Reasons why now is a great time to get into online poker

There are many reasons why right now could be considered one of the best periods in the history of online poker. Here, I’ll highlight five major developments that have led us to this point, plus provide some suggestions on how you can take advantage of the current state of affairs. 

Before we get into the main body, it’s important to stress that, generally speaking, this is an excellent time to learn the game and play at trusted online poker sites. As we’ll explore, there have been fundamental changes within the industry over recent years, all of which have combined to make poker more accessible, fun, fair, and rewarding than ever before.

Easy Accessibility 

Let’s start with accessibility - or should that be inaccessibility? For many years, gaining access to online poker sites was straightforward. All you had to do was download software, install it, create an account, and voila! You were in. 

However, as part of responsible gaming initiatives, regulations have been put in place to protect players. These days, online poker sites carry out identity checks during the registration process to ensure customers are who they say they are.

At first glance, longer forms to fill in and stricter ID requirements might seem like a pain. However, increased security measures are positive developments because they keep your money safe while deterring underage gambling and problem gamblers. 

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What’s more, identity verification processes are quicker than ever before. Most reputable sites accept eWallets and credit cards, meaning it’s possible to set up an account and validate your ID in a matter of minutes. And if you experience any issues, customer support teams are on hand to help. 

How to Set Up an Account and Start Playing

  • Head to the poker site of your choice.
  • Click the “sign up” or “register” button.
  • Select a username and password.
  • Enter your email address.
  • Provide details of your full name, date of birth, full home address, and phone number.
  • Upload copies of your photo ID and another document that proves your address, such as a bank statement or utility bill.
  • Make your first deposit using a secure payment method (if you want to play for real money).
  • Complete the verification process by calling or messaging the poker site’s customer support team and providing identifying information, such as the address on your driver’s license.

Remember: It’s crucial to ensure that the site you sign up for holds a valid gambling license and uses SSL encryption to protect your personal and financial data. If you need help finding safe and legal poker sites, check out our . 

Advantages of Easy Accessibility

  • Extra security and safety measures protect your bankroll.
  • Shorter-term and long-term protection for problem gamblers and underage players.
  • Quick and easy account opening procedures.
  • Peace of mind knowing that the site you’re playing on is regulated and legally operating within local laws and regulations.

Tips for Setting Up an Online Poker Account

  • Only join poker sites that hold a valid gambling license.
  • Ensure the poker site you’re joining uses SSL encryption protocols.
  • Take advantage of welcome bonuses and other to boost your bankroll from the very beginning.

Variety of Games 

If you learned about poker through TV shows and movies, you may think that the only variant worth playing is Texas Hold’em. After all, this is the version of the game that gets all the airtime, isn’t it? Well, yes and no. While Hold’em tournaments and cash games feature heavily in televised events, it’s not the most popular form of poker in the world. That crown falls to a different variant - . 

Why is 9-Game so popular among high-stakes pros? Well, the answer is simple - it exposes players to a range of disciplines, including Drawm, Razz, Stud, 2-7 Triple Draw, No-Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha, 2-8 Triple Draw, Big 2, and Simon Say. By learning how to play these games, both theoretically and practically, professionals develop a well-rounded skillset that allows them to adapt to any situation. 

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Obviously, not everyone wants to become a world-beater. Some people just want to have fun and test their skills against others. In this case, having access to a variety of games is still beneficial because it means you can find tables that suit your style, budget and mood. For example, if you’ve had a tough day at work and just want to chill, you can play fixed-limit variations such as Limit Hold’em or Stud. But if you’re pumped up and ready to go, no-limit games such as PLO or Hold’em could be more suitable. 

Another great thing about today’s online poker environment is the variety of formats. Alongside cash games and tournaments, you can also play fast-fold variants, lottery-style SNGs, and satellite qualifiers. Each of these structures has its own pros and cons. So, by keeping your options open, you give yourself plenty of opportunities to earn rewards and stay entertained. 

