How to Play Online Poker

Online poker is a game of cards where players wager money for the chance to win a prize. It is a fast-paced game that requires good reflexes, and is usually played with other people in real time. Some people play poker for fun, while others compete to make a living. Some play in casinos and other public venues, but most of the world’s poker is played on the Internet.

To play poker online, you must have a computer or mobile device with an Internet connection. Then, visit a reputable site and create an account. The sign-up process is quick and easy, though some sites may require you to provide documents like a government-issued ID or utility bill to verify your identity. This is a standard practice that helps protect your personal information and ensures that you are who you say you are.

The best online poker sites offer a variety of games and tournaments with varying buy-ins. They also offer high liquidity and generous guaranteed prize pools. They also have strict regulation, so you can rest assured that your money and privacy are safe. However, you should avoid poker sites that don’t have basic consumer safeguards and regulations in place.

A major drawback of poker online is that you cannot read other players in the same way as when playing live. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on how you approach the game. Nevertheless, it’s important to learn how to read your opponents and develop quick instincts.