For decades poker was only played in smoky bars and casinos but that changed in 2000 when an accountant from Tennessee elevated it to primetime with the development of secure online sites that allow players to deposit money and wager against each other. Now anyone with a laptop, tablet or mobile phone that runs a modern operating system can play poker online for free or for the lowest stakes in history (literally pennies).
There are many different ways to get started playing poker but most online poker sites offer some form of bonus or welcome package that will give you a small amount of money to use to try the game out before you invest any real cash. Some also offer rakebacks which are like loyalty rewards that reward you for playing the games and contribute to your bankroll.
The big thing about online poker is that it can be done from the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to worry about driving, parking or waiting in line at the casino and all you need is a decent internet connection and a device that can run the software. It’s worth noting that some of the larger online poker rooms require you to download a client program which can be quite large so you should always read the terms and conditions carefully before downloading anything.
Another advantage of online poker is that it’s possible to play more than one table at a time. This is not something that can be done live and makes the game much more appealing for those who like to multitask. You can even take notes while you’re playing to keep track of the strategy that other players are using.
Lastly, poker is one of the few games that can teach you to control your emotions. It’s easy to let your anger or stress level rise uncontrollably and this can lead to bad decisions that could cost you a lot of money. Poker helps you learn how to rein in these emotions and make better choices.
It’s important to choose a poker site that offers a variety of banking methods for deposits and withdrawals. Look for a variety of credit and debit cards, e-wallets and third-party eWallets as well as bank transfers, e-checks and good old-fashioned paper cheques. Be sure to check the minimum and maximum deposit and withdrawal amounts, any fees per transaction as well as processing times. The best poker sites will have a comprehensive list of all available options.