What Makes the Best Online Poker Site?
When it comes to selecting the perfect platform to indulge in your passion for poker, we understand the importance of making an informed decision. With countless options available, we have compiled a checklist to ensure that you have all the essential criteria covered when comparing poker sites.
From the security of your funds and the variety of game options to the user experience and enticing bonuses, our checklist aims to provide you with a well-rounded perspective, allowing you to find the ultimate online poker destination that suits your preferences and enhances your gaming experience.
How We Evaluate Poker Sites & What to Consider
So, you’ve seen our list of what we consider to be the top real money poker sites, but you may be wondering how we picked these above the dozens of other great poker sites that are available on the market. Well, we have a team of poker experts who thoroughly evaluate each site based on a set of criteria that matters most to poker players. We rate each site based on those criteria, and the top sites make it onto lists like these.
- Poker Room Reputation
- Bonuses and Promotions
- Poker Software
- Safety and Security
- Poker Traffic
- Opponent Skill
POKER ROOM REPUTATION
Reputation is everything when it comes to gambling. If a site with a bad reputation or a lot of negative reviews, there’s likely a good reason. Sometimes, the site can be sketchy regarding withdrawals; others have poor action, clunky UI, or a small player base. The more reliable and legal online poker sites have a stellar reputation, so you can be sure they’re a safe place to play online poker.
BONUSES and Promotions
If you’re looking to make your money go further, you should compare the top poker sites to see which offers the highest welcome and reload bonuses. Many online poker sites offer generous bonuses, so whether you want your initial deposit matched or a free bonus without having to deposit any money, there’s a site for you. Some of the biggest online poker rooms will even let you pick bonuses depending on what kind of online poker games you play. For example, you can get sit-and-go tickets if that’s your game or free buy-ins to cash games if that’s more your speed.
Having poker software that’s easy to use sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s often one of the most overlooked aspects of online poker sites. Why? Truly great user interfaces go unnoticed; everything works perfectly, so they never attract (negative) attention. If you’re a seasoned player who’s played online poker at a slew of different poker rooms, you’ll know how much more pleasant it is to play poker on a site that looks good over one that doesn’t. However, things like this are a personal preference, so check out the poker sites before committing to one.
Why Care About the Best Online Poker Software?
You may think that having the very best online poker software isn’t that important to the overall experience and that only the quality of the games matters. However, trying to grind long sessions on unintuitive poker software that’s constantly crashing affects your win rate more than you think. The more time you spend focusing on the software, the less time is spent focusing on what you should do during gameplay. Poker is a game that requires immense concentration to play well; if you’re constantly battling the software and your opponents, it will have a bigger effect than you think.
Having software that’s easy to use sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s often one of the most overlooked aspects of poker sites. Truly great user interfaces go unnoticed; everything works perfectly, so they never attract negative attention. If you’re a seasoned player who’s tried a variety of different online poker rooms, you’ll know how much more pleasant it is to play on a site that looks good over one that doesn’t. However, things like this are a personal preference, so check out the sites for yourself before you commit to one.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Knowing that thereal money you deposit will be safe and that the games you play are fair should be the #1 priority when choosing a real money poker site. If you do not trust the poker site with your money, you shouldn’t play on it. Period. Luckily, there are ways to tell how secure a poker room is. All legal online poker sites will have a gaming license from a recognized and reputable gambling commission. Sites with these licenses are held to high standards for security. In addition, they are subject to third-party audits to ensure their poker games are fair and secure.
As we mentioned above, one of the best ways to know whether a poker room is secure is to check its gaming license. Most countries require a gaming license for an online poker site to legally offer real money games to its residents. So, for example, in the UK, if a poker site isn’t licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, it cannot offer real money poker games to UK players. This is fine for countries where these institutions are set up, but what about countries like the US, where only a handful of states offer regulated online poker?
Most offshore real money poker sites will still hold a gaming license, even if it’s just for the country they reside in. For example, Curacao is a popular location for offshore online poker sites, so you’ll see a lot of sites that hold a license from this region. However, not all licenses are created equal, and some are tougher to acquire than others. This is why it’s essential to check whether or not your online poker site has a license and where that license comes from before you play any real money games.
