The game of online poker takes all the same rules and strategies that you use at your local card room but cranks it up to an entirely new level. It can be played from any computer with an internet connection and is very safe in the states that allow it. The games are regulated and your money and account information are fully protected. The best part is that you can play from the comfort of your own home!
The first thing you need to do is register for an account at the online poker site that you prefer. This will usually require some basic personal information like your name, email address and a password. Once you have done this you will be ready to deposit and start playing. Always choose a poker site that is reputable and regulated by your state’s gaming commission as this will ensure that your information and funds are safe.
When you get started at an online poker table it is very important to know the terms of the game and how to interact with other players. Poker terms are very specific and vary slightly by type of poker but all have the same basics; call – to bet the minimum amount needed to stay in the hand, fold – to discard your cards face down and exit the hand and check – to pass on betting if you do not have a strong enough hand to continue. These terms can seem intimidating to the newcomer but if you understand them they are really not that complicated and will become second nature over time.
Once you have a good grasp on the terms of the game you should take some time to study up on some strategy. There are countless books available to read on the subject but you should also look for some online poker strategy guides as these tend to be much more updated and specific to online poker than the older style books that focus on general strategies. There are also a number of online poker forums that can provide valuable insight and tips from other players.
Another important aspect to understand is how a poker site makes money. Poker sites make money from a variety of sources but the most significant is rake – the scaled fee that is removed from every pot. The exact rake rates are different at each site but generally range between 3 and 4.25% of the total pot.
Most poker sites will have their lobbies categorized by Cash Games, Tournaments and Sit & Go’s and some will also have a separate tab for special format games and satellite tournaments which can be a great way to win big money! In addition to this most poker sites will have a number of different ways to deposit and withdraw money including many credit and debit cards, prepaid cards, wire transfers and third party eWallets.
Legally speaking the Situation Of Online Poker varies by country and region but there is a movement in many places to regulate this form of online gambling. At the moment there is a tug of war between federal and state law enforcement as well as some major online poker operators. It is therefore vital to keep up to date with the latest developments so that you can make sure you are playing on a legal and safe site.