Best Poker Sites

The best poker sites are the ones that cater to the needs of the widest range of poker players. Trying to determine which poker site is the best is a lot like trying to find the best restaurant. Not everyone is going to like what you like. This article will look at the most important aspects of a poker room so it should help you find the best poker site for you. There are several factors to consider when choosing a poker site.

- Real money traffic
- Promotions
- Software
- Banking

Best Online Poker Sites

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You may have noticed that I did not list deposit bonuses as one of the factors. Most poker sites only offer a one time bonus so they really are not that important in the grand scheme of things. Over the long haul first deposit bonuses are unimportant. You want a quality poker room that offers top notch software, innovative promotions, reliable banking options and steady real money poker traffic at the game(s) you like to play.

Poker Sites With The Highest Real Money Traffic

Most poker sites display how many players are logged in to the software somewhere. This can give you a general idea of how much real money traffic the poker site receives but it is not perfect. Real money players to play money player ratios can vary a lot from room to room. This is because some poker sites offer more promotions that attract play money players, like freerolls. Here is a list of the top three poker sites in terms of the average number of cash players found at the tables.

Full Tilt Poker – 17,000 real money players
Party Poker – 4,150 real money players
Ultimate Bet – 2,550 real money players

The numbers listed above are the weekly averages. These numbers increase by around 40% during peak hours and decrease the same amount during the slow hours.

Poker Sites With The Best Promotions

Most poker sites run the same promotions month after month. These promotions usually only benefit the top 5-10% of the room’s player base and offer little value to the average player. The best poker rooms offer a wide range of regular promotions as well as ever changing monthly promos. The best promotions are ones that give every single player a chance to win something. 4 out of 5 online poker players tend to play at the micro-small stakes tables. These players have no chance of winning a rake race or placing highly on a tournament leaderboard. A few poker sites have recognized this fact and developed promotions that everyone can take advantage of. Here is a list of poker sites that regularly offer new promotions that offer something to every type of player.

Absolute Poker – This poker room has several very rewarding promotions that are open to all. The best example is the Badbeat Jackpot. Micro stakes and high stakes players have the exact same chance of hitting the jackpot. If you lose with four 8′s or better and are playing at a Badbeat table you will win the jackpot. The jackpot usually ranges from $100,000-$300,000 and 75% of it is rewarded every time it is hit. The badbeat victim wins half the jackpot, the winner of the hand receives 25%, everyone else at the table receives $1,000. The rest of the jackpot if distributed to the players that were playing the same game and stakes at the time the jackpot was hit.

Full Tilt Poker – This site offers the largest diversity of promotions. The Doubles is a good example of the type of promo that benefits everyone. This promotion consists of two tournaments that start within a couple minutes of each other. Each has the same buy-in and there is a large jackpot for the player with the best average double finish. There are three sets of Doubles tournaments: $5+$1, $10+$2 and $60+$15. Small stakes players are not excluded and medium/high stakes players do not have to play in a low buy-in tournament with a much larger playing field than they prefer in order to take advantage of this promo.

888 Poker – 888 Poker also offers innovative promotions that are regularly updated. Another example of a promotion that benefits everyone would be the Play More, Win More promo. If you play at 888 Poker’s real money tables for 2 days in a week you will be awarded a ticket to a weekly $500 freeroll. If you play four days in a week you will also receive a ticket to a $4,000 freeroll. Players that play six days in a week will receive a ticket to a $10,000 freeroll. You only have to earn 5 status points each day to qualify. This is a great promotion that recreational players and grinders will both love.

Poker Sites With The Best Software

This is a difficult category to rank poker sites in. Poker room platforms have evolved over the years and most are fast, functional and loaded with cool features, at least at the big poker sites. The major factors in my eyes are speed, unique features and the ease in which you can play at multiple tables simultaneously. Here are my thoughts on the best poker site software packages these days.

Full Tilt Poker – Full Tilt’s software is easily the fastest and the best for multi-tablers. You can stack, tile or cascade the tables you are playing at. This is perfect for those who play at 2 or more tables at once. You can also add custom table layouts, display badges and even reconfigure how your mouse buttons work. That is just a few of the reasons why Full Tilt Poker has the best software for the widest range of poker players.

PKR Poker – If you are interested in the latest high-tech poker room software PKR should be your first choice. They offer the best 3D poker experience online. The software is not as fast or multi-table friendly as Full Tilt’s but the graphics and unique features are simply amazing. PKR offers a playing experience that is unlike anything else in the world.

Ultimate Bet – UB Poker ranks about average for customization, graphics and the ability to multi-table. The reason they are ranked in the top three is because they offer a poker room and a casino bundled together in the same software. They feature over 70 casino games, good sized poker room and you can play both at the same time with the same account.

Poker Sites With The Best Banking Options

American and international poker players have very different experiences in regards to depositing money at an online poker room. Funding your poker account is only half the battle though. Online poker players want their withdrawals to be processed and sent by the quickest means possible. Since European and other non-U.S. players tend to have little trouble in either department I will list the poker rooms with the best banking options for American poker players.

Full Tilt Poker – Depositing money at Full Tilt is easy for everyone. U.S. players can use Instant e-Checks to deposit money into their account. There are other options like credit cards but e-Checks are the easiest in my opinion. If you have a checking account you are guaranteed an instant deposit with a 100% success rate. When it comes time to cash-out you will find that Full Tilt Poker has the fastest withdrawal times in the industry. You can have the money deposited directly into your bank account. You can do this two different ways. The fastest is bank transfer which is basically an e-Check and can take as little as 1-3 days. The other option is their premium bank wire service which will usually show up in your bank in 2-4 days. There are occasional delays for both of these options though. Cashing out via paper check is always reliable though it does take a little longer.

Ultimate Bet – UB Poker also accepts Instant e-Check deposits and will process withdrawals the same way. I have noticed that they have extremely high success rates for credit card deposits. When I try to deposit at most rooms using a Visa or Mastercard the deposit is declined more times than it is accepted. At UB I have used both types of credit and debit cards and have never had a problem. Withdrawing money from your UB Poker account is fairly easy and the processing times are much lower than the industry average.