Poker has always been considered a game of chance, but with the advent of online poker that has changed. It is now a highly profitable game for players who put in the work. Those who study the game, join training sites like Chip Leader Coaching or Upswing Poker, network with other successful pros, and brutally analyze their play after every session will find themselves at the top of the game.
Getting started in poker online is simple enough, you just sign up at the website and provide a username and password. You then choose a table and enter how much money you want to risk in the game and click to begin. Some poker sites require that you provide additional documentation to prove your identity and address, but this is a normal part of the process and usually painless.
When you are playing live you may only see about 25-30 hands per hour, but when you are on the tables of an online poker site you will typically see three times that number of hands in the same amount of time. This rapid pace can cause new players to get frustrated and make poor decisions, especially if they are experiencing a dry spell. It is important to stay patient and not rush decisions, even if you are losing.
You should also be sure to play on a legal site in your jurisdiction. You can check for this by looking for signs that the site is licensed by a state regulating body or checking with your state gaming commission to see if it falls under their jurisdiction. Choosing a legal site will help prevent issues such as IRS tax return fraud, which is an increasingly common problem in the poker world.
Before you actually sit down to a hand on an online poker table, take a couple of minutes to familiarize yourself with the software and learn how the buttons work. It will save you a lot of time in the long run and might even help you avoid making a costly mistake that could ruin your bankroll.
Another thing to keep in mind when starting out is that there are a lot of different variations on poker online, and it is important to find the right one for your style of play. Look for a site with a lobby that is easy to navigate, has large, clearly labeled buttons for betting, and an uncluttered interface. This will allow you to focus on the hand at hand and not be distracted by other elements of the software.
As you play more and more hands, you should slowly move up the stakes. Do not jump straight to the highest limits, as you will likely be donating your hard earned cash to players who are far better than you. Start at the lowest limits and move up gradually, allowing your skill level to increase as you go. This will improve your win rate and allow you to build a bankroll much quicker.