Trying to figure out the best place to play online poker for new and old players can be difficult. Rooms can change networks or change promotions and can seriously alter a players’ opinion of the room. To help determine the best online poker room it is important to look at:
- Traffic levels
- Overall promotions
- Opinions of other poker players
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One thing to keep in mind is that this article will focus primarily on poker rooms that are friendly to U.S. Players until which time the U.S. government regulates online poker. This being said it must be stressed to U.S. based players that playing online poker is NOT illegal. The government has never made it illegal to play online poker, they have simply made it more difficult to deposit money onto poker rooms. There are many solutions to this issue such as free poker bankrolls.
Find an Online Poker Room Based Upon Traffic Levels
One of the main factors in figuring out which poker room to join is the room's player traffic. From top to bottom online poker traffic is on the plus side, but that does not mean the right room is on the top end of that list. Poker rooms like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker have been dominating the online poker industry for the past few years with PokerStars far and away the top room, but this massive player traffic does not make it the best just because. For non-Americans, Titan Poker or PartyPoker are two very popular choices in addition to the other U.S. friendly rooms.
Other poker rooms and poker networks like the CEREUS Network, Merge Network, and the Cake Network make up a large section of the U.S. friendly poker rooms. CEREUS hosts the poker rooms UltimateBet and Absolute Poker that both have decent traffic and the Merge Network is quickly growing with rooms like Carbon Poker and PlayersOnly. Player traffic does reflect the amount of money a tournament will offer in its prize pool, but the networks and rooms that have been listed so far are all good choices. One consideration that must be made is the skill level and temperament of the players on each room. This will be explained more later in this article.
How to Find a Room with the Best Promotions and Bonuses
Every poker room on the planet has a rewards program and most vary in how they hand out points and what players can get with them. Some have real cash value; others are almost useless or almost impossible to accumulate. At the same time all poker rooms have a deposit bonus that is normally released as the player plays. Again, some rooms release this money faster than others. Another typical promotion is freeroll tournaments to get players playing for real money by giving out a little free cash. These tournaments routinely attract hundreds if not thousands of opponents if the prize pool is over $100.
There are redeposit bonuses and even rakeback deals for some rooms. The deposit deals are always changing, but they never go away. The main freerolls that players see on poker rooms are offered up to players who have recently deposited money or to those who have qualified for them through satellite tournaments, but it is possible to try out a number of rooms through freerolls in a given week. Different poker community offers up several freerolls on different rooms every week, and unlike most freerolls to be found out there, these are members-only freerolls to keep the player numbers low. They also offer up their own bonus point system on top of the existing poker room loyalty program.
How to Find a Poker Room by Asking Other Players
Most people choose a new car or a hair stylist based upon a personal recommendation, online poker rooms should not be any different. After taking the above suggestions into consideration the final course of action is to ask players who have been on those sites before. There are plenty of websites out there with "reviews" of poker rooms but more often than not they are a sponsor for that brand giving visitors details about the room rather than an all-out opinion on it.
Online poker communities like Pokerspace hold a wealth of knowledge because it has thousands of seasoned online poker players always willing to say which is their favorite room and what types of players frequent that room. Plus, these types of communities also offer added bonuses for joining up to a poker room through them.
It's hard to go wrong when there are multiple players giving the same advice. There have been a number of poker rooms mentioned above and these are all highly recommended and trusted rooms, but deals and reputations are always changing in the online poker industry. Keep your eyes and mind clear to make an informed decision.