Reading Online Poker Reviews 1

Software and Graphics

There are many commonly used software in online poker rooms all over the Internet.  The more reputable ones include Cryptologic, Microgaming, PlayTech and RealTime Gaming.  However, there are still some poker rooms that use their own proprietary software.

Whatever software an online poker room utilizes, reading only poker reviews will help you understand what experienced online poker players think about the variety of software used by different poker sites.  Essential factors that should be taken into consideration include:

• Speed and smooth gameplay
• Software reliability
• Game interface (table views like bird’s eye view or 3D player-centered view)
• Selection of automated features (auto-posting of blinds, pre-selection of bid/call buttons)

Under this section, you will also find information regarding the representation of players in the game (avatars, icons) and the introspective quality of graphics and sound.

Game Variety and Limits

In this section, you will find the list of games offered by the site like Texas Hold’em, Omaha, 7-Card Stud, 5-Card Stud, Hi-Lo variants, Draw Poker, and on rare occasions, games like Crazy Pineapple.  There are sites that also feature video poker and other non-poker games such as Blackjack and Baccarat.  These days, there are online poker sites that are integrated with online casino sites.

Also under this section are the betting structures available on each game: limit, no limit, pot limit, with the range of the stakes for each.  If you come across the term “Microlimits,” this commonly refers to games with blinds that are in the penny or nickel range.

Finally, you will find out if the poker site offers ring games, poker tournaments or both in this section.  And if they do, these are the kinds they would probably have:

Freeroll – This is a free to enter tournament with big prizes.

Freezeout or Shootout – This goes through a process of elimination with a winner takes all format (or top three finishers).  Most tournaments are of this kind even Freerolls and Sit ‘n’ Gos.

Sit-n-Go or Sit and Go – This game usually runs 24/7, is also a freezeout, can be under any stakes, and commences every time the required number of players buy-in.

Re-buy – This is a form of freezeout wherein you have the option to buy-in again once knocked out.

Satellite – This is also a freezeout wherein the prize is a place in a bigger poker tournament that is usually held in land-based casinos and with a much bigger prize.

Bounty – This is a freezeout with a bonus.  Certain players are given “bounties” on their heads, so to speak.  Whoever knocks out those players in a game collects that bounty regardless if they win the game overall or not.


This section pretty much tells you the average number of players that frequent the poker room.  The online poker review will let you know how many players go in and participate in ring games or tournaments during peak hours.

Poker room traffic can be a double-edged sword—it can be both advantageous and disadvantageous.  Too much traffic can mean it might be difficult to find a seat at a table, but you will have no trouble finding action at your desired stakes and it’s possible to milk loads of fish out of their bankrolls.

Too little traffic can mean the opposite—you may not find action at your desired stakes, but you can be assured of a seat and you’ll likely play against the same players more frequently.  Looking at the bright side, knowing your opponents is a huge advantage.