Getting Prepared to Play Real Money Online Poker

Getting prepared to play real money online poker is more than just putting on comfortable pants and getting a drink. When you take the time to prepare properly, you have the tools and ability to maximize your play time and build your bankroll.

Sort out your Budget

Regardless of if you are only wanting to play for a few relaxing hours, or you're considering trying to start playing online poker full time, you need to know how much money you have to spend. You should never deposit more money than you can afford to outright lose. Poker is by no means a guaranteed income, even for the best poker players. If you need that money to pay your rent, you should not gamble even a dollar of it. If you're hoping to play full time, there are even more budget concerns for you to consider. The most ideal course of action would be to insure you had a safety net of a few month's worth of bill money tucked in a savings account just in case. This way you can always play and not panic if you haven't won enough to cover bills for that month. There are also hidden costs of poker as a full time job. You will need to account for living expenses, and groceries as well as fun money and insurance premiums. Considering all expenses will help you have the best experience.


Now that you have figured out the amount you have to play with, now you have to deposit it. Your favorite poker site will have a number of banking options. Players should ensure there is a convenient withdrawal method as well as an easy deposit method. This ensures that not only is it simple to deposit funds, players will also be able to easily withdraw their winnings. Once players have situated their banking methods, players also need to confirm that the casino has all the information that they need to complete the account confirmation. This can be frustrating, scanning and emailing information and paperwork, however making sure that you have this all out of the way in the beginning makes withdrawals in the future quick and easy. There's not much worse than winning a huge jackpot and having to wait for all your paperwork to be confirmed before the cash is in your bank account.

Bonuses and VIPs

When you make your first deposit, your best bet is to make sure you're taking full advantage of any deposit bonuses or VIP schemes your casino offers. Make sure you have the most up to date bonus code, and double check the gambling requirements before activating it. Some codes have very strict rules. You don't want to end up not getting to keep your big win because you misused a bonus code- this is especially easy if you are at an online casino that also hosts a real money poker room. It's also a wise idea to check the rules of the VIP schemes, as they will typically offer the most information on how to earn the points that will help you clear any bonuses you receive. You will also want to know how long you have to earn the points to clear the entire bonus. Some sites will release the bonus is small increments, others only in one lump sum. Either method the site uses will have a different impact on how you view your potential bankroll. You can't play with money you don't actually have yet!


Diving into the high stakes tables with the sharks is a quick way to lose your entire bankroll. Spending time to learn the ins and outs of the game guarantees that you can build up your skill. If you're a new player, most casinos offer practice play rooms in order to try out your strategies. Reading books and websites are great informational tools, but there is nothing that can compare to actually playing real money poker. The practice rooms are playing with fake money, so many people will play much looser. The skill level of players will also vary depending on the stake level you play at. Microstake tables will typically have more fish, easier play, and looser players. The higher stake levels are where the best players prefer to play. Another thing to keep in mind is that tournament play can vary greatly from ring game play. Tournaments, especially freerolls, will have a very wide range of skill levels.

Are you prepared?

Once you've organized your budget, filled out all the paperwork, confirmed your deposit and withdrawal options and are confident of your skills, then it is time to play. Get your comfortable chair and a drink. Minimize distractions like the phone, and have fun!