Real money online poker has taken the world by storm and is available in most countries and states where gambling is legal. The United States has segregated the market but there are a number of licenced sites including Americas Cardroom, part of the Winning Poker Network which sponsors famous players such as Chris Moneymaker. They offer a unique sweepstakes and virtual currency model which allows US players to play for prizes that can be converted into USD or other currencies. You can use standard credit cards and popular e-wallets to deposit funds and most online poker rooms will also accept Bitcoin.
The first step in playing online poker for money is to register an account. This can be done by clicking on the link to the poker site you want to join and completing the registration process which usually requires a nickname, email address and verification of your identity. Once you’ve completed the registration process you can add funds to your account by visiting the cashier section of the poker site. You can find this in the menu bar on the homepage or by searching for “cashier” from within the poker client.
Most of the best poker sites for real money will have a wide variety of fast banking options. This makes it easy to fund your account and make withdrawals when you win. Before you start playing you should also check the licensing of the poker site. This is a key requirement and ensures that the poker site is independently regulated.
Once you have a bankroll you can then select the poker games that are right for your budget and experience level. For beginners I would recommend starting at low stakes full ring cash games. These are much easier to play than live casinos as there are many more fish in the pool and you can quickly build a winning poker strategy.
You can also start by joining a tournament. This is a great way to learn the game, meet new people and get some serious bankroll boosts. Many of the top online poker sites run weekly tournaments with big guarantees for the winners. There are even satellites for big events like the NJ SCOOP or the World Series of Poker.
Using real money to play poker online is a fun and rewarding experience that forces you to think strategically about each hand. Unlike playing with play money, where you just see the flop and try to hit every hand, when you’re dealing with actual cash, you need to play the best hands, learn the math of odds and equity and exploit your opponents weaknesses. This is why it’s so important to have a good free poker HUD and to understand how to read the table.
The main benefit of playing poker with real money is that it gives you a sense of motivation to win. It also forces you to think about the game and your bankroll more, making it a better learning experience than simply playing for play money.