Even if a site has fantastic bonuses and a fantastic-looking user interface, it’s all for naught if nobody plays. An online poker site’s traffic is its lifeblood; without active players, the site will quickly die off. Therefore, you’ll want to look for whether or not there are plenty of users playing your specific game type when you most frequently play. For example, suppose your game of choice is Texas Hold ’em cash games. In that case, you don’t care if the Omaha 8 or Better poker tournaments have enough players to run; you should only be judging the site on the traffic of its NLHE cash games.
How Does Traffic Affect Poker Rooms?
If an online poker site has thousands of players playing there, other players will notice that and think, “This must be a great place to play; I’ll play poker online there too.” On the flip side, if a site is struggling to attract users, potential new players will look at that and think, “Well, there must be a reason no one plays here.” After all, would you play poker online on a poker site where you struggle to get a seat every time you log on? No! You want a site that will give you the games you want whenever you want them, which is why traffic is such an essential metric for online poker sites.
CONSIDER OPPONENT SKILL
Another thing to consider when looking for the best online poker site is the average skill level of the players you’ll be playing against. Unless the only reason you play online poker is to play against the best possible players for fun, you’ll likely want to play on the site with the softest games. After all, most of us are looking to make money playing poker online when we log on each day!
The more players there are on a site, the more recreational players there are likely to be; but remember, there will also be more sharks swimming in the waters. So sometimes, the best way to find a soft game is to look for smaller player pools with a higher percentage of recreational players.
Sometimes the best poker sites are the ones where poker isn’t the main focus, such as sports betting sites that offer online poker, or online gambling sites with a poker room. People go to these online casino sites mainly to bet on sports or play online casino games, with poker more of an afterthought. As such, the cash games tournaments will likely be softer, giving you a more profitable situation.
What to expect from the best poker sites
Choosing the right online poker site can greatly impact your gaming experience. In this video, we’ll explore the factors that make a poker site stand out. From reputation, bonus offerings, and software features, we’ll guide you through the key elements to consider when searching for the ultimate online poker platform.
The Best Poker Sites for Beginners
If you’re entirely new to online poker and want to know where to begin, this is the section for you (experienced players can skip this section). First, we’ll go through everything you should be looking for from an online poker site to ensure that your experience is as good as possible.
So, what are the sites that fit this description? What sites should you be signing up for if you’re just getting started in the world of online poker? To help you with your search, we’ve highlighted the poker sites that we believe are the best for beginners, so take a look below for a list of the best beginner-friendly online poker rooms:
Ignition Poker’s ethos is to create a fun and welcoming environment for new players by implementing features that protect beginners. The most well-known “player-friendly” feature at Ignition Poker is the anonymous tables. Having everyone anonymous at the tables prevents bum-hunting and eliminates the predatory aspect of cash game/sit & go lobbies. Ignition is also well known for its large amount of traffic, creating soft games that are the perfect place to learn the ropes. If you’re just getting started in poker, look no further than Ignition Poker.
Like Ignition, Bovadahas implemented a number of features that protect recreational players and create a more welcoming poker environment. They also have anonymous tables across the site, so you don’t have to worry about players tracking you down if they realise you’re a newbie. They also have features such as a 4-table limit that prevent grinders from playing bazillion tables at once and slowing down the action. Add this to the network’s notoriously soft tournaments and cash games, and you’ve got the perfect beginner’s poker site.
Another site that has seen the light when it comes to the benefits of anonymous tables, Bodog has been creating a beginner-friendly poker ecosystem for over a decade. They have an intuitive, easy-to-use poker lobby that makes it easy to find the game you want to play, and there’s always plenty of traffic, so you never have to wait too long to find the game you want to play. Plus, more traffic means softer games, so you’re less likely to be playing against the sharks while you’re getting to grips with the game.
While the site may not offer anonymous tables like the other three on our list, Everygame has decades of experience in looking after customers. It’s continually shaping its product to meet the needs of the user, and in the process is creating a safe haven for recreationals and beginners alike to enjoy the game. With soft games across its cash games, poker tournaments, and sit & gos, you can learn this wonderful game in a safe, player-friendly environment.
The Best Poker Sites for EXPERIENCED PLAYERS
If you skipped the above section because you’re an experienced vet, this is the part you need to pay attention to. A surprising number of players will play on the first site they come across. If this sounds like you, check out our list below for everything you should consider when looking for a top online poker site that fits your experienced needs.
