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The 101 on Choosing the Best Place to Play Poker


Nowadays, there are hundreds of options for people looking to play poker. The choices range from online poker games, multiplayer or solo, in-person visits to casinos where poker is played, and much more. The best course of action will depend on personal preference, as well as the legalities of gambling in a particular region.

Online vs In-Person

Online and in-person poker provide different, albeit both immersive and exciting, experiences. One of the most noticeable variances is how much slower live poker is than the online version. When playing on a mobile device, moves can be made and games can progress quickly, whereas in-person games involve more deliberation and will depend on the speed of other players and dealers.

Another thing that attracts many people to online poker is that the role of reads is removed. Although there is debate about how important poker tells are in a live game, there is no denying that they have some significance, as some players will give away the strength of their hand. There are so many small things that can happen in a live game, from facial expressions to mood changes, that can hint at what somebody is holding, whereas none of this can happen in a virtual game.

Offshore vs Domestic Sites

Offshore sites are a great pick for people living in states where online poker or other casino games may not yet be permitted. Most offshore apps or sites will be based in neighboring states where iGaming has been legalized, such as in Michigan or New Jersey. Overall, the offshore casino verdict is that they are perfect for those who want to game at their convenience and speed, but do not yet have the option to do so at a domestic site.

A newer innovation in the digital gambling world is interstate online poker, which connects multiple domestic poker rooms with each other, allowing people to play with others from different states and grow the player pool. However, not every US state will be able to take part in the activity. All states involved must have already legalized online poker, and have joined the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA). Currently, the practice can take place in Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and most recently West Virginia.

The first states to join the MSIGA were Delaware and Nevada, back in 2014. Three years later, New Jersey joined, and five years later, Michigan became the fourth state in the group. The benefits of the compact are numerous; they allow betting operators to expand traffic and their customer base, and give players the opportunity to connect with people from other states. Although the MSIGA is still in its early stages of growth, as gambling legislation relaxes across the US, it could become a huge source of innovation in the iGaming industry.

Legal Poker Playing in the US

Each state in the US is able to make its own rules and regulations regarding all forms of gambling, online and live poker included. It is much more common for in-person poker to be legal, with over half of states allowing the activity in casinos, tribal casinos, or card rooms. The number of areas that have legalized online gambling is lower, but increasing steadily year on year, and it’s worth watching the news for any updates on the latest states to be added to the list.

There are still some states where the majority of forms of gambling are strictly outlawed, such as Wyoming, Utah, and Hawaii. This is a fairly rare approach to wagering though, as many other places have begun to embrace the economic boost that the practice can bring. States including California and Florida, amongst others, have some restrictions on poker, but are beginning to open up more. For example, live poker is legal in Florida as long as it is played in a tribal casino, and residents of the Sunshine State can also partake in offshore online poker sites.

In 2013, Nevada became the first to allow people physically within the state and of legal age (21 years old) to play online poker for real money. Before this point, any online games did not offer financial incentives. Delaware followed suit a few months after, but one-upped Nevada by offering online casinos as well as poker.


To sum it up, there is no single best place or way to play poker. It all depends on location, legality, and preference. In states where there are no legal domestic poker sites or card rooms, offshore sites are the only option. For those who enjoy being able to play poker at their own speed and without the worry of live reads, online is best. There are still many who appreciate the slower speed and psychological aspect of in-person games, and for these people, online gaming would not have quite the same impact.

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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