Online poker takes the same rules and game play of a live poker room and cranks it up to the internet. Players can now play poker at any time of the day or night and for any stakes from a laptop, tablet or even a phone. They can play for free or for real money against people from all over the world. The game is a thrilling intellectual pursuit that rewards actual skill over the long haul unlike slots or even lottery games.
The first step in playing poker online is to find a website that offers the game and download the software (if applicable). It should only take a few minutes to do and most sites are virus-free and safe for computers or mobile devices. Once you’re on the site, you’ll need to create an account and select a screen name (which cannot be changed later). Then choose one of the many ways to deposit funds to your account.
Most poker websites offer a variety of welcome bonuses and promotions to help new players get started. The best ones will also let you know the minimum and maximum deposit amounts so you don’t get in over your head. They’ll also tell you the maximum amount of winnings you can withdraw before you start getting charged a fee. Most sites have separate tabs for cash games, tournaments and Sit & Go’s. The lobby is usually categorized by player levels so you can easily find a table to fit your skills. In addition to that, most poker sites now have beginner tables that will place you with other players who classify themselves as beginners. This dramatically levels the playing field for a lot of new players.