Playing poker online can be a great way to practice your skills before putting real cash on the line. It also allows you to play at any time of day or night and from anywhere with an Internet connection. But there are some things you need to remember before you start playing, whether you’re a new player or an experienced one.
Choose the right site
When choosing a poker site make sure it’s licensed and regulated in your jurisdiction. You should also check out their bonuses and promotions to see if there are any special offers for new players. This can include free cash or a percentage of your first deposit.
Sign up for a poker account
After you’ve found an online poker site that accepts your payment method, make your first deposit and verify your account. You can then use your money to play with or withdraw it in a variety of ways. These include credit cards, debit cards, e-checks or third party eWallets.
Find a table that suits you
The best poker sites offer a wide range of tables. These are usually categorized by game type so you can choose the table that fits your skill level and bankroll. You can also filter by time of day or number of players.
Get familiar with the UIGEA and other gambling laws
In some states, it’s illegal to gamble online but in most others, it’s legal. Nevertheless, many people still play online and there are plenty of safe sites to choose from.
Learn the Rules of the Game
Before you begin playing, study the game and its strategies. You can learn the basics of the game from videos and training programs. There are also interactive tools and quizzes to help you become a better poker player.
Keep your focus when playing – It’s easy to lose track of what you’re doing and become distracted. Streaming a video, checking email or leaving the computer to get food or drink can all cause distractions that will interfere with your concentration.
Avoid the temptation to play poor hands – It’s tempting to kick off when you have a weak hand but that’s a bad move, especially in turbo Sit ‘n Gos or fast fold cash games. You’re not likely to win a large pot with a bad hand, so save your chips for the stronger ones and stick to folding.
Don’t be afraid to bluff – Bluffing is an essential part of poker, but it shouldn’t happen too often or you risk being caught by your opponents. You’ll need to develop a good strategy for bluffing, so don’t be afraid of learning the ins and outs of it before you begin playing.
Be aware of your opponent’s betting patterns – The best poker players understand how to read other players and how they bet. This is especially important in online poker where you’re not able to pick up body language or other cues like in live games.