Carrying out poker room reviews is a difficult task as different people have different requirements from their poker room; advanced players like to have plenty of choice of high stakes tables and even a choice of poker games whereas novices tend to prefer low stake tables and are quite happy playing only Texas Hold’em. In our poker room reviews therefore we shall focus on a variety of issues describing as best we can those features that we consider important to the Irish poker player. First and foremost importance for any poker site or indeed any online gambling site is security and reliability; by registering at an online poker site you will be giving certain personal information and it is imperative that this information is treated carefully but you can rest assured that any of the poker sites that we recommend and have in our poker room reviews have the best security available. In a similar way the last thing you need in the middle of a good poker game is for the room to crash so stability of the platform must also be as good as possible.
Our poker room review pages will also give some idea of the poker rooms that are available mostly in terms of the range of stakes but also in some cases the different poker games that are available such as Omaha or 7 card stud in addition to the standard Texas Hold’em. Most poker rooms have a chat facility but we generally advise against using the feature unless you are capable of ignoring a lot of the less than complimentary remarks but it is important that it is well monitored. Of more importance is the ease of use of the site and how easy it is to get from the initial point of entry to the tables themselves and how easy it is to view the table and who is playing. Another important feature in any of our poker room reviews is bonuses and rewards programmes. All poker rooms have a joining bonus for first time registrations which may appear attractive and is designed to attract new players to the site but these are of course one off bonuses and of more importance if you plan to be a regular player is any rewards or VIP section that can award you playing points or cash or free entry into tournaments or similar. We would never suggest that you play purely to enjoy any of these enhancements but if you are going to play anyway then why not benefit. Our poker room reviews will at least provide some idea of what is available in this area although bonuses do change on a regular basis so you will need to visit the site to see the latest.
If you are a complete novice to the game of poker or have been playing for a short while you may benefit from a poker school and most online poker rooms do offer a school to teach you the game; in our poker room reviews we shall be looking at the schools and whether we consider it to be useful and well written in simple language that everybody can understand without too much jargon. A good school is a powerful tool for any online poker room and helps the general standard of play across the site. A good school will also explain some of the etiquette of online poker playing and we have come across more than enough players who could do with reading the etiquette section of a poker site which would improve the experience for everybody. Even if you are an experienced Texas Hold’em player you may want to play an alternative such as Omaha at some stage so a school to explain the game is important.
Some of the best online poker can be found in tournament play and therefore another part of our poker room reviews is whether or not the room offers regular tournaments for all levels of play. Tournament play is of course different from cash games and your approach has to be slightly different but at least you know what your outlay is going to be from the start as all you pay is your entry fee and even in re-buy tournaments you can choose whether to re-buy or not. Regular tournament play can be a relatively inexpensive way of getting into the game and quite frankly luck probably plays a larger part in tournament play than in regular cash games; with a good run of luck you can go a long way and the further you go the more experience you will gain. The ultimate tournament for novices has got to be the freeroll tournaments where entry cost nothing at all. Of course the prize money is not that great but as a way to learn to play the game of poker nothing comes close to tournament play. The only drawback with tournament play is that you must be prepared for it to last a few hours depending on the number of entries; whereas in cash games you can leave at any time in tournament play you have to stick around until you have lost your chips.
We have poker room reviews for the five poker rooms that we recommend and these are Paddy Power Poker, Ladbrokes Poker, Party Poker, 888 Poker and Poker Stars Poker all of which are very reputable online poker rooms. There are of course many many others and whilst we shall continue to monitor the others we shall not be publishing any reviews of them until such time as we consider them suitable to join the ranks of our recommended poker rooms. Enjoy our reviews and make your own mind up about which room you prefer.