OnlinePokerSites.net is dedicated to helping players decide which online poker sites to play at for real money.
If you are looking for the very best poker sites on the web, look no further: our team of experts rank, compare and compile reviews on dozens of rooms in order to make your online poker journey just a little bit smoother.
How We Rate
Our goal is to provide anyone looking for top online poker sites with all the information they will need.
We find the best poker sites options by comparing features like software, game selection, traffic, ease of deposit/withdrawals, security, and customer support. In fact, we consider everything you need to play at real money online poker sites in 2014.
All the recommended poker sites we list on these pages have been included objectively and without bias. Our intention is to give users current and reliable information to use when selecting a top place to play at.
For anyone wondering who I am, I’m known as MJ, I can be found at most industry hotspots, and I have a long history of being a players’ advocate. I’m dedicated to finding safe online poker sites, and therefore I welcome anyone to contact me with helpful information to keep my pages up to date. (Readers can send me a tweet or use the contact form on this website.)
Player Traffic is Important
Internet poker traffic is the one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a room. Poker sites with fewer active players will naturally have fewer games running.
For example, if a poker room has fewer than 3,000 Texas Hold’em players at any given time you’ll have a difficult time finding enough SNGs to keep you occupied, but that doesn’t mean the games aren’t worth playing. Remember, a soft card game can often be found at smaller websites too. This is a reason why we recommend keeping bankrolls at multiple online poker sites.
Make sure that the site’s gaming traffic is going to the games YOU WANT. A poker room on the net may have 5,000 players on it, but if they’re all in cash games – and your bag is tournament play – that 5,000 means nada.
Where Are You Playing?
Another thing to consider is your time zone. Some poker sites will just have more players from one country than others.
For example, Merge Network online poker sites are going to have more American card game enthusiasts since they are one of the few web networks that still accept US customers. So, if you are in the UK and log-in at 3am EST, you’ll probably notice that there are fewer games running. PokerScout.com supplies readers segmented traffic info, especially for cash games. We are working on a solution that encompasses more data here at OnlinePokerSites.net in the near future.
Promotions, Deposit Bonuses & Other Incentives
Although I think poker sites’ VIP programs are more important than promos or signup bonuses, I still think the best places to play poker online will offer you some form of incentive to come back or continue playing at their site.
Incentives can take many forms, but the most important one is real money deposit bonuses. That’s money that the poker sites give you for signing up and depositing funds for the first time. With deposits (or reload bonuses) you’ll want to consider the total amount and match percentage. All things equal, a higher match percentage will be the best bet since each dollar you deposit will go further. However, you’ll want to compare both the amount and percentage to find the best cash deals.
How do I Trigger a Deposit Bonus?
Clearing requirements for your bonus are just as important a consideration. Online poker sites do not just give out cash bonuses for nothing – you have to earn them. Some bonuses are easier to clear and bank than others depending on your stakes and game selection. You’ll want to do some math to figure out which place is best for you and your personal preferences.
Other promotions to look for include things like reload bonuses, refer-a-friend bonuses, VIP point multipliers (earn points faster than usual), guaranteed tournaments, and incentives for using specific payment methods.
What are the Banking Methods Like?
It’s important to look at what banking methods top poker sites will have for you to move money into and out of your player account. This is especially important for US players since processors come and go frequently.
The majority of online poker sites will accept processors that accept Visa, MasterCard, check payments, money orders, and/or peer to peer cash transfer services like Western Union. This should work for 90 percent of players out there.
Fast Cashouts = Happy Poker Players
Other than banking methods, we also look at how fast the processing of payments is. This is a typically a bigger concern when withdrawing versus depositing (most poker sites will not have a problem taking your money, remember).
You should ask how long it will take to receive your money every time you cashout. Typical processing times is 3-6 weeks, although if you live outside the US it can be faster – a matter of hours – since you can use the same method that you used for deposits for withdrawals.
The best way to find out how fast operators are processing withdrawals is to check out our reviews on these pages.
