How to Play Online Poker

Online poker is a game of strategy that can be played in real-time and with actual money. It’s not as easy to win as you might think however and you’ll need to do a lot of work on your strategy. The game is available for play from desktop computers, laptops and mobile devices including tablets and smartphones. There are also a variety of different stakes you can play for, from the very smallest to the biggest. It’s even possible to win satellite entries into live tournaments around the world.

The first step in playing online poker is to choose a site that meets your needs. You’ll want to look for a safe and secure site that offers an abundance of traffic. You’ll also want to ensure that the software is virus-free and that it works with your device of choice. Once you’ve chosen a site and have downloaded the software (if necessary) it’s time to create an account. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information and select a screen name. You won’t be able to change your screen name later on so make sure you choose one that suits you. You’ll also need to deposit some money to get started and it’s important that you use a method that is secure. Generally speaking you’ll be able to deposit with credit cards, debit cards, pre-paid cards, wire transfers or third-party eWallets. Depending on the site and your region you may be able to withdraw using those same methods as well, or perhaps even an old-fashioned paper check.

As you play more and more hands on a site you’ll want to track your results. This will allow you to see how much you’re winning and losing as well as give you an idea of how many hands you’re making per hour and how long you’re spending at each table. Most sites will offer this tracking and it’s a great tool to have in your arsenal.

Poker is a game of skill over the long run and the top pros spend as much time studying the game as they do playing it. This is why it’s important to sign up for training sites like Chip Leader Coaching or Upswing Poker, network with other professionals and brutally analyze your results after every session.

It’s also vital to remember that moving up in stakes is a slow process. You’ll run bad for a while as you move up and it’s important to know when to stop trying and just go back down for a bit. It happens to all of us as professional players so don’t take it personally. It’s just part of the game and it will be better in the long run.