Online poker has become incredibly popular since 2003 when an accountant from Tennessee won the World Series of Poker Main Event after qualifying through an online tournament. That win single-handedly elevated poker from the back rooms of smoky bars to primetime television and gave it the legitimacy it needed to attract a large number of new players. The influx of new players caused an explosion of online poker sites and games and the industry has never looked back.
Many online poker sites offer a free play mode where you can play for fun without risking any real money. This is great for beginners as it allows them to get used to the speed of play and the software before committing any money. Many also have a comprehensive list of poker rules and guides for players to read. These are helpful in understanding the nuances of the game and can help you make better decisions while playing.
Another feature of online poker sites is the ability to track your game results and performance. The best online poker sites will have a player statistics section where you can see your win-rate, the number of hands you’ve played and other important metrics that will help you improve your game. These stats will allow you to see where you’re winning and losing money and which moves you need to make to improve your game.
Legal US online poker sites use a system called digital device fingerprinting to recognize players from the United States and ensure they don’t play against foreigners, which violates state gaming regulations. They also prevent players from creating multiple accounts in order to circumvent account bans, restrictions and closures. The best online poker sites will also have a strong customer service department that can handle questions and concerns.
The most common deposit methods for online poker include credit or debit cards and e-wallets like Neteller. Some online poker sites also accept Bitcoin. These options are secure and convenient, making them a popular choice for poker players. Many online poker sites also offer a variety of promotions and bonuses for their players. This can be in the form of free cash or extra rakeback.
Before you decide to deposit any money, make sure the site is regulated by your state’s gambling commission and has a secure SSL connection. This will protect your personal and financial information from unauthorized access. A secure SSL connection also makes it easier to deposit and withdraw funds.
If you’re a beginner to the game, it’s best to start with a small bet size to avoid making big mistakes early on. Also, don’t be afraid to ask other players for advice if you get stuck. There are plenty of people who enjoy playing poker and will be more than happy to help.
Many online poker sites categorize their games by their format, so you can find the perfect game for your skill level. Some of the most popular formats include cash games, tournaments and Sit & Go’s. In addition, most sites have a special “beginner” tables which will seat you with other players who have classified themselves as beginners. This dramatically levels the playing field for beginner players and can make a huge difference in your overall winnings.