Online poker is a fast-paced game of cards that takes place on a computer screen. Players wager against each other for real cash and the winning player can take home a nice paycheck. It’s not the same as going to a casino and playing at a table but is still a fun pastime and a very profitable one, especially when you get good at it.
Poker is a skill-based game and the top pros spend as much time studying their games as they do actually playing. There are a ton of resources online that teach the game and you can also join a training site such as Chip Leader Coaching or Upswing Poker and network with successful players to learn more about the game.
The first step to playing poker online is finding a reputable poker website that offers real money play. This means checking to make sure they have a license from a recognized gaming commission, that they use random number generators and that they are regularly inspected by a third party security company. You should also read reviews of the site to see what other players have experienced.
Once you’ve found a reliable site you’ll want to create an account. Some poker sites require you to download their software while others offer no-download options that run on your web browser. The software requires a small amount of memory and shouldn’t take long to download on even the slowest Internet connections.
After you’ve created an account you can visit the poker room lobby and find the games that interest you. Most sites separate their games into tabs for cash games, tournaments and Sit & Go’s. If you’re a beginner it’s worth looking for “beginner” tables where you can be seated with other players who have marked themselves as such. This will level the playing field for you and help you get accustomed to the speed of the games.
Many poker sites will also offer a free version of their software that allows you to play for fun before you deposit any money. This is great way to test out the game and see if it’s something you’d like to pursue seriously. If you do decide to play for real money you’ll need to provide some documentation such as a drivers license or utility bill so that the poker site can verify your identity.
Depositing and withdrawing money from poker sites is very easy these days. Depending on the poker site you play at you can use a variety of methods including credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets and wire transfers. Some will also allow you to send them a physical check by mail if you prefer. Most sites accept most major currencies and have support available around the clock to answer your questions.