Online Poker Networks
An online poker network is a group of poker sites that work together to bring more players to the tables. A typical poker network begins with a single poker site that opens for business, acquires a stable base of players and then decides to expand by leasing its software out to “skins” who then operate on the same network.
Online poker networks operate as if they are independent poker sites but they all share players. When you play at one site on a network, you actually play with a pool of players that come from several different poker sites. For example, when you play at CarbonPoker.ag, you are also playing against players from other "skins".
Poker Sites With The Best Gaming Software
It almost sounds like a tricky move, but online poker networks are also good for the players. When multiple poker sites share players, you benefit by finding better game selection, more valuable promotions and bigger tournaments. More poker sites also means more sign-up bonuses without having to leave your poker network.
How We Rate Network Software Providers
Some online poker networks only have a couple skins while others have a few dozen. In our list of the top poker sites on each network, we have ranked the five best poker rooms according to reputation, security, deposit options and promotions. Here’s a quick overview of how we pick the top poker sites from each network:
- Merge Poker Sites - The Merge Gaming Network is relatively new but it already includes about 40 poker sites in its network. Their player base has expanded rapidly in recent years and they are on track to become a big player in the online poker industry. Unique software features and generous deposit bonuses have helped propel Merge to the forefront of online poker.
- Ipoker Network Sites - The iPoker Network is the world’s largest online poker network. They consist of about three dozen poker sites, many of which are large by their own rights. A large player base and high quality software await all new players at the iPoker Network.
- Microgaming Poker Sites - Microgaming got its start with online casinos in 1994 and then moved into online poker during the poker boom of 2003. Since then, Microgaming has become a large online poker network with more than 40 poker rooms operating on the network. Microgaming poker sites do not accept players from the United States, but most other countries are welcome.
- Ongame Poker Sites - The Ongame Network operates a few well known online poker sites plus about 20 others that aren’t quite as large. More than 20 million people have joined the Ongame Network since 1999 and more join every day. A unique software solution called the P5 Poker Engine gives all Ongame poker sites a distinctive look and innovative features.
- Entraction Poker Sites - The Entraction Poker Network caters mostly to European players. Its holding company is a publicly traded company in Sweden, which suggests they are here for the long term. With more than a dozen languages supported, the Entraction Poker Network is a truly international online poker network.
- Boss Media Poker Sites - Boss Media, also known as IPN (International Poker Network), consists of about three dozen different online poker sites. Most of these sites are relatively small, but together the network provides a large player base and long list of promotions. Learn a little more about this medium-sized online poker network on our Boss Media page.
- IPN Network Poker Sites - The IPN Poker Network is actually just another name for the Boss Media online poker network. We have set up a separate page for IPN, though, because many visitors still know it as the “IPN Poker Network.” Feel free to visit either page to learn more about Boss Media / IPN Poker Network.
Closed networks include:
- Cereus Network Poker Sites - Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet joined forces in 2008 to create the Cereus Poker Network. These are the only two poker sites in the Cereus Poker Network, but they form one of the largest online poker networks in terms of player numbers. Large tournaments, two huge deposit bonuses and a constant stream of promotions make Cereus a strong choice for any poker player. *Cereus has now closed.
- Cake Poker Network is now "Revolution Gaming" - we will provide an update and listings of skins using the software soon, until then in our opinion if unsure probably best to play somewhere else like Merge.
Reputation and security is our most important factor for every top list on this site. When we rank poker sites, the safety of your funds is the first thing we consider. A poker site’s reputation speaks volumes about the security, ethics and quality of the poker site in question. Only after you have a list of reputable online poker sites should you worry about any other factor.
A long list of effective deposit options is also important when ranking these online poker sites. The best poker sites on each network have deposit options that are both easy to use and widely accepted. Even the best poker site in the world would be rendered impotent by a lack of deposit options. One thing you can be sure of with these poker sites is that we have the ones with the best variety of deposit methods.
One of the primary reasons online poker networks form in the first place is to provide better promotions for its players. Individual poker sites have the freedom to choose their own promotions, however, so you will find a wide range of quality in promotions. After we have ranked the sites at each network by the above factors, we then take the quality of promotions into consideration.
In my search to find the best poker sites on each network I considered factors like history, trust, ease of deposit, and value of promotions (aka VIP loyalty programs and rakeback). PokerScout.com lists current traffic for all major network providers.