Whether you want to play online poker for free or for real money, there are a few things you need to know. Most sites are licensed and regulated in one of the United States’ states, which means you can be sure that your money is safe. However, some states have ruled that it is illegal to play online for real money. Not all of these states have ruled it out completely, so you need to check the laws in your state to make sure.
Once you’ve found a site you’d like to play at, you will need to register and create an account. To do this, you will need to provide your name, date of birth, social security number, and address. In some cases, you will also be asked to fill out an ID and utility bill to verify your identity.
Once you have completed the sign up process, you will be able to start playing. Most online poker sites offer an instant start option that allows you to sign up, select a game, and select the stakes you want to play. Some sites have a “beginner” table that is designed for new players. This will level the playing field for you, and allow you to pick up the basics of the game right away.
If you’re playing for real money, you will need to deposit some funds to your account. Most sites allow you to use credit and debit cards, or bank wires. Other options include cheques and money transfers. You should always read the terms and conditions of your particular site before making a deposit.
You may also have to pay a fee for your deposit. This can range from a few dollars to $30-$60 per cash out. In addition, you might have to wait a few days for a cash out. The fees can vary depending on your location.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll need to download the software that you’ll use to play. This software will store your hand histories and display odds and variance, so you’ll have a better idea of how you’re doing. It’s also a good idea to have a quick look at your session stats after you’ve played. This will let you know how many flops you saw, how often you went to showdown, and how many wins you’ve had. You might be surprised to find out where you’re losing.
You can also check the poker room’s regulations. Some sites require players to be at least 18 years old. Others have wagering requirements, which could mean that you have to play a certain amount of hands before you can make a withdrawal. The rules are constantly changing, so be sure to check a site’s website before signing up.
Lastly, you will need to select a screen name and password. You’ll also need to provide your email address, and choose a password that’s easy to remember. You’ll receive a verification email with a link to click to confirm your account.