Poker Sites FAQ

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General Poker Site Questions

What's the difference between one online poker site to the next?

There is a world of difference between the top online poker sites and the bottom tier online poker sites. Rest assured, in our online poker site reviews we only list the very best sites as seen on our top 10 page. Other factors that differentiate online poker sites are bonuses, customer support, game variation and tournaments. To ensure our visitors don't end up a rogue poker sites we also run a blacklist listing ones to avoid and what to look out for.

What is the best online poker site?

We have listed the best online poker sites according to several different major factors that are usually used in determining the value of an online poker site. Many players are keen on finding out what's the best poker site - so this site was created with them in mind. Different people may see the reason to play at a real money online poker site differently, so we have created as detailed an account as possible.

What makes a good online poker site?

Several factors make a good online poker site. The first and most important is the poker software itself, how smooth is the gameplay and how nice are the features and graphics. Other things make up a good online poker site as well, such as superb customer service, great online bonuses and more. Another great way for you to determine if an online poker site is good is to read some reviews about that particular site. At PokerSites.com we provide readers with detailed reviews of each site we recommend, as well as video guides that show you the main features, advantages and disadvantages of each site. We also encourage players to leave their own reviews of the site so that our readers can get the clearest picture possible.

Is it legal to play online poker in the USA?

Yes, it's legal to play poker in the USA and every other country for that matter. Some laws make it difficult for banks to process certain credit cards, but the actual playing of online poker is still legal. Some poker sites decided to opt out of accepting US players, but there are still plenty to choose from if you reside in the United States.

How does an online poker site make money off me? Does it have to do with rake?

Yes, rake is how an online poker site makes money off of players. Each hand a player participates in there is a small amount deducted from the winning pot. The rake comes out of every hand on an online poker site that reaches requirements.

Can I play poker for free?

Yes, almost all online poker sites have a 'play money' option where you can play against other players without depositing any real money. Some sites now even hold tournaments for their play money players with real prizes such as iPods and other gadgets. If you want to play for free or just for fun check out our 10 top poker sites all of which offer play money games, just select play for fun once you've downloaded the software.

What criteria does PokerSites.com use to rank sites?

PokerSites.com has a detailed guide with information on how sites are ranked and listed. See the How We Rate page.

Which Poker Site has the best Rakeback?

iPoker skins are typically the best rakeback poker sites on the marker right now, especially Betfair Poker. Offering up to 40% rakeback on player points earned each calendar month. If a player earns accumulates between 1 and 29,999 player points will make the player eligible for 30% rakeback. Earning 30,000 or more points in one calendar month will allow the player to receive rakeback of 40%. Usually, rakeback fees are paid into the players account every two weeks and can be used however the player wants. Rakeback is definitely an extra incentive for players when signing up to online poker sites.

Which Poker Site has the best Freerolls?

PokerStars offers a wide variety of freerolls that no other site offers, if Holdem isn't the game for you then PokerStars will give you the opportunity to learn and play in all kinds of games, e.g. Omaha, Stud, Razz etc. Not only can you learn and play these games for free, but tournament tickets can be won for you to play higher tournaments and give yourself the opportunity to make some money.

Which Poker Site has the most Freerolls?

Yet again, with PokerStars having such a vast amount of players on the site on a daily basis, freerolls are running 24/7 and there will always be something for you to play, even if you've just busted one. Despite the site having freerolls available for different variations of poker, Holdem is the most popular game and has a lot more freerolls to choose from.

What Poker Site pays out the fastest?

There are a number of poker sites which have a cashout speed of around 1 day, which are: 888, Full Tilt and PokerStars. Occasionally the process will take less than 1 day if you have carried out the process a number of times before. US sites tend to have longer cashout speeds of around 5-7 days.

Which Poker Site has the most players?

Without doubt, PokerStars is the most popular site on the market and attracts a vast amount of players on a daily basis. It is the only online poker site that is able to support over 200,000 players simultaneously.  Like every other poker site, the weekends attract a lot more players due to bigger and scheduled tournaments that are introduced. However, PokerStars has some of the biggest tournaments running on a daily basis and has high traffic volume no matter what day it is.

