Online poker is a card game played over the internet for real money. It’s the same as traditional poker except you don’t see your opponents, which makes it harder to read their physical tells. Playing for real money also forces players to have a plan and stick to it, rather than going all-in purely for entertainment value. Whether you’re an experienced vet or just getting started, it’s important to find the best online poker site for your needs. This means looking for a site that offers your preferred deposit methods and is safe, secure, friendly and legitimate.
A great starting point is to look for sites that offer generous bonuses. This can be anything from an initial deposit match to free tournament tickets or cash games buy-ins. Many of the top sites will even let you choose a bonus that aligns with your preferred game type.
Another factor to consider is the amount of traffic a site has. If a site is struggling to attract players, it can be frustrating for newcomers who want to play poker regularly. On the other hand, if a site is packed with players, it’s a sign that it has a solid player base and provides a fun, reliable environment for players of all levels to play in.
Once you’ve found a site with a solid player base, it’s time to look at the game options they offer. It’s important to pick a site that has a wide range of games, including your favorite variants and a full range of betting options. This includes pre-flop and post-flop raise amounts, as well as the ability to place multiple bets per round.
One last thing to look for is a site that offers good banking options. This could include credit or debit cards, prepaid vouchers or web wallets. You’ll want to make sure that you can fund your account quickly and easily, so check that the site accepts your preferred method before registering.
The first major change in the online poker landscape came with the launch of Planet Poker in 1998, which was the first online poker site to feature real money hands. Since then, there have been a number of other online poker sites that offer real money poker, with some more modern and stable than others.
Regulated online poker began to resurface in the United States in 2013, with Nevada and Delaware becoming the first two states to pass legislation and license operators for their respective markets. However, these early states were not part of a multi-state online poker agreement, which would allow them to combine their player pools and offer bigger tournaments and more cash game action around the clock.