How to Play Online Poker

Online poker is one of the most popular gambling games on the internet. It’s easy to play, safe and is highly regulated in states where it is legal. This means that players’ account funds and personal information are secure. However, players should be aware of offshore poker sites that don’t follow basic consumer protections and are unlikely to be properly regulated by their respective state authorities.

To get started, find a reputable poker site that offers real money games and is licensed to operate within your state. Download the software, open an account and create a screen name. Often you will be required to provide some verification documents, such as a scan of your driver’s license and a utility bill that shows the address on record. While this is a little annoying, it’s not uncommon and it helps to prevent people from creating multiple accounts and abusing sign-up bonuses.

Once you’re logged in, it’s easy to navigate the lobby and select the game you want to play. You can also use the Quick Start option, which will automatically place you at a table in a particular stakes range. Many players enjoy playing on sites with large player pools, as this allows them to maximize their winnings.

Tournament poker is wildly popular both live and online thanks to tours like the World Series of Poker and the European Poker Tour. In tournament poker, players pay a buy-in and receive chips that they can spend until they are out of chips. The player who finishes with the most chips wins the prize. The amount of money you can win in a tournament can be huge, especially at low buy-ins.