Online poker is a fun and intellectual game that rewards real skill unlike slots or the lottery. It is accessible to anyone from anywhere in the world and can be played at stakes that suit your budget. However, it is not a game to be taken lightly and if you’re serious about winning money you should invest time in improving your skills. This may involve signing up with a training site like Chip Leader Coaching or Upswing Poker, networking with successful pros and brutally analysing your play after every session.
The first step in getting started is finding a trustworthy poker site. You should always check to make sure they’re licensed, use top-of-the-line encryption methods to safeguard your personal information, and read reviews from other players. In addition, a good poker site should offer a wide variety of games and tournaments, be mobile-friendly, and provide a generous bonus structure.
Once you’ve found a reputable poker site, sign up and deposit some money. Most poker sites allow you to fund your account with a credit card or bank transfer. However, some may ask you to provide additional documentation in order to verify your identity before you can withdraw funds. This is a normal procedure and is no different than providing documents when opening a new bank account or applying for a mortgage.
After you’ve deposited some money it’s important to find a table where the action is right for you. Most online poker rooms will have a lobby that is categorized by cash games, tournaments, Sit & Go’s and whatever other type of poker game the room runs. Many of the best poker sites will also have a “beginner” tab that will place you in tables with players who have classified themselves as beginners. This is a great way for new players to get comfortable with the speed and features of an online poker game.
The next thing to consider is whether or not the site offers rakeback. This is a form of loyalty program where the poker site returns a portion of the rake they collect to their players. The higher the rakeback percentage, the better.
Another factor to consider is how much traffic the poker site gets. High traffic sites usually have the largest player pools which means softer opponents and more opportunities to win money. Most importantly, they’re more likely to have frequent-player bonuses which are released based on how many hands you play.
While there are still many states that don’t have legalized poker, a number of them do. Currently, Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey have state-wide sites that share player pools with one another while Pennsylvania is moving towards legalization. This means there are more poker options available than ever before for players in the US.