With the exposure that poker has received from television and print media in the last few years, thousands of new players are playing online every day. However, if it weren’t for a few things holding some players back, there would be many more new players. A few of the things that are causing fear and/or apprehension are the safety of your hard-earned money at an online room and exactly how to set up accounts not only at a poker room but also to fund the account. These are what this article is about, so if you want to play poker online but haven’t started, read this short tutorial and you’ll be started in no time.
The first question I am often asked is about the safety of a player’s money online. Drawing from my personal experience, I have been playing online for about two years and have never had a poker site cheat me or steal the first cent. One of the reasons for this is I have followed these rules, which I recommend to you. When I started, I only played at the larger rooms online. (There are over 250 rooms so even restricting yourself to the top 30 or 40 rooms is safe and gives you plenty of options.) My reasoning was that the rooms with the most players must have players that were receiving cash outs in a timely manner. Also, the larger the room, the more they had to lose by cheating players. The way poker is designed, rooms will make more money by being honest than by stealing from players who will never come back. I also read reviews about the different sites in order to become comfortable with my choice of a site, then downloaded the free software and practiced at the play money tables before depositing.
The next question is the best way to get money in and out of an online poker site. Here are a few simple and safe steps to get started.
1. Find a poker room you would like to try on this site and download the free software.
2. Open a checking or savings account with a local bank. (You probably already have one, but some players open a separate account for poker.)
3. Go to www.neteller.com or www.firepay.com and open a free account and link it to the bank account from step 2. I have used Neteller and their service is safe, fast and free. You can transfer money from your bank to Neteller and then into any online poker room for free. Then any money you take out of a poker room will go back to Neteller and then back to your bank if you so choose. By using this method, you don’t have to worry about the safety of a credit card online and most rooms don’t use credit cards anyway.
4. Set up an account at the poker room from step 1. Usually you will click on “register” or “cashier”. You will enter a screen name and password as well as some other information.
5. Either practice at a play money table or make your first deposit and jump into the live action. Good luck!