What makes an online poker site the “best”? Is it the value of their tournaments, the volume of players that are on the site, the availability of games or the biggest welcome bonus? If you were to ask 100 random online poker players which of those alternatives was best for them, you would probably find an equal divide between all four answers – and probably a couple of other answers thrown in as well!
The most accurate answer of defining the best poker sites for most online poker players – whether professional grinders or recreational players – is a mixture of all four, and it is down to the individual to establish which is the best poker site and the easiest poker site for winning money by trying out several, and then settling on the one which provides the most enjoyable and lucrative online poker experience.
Everybody with any experience of online poker has heard of PokerStars and there is no doubt that is where the biggest prizes can be won. They certainly have the largest volume of players, the widest offering of games and a very attainable 100% match bonus on first deposits up to $600.00. However, before everybody makes a bee-line for PokerStars being one of the best poker sites, let us break down some of those options.
Inasmuch as it is true that PokerStars has the most “valuable” online poker tournaments, does that necessarily represent “value”? You could spend many hours competing in one of their multi table poker tournaments to finish outside the bubble and have nothing but experience to your bankroll. Multi table poker tournaments on less substantial online poker sites generally provide players with a better chance of winning something, and often host guaranteed prize money events which are undersubscribed – nothing you are ever likely to see on PokerStars! It is those smaller online poker sites where you will find the best “tournament value”.
Volume of Players
Read any book on poker strategy and it will always tell you that position comes first, players come second and the value of your cards is the final consideration before deciding your betting action. As position changes with every hand, and the cards you are dealt are random, the only element of your betting action that you have any control over is knowing the players you are playing against. This is more likely to occur when you are playing at an online poker site where the same faces appear at your table time and time again. Indeed, it is often better to have just twenty players to play against than twenty thousand!
Availability of Games
Being able to play the variety of game at the time you want to play it might also be a consideration towards what makes the “best” online poker sites. Since UIEGA and Black Friday, most online poker sites have re-scheduled their feature tournaments to cater for the European market. However many still allow South American and Canadian clients as well as those on the other side of the world. It is admittedly tougher to get a game of Razz at 4.00am if you live in the United Kingdom and want to play on one of the easiest poker sites but, unless you are a Razz specialist, having the choice of too many games can sometimes detract from being able to master one.
Biggest Welcome Bonus
Although welcome bonuses are, well … welcome, one should not be blinded by just the figures alone. Online poker players signing up for poker welcome bonuses should first look at what the redemption requirements are, how long a player has to convert their bonus and then how many times it has to be rolled over before it can actually be withdrawn (you mean you didn´t read that bit?!). If you have to spend 25 hours a day multitabling eight tables at a time with your entire bankroll at stake every day for a month to earn $400.00 – and then find that the loyalty points you have earned at not carried forward to the site´s VIP scheme – you should really be playing on one of the easiest poker sites instead!
Other Considerations for What Makes the Best Online Poker Site
In view of recent scandals involving UB, Absolute Poker and Full Tilt Poker, many players would add “security” to their priorities in determining what makes the best online poker site, and other factors such as banking, customer service and loyalty schemes should also be included. However, the bottom line is that we all register with one online poker site or another to win money and to have a good time while we are doing it. Therefore, although you may still be tempted to play on PokerStars, if you have got sick of constantly reloading your poker bankroll, we suggest that you take a look at some of the easiest poker sites mentioned on the pages of this web site and find the “best” poker site for you.