Here is a step-by-step guide to launch your online gaming experience. If you are anything like me, you may be hesitant to start playing online. There are so many options and it can be hard to decide exactly how to start. It took me three months from the time I downloaded my first poker software to actually play in my first online game. I just wish I had a list like this to help me back then. This list is written with poker in mind, but getting set up to play at a casino or sportsbook will follow the same process. As a side note, one of the largest reservations about playing online for me was the security of my money and trustworthiness of the sites I wanted to play at. Of course there are no guarantees in life, but I have personal experience with every poker room listed on this site and have never had any problem with the security of my money. I currently have money in accounts at some of them, will have in all of them again and will continue in the future without any concern.
- Set up a normal bank account, either checking or savings. (You probably already have one.) Though I use my personal account, many players set up a different account just for online play.
- This step is optional but I highly recommend it. It will pay for itself many times over. Download Pokertracker and use it from the first hand you play online. You can download and try it out for free (no credit card needed). I use it and wish I had known about it two years ago.
- Go to the site reviews or site of the month page and choose a poker room.
- Go to the site you select and download their free software, but first make sure and secure the best and most recent new player casino deposit bonus offers and/or poker deposit bonus offer before you download.
- Set up your account. You will need to choose a name to play under and a password. I use the same name at most sites I play, but you may have a different one at each site if you wish.
- Play in a few play money games to get a feel for the speed of online play and to get used to all of the controls. All of the poker sites offer play money tables that are available even before you make a deposit.
- Go to the cashier section of the poker site and use neteller/firepay to make a deposit.
- When you start playing for real money, start at a level one or two steps below what you are comfortable with. Do not jump into a high level game at first. I still occasionally play in .50/1.00 games at times as a way to relax.
- Progress to higher limits slowly. Make sure your bankroll and comfort level can handle each higher level. Also there is no shame in dropping back a level if you need to.
- When you are ready to cash out any winnings, go to the cashier section and request a pay out.
I recommend starting at Paradise as they have nice software and plenty of Omaha/8 action.