Legal online poker rooms in the United States come complete with built-in responsible gambling tools to help players stay in control at the tables. These tools have been designed with the players in mind, providing them with ways to control both the amount of time and the amount of money spent playing on a site at any one time.
Self-exclusion means that a player chooses to request that the online poker room bans them from logging into the site for a set period of time, which could be a few months or several years, or, in some cases, the person’s entire lifetime. In addition to online poker rooms giving players the functionality to do this, players can also self-exclude at the state level by contacting the state regulating body to do this for them. This means you can go to your state gaming regulator to get them to help you exclude yourself from online poker rooms operating in that same state.
Responsible Gaming Tools To Look Out For at Online Poker Rooms
Responsible gambling tools to look out for include:
The option to self-exclude
Play time limits
Time outs or cool off periods
Most of these tools can be accessed once you are logged into your account at an online poker room. Look out for the “Tools” and “Responsible Gaming” sections on the site for more information on which specific tools that site provides, as well as step-by-step guides to help you set limits and stay in control.
Now, let’s look at what these different responsible gaming tools do and how they can help keep gambling fun, safe, and under control.
Play Time Limits
Play Time Limits allow you to restrict your play to a predetermined period of time. You might set a Play Time Limit of a certain number of hours and once that limit is reached, you will be forced to sit out of any further games for an agreed period of time. For example, you might set a Play Time Limit of seven hours a week. Whether you play for one hour each day or play all seven hours in one day, once you have played for seven hours, you will be blocked from playing any more until that week concludes and a new week begins.
This allows players breathing space away from the site and gives them enforced downtime where they have to log out from the site and sit out.
Deposit Limits are very much what it says on the tin — a self-imposed allowance of how much cash you can spend on the site. It allows a player to set a limit on how much they can deposit into their account within a certain period of time. Limits can usually be set by day, week, or month. For instance, if a limit is set that a player can only deposit $100 a month, once that deposit limit is reached the player will then be blocked from depositing any more money until that month ends and a new one begins and the cycle starts over. Usually, a player is offered the option to set a deposit limit when at the depositing stage.
Limits can be changed, but it is highly recommended to set a limit. It can be easy to get swept up in the action and it can be very tempting to chase losses. Deposit Limits help ensure that you don’t exceed your budget, gamble above your means, or spend more than you can afford.
Time Outs/Cool Off Periods
Time Outs and Cool Off Periods are offered by some online poker rooms to give players an immediate break from the action. This way, players are less inclined to go on tilt or try to chase their losses. Instead, they have to step away from the action for a designated period of time, which could be anywhere from hours to months. Time Outs and Cooling Off Periods are designed for shorter periods of time than a self-exclusion, which is generally for 6 months or longer.
Self-Exclusion is the option that allows players to essentially ban themselves from playing on an online poker site. Self-exclusion can be done via the operator, aka the online poker room, or via the state regulatory agency, which can help in enforcing a self-imposed ban across all licensed entities in the state. Players can self-exclude from both online and brick-and-mortar gambling venues, including poker rooms, casinos, and/or sportsbooks.
Self-exclusion is for a set period of time — anywhere between 6 months to a lifetime ban. The time limits vary and can be chosen by the individual. If you would like to block yourself from a poker site for a shorter period of time that is less than 6 months, a Time Out or Cooling Off Period would be the more appropriate option, as those are meant for shorter periods of time than self-exclusion.
Giving players the opportunity to self-exclude is highly important for anyone struggling with problem gambling or addiction and needs to be cut off from any opportunity to gamble.
While it is also the most extreme option, self-exclusion is the most effective way to stop harmful gambling behavior.
Identity Checks are not so much a tool but come as a standard safeguard at any legal online poker room. The checks are there to protect both the player and the online poker room from fraud, identity theft, and other criminal activities as well as to prevent underage gambling. Verifying and confirming a player’s identity when they sign up to an online poker room helps to ensure that both parties are protected.
Responsible Gaming Tools Available At Legal Online Poker Rooms in the US
Here, we break down all of the responsible gaming tools available at licensed and regulated online poker rooms in the United States, as each room offers something slightly different.
If responsible gaming tools are something that is important to you or even just something you think might possibly be useful in the future, then make sure you choose a site that suits your responsible gaming needs. If you want to have the option for a time out or cooling off period, then make sure you choose a poker room that has that functionality built in.
