The online poker scene is full of various poker sites that offer a platform to play the likes of Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Stud and many other poker games. If you choose wisely, it will work out in your favor, but it could be a bit hard to pick the best poker site online without knowing where to look. Therefore, this article will give you a good idea about the different aspects you should consider when joining new online poker real money site and will help you make an educated decision.
Reputation And Regulation Of Online Poker Room
Obviously, you want a trusted company that will not endanger your money or personal information. Thus, if you have any doubts when joining new poker site, especially if you are planning to play for real money, you should check few things.
Firstly and most importantly, you should check if this online poker site has a gambling license. An excellent example of the trusted regulator is the gambling commissions of Malta and the United Kingdom, which regulates many of the sites. If you are not able to find any information or think that the site is not monitored, just run away. There have been many incidents in the past, and you surely do not want to leave your money hanging.
If they have the license and looks like a decent option, you can take a look how they are handling information and transactions. It must be protected with SSL encryptions and other advanced technologies so that your data would be coded and unharmed in all cases.
This is how it looks on my site with chrome browser:
If you find “Not secure” next to the site name, it means they do not have SSL certificate, and your data can very be easily stolen. However, it is offered by most poker rooms out there, but better check it beforehand.
Level Of Competition
Another crucial factor is the level of the competition you will face in the particular online poker room. The lower it is, the easier it will be to win in the long term and vice versa. While playing against solid opponents might help you improve faster, you always want some weaker players at your table. Actually, taking advantage of weak oppositions remains the best way to make money while playing poker online.
You should be careful and check the field for the particular games you are targeting. Some rooms might be soft when it comes to tournaments, but be tough in others formats so you should be aware of it. Time spent while gathering information and choosing the best online poker room will pay you big dividends in the future.
First Deposit Bonuses
One of the best consequences of the fierce competition among the poker rooms is that each of them offers bonuses to new players. The operators simply cannot afford not to. From the online poker players’ perspective, it is no longer a matter if you are getting a bonus; it is a matter of how big it is.
You should explore what is offered by the online poker sites and find a bonus that is suitable for you. To get the best value, you have to rate a couple of different aspects of the welcome offer of each online poker room.
Some sites will offer 50%, others 100% and there are even places where you can get a 200% bonus on top of your first deposit. Obviously, the higher the percentage, the better so it should be the first thing you consider.
However, it is not only about that. The maximum bonus you could get is also significant. Usually, the higher percentages are limited to a smaller number such as $100 or $200. That is perfectly fine if you have a small bankroll and plan to play low stakes. If you want to play in higher games, it is usually better to find a bonus that can bring you up to $500 or even $1,000. There are many opportunities for that.
Finally, you should always check the wagering requirements of each bonus. It is by far the most important aspect you have to consider in online poker real money sites. Depending on the conditions, an offer could be worth anywhere between 10% to 50% of your rake-back. You want the most value, and you want enough time to get it. Some poker rooms will give you 30 days to clear your bonus and others up to 90. Carefully evaluate how much money you can get from each offer before making your final decision and always take into consideration your specific situation.
If you play many higher stakes games, you want to get the biggest possible bonus. However, if you play less and lower games, then your goal is to get the best clearing rate so you could release your bonus faster and get that money into your wallet.
Best Online Poker Sites Bonuses And Rakeback
The first deposit bonuses are usually the most valuable offers by each online poker room. However, you should always be one-step ahead and check what is available when you clear the welcome deal. The poker scene is getting tougher each year, so it is essential to find a poker room that gives you the opportunity to earn extra value on a regular basis.
The most popular way to do is the traditional rakeback. In most cases, it can be anywhere between 10% and 50%, and if you are a high-volume player, you might even be able to work on an exclusive deal that brings you more than that.
If the poker room does not have a rakeback promotion, do not worry. It usually means they are not allowed to give cash directly in such fashion, so they have another way to pay the players. It is generally through VIP programs that reward loyalty points, which could be exchanged to money. Make sure to calculate how much you can get. You should not settle for less than 25-30% unless the room has other exceptional advantages such as poor players or huge traffic to compensate that.
Moreover, some of the best online poker real money sites are constantly launching limited-time promotions that can boost your bankroll even further. It is a nice addition to the ongoing offers, so you should probably consider it when picking a poker room as well.
All things considered, after counting everything we mentioned you should come up with the amount of bonus you are getting in each online poker site and consider that number as one of the most important indications to where you should play.
Variety Of Poker Games Online
Some players prefer to stick to one particular format, let us say No Limit Texas Hold’em tournaments. Other are willing to have more options to explore and find opportunities in different games. If you are in the second group, you certainly want online poker room that offers various types of games.
For a start, there should be at least the opportunity to play Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo. Also, you want to see various tournaments, SNGs, and possibly modern formats such as Spin and Go, fast-fold poker, and others to thoroughly enjoy the games. It will give you the chance to find your comfort zone and at the same time, switch to different games once you get tired or bored with your main action.
Poker Online Players Traffic
This one is especially important to semi-professional and professional players. You need to find an online poker room that has enough active tables at least during peak hours. It is a bit pointless if the games are soft, but are barely running.
Sites like PokerScout can help you see graphics of the active players in the different online poker rooms for the past couple of weeks or months. That is an easy way to find out how many tables you could expect. Moreover, most online poker rooms display a count of online players when you login so it is not hard to figure this out.
Customer Support Service
Unfortunately, all kind of stuff happens and sometimes you might end up looking for help. That is when you usually contact the support team of the online poker room and rely on their assistance.
Ideally, there will be a way to talk to them in real time, for example, via live chat or phone. An email is also okay if you get a response in a timely fashion, but it is crucial that your new online poker site would handle it fast.
Obviously, the other thing you need to check is how trained and capable the customer support team is. There are some horror stories online about poker rooms that drag requests for months with generic answers and incompetent handling of players’ claims. You do not want to end up in a similar situation, and if you do not find any negative reviews or posts in forums after googling it for few minutes, in most cases, you are good to go.
The ability to comfortably deposit or withdraw money is important too. You should be looking for online poker rooms that offer at least a decent number of popular providers. Debit and credits cards, e-wallets, and wire transfers are usually a must. They provide a reliable platform for you to move your money quickly and without any risks.
Choosing the best online poker real money site for you!
While all of these factors are important, when you pick the best online poker room out there, your focal point should always be your own plan. For example, do you prefer to play fewer tables with fewer promotions, but against very weak opposition? On the other hand, maybe you are planning to put a ton of volume and rake monthly to take advantage of lucrative rakeback deals? Both strategies are viable, and there are many more, thus picking the best site personally for you is very important.
However, there are a couple of things you should always stick to. Security, support, and payments are no joke. If online poker site does not have high standards when it comes to those three, better stay away. You do not want to end up scammed and losing your bankroll.
Also, while playing in only one online poker room has its advantages, you shouldn’t rule out the option to try a few. It is especially useful if you are looking for more traffic and more opportunities. However, the value you will get from promotions will decrease, as the rake will be spread among the different online poker sites. So as I said before, consider all of this before joining the best online poker site of your choice and enjoy the action!