Online poker is a game of chance that can be played from the comfort of your own home on a desktop computer, laptop or mobile phone. It’s possible to play poker for the smallest stakes imaginable – literally pennies – or win satellite entries into some of the biggest live tournaments in the world. All of this is made possible thanks to the internet and some very smart software developers.
There was a time in the not too distant past when there was a very clear divide between “live poker players” and “online poker players”. Live pros would often avoid the games on the net, complaining that they weren’t real poker. Nowadays however there is much more overlap between the two and many top players play both online and live.
One reason for this is the very easy access to the game that has been made possible by technological advances and by new poker sites which allow players to deposit funds into accounts at regulated and trusted sites. The deposits and withdrawals are handled in a similar way to the money that is invested by banks and other financial institutions and this helps to provide a secure environment in which to play poker.
The software that runs the games also makes online poker less demanding on computer systems than it was in the early days. Almost any modern laptop or desktop computer with a reasonable amount of memory will be able to run a poker client and there are plenty of dedicated online poker apps for smart phones and tablets too. Online poker is not as taxing on the processor as other types of online casino gaming and there are no technical requirements beyond a reasonably fast internet connection.
Most reputable poker sites will offer a variety of ways to deposit and withdraw funds from your account. They will usually accept a range of credit and debit cards as well as some third-party eWallets and they can even send you a traditional paper cheque if that is what you prefer.
Another important aspect of a good poker site is the quality of their security and privacy policies. All reputable online poker sites are regulated and will use strict security protocols to protect your personal and financial information. This also applies to the payment methods that they use.
In addition to offering a safe environment for playing online poker, reputable poker sites will provide a wide range of educational and informative content that can help you improve your game. These include poker strategy articles, videos and lessons from some of the best poker players in the world. The best sites will even have a section for beginning players where you can be seated with other people who have classified themselves as beginners.
There is no doubt that online poker has taken off in recent years and it will continue to grow as more states legalize the game and new technologies make it easier for people to play on their computers and smart phones. It is important to remember that despite this growth there are still plenty of unregulated sites which operate without basic consumer protections and may be shut down at any time.