How can I become an Online Poker Pro?

Becoming an online poker pro is definitely harder than it sounds, with the game always expanding and changing, it's something that takes a lot of time and dedication in order to succeed. Building a foundation for a solid game is definitely an important step, the more videos you watch and the more you put that into practice, the quicker your game will evolve.

In regards to financial implications, a good approach is to build your game to a certain level where you then feel like you need help from a coach or a backer in order for your game to progress. Taking this approach will help you improve your game and gather experience at playing at a higher level and understanding the financial swings that this game can throw at you. During this time, you can build up your finances and make sure you have money for your life outside of poker. On plenty of occasions, you will see guys approach games that are out of their league and end up losing money they can't afford to lose. So, make sure you are financially secure and will be able to withstand a downswing before playing on your own.

Finally, being patient is a huge factor of whether or not you can become an online poker pro. There will be plenty of occasions in poker where you won't receive a pay check for 6-8 months. Believe it or not, but that's a normal situation to be in. Making sure you are patient and doing the right things will help you in the long run and will ultimately decide how long you will be around in the game.

Software, Banking and Security

Is online poker safe? Are my payment details safe?

Yes your details are 100% safe at any online poker site that we are promoting in our poker reviews section. Online poker sites have some of the best customer protection and identity protection out of any online industry, obviously out of necessity.

How Do I download poker software?

It's extremely easy to download poker site software, with a one click download and a one click installation!

Why do online poker sites ask me for my personal information?

Poker sites need your personal information to know where to send your money after you win. It's also done to protect other player's on the site as to who your real identity is.

How fast can I cash my money out of an online poker site?

You can cash your winnings out of an online poker site at any time you please. The process is easy and all major online poker sites have several different withdrawal methods for you to choose from. See out list of the fastest cashout poker sites here.

What do online poker sites do about collusion and cheating?

Collusion and cheating are a poker site's number one priority. There are large teams at any given poker site actively monitoring suspicious behaviour, just like at a regular online poker site.

Do I have to download poker software to my computer?

No, many online poker sites offer No download poker site software along with the traditional download version, so you don't have to download anything to your computer if you don't want to.

Do different online poker sites have different bonus offers?

Yes, this is something that is different at every online poker site. Although online poker sites sometimes change their top bonuses over time, you can keep track by reading our online poker bonus rankings, in an easy to use chart.

I saw a poker site with a "reload bonus"... what is it?

A reload bonus offered at an online poker site allows you to get more bang for your buck on any deposit that isn't your first one. For instance on your 2nd deposit, a poker site will give you maybe 50% more on top of your deposit, that is a reload bonus.

Do I need to pay taxes on my winnings from an online poker site?

This is a question that varies widely from country to country. Refer to your local tax laws on gambling for more information, or consult a local accountant.

Are there any dangers to playing online poker?

No, you are safe playing online poker at any of the sites mentioned on pokersites.com, along with the hundreds of thousands of other players playing online at any given time.

Do I Need a Credit Card?

If you do not have a Debit/Bank card or a payment platform, then you will need a credit card to deposit funds on most poker sites.

What Poker Sites accept MasterCard?

Majority, if not all poker sites accept MasterCard as a payment option for players. When depositing on a poker site, usually a list of deposit options will appear in the cashier before you make your deposit.

What Poker Sites accept PayPal?

A vast amount of poker sites accept PayPal as a payment option, e.g. 888, iPoker, Party Poker and PokerStars. If you are using PayPal then these sites offer a great service for depositing and cashing out with this specific payment platform.

What Poker Sites accept American Express?

Due to the US not being allowed to access majority of poker sites around the world, American Express cards are mainly only used on US based poker sites. Two sites where American Express cards are accepted are Bet Online and Sports Betting.

Should I use a Payment Platform if Possible?

Using a payment platform is definitely something you can do, but it takes a lot more time when transferring money from your bank to the poker site. With some sites, it takes a few days for the money to be transferred from the site to the payment platform and then you still need to transfer that money to your bank account. It all depends on how you use money over the internet, but payment platforms are definitely something to consider.

