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Poker

Welcome to the Betbubbles Poker Room Reviews page. In order to make our Top Sites List,  poker rooms must not only meet the minimum requirements that industry regulators impose, but must go beyond these requirements.  We look for qualities that set sites apart from the rest of the pack in the areas of company history, software/games, poker school, skill level, buy-ins, betting structure, rake fees, tables, tournament offerings (guaranteed jackpots and tournament fees), promotions, cashier options, security and customer service. For all of the sites listed below, we cover each of these details on the review page for each individual poker room.  In addition to providing reviews on the most established and reputable online poker rooms, in short, the best poker sites in operation today, we also provide our readers with guidelines and principles that are designed to help players select an online poker host for themselves. With this end in sight, please read over our free Poker Room Conditions guide, designed to help you select the best online poker rooms suited to your specific needs.

 

 

Poker Room Conditions

Online poker accounts for a prodigious portion of the internet betting industry.  What has aptly been called the “Poker Craze”, continues to attract a steady influx of players looking to either win it big or to simply have a good time with their gambling friends.  Due to the enormous success of the World Poker Tour, WSOP, Celebrity Poker and the resulting widespread media coverage – as well as the development of online gaming technology – it was only a matter of time that online poker rooms would become a self-sustaining, multi-billion dollar offspring between technology and its land-based predecessor.  And with more poker shows airing on a variety of television networks, its popularity remains strong.  While the “online poker craze” has subsided somewhat, it is definitive to say that it cannot be shrugged off as just another fad.  Online poker is here to stay.

This being said, it should not be surprising to see so many online poker rooms, portals and poker room review sites propagating the internet.  Of course there are the handful of monopolizing gaming giants out there who continue to swallow up their competitors and give themselves different names with the same face; However, since the demand is strong, the supply is ever so willing to make their services known.  Online gamblers can easily spend an entire afternoon perusing through the mass of independent online poker rooms and all-in-one betting sites claiming to be the best in the business.

As is the case in selecting an online casino, we think it is very important to use principles and guidelines to help you make the best choice for where you want to bet your money.  However, picking a poker room requires even more consideration, for you not only have to be concerned with site management and customer service, you need to know about the other players who frequent that site as well.  Thus, we bring you our Review Guide, which sets forth the most important principles for your consideration when choosing a poker room to nest at.  Before even visiting a single gambling site – whether it be an online poker site, or review portal – you should determine for yourself:

 

What is Your Level of Skill as a Poker Player?

This is something you need to answer honestly, because if you don’t, it could ruin you.  The reason being is that some poker rooms have the reputation of harboring poker sharks. i.e., those who take advantage of less experienced players.  They are “players” to the truest sense of the word, if you will.  Sharks tend to frequent the larger poker rooms, for they know that most new poker players will feel safe playing in larger rooms.  On a similar note, some poker rooms are known for attracting more experienced players with larger bankrolls.  Although there will be small stakes tables available at these types of poker rooms, you may find that the majority of other players do not frequent the smaller stake tables, thus leaving you with the temptation of betting at a higher stakes table than you were originally intending to.  So, with all these worries and concerns, what kind of poker room should you seek out?

The key is to seek out a poker room that has a decent sized patronage of players of your same skill level.

If you are an experienced player, but are simply unfamiliar with the online realm, you should probably stay away from the “newbie” rooms that put a lot of energy into running a poker school and making room for beginner tables.  On the other hand, smaller poker rooms can afford you the opportunity to become more familiar with your fellow players, thus giving you the opportunity to develop more finely tuned strategies.  Although some other experienced players may urge you to play at larger rooms – for their are more “fish” to take advantage of – we do not support that type of unprofessional playing and urge those people to refresh their ethical standards.

