The Most Popular Poker Sites
Comparision of poker sites by player traffic
The popularity of a poker site is a crucial factor to consider when choosing between the best online poker sites. Not only does a higher number of poker players mean more opponents, but it can also have several other knock-on benefits. More players often means that the poker site is able to offer poker tournaments with bigger prize pools, resulting in life-changing cash prizes, as well as a wider variety of cash games. There are also likely to be a greater number of weaker poker players to profit from, due to increased advertisement spend by larger online poker sites.
Benefits of playing at the biggest online poker rooms
As long as a poker site has a reasonable amount of traffic you are almost certain to be able to find opponents for your preferred poker game 24 hours a day. However, there are a number of additional benefits that can be gained from playing at the most popular poker sites:
Increased reliability and security
If a poker site has a larger number of players, it will usually generate higher revenue and profits. This in turn should enable the poker site to invest more money in its poker software, which should make it more secure, reliable and functional.
Furthermore, larger poker sites are generally subject to increased scrutiny by regulators. They will also likely be present in more countries, which means they have to comply with a wider range of legislation.
The biggest online poker sites may also subject themselves to additional audits over their systems. Although larger poker sites may choose to have extra testing done at their own expense, as a minimum requirement all online poker sites in the UK must have an annual games testing audit. This audit must be performed by a company that is completely independent of them, and accredited by the UK Gambling Commission. It will review aspects such as the whether the poker site’s system deals cards to players in a completely random pattern.
Bigger poker tournaments with larger cash prizes
Online poker sites with more players often have much better poker tournaments.
Firstly, with high player traffic the poker tournaments should be better both in terms of variety and number. If you are a player at one of the largest poker sites, you should be able to log on at any time of the day and find a poker tournament that you want to play in, starting in minutes. This will significantly reduce the time spent waiting for tournaments to start when compared to when playing at the less popular online poker sites.
Secondly, poker sites with more players often deliver better tournaments in terms of the prize pools they offer. This is for the simple reason that they will have more players in each tournament. Pokerstars does this very well. It has huge numbers of poker players in many of it’s online poker tournaments. This means that even if you only have less than $5 in your PokerStars account you could still win prizes of well over $1000 from poker tournaments.
Greater variety and volume of cash games
Another typical benefit of poker sites with more players is that they frequently have wider varieties and volumes of poker cash games.
Although the most popular type of online poker cash game is Texas Hold’em, some players find that they perform better in other types of poker games. With more players a poker site has the ability to offer a greater variety of poker games, as there are enough players to warrant them.
Larger poker sites, such as Full Tilt Poker offer a full range of poker games including; Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo, Draw Poker and Mixed Poker Games. On the contrary, many smaller poker sites only offer a limited number of these games.
The volume of poker cash games is also usually higher at the more popular online poker sites. This can be very useful because players will be able find poker cash game tables at the exact level of buy-in they want to play at.
As well as having a full range of range of buy-in levels, the most popular poker sites usually have several poker tables at each level of buy-in. This is also a benefit that shouldn’t be ignored, as you can avoid tables with better players and find poker tables with more “fish”!
With more poker players, statistically there will be more poor poker players (or ‘fish’) at the poker site. In addition, the proportion of fish can also be greater as larger poker sites tend to have higher advertising budgets. These increased advertisements tend to attract a large number of new poker players, which you should try to find and capitalize from.
One strategy you can use to find these weaker players is to watch poker tables you are not playing at. From watching these tables you can hopefully identify the tables where weak poker players are seated. You should be able to spot these players as they will play far to many hands than they should, and will often call or bet far too often. If you can then get a seat at these tables, with better poker skills, you can hopefully take advantage of these poker players and boost your bankroll.
Increased access to offline poker events
The larger poker sites frequently offer tournament satellites to the biggest live (i.e. face-to-face) poker events in the world. These events often give players the the opportunity to win hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars.
For example, at William Hill Poker you can find satellite tournaments to the Irish Poker Open. The Irish Poker Open main event winner took home $212,000 in 2017.