I have played poker on the Internet for almost 5 years. During this time I have become familiar with all the major poker rooms that operate on the Internet, and quite a lot of the lesser known ones.
There are a many guides to online poker rooms, however, most of them are written for people who already play online and are familiar with how things work. I have written this guide for new players to help you get started playing online with as little hassle as possible.
The fact is there are hundreds of different poker rooms that offer play over the internet, however, most of them offer exactly the same thing, just wrapped differently. The reason is that there are only a handful of companies who have created software clients that let you play poker on the Internet. If you’re a beginner to any game, you should first make sure you find out how to play poker well so you can beat the weaker players at your table.
Most poker rooms rent the software from those companies, and are essentially just franchises, who all offer the same thing, except offer different promotions. In many ways it is similar to McDonalds. You may see some small differences between a McDonalds in New York and one in Paris, but their BigMacs are still identical. It’s the same product, just with different packaging.
As a new player I think that you should stick to playing at the big poker rooms. They are much easier to use than the smaller ones, since they can afford to spend more money improving their poker products that you use to play in order to stay ahead of the competition. In addition they also tend to have better support, traffic, and faster payouts.
Here’s an introduction to the worlds 2 biggest online poker rooms below.
PokerStars – The Worlds Biggest Poker Room
If you’re looking for a new place to play poker online I highly recommend that you create an account and start out playing at PokerStars. As well as having a great Mac poker client, their poker software (that you use to play through) is by far the best available today. It is both easy to use, and offers an abundance of features, including the ability to choose among a lot of different cards and tables to play at. Poker Stars is widely regarded as being the best poker site for playing poker online. In fact, they soon will be celebrating the milestone of the 100 Billionth hand being dealt.
While design and easy of use are of course important the single most attractive feature that PokerStars has to offer are their support. In all my years playing poker, I have never encountered a better support department than the one at PokerStars.
Full Tilt Poker – The Second Largest Poker Room
Full Tilt Poker isn’t the size of PokerStars but still features plenty of action in a wide variety of poker games. They sponsor three of the best high stakes cash game professional poker players, so if you would like to play at the same site as people like Tom Dwan, Viktor Blom and Gus Hansen, you should go to Full Tilt Poker.
They are also known for hosting the very biggest cash games on the Internet, which can be quite entertaining to watch. It’s not uncommon to see pots approach $200-300k. So you may consider downloading Full Tilt Poker, even if you are just going to watch the games (you don’t have to create an account in order to do so).
Compared with PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker’s software is just as good. In fact, there are a lot of people who prefer Full Tilt’s software, simply because they like how it looks, with its cartoon like animated avatars and the relaxed atmosphere this creates at the tables.