These days, it’s very easy to find an online poker site to play on. There are hundreds of options available out there. Most of these sites offer standard game variations like Texas Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha. Some also go a step beyond and feature some less popular varieties.
But, with so many options, making a choice actually becomes quite difficult. How do you pick the best and most reliable site for your online poker journey?
To try and help you out, I’ve compiled an article with the most commonly asked questions about online poker sites and relevant answers. Reading what’s inside should give you a pretty good idea of what to pay attention to the most when making your choice.
How do I know the poker site is safe and not rigged?
This is probably the most common and the most important question that players ask. Since you’re putting real money on the line, you want to be sure that the room you pick is safe, fair, reliable, and not rigged in any way.
The best way to get this is by only signing up with sites licensed by reputable gaming bodies that have had their RNG software verified by independent auditing companies. You'll usually find this information in the footer of the site, and it will tell you all you need to know.
If you don’t feel like doing the research yourself, you can also check out this list of the best poker sites. All the rooms listed here tick all the relevant boxes so you can jump straight into the action with no fear.
How can I deposit money to an online poker site?
Funding your online poker account is a crucial step of the process unless you're planning to build your bankroll from zero, playing freerolls. As long as you stick to reputable and well-known poker operators, you’ll have no problems in this department.
These poker rooms accept a variety of payment methods such as MasterCard, Visa, NETELLER, Skrill, PayPal, bank transfers, and much more. You’ll have plenty of options to choose from.
That said, you should always check beforehand to make sure the site you want to play on accepts your preferred payment option. Since you can pick and choose, you’d rather play on a platform that already accepts whatever form of payment you like to use. This will save you a lot of time and trouble.
What are online poker bonuses, and how do they work?
Most operators will welcome new players with a bonus of some kind. For the most part, it will be a deposit match bonus. So, for example, if you deposit $500, you’ll get another $500 from the room. This is a pretty good deal that you can’t get in any live poker rooms.
However, you should know that poker bonuses are almost never given out in one piece and ahead of time. Instead, the funds will be added to your bonus balance and released to you as you play and generate poker rake.
How big of a bankroll do I need to play poker online?
One of the best things about online poker is that it’s accessible to everyone. Whether you only have $10 or $20 available to you or want to play for high stakes, there are options.
While live poker rooms can’t afford to host games under a certain level, online operators don’t have such restrictions. Thus, you’ll find cash games with blinds as low as $0.01/0.02 and tournaments featuring buy-ins of $1 or even lower.
How much money you want to deposit and how you manage your bankroll is entirely up to you. Most online poker sites give you a very high degree of flexibility, and you never have to play outside of your comfort zone.
Can I play online poker without depositing?
If you’re still learning the ropes or don’t feel comfortable putting real money on the line, the good news is that you can also play poker for free. Most operators offer so-called “play money” games, which are exactly the same as their real money counterparts. The only difference is you’ll be using play chips, so you can’t actually cash out your winnings.
What’s even better is that you can also play for real money prizes without risking anything. Many poker sites host freeroll tournaments, which are free to enter (as the name suggests), but offer prizes that have real value.
These prizes can be cash, tournament tickets, merchandise, or something else. Back in the day, many of the best poker players have started their bankrolls playing freerolls without ever depositing a single cent.
Are online poker sites legal?
The question of the legality of online poker isn't the one that can be answered uniformly. Properly licensed and regulated operators are certainly legal. However, each country has its own laws covering online gambling and poker.
It is always the player’s responsibility to make sure they are not breaking any laws by playing online poker. Operators try their best to cover this aspect as well and only cater to regulated countries. However, with things changing quickly and the gaming regulation not always perfectly clear, it’s up to you to figure out this particular part.
Can I play online poker on my phone as well?
In this day and age, pretty much everything is available via mobile phones. Online poker is no exception. Modern operators have realized the importance of making their platform available for phones and tablets, so you’ll have no problems playing some poker hands on the go.
Some of the industry leaders, like PokerStars and 888, offer top-quality, standalone poker apps available for Android and iOS devices. Some also offer mobile-ready sites that let you play straight from your browser. However, for a smooth and enjoyable poker experience on the go, you should probably stick to quality apps.
How many online poker sites can I register with?
There is no limit as to how many poker sites you can register with. You are completely within your right to open an account with every room you like. So, if you like an operator and want to test it out, don’t be shy to open an account and see what’s going on.
That said, you probably shouldn't go too crazy with making accounts, as it will just create unnecessary confusion. Instead, pick one or two rooms you like and stick to them. This will give you a chance to get to know the players who play there and also benefit from whatever reward program the room might be offering.