Best Poker Sites
Best Poker Rooms
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When it comes down to it all poker sites have their own strengths and weaknesses. And some will be a better fit for you than others.
Are you into low-stakes sit-and-gos or mid-stakes multi-table tournaments? Shorthand No-Limit Hold’em or full-ring Omaha Hi-Lo? Is customizable software important? Are you looking for the easiest games to beat?
The reviews at Poker Junkie are based on dozens of factors including sign-up bonuses, easiest games to win, software and graphics, ease of deposits and withdrawals and more.
Click the “read review” button for the full breakdown or click the “Get your bonus” button to head straight for the action.
Finding the Best Online Poker Websites
At the end of the day the “best” online poker website is the one that suits your specific needs as a player the best.
Bottom line it’s the poker site (or poker network) that provides the best selection of games for you and the best opportunities for you to make money.
And that can come in a wide range of forms, from specific tournaments and cash games to bonuses and promotions.
Of all the things to look for before signing up and creating an account on one or more poker websites, a few are probably more important than others.
These are the most important considerations as we see them at Poker Junkie.
Big Poker Sites vs. Little Poker Sites
One of the ongoing debates in online poker is always which is the "best" type of poker site to play on.
Again, the answer to which is better really depends on what you prefer.
On the major international sites poker of all forms is in abundance.
These sites will have great game selection, tournaments starting up virtually every second, thousands of players online at any hour of the day and the largest guaranteed prize pools.
They’ll also have a lot of really tough players laying in wait, massive fields in most tournaments and freerolls and a long line of people waiting for customer support at times.
On the little sites, poker is often more of a passion than a profession. Game selection is more limited and prize pools are typically smaller.
But you’re also much more likely to find a peer group of intermediate and beginner poker fans, there to enjoy a bit of sport and banter, and a lot more entry level fish apt to lose a few bucks at the tables.
Both have their advantages. It’s only up to you to decide.
At Poker Junkie, we say why settle for just one? We move our action around to whatever suits us best each time we login.
Without a doubt, the most popular poker variation both live and online is Texas Holdem.
Likely 75% of all games running online at any one time are Texas Holdem - either Limit or No-Limit.
If Holdem is your game, then, whatever poker site you choose is going to have a wide variety of games and stakes to choose from.
If you’re a Pot-Limit Omaha fan, most sites will also run a decent spread of games.
If you’re more into the mixed games however, or you’re a seven-card stud traditionalist, your options will be a bit more limited.
Smaller poker sites may have the software to support the game but it could be tough to find enough players to get a decent game started.
As most poker players want to spend their time playing poker as opposed to waiting for tables to fill up, keep that in mind when you’re signing up.
Some people like poker entirely for the social aspects.
They enjoy a good conversation at the tables, like to keep the stakes low and incidental, and don’t worry too much at the end of the day about profit and loss.
Others live and die by their expected value in every hand, their big blinds earned per hour and the ups and downs of their monthly profit graph.
Whatever type of player you are, the bottom line is still likely going to be you enjoy yourself more when you make money rather than lose money.
It’s just basic human psychology.
With that in mind, if you’re starting off with the intention of making money, it’s worth your while to investigate where the most dead money is - whether at a specific game or table at one poker site or across entire player base at another poker site of network.
Sure, at some of the high profile sites you will find action at all times. But you’ll also find countless full-time, professional grinders trained and ready to separate you from your money if you sit at the wrong table.
On the other hand, a lot of lesser known, lower traffic sites are filled with amateurs and drifters from the casino or sportsbook who are loose and sloppy with their play – or in other words, perfect opponents to make some money off of.
The choice is really up to you. Most of us here at Poker Junkie have accounts at several different types of poker sites.
Sometimes it’s fun to play with the big boys, and you can’t beat the excitement of going deep in a big tournament with a life-changing guaranteed prize pool.
Sometimes you just want to gamble a bit and chat with fellow poker fans from around the world.
The best part about online poker is that all of those things are out there to be found, depending on the day.
It’s only up to you to go find it.
In 2011, some of the easiest-to-beat games can be found on 888 Poker, Party Poker and Cake Poker.
Software and Graphics
Some poker players consder the software and graphics on a poker site a huge part of the experience.
Being able to add personal avatars or pictures, having a variety of table backgrounds, having certain types of action buttons, having a cascade function for multi-tabling… it can make or break a player’s enjoyment in some cases.
Others could care less.
Across the board these days, however, most poker site software platforms provide a level of customization and functionality that’s more than enough for most players.
Four-color decks for readability, player notes, lobby and table options. etc.
If you’re into the graphic side of things, maybe a more “realistic” 3D playing environment like PKR is the best choice for you.
If you like amazing amounts of customization, PokerStars might have the best software for you. Again, whatever your preferences, there’s usually a poker site out there for you.
See the software and graphics sections in each review for a breakdown on what each poker site has to offer.
Poker Site Bonuses and Promotions
A huge factor when starting out in online poker is obviously going to be your bankroll.
If you have a bit of a buffer financially you stand a much better chance of making it through your early days online with a profit and you’ll never have to make a deposit again.
Your online poker sign-up bonus, along with ongoing site promotions for both new and existing players, can play a big part in that.
If you look at most standard sign-up bonuses, it’s typically based around giving you a % match bonus up to a capped amount (usually $500 or less).
For players who sign-up through a Poker Junkie link, that bonus is typically a bit higher than the standard bonus - usually between $600 and $1,000.
It can be a huge asset to have this extra money to get you through any downswings/bad luck when you start out.
Some sites will pay this bonus out to you as you play (e.g. $10 for every 100 raked hands) and some will pay it out in a lump sum whenever you’ve completed the requirements.
Either way, it’s basically free money. And an essential part of any burgeoning poker career.
A good loyalty program that rewards you with points, cash, bonuses or free merchandise as you play is also a critical concern for some. If you’re going to put the time in and play, it just makes sense to be rewarded for it.
Keep that in mind when you’re signing up. Some sites go out of their way to make it more lucrative for you than others.
Having a decent customer support function is critical for an enjoyable poker experience.
Questions always arise and it’s nice to know the poker site will be available to answer your questions and fix any problems as quickly as possible.
Some offer live chat functions right in the client, connecting you with help instantly. Some only offer an email address that can take a week or two to get a response.
Be sure to take note of which poker site offers what types of support before you sign up.
Deposit and Withdrawal Options and Processes
It seems it would go without saying, but being able to get money on and off a poker site is pretty important to paying poker online.
That being said, current legislation in the United States has made in tricky at times to do either.
In the rest of the world, it’s usually as simple as using a standard Visa or Mastercard credit card or a third-party payment processor like PayPal, MoneyBookers or Neteller.
Money can move on and off a poker site in hours.
In the U.S. however, it sometimes takes a few more steps.
Check out our complete guide to online poker deposit options for more detail.
Either way, it’s worth it to pay attention to the deposit and withdrawal options offered by each poker site. These change on a regular basis as well.
Different poker sites have their individual strengths and weaknesses. Some might have great support and good player traffic, while others maybe offer huge game variety and large sign-up bonuses.
To the left you'll find Poker Junkie’s best poker site toplist based on our editorial team’s opinions combined with our visitors’ overall ratings.
If you want more detailed information about a specific site, click on the "read review" link.