How to Play Online Poker

If you’re here, you’re ready to start playing online poker. Playing poker in the casinos or with friends is fun, but the number of games are limited and some of you have to drive for hours just to play.

That’s the great thing about online poker. You can log in from anywhere and play poker 24/7 with players from around the world.

We’ve got your attention now, don’t we? Setting up and funding your online poker account is quick and easy, and by following the tips below you can get started in just a few minutes.


Signing Up for Your Account

The first step is signing up for your online poker account.

Most sites will let you sign up for a free account on their website without having to download their software. When signing up, make sure you use a legal address and phone number. Entering fraudulent information can result in an online poker site refusing to pay you when you win.

After agreeing to the terms and conditions of the website, just click on the Register or Open Account button, and you’re the proud new owner of an online poker account.


Downloading and Installing the Software

Now that you’ve registered for an account, it’s time to install the poker or casino client to your computer. To download the poker client, find a download link on the poker homepage. Click it to begin downloading the poker client.

Online poker clients are compatible with most current PC and Mac computers. For those on older systems, you will need to be running at least Windows 7 or Mac OS X 10.7 (64 bit). Some clients will even allow you to download a mobile version of their software or play from your device browser.

After downloading the poker client, click on the file to begin the installation process. The file will take care of the installation for you and everything should finish in a couple of minutes.

Once the installation is complete, the program should start automatically. If not, you can launch it from your desktop or programs menu.


Making Your First Deposit

Before you hit the felt, you’ve got to make your first real money poker deposit. This can be done in one of two ways.

The first way is via the poker room website. Just log in with the new account you just created and access your player profile. From there you should find an option to access the online poker room’s Cashier or there may be a Deposit button.

Your other option is to log in the poker client and go to the Cashier page. From there you can make your first deposit.

Your options for making a deposit will vary depending on the poker room. The majority of sites accept credit card deposits  and bitcoin.

For those unfamiliar with bitcoin, it’s a cryptocurrency that allows you to make deposits online for free or for very small fees.

Regardless of which method you use, you must then select how much to put in your online poker account. Some sites will let you deposit as little as $10, but the average minimum deposit is $25. We recommend that you deposit somewhere between $25 and $50 to give yourself enough room to play.

After selecting your deposit amount, you can then enter yourbonus code. Online poker bonus codes give you a variety of perks for playing. These benefits range from cash bonuses to online poker tournament tickets and more.

If you don’t already have a poker bonus code, we can hook you up. After finding the offer that appeals to you, enter the code to enjoy the rewards that come with your first deposit.

After you enter your bonus code, just click on the Submit or Deposit button and once confirmed, your online poker account is funded and you’re ready to play.


Selecting a Game

Now that you’ve set up the software and funded your account, you’re ready to play online poker. The next step is deciding which game you want to play. Online poker rooms offer a wide variety of cash games and tournaments in different variants of poker.

Here’s what you can expect to play on most online poker sites:

  • Texas Hold’em (Fixed Limit, Pot-Limit and No-Limit)
  • Omaha (Fixed Limit and Pot-Limit)
  • Omaha Hi-Lo (Fixed Limit and Pot-Limit)
  • Seven Card Stud and Stud Hi-Lo (Fixed Limit)


Upon launching your poker client, you’ll be taken to the poker lobby where you can select a type of game. Here are the most common ones.

  • Cash Games – The standard poker game where you buy-in for a set amount and play as long as you wish.
  • Sit & Go Tournaments – Small tournaments usually ranging from 2 to 27 players that begin as soon as the max number of players has been reached. These tournaments play to a winner.
  • Scheduled Tournaments – These are normal tournaments that you see all around the world and on television. They have a set start time and play until a winner is determined.


Now that you know what’s available, it’s time to get in the game. First, select the type of game you want to play. We’ll use Cash Games as the first example.

Select the Cash Games option and you will be given further options to customize your game. You typically can select the Game Type, stakes and Table Size (2, 4, 6, 8 and even 9 players.)

Next, you’ll want to select how much you want to play with. Most cash games require a starting stack between 30 and 100 big blinds. You can start with the minimum, maximum or a custom amount between the two.

Finally, click on Take My Seat, and you can start playing.

The process is similar for the other options, although for the tournament options, you have additional filters for “Tournament Type” and “Buy-In.” This will allow you to customize the listing. For example, if you want to only play in regular Texas Hold’em tournaments with a low buy-in, select those options and only those tournaments will appear.

Once you’ve selected your filters, double-click on a tournament you wish to play and this will take you to the tournament lobby. From here you can click on the Register button to enter the tournament. It will ask you to confirm your selection and after doing so, you will be entered into the tournament.

If the tournament hasn’t started yet, you can just continue playing other games. Once the tournament begins, you will be taken automatically to your seat.

Now Your Journey REALLY Begins

Signing up for online poker and getting into the game is just one step into starting a successful online poker venture. Whether you want to play recreationally or you have dreams of becoming the next Joe Hachem, you have a long journey ahead of you.

If you haven’t already signed up for an account, we suggest checking out Ignition Poker. They have a solid client with great offers, and accept players from all around the world.

If you’re new to poker, check out the rest of our site for tips and tricks to improve your online poker game. For those of you with some poker experience, check out our sections on poker tools and other online poker essentials that will help you to become a better player.

Online poker is enjoyed by players from around the world and many have gone on to use online poker to make their dreams come true. While we can’t guarantee that you will one day win the World Series of Poker, we can get you started on playing online poker the right way and hopefully help you win a few bucks in the process. Good luck at the tables.