The first thing to do when you want to start playing poker online for the first time is to choose the best poker room for you. There are so many online poker rooms available these days, that it can be a bit of a daunting experience. So, what should you be looking for in an online poker room?
Probably the most important aspect of an online poker room to take into account is the software that they are powered by. The software will determine the graphics, sounds, features, functions and overall playability of the site. You will be looking for a site that is easy to navigate around and intuitive to use. If you enjoy fast-paced games, then the game play should be fast. If you prefer it to be a bit slower, then look for that. The software that you need is quite subjective and certain aspects will be more important to you than others. The most important thing is that you should be comfortable at the site and you should find it easy to play at.
The software at the site will also determine the variations of poker that are offered at that site. All online poker rooms offer Texas hold'em and most offer Omaha, however not all will offer other variations of the game. If you enjoy a particular variation of poker, you will need to choose a poker room that offers that variation or if you enjoy the option of a variety of poker games, then make sure that the poker room that you choose offers sufficient variations to keep you entertained.
A feature of the software that may be important to some players is the multi-table option. Most online poker rooms offer multi-table play – that is, players can play at more than one table at a time. What varies the most is how many tables the software will support you playing at once. If you enjoy playing something like twenty tables at once, make sure that you do not choose a poker room that has software that only supports four tables at once.
The more traffic that a poker room sees, the more tables will be available for play. In other words, if you want to have plenty of options available to you in terms of tables and games, then the more traffic, the better. You will also want to look into the type of competition that the site tends to attract. Is the competition loose with plenty of fishy players or is there tough competition? Personal preference is key here as different players will look for different levels of competition. If you are looking for loose competition, you may like to look at a poker site that is attached to an online casino or online sportsbook. These poker rooms tend to see traffic from the other sites and these players are more likely to be amateur players who bring with them fishy and loose play.
Bonuses and Promotions
You can expect just about all online poker rooms to offer a bonus for new players who sign up at their site. You can choose to compare poker rooms solely on the welcome bonus that they offer, but this should really be the least important aspect of the poker room. If it turns out that you have found a few poker rooms that you like equally, then you may want to compare them based on the bonuses that they offer.
You need to find a poker room that offers deposit and withdrawal options that suit your needs. It does not help to find poker room with excellent software if the payment options are not convenient for you.
Playing for Free
An excellent feature of most online poker rooms is the ability to play for free or play for fun. This means that you can play at the poker room without risking any of your own money until you feel ready to switch over to real money play. Besides for being able to practice your game and improve your strategy, playing for free allows you to trial the poker room's software. This means that you can sign up with a few different sites, trial their software and then decide which site you want to continue playing at.