OnlinePokerSites.net is a poker site dedicated to helping players decide which online poker sites to play at for real money. I have rated and reviewed the best options for 2013 including features like software, game selection, traffic, countries, currencies, ease of deposit/withdrawals, and numerous other factors that are important to players who want to play poker online for real money.
How We Rate
My goal is to provide my visitors and anyone generally interested in playing for real money with high quality information about internet poker rooms not provided by a corporation or marketing agency.
Hopefully I can have some fun building this website at the same time, but what I don’t do at my site is sell rankings to online poker websites for an advertising fee. Each recommended brand I list is done objectively and without bias. All listings are chosen and edited by myself, a real person. Again, my intention is to give users current and reliable information to use when selecting a place to play at.
I created these ratings and reviews so players can make educated choices themselves about where to signup at – after all, poker players are smarter than the average web browser and fully capable of making educated decisions themselves.
For anyone wondering who I am or wanting to contact me I’m known as MJ, I can be found at most industry hot spots and I have a long history of being a players advocate and encouraging safe and play with only premier operators. I welcome anyone to contact me with helpful information to keep my pages up to date, either send me a tweet or use the contact form on this website.
Player Traffic is Important
Traffic is the one of the most important factors to consider. Sites with fewer active players will naturally have fewer games running. For example, as a sit n go player I can tell you that if a site has less than 3,000 players at any given time you’ll have a difficult time finding enough sit n go’s keep you occupied, but that doesn’t mean the games aren’t worth playing – soft games are often found at smaller websites. This is another reason why I recommend keeping bankrolls at multiple rooms.
It’s more than just traffic to the site, though. You want to look for traffic to the games that you want to play, too. For example, a site may have 5,000 players at one time. That’s not too bad. However, if all that traffic is to the cash games section of the site and you are a tournament player, then the site obviously won’t work well for you. So, traffic to the games and stakes you like to play is just as important as overall traffic levels.
Another thing to consider is your time zone. Some poker sites will just have more players from one country than others. For example, Merge skins are going to have more Americans since they are one of the few networks that still accept them. So if you are in the UK and login 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 the VIP program is more important than promos or signup bonuses, I still think the best poker rooms will offer you some form of incentive to come back or continue playing at their site. Incentives can be mean all kinds of things.
The first thing that comes to mind are deposit bonuses. That’s money that the poker site gives you for signing up and depositing for the first time. With deposit (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 deals.
Clearing requirements for your bonus are just as important of a consideration. Companies do not just give out bonuses as free money – you have to earn them. Some bonuses are easier to clear than others, especially taking into consideration the games and stakes you play. 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 banking methods.
Easily Accessible Banking Methods
It’s important to look at what banking methods operators will have for you to move money on and off of your player account. This is especially important for US players since processors come and go frequently. The majority of poker providers will have processors that can accept Visa, MasterCard, check, money orders, and/or peer to peer cash transfer services like Western Union. This should work for 90% of players out there.
Other than banking methods, I would also look at how fast the payment processing is. This is a typically a bigger concern when withdrawing vs depositing (most poker sites will not have a problem taking your money). 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 (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, or visit a forum such as 2+2.
Main Review Sections And Listing Criteria
Below are the main categories I use to review and internet poker sites, years of doing real money transactions with dozens of brands have taught me that these are the variables most important when playing online.
- Detailed 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.
- Poker By Country And Legal Issues – country specific ratings that translate their game software into many languages. We also look at deposit methods in most countries around the world, and brands with the highest traffic in every country. I have included a special section completely devoted to the US market. Players in most countries can easily find an option in their preferred language and currency.
- 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 you are risking assets based on their value compared to your assessment of their strength vs other players, and that just can’t be replicated properly without real money at stake.
- Deposit And Payment Processing – current information about depositing, withdrawing, and making payments including most options worldwide. Payment methods differ greatly by country and also vary at most sites.
- Bonuses, Codes, And Signup Offers – all gambling websites offer bonuses to first time depositing players, we rate and review the most valuable offers. Many top options give our players exclusive incentives custom tailored for our users. Each offers clearing rules and requirements are explained in detail. This section has current bonus and referral codes that guarantee the best available when used. We update at least once a month.
- Tournaments Vs Cash Games - The best sites for tournaments can be different than the best sites for cash games, we even break it down further rating the optimal places to play various types of tournament poker – including sngs, mtt’s, and satellites. Our game specific sections help you narrow it down for your formats.
- 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 which skin to play at.
- Rakeback Friendly Sites And Vip Loyalty Programs – not every brand offers rakeback, in fact most don’t anymore. Most companies have shifted focus to structured rewards programs that are managed in house. In this section we let you know the best rakeback deals. Not sure what rakeback is? I’ll show you how it can turn you from a break even player to 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 sites are compatible with todays operating systems (Mac, Linux, Ubuntu, Windows, Flash), and a few sites even offer poker games on mobile devices like smart phones and tablets (Droid, Iphone, Ipad, Galaxy, etc).
- Languages Supported – ratings of the best options for every language, this info is touched on in each country section but more detailed listings are found on language specific reviews. I plan to translate each of these pages soon.
- Currencies Accepted – tracking every currency, it’s hard to find actual game tables outside of USD, EUR, GBP – but at most online poker rooms it is possible to convert local currency deposits at current exchange rates. Sometimes this is a complex issue that can have an impact on the value of your deposit or payout as currency values fluctuate, 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
- 2+2 Strategy Forums
- Gambling Impact Studies
The team behind http://www.onlinepokersites.net include experts and contributors, all with years of experience as players and fans of the game. Not all of us claim to be winners (some of us just like to gamble), but we are all honestly concerned with the state of the industry and health of the ecosystem. The industry has faced numerous challenges in the last 5 years, with more sure to come. We promise to the best of our ability to keep up with it all, just keep in mind we are a small group of fans and not a corporation with staff and assets like some of our competition.