Getting Started With a Poker Site

When it comes to getting started playing real money online poker it can be a little overwhelming. There are so many different poker rooms, with all their own benefits. But once you've read reviews, chosen the poker site you want to play at, how do you get started?

Do your Research

While it's wise to read reviews before joining to get a feel for the site, you likely don't want to download every single site's software you are considering using. Once you've chosen a site, download and install the software, and create an account. The next thing you want to do is poke around. Read through the FAQs, and if there is a forum you may even want to check that out. You want to be very familiar with the software before you deposit. A horribly designed software can be the breaking point, and you want to know if they really do offer everything that you want before you tie yourself down.

Make sure to check out their tournament offerings, as well as the current tables. It's a good idea to check it out during peak hours and during your favourite time to play, if that varies from the peak hours. Reviews are always a great way to get the feel for a poker room, but every player has different preferences and should always check for themselves their enjoyment.


Players should have checked to make sure that there was a convenient deposit option before downloading the poker site's software, but if you haven't, now is the time to check. If you're using a new payment processor, make sure to read reviews and read all the available information when you set up your account. If you're having trouble, customer service should be able to answer any questions.

Depositing can at times take a few days to clear, so players should be sure to use any deposit bonuses available. This is one of the greatest reasons to use online poker sites, and offer players the best value for their dollar. However, when you're getting started there are typically first deposit bonuses available that are larger than typical reload bonus. Make sure you're getting the best bonus, and check the fine print. At poker only sites the fine print is typically less exacting than the larger casino sites. On these sites players should take extra care to make sure their favourite games will qualify to clear the bonus, as casino sites will have bonuses that cater specifically to their slots or even bingo sections.

Navigating the Software

Game software developers strive to make their software as easy to use as possible. There are a only a few very well known software providers who created the software for many of the biggest poker sites. All of these sites make a point to make the lobby easy to navigate, with statistics and features to make play easy, comfortable and convenient no matter which software provider they use.

Most sites have customization options, and players are encouraged to take advantage of this. They can range from disabling game sounds, resizing tables, the ability to multi table, and even more. Player notes allow you to keep track of players. You can mark the players who are particularly bad, or if you come across someone who is very skilled, you may want to make a note to be wary of them. The serious poker players will use the hand history statistics to improve their game.

Time to Play

When it comes down to getting started playing poker online, the most important thing is to play. Some sites will gain popularity for being notoriously easy, with lots of beginners and 'fish'. This without fail will draw the serious grinders, players looking to profit on the poor quality of players. The only way to know is to play, and get an idea of the type of players. Even then, play will vary between ring games, tournaments, and even freerolls.

When first starting out at a poker site you probably don't want to jump right into the high dollar tables. Get a feel for the population. Some poker sites will offer brand new player tournaments, which is a great way for players to build up their bankroll with a minimum investment. If you want to get the feel of a site's playability before depositing, more and more poker sites are offering a practice play option. This is very popular with new players who want to practice their strategy before jumping in to the real money games.