How to Find the Best Poker Sites that are Right for You
The Internet is burgeoning with online poker sites, giving players many different options when it comes to games, stakes, tournaments and competition. With so many choices, players need to consider various points prior to choosing the poker sites they’ll frequent. Here are 10 features or options to consider when you are seeking the online poker room that’s right for you.
Types of Games Offered
When you search around, you’ll find that some poker sites limit the types of games they offer to Texas Holdem, Omaha, Omaha Hi Lo, Five-Card Draw and Stud, while others will include more esoteric games such as Badugi, H.O.R.S.E. and Razz. If you’re not interested in the lesser known and less popular games, then the latter choices may not matter to you. However, sites that include games such as H.O.R.S.E. tend to have more members and thus more action.
Range of Buy-Ins, Entry Fees and Rakes
Look for sites where you can play for everything from low to high buy-ins. Low buy-ins are in the $0.01 to $3.00 range and high buy-ins are $1,000.00 to $2,000.00. You want to have plenty of games in the low-middle to middle range ($4.00 to $60.00). The main thing you are looking for is a poker site that you can afford.
Entry fees for tournaments should be around 10%. These can vary greatly from site to site and can really add up if you’re a poker player who likes to play a few hours every day. Entry fees are how sites make their money and that means you don’t get them back. Thus, they are part of the expense of playing poker.
In cash games, the standard rake is 5% of the pot with the top ranging between $3.00 and $5.00. At some sites, micro-stakes games won’t have a rake. If you play cash games, consider the rake before joining.
Number of Active Tables
Search for sites that have enough active tables so you’re not stuck waiting around for a seat. Most of us have a limited amount of time during which we can play poker and you want to use your time as wisely as possible. That means playing poker and not waiting to play.
Bonus Offers and Frequent Player Points
Many poker sites will reward you for using certain deposit methods and/or for playing a lot. Both are great for poker players because they give you more chances to play. Bonus options for online poker sites are often quite different than those you’ll find at online casinos. Poker rooms usually offer less lucrative bonuses. That’s because most of the cash you spend at a site goes to the competition and not to entry fees or the rake, but at a casino, the house is taking your cash.
If you love tournament play, then most online poker sites will be able to accommodate you. As it is with types of games, range of buy-ins and number of tables, some online rooms will feature more options and choices for poker players than others.
Free rolls are games where you pay nothing to play but may still win prizes. The prizes may include entry into a high stakes or satellite tournament, cash or some sort of merchandise. The great thing about free rolls is they allow you to stretch your cash even further since they cost nothing to play. Some poker sites will have four to six free rolls a day, while other will feature even more.
Level of Competition
All online poker rooms are not created equal when it comes to competition. If you’re a good player and you want to have some easy pickings, then poker sites such as Bodog and Players Only are for you. But if you desire a challenge or really want to improve your game, then other more competitive sites will be more to your liking.
Poker Sites Compatible with Your Computer
This one used to be more of a problem five years ago as back then many sites were not compatible with Macs. But a rise in Mac popularity, especially amongst those under 30, and the decision of various big poker sites to ensure that poker enthusiasts with Apples could play has led to greater accessibility. Additionally, you need to have enough room on your computer to download the software.
Deposit and Withdrawal Options
Most sites will offer poker players a wide range of options for deposits and withdrawals that include credit cards, eWallets, wire transfers and electronic checks. Be sure the poker room has a method of deposit and withdrawal that you can access.
Also, some online poker rooms will give players bonuses for using preferred types of deposit. Try to utilize this bonus option if possible. Finally, make sure the site allows you to become a member as some restrict players from certain countries due to specific laws of that nation.
More Than Just a Poker Site
Some poker sites, such as Poker Stars, offer just poker, whereas others include other options such as sports betting, horse racing and casino play. The choice is yours. If you enjoy other forms of gambling then join a site that gives you those options.
What Poker Sites Are Right For You?
Use the ten features/options outlined in this article to find the poker sites that are the right fit for your interests, budget and style of play. Always try to play at poker rooms that give you more bang for your buck, allowing you to stretch your dollar. Make the right choice and be a smart poker player even before you even become a member.