Online poker takes the same rules and games you’d find at your local casino or smoky bar and turns them into an exciting virtual game you can play on your computer, tablet or mobile device. You can play for fun or real money and take part in tournaments or cash games that are offered at the smallest stakes possible or even win satellite entries into some of the biggest live tournaments around the world.
If you’re a newbie to the game it is best to choose a site that offers free practice tables to help you get a feel for the game before you start playing for real money. You’ll also want to make sure you have enough money in your bankroll to allow you to play for as long as you wish without worrying about going broke.
The first step to getting started is to sign up for an account on the website you choose. You’ll need to provide a username, password and some basic personal information like your name, address and email address to create your player profile. Once you’ve done that the only thing left to do is deposit funds into your account. Depending on the site this may be a simple process that only involves using your preferred method of payment. Some sites may even offer a few other options like eChecks or third-party eWallets to make it as easy as possible for you to get your winnings.
One of the main differences between online and offline poker is that you can’t read physical tells on your opponents. However, you can still use a variety of methods to size up your opponent’s betting habits and determine whether they are bluffing or not. Some of the most common tells include nail-biting, nervous talking and frequent glances at the chat window. You can learn more about these and other tells in our guide on Poker Tells.
When you’re ready to start playing you can usually access the lobby on the website or poker app by navigating to the Tournaments, Cash Games or Sit & Go tabs. From here you can filter by the type of game you’re looking for and even by your own skill level if you choose. Most sites will even offer beginner tables where you’ll be seated with other players who classify themselves as beginners to help level the playing field for newcomers to the game.
Another benefit to online poker is that you can play on multiple tables at once and can choose which ones to play on depending on the level of competition and your comfort level. This can help you maximize your profit potential and avoid bad beats. Just be sure to choose tables with players who are a similar skill level as you to ensure that the odds of winning remain high. Lastly, never play when you’re tired as this can lead to poor decisions that will affect your chances of winning.