How to Get Started in Online Poker

online poker

Online poker is a fast-paced card game that can be played on desktop computers laptops phones and tablets. The games are safe and regulated by the states that allow them and you can play for any stakes you want from literally pennies on up to satellite entries into live tournaments around the world. However if you do decide to play you should always be wary of any site that operates outside of the state where it’s legal as they may not be subject to basic consumer safeguards or regulation.

Online gambling in general is not the most popular pastime but online poker seems to be an exception. There are a number of reasons for this. One of the biggest is that it can be a great way to earn some extra cash while sitting at home on a computer or mobile device. Another is that it can be a very competitive environment as there are many players looking to beat each other rather than just the house.

Getting started playing is easy enough and most poker sites have fairly straightforward software that you can download to your computer or phone. This shouldn’t take very long even on older Internet connections and there are also no-download options for players who just want to try the game out before committing to depositing any money.

Once you’ve got the basics down it can be a good idea to start by tracking your results and looking for ways to improve. Most online poker sites will have a session stats tab where you can see how much you’ve won or lost as well as your win-rate and number of flops seen. Another useful tool is to look at some of the many poker training programs available online. These can get expensive but can be one of the best ways to improve your poker skills.

There were a few years in the early 2000s when people really started taking online poker more seriously and it’s likely that this is partly due to an amateur player who qualified for the World Series of Poker Main Event through a $40 tournament online. This was an incredible achievement and it single-handedly boosted the profile of the game.

In 2006 the halcyon days of online poker were put on hold when Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) which effectively made it illegal for banks to process payments to gambling sites. This drove many of the major online poker sites out of the market although several smaller operators remained operational.

These days online poker continues to grow in popularity as a recreational activity and there are a huge number of different poker sites to choose from. There are also a lot of new promotions and bonuses on offer to attract players as well as an extensive library of poker coaching videos from professional poker players. While it’s important to keep in mind that it takes time and effort to become a profitable poker player the rewards can be enormous.