Online poker has become a massive industry. It has opened the game to a whole new audience, making it more accessible and giving players from all over the world an opportunity to compete in a world that was previously limited to brick-and-mortar casinos and local card rooms. While the internet has brought about a great number of positive changes to the game, many players are still concerned about whether or not it’s fair. They worry that the house is cheating, causing them to lose money and ruining their chances at becoming professional. The truth is that, despite some minor incidents, online poker is fair and safe to play for real money.

It is important to understand that there is a difference between live and online poker, as well as a different level of skill between the two. There was a time when there was a very distinct split between the “live pros” and those that played online, and there would often be stories of live players venturing into the realm of online poker and not doing so well (often complaining that it wasn’t “real” poker). Today, however, there is much more overlap between the two types of the game, with most top players playing both.

If you want to be a successful online poker player, you must learn how to read your opponents and recognize tells. This is not as easy as it sounds, especially in a digital setting where body language isn’t nearly as clear. Fortunately, most online poker sites now offer some sort of built-in feature that allows you to make notes on your opponents in real time. Most of them will even let you use convenient little icons or colors to mark players, so you can keep track of specific issues like an overly aggressive style of play or a tendency to 3-bet too frequently.

You will also need to develop a system for taking notes on your opponents that is efficient and helpful. A big file containing three pages of mostly irrelevant information won’t be of much use to you, so try to come up with a way to categorize your notes. For example, you might write a note for each player that defends in the Big Blind with a hand such as 7-4 against 2.5x raise.

Unlike in live poker, where skill can sometimes dominate chance because there are far fewer hands dealt per hour, it may take a long time to get a seat at an online table. Fortunately, Ignition Poker has developed a quick-seat feature that can help you bypass the lengthy wait times and find your preferred tables more easily.

The biggest problem with the claim that online poker is rigged is that there is no conceivable reason why any reputable site would risk their reputation, legal status, and cash flow by interfering with individual hands. In addition, a reputable online poker site will use RNG software to ensure that hands cannot be manipulated.