For the more experienced player, you will want to delve into poker sites that cater specifically to your more advanced skill level and expertise. These platforms are designed to provide a stimulating and challenging environment, perfect for honing your advanced poker strategies and engaging in high-stakes gameplay. Let’s take a look at the sites that fit this description and provide a more challenging poker experience:
- Americas Cardroom
While many sites have been neglecting their regular players in favor of the recreational player pool, partypoker realizes just how essential to the ecosystem these players are. That’s why they’ve implemented a number of reg-friendly features that make it more appealing to grind on partypoker. The biggest draw is their rakeback program, where you can earn up to 40% rakeback over the course of a week – this could be enough to turn a slightly breakeven player into a big winner! They also have a number of leaderboards that reward consistent play, as well as “Real Name” tables that seek to eliminate the toxicity that can be found when playing online.
Another site that isn’t afraid to look after its regulars is ACR. They host a range of huge-guarantee tournaments that are a must-play for any serious tournament grinder. They also run cash games all the way up to $200/$400, giving you the chance to grind your way up to the very highest stakes. With a loyalty program where players can earn thousands of dollars in cash and regular promotions that reward grinders, it’s clear that ACR is the perfect place for experienced players.
What more can you say about arguably the biggest and best poker site in the world? With huge tournament guarantees, innovative poker games that attract recreational players, and a choice of rakeback programs, it’s hard to find a better place to grind than GGPoker. They even have bad beat jackpots that pay out when your big hands get cracked and daily leaderboards for cash players and tournament players, so no matter what game you’re grinding, you can get extra rewards. If you’re looking to take poker seriously, there aren’t many better poker sites than GGPoker.
Playing From A Mobile Device
As mobile gaming has become more and more popular over the years, we’re increasingly asked whether or not you can play at certain poker rooms from your mobile device. And to that question, the answer has increasingly been yes! Many poker rooms allow for some sort of mobile play, so you can join in the fun wherever you are in the world.
There are a number of sites that offer a dedicated mobile app that you can download onto your phone. These apps let you log in with your credentials and get access to their full range of online poker games. Many players prefer to play on sites that offer a mobile app, as they offer the best mobile poker experience thanks to the lag-free software and range of games available to choose from.
If your site does not offer a mobile app, it may allow you to play through your phone’s web browser on their mobile-optimized website. These websites allow you to simply browse the site, log in with your credentials, and start playing. However, you may find that web-based mobile play is not as polished as app-based play, and some sites do not offer all game types when playing through your phone’s web browser.
Depositing With Crypto
Another issue that’s becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s modern world is the issue of cryptocurrency. Many poker players want to deposit and withdraw using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, as it allows them to make large transactions quickly and easily with low fees.
As this is becoming an increasingly popular payment method, a number of US sites allow players to deposit and withdraw using cryptocurrency. Some of the best sites have a range of different cryptocurrencies you can choose from, whereas others only allow you to deposit and withdraw with the major currencies.
It’s always worth checking the payment methods available at your chosen site before signing up, but if you do want to make your transactions using cryptocurrency, you’ll find that a number of sites allow you to do so.
ONLINE POKER SITE TIPS
If you’re in the market for a new online poker operator, follow our helpful tips to ensure you can find the best online poker site for your needs.
KNOW WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR
Some players are looking to make money; some are looking to gamble; others are simply looking for a fun game to play to kill some time. All these player types will have different needs from a poker site. Before you compare different poker rooms, have a clear idea of why you want to play poker online, as that will make it easier to choose what’s best for you.
TRY THE SITES FOR FREE
The best online poker sites offer play money games where you can experience the look and feel of the site without depositing any real money. Play money games allow you to get comfortable with the online poker site, test out the software, and see if it’s somewhere you’d enjoy playing.
READ REVIEWS FROM OTHER PLAYERS
Looking at the experiences other players have had with the online poker room you’re considering is invaluable. They’ll give you an honest assessment of what the operator is like to play on. Obviously, a poker site will never have its negative points up on its website for everyone to see. However, getting an honest, first-hand assessment from players who have actually played on the poker site will help you decide whether it is worth checking out.
As you can see, finding the most reputable online poker sites can be tough, which is why for us, it’s a full-time job! There are so many poker sites online that looking through them all is a challenging task. However, in this article, we’ve given you what you need to find the site that’s right for you, so make today the day that you stop settling for less and only play at the best online poker sites!