What You Should Know About Online Poker

Online poker is a fun, easy-to-play game that rewards real skill unlike slots or the lottery. It can also be exciting and lucrative. However, there are some things you should know before getting started.

Learn Some Basic Poker Odds

Poker involves math, and understanding some simple odds can help improve your play. You don’t need to be a numbers genius, though; the basics will become ingrained in your brain over time.


When it comes to online poker, the law is somewhat murky. Almost every state has some legislation on the books that could impact real money play but many of these laws have been found to be unenforceable.

Fortunately for online players, most of the laws are restricted to the actual financing and processing of payments made to online gambling sites. The UIGEA is probably the most notable law that had a direct impact on real money poker but even this was largely unenforceable for players.

The fact that poker is a game of skill rather than pure chance makes it generally exempt from most state gambling laws although some have exceptions for games involving sports, which are typically considered to be mostly luck. In some states, players are required to pass a KYC (Know Your Customer) check before they can play real money poker. These checks verify the player’s identity. This is to prevent money laundering and other suspicious activity.


While many people view online poker as a form of gambling, the game differs from traditional casino games in that players compete against each other and the result is determined by skill. This fact should give players peace of mind that they are not engaging in illegal activity. However, it is important to note that players are responsible for their own actions and should be mindful of their limits when playing.

While regulated online poker sites must adhere to strict responsible gaming protocols, they are also expected to support responsible gaming initiatives and provide resources for those in need of help. They must also prioritize player safety and protection, which includes preventing addiction and ensuring fair play.

Additionally, regulated online poker sites must have the ability to offer self-exclusion. This option allows players to block themselves from the site for a period of time ranging from 6 months to a lifetime ban. This option is highly recommended for anyone who has a gambling problem or is concerned about their addiction.


Online poker is accessible to anyone who has access to a computer and an Internet connection. It is a popular hobby and can be profitable, depending on the player’s skill level. There are also several software programs that help players learn the game and improve. These include hand database programs that save, sort and recall all online hands, as well as odds, equity or variance calculators.

Unlike live games, online poker can be played at faster speeds. While this can be a disadvantage, it has allowed for more tournament play. In addition, online players can play multiple tables at once. This allows them to practice various game formats and limits simultaneously.

Online poker is a billion-dollar industry in the US. It is most popular in Nevada and New Jersey, but more states are looking to legalize the game. Typically, it is part of a larger gambling expansion bill. For instance, Massachusetts is not expected to offer legal online poker until its racinos are up and running.


While online poker sites have a very strong internal security system, it is important to note that skilled computer criminals may still be able to gain unauthorized access to the software. This could allow them to see players’ hole cards and potentially cost them a lot of money.

While this might seem far-fetched, it is a very real possibility. This is why it is so important to play on secure computers and only with reputable poker sites.

In addition to this, you should always use an authenticator device or app when logging into your poker account. These add a second layer of verification and protect your account from hackers. Some poker sites offer these as an optional additional step during login, while others use them as a part of their 2-step verification process. They can be a bit inconvenient, but they’re worth it. They can also help prevent fraud and identity theft. Some of these devices even include a built-in timer that can prevent hackers from accessing your account for too long.