Online poker takes the classic casino card game and cranks it up a notch. Whether you want to play for fun, for the smallest stakes imaginable (literally pennies) or for satellite entries into some of the world’s most amazing live tournaments around the globe – it’s all possible on any computer, smartphone or tablet with an Internet connection.
One of the great things about online poker is that it’s accessible to players from all over the world, no matter what time it is in their home countries. All you need is a decent Internet connection and a computer or smartphone with a web browser to join in. Then you can enjoy the thrill of playing poker at any time of day or night from the comfort of your own home or office.
Many different software applications are available to help players improve their online poker skills. These include hand database programs that save, sort and recall all of your played hands. They can even scan active tables for known players and display previous statistics from hands with those players next to their name (known as a heads up display or HUD). Some software also offers odds, equity and variance calculators.
A good poker player is constantly looking for tells from their opponents. These can be a physical action or change in demeanor that indicates how strong or weak their cards are. Online poker also gives players the ability to multi-table, which is a great way to maximise your potential winnings. However, players should remember that multi-tabling is not advisable for beginners.
Licensed poker sites are highly regulated by state gambling authorities and regulated financial bodies to ensure that games are fair, transactions are secure and that players’ account funds and personal information are protected. They are also monitored to ensure that they adhere to basic consumer safeguards and to prevent the formation of rogue casinos that operate without any protection for players.
There are currently only a handful of stand-alone online poker sites that have a detectable level of traffic, but most major operators are part of one or more of the larger poker networks. These networks have a huge amount of player traffic and offer a wide variety of poker variants, tournament formats, bonuses and rewards for regular players.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a massive increase in the number of people playing poker online, with some operators reporting that their normal player volume has doubled or even tripled during this period. This has been attributed to the fact that so many casinos and other live gaming venues have been forced to close during the crisis, with both professional and recreational players switching to online platforms as a result. This has boosted online poker traffic significantly and will continue to do so for some time to come. In addition, online poker sites have benefited from the fact that the increased volume has brought in more recreational players who normally prefer to play live.