Almost anyone with a computer, laptop or mobile device can play online poker. All that is needed is an internet connection and you can log into a site and play for the smallest stakes or for satellite entries into major live tournaments in the world.
The game is hugely popular and has been brought into the mainstream by televised tournaments such as the World Series of Poker. Millions of people around the world now take up poker, both as a social activity and as a way to make some money.
While there are many ways to play poker in real life, the convenience and accessibility of online poker has made it one of the most popular card games in the world. Players can log in from any country at any time of the day or night and enjoy a great variety of game types and stakes.
Online poker requires a small amount of software that is usually downloaded to the computer. This doesn’t take up a lot of memory and will run smoothly on most systems. Some online poker sites offer no download versions of their software that work well too, but they don’t have the same functionality as a full download.
Some of the best poker software available will collect and display hand histories, statistics and player data on your opponents while you are playing. This is an extremely important tool for any serious player as it allows you to find leaks in your opponents game that will give you a profit edge. There are several programs to choose from, including the freeware Holdem Manager and the more advanced PokerTracker, both published by the same company.
Most online poker rooms will accept a wide variety of payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards, pre-paid cards, bank transfers and third party eWallets. You can also use cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to fund your account. This is a good choice for people who want to keep their poker play separate from their regular financial activities.
The biggest drawback to online poker is the fact that there are still some restrictions on who can play and where. Some states have specific laws about gambling that dictate that only those within the state can play for real money. There are also restrictions on moving funds from one poker room to another across state lines, in line with federal gambling laws.
The good news is that there are more and more sites opening for people in the US and those options are growing all the time. There is still a long way to go before all the states are fully operational, but the industry is moving in the right direction.