Poker Sites

When selecting a poker site selection, we want to choose the room where we will make the most money. To do this, certain factors must be considered.

These include:

  • The site traffic– how many players are on at a particular time
  • Rakeback and promotions
  • Playability– the ease of use of the software
  • Customer service– depositing/ withdrawing and dealing with issues

In this review, we lay out in simple terms how a few of the main sites perform in these areas, and how you can maximise your edge as a poker player at any level.

Party Poker

Party PokerParty Poker is one of the leading online poker rooms in the world, with excellent player volume in both cash games and tournaments, loose games, great promotions, tons of special events, and a good loyalty program. Having recently been revamped, the software is now in better shape and there are a ton of fun and lucrative promotions that players can take advantage of.

Site Traffic and Games

Traffic at Party Poker is near the top of the industry. Peak times are definitely European peak hours, but there are always several games at any level of No-Limit Hold’em and Limit Hold’em. Party Poker has peak cash-game traffic of 9,500 real-money players and 60,000 tournament players as of November 2009.

The games offered are all variations of Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, Seven-Card Stud and Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo. Because of its size and geographical diversity, action can be found in pretty much any game at any hour, although the biggest events tend to run at European peak hours.

Bonuses and Promotions

Coinciding with the revamp of the site, Party Poker has definitely lifted its games in terms of bonuses and promotions to entice players back to the site. There is a constant offering of generous reload bonuses, whether for first time depositors or those who just haven’t played in a while. In addition, what tempted us was the introduction of fun and potentially very lucrative promotions such as last month’s make a hand promotion, where a player received a card for earning 20 points and once they had 5 cards would receive a bonus for a pair of better.


The software redesign in Sept. 2008 has also added a lot of great new features, including crisper graphics, a quick-seat feature, a live-action preview, customized player images and several enhanced multi-tabling options.

The Party Poker software comes in download versions for Mac, PC and Linux, making it one of the best for players on every major computer platform. It offers very easy-to-understand graphics, excellent functionality, is usually fairly fast and offers good playability.

Customer Support

The Customer Support is definitely a strong point of Party Poker as it works to regain some of its lost market share. Whilst advertising an average of 24 hours before a response to emails, it is usually much quicker than this. In addition, there is also a live support option and a range of toll- free numbers for players to call.

Click to Visit the Party Poker Website

Rating Summary
Site Traffic and Games 8.5/10
Bonuses and Promotions 9/10
Playability 9.5/10
Customer Support 9/10
Overall Rating 90%


PokerStars is the world’s largest poker site, sponsoring some of the game’s most well-known players like Daniel Negreanu, Greg Raymer, and Joe Hachem.

Site Traffic and Games

Being the world’s largest poker site, traffic is very high- especially in the NL Hold Em’ games. Peak times draw over 60,000 players at 10,000 tables (usually on weekends) with average player numbers always in the tens of thousands. As a result, you are able to maximise your advantage by table selecting to find the players you have the greatest edge over. As well as NL Hold Em’, there is also a wide availability of Multi Table Tournaments (MTT’s), Sit n go’s (SNG’s) and other poker variations such as Omaha, Razz and Stud.

Rakeback and Promotions

Weekly freerolls and frequent-player-point (FPP’s) games provide small-stakes players the chance for big bucks. There are different levels of VIP status, ranging from BronzeStar to SuperNova Elite, depending on the amount of FPP’s the player gets within a monthly timeframe. A downfall of PokerStars is that it doesn’t provide rakeback. While the FPP’s provide a good return (especially when a player reaches the higher VIP levels), the rakeback provided by other sites (see below) means that a player starting out will receive more in return for every hand they play. What a player needs to weigh up, therefore, is whether having greater site traffic (and softer games) provides a greater return than that of rakeback?

Software Playability

Poker Stars’ software is well programmed, smooth running with rich graphics. Players can upload pictures as avatars, tables can be resized, themes selected and updated, with various search functions easy to use. Scrolling in chat and in the lobby can be a little bit of a hassle and players must click on each individual table to join the waiting list. However, these minor quibbles don’t detract from the overall experience.

