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How To Play Poker During the Pandemic

Live poker is one of the few casino games which requires a large group of patrons to be played, up to nine or ten players at a full ring table.

The period of the worldwide pandemic and social distancing has therefore significantly affected live poker tournaments including the World Series of Poker (WSOP) which was outright canceled due to coronavirus. There was also a case where retirees in Florida were infected playing poker this past March.

What’s New on the Poker Scene

The pandemic has changed the rules in all aspects of life and poker gambling is also affected. Online poker has become a reality for many players around the globe and some trends are obvious:

  • Site traffic has increased as online customers play poker more than usual
  • People who don’t usually engage in poker use the opportunity to test the game out online
  • Poker rooms tend to offer cheaper tournaments which are suitable for new players
  • Famous tournaments are switching to an online environment
  • Playing poker online has numerous benefits compared to land-based events (no need to travel to the casino, access to games 24/7, shorter sessions and controlling your surroundings, etc.)
  • Professionals can take advantage of the influx of new players to the games and win more
  • Beginners can learn basic rules of the gameplay on the more active forums or read the latest strategy books to obtain new skills

How Poker Events Have Adjusted

After the postponement of the WSOP, the organizers decided to move the event online. Things were more complicated having to take into consideration the US legality of online casinos as well as technical challenges.

The most famous series in the world went off without a hitch though, starting in July on the WSOP.com software and more than 40000 people took part over 85 bracelet events. Players had to demonstrate proof of identity and address as well as being located in Nevada or New Jersey – both places where Caesars owns an online gambling license.

In August the series was then moved to the GGPoker site, which hosted the most popular events for players including the Main Event, offering a first prize of $3.9 million.

GGPoker is a Canadian based site, with licenses from Malta, UK, and Curacao. The provider paid to the WSOP an enormous licensing fee to be able to host the tournament while enabling online poker for real money in Canada. With this situation, Americans had an obvious problem with attending the most lucrative events of the tournaments as the US didn’t legalize online poker on a federal level.

Online Poker Across US States

As we have already mentioned, the USA didn’t go further with legalizing online poker, having only four states with permission to operate poker sites – Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

According to an official report, online gambling operators from those states recorded a significant increase in revenues during the lockdown. One of the obvious examples is New Jersey, whose operators made $3,629,112 combined which was a 90% increase over a year period.

The number of people switching to online poker is growing. This is more than welcomed by experienced cash game grinders. The rise in the number of interested players also leads to an increase in the overall prizepool in multi-table tournaments.

Some Live Casinos Reopening

While online poker rises in popularity, some land-based casinos are beginning to reopen their doors to players. One of the dedicated poker players and visitors of Derby Lane Poker Room, Gary Joerres, has spoken about his impressions after the reopening of the venue.

The Tampa-based venue, which reopened with limited capacity, has introduced some precautionary measures including temperature checks of players, wearing of masks and restrictions in the number of players that can sit at a single table.

With these measures, Joerres feels safe when playing at the poker table and will continue to engage in the game. Joerres also noted that wearing a mask significantly helps with keeping a good poker face.

Gary’s advice for new players interested in poker is to limit the amount you are willing to lose and considering poker as a hobby rather than a profession.

How Much Cash Back Will I Earn?

Rakeback increases your winnings from online poker as you continually earn money back from every raked hand or tournament you play.

Many players earn a living wage from rakeback alone. Use the calculator below to estimate the size of payments you’ll get over a given period of time. The calculator will compute your expected daily, weekly, and monthly cash back depending on the stakes and tables you input.

Calculate Your Rakeback

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