What makes a poker site good?
For about the first year that I played online poker, I mostly kept it to 4 sites that sort of represented my poker progression: Party where I first started, then Titan where I found CC, then Stars and Full Tilt when I wanted to try more diverse games. I liked all 4 sites for different reasons, but never really thought about why.
Then when my nuptial-induced poker hiatus ended just recently, I had the urge to see what else was out there. So I tried UB, Royal Vegas
, Paradise, Absolute, and Poker.com just for kicks (while trying to be faithful to the CC links!).
I think all of the sites that I've tried have their merits, but I realize that Stars and Full Tilt, where I play most of my poker, are a cut above in my books. A few of the things I have learned to appreciate:
(1) Graphical interface. Sure, technical items like the rake, bonus offers, matter, but you know what? I play poker for fun too. I wouldn't want to play a DOS-based text-only game of online poker, and I find I don't want to play with 80's-style Atari-level graphics either. If nothing else, I appreciate the smooth graphical interface of my favourite sites.
(2) Player traffic. I guess I was spoiled, as the smallest site I'd ever played was Titan and I was used to playing on the giants, and so I'd taken it for granted that a site should offer every stake level possible and that each of these should be active almost all the time.
(3) Variety of games. I really like being able to periodically switch back and forth between games (Texas Holdem, Omaha, Stud), game type (ring, SNG, MTT), and so on, and having a site that offers as many different kinds of games as possible is also key for me.
Stuff I realize I'm really not so concerned about
- Bonuses. It's true, they can help, but when you think about it they amount to a limited-time, limited-$ rakeback %, which is nice - don't get me wrong, but not so much that I'd let it influence where and how I play (much).
. Maybe it's just me, but I find that playing too many of these (a) makes me want to rip my hair out and (b) doesn't do much for my poker game
Anyway, the conclusion I guess is that I'm pretty happy at Stars and Full Tilt, but I'm curious as to what's most important to you guys in your chosen poker site