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The Nerd Side Of Life

How to Play Online Poker

After watching movies like “Rounders” or “Molly’s Game, you might soon find yourself with a strong desire to play poker. But in these uncertain times, it’s near impossible to find a live poker table that’ll take you in – let alone one that’s sure to be risk-free during the pandemic. The next best thing is to try your hand at playing online poker. And if it’s your first time, here are the most important things to remember.

Understanding the Basic Rules


Break out those Star Wars playing cards and brush up on the rules. Most sites play by the classic mechanics of Texas Hold’em, the most popular form of poker in the world. Others prefer the Omaha, and even the Seven-card stud variations. Whichever site you want to play on, it’s important to first find out which rules you’re supposed to follow. This is particularly important if you want to play for real cash.

Playing for Real Money

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While there are many free-to-play poker sites out there, sooner or later you might want to play with actual stakes. This will entail giving your full name, date of birth, address, and even your social security number. Because of this, Poker.org’s guide to playing online poker for real money advises players to get an IRS Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) as well. Poker sites will require your sensitive personal information upon sign-up, and simply put, an IP PIN can protect you from being the target of tax fraud via your account. This provides an extra layer of security for when you’re using bank cards or accounts to make deposits. It can also streamline the process of making withdrawals, especially if you run into any problems later on. Whether or not you choose to get an IP PIN, make sure that your valid documents are consistent with the information that you input into your chosen site. That should minimize if not eliminate any complications related to playing online poker for real money.

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Ensuring Online Security

Whatever type of poker you want to play – whether or not you’re playing for money – playing online comes with certain risks. In fact, PC Magazine in a recent cybersecurity report notes how hackers have been targeting gaming companies to steal customer account data as well as other valuable business information. Now more than ever, it’s important to practice cybersecurity hygiene, from the time you open your device to the time you log out your online poker account. This includes simple solutions like not using personal or financial information as part of your username and password. Getting and using a VPN can also allow you to shield your online activities from prying eyes. Before signing up for any online poker site, make sure to research that site’s cybersecurity history and activity. A little online research can prove to be the difference between a fun weekend and the nightmare scenario of getting your data stolen.

Online poker is a convenient way to try your hand at the world’s favorite card game. And if you follow the aforementioned tips, you can ensure that your online poker experience is fun, safe, and worth your while.

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