Playing poker online has rapidly become a focal point in the online gambling world. Choosing between so many different sites may seem like an insurmountable challenge, but there are ways to break it down into areas that you should pay attention to.
The main things to look for are – bonuses, tournaments, competition, and player traffic. Learning these few things can really help you in choosing which poker site is the one for you.
Top Poker Sites on the Internet
Finding the best place to play should be based on your own personal preferences, and our guide should only help you narrow down your choices
The Internet allows you to play poker with thousands of people all over the world at any time of the day. However, they are not all the same. Some do not have quality customer support, and others provide slow payouts. The best sites offer reputable service with a wide selection of games and excellent promotions.
Bonuses and Promotions to Look For
For the most part, all poker sites on the internet offer bonuses and/or promotions to get you into their site. This usually means giving you some kind of guaranteed “bonus match”. A bonus match is an offer in which these poker websites will match whatever you deposit and put that into your account, usually 100% or higher.
In short, you will see a banner proclaiming “Join Now for a 100% match worth up to $100″. After joining the site and depositing $75, the site will put an additional $75 into your account to play with. This can vary quite a bit between each poker room, and using this initial bonus information can be a good factor in choosing which site is for you. In addition to the initial sign up bonus, many will offer ongoing bonus matches and promotions.
Finding a Place with the Best Tournaments
Once again, almost every site offers poker tournaments online to compete in. If you aren’t interested in tournament competition then this factor doesn’t have to play into your decision. If you are interested you need to look into which types of tournaments are available. Usually the amount of tournaments and the prize pools are determined by the player traffic on the site.
In addition to several game variations, the best rooms will host exciting tournaments. Tournaments are usually held every day (these days more like every minute) and feature huge pots and extravagant prizes. You should be on the look out for tournaments that let you to play against professional poker players or that give the winner a seat in the World Series of Poker.
Player Traffic and Game Selection
The term “player traffic” means the amount of players that play on the site on a regular basis. Most will be very upfront and tell you what their traffic numbers are on their website. If they don’t tell you up front, it is probably not very high, but look around to blogs or reviews to see what other players think about the traffic volume. The higher the player traffic number generally means the tournaments have more players and pay out much higher prize pools. It also affects the number of cash games and sit n’ go tournaments there are available. Below is a solid list of the most popular poker games to play. Clicking on the link will explain each type of game in detail and will provide you lots of valuable information within the article.
A wide selection of games would be pointless if you had nobody to play with. Luckily, all the places we mention have thousands of users ready to play at anytime of the day or night. You will find both beginners and more advanced players in both high and low stakes games.
The top poker websites give you the possibility of playing with people that are of equal skill level by offering stakes all the way from penny tables to high stakes in order to make sure you are never overmatched. To connect you with all of these users, they offer superior software that is compatible with several operating systems and often times part of a pool or “network”. They should provide easy to follow instructions so you can quickly download and install the software to begin playing. The software features 3D graphics, advanced stat tracking and in-game chat features.
Make Sure You Find What You Are Looking For
The best online poker sites offer user friendly deposit and withdrawal methods. They let you make transactions by credit card, bank transfer or with an eWallet service. You should always receive all of your winnings in a timely manner. They help you avoid currency conversion by accepting payments from all over the world. All information during any transaction should be encrypted to protect against fraud and identity theft.
The best on the internet will offer strategy guides and video tutorials to help you improve your poker skills. They also offer in-depth guides for all of the poker variations they offer. Some of the best sites even feature tips from professional poker players. Even the most seasoned gambler will be able to learn something from the strategies they offer.
Some of the less reputable poker rooms specialize in tournaments and customer support, others offer great promotions and a large user base, but the top ones combine all of these elements in one convenient location.
The level of competition is an important factor in choosing which of the poker sites you’d like to join. If you are a beginner, you may want to find a place with a low level of competition, but if you are an experienced player looking for a challenge coupled with higher winnings you may want to find one with a high level of competition.
There really is no way to gauge the level of competition by looking at just the websites page. The exception to this is a site advertising professional players. If you are looking for a professional level of competition these may be the sites for you. Remember that even though they may employ pros, that does not mean the lower limit tables aren’t full of inexperienced players.
In general, the above tips are good starting points to help in choosing which may be the best for you to join. Each single area does not make the site, so it is pertinent to look at the whole site and all aspects. There are no places that will be absolutely perfect for you in all areas – choosing which areas are important to you is the most important thing.
Game Rules and Wagering Structures
Poker games, including Texas Holdem, Omaha, 7 Card Stud, 5 Card Draw, Razz, Badugi, and Hi Lo variations of some of these games, can be played with several different wagering structures. These include
- No Limit
- Pot Limit
- Fixed Limit
- Spread Limit
Playing No Limit allows you to bet any amount of money you’d like as where other types, such as Fixed Limit, place restrictions on betting amounts.
“No Limit” Poker
No Limit Poker Games - In a No Limit poker game, you can bet all of the chips in your stack whenever it’s your turn. In this way, there actually is a limit in No Limit poker, and that maximum limit is the amount of chips you started the hand with. For example, if you decide to raise your whole chip stack, you can’t buy more chips in the middle of the hand to raise even further.
The minimum bet in No Limit poker games is generally the value of the big blind. For example, in a No Limit poker game with blinds of $2 / $4, the minimum allowable bet is $4. You’ll need to post this amount when it’s your turn to bet if you wish to stay in the hand and see the flop.
Pot Limit – In a Pot Limit poker game, the minimum bet is still the value of the big blind. However, the maximum bet is the current total size of the pot.
You can calculate the current size of the pot by adding together three figures: the number of chips accumulated through previous rounds, the bets made in the current round, and the call from the competitor who is currently making a raise. Unlike in fixed limit poker, you can wager any amount between the minimum bet and the size of the pot, inclusive.
Fixed Limit – In Fixed Limit poker, the allowable bet sizes are determined before the game begins. The lower bet is known as the small bet, while the higher is called the big bet.
The small bet is equivalent to the big blind, while the big bet is double this amount. For example, in a game with blinds of $3 / $6, the small bet would be $6 and the big bet is $12.
Players do not have the option of choosing which bet they’d like to use. Rather, this is determined by the betting round. Players must wager the small bet in the first two rounds, and the big bet in later rounds.
Spread Limit – Spread Limit are the least common of all the types we have listed. In a Spread Limit poker game, players can bet any amount within a predetermined spread. For example, you might have a spread limit game with a spread of $5 to $20. In this case, you could bet any amount between $5 and $20, as well as those exact figures.
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