How to Play Poker Online
Online poker is popular for many of the same reasons as live games. It is easy to play, rewarding actual skill unlike slots or the lottery and can be played for as low or as high stakes as you want from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
Licensed poker sites also ensure game integrity and safe transfers of money by being monitored by government and financial bodies.
Downloading the software
There are a number of poker software applications available that can be used when playing online. These include hand database programs that save, sort, and recall all of the hands you play. They also scan active tables for known players and display previous statistics next to their name (known as a heads-up display or HUD). Some of these poker software applications allow you to use a variety of different tracking tools to analyze your gameplay and make improvements.
Some online poker sites have beginner tables to help new players get a feel for the game. These tables match players with similar skill levels, and can be an excellent way to level the playing field for beginners.
Online poker software isn’t terribly demanding and should run on most desktops and laptops from the early 2000s or later. However, some people are concerned that the software may be rigged to cheat or give an advantage to certain players.
Online poker sites are a great way to get started with real money. Many of them offer free games to players, but the best ones also accept deposits from major credit cards, PayPal accounts, and eChecks. Some also allow you to deposit money with Skrill, which is a popular option for non US players. In addition, they don’t charge any fees on withdrawals.
Online casinos and poker sites can offer much more bonuses and promotions than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. These bonuses are a good way to lure new players into the game and keep existing players loyal. Bonuses are usually paid out incrementally as a player rakes more money at the site.
While the US government has tried to limit online gambling, few states have outright bans on it. Even so, UIGEA has prevented some sites from accepting US customers. Fortunately, Global Poker has found a loophole in the law and continues to accept US players using a sweepstakes model.
After you’ve downloaded the software (if necessary), and signed up for an account, you can start playing real money poker online. Most sites require some form of documentation to verify your identity, but this is usually a painless and quick process. You’ll also need to select a screen name and password. This is the point at which you should make sure that you’re only creating one account; multi-accounting is against the rules and can lead to a permanent ban from the site.
For many players, the ultimate poker dream is to pull a Chris Moneymaker and qualify for a major tournament like the World Series of Poker Main Event. Online poker makes this more possible than ever, thanks to a proliferation of low buy-in satellites and step tournaments.