If, however, you are a “newbie” to poker in general, you should seek out those rooms that attract a similar crowd and that have poker schools of their own.  Despite having less of a social experience, the best large-sized poker rooms will let you form private tables after you have made a few friends.  Although these rooms will undoubtedly attract poker sharks, you can protect yourself by exercising simple caution.  A terrific practice to get into is to watch the action at live tables without ever joining the game.  The more you do this, the better feel you will have regarding the types of players that frequent particular tables.  Stick to the low stakes tables at first, taking the time to observe the action beforehand.  If you see players’ betting patterns showing shifts from tight to aggressive, it would be wise to stay clear from that action.

 

All-In-One Betting Sites
As for all-in-one betting sites, where you can partake in just about every form of gambling under the sun, including casino games, sports and horse betting, poker, bingo, lottery and skill games, the poker rooms here are still worth considering.  However, if you do decide to get a membership at one of these sites because you like the their sportsbook and casino games, do not feel obligated to play at their tables when you get the urge to throw down some cards.  Scrutinize it just like you would any other poker room (according to the guidelines explained here) – And if it does not match up with the competition, open an account at another website.  It is perfectly acceptable to download another gaming platform on your computer (countless players do it).  Internet gaming downloads are relatively small and will not unnecessarily take up too much hard drive space on your computer.  You will then have the luxury of switching back and forth from site to site when you feel the whim to gamble at different sorts.  By all means, stay put at an all-in-one site if the poker room meets all the criteria explained here.  That way, you will wrack up more comp points and player incentives in the long run.

Now that you know what type of poker room to look for, you need to know how to identify the best room that is perfectly suited to your gambling ability.  As far as general qualifications, we advise that you go by the same guidelines that we recommend in picking an online casino.  The only difference is that instead of weighing game payout percentages, you should be looking at the rake/blind structure and tournament fees.  This being said,

The Best Online Poker Rooms Will…

  • Provide free access to their software, enabling players to open practice accounts and view or sit in on all live, non-private poker games.
  • Secure games and financial transactions with 128-bit encryption and a Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
  • Visibly post all bonus terms and conditions on their website.
  • Visibly post all game rules, tournament schedules and tournament policies.
  • Have several open lines for Customer Support, which players are encouraged to use.
  • Visibly posts all tournament fees, comp point equivalents and rake structures.  A standard rake schedule to look for is one that charges no more than 5% of each $1 contributed to the pot, and no more than $5 for a $49 tournament buy-in.

 

As For Bonuses, there is a great deal more variation from poker room to the next, as opposed to those bonuses offered by online casinos.  It is typical to see larger bonuses at smaller poker rooms – although they are still governed by strict conditions.  Percentage bonuses, usually ranging from 25% to 200% are good competition.  If you assuredly want a bonus, we recommend to not settle for less than a 25% bonus up to $200 or a 100% match bonus up $50.  Keep in mind that large poker room bonuses operate according to a coin system.  Players essentially receive coins/points for their time and money spent playing poker.  The coins can then be traded in for bonus money.  Going by a twenty-coin-per-$1 bonus equivalent, you should receive one coin for every hand played with a $.25 to $.50 rake. (On a ten-coin-per-$1 equivalent, this would be the same as getting a 1/2 coin for every $.50 raked pot)  You should also receive coins/points for entering tournaments.  Point equivalents will vary, so be sure to search them out on each prospective poker rooms website.

As previously mentioned, larger poker rooms (where most beginning players end up) generally do not offer comprehensive bonuses like these.  At the least, they will usually have a Refer-a-Friend Bonus, which is competitive if it offers $50 per friend referred.  What is nice about these bonuses is that they do not have extensive terms and conditions governing them.  Some are available for immediate cash out, so long as the Referred Friend meets certain criteria.  Whichever bonus you decide to go for, just be sure you are considering the other guidelines for picking the best poker room suited for you.  In the end, the bonuses are not going to make a drastic difference for how much money you take home…That, my friend, is contingent on how good and lucky a player you are.

Being familiar with all the online poker rooms under the sun, we have come across a few that stand out, yet are relatively different from one another in regards to the type of players they cater to and their tournament/bonus schedules.  Feel free to check them out for yourself and open a Guest or Real account, for they have been given the green light according to our Poker Room Review Guidelines

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