There was news coming in that many poker websites were going bust and were seized or closed by the FBI.
FBI did so for various reasons and I also heard stories about accounts being frozen for many players who ended up losing their bankrolls and saved balances.
However, people still play online poker and the number keeps on increasing as it is an easy way to make fast money and the best part is that you can achieve all this from the comfort of your home.
You don’t have to go to a casino, the casino comes to you!
2015: Safer and better?
A few years have passed since the problem that a lot of poker sites faced and most of them have either gone out of the market or have been taken over by other larger poker sites.
The thumb rule to help you out is to see just how large the website is, technically the larger the website, the less chance it has of going bankrupt or being shut.
It is just like any business situation, a larger company is much harder to go down than a smaller company, the same situation applies for the poker websites, the larger they are, the safer they tend to be.
Normally the best poker sites are regulated by third parties and as part of the safety measure they have to keep all the money deposited with them in safe account which cannot be hacked or played with by others.
To keep online poker safe it is necessary to check out if the website is regulated, checked and verified by other third party regulators.
Smaller but not safer
The real issues comes up when players decide to play at smaller, less known poker websites which don’t turn out to be as safe as expected.
The problem with the smaller websites is that like in the normal business scenario they do not enjoy the level of safety that large poker websites do and thus they still have a chance of going bust or bankrupt if things don’t go right for them.
Many of these smaller websites have gone into administration in the past because they were not making the profits required to continue doing business and trying to get your money back from these sites just becomes a tough task.
However, there still are quite a few players who would prefer to play at the smaller websites because they either provide better winnings or have players who are not as experienced as those in the larger rooms. The big payoff from these sites might not compare to the larger sites but you do have a better chance of winning.
Safety might be a big criteria but the reward taken from the risk could be something that would interest a few players.
So a simple thumb rule for anyone thinking about playing online poker on a website should look into these things;
- There should be a lot of players
- They should have been in the online poker business for a few years
- They should be audited and regulated by various third parties
These are the things that should be looked at to see if a poker is safe for online players.
You could still take a risk by playing on the smaller websites as they have less players who are experienced but that is a risk you are taking unless they fix the above criteria.
Programmed rigging, not always
Another thing that people get worked up about is that when they are playing online poker, they don’t think it is safe since they believe that the program is rigged and it isn’t fare to them or other players.
This often comes out from the fact that they end up losing quite a few hands and the best thing to do is call the grapes sour.
A couple of things should be looked into this; firstly, like in any normal game of poker, unless you are really good at the game you will lose quite a few games.
You are not always playing against the same people online, unlike the times you play with your friends, so don’t think the website is not safe or that online poker is not safe.
There was an issue about a certain program being used which could help a player with software which could show him the other players’ cards, this was patched recently and that has stopped this kind of cheating.
The programs in the top websites are usually really reliable and are trustworthy.
Online poker is actually quite safe and most large websites can actually end up being safer than banks which have become bankrupt over the years. There should be a couple of things to remember about the runs that you have on websites, you may end up losing quite a few games and then end up thinking if the website is reliable and safe or not?
A safer online poker world
We must understand that most of the larger websites have millions of $ being pumped into them in a year and if they do not ensure safety they could end up losing more than just a few players but they could end up losing the business.
It is their priority to make sure their online poker website is safe since it is a growing online phenomenon.
Just remember, larger sites are safer but are tougher to play in since they feature so many players and experienced ones at that.
The smaller ones might be ones that don’t seem as safe but they have a better pay out as there are fewer experienced players.
Online poker as a whole is safe and although you should not start an account with hundreds of $ from the get go, you should slowly play and learn about the game before you start pumping the money in to win more.