Online poker takes everything that’s great about traditional poker and cranks it up to 11. Players can play for free, for the smallest stakes you could imagine (literally pennies), or for satellite entries into the biggest live tournaments in the world. And it’s all accessible from any computer, tablet or mobile phone with an Internet connection.
When you’re ready to start playing, simply find a poker site that offers US-based games and sign up for an account with them. This involves entering some personal information and submitting a deposit method. You’ll also want to make sure that the site is trustworthy. Look for one with a high user rating, a license and regulation from a legitimate gaming commission, and software that is regularly inspected by third parties for fairness.
Once you have an account you can then log in and play for real money at any table on the site. To do this you’ll need to deposit some cash into your account using a credit or debit card or an e-wallet service like Skrill. Then just pick a game and select your stakes.
Most poker sites have a lobby that’s categorized by different types of games. For example there might be a tab for Cash Games, another for Tournaments and a third for Sit & Go’s or other special format games. Then there’s usually a filter so you can view only the games that are appropriate for your experience level. If you’re new to the game it’s a good idea to try out some beginner tables as these will contain only players who have classified themselves as beginners. This levels the playing field and makes it easier to win.
Poker is a game of skill and the top pros spend as much time studying the game as they do playing it. This means they’re always looking for ways to improve their game and learn from the mistakes of others. It’s important to remember that it takes a long time to master any game, especially poker, and there will be plenty of losing days along the way.
You can also get a headstart by signing up for a free trial account with a poker site. Many of these offer a free no-deposit bonus that you can use to test out the software and games before making a real money deposit. Just be sure to only use a trusted site that’s licensed, regulated and uses security measures such as SSL encryption. Otherwise you risk giving your personal details to a shady operator who could steal your tax return or worse.