Whether you are an avid poker player or just getting started, the best poker sites will give you the tools and games you need to enjoy the game at your preferred stakes. Some online poker sites require you to sign up with them before you can start playing, and you may need to submit documents to prove your identity (a utility bill or other proof of address will do). Other than that, the process is usually smooth and hassle-free.

Once you’ve signed up, you can play a variety of poker games for cash or participate in tournaments. You can even choose to play with friends. Just make sure to read the rules of each game before you play it, so that you don’t get in over your head. You can also try out free poker games to see how you like them before you invest any money.

Online poker has become a popular pastime for many people, as it’s an easy-to-play game that rewards actual skill over the long term. In addition, it’s possible to play at any time, with no travel costs or waiting for a table. But before you get started, it’s important to understand the rules of the game and how the different types of hands rank.

While online poker is legal in the US, it’s important to know that there are differences in regulations across states. The best online poker sites will be regulated and have strict rules in place to protect players. This includes age checks and safeguards against fraud.

The best online poker rooms will have a variety of games and tournaments. They will also have plenty of traffic, which means there are always active games to play in. This is especially important for new players who can benefit from being seated with other newbies.

A good online poker room will have an easy-to-use lobby that’s categorized by cash games, tournaments, Sit & Gos, and other special formats. This will help you find the type of game that suits you and saves you from having to look through an overwhelming list of events. You should also keep an eye out for a “beginner” tab, which will filter you so that you only play against other players who classify themselves as beginners.

You can also track your results by clicking on the session stats link in the online poker room. This will give you a breakdown of your winnings and losses, as well as other information, such as your win-rate, number of flops seen, and times you went to showdown. You can use this information to improve your game and become a better poker player.