If you’re looking for a great online poker site, this article gives you five hallmarks that define the best poker rooms. Use the features outlined in this piece to guide you in your quest to discover an online poker site that you can call home.
All Online Poker Rooms Are Not Created Equal! There are many online poker sites and many more being developed and launched all the time. If you’re looking for an online poker room, there are specific features and attributes that make for a great site. Here are five essentials that define the best poker rooms.
Choice, Choice and More Choice
Poker rooms that offer a lot of choice are really the best. By choice, we’re considering the number of cash games, sit and go tournaments and scheduled tournaments on-hand. Players want to play and there’s nothing more frustrating than having to wait a long time for a seat at a table or for a sit and go tournament to fill up.
Also, an online poker site should have a variety of games and innovative ways of playing for cash. Head-to-head, four, six, nine and 10-seat tables, half-and-half games, knockout and bounty tournaments and tournaments with very small through to very large buy-ins should all be featured.
Texas Holdem, Omaha, Omaha Hi Lo, Five-Card Draw and Stud are all standard games. These are games that need to be on the site. You may also want to play more esoteric games such as Razz, HORSE and Badugi. Although these are not standard fair, if you want to play them, you need to make sure the online poker site you’re considering carries them.
Plenty of Play Money Games and Free Rolls
It’s hard to find an online poker site that does not offer play money games. And most poker rooms have free rolls, which are games that players enter for free or by cashing in frequent player points. Unlike play money games, which are also free, free rolls offer prize money or merchandize to the winners.
What you want to consider is how many free rolls are available at any given time. Preferably, you want to be able to play in free rolls on a daily basis. Many sites will have at least three to five free rolls per day. Participating in these is a resourceful way to augment your bankroll.
Bonuses and Points
Most online poker sites have a signup bonus and additional bonuses that players may access. Bonuses usually require that players engage in a certain number of cash games or tournaments over a specified period of time before the member can collect the bonus. Make sure these terms are reasonable and attainable.
Sites often have a frequent player program through which members earn points every time they play in a cash game or tournament. The points they accumulate may be exchanged for merchandise, used for tournament entry fees or turned into cash that can be applied to the poker table. Points can add up quickly and that means more cash to invest in your game.
Look for poker rooms that are associated with the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and through which you may earn seats at WSOP events. An online poker site that gives you the opportunity to play with the pros is a serious site.
Other great online poker site promotions include the chance for members to earn a roster spot on the room’s poker team, knockout or bounty tournaments where you play against pros and big tournaments that offer major prizes such as luxury cars and exclusive vacations.
Big promotions are important for various reasons. First, they give you important opportunities to test your game and move up the ladder in the poker world. Also, they attract a lot of new members, which means more people to play against and more tables at which to compete. Finally, they keep the game interesting and vibrant.
One important note: the promotions should offer players of all levels a chance to compete. A special tournament that has a $1,000 buy-in isn’t useful to the average player. Low buy-ins, the opportunity to use frequent player points or the prospect of wining a seat at the big event through a free roll are all good ways to ensure that all members of an online poker site can participate and compete.
Online Support, Safe, Secure, Simple
This may go without saying, but it should be said. Whatever online poker site you join, it must offer online support through toll free telephone and email or chat. It’s preferred that the support be 24/7.
Also, the poker room should use industry standard SSL 3.0 (secured socket layers) protocol to transmit all financial and personal data. This technology encrypts all data, ensuring it can be safely carried over the Internet.
Various deposit and withdrawal methods need to be available and all policies related to transactions and doing business with the site must be clearly stated. Finally, the poker site has to be licensed.
Pick a Winner
Shop around for the online poker site that is right for you. Tour through sites, read reviews and check the latest poker news to see which rooms are in the news. It’s also a good idea to first compete in play money games to get a feel for the site’s software and the various options and features that are available. There are a lot of fine poker sites online. Make sure you pick yourself a winner.