Online poker has become very popular as a way to play for real money. The game is regulated in most states and offers players the same basic consumer protections as other online gambling sites. In addition, many top rated poker sites offer player support and anti-hacking software to protect players. The game is not for everyone, however. The best players are very skilled and spend as much time studying the game as they do playing it. They also network with successful professionals and brutally analyze their own play after every session.
To start playing poker online you need to find a site that accepts your preferred payment method and download their client software. Once the software is installed you will be asked to provide some personal information and create a username and password. Then you will be ready to start playing for real money!
The software used by top rated poker sites is generally very intuitive and easy to use. Often it will have tabs categorized by cash games, tournaments and Sit & Go’s and there may be additional tabs for special format games that the site runs. You will also have the option to filter by specific stakes to narrow down your search for a game. Having the ability to filter down by the type of game you want to play can be very helpful when you’re new to online poker as it allows you to quickly find a game that suits your skill level and budget.
A good online poker site will have a large number of people connected at the same time, meaning that finding a game is rarely an issue. A large number of players also means a variety of skill levels which is ideal for beginners and experienced players alike. Many of the bigger online poker sites run regular tournaments with massive prize pools that attract a lot of attention from players.
Almost all online poker sites collect a small percentage of each real-money pot as a fee for running the games. This is called rake. Some of the best poker sites redistribute a portion of this rake back to their loyal players in the form of a player reward program. This is very important for players as it significantly increases their potential winnings over the long term.
The best online poker sites will have multiple ways for players to deposit and withdraw money. This usually includes a range of major credit cards and e-wallet services. Some sites also allow players to deposit and withdraw using Bitcoin. Most sites also have customer support available around the clock to answer any questions or concerns. Some sites also have live chat support which is a great feature for those who need help with a problem. Lastly, the best poker sites will have extensive mobile apps for both iPhone and Android devices. This makes playing on the go much easier and more convenient.