How to Find the Best Online Poker Sites

Online poker takes the game from smoky bars and casinos to your desktop computer, tablet or smartphone. You can play for free or for the smallest stakes imaginable and you can win satellite entries into the biggest live tournaments in the world.

Almost all poker sites offer a sign-up bonus to entice new players. These bonuses range from an instant free $10 (easy to unlock) to massive $1,000 bonuses (harder to unlock). You should always shop around a little because some third-party sites can offer bigger bonuses or special perks like free tournament tickets.

Once you have a site in mind make sure to download their software. It should be easy to use and not place too much demand on your memory or internet connection. The software should be aesthetically pleasing as well; it’s often overlooked but a good looking and well-functioning poker client can make the experience much more enjoyable.

You’ll want to check out how many different games are available at a particular poker site. This can be a huge factor for new players because you want to have the option to play a variety of different games. Most sites will have cash games, tournaments and Sit & Go’s and they should all be easy to find in the lobby.

Another important factor to consider is the size of the player pool. A large player pool can make for a softer game and a better chance to win money. It also gives more people the opportunity to learn the game while more experienced players can try their hand at high stakes games.

The poker site should be licensed to operate in your jurisdiction and offer a secure environment. This means that your personal information and funds are safe from hackers. Some poker sites also have dedicated customer support to assist you with any issues that may arise.

A good poker site will offer a variety of banking options for deposits and withdrawals. This usually includes credit cards, pre-paid cards and e-checks. Some sites will even allow you to deposit using a wire transfer.

The best poker sites will have a number of training tools to help you improve your game. These include a hand history tracker and a HUD (heads-up display). These tools will let you know which hands are being called, raised and folded at the table and can give you insight into your own game as well as that of your opponents.

The top pros spend as much time working on their game as they do playing it. They network with other top players, attend training sites like Chip Leader Coaching or Upswing Poker and brutally analyze their game after every session. This kind of hard work is what makes the difference between a pro and an amateur.