Online poker takes the card game that has always been a staple at bars, casinos and private games and cranks it up a notch. Players can play the game for free or for the smallest stakes imaginable on any computer, phone or tablet from anywhere in the world at any time. They can also win real money and even satellite entries into live tournaments that take place all over the world!
There are many different types of poker games but the most popular is probably No-Limit Texas Hold’em, a game that famed poker player Doyle Brunson called “the Cadillac of poker”. The rules are simple to learn and master but bluffing and reading tells can make or break your chances of winning.
The best way to learn to play is by finding a quality poker site that offers a free trial or membership, then playing for small stakes while using the tools provided to improve your game. Most poker sites offer some form of coaching and have videos from top pro players describing their strategies. These resources can be a good investment for the serious poker player looking to take their game to the next level.
Once a player has become proficient at the basics it’s time to move up the stakes and try their hand at winning some actual money. Almost all major poker sites accept real money deposits from players who are 18 years old or the minimum age required in their jurisdiction. Many have a robust verification system that checks the details of each new account against existing records to ensure the player is not creating multiple accounts with different names and addresses. Some even use digital device fingerprinting to recognize patterns of behavior that are indicative of cheating or fraud and block those accounts from accessing the site.
Adding to the fun of online poker is the ability to win cash and prizes in various promotions and tournaments hosted by poker sites. There are often dozens of different tournaments with buy-ins ranging from a dollar to tens of thousands of dollars. In addition to the monetary rewards there are often other prizes such as merchandise and trips.
One of the most enticing aspects of online poker is that it can be played from nearly any location and on most devices from desktop computers to tablets and phones. The software is lightweight and doesn’t require a lot of processing power so even older laptops or desktop computers should be able to handle it well. There are also a number of poker apps available for iPhones, iPads and Android phones that allow you to play on the go.
The ultimate goal for most poker players is pulling a Chris Moneymaker and qualifying for a big tournament like the World Series of Poker. That’s now easier than ever with almost every poker site offering a series of low-buy-in satellites and step tournaments that lead up to the $10k Main Event.