SkillBet.com - Play Legal Online Poker in 28 USA States!
Filling the void left in the US market by the closure of the "Big Three" last year, SkillBet.com opened for business late last year offering "100% Legal Real Money Poker" in the USA. By increasing the skill inherent within regular NLHE poker, SkillBet.com offers real money games legally in 28 US states.
How it works
Just as in a conventional poker room once you have signed up and made a deposit you peruse the lobby for a real money game. All games are currently one on one - although you don't play in a conventional "heads up" fashion. You choose a game with a buy in you are comfortable with (let's say $75) and wait for an opponent to join your game. You then play at separate tables but are both dealt the exact same hand against the exact same computer opponents. You both play a minimum of 30 hands, each time starting with the same stack and each time playing identical hands against identical opponents. At the end of the set 30 hands, players can either choose to continue playing each other hand for hand or end the match.
With this method of play you eliminate the "luck" aspect of poker (i.e., luck of the draw of your cards and your opponent’s cards) as both you and your opponent are playing the exact same hand against the exact same five computer opponents who will also be dealt the exact same cards respectively. The winner will be the person who makes the best decisions based on skill and judgment rather than luck. The AI (artificial intelligence) opponents are modeled on real online players and many are better than most online players. Others however have specific weaknesses (to passive, too aggressive etc) and you need to use your skills to figure out and get the best results from your hands possible to beat your opponent.
Interested in trying it out? Claim your $12 free bankroll
Live Match or Challenge Match?
There are currently two ways of playing at SkillBet.com, either in a "live" match or a "challenge" match. A "live" match, as the title suggests is played in real time and the amount won/lost will be the difference between how well you do relative to your opponent. For example, in a $75 game you both may have beaten the table (ie: your opponent may have won $10 with Ace Queen, but you may have played better winning $18 with Ace Queen. Since you outplayed your opponent to the tune of $8, you win the $8!). Alternatively you may have both lost but once again it is the difference that counts. One thing to note is that if you entered a $75 game you can never lose (or win) more than the $75 stake. One great feature in a "live" match is that if you finish a certain hand quicker than your opponents you can then watch them play out the remainder of the hand in real time.
A challenge match is a "winner takes all" affair. It is still played out over 30 hands but the player with the most chips at the end of the session is pronounced the winner and receives the full buy in from their opponent. These matches are not played live. You can play any stake and any time of day. Then you are paired with an opponent (i.e. one who has already played in which case you find out if you won immediately or someone who will play after you in which case you will be emailed the results).
SkillBet.com has received enthusiastic reviews from players and operate a fast and efficient deposit and cashout service. Until regular online poker in the US is fullly legitimized SkillBet.com offers a fantastic alternative to those who enjoy the challenge of poker for real money but who want to play in a safe and legal environment.
SkillBet’s legal opinion was written by none other than Marc Zwillinger, the Harvard lawyer who was previously the head of internet gaming enforcement for the Department of Justice. Gambling law expert Chuck Humphrey agrees with the view. “It can be done if it’s done right,” said Humphrey, operator of gambling-law-us.com, one of the leading sites on gambling law. “In my judgment, it’s not poker… it is a game of skill.”
Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
You can play SkillBet.com in US, Canada. The rest of world can play as well depositing and withdrawing using Instadebit; however, this is currently in beta.
Start for free
SkillBet.com is currently running a promotion which could help you start your bankroll for free. You are given $6 to challenge site pro, Lacey Jones, over 20 hands. You get the chance to win up to $12 and with the worse case scenario are guaranteed $3. You have nothing to lose, so give it a go by signing up today!