.. the key to success in poker is in your hands.

Choosing a site

In choosing an online poker site there are several points to consider. The first is popularity. If a site is popular then it is stable and that means that it will not disappear overnight along with your money and you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a table there. Do you want to play in tournaments or just against a few people which is known as a ring game? Does the site play the type of game that you want?

Another thing that should be looked at is the software. The graphics should be compatible with your computer and you should check out the layout of the lobby and tables to see if you are comfortable with them. Some sites are easier to use than others and provide features like the ability to make notes on your opponent’s style of play.

Customer service plays a big part in your enjoyment of a site. Does your preferred site have an efficient service department?

Many sites provide a loyalty program with various promotions, freeroll tournaments and offer a frequent player program.

All of these questions can be answered by visiting poker room review sites and finding out what other people have experienced with different online rooms.

Signing up

Once you have selected a site to join the first thing you will need is a poker room name. This can be anything but remember that sites are not happy changing names once chosen so you don’t want a name that you can’t change later on.

You will also be asked for your email address. As a rule poker rooms guard this information carefully and you will only get an email a couple of times a month with promotions, free rolls and special events. The other thing that may be of concern is giving out your real name and address which is required if you are playing for real money and this is quite logical; so if this is an issue then it might be better just to play in the non cash games.

Game types

There are two basic types of playing on line poker, one is free or with monopoly type money and the other is with real money. The dollar and cents type of money. The play money game is free and any one can play it quite easily. You are given chips at the start and if you lose them just ask for more although there is usually a limit on how many times you can do this. The real money game requires you do deposit money into your account to play with. You can play in games with a limit of ten cents rising up to $1-5 per hand.

To actually get into a game you have to either select a ring game or enter a tournament. A ring game is, as the name implies, a circle of people normally 8-10 sitting at a table. It is also known as a live table. Players can cash out or cash in whenever they feel like it or take a short break if they so desire. However a tournament requires your full time presence; although they do have scheduled breaks. In the lobby, you will find tournaments are clearly marked as such.

Once you have decided on a particular site and have signed up, remembering the sign up bonus, you are ready to start playing. It is always good to start in the free playroom first so you can learn the manner of play and get a feel for the room and your new software. It’s better to lose play money than real money in learning how it all works.