A game of poker is fun, easy to play and intellectually thrilling. It rewards actual skill unlike slots or the lottery. Online poker is available around the clock and you can play for whatever stakes you’d like from the comfort of your own home. This is why it’s so popular.
People started taking poker more seriously in 2003 after an amateur named Chris Moneymaker qualified for the World Series of Poker Main Event through a $40 tournament online. This single-handedly revolutionized the game and the world of online poker was born. It’s become even more popular since then as a growing number of players discover the many benefits that come with playing poker online.
The first thing you need to do when starting out is sign up for an account with a reputable online poker site. You’ll need to provide your name, date of birth and other personal information in order to verify your identity. The best poker sites will use 128 or 256 bit SSL encryption to protect your personal information. They’ll also display their licenses and third party audits of their games and random number generators prominently to show that they take player safety seriously.
Once you’ve signed up for an account with a poker site you can browse through the lobby and find a table to play on. Some sites will list their available games by type (cash games, tournaments and Sit & Go’s) while others will offer a more refined filter. For example, some poker sites will have a “beginner” filter which will allow you to only play against other players who have tagged themselves as beginners. This is a great way to level the playing field for new players and is highly recommended by most poker sites.
Another important consideration is the software used by the poker site. A good poker site will use a stable and reliable platform with lots of customization options such as the ability to change the color of the cards and table layout. Some sites will even allow you to customize your poker avatar so that it matches your personality. Choosing the right poker software is essential so make sure to compare features and pricing before making a decision.
Real money poker sites offer a variety of bonuses to attract new players. Welcome bonuses typically match a percentage of your initial deposit or even double it. They also offer reload bonuses and loyalty programs to keep existing players coming back. Make sure to check the terms and conditions of these bonuses before you decide to commit any money to the site.
Before you play any real-money poker you should make sure to familiarize yourself with the rules of each game and the betting structure. It’s also a good idea to sign up for an online poker training program or network with successful pros to improve your own game. Remember, poker is a game of skill over the long run and the top pros spend as much time studying and practicing the game as they do playing it.