Playing poker online is now the most popular way to enjoy the game. It’s estimated there are around 140 million poker players worldwide, and many of these play at virtual tables. Poker sites have been around since the late nineties, and they’ve improved a lot in that time. Modern sites offer loads of great benefits and are more likely to be safe and trustworthy.
It’s always important to find a trustworthy site when you’re playing for real money. However, it can be difficult to know what to look for when you’re a new player. As a beginner to online poker, you won’t have much of a reference point to base your decision on. Thankfully, there are still some key features you can look for to find a trustworthy site and ensure you play safely.
Check the License
Any poker site you use should always be licensed before you sign up and deposit any money. Although poker is a skill-based game, it’s still considered gambling, and therefore, a gambling license is needed. A gambling license shows that the site has been tested by an independent audit and has been found to be fair.
The type of license needed will depend on the area you live in. For example, in the US, sites are licensed by the gambling commission of individual states. Many states still don’t have legal online poker yet, but players can still choose to sign up at offshore sites. Provided these sites have a license, they’re still safe to use.
Online reviews are an excellent way for consumers to find out if a product or service is trustworthy or not. You can find reviews from people about all kinds of products, including poker sites. Searching the name of the poker site you want to check along with the word review into a search engine will reveal plenty of results. You can find reviews from other players as well as expert reviews. Both will be useful and can give you an idea of how trustworthy a site is.
Loads of bad reviews, particularly ones that talk about issues relating to withdrawals, are typically a bad sign. If you can’t find any reviews because the site is still new, you can look at the site operator. Most poker sites will have sister sites from the same operator, and checking these reviews will give you more information. A site with poor reviews will likely mean that its sister site is untrustworthy too.
Good online poker sites make sure they protect players from harm. This is done by ensuring that the proper safety measures are in place. All sites that handle payment information should be encrypted to prevent the information from falling into the wrong hands. You can check this by looking to see whether there’s a green padlock in the address bar on the cashier page. Most poker sites will also let you know if they use encryption or not.
While it’s not a security feature as such, it’s also worth checking to see if the site supports responsible gambling. All gambling sites should take care to promote responsible gambling and offer tools such as deposit limits to players. If a site doesn’t have these, it’s likely to be untrustworthy.
Most poker sites now offer a wide range of bonuses to new and current players. This is to encourage people to sign up and to help retain players for longer. Bonuses come in a lot of different forms, but the most common are free tournament entries and matched deposit offers. You can always find these offers on the poker site’s promotions page, and it’s here you can also check the terms.
Trustworthy poker sites make it relatively easy for players to unlock and use their bonuses. While there are always terms and conditions, they should be simple to read and understand. If you find that the terms are too restrictive or difficult, you can use a different site instead.