Online poker is a popular game played against strangers. It requires bluffing skills to win a hand. In the past, poker games were played in casinos and smoky bars. However, in the early 2000s, internet poker took off. The game began in chat rooms, but became a serious sport as technology improved. This enabled secure online poker sites to hold player funds, allowing players to place wagers against other players without worrying about their security.
To play poker online, you must first download the poker software. Most sites will take a few minutes to download and are virus-free. Once downloaded, you must create an account. Be sure to create a unique account, as multiple accounts are illegal in the world of online poker. If you do, you could be permanently banned from the site. To protect yourself, remember to use a unique IP PIN to register with an online poker site.
Before playing online poker for real money, check the legality of the website. It is only legal in certain states, and operators operating outside of those states are not considered legally legitimate. Many regulated operators only operate within one or two states. Make sure to check the license status of the site before signing up. Also, check whether the site is operated by a US-based company. All the big international poker brands must set up a US company to be legally responsible for their actions within the US.