Online poker had its 'boom' around the time of everyman Chris Moneymaker parlaying a $40 satellite on PokerStars into a $2.5 million win at the 2003 World Series of Poker.
Seeing that an amateur could qualify on an online poker site and go on to beat a live pro like Sammy Farha heads up for the title of World Champion inspired many hopefuls to make a deposit online.
Over a decade later the climate of the games has become tougher but there's still plenty of money to be made following the strategies in the articles below. Poker in the US is still legal to play and very much alive on select sites such as Americas Cardroom and Bovada.
On some rooms you can also receive kickbacks in the form of rake races, freerolls, value-added tournaments and other promotions.
The PokerBonus.com portal connects directly to over 300 poker rooms for a secure download. Get started on US friendly True Poker in one click.
See detailed instructions and screenshots for downloading half a dozen of the top poker rooms.
Facebook apps aren't the only way to play for free, almost all online poker rooms offer play money tables for beginners to practice. PokerStars even sells play chips.
Everything is the same as in real money poker, so unlike on social poker apps limited to just one type of Texas Holdem, you'll be able to play 8-Game mix, tournaments, any game variant the site offers.
Learn the software inside and out before jumping into real money games.
Free to play, but paying out real prizes - many of today's pros got started in poker winning a freeroll tournament.
Real money stakes range from as low as $0.01/$0.02 - microstakes - and as high as $3,000/$6,000 (where Phil Ivey played Limit Holdem on Full Tilt Poker).
1 cent 2 cent games see players buy in for a dollar at a time. Some prolific grinders make a living at micros, World of Warcraft player Athene famously averaged $100/day 24-tabling 2NL on PokerStars.
See our top picks for the best real money poker sites, including new room Yachting Poker.
Players taking poker seriously should stay up to date with the latest industry developments, including legislation - including which rooms accept US players - mobile technology and eWallets for easy bankroll management.
Read our seven step guide to playing poker professionally, including financial planning, dealing with stress and how a typical day in the life of a poker pro might look.
Our top software pick for reviewing your play and using HUD stats is PokerTracker 4.
With table selection covered by software tools, what's left is site selection - we've ranked our top nine picks on client quality, player traffic, opponent skill, customer support, promotions, and VIP rewards.
If you're 'bonuswhoring' - hopping from site to site to always play with a deposit bonus and therefore a rake discount - you might work your way through them all.
Aside from not being open to the US - although it is slowly returning to individual states, beginning with New Jersey - PokerStars wins our vote for the best poker room, with the lowest rake, highest number of players, and widest range of game types.
See the industry leading PokerStars software in our video review below.
The PokerStars deposit bonus is also our top pick, being the easiest to qualify for and clear.
Current options for American online poker players include Bovada - the US facing branch of casino giant Bodog, the Winning Network - home to skins such as Americas Cardroom, Black Chip Poker and True Poker.
Online poker has never been illegal to play, and is slowly returning to the US on a state by state basis. Find out which rooms are available in your state here.
Grab a 100% up to $1,000 signup bonus and 27% weekly rakeback at True Poker.