In addition with internet poker, you play many more hands per hour playing online internet poker because there is no wasted time shuffling, and there are time limits for each player to act. Playing online poker is a tremendous way to gain experience and also a less expensive way than traveling to a card room.
Internet based poker rooms are fairly new in comparison to brick and mortar rooms. The first ones were available in the late nineties. The early ones were slow with many technical difficulties. However, like all technology, online internet poker rooms quickly improved and are currently fast, efficient, pleasant looking, safe and technically sound.
For players who are just learning to play poker or are learning a new game they have little experience with, online internet poker offers a great way to increase skill, knowledge of the game and hopefully build a bankroll at the same time.
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Most poker sites offer the opportunity to play poker for free, using play money. Some sites even have free rolls which are tournaments that you may enter for free that pay out real money to the winners. In addition, many sites offer real money limits as low as .01/.02.
The play at the free money tables is not very good and I recommend only using them to get a feel for the gaming software and/or to learn a new game. The smaller games of .01/.02 up to .25/.50 (often called micro limits) offer a slightly more realistic feel to a poker game as they are for real money, but most of the players are terrible.
As you climb in buy-in levels, the play improves, but some games as high as 3/6 and even 5/10 can have some bad players, just like at a live poker room.
Here is a quick plan of action to start playing poker on the Internet:
- Set aside a small amount of money ($20 to $100) as a test bankroll.
- Open an Internet bank account (such as Neteller or Firepay) and then find a couple of established online poker rooms that offer the opportunity to play for free, have micro-limit games and offer a sign-up bonus.
- Download the software and play the free games until you have a good feel for how it works.
- Deposit your money and start playing the micro-limit tables.
- Then, don't move up in limits until you have mastered play at the current level.
Of course I never recommend playing at a level higher than you are comfortable with, no matter how small the stakes. This way you will be gaining valuable experience while improving your game and hopefully building your poker bankroll.
Many players, myself included, jump right into a game that has higher limits than they are ready for and lose a lot of money before dropping back down in limits.
Use these guidelines and you won't move up until you are ready. There is no shame in playing internet poker and learning for pennies. If you do move up a level and struggle, don't hesitate to move back down. As poker is a lifelong game, we must never stop learning, and the Internet is just another study aid.