So, you have decided that you would like to experience poker Online, as well as your hunt for the perfect site has started. But alas, you will find literally hundreds of poker sites on the Internet. How can you discriminate between many of these available sites, to locate that desired site ? There are many key criteria that you should be aware of, inside your quest to discover the poker site that's ideal for you. Understanding these criteria, or being able to use them like a basis for comparison, will significantly simplify your buying process:
Free Poker - If you are searching to play online poker for pure recreation, and not for the money, ensure that the site you are interested in accommodates "free" players. Most internet poker sites do focus on free players.
Software Download vs. Web-based - Most, if not completely, online poker sites need you to download their poker client software on your computer system to run. If you're adverse to downloading such software onto your system, then you might wish to determine when the poker site alternatively has a web-based poker interface, which allows you to play online poker on the website from inside your browser. Software installs run the potential risk of viruses and/or adware being loaded on your system (although the majority of the reputable firms would never do that), but software installs on your pc generally run a lot faster than web-based sessions. Software installations harness the strength of your local PC's CPU, whereas web-based interfaces rely on downloading any screen property updates over the Internet during play. This can be slow, particularly, if you're running over a sluggish internet connection (e.g., a dialup line). Hence, if you want speed, select local software installations; if you're concerned about your computer's safety or can't afford the disk space used by an application installation, pick a web-based poker network.
Ways of Deposit/Withdrawal - If you are planning to experience poker for money on the internet, it is very important to think about the techniques of deposit and withdrawal that a poker network supports. Many of these sites permit major charge cards for use, which appear to be the universal deposit mechanism of preference. Others enable the use of bank transfer, ACH transfer, checks, and wire transfer from banks. Most poker rooms also support some type of Third party eWallets, which offer a middleman between financial institutions and also the poker site itself. The main criteria to check out are: 1) What ways of deposit/withdrawal are supported by the poker network, and how many of these methods are based on the locale that you reside in ?; 2) Could it be legal to fund/withdraw to/from a texas holdem site, in the jurisdiction that you are playing in ?; 3) What are the fees associated with the 3rd party eWallet firms that you are able to use, and how reliable are they (this latter question could be researched on some of the poker message forum boards) ?
Locale Restrictions - Some poker sites restrict the playing for the money (as well as free play sometimes), according to your locale, and the laws governing gambling in your locale. You should check using the laws of the local jurisdiction and check with the poker network, to see if there are any imposed restrictions on play, according to your locale.
Support - You should definitely consider the methods of support that a poker site offers. Poker sites generally provide one (or more) methods of support which include: telephone support, fax support, Email support, and live chat support. The greater of those that a poker network offers, the greater. For telephone support, check if the poker network offers toll-free support out of your playing jurisdiction or not.
Game Variety - Based on your level of poker playing expertise as well as your curiosity about variety, you should pick which game types the poker network supports. Almost all of the sites offer Texas Holdem, but based on your level of interest, you should check to see if they offer games like Five and Seven Card Stud, Omaha Poker (and all of its variations), Blackjack (not poker, but often included like a game option), Stud (and its variations), Draw poker, Tournament support, and limit and pot limit games. Tournaments particularly are extremely well-liked by online poker sites, and a few site tournaments offer very large prize pools.
Bonuses - Most, but not all, from the poker rooms offer some type of bonus towards the player, when you sign up with the website. Each site's bonus is sort of different, but from the one's that offer very first time bonus, it is usually predicated on a minimum initial deposit. Many bonuses are also calculated based on the amount of cash deposited and spent on the website. Additionally, many sites offer reload bonuses, which are bonuses that are offered to existing customers, beyond their initial deposit bonus, and as a motivation to help keep you as a customer.
Graphics and Useability - This is a very important consideration. Every poker site includes a different feel and look into it. If you are going to become playing poker for money, it is important that you are feeling confident with the screen graphics as well as your capability to navigate (via mouse or keyboard clicks) with the poker program. If you think uncomfortable whatsoever using the poker network, you must not consider playing at it for the money. You should always test a poker site out in "free" mode first, before actually considering it for real-money wagering.
Game Features - You should always consider the game features that are available with a given poker site. Game features such as 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 always be considered.
Rake - Rake is the quantity of the pot that the poker network takes (included in its fee for conducting business), from both hands. You should always be aware of just how much rake a texas holdem site takes (compared to another site). Poker rooms usually use a Weighted Contribution rake method or an Average Contribution method, when calculating rake. Obviously, the low the rake, the more money you'll take home available wins, however this criteria alone shouldn't dictate which poker network you utilize, since the suggestions above factors need to be taken into consideration as well. In conclusion, the aforementioned criteria ought to always be used, when deciding which Poker network is the best for you. Based on your requirements, some of these criteria ought to be given excess fat than others. Happy Poker network hunting !!