How to Play Online Poker

Online Poker is a game of strategy and risk where players compete to win money from other players. Despite being a game of chance the game is highly regulated and provides players with fair games and secure account information. In the United States real-money poker is legal in several states and has grown into a large industry. While not for the faint of heart it is a highly rewarding and challenging game.

Unlike traditional brick and mortar casinos online poker sites are very secure, requiring a high level of encryption to protect sensitive data. They also have strict regulations in place to make sure players are properly vetted and only play from within the state they reside in. These strict rules ensure that only players over the age of 18 or 21 are allowed to participate in real money poker and that they are not using stolen credit card details.

The first step in playing Online Poker is signing up to a poker site and creating an account. Once you have an account it is easy to deposit and withdraw funds. Most sites offer a variety of deposit options including credit cards, pre-paid cards, bank transfers and third party eWallets. The withdrawal process is typically just as easy with the majority of poker sites accepting wire transfers and even good old fashioned paper cheques.

Once you have an account the next step is downloading the poker software. The download is relatively small and should only take a couple of minutes on any modern computer. The software will then automatically connect to the server where you are playing. Once connected the table list and game menu will be shown on your screen. You can then choose which game to play and when.

If you are new to poker the first step is to sign up for a free account. This will give you full access to the poker site’s strategy forums, a wide range of training videos and three free ‘Elite Videos’. The site will also provide you with a number of free hand quizzes, advanced coaching classes and preflop charts for different game types.

There are a number of online poker sites that cater to the USA market. These are all regulated by the individual states and offer a safe and fun gaming environment. Players in the US should avoid offshore gambling sites as they operate without basic consumer protections and are subject to sudden and unannounced shutdowns.

One of the most important things for a new player to do is track their results. This will help them to see how they are performing and what areas they need to improve in. Most poker sites offer their own tracking and it is easy to use. However, it is always a good idea to check with a third party to get an independent view on how your online poker playing is going. This will also allow you to look at the poker industry as a whole and compare the performance of different sites.