Best High Stakes Poker Sites
High stakes poker players do not have too many options when it comes to choosing a poker site to play at. The problem doesn’t lay with poker rooms not offering high stakes tables, it all boils down to the room’s real money traffic. There are some other important factors to consider, but the first thing you have to do is find a room with steady high stakes action at the game(s) you prefer to play. You will not need to sign up at a poker room only to find out that their high stakes tables are empty. I have done all of the research for you and have created a list of the best high stakes poker sites. There are several online poker rooms with around the clock high stakes action so you will have some options. As a high stakes player you are going to be rewarded regardless of which room you choose, but the value of those rewards can vary by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars every year. I will lay out the facts for you so that you can make an informed choice on where to play. Things that are important to low stakes players do not usually interest high stakes players. There are a few major factors you should think about before you make your choice.
- High stakes traffic
- Loyalty program & other incentives
- Security & trustworthiness
Best High Stakes Poker Sites
|#||Brand||Bonus||Visit Site||Ready To Play?|
|1.||Up to $600 + $8 Free||888.com|
|2.||Up to $400 Bonus||LuckyAce.com|
|3.||Up to $100 Bonus||Bet365.com|
Poker Sites With The Most High Stakes Traffic
Every online poker site has high stakes tables, but only a select few have any traffic at those tables. You want to find a room that has at least several active high stakes tables running 24/7. Regular high buy-in tournaments and sit’n'go’s are also important. I have already ruled out 95% of the poker rooms online today just by looking at these two things. Using a poker sites peak traffic to determine how much high stakes traffic they receive does not work. Some poker sites just appeal to high stakes players more than others, so overall traffic is not that important. Here are the top three poker sites for high stakes poker traffic:
888 Poker – 888 Poker is home to a fairly large high stakes Texas Hold’em community. $25/$50 NL Hold’em tables are active virtually non-stop. 888 Poker does not boast the kind of high stakes sit’n'go and tournament action as Full Tilt Poker or Absolute Poker, but there are some decent guaranteed daily events and it is even better on the weekends.
Loyalty Programs & Other Incentives
High stakes players tend to rack up a lot of frequent player points. That is especially true at poker sites with multi-tiered VIP programs that include a FPP multiplier in their list of benefits. Some of these loyalty programs are so rewarding that you could lose money every session but still walk away a winner if you are at one of the higher VIP tiers. These programs reward high stakes players with amazing incentives. I am not talking about freerolls or T-shirts with the poker room’s logo on it. I’m talking about tens of thousands of dollars in cash, seat packages to major live events, interest on your bankroll and more. If you are currently playing at a room that offers a mediocre loyalty program you could be leaving a lot of money on the table. Here are the best poker site loyalty programs for the average high stakes player:
Full Tilt Poker – FTP developed a new VIP program in the last quarter of 2010 and upgraded it in the first quarter of 2011. The Black Card loyalty program has three tiers; 2X, 3X & 4X. That’s right, no fancy titles or anything like that. The top benefit for each tier is the FT Point multiplier. There are Black Card member only freerolls and similar promotions but high stakes players do not usually partake in these events. Highrollers just want their FT Points and they have several options when it comes time to spend them. The Black Card store features many items that high stakes players will find appealing. The most popular are the bonuses. You can use your points to buy $50 to $5,000 bonuses. They also offer expensive electronics, luxury cars and you can use your points to buy directly into high stakes poker tournaments.
Absolute Poker – There are five tiers in Absolute Poker’s loyalty program. High stakes players will have no trouble reaching the Platinum or Diamond Elite status. Platinum players will earn AbsolutePoints 4X faster than new players. You can turn these points in for cash or spend them at the Rewards Store. Diamond Elite status players will earn points 5X faster and will receive 5% interest on their account balances. That is a much better return than what most banks are offering these days. There are plenty of other benefits such as concierge services at live poker events, invitations to special tournaments, re-load bonuses and more.
