Even though they look pretty much the same and they're all selling essentially the same few games, all Online Poker Rooms are NOT created equal! The differences can go far beyond the look and feel of the software. After you've played at several different rooms, you'll start to see the tell-tale signs of a quality room as opposed to the "back alley" type.
Here's a few things to consider before you plunk down your money.
The Number Of Players
It simply doesn't matter how great the software is or how many game variations Are Offered. If you're sitting alone, staring
at the virtual walls ...What Good Is The Poker Room? The great pokerrooms always have lots of real money players --- Playing!
Don't let a big bonus or huge game selection be the only criteria you use when selecting a Pokerroom. Make sure you
understand how to cash out, where your money will go and how quickly you'll get paid. Remember, what good is your bankroll if you don't have access to it?
Before you purchase, know the customer service options. Is there a toll free phone number? Is there Online Chat (my personal favorite)? Or is email your only option? Make sure you can contact a rep when you need one. Here's A Tip: Before You
Purchase, Contact Support and Ask a few questions, Just to see how responsive and knowledgeable the staff is. Great Pokerrooms know how important Customer Service is and will make sure their reps are well trained!
Free Money at sign-up is always nice! But, it's really not very important. Remember, there are always play through requirements and the more "Free Money" you get the more you'll have to play before you can actually cash it out.
More important then a sign-up bonus is the ongoing comps that are offered. Poker can be a very exciting game, where you have a pretty good chance of consistently winning. Once you find a poker room that you like, chances are you'll be playing there
frequently. A good comp program can directly add to your bottom line!
Ease of Use
I'm including the entire poker room "experience" in this category. Starting with the first time you visit the site, through the download and sign up process, making a deposit, choosing a table and of course, the actual game-play. The easier it is to get all of this done the better.
A clean, simple homepage and intuitive, easily installed software are important factors that shouldn't be overlooked.
I've outlined what I think are the most important factors in any Pokerroom. Of course, you'll need to consider your own factors also...
* Do You Like Frequent Tournaments?
* What Table Limits Are You Comfortable With?
* Are You Interested In Multi-Table Play?
An hour or so of research before you actually make your first deposit can go a long way toward improving your online playing experience.
David Olsen has spent entirely too much time writing about Online Gambling. His latest site gambling site Online Poker is dedicated to finding and testing the webs poker rooms.
Mr. Olsen works from home and is married with one young son.