Online Poker is a fun, easy to play game that rewards real skill unlike slots or the lottery. It is a popular pastime of millions of people from all over the world and it can be played on desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile devices. Players can play for free or for the smallest stakes imaginable (literally pennies) and can even compete to win satellite entries into the world’s top live tournaments.
During the COVID-19 pandemic many recreational and professional poker players switched to online platforms due to a dearth of traditional live gaming options. Many operators reported a huge increase in traffic during this period and it is widely believed that these players were responsible for propelling the resurgence of online poker.
Most online poker sites will require you to download their software to your computer or mobile device. Once this is done you can then open the software and create an account. You will need to decide on a screen name which you cannot change once you have created your account and some sites will ask for verification of your identity. This is a standard procedure to ensure that you are not a bot or that your account has been compromised by another player and to protect your financial information. You will probably need to scan a piece of photo ID or a utility bill with your address on it to verify your identity.
Once you have signed up for an account you can then begin playing. The lobby will be categorized by cash games, tournaments, Sit & Go’s and any other types of special format games the site may run. Some sites will also have beginner tables where you can be seated with other players who classify themselves as beginners. This is highly recommended for new players as it levels the playing field and prevents you from being sucked out by more experienced opponents.
There is no doubt that you will have losing days and bad beats in the beginning but don’t let these negative experiences discourage you from continuing to play the game. You will learn from your mistakes and if you continue to study and work on your game you can improve drastically.
Lastly, don’t forget to play responsibly. If you have a gambling problem, please seek help from 1-800-GAMBLER. This number is available 24/7 and can be accessed from any phone or tablet. You can also use this link to report a problem to your state’s gaming regulator. It is important that you choose a reputable online poker website and make sure that they have the right credentials before depositing any money. This includes checking that they are licensed and regulated by a governing body and seeing if their software is regularly inspected for integrity. Also look at customer reviews to see what other players have said about their experience with the site. Lastly, be aware that some casinos are rife with collusion and other forms of cheating which can lead to serious problems for you and your fellow players.