When reviewing a poker site there are quite a number of variables that you will want to consider. When choosing the poker site, or sites, that are the best fit for you. It is important to remember that some of the sites will better suit a certain class of players, while others are a better fit for a different class of player. Many of the top online poker professionals play at more than one site because, in their evaluation of the poker site, they see different advantages for different online poker sites and try to capitalize, or get an “Edge”, on each and every one of them. Before you start playing at multiple online poker rooms, make certain that you are aware of all the VIP, or player benefits. You may find that you are better off playing at 1 specific online casino card room because almost all VIP programs increase their value the more that you play with them. Here is a list of a few of the variables that you should consider when doing your own poker site review.
Player Benefit Programs – These are often called a name like the VIP program. Normally these benefits are free tournament entries along with some form of “rake back”. The online poker room that you play at keeps track of how much you pay in tournament fees and how much you contribute to the pot rake.
Type of Rake Back – There are basically 3 different types of rake back in the online poker industry. They do not affect tournament fees but rather how you will receive credit in cash, or ring, games. They are:
- Contributed Rake back: What happens when an online card room uses the “Contributed” method of calculation? The formula that is used to credit your share of the table collection, “Rake”, is based upon the determination of how much money a player contributed to the pot. The rake is then distributed to players based upon their contribution to the pot. If there are 3 players in a pot of $100 and 1 player put in $20 while the other 2 players each put $40 in to the pot. The total rake taken in the hand will be credited to the 3 players that put money in the pot, based upon the percentage of the pot that each player had contributed. So in this example the 3 players would be credited for 20 %, 40 %, and 40 %.
- Shared Rake back: The “Shared Rack Back” formula for the distribution of credit, from the rake paid in a pot, is to divide the total rake equally between any player, in the hand, that made a contribution to the pot, regardless of the amount that they contributed. Using this method you would receive and equal share of the credit even in a small or big blind that you never see the flop with.
- Dealt Rake back: If you have a playing style that is conservative, or “Tight”, then the “Dealt Rake Back” method is the best one for you. Figuring out the results of this method is very simple. You count the number of players that were dealt in to the hand and they each get an equal credit share of the rake. Poker players that are “Loose” and “Aggressive” are definitely in a disadvantage with Dealt Rake back because, unlike in the Contributed method, playing more hands and seeing more streets is not a factor in the Dealt Rake back formula.
Poker Games Available: If you play Texas hold-em, Omaha, or Stud, then you will find that all online poker rooms spread those particular, and most popular, variants of the game of poker. Now if you like to play some of the many, more obscure, variations of poker then you will want to make certain that the games that you particularly enjoy are being spread.
Poker Tournaments Available: You want to look at the frequency and size of the poker tournaments offered by each online card room. You will also want to check out how many free roll, or satellite, tournaments they run. You should also put special focus on the tournaments that have a guaranteed prize pool. Any tournament that you find, where only the guaranteed amount was paid, is a tournament that has had money contributed to the prize pool by the card room making it have added value as an edge to any poker players that were in the tournament.
Poker Action Available: Almost every online card room belongs to a bigger network of online poker sites. Because of this most players will not have any problem, at all, in finding the games and limits that they want to play. Only a handful of poker sites offer the truly “Nose Bleed” games and for the rest of us there is usually all the selection that you could want. That said, you should still make certain that there are enough active games running in the game variant, limit range, and structure of betting, for your particular preferences in poker.
Card Room Software: You should play around with each site before you decide which one that you want to settle in with. You can usually play some of the free games without making a deposit. Some card room’s software is easier to use and to navigate through. None of them are too complicated that you can’t learn it but you still want to make certain that you are comfortable with it. If you like to play more than 1 table at a time then you will want to see how multi table play works on the site and any limitations that it might have.