Main Review Sections and Ratings Criteria
So, what categories do we use to write reviews of good online poker sites? Years of making real money bank transactions with dozens of rooms have taught me that these are among the most important factors to consider when playing poker online.
- Detailed Poker Site Reviews – Objective and comprehensive rating guides, and top lists. The best poker sites are listed with informative reviews tailored to individual player needs and broken down into easy to scan categories. Special attention is paid to new player offers, ease and speed of deposits and payouts, and from which countries customers are accepted.
- Country Ratings and Legal Issues – Country specific ratings indicate which poker sites translate their game software into many languages. We also look at deposit methods in most countries around the world in a currency to suit you, and examine brands with the highest traffic in each country. For US poker gambling fans, we have included a special section completely devoted to the US market.
- Real Money vs Play Money – Real money poker is played much differently than play money chip games are. For that reason, it’s difficult for a beginner to learn much more than hand rankings and position. Part of the beauty of poker is that you are risking assets based on their value compared to your assessment of their strength against other players, and that just can’t be replicated properly without real money at stake. Our advice: play money is fine, but use one of our top links and open a real cash poker account today.
- Deposit and Payment Processing – Payment methods differ greatly by country and vary at most sites. We have the best info on deposits, withdrawals and historic payment issues.
- Bonuses, Codes, And Signup Offers – All gambling websites offer bonuses to first-time depositing players. We rate and review the most valuable offers around. On these pages you will find some great exclusive bonus codes that are bang up to date, giving you some great promos you can take advantage of right now. We update bonuses at least once a month.
- Tournaments vs Cash Games – The best sites for tournaments can be different to the best sites for cash games. We’ll show you where to find the best of each discipline. We will even find the best online poker sites for each type of tournament – SNGs, MTTs or satellites. We also run through the best variations you will find at top Internet poker rooms.
- Game Variations, Traffic, Available Stakes And Limits – ratings of traffic for each game variation – examples would be holdem, draw, stud, and omaha. Nothing is worse than signing up and depositing at a new site only to find empty games and tables. Other specialty areas include everything from bad beat jackpots to heads up games.
- Stakes, Limits, And Rules Formats – We also have sections that detail betting rules and formats, and ratings by stakes and limits.
- Online Poker Sites (Skins) By Network – Many networks and software providers share player pools and banking methods in order to compete with bigger poker sites that own their own proprietary network. Value offered to new players can vary on different poker skins on each network, so we rate all poker networks point by point to help players decide where to play.
- Rakeback Friendly Sites And Vip Loyalty Programs – Not every room offers rakeback; in fact most don’t at all anymore. In 2013, a lot of companies have shifted focus to structured rewards programs that are managed in-house. In this section we let you know where the best rakeback deals are. Not sure what rakeback is? We will show you how it can turn you from a break-even player to becoming a winner overnight. We also compare these offers with VIP loyalty programs, including detailed signup and payment instructions.
- Operating Systems – What platform you use to play Internet poker matters. Most, but not all, poker sites are compatible with today’s best operating systems (Mac, Linux, Ubuntu, Windows, Flash), and more online websites are beginning to offer great poker apps and instant-play games on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets (Android, Apple, Blackberry, Windows, etc).
- Currencies Accepted – It’s hard sometimes to find online poker sites that offer games outside USD, EUR and GBP – but at most online poker rooms it is possible to convert local currency deposits at current exchange rates. Exchanging can have an impact on the value of your deposit or payout, as currency values fluctuate, so for the most part we recommend keeping your bankroll in one widely accepted currency.
Other Types Of Resources
- Training Sites
- Tools and Calculators
- Directory Listings
- Laws And Regulations
- World Series Of Poker 2013
- Gambling Impact Studies
The team behind http://www.onlinepokersites.net include experts and contributors, all with years of experience as players and fans of gaming.
Not all of us claim to be winners (some of us just like betting), but we are all genuinely concerned with the state of the poker industry and health of the ecosystem.
The industry has faced numerous challenges in the last five years, with more sure to come. We promise to the best of our ability to keep up with it all, but remember that we are a small group of fans, and not a corporation with staff and assets like some of our competitors.