Online poker takes the traditional game of cards and turns it into a virtual experience that can be enjoyed on any computer, laptop or mobile device with an internet connection. There are many different versions of the game to choose from including a wide range of stakes. From free to play for pennies to satellite entry into the biggest live tournaments around the world – there is something to suit every budget.
The best online poker sites offer a safe, secure environment and the software they use to create their tables is usually virus-free. The software also requires very little in the way of hardware so it shouldn’t be too taxing on any older computer. You can find no download versions of the software at some online poker sites although these tend to lack some of the more advanced features found in full downloadable clients.
Most poker rooms online will also feature a chat function that allows players to socialise with each other in the same way as they would at a live poker table. This is great for those who enjoy meeting people with similar interests and it can make a poker game much more enjoyable. Then there are the online poker sites that feature exclusive tweaks to traditional formats such as Sit n Go’s and Fast Fold’s which can dramatically cut down on how long an online poker game lasts.
The most popular poker game of all is No-Limit Texas Hold’em which is offered at most poker sites at all stake levels. It is simple to learn but difficult to master making it a great starting point for newcomers to the game.
Once you’ve decided where to play poker online the next step is registering with an operator. This usually involves downloading the client software and creating a user account. You will need to choose a screen name that is suitable for the game you are playing and keep in mind that multi-accounting is strictly prohibited.
Before you start playing it’s worth taking a look at the lobby at your chosen site to see how the games are categorized. There are generally separate tabs for cash games, tournaments, Sit n Go’s and any special format games the poker room may run. It’s also a good idea to check out whether or not the poker site has beginner tables as these will automatically seat you with players who have tagged themselves as beginners thus leveling the playing field for newcomers to the game.
The size of the player pool is a big factor in determining how competitive an online poker room is. A large player base can lead to more hands played and higher jackpots being won but it’s important that a poker room also has players of varying skill levels. This ensures that there is a game to challenge all skill levels and that there are always softer opponents around for the more experienced players to play against.