When you want to play online poker, there is certainly lot to argue in favor of choosing only those online poker sites that are the most popular. Online poker sites will generally offer you the best and largest game selection and enough player traffic to be able to find a good game anytime you like. Smaller poker sites may not be able to make either of those claims or promises.
Not only will you find the game selection and choice of competition better at the top rated poker sites, these places will often be highly capitalized. A smaller poker room that has no name recognition (and doesn't hold a license from any recognized gaming authority) might be run by a business or person without any type of promotional budget backing them up. In other words, you can forget about getting any type of real cash bonus and you are probably also not going to have any chance at winning a satellite tournament that would pay your way into a major poker event.
By the time you are finished reading this guide to the most popular online poker sites, you will understand:
OUR TOP 5 PICKS FOR 2018
Although there are certainly many factors to consider when choosing your online poker rooms, size should be at the top of the list. The first major reason why you want to look for a big real cash online poker site is the game selection. Without having a large poker room, it can be difficult for these websites to diversify enough to offer much beyond the classic game of Texas Hold’em.
Believe it or not, it is very expensive for online poker sites to even think about offering different games. They have to pay for expensive software, since this generally needs to be made into a different version for each game; it is not the case of off-the-shelf applications being added to the Hold’em software will work for a game of stud or Omaha. There really are tons of different versions of poker offered right now by some of the top 2018 and 2016 websites. Consider just a few you might be interested in trying:
...just to name a few.
Another reason to consider the large, top rated poker sites should be their general financial position. Granted, you are not going to really be able to get far in researching the financial health or stability of online poker sites. However, you can assume if it is a name you have heard and the site is large, with lots of players and traffic, they are going to be making decent amounts of money. Remember these websites make real money from people playing online poker. They collect tournament entry fees and they take their rake, or commissions, on each hand won in a real money cash game. More players, more tables, more games equal more income and profit for the poker room.
This also translates into larger budgets. These top rated poker sites can then take some of this money and reinvest it back into their business, giving away more prizes and bonuses to you. It will also be used to attract additional players in order to keep feeding the machine. These new players, especially those who have less experience playing at online poker rooms, are the life blood of both the skilled player and the best websites.
As stated above, poker site traffic is what feeds the machine. This is how sites make their money. Think of traffic as food or water. Without enough, everything slowly starts to shrivel up and die. This traffic allows a poker room to respond better to player needs and desires, even adding more games to their selection. Once the game selection improves, this often leads to the site promoting their expanding line, leading to even more players interested in perhaps exploring a game they haven't considered before.
More features can also be added to online poker as the traffic increases. Many of the best websites have a feature where you can take notes about a specific player. Those notes are then saved and will automatically pop-up should you face that same opponent again. Do you think this is something that would be offered by smaller poker sites?
Traffic leads to name recognition as well. The extra cash can be used to not only buy advertising, but also enact sponsorship deals. Just imagine how many new and curious players ended up looking at some other the best websites as a result of top players wearing t-shirts, hats, and other apparel provided to them by these poker sites?
More players also means you can find better games, as in the level of competition. While it is true that this higher amount of traffic will bring with it some additional skilled players, the majority will be less experienced folks simply interested in trying online poker for their first time. Commonly called fish, these are the types of opponents you really want. Playing against someone with weaker skills at real cash games has the potential to make you a lot of money, which is what this is really all about.
Now that we can accept the fact that player traffic is a hugely important factor, there is one question that must be asked about online poker United States sites, do they have a lot of traffic? The answer to this will really depend on exactly how we are going to define poker sites in the US. Does this simply mean the online poker rooms domiciled in the USA or should it include all the sites that actually accept US players? For example, Poker Stars is clearly the largest real money online poker site in the world. They are even considered an 'open site,' meaning that they do take on a large variety of international players. However, they do not currently accept players from the US.
Most of the poker sites that do appear to accept US players still have a fair amount of traffic, so there really is nothing to worry about here from the standpoint of not being able to find a good game or other players. On top of this fact, we are seeing that with changing US poker sites legalities the popularity is starting to grow again. This is a great change of pace that has not happened since Black Friday sent US players into a panic, thinking their right to legal online poker sites was being taken away.
The flip side to all of the best online poker sites are those low traffic poker rooms. Part of the problem here is that in the confusion following the rapidly changing laws, many new and existing companies rushed into the online market. This led to the hasty formation of many poorly done websites. Obviously, such sites will not generate much traffic.
Since these online poker sites do not generate much traffic, they cannot afford to offer a large game selection to their players. You will probably be looking at Texas Hold’em and Omaha. There are not likely to be any top end features, such as the ability to take opponent or hand notes or to play at multiple tables at the same time. On top of everything else, these online poker rooms don't generate much money, so you are not likely to see any additional bonuses or promotions coming your way. Forget about seeing new players drop by on a regular basis; you can look forward to playing the same regular 'rounders' day after day.
Your best bet is always to focus on those top rated websites that have high traffic levels. This just makes sense.
Now that you fully understand what it means for online poker sites to be popular, we would like to inform you about the vetting process used by our experts to determine what makes the big poker rooms the best in the business.
Yes, having many active players is pretty important and not only in the direct way that makes for many tables to be available at any hour of the day. Usually, the online poker sites with a large amount of traffic have the best promotions since they can afford to give back some of the money, be it as a bonus, a reward program, guaranteed tournaments or special offers. Our experts analyze these aspects and their terms and conditions to make sure they are worthy of the top spots.
Online security in 2016 should not be an issue anymore and it is certainly not at the best poker sites; with the guarantee from our team of experts.
More than that, some of the popular online poker sites can lose a lot of points when it comes to the competition level at the tables, across different betting levels. Large pools attract sharks but we believe we have found the perfect solutions around that with our top poker rooms.