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How to Play Online Poker

Poker has long been a game that’s enjoyed in bars and casinos, but online poker takes it to a whole new level. It allows players to play for a fraction of the cost, compete for satellite entry into major live tournaments around the world and is available from almost any device with an internet connection. The game is played behind firewalls, computers and servers and requires a lot of trust from players who put their real names, addresses and bank accounts on the line.

This is why it’s so important to choose a site that you know you can trust. The best poker sites are licensed by reputable gaming commissions and use top-of-the-line encryption methods to protect your information. They also have strict policies in place to prevent money laundering, a major problem that plagues many other online gambling sites.

The most common way to fund your poker account is via a credit card or e-wallet. These options are generally the most secure and easiest to use. But you should also look for a poker site that accepts other transaction types like checks and money orders, electronic banking apps such as Zelle or Payz, and player-to-player transfers. Limits on these options are typically lower than those of credit cards and e-wallets and can take two weeks or more to clear, but they can still be an option for those who want to make a large deposit or have no access to a credit card.

Another thing to keep in mind when choosing a poker site is that they may require personal details such as your name, address and social security number to verify your identity. This is standard procedure and helps protect you against fraud and phishing scams. You should always check the poker site’s terms and conditions for more information on this and any other relevant details.

After you’ve chosen a poker site, the next step is to sign up for an account. The process is simple and similar to signing up for any other online service. You’ll need to create a username and password, fill out some basic personal details and provide a proof of identity such as a driver’s license or passport. Once you’ve verified your identity, you can deposit and withdraw cash to and from your account.

Poker sites make their money by taking a small percentage of each pot, or rake. Some sites return a portion of this to their players, which is known as rakeback. The more rakeback a poker site offers, the higher it ranks in our rankings. In addition to rakeback, the best poker sites have an easy-to-use software interface and games that are fun to play on both desktop and mobile devices. They also offer a variety of tournaments and cash games to suit the needs of all skill levels.