Poker was once a game reserved for the back of smoky bars and casino gambling halls but now you can play it from anywhere on a laptop, smartphone or tablet with an internet connection. You can play for free, for real money or win satellite entries into some of the world’s biggest live tournaments. There are even professional players that earn their living from playing online poker. The game has a massive following with more than 40,000,000 people worldwide playing it each year.
To get started playing poker online you need to make sure that you are signed up at a site that has the proper licenses and security measures in place. This will include things like being able to securely store your personal details, use secure communications channels and protect you from fraud. Some sites will also require that you scan in some documentation or provide proof of address to ensure that you are who you say you are. This is perfectly normal and should only take a few minutes to complete.
When you’re ready to start playing poker online you can head over to the lobbies of your chosen site and find which games they have available. The lobbies will usually be categorized by Cash Games, Tournaments and Sit & Go’s as well as any other special format games the site runs. You can also filter the lobby by stakes so you can quickly find a game that fits within your bankroll.
Once you’ve found the right game you can click the “Play” button to begin. The game will then load into your browser and you’ll be able to start placing bets and raising your own chips. Some games may have minimum and maximum chip amounts depending on the table limits so be sure to check these before you start playing.
If you’re a new player it’s a good idea to start with low stakes games until you get used to the speed and feel comfortable with how to play. If you’re a veteran then it can be fun to challenge yourself with higher stakes. If you do find yourself running bad after moving up the stakes don’t be afraid to drop back down and grind it out for a while before trying again.
There is no other game with as large a short term luck element as poker. This is what keeps many people from playing it well and is why it’s so important to understand that when you lose you should always look at it as a part of the learning process and not a reason to quit.
There are plenty of great poker websites out there and the majority of them will offer real money games to players from all over the world. It’s worth checking if your local laws permit online poker or not before you sign up though as it can vary from country to country. Some countries have strict rules preventing the operation of online poker while others have looser regulations that allow it.