Choosing an Online Poker Room
There are many different online poker rooms to choose from, and there are a number of things you should consider before signing up to any of them. In this section we’ll show you how to judge online poker rooms for quality and explain how they differ. We’ll also give you the heads up on making sure you’re getting a fair deal and explain what perks you can get for signing up the right way.
Things to Consider About Online Poker Rooms
What makes a good online poker room? Well, there are several factors – and here’s the guidelines we use in our online poker room reviews:
Software & Features – there are major differences in the quality of software and features offered by online poker rooms. It’s important to enjoy the experience of online poker by choosing a poker site that offers smooth game play, reliability, and easy to use software.
Player Traffic – The overall popularity of an online poker room should be one of the most important factors in your decision of where to play. The more popular online poker rooms have far more games to choose from and usually offer a greater variety of poker games. There’s also less waiting around for games to start, which can sometimes be a problem with smaller online poker rooms with low traffic.
Ease of Competition – Most of your profits from online poker will come from the mistakes of your opponents. You want to avoid the poker sharks and find the fish. So choosing an online poker room with its fair share of weak players should also be high on your priority list. Some of the smaller poker sites have a higher share of weak players, which makes them more attractive – despite what they might lack in other areas.
Types of Games – Some online poker rooms offer a much greater variety of games. While it makes sense that the choice of poker games is often related to the overall size of the site, it’s not always the case. You can still find different variations of poker or unique formats even with some of the smaller online poker rooms.
Bonuses & Promotions – Bonuses for first-time customers are common among all online poker rooms. Be sure to read the small print to see if you’re really getting a good deal (or let us do that for you!). You also need to consider the ongoing bonuses and promotions from your chosen online poker room – do they have a loyalty program? Is it good value for money?
Customer Service – The level of customer service should also be taken into consideration when choosing an online poker room. How quickly will they respond to any problems you might have with their site? If you’re a real money player, what are their deposit and withdrawal methods? And do they process your payments within a reasonable timeframe?
Security & Integrity – Does the online poker room have a good reputation and a proven track record? When were they established? Is it safe to keep money on this site? These are just some of questions you need to ask before joining an online poker room. Just so you’re aware, all the online poker rooms featured on Pokerology.com are well established with proven track records in the industry. We wouldn’t recommend them otherwise.
Online Poker Networks & Skins
On the surface it may appear that there are hundreds of different online poker rooms to choose from. The truth is that many online poker rooms belong to the same network, sharing the same poker software and pool of players. Such online poker sites are often referred to as “poker skins”. You could easily be sat at a poker table on one site and be playing against other players from completely different online poker rooms or “skins” (note: you cannot play at more than one poker room on the same network at the same time).
Here’s two screenshots from Winner Poker and Bet 365, both on the popular iPoker network. As you can see, they are very similar:
Online poker networks exist because an online poker room isn’t going to succeed without a certain critical mass of poker players. Unlike casino games where you play against the house, a poker room needs real players, and plenty of them. Poker networks are ideal for the providers because by joining a network they can instantly have player traffic, even if they don’t “own” the players or directly profit from them. They’re also ideal for poker players, since more players provide a greater choice of poker games.
The two largest online poker rooms, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, are fully independent and do not belong to any network. There are other independent online poker rooms too, such as Party Poker. Please see our online poker networks and skins section for more information. You’ll also be able to read our reviews of the online poker networks and the differences between some of the online poker rooms on each network.
Getting a Fair Deal
Websites that advertise online poker rooms, such as Pokerology.com, often receive a referral fee or commission for sending them potential players (customers). If you’re unfortunate enough to click on an advert or link from the wrong type of website, then you’ll potentially be losing out on some very special offers – such as rakeback.
Just be sure to sign-up to an online poker room via a trusted website, such as Pokerology.com, to ensure you don’t miss out on any perks that might be available. Signing-up to an online poker room via another affiliated website or by going direct to the poker room’s website can result in you getting a poor deal. So please use our special links and online poker bonus codes with complete confidence.
Now you know what to look for in an online poker room, we recommend you read our online poker room reviews and pick out a place to play at. In our next section of the guide we’ll cover the signing up process and how to get everything setup correctly.