Poker is a card game that pits players against each other in a wagering game with the aim of winning money by forming the best possible hand. The game can be played in a variety of formats with different betting structures and strategies, but it is mainly known for its high-stakes games which can have huge prize pools. Online poker takes that idea and cranks it up a notch making it accessible to anyone with an internet connection and a computer or mobile device. It is a fast, easy-to-play game that rewards actual skill rather than luck like slots or the lottery and can be incredibly thrilling to play for even small stakes.
Before you can play poker online you must first sign up for an account with a poker site. This will require a few personal details including your name, address and date of birth to confirm that you are at least 18 years old or the legal age to gamble in your jurisdiction. It may also ask you to provide a payment method to deposit funds into your account and some poker sites require verification of identity documents such as a scan of a driver’s licence or utility bill to ensure you are who you say you are.
Once you’re registered with a poker site you can then log in to the lobby and find the tables that suit your current skills level. There will usually be a number of tabs to filter the games by cash games, tournaments and Sit & Go’s. There are also often a few ‘beginner’ tables that will automatically place you at a table with other players who have self-classified themselves as beginners to help you get started.
Many new poker players make the mistake of moving up to higher limits too quickly before they’re ready and this can lead to heavy losses. It is better to stick to lower levels and build up your bankroll slowly or use a free trial period to get a feel for the game before you invest any real money.
Once you’ve established a bankroll at the level you’re comfortable with it’s time to start playing for real money. Getting your money on to and off of poker sites is a relatively simple affair with most offering numerous options for depositing your cash including credit cards, debit cards, pre-paid cards, e-checks and third-party eWallets. Most sites also allow you to withdraw your winnings via a variety of methods including the same types of payment facilities as well as wire transfers and good old fashioned cheques in the mail. Depending on your country there may be specific restrictions but overall the process is fairly straightforward.