Online poker is a card game played over the internet from your computer, smartphone or tablet. It offers a variety of games and tournaments, with players competing against other real people. Whether you’re a fan of Texas Hold’em, Omaha or Seven-Card Stud, you can play the game with real money at any number of legit poker websites.
The COVID-19 pandemic drove many recreational and professional players who normally prefer live casinos to online platforms. This has boosted traffic on online poker sites significantly, with some operators reporting double or even triple their normal volume during the pandemic.
Legit online poker rooms operate just like any other business, with players depositing funds via a number of different methods. Cards, e-wallets and Bitcoin are common deposits options at regulated US online poker sites. Most sites also accept bank wires.
Once a player has made a deposit, their account balance appears instantly on the screen. This allows them to begin playing for real money and winning real cash. In addition, players can withdraw their winnings at any time with a simple request.
Online poker sites make their money by taking a small percentage of each pot. This is called rake, and it helps fund the game’s prize pools, and the best online poker sites often return some of this rake to players in the form of bonus points. We look for the best rakeback poker sites that give back as much of this money to players as possible when compiling our rankings.
Most players would agree that the best online poker sites have a good selection of different games, offering more than just the most popular options like no-limit Hold’em. We also look for sites that offer more obscure games like 2-7 Lowball, Razz and Badugi, which help to provide some diversity in the types of hands you can play.
While the rules of poker are the same online and in live games, the game requires a slightly different set of skills when played online. This is because it’s not possible to read physical tells from your opponents, so online players need to use a more nuanced approach when sizing up their opponents.
Another crucial element of the best online poker sites is their security features. We looked for poker sites that used SSL encryption to protect player data and used a trusted third-party auditing firm to verify their security measures. We also considered how easy it was to sign up for a new account with the poker site, how easy it was to deposit and withdraw funds, and the customer support options available.
Lastly, we evaluated the reputation of the poker site amongst the poker community. The poker world is a small one, and word soon spreads if a poker site isn’t trustworthy. That’s why we only included poker sites with a positive reputation in the industry. We also took into consideration the range of deposit and withdrawal options, as this is an important factor when selecting a site for poker.