If you’re wild about playing cards at the casino, you’ve probably thought about taking the plunge into online poker as well. Web-based poker rooms offer a plethora of benefits but playing on the internet can seem daunting if you’ve never done it before.

To get it right, check out our tips for playing internet poker the smart way before you get started.

1. Choose the Right Online Poker Venue

The most important part of online poker is picking the right provider to play with. Safety comes first with online play, so make sure your venue of choice is fully licensed and regulated by the appropriate authorities in your area.

How can you find out if your provider is up to snuff? Those in the UK can use the Gambling Commission’s Public Register search to find out if their chosen venue is licensed, while those in the US will have to look through state-specific licensing bodies.

If you find a legitimately regulated venue, you’re on the right track. However, just because a site is licensed doesn’t mean it’s the best one for you. When picking your go-to online poker venue, it’s a good idea to shop around for a site that will take care of your needs.

Unlike land-based card rooms, many online providers give you added benefits like free-play money or other rewards when you sign up. These extras can help you out in the long run, so it’s definitely worth your time to search out the best poker bonus available in your area before you begin.

2. Learn to Read Your Online Opponents

When playing poker online, you won’t be able to read other players in the traditional sense because you can’t see their faces or get a feel for their body language. While many believe this lack of visibility to be a major downfall, there are things you can do to make up for it.

Firstly, check and see if you can search out any information on your opponents through your chosen poker app. Online poker portals utilize software to track their players, and many of them allow you to see stats about how many tables they’re playing at. This can give you an idea of their level, as better players can concentrate on more tables, while newbies often play only one at a time.

You can also pay attention to their strategy and playing style to glean more information. Look closely at an opponent’s stack size and the size of their bets to see if they know what they’re doing and watch for passive playing styles and other signs of a greenhorn at the table.

3. Use the Setting to Your Advantage

If you want to get the most out of online play, you must use every tool at your disposaland that includes your gaming hardware. It’s a good idea to play with a powerful device like a state-of-the-art PC or gaming smartphone, as these can better support poker software and keep up with fast-moving tables and high-energy games.

Furthermore, if you have a question when you’re playing online poker, don’t be afraid to use the internet to find out the necessary information. Remember that when you’re playing online, you don’t have to follow regular casino poker etiquette rules like staying off your phone. Not having to adhere to regular standards of etiquette also frees you up to focus on being aggressive with your plays, paying attention to other players’ stats, and using them to help you strategize and win.

Making the switch from live play to online poker doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow these tips to fast-track your success, but give yourself a bit of time to learn the ropes and a bit of leeway to make mistakes. If you keep at it and become more proficient, online poker will be exciting, entertaining, and fun.