Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Don't fear Robin, Stratman is here!

What a cluster @#$%, everywhere you look there is a banner advertising a different poker site, all promising the bigger, better deal. How do you wade through all the bull and find the best poker site to play at?

If you are new to online poker it can seem overwhelming but here are some of the things you want to take into consideration when shopping for a site to play at.

First off, I like to see if they offer freeroll tournaments or "Play Money" so that I can get a feel for the software without having to make a deposit. If the site doesn't offer a means to try before you buy, drop it like its hot. Any reputable site will let you play for free first. Check out the graphics, are the cards easy to read are all the important elements to the game displayed and easy to find, such as button location, pot amount, players actions. Are the color combinations pleasing to the eyes. Remember you will be staring at this screen for long periods of time. If you get hooked on poker like I am, you don't want you eyes to start bleeding because you been staring at a puke green screen for two days straight.. I prefer simple graphics without cartoon characters and palm trees but that's just my personal preference.

Look around the lobby while your there, is the interface easy to navigate, can you find what your looking for with out GPS, tracking dogs and a compass. Look to see if they have a variety of games and tournaments. Do they have sit n go's, guaranteed payout tourneys, short handed and heads up tables, what about Omaha and Stud? What are the table limits, do they have .02./04 micro limit tables for beginners? You don't want to learn to play on a higher stakes table unless your looking for a expensive poker education. Also look at connectivity issues while your playing. Does the connection seem to be stable? Ask other players at your table if they experience connection problems. See if the site has disconnect protection. There is nothing more disheartening than to be holding the nut flush and have the site fold your hand because you were disconnected.

Are there a lot of players and filled tables. Although I enjoy playing at some sites with less traffic as you get to know alot of the players, you don't want to log on and have to wait forever for a sit n go to fill, or have a problem finding a table at the limits you prefer to play. Table selection is important in poker play, so there has to be enough traffic so that if you find yourself at a table full of sharks, you can easily move to a table that has softer competition.

Be sure to visit the main website and check out the deposit and cashout options, should you decide to make a deposit. Do they allow banking with your type of credit card, or NETeller. Can you make deposits via wire transfers, western union or cashiers checks.

Also look at the amount of rake the site scoops, do they have a rake back program or other special promotional offers. Look at there support options, can you contact someone with your questions 27/7. I like to be able to pick up the phone and contact support via a toll free number if necessary.

I think most sites are fair and safe but in order to be sure you probably want to stick to the larger more well know sites. It's a good idea to google a site your looking to play at and look at player's reviews.

All in all if you go to a site and look at the items I have highlighted, I think you will be well on your way to finding a online home game. Help support this site and start your search fo the perfect poker room by clicking on the poker site links to the right.

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