There are hundreds of online poker sites and number keeps growing day by day. Popularity of online poker has increased a lot since it was started to be broadcast on TV. TV shows like High Stake poker has made poker more popular. Poker advertisements have started to appear on TVs, magazines and newspapers as well.
Finding a good online poker site from hundred of poker sites can be a tedious task. There are some points to consider before you can start playing poker online. Some of them are listed below
Online Poker sites pop up out of no where and then disappear in void without any trace. Even big poker sites have gone bust leaving the players and others frustrated with their losses.
So you need to be careful before you start playing on any new poker site. The first thing you should do is to check the website for the contact information. Most of the dodgy sites wouldn’t put any real contact information. If you can’t find the actual contact details on website then don’t proceed with it.
Most of the credible poker sites would put their contact details viz. e-mail, tel, postal address etc on the website itself.
Another way to check a poker site’s creditability is to read reviews on poker reviews websites and also discuss about it on poker forums. If there is anything suspicious about poker site then you will certainly find it out.
Another important point to check are deposit and withdrawal options. Most of the sites would support almost all of possible ways to despot and withdrawal systems but this is not what you are looking for. The main point to find out is how easy they allow you to withdraw fund. While depositing fund they wouldn’t raise any concern but as soon as you are going to withdraw fund you might face some challenges.
The most common for of challenge is to check your identity. For this they might ask for your passport copy and/or utility bill details.
Credit/Debit Card Details
Some of them might also ask to send copy of Credit Card Front and Back sides for identity verification. Make sure that you never send them the full details of credit card. If they insist then only send the front side and back side WITHOUT security digits.
I personally encountered such situation where as one nasty poker room was asking me to send both sides of Credit Card Details which I never did.
Once you have sorted out the basic details about a poker site the next thing to check is the software they are using. All of the poker sites use one or another software from the followings
1) Playtech (iPoker Network)
Playtech is the most popular software used by almost over 90% of poker rooms. This software is quite nice to play on however it has some limitations too. The one I find most frustrating is the position of my seat which doesn’t automatically orient to the center. There are some software in which your seat always gets oriented in the center.
Some of them now offer 3D characters, sound and animation to add real time effects.
Network speed is also a main concern, if you live in developed world and have got broadband Internet connection then you might not have any issue with the network speed but if you are in developing countries or on a dial up connection then you might have to think about the speed as well.
Imagine you are desperate to go into action, you login to the software and started to find a seat on your favorite table and you ended up in waiting for hours to get a seat. It is not uncommon to encounter such situation. Traffic, or rather peak time traffic, should be also another criteria for you to select your best poker site.
You need them specially when you are stuck and can’t withdraw money which is the most common problem online poker players face. If you can’t reach a support and get your problem solved then it is going to give you nightmare. I’ve personally seen situations where as some poker sites wouldn’t’ entertain a desperate customer who wanted to withdraw his hard earned $6,800 but couldn’t do so and he was unable to reach the customer support.
Poker Bonuses, a.k.a. Welcome Bonus, Signup Bonus, Joining Bonus, are one of the greatest attraction for any new poker player which you wouldn’t miss to capitalize. Most of the poker rooms offer about 100% signup bonus up to certain amount. However don’t get excited with poker bonuses as most of them would be having conditions such as you will have to pay certain number of hands before you can get bonus. In some cases they would give you the partial amounts after certain number of hands played.
There are other aspect to think as well such as chances to win on a poker site. If you are a new player then you wouldn’t want to play at the site where to pro players hang out.
If you are interested in playing at SNG or other tournaments then you would also want to check out the tournaments being offered at these sites.
Promotions are another attraction which most of the poker rooms would offer at some point or another.