Online poker is a fun, easy to play game that rewards actual skill over the long run. However, it is also a highly competitive game with an inordinate number of players vying for the same limited pool of money. Fortunately, the smart players can separate themselves from the pack by studying and improving their strategy. There are several basic tools that pros use to help them make more money including a hand history tracker and a HUD (Heads-up Display). The former helps players see their results and analyze their own play, while the latter overlays a player’s table with real time statistics such as pre-flop raise percentage and how often they fold to a call.
Another important strategy is keeping a short memory. This is essential to success because bad beats will happen, and they are more likely in a crowded field of players. Those who get emotionally invested in every bad beat will burn through their bankrolls. The smart players will take the losses in stride and focus on improving their game.
Online poker sites offer sign-up bonuses to attract new players. These generally range from 20 percent of a player’s initial deposit up to 100 percent. To unlock these bonuses, the player must first prove they are serious about playing the game by earning frequent-player points. Some sites also offer loyalty programs. These reward players with cash and other prizes based on how many hands they play.