Online poker is a digital version of the traditional card game, but with real money. It’s fun, intellectual and thrilling and rewards actual skill unlike slots or the lottery. It’s also something you can play at any time, day or night and from the comfort of your own home.
To begin playing you’ll need to create a user account at an online poker site and download their client software. Once you have done this the software should install automatically and you can launch your session. Most sites will have age checks that you must pass to ensure you are at least the minimum legal age to play, which is usually 18 or 21 depending on your jurisdiction. If you encounter a site that doesn’t have age checks and/or doesn’t appear to follow basic consumer safeguards, steer clear as it is most likely operating illegally.
The best poker sites will offer a range of secure payment methods. These may include credit and debit cards, e-wallets like PayPal and Neteller and cryptocurrencies. They will have easy to find and accessible terms and conditions that will describe all aspects of the games and how they operate. Some of the top sites will have a UK Gambling Commission license and this is generally the mark of a legitimate site.
Those new to poker should consider starting with cash games before moving on to tournaments. Many sites have beginner tables where you’ll be seated with players who have classified themselves as beginners. This dramatically levels the playing field and helps new players gain confidence and improve.