How to Get Started in Online Poker

Online poker is a fun and fast-paced game that can be played on desktop computers, tablets and smartphones. It is a great way to relax and socialize with friends, or even make some extra cash. Some players are even able to turn this hobby into a career with the right amount of time and dedication.

The first step in playing poker online is creating a bankroll. This is usually done by making a small deposit and then slowly increasing it over time. Once you have enough money to start playing at the lower stakes, you can begin to learn and grow as a player. Many now-famous poker stars started out with very little money and worked their way up the stakes.

Most poker sites offer some sort of bonus to new players. Some of these are quite large and some even include real money. These bonuses are great incentives to sign up for an account. However, it is important to look beyond the initial bonuses and check what else a poker site has to offer. The best poker sites will provide an easy-to-use software client, mobile-friendly games and tournaments, and a secure payment process.

In addition to the usual sign up bonuses, many poker sites offer rakeback deals. These are basically a percentage of the rooms take in profit, which is returned to the players. The more rakeback a site offers, the higher it ranks in our rankings.

There are a number of different poker tracking software programs available that can be used to improve your game. These tools save and recall hand histories while you play and display your own statistics next to the players you are competing against (known as a HUD). They can also calculate odds, equity and variance for both you and your opponents. Many of these poker database applications will run in the background while you play and update on-screen stats in real time.

Another useful tool is the poker calculator. This will help you find leaks in your game and give you a better understanding of the math behind poker. This is especially important for higher level play where the game becomes more complex. The PokerSnowie GTO software is a fantastic example of this and you can download it for free here.

Finally, there are a variety of software programs that can assist you in all-in/fold decisions in tournaments. This is especially important in late position where your decision can mean the difference between winning and losing. This type of tool is essential for tournament players and is provided by a number of poker sites including PokerCopilot.

The last thing you want to do is lose your money to a scammer. The poker community is a small world and word travels quickly if a site isn’t trustworthy. That’s why it is important to read reviews and do your research before signing up for an account. This includes checking that a site is licensed and regulated by an independent gaming commission and that it uses reputable security firms to inspect its software on a regular basis.