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Video poker and the US online gambling market
Have you tried video poker yet?
The online casino phenomenon has had a huge impact on gamblers the world over, but nowhere more so than in the US. The nation has never had the most comfortable relationship with gambling from a regulatory perspective, and the rules vary from state to state. At one extreme, there is Nevada, the home of Las Vegas, while at the other, there are states like Utah, where any type of gambling is completely prohibited.
As far as operating a casino goes, the rules are clear cut. Whether it is bricks and mortar or online, there are some states where it is allowed, and significantly more where it is not. However, from the player perspective, things are a little less clear cut.
Online gambling - is it legal?
Utah was cited advisedly earlier, as it has the reputation for being the state with the biggest anti-gambling stance. It has already passed laws that will allow it to opt out of any future federal law that relaxes the stance on gambling. But these laws only relate to the operation of casinos within the state, and there is no law against individuals visiting offshore casino websites. There are European sites that anyone can visit today from the US without fear of breaking any state or federal laws.
You might have heard of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which was enacted in 2006. The point about this is that it only prohibits US banks from conducting financial transactions with betting sites. So in other words, it does not restrict your ability to visit these sites and place a bet, although you will need to come up with alternative payment methods.
Every casino game demands a blend of skill and luck, and the most successful gamblers will be those who have developed their abilities in the skill-based games such that they can reduce the house edge. Players of other card games might argue the point, but most people agree that poker is the game with the highest ratio of skill.
In video poker, the consideration of the house edge is particularly important, because the key difference between this and a regular poker game is that you are directly up against the house, as opposed to other players. No bluffing, no bull, just cold, hard strategy.
Ideal for beginners
We've all got to start somewhere, but it would take a brave novice to breeze into a bricks and mortar casino and go up against a bunch of complete strangers at a hand of poker. Video poker provides the perfect springboard. It is a chance for you to put all those theories into practice without the risk of losing your shirt, making a fool of yourself or both.
Typically, the video poker games will have lower limits, allowing you to start off at a few coins, as opposed to the higher minimum bets at a traditional table. And best of all, if you are playing online, the free introductory bonuses offered by most sites will mean you are not even gambling with your own money!