How to Find the Best Online Poker Sites

Online poker takes the strategic card game that millions play on tables in casinos and brings it into your home. It’s a fun, easy-to-play, intellectually thrilling activity that rewards actual skill unlike slots or the lottery and can be played at any time for as little or as much as you’d like from your laptop, tablet or smartphone. You can even win real money playing poker online!

Despite its inherently risky nature it’s a great way to earn an income, particularly if you are good at the game. However, like any form of gambling online poker can become addictive and if you aren’t careful can ruin your finances. If you have a problem with online poker it’s best to seek help from a professional gambling counselor.

In the days before online poker sites were available most players played in backrooms of bars or smoky casino floors. Once secure payment systems were developed and online poker sites could be launched players from all over the world flocked to them. It was a boom time for the game.

Now most of the major poker sites are only available in certain countries so be sure to check that a site is licensed to operate in your jurisdiction before depositing any funds. Most states have specific laws regulating the way that online poker sites invest player funds and the type of risks they can take with those investments. Having a license from an international regulator such as the UK Gambling Commission is a good indicator that an online poker site will be fair.

Most poker sites feature a lobby that is categorized by cash games, tournaments, Sit & Go’s and any special format games the site runs. The lobby is usually also filtered by skill level so that you can play only against players that are of a similar level to yourself. Beginners are also able to find “beginner” tables on most sites where they’ll be seated only with other players who mark themselves as newbies. This dramatically reduces the amount of knowledge that your opponents have about the game and makes it easier for you to make smart plays.

When choosing an online poker site to join be sure to check whether they accept your preferred method of payment. Many sites offer credit cards and cryptocurrencies while others accept bank transfers, Zelle or Payz electronic banking apps and player-to-player transfer services. These options can be slow and may require a verification process before you can use them but they are available for the most part at all of the best poker sites. Some of the most popular poker sites also feature a no download option that is good for players with archaic Internet connections and no desire to install a software program.