If you are interested in playing online poker, you have several options. You can play free poker in IRC chat rooms or you can join one of the poker forums that accept real money. In 1998, PlanetPoker was the first online card room to offer real money games. The first real money game was dealt in January of that year, and the author Mike Caro became the “face” of the website in October of 1999. You can also try your hand at the online casinos that offer free poker games, but there are risks involved.
Most legal poker sites require that players be at least 18 years old, or at least of the legal age in their jurisdiction. Some sites may require you to register and create an account before you can download the software. This is to ensure that you are at least the legal age for the jurisdiction you are visiting. Additionally, you may have to verify your age before you can deposit money. The best option for this is to sign up for a poker site that requires no age restriction.
If you live in the US, choosing an offshore poker site is the best option for you. Having said that, the legality of online poker in the US is a gray area. Two federal statutes, PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) of 1992 and the 1961 Wire Act, may apply. The laws for online poker vary by jurisdiction. In general, however, players in the US should find an offshore poker site that complies with the law.