Online poker was once a gimmick, but thanks to technological advances, the game has evolved into something much more exciting and accessible. Today, players can play poker on their laptops, smart phones, or tablets. There are dozens of online poker sites to choose from, so selecting the best one for you might be a daunting task.
In fact, the best online poker site for you is probably not going to be the one that offers the most games or the highest bonuses. You have to do your homework, though. Among other things, you should find out if you live in a state where online poker is legal. The federal government has taken steps to preempt states from regulating the industry, which has slowed down the burgeoning growth of the online poker market.
In order to play, you’ll need to create an account with an online poker operator of your choice. Typically, you will need to provide your name, date of birth, and address. Some companies also ask for your social security number.
You’ll also need to download the right software for the job. Often, you’ll have to download it from the online poker operator’s website. This software may be free or you may have to pay for it. It will usually be a small download.
Before you get started, you should be sure you understand the difference between the different types of poker. Depending on your preferences, you can play either cash games or tournaments. Cash games require no real money to play, whereas tournaments can be extremely high-stakes. Regardless of the type you play, you can bet you’ll have a good time.
For the best possible experience, opt for an online poker site that has a mobile app. Many operators have apps available for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. Also look for a mobile application that is fast and easy to use.
Of course, there are no guarantees, so always read the fine print. Some online poker sites charge a rake, or a percentage of your winnings, and may even have deposit limits. Generally, you can expect to get between three and four percent of your winnings back.
You’ll also want to check out the promotions offered by your chosen poker operator. Often, you can find bonuses for playing a certain number of hands or earning a certain amount of frequent player points. Similarly, you can usually find free play options, too. If you’re a true beginner, you’ll definitely want to try the “beginner” tables.
Finally, you’ll need to consider your budget. If you’re on a tight budget, you should definitely find the “free” poker that’s available. Even the best poker sites will offer you a welcome bonus or two. But you’ll need to play regularly to reap the rewards. Likewise, you’ll need to be able to make a steady income to keep playing for real money.
The best online poker site for you will likely be the one that’s legal in your state. Luckily, the United States is leading the way in allowing for online gaming, and more states are following suit.