Choosing a poker site

Choosing a Poker Site – Some Tips

Almost every other weekend I get along with a group of friends to play Poker – it is my Saturday night past time which I enjoy immensely. Looking at the huge popularity of online gaming, I decided to try my hand at online poker and realized it was a different ballgame when compared with our usual Saturday night activity. First of all, I had to choose the online poker room to play at. This proved to be quite a challenge, considering the numerous online poker sites that are out there. What are the criteria to choose a good online poker room? Here are some points which I found necessary to consider while choosing a good poker site:

Do your Research:

There’s safety in numbers and the more number of people playing at an online poker room, the more assured you are of their overall reputation. But how do you get information about the poker room? It’s simple really. There is a lot of information regarding poker sites available online – there are sites listing the top rated poker sites, there are forums and blogs written by actual users describing their experience. All you need to do is go through this data and gather the information you need. It will pretty much give you an idea of which poker site is the best suited to your interests. The more popular the site, more reliable it is and safer to deal with.

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Poker Software Client

All poker clients essentially do the same job but they vary in terms of the lobby organization, the ease of use and graphics. Poker software that runs smoothly, without glitches is a pleasure to play at. Some poker sites use software that allows the player to make use of additional features. For example, you would prefer to go with a site allowing you to keep notes on other players since it will give you a distinct edge. You may not like to opt for sites that don’t offer such added features.

Game variety:

The game variety offered by a particular site is a matter of personal choice. Large poker rooms offer all the poker variants, but if you are a Texas Hold’em fan, the game variety will not really matter- all sites offer the most popular version of the game. However, if you prefer to play some of the rarer forms of poker like Razz or Draw Poker you might want to ensure that the site offers the particular variant.

Player Traffic:

After taking into account the software and game variety, player traffic is an important factor to consider while choosing a poker site. Major poker rooms like Absolute Poker or Ultimate Bet have huge player traffic and hence offer a large variety of games that run throughout the day. When it comes to player traffic, some sites attract stronger players than others. If you play poker for profit, you might want to choose a site that attracts less skillful players. Playing at such sites allows you to make money much more easily.

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Customer Service:

Some of the most popular poker sites have earned their good reputation due to the excellent customer service they provide. Poker rooms usually offer customer support 24/7 through various modes like email, chat, telephone or fax. The live chat facility is a big hit with customers since it ensures quick resolution of problem issues. See what other players have to say about the site’s customer service – is it quick and efficient? Would you get a quick response?

Loyalty Program, Bonus and Promotions:

Online sites aim to retain existing customers and attract new ones with the help of promotions, bonus offers and loyalty programs. So you would find some sites offering a generous bonus for new clients or frequent player points to their existing members. Some may offer free roll tournaments or huge jackpots to attract players. The loyalty program aspect is important for high stakes players since they would want to gain extra benefits for the huge volume of business they give the poker site. However, player points are beneficial to all players since the points can be redeemed for great prizes or merchandise. Bonuses on the other hand, increase your playing capacity by boosting your bankroll, so check out these issues as well.

Stability and Financial Reputation:

The question that comes to the mind of every online player is this: Is my money safe and will I get my winnings. Fortunately, the larger poker sites have been around for a number of years and have built up a good reputation for themselves based on their financial stability. Smaller sites do not have the same level of profitability as the bigger sites and run the risk of going bust so you may end up losing your money. If you play for real money, it is crucial to deposit money at a poker room that has a large customer base, has been in the business for a long while and one which generates substantial profits year after year.

Player Acceptability:

If you are a US citizen, you may encounter some problems if you are trying to join an online poker site. That is because many online casinos and poker rooms have decided not to accept players from the US after the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) by the American Congress. Although this Act was aimed at financial institutions processing gambling transactions, online casinos and poker rooms interpreted this to be a complete ban on gambling and decided not to accept players from the US. So, if you are an American citizen, check out the poker site to find out if you can join the site. There are still plenty of sites that fulfill all the above criteria and also accept US citizens. Some well-known names that accept US players include Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker.

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I’m sure it will not be all that difficult to find a poker room that fulfills the above-mentioned criteria and offers a thrilling poker experience. New poker sites open up almost every day and if you want to try them out, you should be extra vigilant at researching the background before you decide to play there for real money.