Online Poker Networks

While there is a very wide selection of online poker rooms, most of these are part of a poker network. These networks use the same poker software, and typically players can find quite a few similarities between poker rooms on the same network. These are sometimes called “skins” as they will use the same software, but simply different graphics. When finding a poker room to play at it is important to keep an eye on what network, if any, they belong to. Here is some information on the most popular poker networks.

Poker Skins

One great benefit of playing on a big poker network is that some of these networks allow players to have multiple accounts on different poker rooms within the network. This allows players to take full advantage of different bonuses and promotions that may be offered on different sites.

Some poker networks frown upon this and will shut down your accounts if you do this, so be sure to clarify the rules of the poker room that you want to join beforehand. If they view you as cheating they will shut down your account and your bankroll will not be returned. For example, Full Tilt only allows one account.

The Most Popular Networks:

PokerStars is one of the most popular poker networks. They do not accept US players. They do not have any skins. It is a relatively young poker network, but they have exploded in popularity. They regularly see a 30,000 players during peak hours. PokerStars is very well known for their weekly guaranteed tournament with a $1.5 million prize pool. They have a very well known team of poker professionals, and have won a number of awards in the online poker industry. PokerStars hosts the World Championship of Online Poker every year.

Full Tilt may not accept US players, but they are still the second biggest online poker network. They run their own poker network, and boast the best traffic of any poker room. Peak hours can see up to hundreds of thousands. Full Tilt has a great reputation for protecting players, and is licensed in Canada. Full Tilt draws a great deal of attention because their very generous prize pools and bonuses. On top of that, they hold the Full Tilt Online Poker Series every few months, which encourages players to play the best of their ability. On top of this, the VIP program is one of the most generous with a very wide variety of prizes to earn.

Bodog is a Canadian poker Network, which offers a wide variety of online services including poker, sports betting, horse betting, TV, Music, Fights and more. They are one of the oldest networks, with a long history is sports betting. They are one of very few online poker networks who still accept US Players. In fact, they have a poker room specifically geared towards American players called Ignition. They run and maintain their own poker software, which while stable and secure does have a number of drawbacks, such as limited multi tabling and the histories kept are not as extensive as other sites.

Party poker offered one of the first poker networks. It was the largest of online poker websites until they announced they were suspending US real money poker accounts and they lost over half of their value in one business day. They have rebounded well, but still have not retaken the #1 poker site seat. They are a huge force in online poker innovation, and their software is full of useful tools. They were the first to offer new player exclusive tournaments, and they offer a detailed help section to help new players learn how to better their poker strategy. Party Poker is endorsed by the World Poker Tour, and has a number of skins.

The Worst Networks

Before joining any network, the wisest thing any poker player can do is to read reviews. Be sure that the site you want to join isn't listed as a rogue, or they aren't on a network that is known for hosting rogue casinos and poker rooms. Some poker networks are less savory, using the ability to move funds from one room to another to deceive players and avoid rogue network status.

The best way players can be sure is to do extra searches, with varied search results. Search the poker room name and “rogue” or “scam”. Make sure to find reputable reporting sites. There are a few that have a long history of honest reviews, and check their opinions on sites before you play. In the end, research and caution are your best tools to protect yourself against thieves.

By: Peter Smith