Online poker is legal in a handful of US states, including Delaware, New Jersey, and West Virginia. Operators outside these states are illegal, and should be avoided. Even regulated operators may only operate in a couple of states, so it is important to check their licenses and legality before playing. Also, operators operating in the US must be run by US-based companies. This means that the big names in the poker industry have to form their own companies in the country to be able to compete legally.
When choosing an online poker site, consider the reliability and stability of their software. If the software is unstable, it can make for a frustrating experience, particularly during bad luck runs. This was an issue with early online poker sites, but is now very rare with advanced downloadable software. However, this issue is still a possibility with instant play and mobile software.
Another big advantage of online poker is its speed. Some players find live poker slow and tedious, while players prefer the faster pace of playing online. A typical online poker table deals up to 60 hands per hour, and even more if the game is shorthanded. In addition, multi-table play makes it possible to play more hands per hour than live games.