Party Poker – With 6 different tiers Party Poker’s loyalty program is very extensive. The top tier, Palladium Elite, is based on how many points you earn quarterly so you will have the option to take a month off and make up for it the following month if you wanted to. The same is true for Palladium, the 5th highest tier. Palladium level players will receive $1,500 in cash and a $3,000 bonus every 3 months. This works out to 30% rakeback, but there are even more benefits so you can easily stretch that out to 40-45% rakeback. Palladium Elite members will recieve a $15,000 cash credit and a $20,000 bonus. This is supposed to equal 40% rakeback but most high stakes players that make it to this level claim that it is closer to 60% rakeback when you factor in the other benefits. One lucky high stakes player that held this VIP level at Party Poker was offered a sponsorship and is now a well known professional player.
Security & Trustworthiness
If you are going to put a significant amount of money onto a poker room you should do a little fact checking first. Only established and mainstream poker rooms get listed on this web site, but high stakes players should have complete peace of mind when it comes to the safety of their money. The are two major things you have to worry about as a high stakes player. The first is the poker room going under and walking away with your money. The second is that the software is not secure and you may be getting cheated at the tables. I will provide an in-depth analysis of the security procedures and the trustworthiness of each high stakes poker site mentioned on this page.
Full Tilt Poker – As the world’s leading high stakes poker site Full Tilt Poker provides the most secure environment in the industry. With single pots exceeding $500,000 they have to. From a technical standpoint Full Tilt’s security features are extremely advanced. The software uses a 128-bit SSL encryption, and there are countless security features built in to it. They have a team of security professionals to watch out for suspicious activity. They can’t watch every single table so they have developed high tech programs to spot things like collusion and red flag it. There are people watching the security team as well so you are protected from cheating in any form. Independent third party companies monitor both the software and the employees so you have protection on all fronts. Full Tilt Poker is a multi-billion dollar company that is well known and respected throughout the world so your money is just as secure as it would be if it was sitting in a savings account. With the number of banks closing around the world your bankroll at Full Tilt might even be safer for that matter. FTP has been around for many years and will be here for many years to come. They get a 10 out of 10 for security, fairness, and trustworthiness.
Party Poker – Party Poker is one of the oldest poker rooms online and is a publicly traded company. Their parent company Party Gaming is a household name and is subject to all of the laws and regulations that come with being an international powerhouse in the gambling industry. Their security department uses cutting edge technology to ensure that no one tries to cheat. Corruption from within the company is also monitored extremely well and they have a spotless record for fairness. Party Poker also receives the highest security and trustworthiness rating.
888 Poker – 888 Holdings manages 888 Poker and their other online gambling products. Like Party Poker they are a publicly traded company and have been in offering Internet gambling services for over a decade. They are monitored and certified by third party companies and there has never been a major security issue at their tables. Players that attempt to cheat at 888 Poker are quickly caught and dealt with and any money they won is returned to the rightful owner. 888 Poker scores a 10 out of 10 in this department.
Absolute Poker – Absolute Poker and their sister site UB Poker are the only major online poker rooms to ever have a serious security breach. Several years ago there was an internal cheating scandal that was not handled as it should have been by the old owners. Every affected player received his money back eventually, but many players refuse to play there to this day. A few employees had created “superuser” accounts which allowed them to see everyones hole cards and won a lot of money. High stakes players at a popular poker forum were the ones who finally figured it out by comparing their hand histories. You might be wondering why I would list a room with such a checked past in this article. Absolute Poker was sold after this happened and are now managed by a different company. The software has also changed and they are closely monitored by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission as well as several other companies. Since this incident occurred there have not been any more security issues and Absolute Poker remains one of the most scrutinized poker rooms to this day. I feel that the scandal helped make Absolute Poker one of the safest poker rooms online today because of the extra attention they receive from regulators and more importantly, poker players.