Customer Support

PokerStars is the leader for customer support in poker sites, offering several deposit and withdrawal options, excellent live support, and top-notch software, Support emails are answered swiftly and accurately, by personalities such as “Scotty”- popular on the two plus two poker site.

Click to Visit the PokerStars Website

Rating Summary
Site Traffic and Games 10/10
Bonuses and Promotions 8/10
Playability 9.5/10
Customer Support 10/10
Overall Rating 92%

888 Poker

888 Poker888 Poker is a classic poker room known for its very soft games. You’ll always find juicy games and lots of action, not least at the Texas holdem tables.

The site is run by and the Casino-on-Net Group, one of the world’s largest online casino operators. This creates a major influx of casino players, which partly explains why the games at 888 are so nice and loose.

Since the recent software upgrade, poker on 888 Poker is better looking than ever. Now you can also now play multiple tables at the same time.

This poker room does not accept US players for the time being. Europeans dominate the player base, and the peak hours usually coincide with in European evening time, around 2 PM 888 Time.

Site Traffic and Games

After its launch, 888 Poker, formerly known as Pacific Poker, was one of the most popular poker rooms on the Internet.

The ring game traffic is mainly concentrated at the limit and no-limit holdem tables. Around 90% of the players can be found at the holdem tables, but there’s also some action at the Omaha hi-lo and Seven Card Stud high tables. During peak hours, there are approximately 1,500 real money ring game players at the site (Nov. 2006).

When it comes to tournaments, 888 Poker offers satellites to most of the major live poker events. 888 Poker also runs daily $5,000 and $10,000 guaranteed tournaments, and there’s a healthy amount of tournament players at the site, up to 7,500 real-money tournament players at peak hours (in January 2008).

Bonuses and Promotions

888 Poker offers reload bonuses roughly every other month. The bonuses are usually very good with a 50% deposit match up to $300-$500. Referral bonuses and loyalty bonus are stimulating. 888 Poker sports a nice refer-a-friend program that awards players a $50 bonus for each referred friend, while the referred player receives $25.

The bonus points program features points that can be converted into cash. For ten dollars bet in raked hands the player earns one point, and 100 points correspond to $1 in cash, at conversion.


For a long while, 888 Poker only allowed you to play one table at the time, but they’ve made great improvements to their software. Now you can play up to four simultaneous tables. Play flows without trouble, and thanks to the mini view you can fit all tables onto the screen even without first-class resolution.

The look and feel of the poker client has also been hugely improved. A great deal of customization is possible and you can redesign your playing environment by choosing from a range of 3-D avatars, different card designs and different backgrounds.

888 Poker has good note-taking functionality and statistical functions. There’s a great search function, and a Java client if you can’t download the Windows client. Because 888 Poker software has evolved so much, it now meets the highest standards.

Customer Support

The support at 888 Poker is very good, with a knowledgeable and friendly staff that provides e-mail as well as live chat and phone support.

Financial Security is Very good. The mother company 888 is a very well respected and solid player in the gaming industry, and there have been no erroneous financial transactions recorded. 888 Poker is one of the oldest poker operators online and boasts a reliable and good track record. There is also a wide variety of secure deposit and withdrawal options.

Click to Visit the 888 Poker Website

Rating Summary
Site Traffic and Games 9.5/10
Bonuses and Promotions 8/10
Playability 8/10
Customer Support 9/10
Overall Rating 87%

Bodog Poker

Bodog PokerBodog Poker has been around since 2004, but as such is something of an old man in the gambling world. Its sports book and casino opened as early as 1995, and the people behind this poker room have got a profound knowledge about the online gambling industry.

Bodog received a lot of publicity after 2006 World Series of Poker. The $12 million winner, Jamie Gold, was playing for Bodog. At present, their poker team includes several well-known players such as Josh Arieh and David Williams.

