Before 2000 poker was played mainly in the back of smoky bars and casinos but the internet and an accountant from Tennessee have elevated it to primetime. Today there are a wide range of secure online poker sites that hold players’ money and allow them to wager it against other members. The rules of the game vary slightly between different sites but most offer a similar experience and a wide variety of games.
Choosing the best poker site for you begins with knowing what kind of playing style you have in mind. Do you prefer to play a few casual games a day or do you plan on chasing the big tournament money? Knowing your goals can help you decide where to begin since many poker sites have different promotions and bonuses that cater to different types of players.
One thing that all good poker players do is track their results. This will help you determine if you’re winning or losing and if you have any room for improvement. Fortunately, most online poker sites have built-in player tracking tools. You can use these to analyze your wins, losses, flops seen and showstopper rates.
It’s important to find a poker site that offers a number of deposit and withdrawal options. This will make it much easier to fund your account and move money in and out of it quickly. Typically, you can deposit with credit cards, debit cards or pre-paid cards as well as bank wires, eChecks and third-party eWallets. Some sites even support PayPal deposits and withdrawals which is a great feature for those who are concerned about privacy and security.
Some poker sites also have special software that monitors gameplay for issues like collusion and chip dumping. This is a good way to keep your money safe and to ensure that the games are fair. You should be sure that the poker site you choose has this type of software before you play a hand.
Most poker sites offer “beginner” tables that are reserved for newcomers to the game. These tables are a great way for new players to get a feel for the speed of the games and the interface of the poker client. These tables are also great for leveling the playing field as you’ll only be seated with players who have classified themselves as beginners.
Most states have legalized poker in some form. Global Poker, for instance, is a licensed online poker site that operates under sweepstakes laws rather than gambling regulations. This allows them to offer a dual currency system where you can purchase “gold coins” that have no monetary value and receive “sweeps coins” for free that do have a cash value. This keeps Global Poker legal in some states where gambling laws are more restrictive.