Getting started with online poker isn’t very difficult, but
we do understand that joining a site can be a daunting
experience if it’s your first time. That’s why we’ve produced
this step by step guide to help you through the process. All you
need to do is follow this and you’ll be up and running in no
On this page, we’ll talk you through the whole process of
joining a poker site, starting with choosing which site to use
and finishing with when you get to actually sit down and play.
We’ll explain exactly what you have to do at each step and
provide you with advice and any additional information that we
think might be beneficial for you.
Step 1: Choose the Right Site
Choosing the right poker site to play at is the first step
you must take and it’s arguably the most important one. You have
plenty of options but it’s important to choose wisely.
The specific wording of this step is both deliberate and
important. You need to put some thought into which site is most
likely to be right for you when you’re choosing where to play,
as just simply signing up at the first place you come across
won’t be as effective. There are a ton of sites to choose from
but they won’t all necessarily be suitable for you. You really
don’t want to join somewhere that isn’t a good fit for your own
circumstances and any personal preferences you may have.
You may not even be able to join some sites, as many of them
only accept customers from certain parts of the world. Some
sites accept only North American customers for example, while
others don’t allow customers from the United States. Therefore
one of the first things you need to do is to find out which
sites will accept you.
You also want to make sure that any site you’re thinking of
joining is safe to use. Most sites are perfectly reputable, but
there are some which may not be trustworthy enough to handle
your money and it’s obviously in your best interest to avoid
If you’re starting to think that deciding which site to play
at is really difficult, please don’t worry. We do advise that
you put at least some effort into making this decision, but it’s
certainly something we can help you with. We have written a
detailed guide to choosing a poker site and for a simpler option
we also have a list of recommended sites for you to choose from.
You must open an account before you can start playing at your
chosen site. Most poker sites make this very easy to do, so it
shouldn’t take long.
The second step in joining a poker site is much more
straightforward than the first. All you need to do is visit the
site you’ve chosen and look for a button or link that says
something like “Join Now” or “Sign Up.” This will usually be
somewhere fairly obvious on the homepage and clicking on either
of these buttons will take you to a registration form.
Once you’re there, you’ll have to add your personal
information in order to complete the form. Most sites won’t ask
for an excessive amount of information, but you should be
prepared to provide the following details:
Date of Birth
At this stage, you’ll also usually have to choose your
username and password. This is obviously a straightforward
process but bear in mind that your username will be displayed to
your opponents when you’re at the tables and you may not be able
to change it once your account is setup. It’s in your best
interest to avoid anything that might be offensive to others.
For your own security and protection, it’s also a good idea to
choose a strong password that can’t be easily guessed.
Please note that it’s likely that you’ll have to confirm your
acceptance of a set of terms and conditions before finalizing
the opening of your account. These aren’t particularly
interesting, but it’s still advisable to read through them.
Step 3: Download Software Client
Most poker sites require you to download their software
client in order to play. Instant play may be available as an
When sites require you to download their software client,
they usually make sure that the process is easy for you. Things
differ slightly from one site to the next, but you’ll generally
be prompted to download the necessary software as soon as you’ve
opened your account. The download will then automatically start
once you click to accept. You might have to select a couple
different options during the download process, such as which
folder you want to install the software into, but overall it’s
It’s unlikely that you’ll encounter any difficulties when
downloading the software, but you can always contact customer
support if you do. That’s actually the best thing to do if you
get stuck at any point when joining a poker site or if you have
any questions at all that you need answered by a professional.
Step 4: Deposit Funds
You’ll need funds in your online account to play for real
money, so you’ll now need to make a deposit. This is usually
another simple process to follow.
Your poker site will probably offer at least a few different
ways to make a deposit, so the first thing you need to do is to
decide which one you want to use. Common options include the
E-wallet (eg. Neteller, Paypal, Skrill)
Most people find it easiest to use a credit or debit card,
but all the options are pretty straightforward. It’s basically
just a matter of providing the necessary information (such as
the credit card number and associated details) and then entering
the amount you wish to deposit. If your deposit is authorized,
you’ll usually see the funds added to your account immediately.
It’s important to keep in mind that some of the above options
take longer to be processed than others.
Please note that some sites will add a processing charge to
your deposits, although this is quite unusual these days.
Beware, however, that it’s common for a credit card transaction
to be processed as a cash advance. This means that you may incur
an additional charge from your credit card company, typically of
A final point here is that you should make sure you’re aware
of any sign up bonuses you may be entitled to as a new customer.
You are generally eligible for a bonus on your first deposit and
you don’t want to miss out on any extra value you may be
entitled to. You should check to see if there’s anything
specific you have to do to claim it, as there may be a bonus
code you have to enter or a minimum amount that you have to
Step 5: Choose a Table & Play
After completing the first four steps you’re ready to start
playing. All that’s required now is choosing which table to
Poker sites will typically list all their active cash tables
and upcoming tournaments in a part of their software called,
“The lobby.” This tends to be where you’re directed when you
first log in and you can usually customize it to only show the
games you’re interested in. You could set it so that you just
see sit and go tournaments for example, or only no limit Texas
Hold’em cash games. You could also set it to display only games
with a specified range of stakes.
If you select a cash game from the lobby, you’ll be taken
straight to the relevant table. You’ll have to pick a seat and
enter the amount you wish to buy in for, but then you’ll be
ready to start playing. If you choose to enter a tournament, the
cost of the buy in will be automatically deducted from your
account. For a sit and go tournament, you’ll be taken to the
table as soon as enough players have entered, and for a
scheduled tournament you’ll be taken to the table a moment or
two before the start time.
This completes our guide on joining a poker site but we would
like to leave you with one more thing and that is to wish you
the very best of luck at the tables!
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