Online poker rooms come a dime a dozen. With so many options out there, online poker rooms could readily be compared to a downtown Chinese buffet; you have a ton of choices, but you don't necessarily want to pick the dish that's going to give you food poisoning within a few hours.
Of course, you'll visit poker strategy sites that are willing to shove affiliate links down your throat, begging you to sign up as one of their referrals. You'll also find a countless number of online poker review sites that claim to offer you an unbiased look at all the top poker rooms. But what should you, as a visitor, look for in these poker sites? Does a shiny display and a good signup bonus warrant a deposit of your hard earned money?
Online poker rooms, just like the casinos or poker parlors they're modeled
after, as a whole, welcome your patronage as a customer of their services.
They're there to provide you with a good environment to play in, useful customer
service, and practical cash-in/cash-out options.
In finding an online poker room to play at, you need to feel safe and sure that the room you've chosen is dependable and reputable. When deciding which room to choose, be sure that you've heard the name before. This is called peer approval.
Even if you've never played an online hand of poker in your life and you're a complete newcomer to the game, chances are, you've heard of some of the big name brands in the industry before. Whether it come from your friends, in Google's search results, or from a person or two at an online forum, peer approval should always be near the top of your criteria when deciding which room to play at. Usually, if your friends like the place and feel safe depositing their own money to play with, so will you.
Another big thing to look at is the site's signup bonuses. As a general rule of thumb, the bigger the signup bonus, the better. That's a no brainer, of course. You may want to keep in mind, however, the rules and stipulations of getting that signup bonus. Do you have to play a certain number of hands to unlock the bonus? Is it given to you instantly? Is it given to you in increments? Do you have to unlock the bonus by a certain time period? You should be able to answer all of these questions before you even consider downloading a site's software. Become informed by visiting a brand's site and browsing around a little bit. You should be able to answer the above questions and then some by reading over the site's FAQs.
What kind of cash-in/cash-out options does a particular brand offer? Bear in mind that not all sites are created equal, and this becomes especially true when it comes to a brand's customer service. If you are unable to cash in or out by the means required by the site, it would probably best suit you to find another brand. This becomes especially true if you're a player residing in the United States. Remember, not all sites welcome United States based players. Keep this in mind when browsing around your selections.