Online poker is an exciting, fun and easy to learn game that allows players to play from the comfort of their own homes or on the go. It is one of the oldest gambling games in the world, but it has risen in popularity in recent years due to its simplicity and low-risk nature.
The first real money poker game was played in January 1998. The game, which was originally played in IRC and chat rooms, has since evolved into a serious game with sophisticated technology and a vast array of options. Unlike traditional casinos, most online poker sites allow multiple tables to be accessed at the same time. This helps level the playing field for new players. Most are also able to accommodate players from outside of the U.S. This means that people from around the world can participate in the same games as American players.
Most online poker sites offer bonuses and promotions to attract players. They will usually match the first deposit you make up to a certain amount. Some sites will even provide you with freeroll tournament entries. These are ideal for less wealthy clients. Often, the bonuses are released based on the number of frequent player points you accumulate.
The best way to determine which of the many sign up offers is for you is to shop around. Most sites offer an instant $10 bonus, though bigger bonuses can be found at third party sites. Typically, you will need to download poker software and create an account before you can begin playing. Some sites even offer mobile applications for iPhone and Android devices. Most of these sites are reputable and will provide a secure, virus-free environment.
You can also try out different poker sites to see which has the best sign up offer. Some sites will require you to play a few hands of poker in order to qualify for a bonus. A few will allow you to show your hand before folding. Other sites will require you to send in additional documents to verify your identity.
You should also check out any special offers or perks offered by the site you choose. You might want to start with a lower-limit cash game to test your abilities. This gives you an idea of how good you are at the game and will help you increase your limit in the future. It is also a good idea to read reviews from other poker players before making a decision.
The poker software used for online play also saves hand histories and displays information about previous statistics for known players. You can use the software to track the odds of a hand or the amount of equity a given hand has.
Some online poker sites also offer other free bonuses. These may include a series of poker freerolls or a chance to win real money in the form of a raffle. The latter, however, is not something you should expect to get every time you log on.