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Understanding the sites

If you've played live poker before, online poker operates in a similar manner, though there are some etiquette rules that differ from the live game. Also, there are some areas you might find slightly different, so it's important that you cover the basics of what you need to do. The websites will offer both play money and real money games. With play money you get a certain amount of chips and you can always ask for more if you need them. However, if you are playing for real money then you need to deposit cash with the online poker site and play with your own money. You'll need to spend more if you run out of chips. Now that you have decided on your betting type, let's look at what your options are when playing.

You can choose to either play a ring game or a tournament. A ring game is just another name for a standard game of online poker that's not part of a tournament. These games occur over a single table and any player can sit down at any point. You can buy chips, play poker and then cash out whenever suits you. You should know that people can come and go as they please. On online poker sites you'll normally see the ring games and the tournaments grouped separately so that they're easy to find.

However, if you decide to play in an online poker tournament, you can't just cash out whenever you feel like it. You will need to wait until the tournament has finished and then the winnings will be distributed in accordance to how everyone has placed.

After you have decided which type of game you want to play, you'll need to know how to use the lobby at your online poker venue. This will show you which tables are active and which tables are full. It will usually have statistics available on the stakes, the number of players already seated, and which version of poker is being played. You will want to choose a table that has:

1- An available seat
2- Your version of poker
3- Your type of play - play money or real money
4- Your preferred game type - ring game or tournament
5- The stakes that you're willing to play with

If you find that your game of choice is already full with players, you can put yourself on a wait list, which means as soon as a new game starts or a seat becomes available you will be alerted that you can join the table. When you enter the table, you have to click "sit down" in order to join. Later, when you decide you want to leave, you can click the leave or stand up button (the buttons vary between each online poker place).

The dealer will usually ask you how many chips you want (which is your choice). However, you should know that if you ask for more chips in the middle of a hand you'll have to wait until that round is complete before they will be issued.

You will then be dealt your cards alongside the other players. Your cards will appear face up only to you, and everyone else's cards will appear facedown so that you can't see what they are. And that's it. You're ready to play online poker as you normally would!

It can be a lot of fun to play online poker and you can find a very welcoming community. You will soon find that some sites cater to more amateur players and others to professional level players. If you are inexperienced then join the play money games to get yourself oriented before you move up to the bigger online poker games and tournaments.

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