Looking For the Best Poker Sites
If you thought finding the best poker sites was as easy as firing up the PC, Mac or tablet, think again.
There's so much that goes into making a top poker room that there are dozens of criteria you need to check off before you opt for a site to play at.
While players will have their favorite sites and there is no 'one size fits all' approach to online rooms, there are certain areas all players need to consider when hunting out a site. Let's take a look at some of the biggest factors you'll have to explore before taking out the credit card.
A Good Range of Games
While many online players come to poker via Texas Hold'em, finding a good game of the 'Cadillac of Poker' is just the start; you need to find sites that offer cash games catering for all wallets and tables that are regularly kept stocked.
Tournament players, meanwhile, should have at least one daily and one nightly game to play in, preferably with a guaranteed prizepool, and a handful of big weekly and monthly games.
Great sites will also offer online satellites into major live events so you can take your shot at prizes often worth millions of dollars.
And take a look at your preferred system. Good sites will work on PC, Mac, tablet/smartphone and no-download to keep that player pool as high as possible.
Finding Lots Of Players (And Fish)
Games are only as good as the players in them, or more accurately, how BAD they are.
While it can be good to test your skills against solid players occasionally, for most casual players it's healthy to come up against plenty of fish.
Fishy players are normally beginners who have little regard for their bankroll and make regular, bad decisions. These fish are perfect for keeping your long-term profits in an upward direction; exploit them.
If you need to resolve issues you have with the poker software, enquiring about slow cashouts, or reporting possible collusion, a good customer support team can be a saving grace.
Poker sites work differently, but good rooms should have email, phone and Instant Chat options available so you can make contact quickly.
Banking and Cashouts
While major sites will accept virtually every deposit method on the planet, many don't. You need to pick a site that has a wide range of options so that you have as much choice as possible, particularly if you live in a jurisdiction where some payment methods are hard to use.
While credit cards can be good in one country, they can be a nightmare in another, so an e-Wallet or fast bank transfer might be a better proposition.
And when it comes to cashouts, you want a poker room that delivers on its promise of quick withdrawals so you aren't left waiting for your winnings. You can visit our dedicated pages at OnlinePoker.com to see how a range of banking methods works and which is best for you.
Security and Licensing
If you are trusting a poker site with your personal data and card details, how do you know if it's going to be safe?
And when you're playing a big-stakes Hold'em game, how can you be sure the games aren't being hacked?
Great sites will have leading security in place so that your data is kept totally secure. They will also have auditing in place from firms like eCOGRA to ensure the software is random and runs smoothly.
Sites can be licensed in any one of a number of jurisdictions around the world, but with a license comes a legal obligation to protect players and their money. Signing up with a properly regulated site is paramount.
Quality of Welcome Bonus
Most online rooms offer new customers a deposit bonus when they first sign up.
This can range from to ,000, and everywhere in between, but every site operates its loyalty program differently. Some will offer player points on certain games where another site doesn't, and the 'play-through' wagering requirement on games can vary dramatically.
If you're seriously thinking about playing a lot of poker online, it pays to shop around for the best welcome bonus deal.
Using a Comparison Site
While new online poker players can be faced with a bewildering array of criteria when choosing a site to play at, it needn't be an ordeal.
Using a great comparison site like OnlinePoker.com is essential for finding yourself the best rooms quickly and easily.
Use our reviews and download a client that works for you. You'll soon notice the difference in your poker bankroll.
Avoid the Crooks
In 2016 you're more likely to find trustworthy, licensed poker sites to play at.
But that's not to say there still aren't poker rooms out there with terrible records on cashouts, handling collusion, and offering crummy software.
Luckily, we have made a top list of 'blacklisted' poker sites which you can avoid when signing up for a real-money account.
Check out our list here and get your online poker journey off to the best possible start.