Comparing Poker Sites
Much like a live poker room, an online poker room is made up of much more than just tables, cards and chips. When you're choosing a live poker room, you might consider location, the games offered and even more mundane things like parking and the food selection. Choosing an online poker site involves a similar analysis, but there are far more factors to consider - and, for most people, far more online poker rooms than live poker rooms to choose from.
That selection, while ultimately a great thing for online poker players, can be intimidating when you're trying to figuring out what poker site is your best choice. There's certainly such a thing as too much information or too many choices, and a glut of either can paralyze your decision-making and stop your search for the best poker room dead in its tracks.
When you break it all down logically, however, you'll find that there might not be as much to consider as you originally thought - making your decision regarding the top poker site far less stressful than you might have anticipated. Here's a quick but fairly complete list of the aspects of online poker sites that are most important to the typical player, arranged by general category, along with links to detailed information and rankings of the best online poker site for each area.
Which Markets Does the Poker Room Serve?
There was a time in the online poker industry when players from every country could play at every site. That time is now well in the past, and current players must navigate an always-shifting set of circumstances in terms of what regions are accepted by what rooms - a frustrating situation that can result in several hours of wasted time.
Beyond the basic quality of being able to play at a room, players should also be concerned with how focused a room is on their region; the greater the focus on a market, the simpler the processes of signing up, depositing and withdrawing for players in that market tend to be. A more specific focus on a given market also often results in superior promotions and overall value for players from that market.
Our Comparison Guide for Poker in Various Countries
- Top Rooms for Australian Online Poker Players
- Canada-Friendly Poker Rooms
- Poker Sites Focused on the European Online Market
- Poker Sites for UK Players
- Sites Serving US Online Poker Players
What Unique Features Does the Poker Site Offer?
Each online poker room is certainly unique - at least in some regard. While they all do involve virtual players sitting at virtual tables playing virtual cards, each room has a slightly different way of going about it. Beyond those (often minor) differences, online poker rooms can vary significantly on less-obvious points such as promotions, regulatory compliance, security and overall variety of available stakes and games.
Some of these features are very apparent, but others would take you extensive time and effort to discover on your own - and even more resources would be required to investigate competing rooms for the purposes of comparison. To save you the trouble, we are constantly playing at and otherwise monitoring online poker rooms and collecting that experience into brief, useful guides for other players.
Our Comparison Guide for Software & Features
- Safest Online Poker Sites
- Ranking Poker Sites by Overall Players
- Poker Sites with the Lowest Deposit Requirements
- Highest Traffic Real Money Poker Sites
- Poker Sites Offering Free Instant Bankroll Promotions
- Sites With Legal Poker Options
- The Newest Online Poker Rooms
How Compatible is the Online Poker Site's Software?
Online poker is a global phenomenon. When you talk about the global poker market, you're talking about a collection of individuals who use hundreds - if not thousands - of different devices and operating systems to access the Internet. That reality suggests serious online poker operators would make developing software compatible with at least the major device and OS options a top priority.
While it should be a priority, however, there are still several major rooms that are simply lagging behind when it comes to producing software compatible with all of the ways poker fans want to log on and play. Add to that fact the massive amount of outdated and inaccurate information you'll find online regarding poker software compatibility and it becomes clear why guides like ours are an extremely necessary resource for players.
Our Comparison Guide for Compatibility
- Android-Compatible Poker Sites
- Playing Poker on BlackBerry Devices
- Flash-Based Poker Software
- iPad-Compatible Poker Sites
- Playing Real Money Poker on iPhones
- Java-Based Poker Sites
- Poker Rooms Compatible with Linux OS
- Mac Poker Sites
- Top Overall Mobile Poker Sites
- No Download Poker Sites
- Best Overall Software / Compatibility Rating
Your Experience With a Room Matters Most
Over and over on this site, you'll hear us stress the importance of trying an online poker site for yourself before you deposit. While you can read list after list of the top poker sites for this quality or that quality, the fact remains that playing online poker is a deeply individual experience. It could be something small (perhaps the colors of the room or the font used to display chips and screen names) or something significant (the regular players at the room have a general style that you might have trouble beating).
You can't tell everything about an online poker room from logging on and playing the fake money games, but you can get a pretty good sense of your level of comfort with the room. You can also quickly test other characteristics of the room that are of importance to you while making the account and playing the games, characteristics like customer service, banking options, table views and so on.
The main point we're getting at is this: Our guides to the top poker sites online are a good starting point for players seeking out an online poker room, but they are only part of the puzzle. Direct interaction with the room before you put any money online will help you make the most of our guides and dramatically increase the chance you'll find the best possible site for playing poker online.