker for Real Money
The Short Answer is YES
But you have to be careful and do some research
After the passing of the UIGEA in 2006, some of the biggest and famous names in the online poker industry servicing American markets pulled out and left players with very few choices. The events of Black Friday in April 2011 put the nail in the coffin for American online poker players, so to speak. Get an insight into the events and latest updates on the happenings in the poker industry here:
The online gambling industry had taken off in a big way in 2004. However, people were still hesitant to play online poker for real money since they had plenty of concerns. Some of these concerns were genuine too. There is an element of risk involved when you play online poker for real money. The foremost risk that you face when you play online poker for real money is that of not being able to withdraw the winnings. Some sites drag their feet when you request for a withdrawal from your account. Generally, the large, reputed online poker sites have a policy of processing withdrawals promptly. If you play poker at a reputed site, chances are that you will get your money without any hassles. The trick is to register at well-known and trusted poker sites and avoid new or small sites that have no reputation whatsoever. Before you sign-up, it might be worth your time to check out a few online discussion forums. Players having problems with any online poker site will usually mention it at such forums.
The risk of collusion among players is quite high when you play online poker. Since you cannot physically see your opponents, it is possible for them to communicate secretly, seriously hampering the outcome of the game. However, reputed online poker rooms take steps to prevent collusion among players with the help of collusion detection algorithms.
When you play online poker for real money, you are disclosing your financial details like credit card number and numerous personal details to the online poker site. There is every chance that these details may not be stored securely, leaving the information open to hackers. With the recent technological development in the area of internet security, this risk is slightly reduced. Online poker sites also use the latest encryption systems to protect customer details and maintain the security of financial transactions.
Poorly designed poker software that leads to the site’s integrity being compromised is another safety issue that raises concern when you play online poker for real money. Again, in recent years, online software providers have been designing excellent gaming software that has taken care of these risk factors, so it is quite safe to play online poker for real money.
There is also the possibility that the game technology itself is flawed leading to an unfair game being dealt. In the game of poker, it is important that the shuffle be random and fair. Online poker sites use Random Number Generators for fair gaming and the systems are audited by independent auditors. Additionally, online poker sites are licensed and regulated by different Gaming Commissions who conduct regular audits and inspections for compliance of the rules and regulations to ensure fair gaming.
Smaller online poker sites rarely go through the trouble of reassuring their customers about the fairness of their games and the security aspects. So, when you decide to play online poker for real money, stick to the larger well-known sites that have a reputation for being reliable and trustworthy. It is important that you do your research before signing up at a site to play online poker for real money.
Your own background research should come from listening to people and their experiences. Online poker forums and discussion boards give a wealth of honest information that helps you make up your mind about the best and the safest online poker site to join.
USA online poker players have a limited choice when it comes to safe online real money poker rooms. However, you could still find several online poker sites that accept US players even after the events of Black Friday. BetOnline Poker, Bodog Poker, Intertops Poker and Juicy Stakes Poker are some of the well-known brands. Few other smaller sites are also open to US players, but like we said earlier, join them only after you have thoroughly researched their background and are satisfied as to their trustworthiness.