How do Bonuses work?

Usually when you are a new player signing up to a poker site, you are offered a deposit bonus which is usually 100% of whatever you deposit, e.g. you deposit $100 and get a deposit bonus of $100. Once your bonus is confirmed and is live, you will then have to earn player points, which is usually the reward system that poker sites offer players (player points can be used to buy tournament tickets, merchandise and cash bonuses). A certain amount of player points earned will represent 10% of your bonus and whenever you have reached that amount of player points, the cash increment will be added to your bankroll. That is often how poker sites approach their bonus offers.

How do I get the most out of my Bonus?

To get the most out of your bonus, you simply have to play as many hours of poker as you can. Usually there is a time limit on how long you have to earn the deposit bonus, e.g. 30 days. Therefore, all you can do is keep playing and putting in the hours to maximise your bonus.

Playing at Online Poker Sites

How to choose a poker screenname?

Usea poker screen name on the poker site that is original and unique, and represents you in some way. Most unique nicknames are not taken yet, this will be your screen name on the poker site for the rest of the time you play, so choose it wisely.

Use a poker screen name on the poker site that is original and unique, and represents you in some way. Most unique nicknames are not taken yet, this will be your screen name on the poker site for the rest of the time you play, so choose it wisely.

I've heard people use poker software to help aid their game.. what's that all about?

Most online poker sites allow players to use 3rd party tracking software that tracks player's play and reports back to you with percentages, detailed stats, and suggested moves. Some online poker sites have lists of 3rd party they do and don't allowed.

Can poker books help me succeed at online poker?

Sure, the more knowledgeable you are about the game of poker the better you will be. Online poker takes an hour to learn and a lifetime to master for some.

Do poker sites keep track of my progress?

Some poker sites have statistics in their lobby, while others just have basic stuff like how much you have won, deposited, and cashed out.

How can I keep track of my poker opponents?

By using a 3rd party poker software on your poker site, you can track other player's statistics in very great detail.

Will there be active players no matter what time I want to play at?

Yes, since all of the online poker sites are international there are always games waiting for you to join, no matter what the limit. The most popular texas holdem poker sites for example, have thousands of players at any given time.

Does the amount of traffic at a poker site matter?

Yes, poker traffic is quite important to your success as a player. The more traffic a site gets, the more opportunity you have to find the games you are good at. In addition, sites with more traffic generally have more bad players. Consult our traffic charts for more information.

Do I Need a Good Internet Connection?

A good internet connection is vital for online poker as you need to make sure you have enough time available to you to make good decisions. With a slow internet connection, the tables will be disconnecting and the game play will be slow which can result in you losing time when it's your turn to act. Remember, the idea of online poker is that players can play more at a quicker rate.

The two suitable types of internet connection for online poker are DSL and cable internet. Cable internet is more common with poker players due to its reliability and the speed is a little faster than DSL. Either connection is easy to acquire and will give you the best experience of playing online poker.

Can I Play Against Friends?

On some poker sites, you can set up a home game with your friends so that you can compete with each other. However, with tables that are open to everyone, sitting down at the same one as your friend is frowned upon as you could be helping each other and colluding in the game. However, if you both played the same tournament, you could be seated with each other throughout the duration of the tournament.

Poker Tournaments

What's the difference between a single table and multi table online poker tournament?

Each poker site holds different sized tournaments, some single table and some multi tables. The single table tournaments are called sng's and have a max of 9 or 10 people, while a multi table tournament contains 2 or many more tables.

What is a satellite poker tournament?

A satellite poker tournament is a parlay type tournament where a poker site holds a lower entry or free poker tournament in order to advance to a larger buying tournament, often an offline tournament played off of the poker site.

What is a rebuy poker tournament?

A rebuy poker tournament is a tournament on a poker site where if you lose you can rebuy your way back into the tournament for a pre determined amount. Rebuy poker tournaments can consist of one or many rebuys.

