How to Play Online Poker
Online poker is a game where players wager against each other using virtual chips. While it might seem daunting to someone new to the game there are plenty of resources available to help you get started.
The first thing to do is download the software for the poker site you choose. This usually doesn’t take long and shouldn’t use much memory on modern computers. Once you’ve done this you can play for real money or just try out the free games and tournaments on offer. It is a good idea to start off in the free lobbies first and practice until you’re ready to move on to paying tables.
Once you’ve downloaded the software and created a user account you can log on to the poker site of your choice and begin playing. Most of these sites will allow you to deposit funds through a range of methods including credit or debit cards, prepaid vouchers and web wallets. It’s important to find a reputable and licensed poker site that accepts your preferred method so you can be sure your funds are safe.
In the past it was possible for fraudsters to arrange collusion between players in an online game but this is becoming less and less common as regulated poker sites have improved their anti-fraud measures. These include security personnel who can view card, player and pattern history as well as checking the computer IP addresses of players to spot if there is more than one person playing from the same location.
While there is a big difference between live and online poker it is a good idea to play both if you’re serious about the game. There are still a lot of advantages to playing in a live game but the convenience and speed of online play means that many people prefer it.
There was a time not so long ago where the contrast between “live” and “online” poker was quite stark, with many live pros boycotting online events for fear that it wasn’t “real” poker. Today however there is a lot more overlap between the two and many top level players play both online and live.
Poker terminology is vast and complex, far too much for this article but some key words to know are: suit – the order of clubs, hearts, diamonds and spades in a poker hand; bluff – to bet/act in a way that suggests your cards are stronger (or weaker) than they actually are; tell – a physical action or change in demeanour that reveals something about the strength of your hand; and table position – the placement of you and your opponents around the table.
Online poker has become a massive industry thanks to new technological advances and the growth of social media. In addition to bringing the game into the living rooms of millions of people it has also allowed players to earn large sums of money. This has made it even more popular and as a result the game has been elevated into the mainstream and onto televised games and major events.