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Play Poker Online Poker is one of the most popular card games played in casinos worldwide. Many card games (along with poker) share their hand rankings and betting rules. This game has grown in its popularity in the recent years, thus, resulting in the introduction of online poker. Online poker lets the users or the players play poker online. It means playing the game of poker over the Internet. According to the Christiansen Capital Advisors, the revenues of online poker increased from 82 million dollars (2001) to 2.5 billion dollars (2005). On the other hand, Global Betting consultants conducted a survey and it concluded that the revenues in 2004 were at 1.5 billion dollars.

The online casinos, in comparison to the “brick and mortar casinos� are quite cheap because they have very less overhead costs. For example, an addition of a table would cost much less than creating a B&M casino. The online poker lets its players play poker online at very low bets and offer an entry-fee free tournament. These kinds of offers attract both the beginners and wealthy clients. The online poker playing facilities provided by sites are more prone to the


frauds, majorly, collusion between its players. However collusion can be detected in online poker, something that the B&M casinos lack.

The first free online poker was played in the late 1900s. The first online cardroom that offered games with real money was Planet Poker. Many poker sites offer variety of features to attract new players. The main common attraction is to offer Satellites. Satellites are tournaments whose winners can be allowed to enter the real poker tournaments. It was through this kind of a tournament that led to the winning of Chris Moneymaker in the World Series of Poker in the year 2003. His win was a shock to the poker world.

The major poker traffic can be experienced on just a few main networks like the Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and iPoker Network. Currently there are more than 500 websites offering the facility to its users to play poker online. Amongst them, approximately 25 sites are stand- alone sites and the rest of them operate on shared networks. These sites are called skins and the majority of these skins can be found operating on the largest network, which is iPoker. The largest poker-playing site is Pokerstars.com as it has the highest number of players registered on it.

Online poker is regulated and considered legal in a large number of countries, especially the United Kingdom. In the Unites States a bill was passed in the year 2005, to regulate and legalize the online poker and its cardroom operators. This was however cancelled when U.S DoJ said that legalization of online poker gaming might result in the violation of the Wire Act. Due to all


the responses from DoJ etc, many poker sites stopped the advertisements of their dot com sites. Instead, they developed dot net sites that are identical virtually, but don’t involve the use of money or any kind of betting. In addition, these sites advertise themselves as poker schools that help their users learn to play poker for free and show statements like “it is not a gambling site�. In the year 2010, the supreme court of Washington, made a law, stating that playing online poker is a punishable offence.

There are 4 methods by which these sites generate revenues in bulk. The first one is rake. Rake is collected from the real money cash games. Each poker room has its own rake structure. The rake is usually very small as running a poker table online is less costly. Second method is to charge an entry fee of around 5-10 percent of the entire tournament. Third method is to play cash games like the blackjack against the house involving real money. Fourth method is the profitably investing the receipts of the players.


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