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How to Play Online Poker

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When poker players log into an online poker room they will usually be asked to provide personal information including a bank account number and a deposit method. A virtual balance is created and money that you lose is deducted from your account while any winnings are added. Then you can play poker for real money against people from all over the world.

Online poker is a very competitive business and to attract new players to the site a variety of bonus offers are available. The most common is a sign up bonus which can range from 20 percent up to 100 percent of the first deposit. These bonuses are often tied to a play through requirement which means that you have to bet a certain amount of hands before the bonus becomes available for withdrawal.

The rules of poker are the same whether you play live or online but the game has a different learning curve. Online poker requires a more precise set of skills because you can’t read physical tells from your opponents. Instead you need to be able to size up your opponent by their betting patterns and habits.

Another big difference is the speed at which hands are dealt online. It is not unusual for players to be dealt several hands in a row, especially at the fast-fold tables of turbo Sit ‘n Go’s and speedy cash games. It can be hard to focus on the hand you are playing and you should try to limit the number of tables you play at once.

One of the most important aspects of online poker is controlling your emotions. It can be very tempting to chase a good hand when you are down but this will only lead to more losses. It’s also important to understand that variance exists and even the best players will suffer some bad beats from time to time.

It’s always best to stick with a strong starting hand when you are in early position at the table. This is because there are more players in the pot when you’re at that seat. It’s a good idea to avoid playing weak hands such as AQs, AJs, ATs and KQs in that position because you can easily get called by a better hand.

When you are making your way up the stakes in online poker it’s important to be patient and not to rush things. If you start to run bad over a small sample it’s important to drop back down a level or two and grind it out for a while before trying again. Eventually you will be rewarded for your patience and you’ll be able to make the move up again. This is the only way to build a bankroll for high-stakes online poker. It’s not for everyone but if you have the right attitude and bankroll management strategy it can be very profitable.