If you are thinking about trying poker online you will want to choose a reputable site that is licensed and regulated in your jurisdiction. You will also want to make sure it offers secure deposit and withdrawal methods. Regulated sites will not intermingle player funds with operator or casino funds and have a strong customer service team to help you if something goes wrong.
The first step in playing poker online is to sign up for a user account on the poker site of your choice. This is generally free and only takes a few minutes and will require you to provide some basic personal information like your name and address. You will then be given a unique username and password to log in to the poker client.
When you log in to the poker client you will see a lobby that is generally categorized by cash games, tournaments and Sit & Go’s. There will also be a “Free Play” or “Instant Play” tab for players who are just testing the waters. Many online poker rooms will offer special “beginner” tables where you can be seated with other players who have classified themselves as beginners. This dramatically levels the playing field for new players.
Once you have an account at a real money poker room you can start to play for actual cash. Most reputable online poker sites will have a wide range of payment options including e-wallets and credit cards. Many will even have a Bitcoin option. The best poker sites will have a large player base which accomplishes three things: it ensures that there are always active games to play in, it gives you the opportunity to find softer players and it acts as a tacit endorsement of the quality of the poker site.
Poker is a game of skill over the long term. If you are willing to put in the work by training at poker training sites like Chip Leader Coaching or Upswing Poker, networking with successful pros and brutally analyzing your play after every session you will be able to beat the game and make money. However, you need to be patient and realize that it will take a long time before you can move up the stakes.
Some poker rooms will require that you scan an ID and/or a utility bill to verify your identity before you can withdraw any winnings. This is a common practice and is a good way to protect the integrity of the poker site and the players. Most of the time these requirements will be fulfilled without any problems but if you are lucky enough to win a large sum you may have to wait a bit longer before you can cash out your winnings. Don’t let this discourage you though, it is completely normal and a huge part of the game. Just remember to stay focused and don’t get too emotionally invested in bad beats.