Online poker has fueled a massive increase in the number of poker players worldwide. However, it is a game of skill, and therefore it can be expensive. It also has high variance, which can translate into bigger short-term losses. The best way to minimize your risk is to sign up with a reputable poker site.
When you join an online poker room, you will typically need to provide your name, address, and date of birth. You may also be asked to provide proof of identity, such as a driver’s license or utility bill. For additional verification, you may be required to provide a social security number.
You’ll have to download the software from the poker site, and the process generally takes a few minutes. Once you’re set up, you can start playing. The site will usually auto-notify you when it’s your turn to act. If you are ready to play, you can enter a cash game or tournament. For the best experience, you should try to find a site with a large playing pool. This will give you more opportunities to win against softer opponents.
Several of the top poker sites offer big bonuses for newcomers. The GGPoker website is particularly good, offering a “Honeymoon for Newcomers” promotion that will get you up to $350 in rewards. It’s a good idea to sign up for a training site as well, as many poker pros are experienced and will be willing to share their knowledge with you. The site has a lot of games and features, including a “Fish Buffet” rewards program.
You’ll also want to sign up for a rakeback program, which will redistribute some of the rake you put into your account. The rakeback is often offered in the form of a loyalty program, and can be used to cover the cost of playing.
Another advantage to playing online is the speed at which you can get into the action. Some online tables are capable of dealing as many as 60 hands per hour, which is ten times faster than live poker. In short-handed games, these tables can deal even more hands per hour. It’s recommended to play at least 20 to 30 buy-ins at a time. For larger tournaments, you should be prepared to invest at least 50 buy-ins. You can also play in freeroll tournaments, which can be a great way to earn some extra cash, but you’ll have to be patient.
Online poker is legal in a number of countries, including the United States, the Caribbean Sea, and several others. Some states with secondary residences, such as Nevada and California, also allow you to play.
It’s also possible to play poker on the computer, and most poker sites are virus-free. However, the laws governing online poker are different from those that govern brick-and-mortar poker. The federal Wire Act was once thought to apply to online poker, but it is now only applicable to sports betting. There is no statute criminalizing playing cards on a computer, but there are general gambling laws that have never been enforced against internet poker fans.