The online poker world is full of different operators and plenty of poker rooms to choose from. However, jumping on a random one without evaluating all pros and cons can drastically reduce your win rate and even prevent you from being a winner in some cases.
This is true not just for Texas Hold’em games, but for every other online poker variation as well. Therefore, before making one of the most important decisions and choosing where to play poker online, you should evaluate a few things.
Online Poker Room Reputation
The safety of your money should not be something you have to worry when choosing where to play poker online.
Therefore, if you are considering joining a new poker room that you have never heard before, make sure to see if they have a gambling license. This info is easy to find on most sites, and if you do not see any information about in the footer of the homepage, just close your browser and choose the next option.
These days there are plenty of different online poker rooms to choose to never put the safety of your money and personal information at risk. That being said, most sites are trustworthy, and putting these worries to rest, we can choose the room on the following factors.
Competition on Poker Site
I would say it is one of the most important factors to consider. Putting aside the excitement and thrill of the game, we still play poker to make money. Therefore, the weaker competition you will encounter, the more money you will be stacking on your side in the end.
Obviously, big poker rooms attract more regulars and can make games quite tough, so a lot of the time, it is worth checking out smaller ones to play against more recreational players.
Moreover, you should always be looking at the field of your specific game because some rooms have very weak MTTs but tough cash game fields and so on, so pick carefully.
Volume of Players
If you are planning to play a lot or even do it professionally, traffic is essential. You do not want to be joining the room and being able to play just 2 MTTs at the same time, so make sure to find a place, which can offer plenty of games at the time when you play. A site like PokerScout can give you a good indication about the fields so that you could make wise decisions.
To be completely honest, you always have an option to play on multiple sites and eliminate any traffic problems. Even more, most good or higher stakes players are doing it already so you can easily take benefit of weak fields and still find plenty of online poker games to join whenever you want.
New Poker Player Bonuses
Another crucial thing that you should consider is so cold “First deposit” bonuses. Most new poker rooms offer healthy sign-up bonuses for new players, and you can quickly increase your bankroll by taking advantage of it.
These days, you can easily get bonuses up to $1000, so make sure to choose the best poker site that offers it and add that extra money to your wallet.
Ongoing Promotions and Rake Back
On top of that, many online poker rooms offer rake back programs or equivalents as well. Getting 50% rake back compared to 10% in the same games can mean getting an extra $300 or $1500, and I think I could guess which one you would prefer.
Moreover, many online sites have different promotions running almost all the time, be it limited-time bonuses, rake races, or leaderboards. Thus, make sure to take advantage of these deals.
To finalize, I just want to highlight that having a good rake back can turn a break-even player into a decent winner, thus do not take this part lightly.
Support is quite an important part, as well. You do not want to be waiting 5 days to get a simple answer to your email, but to tell you the truth, many online poker rooms have great support these days, and you do not need to worry about it much.
Ideally, you want to have a live-chat option or maybe even a phone number listed on the site, but that is not necessary. If customer support is willing to answer your emails in a timely manner, it is more than enough, and there is no point in going further.
All of the previously mentioned factors are important, but you still need to make the decision according to your plan and, most importantly, based on your game of choice. So answer to yourself, what is your goal? Do you want to play against weaker players? Do you want to get huge bonuses or anything else?
These questions will help you to determine your needs and choose accordingly. I highly recommend not ruling out the opportunity to play in a few online poker rooms at a time, since it is one of the benefits of playing poker online and can help you increase your win rate.