Site Traffic and Games

After its launch, Bodog was one of the fastest growing poker rooms on the Internet. Traffic has now stabilized and Bodog has landed safely among the biggest 10-15 online poker rooms.

With 2,400 logged-in users at peak hours (in January 2008) it’s safe to say that the site has managed to build a loyal player base. If you’re a Holdem player you won’t have any problems finding a game on this site. During peak hours there’s also a decent offer of Omaha and stud games.

The game variety at Bodog Poker is better than average. The games offered are Texas Holdem Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo plus the more exotic Five Card Stud.

Bonuses and Promotions

Bodog Poker offers good standard promotions, including refer-a-friend bonuses, tons of live event satellites, a very good VIP scheme and right now and sign-up bonuses.

Bodog Poker offers a loyalty system allowing all new players to start with 50 points. The points can be used in tournaments with real cash prizes. Players can accumulate Bodog Poker points three ways: contributing to a pot that is raked in ring games, playing in tournaments, and with overall time spent playing.

Points are awarded ranging from a maximum of one point when $1-$3 is paid in rake to a minimum of 0.10 points when 5¢-20¢ is paid.

For tournaments, six points are awarded for every $1 in fees paid, so you will get 30 Bodog Poker points for entering a tournament with an entry cost of $55 (buy-in and fee).

Bodog Poker also offers a refer-a-friend bonus, where the referrer can earn up to $100 at 20% deposit match of the referral’s first deposit.


Bodog Poker launched new and improved poker software in January 2006. With it, they took what we believe is a questionable step with realistic-table design. Specifically, you can play only three tables at once- a significant hindrance for any serious multitabling player.

Customer Support

Live chat, e-mail and telephone. Most inquiries are answered within an hour. There is also a range of deposit and withdrawal options. However, Bodog only allow one withdrawal per month free of charge, with others charged a $20 fee.

Click to Visit the Bodog Poker Website

Rating Summary
Site Traffic and Games 8/10
Bonuses and Promotions 9.5/10
Playability 6.5/10
Customer Support 7.5/10
Overall Rating 80%

Titan Poker & Bet365 Poker

(Both of the iPoker Network)

Titan PokerRecently opened in 2005, Titan Poker and Bet365 Poker are part of the rapidly expanding iPoker network of internet poker rooms.

Site Traffic and Games

There can be up to approximately 30,000 players found at these tables during peak hours. As part of the iPoker network you can find yourself playing against players from other affiliated sites such as Noble Poker.

The opposition is of a similar standard to that found at Party Poker especially at the lower limits where numerous weaker players can be found. At higher limits there is mostly short-handed play where as expected the level of competition can be tough.

Bonuses and Promotions

Titan Poker offers numerous bonuses and promotions to new and existing players. There is a sign-up bonus of 50% up to $500 maximum and there are unique bonuses for players that can win multiple, 5 to 6 depending on the bonus, sit and go tournaments in a row. And finally there are bad beat bonuses and a Titan Poker VIP Club that rewards frequent players with freeroll tournament entries and loyalty cash bonuses.

However, it is Bet365 Poker that really excels with its rakeback and bonus structure. As a baseline amount, the site offers approximately 62%, with a weekly rakeback payment equivalent to 43% rakeback and the other 19% going towards a monthly rakerace.


The software supplied by Playtech on the iPoker network is available in numerous languages including English, German, French, Italian and Spanish. The software is visually appealing and the functionality is good with no noticeable bugs although the game-play can be a bit slow at times. Statistics displayed in the lobby include average pot size, players seeing the flop percentage and hands per hour.

Customer Support

Support is available via live chat, e-mail and telephone with toll-free numbers available for UK based players. Most inquiries are answered very quickly and the quality of support is high.

Click to Visit the Titan Poker Website

Click to Visit the Bet365 Poker Website

Rating Summary
Site Traffic and Games 8/10
Bonuses and Promotions 9.5/10
Playability 8.5/10
Customer Support 9/10
Overall Rating 88%