Who To Call If You Are Struggling With Addiction Or Problem Gambling
Luckily, there are plenty of wonderful nationwide problem gambling and addiction resources available for anyone struggling with their gambling. If you feel like your poker playing has begun to affect your job or your personal life in a negative way, if you are struggling with compulsive gambling, or if you are experiencing problems with your spending habits at online poker rooms, then know you are not alone and there are people that can help you, such as the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) which can give you quick access to state gambling resources.
NCPG and other national resources can offer guidance and assistance for any gambling-related issues, whether you are struggling with online poker, online casinos, or sports betting. If you or someone you know is struggling with their casino or sports gambling, you can check out our sister sites for the in-depth Casino Shield Guide to Responsible Gaming Tools for casino-specific information to tools and state resources, and the Sports Shield Guide to Responsible Gaming Tools for sportsbook-specific information.
Some of the most well-known national problem gambling organizations include:
Questions Answered In Our Responsible Gaming Tools FAQ
What is a 'Play Time Limit’ at an online poker room is the US?
A Time Limit is where you set a predetermined amount of time that you are allowing yourself to spend on the site. For example, you might set your time limit to 3 hours a week, once you play for three hours, you will be cut off and have to sit out until a new week begins. You will be forced to sit out once you have reached the allotted time spent at the online poker room.
What is a 'Deposit Limit’ at an online poker room in the US?
This is where a player can choose the maximum amount of money they can deposit into their account, usually by day, week, or month. This ensures that a player can not chase loses and keep spending once the limit has been reached.
How can I self-exclude from an online poker room?
You can self-exclude from an online poker room, either with the operator directly or at the state level via the regulatory agency. You can self-exclude for 6 months, multiple years, or choose a lifetime ban. Further details on self-exclusion, including a state-by-state guide on who to contact can be found on our Poker Shield Guide To Problem Gambling.
What does a 'Cooling Off Period’ mean?
A Cooling Off period is usually anywhere from 24 hours up to 6 weeks where a player will temporarily be blocked from logging into the site. This is a great way for a player to get some breathing space if they need it.
What is a 'Time Out’ at an online poker room in the US?
A Time Out is generally another term online poker rooms use when talking about a brief Cooling Off period. Some sites use the terms interchangeably to mean an enforced time away from the games and tables. On certain sites like PokerStars, the two terms are used to denote different lengths of time — a Cooling-Off period is 12-24 hours, and a Time Out is 7 – 30 days.
Both Time Outs and Cooling Off periods are useful ways to allow a player to step away from the action. A player must opt into a Time Out or Cooling Off period and decide how long they want it to last. While individual operators offer different options in terms of duration, they generally range between 24 hours and 6 weeks.
Why is my identity checked at an online poker room?
What responsible gambling tools does PokerStars have?
PokerStars has a full suite of responsible gaming tools available to players including play time limits, deposit limits, time outs, and the ability to self-exclude.
What responsible gaming tools does BetMGM Poker have?
BetMGM Poker has a full suite of responsible gaming tools available to players including play time limits, deposit limits, time outs, and the ability to self-exclude. h3. What responsible gambling tools does the World Series of Poker (WSOP.com) have?
The WSOP.com has a full suite of responsible gaming tools available to players including play time limits, deposit limits, time outs, and the ability to self-exclude.
What responsible gaming tools does partypoker have?
partypoker helps players stay in control by offering options for deposit limits as well as allowing players to take a break with a time out or cooling-off period. For those that need a longer break, this poker room provides a convenient option to self-exclude directly on the site.
What responsible gambling tools does Borgata have?
Players at Borgata have access to a full range of responsible gambling tools including play time limits, deposit limits, time outs, and the ability to self-exclude.
What responsible gaming tools are available at online sportsbooks in the US?
Legal online sports betting sites in the US offer much the same tools as online poker rooms, including time outs and cooling-off periods, spend and time limits, and the option to self-exclude. For players struggling with their sports wagering, we recommend you check out our sister site Sports Shield’s Guide to Responsible Gaming Tools at Legal Online Sportsbooks in the US for in-depth information on sports-specific tools and resources available.
What responsible gaming tools are available at online sportsbooks in the US?
As with sportsbooks and poker rooms, all licensed and regulated online casinos offer responsible gaming tools to their players. While it varies from site to site, they include time outs and cooling-off periods, spend and time limits, and the option to self-exclude. For players struggling with compulsive gambling at online casinos, we recommend you check out our sister site Casino Shield’s Guide to Responsible Gaming Tools at Legal Online Casinos in the US for in-depth information on casino-specific tools and a state-by-state guide to resources available.