The Basics of Online Poker

online poker

Online poker is a fun, easy-to-play game that rewards actual skill unlike slots or the lottery. You can play for small stakes or win satellite entries into some of the biggest live tournaments in the world.

Generally, the lobby is categorized by cash games, tournaments and Sit & Go’s (and other special format games). Most sites also offer mobile apps to play on the go.


In the United States, online poker is currently legal in four states – Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The regulated market is continuing to grow with Michigan and West Virginia expected to join in 2021. It hasn’t been an easy ride though.

In April 2011, the US Department of Justice cracked down on a number of online poker sites. This was known as Black Friday. The DOJ seized these sites’ domains and indicted the operators on charges of money laundering and bank fraud.

This was a major setback for the online poker industry. Nevertheless, the market began to recover in 2014 when Nevada and Delaware signed up for the first multi-state poker agreement with New Jersey joining soon after. This gave players access to a larger player pool. However, in 2018, the DOJ changed its opinion on how the Wire Act applies to sports betting and this put any future prospects for a multi-state poker agreement on ice.

Games offered

Online poker is a game that uses a special type of software to connect players and allow them to compete against each other. It can be played for real money or for play money. Cash games are the most popular, and they generally require a minimum buy-in of chips with monetary value. Multi-table tournaments (MTT) are a variation of the game, where players compete on multiple tables to win a seat at a final table. Other games include sit and go tournaments, where a predetermined number of players converge on one table.

The biggest online poker sites offer a wide range of games. Many offer Texas Hold’em, but some also feature Omaha and other variants. They also provide a variety of ways to play, including mobile apps, quick seat and soft opponents. In addition, some sites offer rakeback, which is a way for poker rooms to redistribute a portion of their real-money pots to loyal players.

Depositing money

Most online poker sites offer a range of deposit options. These can include credit cards, bank transfers and online payment services. The latter provide a quick and efficient method for funding an account without having to share personal details with the poker site. They are also a great option for players in states where the law is unclear on whether they can legally play.

A few sites have partnered with Zimpler, a service that uses SMS to process deposits. This removes a lot of the hassle and speed up the deposit process. Other options include Paysafecard, PayPal and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Withdrawal times can vary a bit but most legit poker sites require the same method you used to deposit, wherever possible. This is a simple precaution to avoid money laundering and helps the site keep its records clean. You may be asked to provide ID documents when withdrawing. Some poker sites also allow you to clear’ bonuses, which moves bonus funds from your cash balance into your real money account.

Tracking your results

Keeping records of your poker results is essential for developing a long-term strategy and improving your game. It also helps you manage your bankroll, and it can prevent a bad streak from destroying your playing capital.

A number of sites and apps are available for tracking your poker results on a daily basis. These tools include a poker database, hand history analysis and leak detection. These tools can be useful for both new and experienced players.

Poker Stack is an online poker tracker that offers many features. Its streamlined user interface makes it easy to navigate and use. In addition to tracking tournament results, the software provides you with detailed reports of your results from month to month.

Another important tool is a poker HUD, which presents detailed information about your opponents. These tools are becoming more common in the poker industry and are used by most professional players. They can provide you with valuable insight into your opponents’ game and help you make good decisions.