Online poker is a fun and exciting game played against players around the world via your computer, tablet or phone. You can play for free or for the smallest stakes imaginable (literally pennies) all the way up to satellite entries into the best live poker tournaments in the world.
The game is incredibly popular and is currently in a huge boom period as more states regulate it and players are allowed to choose from a large number of reputable sites. There are many things to look for in an online poker site but one of the most important is security. You want to make sure that your money and personal information are safe at all times and the site you choose is licensed and regulated by a government body that protects player data.
Another key factor is software. Some online poker sites have a better interface than others and this can really affect your experience. You want to find a site that has a user-friendly lobby that is clearly categorized by Cash Games, Tournaments and Sit & Go’s. This makes finding what you’re looking for much easier.
Lastly, there is the quality of games. You want to make sure that the site you choose has lots of action in the games and stakes that interest you. This will mean that there are plenty of tables to join and you won’t have to wait long for a game. Most online poker sites also have a special tab for “beginner” games that are especially suited to new players. This will ensure that you’re seated with other players who have self-identified themselves as beginners which can level the playing field dramatically.
A great addition to any poker room is a poker tracking program like PokerTracker or Hold’em Manager. These programs allow you to study your own hands, plug your leaks and improve your game. You can even use the software while you’re seated at the table to get stats on your opponents, helping you to read them and figure out if they’re bluffing.
Online poker is becoming increasingly region-specific and you should always check that the site you’re considering works in your country before signing up. This will prevent you from wasting your time and money trying to play on a site that doesn’t accept players from your area.
It is worth mentioning that variance can be exaggerated online because you’re playing so many more hands than you would in live poker. This leads to bigger gains and losses in the short term than you might see if you played the same amount of hands over a longer period of time. That being said, if you’re new to the game it can still be very profitable if you follow some simple tips.