Choosing an Online Card Room

What to look for when making a decision. Provided by

When choosing an online card room to play at, there are several things to consider. First and most importantly is the integrity of the card room. Card room integrity is your insurance that there are preventive measures taken to prevent collusion, that the processes of both depositing and withdrawing funds are prompt and secure, customer service is quick to respond considering the number of clients the card room has, the card shuffling is reviewed for distribution fairness, and the site provides a feature that offers review of previous hand histories played and a record of rake taken from pots played.

The top recommended sites that this site promotes meet these integrity requirements. Some of them provide greater service in some areas than others. After downloading the software, test the options available to you at a play chip table; changing the colors of the decks, the waiting list features, variety of games and different limits, etc.

When you decide to make a deposit for the first time:

Deposit bonuses are nice, and a small deposit may not be what you had in mind, however, if you are unsure about the card room or have not played at the play chip tables to get an introductory feel, you may want to bite the bullet on receiving a smaller deposit bonus to make sure that any funds you depositing will remain safe, and any potential money transfers that could get hung up in processing will be handled quickly. Observe how long it takes for the transfer to occur from your bank into your card room account and vice-versa. Most deposits are instant, withdrawals should usually take 48 hours, or two business days to complete processing for. If you did get a deposit bonus, some card rooms require that you play a minimum amount of raked hands before receiving the entire bonus. Your deposit and withdrawals should be processed within a reasonable amount of time.

A generic question to customer support will give you an idea about how quickly you should expect to receive a response in the event that a situation arises. For example, send an email asking them what the average response time to support questions are. Naturally if it has taken four hours to respond and they tell you it normally takes two hours, then you have a general idea that it will take four hours to receive a response. From there you will at least be assured that they receive your emails. Next you will be able to determine whether that amount of time is acceptable to you. Look for a confirmation email to see if the request you have sent has been received and will be handled at its earliest convenience if they don’t send a personalized response right away.

A card room may boast that they have 12,000 players at the tables at any given time. With that many players, you should probably not expect to receive a response in ten minutes, but the response time to handle support requests should be a reasonable amount of time. And if you do receive a response in ten minutes, add brownie points to the card room’s integrity.

Secondary to the card room’s integrity, is gauging your potential-for-profit. Specific card rooms are notable for having specific kinds of players at certain limits. For example, playing 7 card stud at PokerStars at the .50/1.00 limit has players that play differently than players at the same card room at the 3/6 limit, and even the players at America's Cardroom at the .50/1.00 limit play differently than the players at Party Poker at the .50/1.00 limit.

The clientele for the card rooms vary as the type of clientele would vary between hotels or even restaurants. What you are looking for is something that will fit your style to maximize on your investment. Word-of-mouth has some general truths to it. Read reviews on the poker chat forums and other poker strategy web sites for information about how a card room generally plays.

Critical Things to Know:

When you have determined that a card room you have chosen meets your expectations it will make for a much better experience while playing. Believe it or not, there are online card rooms that do not comply with these standards. A few of them may be relatively newly-opened card rooms, which does not excuse that any of these basic things should be provided.

Whether the reasons for playing online are strictly for fun, or to turn a profit, consider that you are normally putting your money into an off-shore non-interest account when you join a card room. You must take measures to ensure that your money in these accounts will be secure, and as much as possible the only liability involved in having it there is that your only losses will occur while playing other players at the poker tables. Best of luck at your new card room