Poker is a fun, easy to learn, intellectual game that can be thrilling and rewarding. Unlike slots and the lottery poker rewards actual skill. It’s a game that can be played at any time and for any stakes online from anywhere in the world. Online poker takes that concept and cranks it up a notch making it available to anyone with a computer, tablet or smart phone. You can play for free or with the smallest stakes imaginable or even win satellite entries into the biggest live poker tournaments in the world. It all depends on what you’re willing to risk and how much you want to study and improve.
Before the internet poker was a recreational pastime enjoyed by people in the back rooms of bars and casinos but in the early 2000s the internet changed everything. It enabled secure poker sites to be established that allowed players to wager real money against other players around the world without ever having to leave the comfort of their own homes.
There are many different types of poker games played online but the most popular by far is Texas hold’em. This game is very fast paced and involves making a high or low hand from the five cards you are dealt. It can be played with a high amount of strategy but is also very volatile so it requires careful analysis to play well.
Another popular variation of the game is Omaha hi-lo. This game is a little more complicated than hold’em because you must build a hand that makes a high or low total. It’s a game that rewards tight play and good chip management and is often won by those who know when to bet and when not to.
Most poker sites will have a lobby that allows you to search for the type of poker game you want to play. You can usually find these categorized by Cash Games, Tournaments and Sit & Go’s. Some will even offer special format games like Turbo events or Shootouts. They will also have a tab for beginners which will place you in tables with other players who self-classify as beginner. This can level the playing field for new players who are still getting used to the speed and features of online poker.
The requirements for a computer to run an online poker site are quite minimal and you probably already have enough processing power in your laptop or desktop to handle it. Many poker sites offer a no download option for players who don’t want to install any software. Regardless of whether you are downloading the software or playing no download you will have to sign up for a player account and be at least 18 years old or the legal age for gambling in your jurisdiction.
The main way that poker sites make money is by taking a percentage of each pot. Some poker sites return a portion of that rake to their players which is known as rakeback. This helps attract players and reward the most loyal ones.