Poker is a game of skill over the long run and, for those who are willing to put in the time and study, it can be one of the most profitable online games available. The top pros spend as much time studying the game as they do playing it and have a solid bankroll management strategy in place. The best way to succeed in online poker is to play at a level that fits your bankroll and start by playing low stakes to get accustomed to the games and interface.
If you’re new to the game, try playing for free first at a reputable poker site. This will help you acclimate to the games, interface and tournament formats without risking any real money. It’s also a great way to test out different strategies and see what works for you.
When you’re ready to make the jump to real money, check out our list of recommended poker sites for US players. They’re trusted, offer a great variety of games and tournaments and have high traffic levels so you can practice your skills against real opponents.
The first thing you need to realize when playing poker online is that the hands come at you faster than they do live. There’s no downtime waiting for a hand to be shuffled or dealt, and no chatter or raucous laughter at the table to distract you from making decisions. The pace can be a bit overwhelming at first, but once you get used to it the speed will make your decision-making more effective.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it takes longer to read the tells of your opponents when you’re playing online. There are no facial expressions or body language to clue you in on their feelings about the current hand, but learning how to interpret virtual tells will help you improve your decision-making and make you a better player overall.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that you’ll probably lose money at times when playing poker online. Even if you’re a skilled player, losing a few hands in a row is perfectly normal and nothing to be ashamed of. Don’t take these losses personally and just drop down a level for a little while, grind it back up and try again. This is how winning poker players view their losses – as an opportunity to learn and move up the next level. This is the only way to build a solid poker bankroll over the long term.