Poker has always been very popular, but it’s grown even more popular in the past two decades after being adapted for online platforms. There are an estimated 60 million active online poker players in the US alone, and a whopping 120 million online poker players worldwide. Sites are getting bigger and prize pools are getting larger. Unfortunately, this can also mean greater risks for our safety as players. This is why every online player should know how to protect themselves. Here are some basic tips before signing up for your next poker game online.
Assess Privacy Policies and Cybersecurity
While the act of user profiling is pretty common, big data sets have been weaponized by hacker groups to target and exploit players with specific game patterns. This is why every player should be required to enter a username and password before joining the poker platform. Over the years, operators have been working to improve encryption methods, but you want to make sure that the company is only handing your information to a few select individuals, and that they’re using the most advanced encryption software. To do this, take the time to read on their data privacy policies and find out who they’re sharing your data with. If they don’t have any information on this, that’s a red flag.
Do Research on the Operators
As mentioned, play only at trusted sites and only hand over money and information to credible and reputable companies. Beginner online poker players often make the mistake of getting easily swayed by game offerings, bonuses, and promotions of new and trendier sites. But don’t fall for it. One tip is to check how long operators have been in business and research any scandals or hacking instances that may have happened in the past. Additionally, check reviews from real people — how they fare at processing deposits and withdrawals, their prize releases, their processes, and the like.
Examine Fraud Management
Some players participate in collusions or teaming up covertly online to increase their chances of winning. Others resort to ghosting, poker bots, multi-accounting, or viewing hole cards. To combat this, a well-regarded online poker operator will always have a team of anti-fraud staff members working around the clock to ensure funds, transactions, and games are as safe as can be. These consist of highly trained professionals that can immediately pick up on the slightest changes in player routines. So, before signing up, check for anti-fraud policies.
Protect Your Finances
Aside from data privacy and cybersecurity concerns, players should also be careful with bankroll management. It is very easy to lose a lot of money quickly due to the rapid nature of the online version of poker. It’s important to always calculate your odds and make strong bets based on the cards in front of you. This will allow you to play a progressive game and will prevent you from playing impulsively and losing money on obviously poor hands. Moreover, make sure you remain calm and collected when playing. You must also keep a close eye on your stack and report anything suspicious immediately.
Check License and Regulation
As part of background checking online player sites, make sure that you’re choosing a quality poker room that is licensed by a reputable gaming authority. Such sites have undergone rigorous testing and continue to be monitored for fair gaming practices. Look for seals of approval on a poker site’s homepage, like ones from the Nevada Gaming Commission, Delaware Lottery, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, and the New Jersey Division of Gaming. These ensure that you’re playing under a trustworthy company.
We hope you keep these tips in mind to protect your personal information and finances when playing poker online. For more online game news and features, check out our blog at Berlin Community Radio.