How do you define what makes a good online poker room? Apart from the game itself, what sets one apart from another? Would you care about state of the art software running CGI-quality graphics to rival Hollywood if you never won a penny? Is it the global community you can count on to have a little banter with while you play poker online into the early hours? Or is it the good poker bonuses which weigh your pockets down? Well, if we’re honest, it’s all of these things. In an industry turning over millions by the hour, I think we should all have high expectations. After all, it’s your money, you deserve to find the absolute best online poker room and bonus.
UK poker sites
Who’d have thought that little Great Britain would have more online poker sites than any anywhere else on the planet? It’s hard not to think of the bright lights of a certain desert gambling Mecca when you visualise yourself at the table counting your lot. But when the UK has more choice than any other country why go anywhere else? It’s like anything, lots of poker sites equals competition for your business. You’re at an advantage already. Though, choice can get confusing.
Seeing as it’s the winning that counts in most people’s books, then getting off to a good start is going to give you the upper hand. How do you get off to winning start? You get the best bonus.
Good poker bonuses pull in players
If this is the first time you’re about to play poker online, chances are you’ve already had your mind blown by the sheer volume of virtual poker rooms. It’s like walking round a fairground with all the flashing lights, hype, and happy faces flushed with excitement. Everyone wants you on their ride or to play their game. Each guaranteeing the biggest prize or the fastest ride.
What do you do? You see which have the best crowds and listen to what people are saying. You bet on a winner. If it was a stall at a fairground with the largest cuddly toys that everyone seemed to be winning, and you get twice as many balls to throw at an easy target, you’d go to that stall. Or would you get in a flap, crumble to pressure and go to the first one which beckoned you? Please don’t.
Don’t rush into things
There’s enough reviews about the best this and that to keep you awake until you grow old, so if there’s any poker sites you should avoid, a few taps into your favourite search engine will bring up the red flags. UK poker sites are regulated by the Gambling Commission, so you know you’re protected and legal. Brits also get to keep all their winnings without paying tax on top. All you need to do is go for the giant cuddly toy and grab hold of your balls.
Advantages of bigger brands
Some people like their brands. If it’s advertised on TV, featuring well-dressed beautiful people wearing diamonds and a Rolex, then that’s where they want to play. Big sites show massive events like the Ladbrokes Poker Festival and have access to major tournaments, so there’s the aspect of being part of a real crowd.
Poker bonus 101
Glamour aside, finding a good poker bonus is what many players live for. They are serial poker bonus seekers. Or as it goes: bonus whores. With 200% bonuses and next day payouts it’s easy to see why. However, you must read the rules so you don’t get caught out. Then there’s getting your hands on it. You need points to clear a poker bonus so you can have it, and that can take weeks and weeks.
Bonuses made simple
As they say, knowledge is King. Once you get to grips with bonus language then you’ll know at a glance if a specific so-called ‘best bonus ever’ is really worth anything. If it’s just gold plated click on the next one on your list. You’ll see many names for bonuses, but they mostly fit into four groups:
If you’re lucky, you might here of a site giving an instant sign-up bonus. Though becoming rarer, they do still exist. Whereas most bonuses take time to clear, this is an instant payout in real money. But don’t expect it to pay for your next holiday.
Like it sounds, a match bonus is where the site will match the amount you deposit. It’s pretty much an industry standard now. Check how many hands you need to play before they’ll release it to you.
You guessed it. Refer a friend and you’ll be rewarded. Again, when you receive it could depend on how many hands your friend plays, so read the rules.
Something we might see more of now the competition is peaking, reload bonuses are a cash thank you for putting money into your online poker account. It tends to be a fraction shy of what you put in, but it’s a nice gesture all the same.
The game starts now
When you play poker online it’s more than about a game of poker. It’s also about playing the sites to get the best deal at the time, being a bonus whore. And with it being so competitive between sites, there’s no reason you can’t be. Have a virtual wonder around your poker fair ground and pick out the absolute best room to play in on any given day. Of course, it’s going to come down to preference. Where you feel most comfortable, where you win the most money, which is easiest to clear your poker bonus and which gives you the best ride. You’ll get into your groove soon enough. Read the rules and ask yourself this: who gives me the most free money and how soon do I get it?