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The History of Online Poker

Published by on March 10, 2021

If you enjoy playing poker online, it may seem strange to think that it has actually only been around on the internet since 1998. The way that online poker became so popular, with sites like PowerPlay offering it, is an interesting story. We’ve put together a little information about the history of online poker for you to take a look at.

Early Poker Online

As previously mentioned, the first game of poker took place online in 1998, on the first ever website to offer the game online called Planet Poker. Despite being the very first game online, this website didn’t attract the attention of the millions of people who would go on to love playing poker online. Despite this however, $834 million had been generated by online poker by the end of 1998. This was the case despite the fact that gameplay was nothing like you might see now, due to the vast majority of players having very slow internet connections at the time.

Paradise Poker

The online game went a little bit further in 1999, when three Canadians launched a website called Paradise Poker. This was much more successful than Planet Poker had been in 1998, as the team seemed to learn from the mistakes that had been made previously, and improved both security and playability within the game. This meant that suddenly, a huge number of people had the ability to enjoy playing poker online, and this was a real step forward for the game.

Introducing Tournaments

Playing the game is all well and good, but it soon became apparent that players were looking for something a little more interesting and exciting to get their teeth into. In 2001, a website called Party Poker introduced tournaments to their offering, which excited many members. They offered a series of tournaments played online, with the final rounds being played on a cruise ship. This grabbed a lot of attention, and therefore really raised the profile of both the website and the game as a whole.

Scandals

Although online poker continued to grow, it was not without its scandals. In 2007 and 2008, stories broke about superaccounts, which were accounts that were used to see the cards that other players were holding. The two websites in question certainly had their reputations damaged by this, as it transpires that millions of dollars were taken by cheaters over the course of just a couple of years. This money still remains unreturned, and the users in question are out of pocket.

Online poker today

Currently, there are only 4 states that allow players to play poker for money online in the USA. These states are New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Delaware. It remains to be seen whether other states will legalise poker in the future, however there is no doubt that online poker has become more popular in other parts of the world. There is much difficulty in regulating games and preventing cheaters from taking money from unsuspecting players, however thanks to advances in technology, it seems likely that the game will improve in the future, and become even more popular than it is today.

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