How to Play Online Poker – The Professor’s 5 Step Guide
So you’ve been watching poker on the TV recently, and all your friends are talking about playing poker on the internet. You decide that you want to give it a go but haven’t a clue where to start?
Well, we’ve got your back. In this short 5 step guide I am going to take you through the stages involved in getting you started playing internet poker, and not only that but playing it well. By the end you will have all the information on what you need to know and where to start, so you can take your first steps into the world of Online Poker.
Step 1 – Choosing an Online Poker Site
The increase in popularity of Online Poker has meant that there are now hundreds of internet poker sites to choose from, and all of them are fighting for your business.
So your first job is to decide which one to pick. You should be careful in your choice, and stick with operators who are established, not only for security reasons, but also for many other factors such as player traffic, customer service, bonuses and more.
To help you out in your choice, you should read our poker site reviews, where the Professor has written a series of straight talking reviews including some of the most established sites.
You will find all the data you need, plus if you don’t want to go into the full depth review a simplified summary of the hits and misses of each poker room and an overall score out of 100.
Step 2 – Downloading the Software
Once you have browsed through the poker room reviews and decided which site you want to try then the next step is to download the free poker room software and get started.
Each review has download buttons and it’s as simple as clicking on the link and we’ll take you straight to the page where the download for that particular poker rooms software will be presented to you. No searching required and more importantly no fake, illegal or virus infested software that you might accidentally stumble upon by any other route.
As long as you stick to the links on Poker Professor, there is nothing to really worry about with these software downloads. We only include poker rooms in our reviews section that are well established, well regulated and with a proven track record. You can also be sure that the software will be safe, virus and malware free and free to download.
Once you have the download, then click on it to start the installation and follow the straight forward instructions on screen to install on your computer.
Step 3 – Setting up your Online Persona
The next step once you have downloaded and installed your chosen site’s software is to create a player account.
This is as simple as filling out a short form which will register a few contact details with the operator and setup a username and password to protect your account and for you to log in with.
When deciding on your username you shouldn’t use your real name for privacy reasons. You can choose any alias or nickname that you want to be known by, and this will be the name all the other players see when you sit down at the table.
Once you have your account registered then it’s time to get used to the software. You can do this by playing on the ‘play money’ tables. These tables do not use real money, but instead give you a chance to get used to the layout of the software and how to use it before you start to gamble with your money.
You will be given an allocation of ‘play chips’ which you will be able to sit down at any of the ‘play money’ tables and practise with at no risk to your bankroll. Don’t worry if you lose them all, there will usually be a button in the cashier screen which allows you to replenish your play money stack.
Play money tables are usually very frantic and not really like real poker at all, so don’t get too comfortable there. Allow yourself 30 minutes or so to get used to where all the buttons and controls are that you need and then move onto the next step.
Step 4 – Playing with ‘Real Money’
Once you have played with ‘play money’ and have a good feel for the site and are confident in how to use the software, then it’s time to get involved in the real action.
You will need to make a deposit into your player account that you have just setup. To do this click on the ‘Cashier’ option. Each operator will provide information on what methods of deposit they accept, but the most common is by a credit card, or an online eWallet such as Neteller.
It’s up to you how much you deposit, but all sites will offer you a bonus on your first deposit where they will match it in the form of a ‘clear-able’ bonus up to a maximum amount. This is essentially free money, so for example with a 100% bonus if you deposit $30 you would get another $30 bonus. The more you deposit now, the more the clear-able bonus will be.
You will have to earn this bonus, by playing a certain number of hands at the poker site first, but free money is great news!
Once you have made your first deposit, you can head off and select a real money table. You probably want to start at the small stakes Texas Holdem tables to start off with and move onto higher stakes as you feel you want to.
Step 5 – Learning to make a profit with Online Poker
Now you have made your first steps into Online Poker, you want to make sure that you can stick around, and that you don’t just lose your entire bankroll very quickly.
This is what the Poker Professor community is all about, and there are a number of resources that you can use to help you become a winning poker player.
You should start off in our Poker University where you will find free courses teaching you everything from the basics of how to play poker and a guide to what hand beats what, to more advanced courses on how to develop a winning poker strategy and how to win consistently at Sit and Go Tournaments.
On top of this is our Bitesize Poker Strategy section which looks at more specific topics to improve your game in easy to read chunks.
Finally our Poker Questions & Answers section is there for you to post up your poker problems and have our staff or other members of the community give you advice or an alternative view on things, all in a friendly and non intimidating environment.
Hopefully those simple 5 steps have helped you get started with online poker.
If you still have any questions then ask them in our Q&A section – one of our staff team or the other members of the Poker Professor community will be pleased to help.
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