For a player new to poker, it can be overwhelming trying to choose an online poker room from an ever increasing list. You don’t have any information on the rooms so you will be unable to make your own judgement. Most players sign up at the first room they see, whether from a television commercial or an online banner. This is how most players will get scammed, painting a poor image of online poker and more than likely putting you off online gambling for a long period of time.
So, as a beginner, what do you need to look out for when choosing a poker room to play at?
• Reachable Deposit Bonus
• Good Value Freerolls
• Good security
• Helpful Customer support
• Beginner tables
The list above includes, in our opinion, the most important features a poker room should offer. We will now go through each factor and briefly explain why they are important.
Reachable Deposit Bonus
This is important as new players will normally deposit a small amount of money when starting out. Some sites have incredibly difficult terms to release the poker bonus, and as new players play small limits, they are basically impossible to clear. Be sure to choose a site which has reasonable release terms. A good example of a bonus that has decent clearing requirements and at the same time offers a high bonus amount is the FullTiltPoker bonus where you can get a $600 bonus that is released in increments of $20.
Good Value Freerolls
Most new players will not deposit straight off the bat, they prefer to test out the site and try to win some cash at the same time, to save themselves reaching into their own pocket to play. The only way to do this is by playing freerolls. These are tournaments hosted by a site which have no buy-in, meaning they are free, but have real cash prizes available to players who place inside the money. These are a great learning resource and you can even make money from them at the same time. Many players have built their bankroll from freeroll winnings they acquired years ago.
Finding poker sites which keeps your money secure and who are not in financial danger themselves is becoming much harder these days. There are still plenty out there but the list is decreasing. To ensure you do not deposit into an unsecure site, research the site beforehand. Go to popular poker forums and ask around or see if there are any running threads discussing the particular room.
Most new players will have a thousand and one questions to ask, so having reliable and helpful support is always a must. You can check the quality of the support by asking a test question to them and seeing how long it takes to reply and also the accuracy of the answer. Ensure you already know the answer of your question before hand so you can check the accuracy.
You do not want to be eaten alive during your first online session, so player at sites which have beginner tables is a great place to start. The sites only allow players who have signed up and deposited within a certain time frame to play on these tables, so all the members of the table will be new to poker themselves. Of course, this can be abused. If a player has played poker for many years but has only recently signed up to this site, they can play online poker at the beginner tables and take full advantage of the new players.