Whether you’re an experienced live player looking for a new challenge or a poker virgin ready to take the plunge, it’s easy enough to find a game online. Poker sites offer cash games for stakes ranging from pennies to high-stakes and even satellite entries into some of the world’s most prestigious live tournaments. The best part is that you can play from the comfort of your home, office or favorite coffee shop on desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
When you’re ready to start playing, the first step is to create a player account with the poker site. Most have a secure sign-up process that requires a valid ID and an email address. Once verified, the player can deposit money to start playing real money games or tournaments.
Most sites offer a variety of games, including No-Limit Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Stud and Crazy Pineapple. But some sites focus on a particular game or niche. For example, one of the most popular games is Spin & Go, single-table tournaments where players spin a wheel to determine their starting hand before the action starts. These games are popular for their low buy-ins and quick pace.
Many poker websites will let you filter the lobby to only display certain types of games. For instance, the “Cash Games” tab may only include No-Limit Hold’em games while the “Tournaments” tab might feature a full list of events. The filtered lobby makes it easier to quickly find the games you want to play and can save time.
Before you start playing, it’s important to understand the rules of poker. There are a few basic concepts you need to know:
Understanding the value of poker hands is essential to becoming a profitable player. It’s also crucial to know how to make moves based on the cards you have. If you don’t understand the values of your hand, you will be beaten by other players with better hands.
The best poker players study the game as much as they play it. They read books, attend poker training sessions and network with successful pros. They also brutally analyze their own performance after every session. If you’re serious about making money at poker, you need to treat it like a business and eliminate all distractions.
While it’s tempting to jump straight into the big games, online poker can be expensive if you’re not prepared. You’ll need a bankroll that can handle the swings of playing at higher stakes. If you’re not ready, it’s best to move up in increments and try again when your bankroll has grown.
As you move up the stakes, it’s normal to lose a few sessions along the way. Just don’t take these losses personally; they usually mean that you just ran bad over a small sample. Keep grinding and soon you’ll be back in the money!