How to Play Online Poker

Online poker is a great way to play the game at any time of day and without having to leave home. The game has been around for a while now but it was only in the early 2000s when an accountant from Tennessee elevated poker to primetime. The game was played in the back of smoky bars or casinos before then but once the internet advanced and secure poker sites were developed the game quickly became popular.

In order to play the game you need a computer and a decent Internet connection. You then create a player name and password and deposit funds into your account. Some poker sites may ask you to provide some documentation in order to verify your identity. It’s a normal process and usually involves scanning a photo ID or utility bill but it’s completely painless.

Once you have money in your account it’s time to choose a table and start playing. If you’re a beginner you should start with cash games or sit and go tournaments which offer a lower stakes environment. You should also choose a poker site that doesn’t cater to experienced players who take advantage of beginners, known as sharks. Ignition is a good option for new players as they have a user-friendly interface and plenty of tables at low stakes.

You’ll have to be prepared for some brutal beats and coolers when you play poker online but it’s important to keep your focus on improving. The top pros spend just as much time studying the game as they do playing and they are always looking for ways to improve their decision-making. Signing up for training sites, networking with successful pros and brutally analyzing your game after every session are all great ways to make improvements to your game.

While it’s important to play smart and keep your bankroll intact, you also need to have a little fun. It’s easy to lose sight of this when you’re dealing with bad beats but it’s important to remember why you’re playing the game in the first place.

It’s important to be able to read your opponents when playing poker online. This is easier in a live game because you can see them, talk with them and pick up on their physical tells but it’s much harder when playing at an online table. However, if you can learn to read your opponent’s bet patterns and betting history you can often find ways to gain an advantage.

Aside from reading your opponents it’s important to have a strong understanding of starting hands and rankings when playing poker online. This will help you decide whether to play or fold in certain situations. For example, if you have A-8 and the flop is K-J-2, you will probably want to fold unless you’re in a late position or there’s a flush or straight possible. On the other hand, if you’re in a late position and you have a strong hand, you should consider going all in and trying to win the pot.