How to Play Online Poker

Online poker is a hugely popular game that rewards actual skill, unlike slots or the lottery. It is fun, social and offers the potential to win real money. In addition, players can log on at any time and play for as long as they like, at any stakes from the comfort of their own home.

There are dozens of variations on the game, each with its own nuances but they all share the same basic principles. It is best to learn one game, such as Texas hold’em or Omaha before attempting others. Once you have mastered these, it is fairly easy to transfer the knowledge to other games.

Many poker sites offer software programs that help you improve your game. These include hand databases that save, sort and recall all your hands. They also allow you to scan active tables for known players and display previous statistics from hands with them next to their name (known as a heads up display or HUD). There are also odds, equity and variance calculators available.

It is important to track your poker results online, particularly your wins and losses. Most poker websites provide this information, and it’s worth looking at these stats after every session. Using these data can help you make better decisions about which games to play and how much to bet. It’s also a good idea to invest in some quality poker books such as Harrington on Hold’em, Theory of Poker and Super/System.