Online poker is the game that allows you to play for real money from anywhere in the world using your favorite computer, tablet or smartphone. It’s a fun, easy to learn and intellectually stimulating game that rewards actual skill unlike slots or the lottery. It also gives you the opportunity to win big, or even get rich, but it’s not for everyone as some people are very easily addicted to the game.
Traditionally, players who were serious about improving their game used to grind away at the tables one hand at a time, trying new strategies and learning from their mistakes. Eventually poker strategy books and magazines came along to help players learn the game in their spare time between grinding sessions at the tables.
These days the learning landscape for poker is completely different. There are now infinite poker forums to visit, a never-ending list of Discord channels and FB groups to talk about poker in and countless poker software programs you can use to train and tweak different aspects of your game. There are also tons of poker books and a seemingly endless stream of poker articles being written every day.
Another massive change is the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen many live venues shut down and people looking for alternative forms of entertainment have turned to online poker sites in droves. This has led to an increase in the amount of players playing at regulated online poker rooms around the globe, with some operators reporting traffic levels double or more than what they normally see.
Getting money on to and off of online poker sites is a lot easier than in the past. Most sites accept a variety of deposit methods including credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards and bank transfers. Some will also allow you to use e-checks and third-party eWallets. Withdrawals are usually made via wire transfers but some online poker rooms offer a variety of eWallets too. Getting started with an online poker site is very easy and most computers from the early 2000s or later will have more than enough processing power to run the game without any problems.
One of the biggest challenges that some new players face when playing online poker is dealing with their emotions. A bad beat can really sting and it’s important to remember that you are losing money to other people and not to take it personally. It is also important to view your progress at the poker tables in terms of months and years rather than weeks or days.
Another challenge is that you won’t be able to read people’s tells as well as in person. This can be an issue for some people who need to be able to read their opponents’ faces and posture in order to tell if they are bluffing. There are some sites that offer anonymous tables where players’ identities are hidden, which can be a helpful tool for these types of players.