The game of poker was once only played in smoky bars and casino back rooms but now anyone with access to a computer or smartphone can play online poker for real money. The game has become hugely popular and there are now a huge number of sites where you can play at both small and large stakes. You can play for fun, for satellite tickets into live tournaments around the world or you can compete for millions of dollars in jackpots and other prize pools.
Poker can be a very profitable game if you have the right mindset and strategy. It is a game of skill over the long run and if you spend time learning the game, signing up for training with online coaching companies like Chip Leader Coaching or Upswing Poker and network with successful professional players, then you can be among the few that win consistently.
When you choose a poker site to play at it is important to check the security features of the software. Most sites will use a secure SSL connection to protect your financial information. This will stop anyone from intercepting your data and making fraudulent transactions on your behalf. Some poker sites may also ask you to provide additional documentation to confirm your identity before letting you deposit or withdraw funds. This is normal and a simple process usually involving scanning your ID or a utility bill in your name at the address they have on file for you.
Once you have chosen a site you should sign up and create a player account. Once you have an account you can then deposit real money and begin playing poker games at the site. Most sites will allow you to deposit with a wide variety of methods including credit cards, debit cards, pre-paid cards, eWallets and bank transfers. Withdrawals are generally quite easy too with many options available to you depending on your country and the poker site in question.
Another thing to consider when choosing a poker site is the type of games they offer. Some sites specialise in multi-table tournaments where you can compete against a number of other players for a share of the prize pool. Others focus on cash games where you buy in for chips that represent the amount of money you wish to gamble with.
When choosing a poker site it is also worth considering the type of table software they use. You want a software package that is both visually appealing and easy to use. The tables should be clean and clear with easy to read betting buttons. Some sites use flashy 3D graphics and animations but it is important to find one that works well on your computer or mobile device.
The final consideration when choosing a poker site is whether or not it offers a good range of games and tournaments. This means checking out the site’s lobby which will be categorized by cash games, tournaments and Sit & Go’s. There will often be a dedicated tab for beginners as well which can help level the field for new players.