Picking a Screenname and Depositing Funds
What Should My Poker Screenname Be? While it is not terribly important what your screenname is (especially on sites like Party Poker where you can change your name monthly), there are a few things you can do to optimize your screenname.
Pick a screenname that is unique if you type it into Google. Later in your poker career you may want to see who is talking about you and what hands you have been involved in are online but if your screenname is the name of a famous person/band/movie you will have serious trouble searching for websites related to you.
A screenname like gnomebadtilt is almost perfect. As it does not exist, every result in Google will be related to such a poker screenname. The one shortcoming is that sometimes people may refer to you as "gnome," which obviously has lots of Google results unrelated to you.
For the sake of discussion of your screenname you should avoid using alternating numbers and letters (p0ker4BO0OOl23) and choose a name with just letters. People don't want to type that and will make various abbreviations that you won't be able to track down.
Obviosuly don't pick something with your real name or the name of your small town or anything else potentially identifying.
Don't choose a name that indicates that you are knowledgeable about poker. This could help opponents who know nothing else about you to play better against you.
Getting money on a poker site is usually just a matter of following the instructions when you click the "Deposit" button. You will be usually be faced with multiple options, usually credit cards, E-Wallets, and wire transfers. The fastest way will be usually be credit cards and won't cost you a fee unless there is a currency conversion.
If you don't have a credit card or your credit card company has blocked gaming transactoins, you can usually transfer from your bank account or use online E-wallets. Withdrawing is frequently done with E-wallets such as Neteller and Moneybookers. These charge fees, but allow for the easy transfer of funds between sites, as well as facilitate larger transactions than credit cards do.
The deposit and withdraw options vary by country and site, so make sure to read what I have to say in the Depositing/Withdrawing section of my reviews. Once the software is downloaded and installed, go to the Cashier for specific instructions on how to deposit money.
How Much Should I Deposit?
If you are planning on playing no limit hold'em it is suggested that you start off with one hundred of the currency of the site, whether it be dollars, euros or pounds. Start off at a 2nl game and this will give you fifty buyins. This is likely to be enough to absorb some losses before you become a winner.
Nothing is certain, but if you read up on strategy before starting to play and have a healthy sense of discipline this will be your only deposit. Ever.
If you have less money than that or none at all, just play freerolls or play money until you either win some money via free rolls or earn enough income from outside poker to deposit $100 . You can always take a shot with less, but your risk of ruin will be much higher and playing underrolled might negatively affect your mental state.
If you want to go this route you should really study hard before playing and even then would not bother depositing less than 50.
What Stakes should I be starting at?
You should be starting at the absolute lowest stakes that are offered. This means playing either 2nl, 4nl, or 5nl, depending on the particular poker site. Then you can move up when you have 30 full buy-ins for the next level and move back down when you lost 10-15 of those.
For example, you are playing on a site that has 2nl as the lowest poker level and 4nl as the second lowest. You deposit $100 and start playing 2nl. You build your bankroll up to $120 and now you have enough for 4nl (120 / 4 = 30).
You start playing 4nl and are outmatched and lose $60. Now you have lost ten buyins and have a $80 bankroll. While a solidly winning player could afford to lose more before moving back down, you should be a bit conservative at the very lowest stakes because if you start to lose your bankroll at 2nl there is no where to move down to.
So, you decide to study some more and move back down to 2nl. You begin to get the hang of poker strategy and you hit the $120 mark again and return to 4nl. Now you are aiming to move up to 10nl and will need a $300 bankroll to move up.
Moving up and down in stakes is normal and is highly recommended as a way to improve and have the quickest route to higher stakes. However, just because you move up to a new stake doesn't mean you have to stay there forever. Do not let your pride get in the way.