Poker has long been played in the backrooms of smoky bars and casinos but online poker has taken the game to a whole new level. Players can now log in from anywhere, play for the smallest stakes (literally pennies) or compete to win a seat at the biggest tournaments in the world. The best part is that anyone can join in on the fun with a simple web browser, PC, tablet or mobile phone.
The first step to playing poker online is registering with an established gaming site. Many of the top sites have been around for a while and are heavily regulated to ensure that games are fair and your personal information is secure. The sites also employ complex ways of dealing cards using random number generators to make sure that no one player has an advantage over another.
Once you have registered you will need to choose a username and password to use to log in. You will be required to answer some security questions to verify your identity so that the site can keep your information safe and prevent unauthorized access to your account. There are also age restrictions and you must be over the legal gambling age in your jurisdiction to play for real money.
A good poker site will allow you to sign up for a free account so that you can practice the game without risking your own money. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the software and learn how to play in different situations. Once you are ready to take the plunge and start playing for real cash you will need to deposit some funds. Fortunately, the majority of the major poker sites offer what are called play money tables that will give you the opportunity to practice for real before you begin wagering your own hard-earned cash.
When you begin to play for real money you will need to select a table and the stakes that you would like to play for. The lobby of the poker website will usually be categorized by Cash Games, Tournaments and Sit & Go’s and there will also probably be a special tab for those who are looking for beginner tables. The beginner tables will only place you at a table with players who have designated themselves as beginners which can level the playing field and make it much easier to compete for real cash.
The most popular payment methods for poker online include credit cards, debit cards, third-party eWallets and bank transfers. Some sites also offer checks and MoneyGram transactions but these tend to have lower limits and can take longer than other options to process. In addition to these options, many of the top poker sites in the US also accept cryptocurrency as a method of payment and have very competitive bonuses and VIP programs for their most loyal customers.