How to Play Poker Online

Hand-in-hand with television in the recent surge in popularity of poker is the opportunity to play poker on the Internet. You can find an online poker game any time of the day or night. You can play for free or for real money against players from all over the world. There are thousands of ring games at virtually any level as well as thousands of tournaments ranging in size from ten entrants up to thousands with buy-ins ranging from free up to thousands of dollars. This article will provide an introduction to the fun and possibly profitable world of online poker. Let's begin with some general information about playing poker online.

Online Poker Rooms

Right now there are more than 200 Internet poker rooms. The largest Internet poker room has over 50,000 people playing at the same time during peak playing hours. Just do an Internet search for poker or take a look at some of the online poker-related sites, and you will quickly find many places to play and thousands upon thousands of pages of information.



  • Texas Hold'em
  • Omaha/8
  • Omaha High
  • Seven-Card Stud
  • Pineapple
  • Razz
  • Five-Card Draw
  • Triple Draw

Bonus OffersThe online poker business is highly competitive. As mentioned above, poker rooms make money from players in the form of rakes (the amount of money a card room takes from each pot) and entry fees. The more players a site has, the more revenue it will generate. For this reason, it seems as though every site has bonus offers to attract new players. Practically every site offers a bonus on a player's first deposit ranging from 20 percent (deposit $100 and receive a $20 bonus) up to 100 percent (deposit $100 and get a $100 bonus). These deposit bonuses are usually tied to a requirement to play a predetermined amount of raked hands. Before depositing in any online site, make sure you have read the terms and conditions so you know exactly what you must do to receive the bonus.

Many sites also periodically offer reload bonuses (usually requiring another deposit under the same terms and conditions as a first-time bonus) to current players to entice them to keep playing at the site. Many players continuously move from site to site collecting these bonuses (often called bonus hunting), which can be a good way to increase a player's profit per hour of poker play. In addition, if you are able to simply play break-even poker, bonuses can make you a profit as you improve your game.

While playing poker online can be fun and exciting, there are some pitfalls to watch out for. In the next section, we will discuss the legality of online poker rooms, as well as strategy that should be employed when playing poker online.

For more information on online poker and other poker venues, try the following links:


Online Poker Precautions

Ironically, some of the same aspects that make Internet poker so convenient and easy also make it potentially hazardous. The money used in online poker can feel imaginary, but, if you lose too much too fast, you will feel some very real consequences. Here are some tips you should know before you dive into an online poker room.

Internet Regulations


Playing poker on the Internet is not for everyone. Because all Internet poker rooms are based outside of the United States, the laws and regulations governing them are different from what many players are familiar with. For this reason, it is recommended playing at only the larger, well-established sites when you first start playing online -- and only if it is legal!

Because many sites do not accept credit cards, you must set up a virtual bank account of some kind to fund your poker account. When doing this, choose one that has been in business for a while and has many customers. A deposit into a poker site is put into your account. Money you lose is deducted from your account, and money you win is put into your account.

Plan of Action

A quick way to start playing poker on the Internet is to set aside a small amount of money ($20 to $100) as a test bankroll. Open an Internet bank account (search the Internet for e-payment systems), and then find a couple of established online poker rooms that offer the opportunity to play for free, afford micro-limit games, and provide a sign-up bonus. Download the software and play the free games until you have a good feel for how it works. Then deposit your money, and start playing the micro-limit tables.

Many players jump right into a game that has higher limits before they are ready for it, and then they lose a lot of money before dropping back down in limits. Use these guidelines, and don't move up until you are ready. There is no shame in playing poker for pennies. If you do move up to a higher level and struggle, don't hesitate to move back down.

Because poker is a lifelong game, players must never stop learning, and the Internet is just another study aid. Online poker can be a very fun and profitable way to learn. Grasp the advantages the Internet offers you!

(Any and all material in this section is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this section is intended as, nor should be perceived as, legal advice. Before playing poker on the Internet for real money, check your local, state, and national laws to determine the laws that govern your area.)

For more information on online poker and other poker venues, try the following links: