If you are ready to take the plunge into the world of real money online poker the 100’s of different sites available to you might seem a little overwhelming. Which site are you supposed to pick and why? What kind of benefits are there for picking one site over another? Let’s take a look at some of the major factors to consider when choosing an online poker site.
1. What kind of signup bonus does the site offer?
Every poker site will offer you a signup bonus when you make your first deposit so it’s wise to see what kind of options you have depending on how much you are planning on depositing. Signup bonuses can range from 100% up to 200% of your first deposit but the cutoffs for this bonus can range from $500 USD up to $2500 USD. If you plan on depositing $500 USD it would benefit you to find a site that offers a 200% bonus on your deposit.
2. What type of poker game do you want to play?
The most popular poker game played on most online poker sites is Texas Hold ‘em. If you are interested in playing Omaha or a stud game, before singing up at a particular site, you should check and see not only if those games are available but also if there is any regular action at those tables. A site might say it offers many types of different poker games, but the tables for those games might be empty most of the time. Your safest best for non-Hold ‘em games might be one of the bigger poker sites with a steady stream of players. This same logic holds true for Tournament style gaming. If you want to play tournament style poker, check and see how often a tournament game is available and how full the rooms are.
3. Where do you live?
Your physical location could be a limiting factor in what sites you are able to sign up with. In the US, playing poker online is still legal, but due to several of the biggest sites pulling out of the US market, your options might seem limited. Luckily, there are still a handful of well-regarded sites that will allow you to deposit money and even use your US credit card to deposit funds.
4. Will you play enough to want a rakeback reward?
A rakeback is a reward offered on some online poker sites that allows active players to receive back part of the rake or tournament entry fees that they’ve paid as an incentive to keep playing on that site. Depending on the stakes you are playing, how many tables you are playing at once, and how many hours a day you play poker, a rakeback option on a site could be a smart way to increase your profits and help you to offset your losses. If you plan on being a serious online poker player and spending hours a day playing you should give serious consideration to this option.
5. Does the site offer loyalty programs?
If you are going to commit your time and money to a particular online poker site, you should first check if the site offers a loyalty or player rewards program. Many online poker sites, to stay competitive and keep you playing on their site, will offer you a certain amount of points based on how many raked hands you’ve played. These points can be used to enter into tournaments or in some cases used to purchase actual merchandise like consumer electronics, books, gift certificates, etc.