Online poker has seen a remarkable revival in popularity since the United States Department of Justice shut down major operators on “Black Friday.” As a result, most state laws have been reworked and players can now access real-money games. Whether you prefer to play cash games or tournaments, the rules and stakes vary slightly but there are certain fundamental principles that apply.
Getting started with poker online is easy, and the best sites have intuitive software that makes it simple to get involved in any game. You can download a poker client to your PC or Mac or choose to play at a no-download site, and the software should load quickly on even archaic Internet connections. It should also be visually appealing with large, easily identifiable buttons to place bets and uncluttered graphics that don’t distract you from your gameplay.
A good poker site will offer a range of secure payment options, including traditional credit and debit cards, e-wallets and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Typically, these methods are processed within 24 hours and you’ll receive your funds in the form of a digital currency or a virtual poker chip that’s redeemable for real money. The best operators will process withdrawals very quickly as well. In fact, we’ve found that the speed of withdrawals depends on the method you choose – it’s better to use a service such as PayPal or PayNearMe for a fast withdrawal than to use an ACH e-check, wire transfer or a bank check.
There are many different tools available to help improve your game, but one of the most useful is a GTO solver like PioSOLVER or MonkerSolver. These programs will give you a starting point for a balanced strategy in any situation, and they can often spot errors your opponents are making. Some players are reluctant to use a solver because they fear it’ll take away their edge, but this is not the case. In fact, high-stakes players frequently discuss the plays suggested by solvers and how they might deviate from the recommended strategy to gain an advantage.
Another popular tool is a hand tracking program, which will help you identify and fix leaks in your game. These programs will scan your active tables for known players and display past statistics next to their name, as well as offering odds, equity and variance calculators. Some are as simple as Hold’em Indicator while others, such as PokerTracker and HM2, offer more bells and whistles. Whichever one you choose, it’s important to find a program that is compatible with the sites you play on. The top poker sites have a list of supported programs, which is generally up-to-date and includes most of the major rooms. You should always be sure to read the terms and conditions before using any of these tools, however. Some of them require that you deposit a minimum amount of money in order to activate them, and they may not be eligible for all types of bonuses.