Online Poker
October 14, 2010 4:21 PM   Subscribe

10 years late to the party filter. I want to play online poker for money (not that much to start out with). I'm confused, though, by what's legal and by which online sites actually offer the ability to gamble. I am in the United States. What's a good site that will allow me to play very small bets as I get started with online poker?

This comment from a previous thread was helpful, but it appears that PokerStars no longer allows users in the United States to play with real money. At least, that's the gist when I check their FAQ, and there is no "cashier" when I open the application. The wikipedia page on online poker was ambiguous regarding the legality of online gambling in the United States. Any help/advice for a novice? I would like to deposit $100-$200 initially and play at tables where the smallest bets are in cents.
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Full Tilt Poker. The legality is a little questionable and varies from state to state, so you have to make that decision on your own, but a very large portion (the majority?) of Full Tilt's userbase is in the U.S. and I have never had any trouble making deposits or withdrawals.
posted by 256 at 4:27 PM on October 14, 2010


Washington state currently does not allow online poker and pokerstars removed the real money play option for players in Washington because of their ruling. I'm not sure about other states.
posted by Elachim at 4:39 PM on October 14, 2010


I have a friend (no, really) who plays this way. Next time I'm in touch I'll ask him about it.
posted by Deathalicious at 5:03 PM on October 14, 2010


Full Tilt is still going strong (and as far as I know, PokerStars is too, at least outside Washington State.) Make sure you sign up for rakeback before you join.

And write your congresspeople.
posted by callmejay at 5:38 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


PokerStars allow US players, except inWashington State.

It sounds like you downloaded the Pokerstars.net client, which is play money only. Go to PokerStars.com for the real money client (you can also use play money on it.)

If you sign up at Full Tilt, make sure you go through a rakeback affiliate. Simply put, all online rooms (as well as live casinos) charge 'rake', which is a percentage of the pot. Rakeback allows you to get some of this money back in the form of 'rakeback'. At Full Tilt, it's 27%. Poker Stars is one of the few rooms that does not offer rakeback.

I work in the industry, so please feel free to memail for more info.
posted by Bourbonesque at 5:50 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


By the way, the link to rakebackpros callmejay links to above is to Full Tilt's internal rakeback program. There are better deals out there, such as CardRunners, which gives you rakeback, plus access to training videos and a copy of Holdem Manager if you generate more than $100 in MGR (rake).
posted by Bourbonesque at 5:55 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't know anything for certain about the legality of playing online. My lay understanding is this: (1) Congress forbade banks from *transferring* money to many kinds of poker sites; (2) although this does not criminalize *playing* at those sites, (3) it does effectively filter out the fish, making it much harder to skim an easy profit than it had been in 2004.
posted by foursentences at 7:49 PM on October 14, 2010


Congress forbade banks from *transferring* money to many kinds of poker sites;

Right, the reason I recommended Full Tilt specifically is because they are the only site I know of that accepts credit card payments from with the US. They do this by cycling through a seemingly endless cycle of foreign shell companies too fast for the American banks to identify them as online gambling fronts. This sounds really sketchy, I know, but they're a pretty big and above board company and I've never known anyone to have a problem.
posted by 256 at 8:36 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


By the way, the link to rakebackpros callmejay links to above is to Full Tilt's internal rakeback program. There are better deals out there...

I certainly didn't mean to imply that the site I linked is the best one. It's just the one I know about. Do your research. :-)
posted by callmejay at 9:11 PM on October 14, 2010


Head over to the Two Plus Two Poker Forums. Tons of good info for you there.
posted by thatguyjeff at 6:50 AM on October 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


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