One of the most significant conveniences of online poker is that you have the ability to simultaneously play at as many sites and tables as you can physically handle.
Thanks to this, you can win more money over the same period and tailor your gaming experience to your particular needs and preferences.
But what is the better option? Should you stick to just one site, or are you better served playing at multiple sites?
Pretty much all poker rooms offer at least the most popular variations like No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha, so that’s usually not an issue.
So, what else should you think about when deciding whether to put all your eggs in one basket or diversify your action across multiple poker sites?
Pros & Cons of Playing at One Poker Site
When you first start playing, you’ll probably find a room that you like and begin there. But, should you be happy sticking to just one site or spend your time looking for other opportunities out there to add to the mix? There are two sides to that coin.
Most players prefer playing on one platform when playing poker, especially those who play the game recreationally and are primarily looking to relax and enjoy.
This is mainly because this practice offers them many substantial advantages, including:
It’s easy to set up one poker account, and you can be up and running within minutes. You don’t have to keep track of multiple login details for each site, there’s only one app you need to learn to use, and all of your money will be in one place.
- You’re Familiar with the Setting
If you commit to one poker site, you can better familiarize yourself with its platform and enjoy a more comfortable experience.
Moreover, if you’re playing on one site exclusively and mostly stick to the same tables, you’ll likely be playing against the same players. You’ll be able to familiarize yourself with their style of play and win more often.
- Loyalty Bonuses are Easier to Claim
All poker loyalty bonuses revolve around the frequency of play. And, since you’re playing on one poker platform exclusively, you’ll reach the bonus requirements sooner.
The more you play at the site, the quicker you’ll be able to generate the rake required to unlock bonuses, rewards, and other perks on offer.
There are, of course, some disadvantages to playing on just one site. While these cons aren’t necessarily deal-breakers for most players, they are something to think about.
Most successful poker players always look for an edge and try to avoid putting themselves in a disadvantageous position. So, keep these cons in mind when figuring out your options.
Not all poker sites offer the same variety of games. Major platforms such as PokerStars and partypoker cover the most options, but some smaller sites don’t provide this convenience.
By sticking to one site, you might be missing some variations that are potentially available at alternative sites.
You might like a particular site for their software, bonuses, or whatever else. However, if there is a lack of player traffic on the site, your profits will suffer.
If player numbers start to dwindle, you won’t be able to put in enough poker hands, and tournament guarantees will decrease.
It’s understandable you want to remain loyal to a poker room, especially if they treated you well, but you can’t afford to do it at your own expense. So, if you notice these trends, it’s time to start looking for alternatives.
- You’re Missing out on Bonuses
It’s hardly a secret that the best and most generous offers on all sites are reserved for new players. A poker or casino welcome bonus can provide a big boost for your bankroll.
When you’re playing exclusively on one poker site, you’re missing out on other potentially lucrative deals on other platforms.
This isn't to say that you should be joining poker sites for bonuses alone, as other aspects, such as safety, player traffic, and reputation, are equally as important, but keep your eyes peeled for any lucrative offers that might pop up.
Playing on Multiple Sites
Playing on multiple sites is common practice for more skilled and experienced players. It’s probably best to stick to one site when you’re just starting, but as you become better and want to take things more seriously, you’ll probably want to spread your wings.
Spreading your action across multiple poker rooms has quite a few advantages that you should know about. These are some of the most important ones:
Signing up with several poker sites means that you’ll also be able to claim multiple welcome offers, bonus deals, and ongoing bonuses available at each different site.
Of course, chasing after multiple bonuses at the same time will likely require you to put in more hours, so you need to be prepared for that.
Having access to good bonus deals is always a plus, especially for those who play poker for a living but you should never allow the quality of your game to suffer because you’re playing too long sessions or running more tables than you can handle.
- More Extensive Variety of Poker Games
More sites equal more games. With more available platforms to play at, you can explore more options and enjoy a different experience in each poker site you play.
At some point, you might want to dip your toes in less-popular variations like Razz, for example. This might require you to set up an account with a new room, especially if you’re currently playing on a smaller site.
- More Action Around the Clock
When playing on multiple sites, you'll rarely find yourself in a position where no games are running on your preferred stake, be it cash games or tournaments.
Even if you can only find a few tables on each site, you can easily get up to nine or ten tables if you're running three rooms simultaneously.
Tournament players are particularly motivated to have accounts with more than one room. Different sites run different tournament series with big prize pools and a lot of action. If you spread your action correctly, there’ll always be something to keep you busy.
Playing on multiple sites also has a few critical cons you should be aware of before spreading your money across several platforms. Keep these in mind when making your decision.
Different online poker platforms don’t necessarily run well together. You might experience software issues when running multiple clients at the same time.
These issues can hurt your gaming experience and, more importantly, can cost you money.
This goes for various poker tools as well. You’ll need to set up your HUD for every site separately, and might have to deal with strange or unexpected errors along the way.
- You’ll Need a Bigger Bankroll
When playing on several sites, you'll need more money at your disposal. You want to have enough money in each account to last you a few sessions, at least so that you don't have any unnecessary downtime.
This isn’t a con on its own, but it is an inconvenience, especially if you’re early on in your poker career.
While moving money online has become much easier today than it used to be in the past, you’ll still have to wait at least a few hours to transfer money from one site to another.
So, try to keep your bankroll management aligned with the number of rooms you're playing at. It's usually better to play at fewer sites but have enough money in your accounts to endure the variance and losing stretches.
- Quality of Play Across Sites Can Vary
Another important thing to remember when playing on multiple rooms is that the overall quality of play on a certain stake can be quite different.
For example, NL100 on PokerStars is quite different from the same games on some small room filled with recreational players.
This means that you’ll need to employ different strategies on different tables. What works on one site won’t necessarily work on the other.
This can be rather hard to track in real-time and with several tables running. You will have to focus more during your sessions to make sure you’re making the best plays.
A Brief Summary
Hopefully, this detailed comparison has helped you decide which option is best for you. You’ve also probably noticed how some of these pros and cons affect users on a more individual level.
Not every poker player chases bonuses, nor does every player want to spread his money over several sites.
This is entirely normal and understandable. The only thing that matters is that you make a suitable decision based on what you’re looking for.
Regardless of whether you choose to stick to one poker room exclusively or play on several ones so you can move around, always make sure to play to the advantages and minimize the drawbacks.
Ultimately, it's about making the most out of your time spent playing, both in terms of profits and entertainment, so you need to figure out what the right option is for you, and the only real way to do it is by putting yourself to the test. In this particular matter, the experience will be your best teacher.