Great Hobby, Great Way To Make Money - Online Poker.
If you have played poker in home games or at the casino, then you'll already know why it is rapidly becoming the world's most popular pastime. If you've just seen poker being played on TV or one of the numerous adverts for online poker rooms has caught your eye, then you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. The attraction of poker is that it only takes a few minutes to learn how to play, but it takes a life time to learn how to play well. Poker is a game of skill, rather than luck, and in the long run the skilled player will defeat the unskilled player in exactly the same way as a Grand Master will defeat a novice at Chess. The key to winning at poker is practice. There is simply no substitute for experience. Fortunately, all of the Reputable Poker Sites listed at this site allow you to download their software completely free of charge, and play poker for "play money" against other players from all over the world. Thousands of players never deposit any real money, they play just for fun. Others make their entire living from playing real money poker online. The best players can earn tens of thousands of dollars a week! In recent years, poker rooms have begun to offer "freeroll" tournaments that offer players the best of both worlds : you don't have to pay anything to enter the tournament, but if you do well in it you win real money - up to $2,500,000 in one case!
Poker On TV versus Poker Online
If your only experience of poker is watching games on TV then there are a couple of things you should bear in mind before playing online. The first, and most obvious thing to point out is that most of the players that you see playing on TV are professionals, or at least very competent players. A lot of the moves they make only work because they are playing against other very talented players. If you use these same moves against beginners or poor players you will find they are far less successful. Most online players are, frankly, very poor players. The key to winning online is to play only very strong hands, and to play them aggressively. You don't need to use very many advanced moves to beat online players at the lower limits. A second point is that most of the games shown on TV are tournaments, rather than cash games (or "ring games" as they are sometimes called). Poker rooms allow you to play either a tournament structure or to play cash games. The main difference is that in tournament games the "blinds" (the amount you have to pay to play) increase as time goes on. Often the TV shows have a very high blind structure, so that players are forced to make moves they wouldn't otherwise make. In addition to this, the games on TV are usually six-handed games, whereas when you play online you are likely to be facing nine other players at the same table. Short handed (3, 4, 5 or 6 in a game) games reward aggressive play and bluffs, whereas at a full table these tactics are likely to be less successful. To sum up : Poker on TV is geared towards action. But this is not the way to win online. To win online you need to be patient. Don't play weak hands and hope to get lucky. Play strong hands and play those hands aggressively. What are strong hands? Check out the hold em cheat sheet for some pointers, and be sure to read the poker articles - especially the two articles on playable hands.
Always try and remain courteous, even if you have just suffered a "bad beat". The worst thing you can do is to lose your cool and go "on tilt" - you'll just start making mistakes.
No Deposit Required To Play Poker
If you want to play online poker just for fun then the process is very straight forward : just follow the links to one of the poker rooms listed and follow the instructions given. Usually you download the software by clicking "download now" or "join here". Downloads vary, but are usually in the region of 2MB - 4MB, which will take around 10-15 minutes on a 56K modem connection. You will then see an icon for the poker room on your desktop. Double click this to start the poker client software. You will be asked to create an account, including a screen name, which is the name other players will see when you are at the table (e.g. "DemonPlayer", "PokerBabe" etc...). You do not have to give any of your bank account details or personal information to play for fun, but you will need to give your name, address, and an email address. Do not give this information out without checking the credentials of the poker room first. All of the rooms listed at this site have a policy of not disclosing any of your details to third parties. Other less scrupulous sites could pass your details on to "spammers" who will bombard you with unsolicited emails and letters. Even if you are not playing for real money, stick to Reputable Poker Sites, and if you are concerned about spam set up an email address specifically for the poker room you are joining. Once you've created a play money account, you can play poker whenever you like, completely free! You will need to be connected to the internet to play - if your internet provider is a "pay as you go" provider then internet charges can soon add up, so watch the clock. If you're using broadband or have a 24/7 dial up account then you can indulge your great hobby as much as you like without charge. Take a break every hour to avoid eye strain - and to count your pile of chips!
Playing Poker For Real Money
If you're ready to play for real money, then you need to create a real money account with the poker room. This will involve giving the room either your bank details, or the details of a money-transfer service that you have an account with. Full details of the different ways to fund a real money poker account are given in the poker deposit advice section of this guide. All of the rooms listed here have dealt with tens of thousands of financial transactions, have paid their players in full and on time, and have been operating for several years. If you are thinking of joining a room not listed here, make sure you find out as much as possible about them before you give out any financial information. Gamble on the cards, not on the poker room. Read through the other parts of this Online Gambling Survival Guide to make sure you are aware of the various pitfalls and dangers of gambling online. Remember, however, that there are now literally millions of people playing poker for real money every hour of every day. If you follow some very simple guidelines, it is perfectly safe - and a great hobby can become a great way to make money!