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How to Play Online Poker

Online poker is a game that requires bluffing and cunning to win. Once confined to smoky bars and casinos, poker became popular on the Internet and was first played in chat rooms. As technology advanced, online poker became more serious, with secure online sites allowing players to deposit cash.

To play online poker, you must first download poker software. This software does not take much space on your computer, and should take only a few minutes to download. You can also play no-download poker games at any poker site, although they do not have all of the features of a full download. Before playing online, be sure that you’re at least eighteen years of age, as these are the minimum age requirements to gamble online.

When playing poker online, it’s best to track your session stats so that you can gauge where you’re winning and losing the most. Most poker sites have this feature, and it’s important to review your session stats regularly. Pay attention to things like your win rate, the number of flops you’ve seen, and the number of times you’ve gone to showdown.

The United States has been a major market for online poker for several decades, beginning in the late 1990s. After Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 World Series of Poker victory, the unregulated market boomed. However, in 2006, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) made it illegal for banks in the US to process transactions for offshore online gambling operators. This effectively pushed out a large number of online poker sites.