Online poker takes the same game that players love playing live for money at home and cranks it up a notch. There are tournaments played for the smallest of stakes (literally pennies) up to satellite entries into the world’s greatest live poker events. All from the comfort of a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device.
There are many things to keep in mind before you play poker online, but the first thing is that you must choose a good site. There are a lot of options out there and some of them don’t follow state laws or have proper licensing. For this reason it’s essential that you look for a reputable site with a large player base that follows US poker laws.
When you sign up for an account with an online poker site it will usually ask you to verify your identity. This can involve sending in a photo ID or utility bill, but it’s a simple process and nothing to worry about. Once verified you can begin depositing and withdrawing. The majority of online poker sites offer a wide range of deposit methods and withdrawals are easy as well. Depending on your location you can use credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, bank transfers and even old fashioned paper checks.
Once you have an account set up you’ll need to decide which games you want to play and which stakes. Most poker sites will have a quick start option where you can select the game type, stakes and number of players. From here you can be seated at a table instantly. This is a great way to learn the game and get used to the speed of the tables.
As you become more familiar with the game you’ll want to move up the stakes and challenge yourself. As you do so it’s important to remember that you will have losing sessions. But that’s just part of the game, and it’s important not to take it personally. Just drop back down a bit, grind it out and try again.
It’s also important to learn how to read your opponents online. You don’t have the benefit of reading physical tells but you can still size up your opponents by monitoring their betting tendencies. A software program like PokerTracker or Hold’em Manager can give you this information and help you make better decisions.
Another thing to consider when moving up the stakes is your bankroll. As you increase the stakes you need to make sure that you have enough capital to cover your losses. If you don’t have enough, you’ll need to make adjustments to your bankroll or stop playing until you can afford it.
Online poker can be one of the most rewarding experiences if you’re willing to work on your game and learn from your mistakes. There’s no shortage of resources available to help you improve your game, from free YouTube videos with the best players in the business to coaching and training sites. The top pros spend as much time studying the game as they do playing, so you should do the same.