How to Play Online Poker

online poker

Online poker is a fun, intellectual game that rewards actual skill unlike slots or the lottery. It’s also safe and regulated in states where it’s available. The key to winning is aggressive play.

Another plus is that you can play poker whenever you want, day or night. Almost all online poker rooms have games running all the time.


Unlike live casinos, online poker is played through a software application that runs on the player’s computer or mobile device. Most online poker sites offer free lobbies to let players get familiar with the game’s controls and pace before wagering real money. These lobbies are usually categorized by cash games, tournaments and sit-and-go’s. Some online poker sites also have beginner tables that are reserved for new players to level the playing field.

The rules of online poker are the same as those for live poker, but it requires a different set of skills because players can’t read physical “tells” at the table. This difference has caused some players to feel that bad beats occur more frequently in online poker than in live games. This is likely a result of the fact that online poker rooms deal more hands per hour than live games.


It’s a good idea to check out an online poker site’s security information before you deposit money. It only takes a few minutes and will save you so much hassle (and potentially worse) down the road.

Players are dealt two ‘hole’ cards which they must look at but keep concealed from other players. Then three community cards, the flop, are dealt into the centre of the table and another round of betting takes place. The player with the strongest five-card hand wins the pot.

While the vast majority of online poker games are fair, it is possible to rig a hand. To avoid this, pay attention to how other players bet and try to read their tells. You can also use tools like our Which Hand Wins Calculator to help you understand the odds of winning a hand.


Online poker is a game of chance and skill, and players earn money when they win. Players can play for as long as they want and for any stakes they choose from the comfort of their home. They can also practice their skills at different tables and learn new tricks to improve their games.

Online players may experience “bad beats” more often than live players because the small stakes encourage calls with subpar hands that occasionally do outdraw better ones. This phenomenon is particularly pronounced at the micros and lower limits.

When choosing a site to play online poker, check out its available banking methods. Look for ones that allow you to add and remove cash, as well as how quickly the transaction can be processed.


Online poker has a wide range of stakes, from micro stakes to high-limit games. Players can play for as little as a couple of dollars, and can even compete against pros who have millions of hands under their belts. This variety of stakes means that you can find a game that suits your skill level and bankroll.

It is important to know what to expect from different stakes levels before you start playing. Initially, it’s best to stick with low-stakes cash games and tournaments so that you can learn the game without risking too much money. This way, you’ll avoid the massive downswings that plague many high-stakes players. Low-stakes players also tend to game select heavily and optimize their bet sizings. This leads to better outcomes.

Depositing money

One of the first steps in playing poker online is depositing money into an account. This can be done quickly and easily by using a credit card or an online payment service. All reputable sites should have details of their accepted banking methods readily available on their websites.

Other popular deposit methods include e-wallets, wire transfers and paper checks. These options take a little longer to process but generally offer more security and anonymity.

Bitcoin is a relatively new way to deposit money into an online poker account but it offers some intriguing possibilities. The premise is that you can buy Bitcoin on an exchange market using traditional real cash and then transfer it to an online poker site. The poker site will then convert the Bitcoin into cash and add it to your balance.