Online Poker Networks

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Best Poker Networks OnlineIf you're just getting started in the world of online poker, you may have heard the term "poker network" thrown about by other players.  The topic of online poker networks appears mysterious at first, but with just a bit of explanation it all becomes quite clear.  We're going to provide that explanation and get you up to speed on the top online poker networks below - and remember, for more details on any individual network, just click the link for a complete rundown on that networks' software, promotions and partner rooms.

The Major Online Poker Networks

Online poker is littered with dozens and dozens of networks - some successful, others playing host to little more than a single game even at peak times.  Rather than list every network that can be found, we've confined our index to the top networks in terms of traffic, reputation and game selection:

Online Poker Networks Open to USA Players

Winning Poker Network

Winning Poker Network

The Winning Poker Network, formerly the Yatahay Network, provides an easy to use poker client and is open to USA players. The poker network is best known for offering the lowest rake across all US poker networks and was the original 3D poker site. The network is definitely one of the smaller networks best suited for micro to low limit players. Our review covers poker rooms listed on the WPN network as well as software features.

Merge Poker Network

Merge Gaming Network

Merge Gaming Network is the largest “poker network” for United States players, although the network of sites is open to players across the globe. Merge poker sites are best known for the sharp looking vector images and animated emoticons. The network boasts a substantial progressive bad beat jackpot, provides custom options not available on other networks and includes a download for Mac poker players and of course the Windows OS. Read our review to learn more about the Merge Gaming Network and which sites are the best sites to play on.

Revolution Poker Network

Revolution Network

The Revolution Gaming Network was originally called the “Cake” network. Revolution was founded in 2012 when Lock Poker purchased the Cake Network and rebranded. The network is USA friendly and the software is Mac compatible. The poker room averages 10,000+ players during peak hours and provides a fully functional and stable poker room. Our review covers more of the software features available at Revolution as well as which sites are the most popular to play on.

Online Poker Networks Closed to US Players

iPoker Network

iPoker Network

The iPoker Network is powered by Playtech’s award winning software and is available in more than 15 different languages. The iPoker Network is perhaps one of Europe’s most popular networks where you can find more than 11,000 real money cash game players and over 40,000 tournament players. The software has plenty of features to offer including customized lobby filters, multi-currency options, a quick seat guide and loads of stats. Read our review to find out which poker sites are the top sites on the iPoker Network and what you can expect to find while playing at an iPoker site.

Bwin Poker Network

Bwin / Party Network

The Party / Bwin Network is one of the largest networks in Europe and Canada although the primary site within the network is Party Poker. Party Poker’s software is available for Mac, Windows and mobile devices. The network sees on average 60,000+ players during peak traffic hours. Players will find over $10,000,000 in guaranteed tournaments each month alongside satellites and qualifiers for live tournaments. The most popular tournaments in the Party Network are the step tournaments, where $2 can win you a seat into the WSOP. Read more about the benefits of the Party / Bwin network in our review.

OnGame Poker Network

OnGame Network

The OnGame Network operate son the P5 poker engine and provides a stellar poker client packed with features and easy to use options. With more than 15 million registered players, OnGame is able to provide and support a large influx of traffic 24/7. Our OnGame review covers which skins are the best skins backed by OnGame, bonuses for new depositing players and a complete overview of the OnGame software and history. Most OnGame poker sites have the ability to accept Paypal poker deposits.

Microgaming Poker Network

Microgaming Network

The Microgaming poker network consists of more than two dozen different poker rooms, although Ladbrokes is by far the most popular site within the network. The software is simple, clean cut and provides the necessary functions you would expect with any poker client. This includes lobby stats, hand history, multi-tabling (up to 8 tables), etc. The most recent software upgrade includes Blaze Poker – another form of Rush or Speed poker.

How Do Online Poker Networks Operate?

In some ways, online poker networks are like a shopping mall.  There's a good chance that none of the individual stores in the mall could survive without the other stores, but when they combine their individual customer bases there's enough traffic for everyone to thrive.  Poker networks operate on a similar principle; a group of small rooms might not attract enough attention on their own to support a competitive amount of games, but if they all shared one central room each could contribute and all could succeed.

The typical poker network is made up of anywhere from just a few rooms to dozens and dozens of individual rooms (also called "skins").  Each network is a little unique, but the general concept is that all partner rooms share the same software, the same games and a core set of promotions.  The main difference is usually just a matter of branding - the logos, colors and other aesthetic elements of the room.  Otherwise, playing at one room on a network is essentially the same experience as playing at any other room on the network - although there are some exceptions to that rule, exceptions that we discuss in more detail via the breakdowns of individual networks listed in the preceding section.

Are All Sites Part of a Poker Network?

No.  The industry is more or less equally divided between rooms that participate in networks and rooms that are standalone. 

Which is better for poker players?  We think network rooms provide a unique value to players, largely because you can usually make multiple accounts on the same network at different rooms.  Obviously you can't use these accounts simultaneously, but you can employ them to take advantage of multiple promotions over and over again.  For example, think about the welcome bonus rooms typically offer on your first deposit.  Wouldn't it be great if you basically had a perpetual welcome bonus that never ran out?  With some networks counting over 100 individual poker rooms on their partner list, it's a more feasible goal than it seems at first blush.

How Do You Tell What Network a Room Belongs to?

The quickest way is to use our network guides above, or to simply visit the webpage of the room in question.  Go to the homepage and scroll to the bottom.  You'll usually see a number of icons somewhere near the footer; these icons typically communicate important information about the room such as where the room is regulated, what licensing body has approved the room and which - if any - online poker network the room has partnered with.

Can I Make Multiple Accounts at the Same Network?

As mentioned earlier, making accounts at multiple rooms that all share the same network is a generally legitimate (and potentially profitable) enterprise.  Most major online poker networks will allow you to hop from room to room, but some do force a few conditions on players.  For example, you may have to be inactive at one room for a certain period of time before you can open an account at another skin on the network.  Such restrictions are thankfully the exception and not the rule, and the majority of online poker players will find themselves free to come and go as they please from all of the rooms that share a given network and (obviously) from network to network as well.