Choosing a Poker Site
You have to be able to make good decisions at the tables in order to win while playing poker. When it comes to playing online there's one decision that you have to make away from the tables and it's just as important as any decision you'll make while actually playing the game. Your decision on which site you're going to play at isn't something you want to get wrong, as it will greatly affect your overall experience.
Poker sites aren't in short supply, so it's not particularly difficult to find somewhere to play. However, you don't want to just play at any old site. You want to play at one of the very best sites and you want to make sure that you choose a site that's suitable for your needs. This is a little more difficult, as the sheer number of options available means making this decision can be quite challenging.
In this part of our poker guide we're going to make things as easy as we can for you and we'll offer you all the necessary information and advice that you could possibly need to choose a poker site. We also have additional recommendations for you, along with some tips on how to make the right choice.
An Easy Option: Our Recommended Poker Sites
Some people aren't interested in putting any time or effort into choosing a poker site. They just want to get started as soon as possible, without having to research the various options available to them. This is completely understandable; there are a wide variety of places to choose from and it can take a long time to check them all out to determine which one is the best for you. The problem with not spending this time is that it often results in people playing at sites that aren't very good.
Thankfully we have a solution for those who want to play at a top site but don't want to spend too much time finding one. We have compiled rankings of the best poker sites currently available, in a number of different categories, so that all you have to do is to choose a place to play at from our selective list of recommendations.
To put it simply, we've done the work so you don't have to. The GamblingSites.org team is constantly carrying out research and testing on a wide range of all different types of gambling sites, precisely so that we can rank them and make recommendations accordingly. We only ever recommend places that we know can be trusted and that we're confident will offer a positive all-around experience.
If you're looking for a poker site and want to get started as soon as possible, checking out our recommendations is your easiest option.
Stay Safe: Only Use Reputable Sites
The single most important thing you need to remember when choosing which poker site to use is, in our opinion, making absolutely sure that you choose a reputable and trustworthy site. You don't have to worry about this if you sign up at one of our recommended sites, as all of our recommendations are perfectly safe to use. However, if you're picking one on your own, then it should be at the forefront of your mind.
Most well-known sites can be trusted and are reputable to some extent, but there are a few that can't demonstrate the levels of integrity and transparency that we're comfortable with. You really want to avoid these, as there's a good chance they'll end up disappointing you in some way or another. In an absolutely worst case scenario your funds might even be at risk, so it's simply not a risk worth taking.
The good news is that you don't have to go to any great effort to determine if a poker site can be considered reputable and trustworthy. There are just a few key points that you need to check, and most of these can be checked with relative ease. The following list details the criteria that we ourselves look at when deciding whether or not a poker site meets our standards.
If you find a site that you'd like to try and you're not completely sure that they meet the above criteria, you can always take a look at our rankings and see if we recommend that site. If we don't, and you have any doubts about whether or not it's a trustworthy place to play, you should probably take the cautious approach and look for another option. It's always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to picking a site.
Poker Site Software: Another Important Consideration
In addition to making sure that you play at a site that's reputable and trustworthy, you also ideally want to play somewhere that uses good software. This is because the quality of the software will have arguably the biggest impact on how much you enjoy playing. Top quality software helps to make playing online poker easy and fun, while poor quality software can completely ruin the whole experience.
The difficulty here is that you can't really form an opinion on the quality of the software used by a poker site without actually using it for yourself. A lot of places let you play for free, so you can test the software without having to deposit if you want to, but you have to be prepared to spend a substantial amount of time if you want to go down this route and compare all the different options available.
This highlights another advantage of simply choosing one of our recommendations. We're familiar with a wide range of poker sites and the software that they use and we always check to see if they made any changes or updates to their system, so we are certainly qualified to evaluate and compare them all. The quality of the software is a significant factor in our rankings and we look closely at the following details.
It's Personal: Find YOUR Right Site
When it comes to choosing a poker site, or any type of gambling site for that matter, it's a good idea to take a moment and think about what's important to you. We have yet to discover a site that's absolutely perfect for everyone and this is simply because not everyone shares the same values. The right site for someone else may not be the right site for you.
For example, if you like playing in big field tournaments then there's little point in joining a site that has a limited numbers of players. Likewise, it makes little sense to join a site that doesn't offer Omaha Hi/Lo if that's your preferred game. You really do need to make sure that you join a site that's suitable for you so that you can get the most out of your online playing experience.
This is the main reason why we rank the top sites in a variety of categories. It's the only way we have a chance of achieving our goal of helping our readers find the right sites to use. We even rank sites by region, as we are fully aware that the best option for those living in one part of the world may not be the best option for someone living somewhere else.
The following list includes some of the more popular categories we provide rankings for.
Research Made Simple: Read Reviews
There's one very simple way to carry out your own research to determine which poker site you should join, and that's to read reviews written by experts and/or other players. The internet is full of such reviews, and many of them feature literally everything you could possibly want to know. You can easily find information on all of the following, and more too.
We provide our own high quality reviews at GamblingSites.org. These are a great place to start if you want to know more about a specific site or if you just want to read about what sites are offered on the internet.
Author: Brad Johnson
Updated: September 2015
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