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So you have been playing poker with your friends and family for a while now and you do well and want to channel your skills to make money playing online poker. Learning to play poker online is quite simple, it's winning that can be the tricky part. At your home game you can see everyone, and you know how most of your friends play so you can make you decisions at the table accordingly. But switching from live to online is not as easy as you may think. You have to practice, practice, practice. After all, practice makes perfect.

When you first start playing online poker you may see immediate gains or some immediate losses. And it's usually the losses that come first. In order to minimize the losses and maximize the gains, you should first look into some sort of formal poker training from someone who has been successful. If you think about it, did anyone who is successful in their line of work just jump in and immediately become a leader in the industry? No. So finding a poker mentor should be your first priority.

The problem is that you probably don't know any professional poker players to get this formal training from. This is where the internet comes in. There are a ton of poker training programs out there that claim to be the best when in fact, there are very few. So what makes a good training program? First, is the program from a credible source? Second, what makes up the training? You don't want to just sign up for any old poker training course created by someone you never heard of, and you want to know what you are getting in return for you time and money.

Search for websites where you can play online poker

So how do you actually get started and start playing poker online? First of all start looking around for some website where you can play poker online. You can type 'online poker' into Google or Yahoo for example and start going through the websites to see which you'd like to play. An idea of some sites may be:

888

Party Poker

Pokerstars

Full Tilt Poker

Check the rules of the game

Each website and each game has their own rules, for example some websites requires you to pay a fee to join and to bid in a certain amount to start each game. Make sure to read the Terms and Rules of the game before you join a website and join a game. Playing poker is fun and is a game but a lot of website use real money to play and so when making bets and bidding make sure you realise that it is in fact real money you are playing with.

Download the software

In order to make the process seem more real the online poker game is graphically created and it looks and feels like you are watching a movie but you are apart of it as well. Because of this a lot of the online poker websites requires you to download some software. They are usually free and fast to download.

Instructions for beginners

Nearly all the websites offer a demonstration and / or written instructions explaining how to work their website, as each is unique, and how to play the games they offer. It is recommended, if you have never played online poker before, to start off by spending some time reading the site and getting to grips with it rather than rushing into a game and start gambling with real money.