Advantages of the Variety of Games

  • Access to a wide range of variants helps you develop well-rounded skills.
  • The ability to adapt what you’ve learned in other games to Hold’em can give you an edge.
  • You can choose from various blind levels and buy-in ranges to find cash games that match your style/budget.
  • Tournament structures to suit every player - from hyper turbo to deepstack.
  • Fast-fold poker and lottery SNGs offer different ways to win.

Tips for Trying New Games

  • and take notes on what you’ve learned.
  • to build up your confidence and learn unwritten rules.
  • to see how the rules differ between variants.
  • to see how the rules differ between variants.
  • Jump in the deep end by playing for real money. 
  • At first, play at the lowest limits to build up your experience and avoid big swings.
  • Use tracking apps to record your results and identify areas for improvement.
  • Be patient and persistent. Learning a new poker variant takes time.
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Utilizing Tools and Resources

When Robert Wolf and Matt Hawrilenka won the WSOP Main Event in 2001 and 2002, respectively, they used poker tracking software to help them prepare for the challenge. At the time, few people had accessed this type of tool, let alone heard of either player. However, since then, hundreds of thousands of people have used poker apps to improve their understanding of the game. 

These days, tracking tools are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to resources and training materials. Online poker sites produce loads of , including beginner guides, strategy articles, video tutorials, webinars, podcasts, and community forums. What’s more, you can find poker books, coaching videos, and training sites created by top pros. In fact, there’s so much content available that it can be overwhelming at times. 

One of the best things about living in the digital age is the ability to learn anything you want at any time. Want to know how to perform a particular maneuver in a game of poker? Just search for a strategy guide and read it. Need help working out pot odds? or a poker calculator to get instant answers. 

Another wonderful aspect of the current state of affairs is the level of customization offered by tracking tools. When Wolf and Hawrilenka used poker software, all they could do was generate reports and export hands to analyze later. These days, you can use tools such as to track your results, dissect your play, and even analyze your opponents. On top of that, you can export hands to , watch instructional videos inside the client, and receive pop-up zones that show you detailed stats about your opponents and how they play. 

Advantages of Using Tools and Resources

  • Hand analysis tools allow you to review previous sessions and find areas for improvement.
  • Beginners guides, tutorials, and webinars provide free foundational knowledge.
  • Strategies guides for advanced players help you master specific aspects of the game.
  • Calculation tools help you work out expected value in real-time.
  • Personalized poker tracking software provides insights into your strengths, weaknesses, tendencies, and opponent's tendencies.
  • Watch twitch streams to see how pro players think through hands in real time.

Tips for Making the Most of Online Poker Tools

  • Use beginner guides and tutorials to build a strong foundation of poker knowledge.
  • Study strategy guides to improve specific aspects of your game, such as bluffing or bubble strategies.
  • Download a poker tracking app as soon as you create your account.
  • Install a poker HUD once you’ve accumulated 10,000+ hands.
  • Get a poker calculator to quickly calculate potential wins, losses, and pot odds.
  • Check out community forums to ask questions and pick up tips from other players.
  • Read expert blogs and watch training videos to expand your horizons.

Community Spirit 

One concern that many new players have is what happens when they have a question or run into a problem? Fortunately, the online community is incredibly helpful and supportive. There are official customer support teams employed by each poker site. But there are also unofficial communities filled with passionate players who love nothing more than helping beginners. 

For general queries, it’s always best to start by checking out the FAQ section on your chosen poker site. Chances are someone else has asked your question before, and an answer will be readily available. If you can’t find the info you need, try sending an email or using the live chat function. During our , we found that most sites offer 24/7 customer support services. 

If you have a strategic question, community forums are fantastic places to find answers. Not only can you post a query and wait for someone to respond, but you can also browse pre-existing threads to see if anyone’s asked something similar before. Another benefit of online poker forums is that you can engage in debates, share your thoughts, and learn about different perspectives. 

