Online poker is a global phenomenon that takes many of the same concepts and rules as traditional card games but cranks them up a notch. Players can play for free or with the smallest stakes possible, win satellite entries into some of the biggest live tournaments in the world, or even go all-in with some of the highest stakes around. The game can be played from a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device and is available to anyone with internet access.
The first step in playing poker is learning the fundamentals. Thankfully, there are plenty of online poker learning resources to help you get started. Some of these resources are geared toward beginners and include everything from detailed rulebooks to full sets of hand rankings and A-Z lists of poker terms. Others offer more advanced poker strategy such as reviews of preflop ranges and detailed post-flop strategies. The best way to determine which online poker learning resources are right for you is to decide what your current skill level is.
Most people will want to start out by focusing on the basics of the game. This will likely mean a lot of hands played, both live and online, to develop a feel for the game. As you play more hands, your intuition will become stronger, and you will start to learn the frequency of different poker hands and how to calculate EV on those hands. This information will also become ingrained in your brain over time, so that it becomes second nature to you to consider things like frequencies and EV estimation when playing poker.
One of the most important aspects of poker is reading other players. Whether you are at the local casino or your favorite home game, you need to be able to read your opponents in order to be a successful player. This means being able to detect tells and bluffs. Online poker requires a slightly different set of skills as it does not require you to read any physical tells, so you will need to monitor your opponents betting tendencies instead. If you are a beginner, the easiest way to practice these skills is by finding a home game in your area and joining.
Another important aspect of online poker is knowing the rules and regulations of your country. Some countries have strict laws regarding the online gambling industry, while others are more relaxed. Many online poker sites are not licensed to operate in certain jurisdictions, so make sure you find a site that is legal in your country before depositing any money.
As more and more states legalize poker, the landscape for online poker is changing rapidly. In 2014, Nevada and Delaware signed a multi-state agreement that allowed them to share their player pools, opening up new opportunities for all participants. New Jersey has since joined that agreement, and the prospect of legalized interstate poker is a real possibility in the future. However, it is still unclear what effect this will have on the federal Wire Act and its restrictions on online gambling.