What is Online Poker?

What is Online Poker?

Online Poker is the game of poker played over the Internet. It has become incredibly popular and is partly responsible for the massive increase in poker players across the world. It doesn’t require any special hardware or software to play so it can be played on almost any computer, tablet or smartphone that is capable of running a web browser. There are even real money apps for Android and iOS devices that let you play on the go if you’re in a state where it’s legal.

There are many online poker sites that offer both real money games and free-to-play tournaments. The difference between the two is that with a real money account you can actually win cash prizes but if you just want to practice and try your hand at improving your skills free-to-play sites are where it’s at.

A number of factors have contributed to the growth of online poker including legalization in some states and technological advances like video platforms that allow top poker pros to connect directly with fans. There is also a much more widespread recognition of poker as a legitimate and exciting game that can be played at a variety of stakes levels.

The COVID-19 pandemic is also believed to have boosted the number of players as it forced recreational and professional players who normally prefer live poker to turn to online platforms in their droves due to a lack of other live entertainment options. This has resulted in traffic doubling and more at some online poker rooms.

If you’re thinking of playing online poker for real money there are four things to bear in mind. First of all you’ll need to be at least 18 years old or the legal age in your jurisdiction to participate. Most poker sites will perform an age verification check before you can sign up so make sure to have some form of identification handy. Second you’ll need to find a site that offers the game you’re interested in playing and that is licensed to operate in your area. Finally you’ll need to have some form of payment method handy to deposit and withdraw funds.

Online poker is a relatively fast-paced game and this can lead to higher “variance” (meaning bigger gains and losses over short periods of time) than in live play. It’s also possible that the pace of play online can give the impression that you experience more bad beats than in live play.

Most online poker sites will offer some sort of sign-up bonus to new players. These can range from a free $10 to as much as $1,000 depending on the amount you deposit and the number of qualifying hands you play. Always shop around for the best bonus as some third-party sites like PokerListings can get you better deals.

Getting money on to and off of poker sites is relatively easy these days with most offering multiple methods for deposits and withdrawals. You can use credit cards, debit cards, pre-paid cards, bank transfers or e-checks. Most poker sites will also let you set up an account with their eWallet service where you can store your poker winnings for easier access.