Online poker is a traditional card game played over the Internet. Players wager real money on a variety of games including Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Stud. These games are played at cash tables, Sit & Go tournaments and Multi-Table Online Tournaments (MTO). Players can also play poker on mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones. The rules of poker are the same whether you play in person or online. However, online poker has become more popular in recent years due to increased access and the ability to play from anywhere.

The earliest online poker sites first appeared in the late 1990s. It was in 2003 that the industry started to gain traction in the United States when amateur Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker Main Event through an online qualifying tournament. Moneymaker’s win and subsequent media attention launched the “poker boom,” causing millions of people to start playing online.

As the number of online poker sites grew, players began to look for ways to maximize their profits. They realized that in addition to winning real money, they could also participate in a wide range of tournaments and earn satellite entries into major live events around the world. These events feature some of the highest stakes in the sport.

Today, it’s easier than ever to get your hands on the best online poker sites. Many offer a wide variety of payment methods including credit cards, debit cards, pre-paid cards, wire transfers and third-party eWallets. Depositing and withdrawing funds are also very fast compared to the past.

When choosing an online poker site, make sure it’s licensed in your jurisdiction and offers a good selection of games. Also, choose one that has a large player pool. A large player pool means a higher volume of action and softer competition. This will make the game more fun and profitable for both beginners and seasoned pros alike.

Another factor to consider is the ease of finding a poker table. Many online poker sites allow players to search for specific games they want to play and even specific stakes. This is an excellent way to save time and find the right game for you.

Lastly, make sure your chosen online poker site has a strong community. Look for a site that features a forum where players can discuss the game and share tips. Also, a great community will host regular live events featuring big-name players and cash prizes.

While the rules of poker are the same whether you’re playing online or at your local casino, there are a few differences. Most importantly, it’s important to pay attention to how other players are betting in order to read their tells. In online poker, there is no way to read physical hints from other players but you can often judge an opponent’s style by looking at their betting patterns.