The Ultimate Online Poker FAQ (Part 1)

On one hand, it’s true to say that poker is ultimately a game of chance. Nobody at the table has any say in which cards are dealt and when, so it’s primarily in the lap of the gods as to what happens next. 

However, it’s also true to say that knowledge is power. Even with online poker where the outcome is more or less random, there’s still much to be said for getting to know the game at a deeper level. 

That’s why we’ve assembled the ultimate online poker FAQ, aimed mainly at those getting started for the first time. If you’ve any questions or issues to clarify on how the whole thing works, chances are you’ll find the information you need detailed below:

Is it necessary to deposit money to play poker online?

No – the vast majority of quality online poker rooms don’t make deposits obligatory. You’re free to sign up without depositing money, check out what’s on offer and even play for free for as long as you like.

Can I open more than one account?

Opening multiple accounts with multiple poker rooms is possible, but it is strictly forbidden to attempt to open more than one account with the same provider. Doing so would violate their terms and conditions, resulting in your account’s suspension or permanent termination.

Is it possible to watch online poker player as a spectator?

Absolutely – it can also be a great way of picking up a few pointers from those playing at a higher level than you. It’s as simple as choosing an active table from the poker room’s lobby and seeing what’s happening.

What is ‘multi-tabling’ and is it a good idea?

As the name suggests, multi-tabling refers to the practice of playing at multiple tables at the same time with the same poker client. Most providers support multi-tabling, which can be a great way of keeping busy and maximising returns if you’ve the skill to pull it off.

What is rake?

Rake refers to the commission collected by the service provider operating the poker room. Online poker clients don’t operate on a non-profit basis, so you can expect anything from 2% to 10% to be taken from the pot in the form of commission (aka rake). 

Are there limits to how much play money I can use?

No, for the simple reason that play money has no actual monetary value whatsoever. When you burn through your wad of play money at a zero-stakes table, you can simply claim another stack and start over.

Are online poker bonuses worth bothering with?

The answer to this depends entirely on which poker rooms you sign up with.  Some online poker bonuses are legit and worth checking out, while others are completely misleading and have no real value whatsoever. Always check the T&Cs in full, before getting started.

Do I have to claim a sign-up bonus when one is available?

No – under no circumstances will any responsible online casino operator make initial or subsequent bonuses mandatory. If it’s not entirely clear how to sign-up without taking part in the bonus scheme, reach out to the site’s customer support team for clarification.

Which is the best poker site on the web?

Choosing a poker site means pairing your personal preferences with a top-rated site you can trust. Use our independent poker site listings for an overview of what’s available, alongside real-life customer reviews and recommendations.

Should I upload a real picture of myself as an avatar?

That’s entirely a judgment call, for the simple reason that some aren’t keen on the idea of sharing their real image with others. Though if you’ve signed up with a top-rated poker sites that prioritises privacy and security, it needn’t be a cause for concern.

Is my financial information safe when playing online poker?

Again, it depends entirely on the service provider you do business with.  Always check the payment policies and security protocols of online poker rooms, prior to handing of your personal information. Customer reviews and independent recommendations can also be useful when searching for a safe poker site.

How quickly are deposits are credited?

With the vast majority of payment types, deposits are credited instantaneously. It’s the same as when making a purchase online – the funds are taken from your account in a matter of seconds and transferred straight into your poker account.

How long does it take to process withdrawals?

Withdrawal processing times vary in accordance with payment types. Credit and debit card withdrawals are usually processed within 1 to 3 working days, some online wallet payments are processed instantly and withdrawals via bank transfer can take up to five working days to process.

Are online poker winnings taxable?

The short answer is yes, so it’s important to keep accurate and detailed records of your wins and losses. If over the course of a year you make more money than you lose (and a lot of it), it will need to be declared and the appropriate amount of tax paid.

Is it possible to rig online poker games?

Cheating when playing online poker is tricky, but isn’t impossible. One of the most common tactics is when two or more people join forces at the same table, working together to beat their opponents and share the money they win. Most decent poker rooms have protocols in place to detect and prevent unscrupulous activities. 

What if my connection cuts off in the middle of a game?

In the event that you are disconnected from the game at a key moment, the system will automatically check or fold on your behalf after a short countdown. It is considered the player’s responsibility to ensure that their connection is suitably strong and reliable for the duration of the game.

Can I alter my username after signing up?

With most online poker rooms, the answer is no. Hence, it’s important to choose a username you’re happy with and are confident you’ll continue to be happy with long-term.

Stay tuned for the second half of our ultimate two-part online poker FAQ, coming soon…

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