Online poker is popular for the same reasons that live poker is – it’s a fun, easy to play game that rewards actual skill unlike slots or the lottery. It’s also something you can do at any time and for as long as you like, and even from the comfort of your own home. There are a wide range of stakes to choose from and many different game variations too.
When choosing an online poker site, choose one with a good reputation and solid security features, especially if you plan to deposit money. Depending on the site, they may ask for additional documentation to verify your identity and address in order to protect players from IRS tax return fraud and other forms of financial crime. This is a perfectly normal and safe process.
Most online poker sites will offer free play-money tables where you can practice your skills without risking any of your own money. You can use these tables to get a feel for the software and learn the rules of the game before you start wagering real cash. Some poker sites even host regular multi-table tournaments with huge prize pools.
Various software programs are available to online poker players which can help improve their game. These include hand database programs which save, sort and recall information on previous hands you’ve played against specific opponents. Some also allow you to color-code players so you can identify players by their relative strength at the table. Others include heads-up displays (HUDs) which display the player’s statistics on active tables at-a-glance.