Expert Reviews & Ranking of Top Online Poker Sites
Our toplists on PokerListings.com are compiled by our experienced editors, all of whom are veteran online poker players with a vast knowledge of all the best online poker sites. To even qualify to review any poker sites, all have played thousands of hours at poker sites across the Web - from the major players such as Party Poker, 888 Poker and PokerStars right down to the very smallest local or country-specific poker sites or networks. Click "read review" to see an extensive breakdown of the site's strengths and weaknesses. Click "play now" or "free download" to head straight to the poker site, create an account and be eligible for your exclusive bonus package.
Different Sites for Different Needs
Different online poker players have different needs. Some are looking for the best poker welcome bonus while others are looking for clear, nice-looking graphics to enhance their game experience. Some poker players only want to play low-stakes No-Limit Texas Holdem or Limit Hold'em, while still others are more interested in a wider variety of games and formats such as Pot-Limit Omaha tournaments or high-stakes Seven-Card Stud.
These are just some of the factors that come into play when picking a poker site. Promotions, rake, customer support, level of competition, graphics, software functionality and financial security are just a few of the others. At PokerListings.com we're well aware of the average online poker player's needs. That's why we have a variety of poker top lists for all different types of visitors to help them quickly find a list of poker sites that meet their specific requirements.
How We Rank Online Poker Sites
There are a variety of factors we take into account when we create our toplists. All of our editors have spent more than a few hours actually playing on the poker sites being ranked and we take virtually every aspect of the "poker experience" into account. Here’s a look at some of the most important factors:
Every online poker site has a software client that players download so they can play online poker. It’s really the software that is behind everything and good poker software is fast, secure, pleasing to the eye for long sessions and as bug free as possible. Some poker software is jam-packed with extra features like hand histories, quick-seat functions and numerous filters for finding the best games, while other software is simple and to the point.
If you want a good poker experience, you’re going to need excellent poker software. But most importantly you'll need software that matches up with the type of gaming experience you're looking for.
Some online poker sites are huge and have tens of thousands of players online at all hours of the day. Other sites are naturally much smaller. The bigger sites will offer 24/7 action in the low-stakes games and steady action all the way up to the games where you can win or lose the value of a house in a single hand.
Some sites are more focused on offering the best poker tournaments and have major events starting every minute. There are some benefits to smaller sites, however, as they usually offer more aggressive promotions and terrible players. If you choose a smaller site, it’s also easier to target certain weak players and play with them again and again.
Unlike other games, you don’t necessarily want to play against the toughest competition in poker. In other words, if you want to make money in poker, you’ll look to play the worst players you can find. Some of the smaller sites on the Internet are naturally home to the fishiest players, and it can be worth it to give up flashy software if you’re able to constantly find games against terrible players. Your bankroll will thank you.
Every online poker site offers No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha, but you usually have to look a bit harder if you want to play obscure variants such as Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw or the Hi-Lo versions of PLO and Seven-Card Stud. If you love playing the lesser-known games, make sure you sign up for an online poker site that not only offers those variants but has regular games running.
Bonuses and Promotions
There are some tremendous deals out there for poker players looking to maximize their value when they first sign up and open an account at an online poker site. Some of the smaller sites are aggressively trying to build a player base by offering sign-up bonuses far superior to some of their more established competitors.
Certain sites also frequently run big new promotions for prizes and free cash, and VIP programs are getting increasingly aggressive in rewarding frequent players who put in a decent amount of volume at the tables. Try to make sure you’re not settling for the same deal that everyone else is getting when you sign up. You're off to a good start at PokerListings, as signing up at any poker site via one of our links guarantees you the highest sign-up bonuses available online.
Safety and Customer Support
Before you even consider signing up at an online poker site, it’s very important to trust in the professionalism and financial security of the site or sites you're considering. It is, after all, real cash that you're depositing, and a good customer support system is one of the earmarks of a professional and secure poker site. The best sites offer 24/7 support with customer support representatives always just an email, live chat or phone call away. When it comes to both security and player safeguards at this stage of the online poker industry's development, UK poker sites are by far and away the most advanced.
Not only are most of the major UK sites, such as 888 Poker, Party Poker, William Hill Poker and Betfair Poker the poker arms of very well established and trusted casino brands, they're also highly regulated by licensing bodies, regulated and policed for fair play and some are even publicly owned and traded on the London Stock Exchange. Either way, when we rank online poker sites, customer support is high on the list of factors we check.