How to Get Started in Online Poker

Online Poker

Online poker has been around for a long time, but in the last few years it has seen a boom that is unprecedented. The growth of the industry can be attributed to many factors, including improved software and increased competition.

The first step to playing poker online is downloading the software to your computer. Depending on your internet connection this shouldn’t take very long. Once the program is installed you’ll be ready to play poker on your PC or Mac. Some sites also offer no download options but these don’t provide the same level of playability as the full version of the software.

Once you have a poker account you’ll want to find the right game for you. The lobbies at the top of the site are usually categorized by different games and tournament types. In addition to cash games and tournaments the lobbies will usually feature a dedicated section for Sit & Go’s and any special format games that are running at the site. Most sites also have a “beginner” tab where players are automatically seated with other players that have classified themselves as beginners. This dramatically levels the playing field for new players and is a great way to get used to the speed of play at an online poker table.

Another important aspect of an online poker account is the ability to track your session stats. This allows you to see what your strengths and weaknesses are as a player. Keeping track of your win rate, number of flops seen and times you went to showdown can help you improve your play. The majority of poker sites will offer their own tracking software but you can also use 3rd party tools like Pokertracker and Holdem Manager.

It’s important to remember that online poker is a skill based game that requires discipline and control. If you are a consistent winner at live poker you should be able to translate those skills to the online environment. However, it’s also worth remembering that the stakes are higher online and there is more competition.

Online poker is regulated in the states that allow it and uses strict consumer protections to ensure your account funds and information are safe. In addition, state laws prevent players from accessing offshore sites that do not have the same standards of security and operate without basic consumer safeguards.

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a huge boost to online poker traffic as recreational players turned to the digital tables for entertainment during travel restrictions and the shutdown of many live venues. The influx of new players has made online poker more profitable than ever and is expected to continue to grow in the months ahead. However, a lot of players are still struggling to find success at the tables.