Poker Online is the game of poker played on the Internet. Players can play against real people in real money games through the web or on mobile devices. There are a number of different poker sites that offer a variety of games and features. Some are standalone, while others are part of a larger network of poker rooms. Many of these sites are legal in the United States, and are monitored by government and financial bodies to ensure integrity and security for all players.
The popularity of online poker has been on the rise since 2003, when amateur player Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker Main Event and single-handedly revolutionized the game. The sport has become more popular since then, especially as regulated markets such as New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware offer real-money poker through their respective sites.
Players can use a number of banking methods to fund their accounts. These can include credit and debit cards, prepaid cards or virtual wallets like PayPal. Some online poker sites even accept cash at affiliated land-based casinos. Once players have a funded account they can then head to the lobby, which is usually categorized into cash games, tournaments and Sit & Go’s. Some online poker sites also feature beginner tables where players are seated with other players who classify themselves as beginners, which can dramatically level the playing field for new players.
One of the most important things to do when playing online poker is to track your results and stats. Most sites provide their own tools for this, but there are a number of free and paid third-party software programs that can make the process much easier. For example, the popular PokerTracker program can automatically save, sort and recall all of your hand histories, as well as display previous statistics for players who sit down next to you at a table (known as a heads-up display or HUD). Other free or paid third-party poker software includes odds, equity and variance calculators.
Some of the best poker sites also offer rakeback, which is a percentage of the money that goes into a pot that the online poker site does not keep for themselves. These percentages can add up to a significant amount of money over time, so finding the poker site that offers the most rakeback is an excellent way to increase your profits.
Aside from the rakeback, it is important to find an online poker site with a lot of traffic. This ensures that there are always active games available to play in, gives you a better chance of finding weak opponents and acts as a tacit endorsement that the poker site is reputable. In the United States, the largest poker sites attract hundreds of thousands of players daily and are heavily promoted by media outlets such as ESPN and the WSOP. In addition, the most reputable poker sites have been audited and certified by gambling commissions to ensure that they are secure, fair and trustworthy.