What is Online Poker?

Online poker is a game that allows players to wager with real cash against other players. They can play for as little as pennies or for satellite entries into the biggest live tournaments in the world. In short, it takes the classic card game that we all know and love and turns it into a multi-billion dollar industry.

Online Poker took off in a big way back in 2003 when an accountant from Tennessee named Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker main event after qualifying for it through an online tournament for a relatively small fee of $40. His win was a watershed moment that put the game on the map for millions of new players and has continued to make it even more popular ever since.

Another factor that has helped propel the popularity of online poker is technological advancements and innovations. Video platforms like Twitch have allowed top players to connect with fans and share tips and advice. And innovative content has made the game more accessible and understandable for average players.

The COVID-19 pandemic was also a huge factor in boosting online poker traffic. Many recreational players were unable to travel or find suitable live gambling options due to the COVID-19 pandemic and chose to turn to online poker instead.

Compared to the live world online poker is much more accessible to all types of players as there are tables available for the absolute smallest stakes (literally pennies). The ability to play at any time and from any location is a massive advantage and is something that can be very appealing to many people who would never be able to play live poker.

Once you have signed up with an online poker site the software will usually download onto your device automatically. The demand on memory is relatively small so the process shouldn’t take very long on any device. Once you’ve done this you can head to the lobby and choose from a variety of games including cash games, tournaments and Sit & Go’s. Most sites will also have beginner tables that will place you with other players who have classified themselves as beginners so you can get a feel for the speed of play and the features of the software.

Most online poker rooms offer tracking of your session stats so you can see how you’re doing. This is a great way to analyze your wins and losses and find areas for improvement. You can also often find freerolls – these are free tournaments that poker sites run for their customers to win cash prizes.

Getting your funds on and off of an online poker site is also very easy compared to the old days. Depending on the site and your location you’ll be able to deposit with credit cards, debit cards, pre-paid cards, bank transfers, third party eWallets or wire transfer. Withdrawals are usually just as fast and can be done via the same methods.