Finally, if you want to watch some poker, there are plenty of options at your disposal. As we mentioned earlier, TV coverage tends to focus on Texas Hold’em. However, this doesn’t reflect the true landscape of the game. Sure, Hold’em is extremely popular, but variants such as Razz, Stud, and 2-7 Triple Draw are also covered on sites such as at low, micro and small stakes. 

Advantages of Being Part of a Poker Community

  • Official customer support teams are on hand to resolve account and payment issues.
  • Friendly players are happy to answer basic strategy queries on community forums.
  • Watch twitch streams and TV coverage to see how the game works in real life.
  • Learn about etiquette, unwritten rules, and best practices via online resources.
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Tips for Utilizing the Online Poker Community

  • Check the poker site’s FAQ section for general queries.
  • Email or live chat official customer support teams for account and payment issues.
  • Search community forums before posting a question to see if it’s been answered before.
  • Watch Twitch streams to see how pros talk about their decisions after each hand.
  • Read etiquette guides to learn about online poker behavioral expectations.

Generous Bonuses and Promotions 

We couldn’t talk about the benefits of learning poker online without mentioning the abundance of bonuses and promotions on offer. Whether you’re a first-time player or an experienced grinder, there’s always a good reason to join a poker site. From welcome bonuses to reload offers, loyalty schemes to referral deals, there are tons of incentives that give you extra value for money. 

N Natural newbie is drawn to the free money element of bonus schemes. With a range of available, you get extra funds or points simply for registering an account and making an initial deposit. These offers typically consist of a matched deposit bonus that’s released into your account when you reach certain reward points thresholds. For instance, if a poker site offers a 100% matched deposit bonus up to $500, and you deposit $25, you’ll receive $25 extra. 

Experienced players love the loyalty schemes and because they offer tailored perks based on your activity level. Instead of receiving the same rewards as everyone else, you get personalized bonuses based on the amount you play and your preferred games/format. This makes loyalty schemes far more valuable than one-size-fits-all offers. 

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Other common are reload bonuses, referral deals, tournament tickets, and special twitch and tv streaming offers. Reloads are similar to welcome bonuses, except they’re awarded to existing customers. Refer a friend deal is another popular promotion because they allow you to share a poker site with someone you know and earn rewards in return. Finally, satellites offer you the chance to qualify for live events without paying full price. 

Advantages of the Abundance of Bonuses and Promotions

  • Welcome bonuses give you free cash or points when you join and make a deposit.
  • Loyalty schemes offer personalized rewards based on your activity level.
  • Reload bonuses are paid into your account when you top up your bankroll.
  • Refer a friend deals allow you to earn rewards for sharing the site with others.
  • Satellites provide a cheap way to qualify for big live events.

Tips for Maximizing Your Rewards

  • Compare welcome bonuses when choosing a poker site using our .
  • Accept a loyalty scheme when you reach higher tiers to unlock the best perks.
  • Read the small print to understand wagering requirements before claiming a reload bonus.
  • Invite friends to the poker site as soon as you start playing.
  • Play through satellites to qualify for live events rather than paying full prices.

You Could Be the Next Poker Star 

Are you convinced that now is the right time to jump into the world of online poker? If so, there’s every chance you could be the next Fedor Holz, Vanessa Selbst or Erik Seidel. Of course, becoming a world-beater is easier said than done. It requires immense dedication, discipline, patience, self-reflection, and study. However, the foundations of modern poker are accessible to everyone. So, if you’re willing to put the graft in, there’s no reason why you can’t achieve your goals. 

If you’re happier playing socially rather than competing on the professional stage, that’s great too. One of the best things about poker is that it caters to all kinds of players. And with so many great tools, resources, bonuses, and promotions available, it’s never been a better time to sharpen your skills and enjoy everything this great game has to offer. 

Leave a comment below to let us know your experiences of getting started in poker and what advice you’d give to newbies. 

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