What's a freezeout poker tournament?

An online poker freezeout tournament is one where you buying for the same amount as everyone else and then once you get knocked out you are out. Everybody starts with the same number of chips in a freezeout poker tournament.

How do I Join a Tournament?

Joining a tournament is relatively straight forward for most online poker sites. In the home lobby of every poker site, there will be a bar with different tabs, showing different formats of poker, e.g. cash games, sit n go's, zoom, tournaments and others depending on the site.

Selecting the tournament tab will take you to another lobby showing the different tournaments that are running, late registration, registering and announced tournaments. Filtering your lobby to late registration and registering will be the best way to see what tournaments are available for you to start playing. Once you have found a tournament you want to play, click on the selected tournament and a register button will usually appear on the screen for you to click. Upon registering for the tournament of your choice, the table will open when the tournament begins and you can start playing.

How do I find out About Upcoming Tournaments?

Within every tournament lobby is a filter option allowing you to customise your lobby to see which tournaments are upcoming. This way you can plan your schedule for the day and see which tournaments you would like to play. The filter option is usually clear and visible on all poker sites as it's a vital part of how players pick the games they want to play.

Beginners

Where Should I Start?

Starting at a poker site that offers a good deposit bonus is the best place to start. If you are ready to start playing for real money then taking advantage of a deposit bonus is vital for newcomers. This gives you the opportunity to earn more money for the amount of time you are playing on the site, which will be a good addition to your bankroll.

What Site is the Best for Beginners?

In regards to preparation and introducing new players to the game, 888 has everything to offer to help players settle into the game. This site has a lot more fun elements and makes the game much more fun for beginners, especially with their innovative and exciting idea of webcam tournaments. This gives players the opportunity to see their opponents via webcam and try to gain more information by reading their opponents facial expressions. Additionally, this site has a vast amount of tournaments, cash games and sit n go's to offer for new players, along with their appealing software and graphics.

Do I Stand a Chance at Winning?

The beauty of poker is that everybody can learn the game and have a chance at winning. It's the complete opposite of casino games, such as Roulette or Blackjack. This game requires a lot more skill and understanding in order for you to win on a regular basis, but luck still plays its part. At first, you might struggle to win at the game as you will come across players who have studied the game more and have a lot more experience. However, you can still beat them even if you are a newcomer, but in the long run their skill factor will prevail over short term variance.

Mobile

Can I Play on a Mobile?

Some online poker sites are available on Mobile but you need to make sure that your mobile device and internet connection is secure. Also, if using a 4G or 3G connection to play, make sure that you don't exceed the set amount your mobile platform offers you. That way you could run up a hefty bill if you are planning on playing on your mobile device for several hours.

Which Mobile Platform Offers the Best Experience?

In relation to accessibility and overall gaming experience, the PokerStars mobile platform offers everything that you want when playing poker on the move. The lobby and tables work really well together and everything seems spaced out despite the size of the screen you are using on your mobile. Additionally, the multi-table functionality allows the user to play on the mobile for a more serious purpose if necessary. The requirements for this app are relatively simple for the experience it provides. To play on the app you need to make sure you have Wi-Fi or 3G internet connection, screen resolution of minimum 800x400 and an Android 2.3+.

What Poker Sites Work on an iPad?

There are a number of poker sites which work on an iPad, such as: 888 Poker, Party Poker, amd PokerStars.  There are some issues with the iPad in relation to poker sites, but the service is constantly improving and playing on the iPad is a great experience for players who want a change from their desktop workstation.

What Poker Sites Work on an iPhone?

Similar to the iPhone, there a number of poker sites available for use, such as: 888 Poker, Party Poker, Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and Bet365 (iPoker). These poker apps are designed specifically for iOS mobile and provide a great experience for on the move poker.

What Poker Sites Work on an Android?

Android mobile also have a vast amount of poker sites on offer, such as: 888 Poker, Party Poker, and PokerStars. Android users can either play via apps created especially for Android mobile or play poker directly from their browsers. However, the apps provide a much better gaming experience than using the browser.

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