When you play poker, it is important to stay focused on the game at hand. You need to focus on your opponents and their tendencies, making mathematically sound decisions that maximize your winning potential. You also need to remain confident and not let your emotions get in the way of playing well. This is much harder to do when you’re playing online, where it is easy to get distracted by other players at the table and even your own thoughts.
In addition, there is a lot of variance in online poker, due to the number of hands you’re playing and the fact that most sites don’t allow players to play multiple tables at once. This means that you’ll likely experience larger swings than if you played in live games, which can be mentally challenging to deal with. It’s important to understand this variance and not take it personally when you run bad for extended periods of time, because it will happen – the key is to learn from your mistakes and keep improving.
It’s also important to play within your bankroll limits when you start playing online. This will help you avoid getting carried away and making poor decisions that could blow up your account. You should also commit to playing smart, which includes choosing the right stakes and game variations for your bankroll, and only playing in games that are profitable. You should also stick to one type of poker and master it before moving on to other variations.
Lastly, you should network with other successful poker players and try to learn from them as much as possible. They can give you feedback on your game and help you improve, and they’ll be able to cheer you up after losing sessions. This is especially helpful when you’re playing cash games, as it’s very easy to get discouraged by a bad beat when you have a large amount of money on the line.
While it’s tempting to load up all the tables you can, it’s important to work your way up slowly. When you first begin, it’s best to only play one or two tables until you get comfortable with the pace and don’t have any major distractions going on. Whether it’s streaming a video, checking social media or texting friends, any non-poker related distraction can be very detrimental to your game.
When you’re ready to start playing for real money, you’ll need to deposit funds into your poker account and then begin stacking chips. This process is usually quick and easy, but some poker sites may ask you to provide additional documentation, such as a utility bill or driver’s license. This is a normal part of the signup process and is nothing to be alarmed about. The poker site is simply ensuring that they are working with legitimate customers and protecting their security. Typically, this verification process takes no more than 24 hours. The bottom line is that you should choose a trustworthy poker site, check out their credentials and software, and read reviews to find out what other players have experienced.