How to Play Poker Online

Online poker is a game of cards played using your computer, tablet or smartphone. There are a number of ways to play, from free games and low-stakes tournaments to high-stakes cash games and even satellite entries into the most prestigious live events in the world. It’s a game that rewards actual skill unlike slots or the lottery and it can be done for as long as you want from anywhere in the world at any time of day or night.

To get started, sign up for a new player account with an online poker room and deposit funds into your account. You will then need to choose a screen name and password that will not be used anywhere else (multi-accounting is against the rules and will likely lead to permanent bans from many sites). Once you have your account established, you can access the lobby. This is where you will find all the different cash games, tournaments, Sit & Go’s and any other special format games that the site runs. Many US-based sites will even use leaderboards, rankings and player streaks to place you at a table with players of a similar skill level.

One of the most important things to remember when playing poker online is that you need to keep your emotions in check. It’s easy to get emotionally invested in a hand and that can hurt your chances of winning. It’s also important to learn to read the game and look for tells, especially timing tells like how long it takes a player to act.