Having passed legislation allowing for online poker in Connecticut, the state became the seventh US state to regulate the game. While this may not sound like a big deal, it is important to remember that a regulated online poker site does not share the player pool with outside networks. This means that it is possible for CT operators to gather a bigger player pool and launch a more competitive site. However, this is not a certainty.
While CT has been flirting with regulating online gambling, it has also been waiting for the final ruling on the Wire Act, a long-standing rule that governs how online poker is played. While the court’s decision has yet to be formally appealed, the Department of Justice (DoJ) has no plans to do so. Instead, the court will revert to its prior interpretation of the law. This will give Connecticut an opportunity to participate in future multi-state agreements and potentially join the other states that have launched online poker in the past. Until then, Connecticut may not see the launch of its first online poker site for another year.
For online poker enthusiasts, the next few months will be crucial. Whether CT launches its first online poker site, or if it enters into multi-state agreements, will depend on whether states with regulated online poker want to share liquidity with it. If the state’s lawmakers are gung ho about entering into such agreements, it is possible that Connecticut could launch two poker sites at the same time. However, the state’s population of just over 3.5 million may not be enough to support two or more sites. That could put a kibosh on a successful launch.
While Connecticut has been waiting for the day when online poker becomes legal, it has been able to sign an agreement with two Indian tribes, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Sun, to operate an online casino. The agreement also requires the casinos to adhere to certain regulations, including operating an online poker room and providing a secure payment system. This is a step in the right direction.
Online poker can also be played for free. Many sites provide free money play so that novices can practice their skills. Other sites offer free poker school courses that speed up the learning curve for less experienced players. Some sites allow for deposits in a variety of currencies, while others require players to convert their funds before transferring them to a deposit account. Several sites also allow players to win cash prizes.
However, the real-money craze started with tournament poker, and online poker sites offer many tournament types. These vary from sit and go’s with a predetermined number of players, to knockout tournaments, which offer progressive or fixed amounts to players eliminated. In addition to regular tournaments, there are also sweepstakes gaming sites, which offer cash prizes without the risk of playing for real money.
There is no doubt that online poker has increased the popularity of the game. However, some players prefer the speed and convenience of playing the game at home. Other players are happy to compete in larger poker tournaments. In contrast, live poker is a grind. This is often the case when there are few players in a game. Thankfully, online poker is a faster game that allows players to play multiple tables at once. While the number of hands per hour may be less, the speed at which it is played can artificially improve results in the short term.