So, you’ve decided that you wish to play poker Online, and your search for an ideal site has begun. But alas, you will find literally a huge selection of poker sites on the Internet. How do you discriminate between all of these available sites, to get that desired site ? There are several key criteria that you ought to be conscious of, in your quest to obtain the poker site that is perfect for you. Understanding these criteria, and to be able to use them as a cause for comparison, will significantly simplify your selection process:
Free Poker – If you are looking to play online poker for pure recreation, and not for money, make certain that the website you’re interested in accommodates “free” players. Most online poker sites do appeal to free players.
Software Download vs. Web-based – Most, if not absolutely all, online poker sites require you to download their poker client software onto your personal computer system to run. If you are adverse to downloading such software onto the body, you then might want to check to see if the poker site alternatively has a web-based poker interface, which enables you to play poker on the internet site from within your browser. Software installs run the potential threat of viruses and/or adware being loaded onto the body (although all of the reputable firms could not do that), but software installs on your computer generally run much faster than web-based sessions. Software installations harness the power of your neighborhood PC’s CPU, whereas web-based interfaces rely on downloading any screen property updates within the Internet during play. This can be slow, particularly, if you should be running over a slow net connection (e.g., a dialup line). Hence, if you should be after speed, select local software installations; if you should be worried about your computer’s safety or cannot spend the money for disk space utilized by a computer software installation, select a web-based poker site.
Methods of Deposit/Withdrawal – If you are planning to play poker for money within the Internet, it is very important to consider the strategy of deposit and withdrawal a poker site supports. A number of these sites permit major charge cards to be used, which seem to be the universal deposit mechanism of choice. Others permit the use of bank transfer, ACH transfer, checks, and wire transfer from banks visit site. Most poker sites also support some type of third party eWallets, which offer an intermediary between banking institutions and the poker site itself. The main criteria to consider are: 1) What types of deposit/withdrawal are supported by the poker site, and how a number of these methods are supported by the locale that your home is in ?; 2) Could it be legal to fund/withdraw to/from a poker site, from the jurisdiction that you’re playing in ?; 3) What are the fees associated with another party eWallet firms that you can use, and how reliable are they (this latter question can be researched on a few of the poker message forum boards) ?
Locale Restrictions – Some poker sites restrict the playing for money (and even free play sometimes), based on your locale, and the laws governing gambling in your locale. You must seek advice from the laws of your neighborhood jurisdiction and seek advice from the poker site, to see if you will find any imposed restrictions on play, based on your locale.
Support – You should consider the types of support a poker site offers. Poker sites generally provide one (or more) types of support offering: telephone support, fax support, Email support, and live chat support. The more of the a poker site offers, the better. For telephone support, check and see if the poker site offers toll-free support from your own playing jurisdiction or not.
Game Variety – Depending on your amount of poker playing expertise and your fascination with variety, it is very important to find out which game types the poker site supports. Almost all of the sites offer Texas Holdem, but depending on your amount of interest, you need to check to see if they give games like Five and Seven Card Stud, Omaha Poker (and every one of its variations), Blackjack (not poker, but often included as a casino game option), Stud (and its variations), Draw poker, Tournament support, and limit and pot limit games. Tournaments in particular are very well-liked by online poker sites, and some site tournaments offer large prize pools.
Bonuses – Most, but not absolutely all, of the poker sites offer some type of bonus to the ball player, whenever you initially subscribe with the site. Each site’s bonus is somewhat different, but of the one’s that offer first time bonus, it is usually predicated on a minimum initial deposit. Many bonuses will also be calculated on the basis of the amount of cash deposited and spent on the site. Additionally, many sites offer reload bonuses, which are bonuses which can be agreed to existing customers, beyond their initial deposit bonus, and as an incentive to stop you as a customer.
Graphics and Useability – This really is a critical consideration. Every poker site has a different look and feel to it. In the event that you are going to be playing poker for money, it is essential that you feel more comfortable with the screen graphics and your power to navigate (via mouse or keyboard clicks) through the poker program. If you feel uncomfortable at all with the poker site, you should not consider playing at it for money. You must always test a poker site out in “free” mode first, before actually considering it for real-money wagering.
Game Features – You must always consider the game features which can be available with a given poker site. Game features such as for example hand history, multiple simultaneous playing windows, player notes, audible and visual indicators, player statistics, connection status indicator, player chat, turbo games, and screen options should continually be considered.
Rake – Rake is the amount of the pot that the poker site takes (as part of its fee for doing business), from each hand. You must always be familiar with just how much rake a poker site takes (compared to another site). Poker sites usually use a Weighted Contribution rake method or an Average Contribution method, when calculating rake. Obviously, the reduced the rake, the more money you’ll take home readily available wins, but this criteria on it’s own should not dictate which poker site you employ, since all the above factors need to be taken into consideration as well. To sum up, these criteria should continually be used, when deciding which Poker site is best for you. Depending on your preferences, many of these criteria should get more weight than others. Happy Poker site hunting !!
Douglas Hayman, President of Expert Software Systems, is just a database and web engineer, who designs, develops, and hosts several informational websites, including: