Things to Know Before Joining An Online Poker Site
Besides not having to worry about revealing one’s poker face, there are many differences between poker night with the gang and playing online poker. Here are a few things worth knowing before registering for an online poker account.
Beginners, Stick to the Basics
From players who earn a seven figure salary to those in debt, an experienced gamblers to those playing their very first hand of poker, nobody is ready to play with big money right away. Upon registering for an online poker account members will often be given an unlimited amount of play money. It is good practice to start off playing for free to learn the subtle rules and style of the particular site before using real money.
Once a player feels comfortable playing for free it might be time to move on to real money games. It is common to find that the skill of one’s competitors increases in proportion to the price of admission, so it is wise to begin playing the cheapest real money games first and work up from there.
New members might also want to consider playing single table sit-and-go games before joining large tournaments to gain experience in a small tournament setting first.
If It’s Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is
On their home page many poker websites (such as Party Poker, Poker Stars, Full Tilt Poker, and others) promise to match a player’s initial deposit. Sound to good to be true? Well, there’s a more than one catch. Of course the website would go bankrupt if it doubled deposits and let members withdraw that money shortly after. To cover their investment most poker sites will not allow players to withdraw that money until they have spent that amount on rakes and tournament fees. Members also have to earn their “enrollment bonus” by a certain expiration date, or they stand to lose parts or all of their bonus.
If one deposit $50 into Party Poker and Poker Stars, for example, their account will show that they have $100 in their account. Only $50 can be withdrawn, however, until the site has earned enough to match their investment. Sites like Full Tilt, however, will slowly give players their bonus in $5 increments every time the site earns that amount in rakes and tournament fees.
Each site varies, so be sure to read the fine print before getting started.
Most poker websites offer free gear just for playing on their website. Poker sites give out prizes to its frequent users ranging from expensive electronics to gold poker chips. These prizes don’t come cheap, however, and are most often awarded through a points system which rewards players depending on the amount the website rakes from their account.
Complaints and Rumors
Poker Stars has received criticism by some members of the site for altering the outcome of games so that multiple players have strong hands at the same time, causing a larger betting pool and thus a larger profit for the website. There is no way of proving this, however, so the complaint remains no more than hearsay.