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The huge surge of interest in Texas Hold’em and poker in general has created an entire new generation of poker fans, and probably drew many of the older ones out of semi-retirement. Nobody is quite sure whether the Internet created the interest or the interest created the proliferation of online hold’em rooms, but one thing is for sure: there are far too many choices.

Personally, when I look for a good game of hold’em online, I want to know three things:

  • Traffic – are there a lot of people, or at least enough to get a good range of skills and bankrolls?
  • Comfort – do I feel safe putting some money and personal info on the site?
  • Gameplay – does the site offer software that I will be staring at — anywhere from ten minutes to several hours at a time?

Sun Poker

$500 Bonus

Sun Poker offers tables at all experience levels and limits for any and every player. Highly recommended A++

Mansion Poker

$500 Match Bonus

Mansion poker offers great promotions and has an outstanding number of players. Highly recommended

Pacific Poker

$400 Match Bonus

Pacific Poker is a fast and reliable online casino with prompt payouts. Highly recommended

It has not always been an easy process, but I’ve been able to narrow down my choices to a relatively short list of online poker rooms that are worth my time. Hopefully, this will give you something to go on in your search as well. Not all of these sites are perfect for every poker player, but if you visit three or five, you’ll start to see which elements of each site are important to you.

Now just remember: there’s no real reason to just choose one and stick with it for better or worse. If there’s one thing that the Internet is good at, it’s choice. None of these sites will require a regular subscription or membership fee — you can join as many or as few as you like. Maybe you’ll hit your perfect online poker site on your first try! I didn’t, but I did end up with four or five that each had something I couldn’t live without. So some days I’ll play at Cake Poker, some days at Carbon Poker, and some days at Doyle’s Room…

…speaking of Doyle, there are some very specific times that I like to hang out at his site, or at PokerStars. I hate to admit it, but I can be just as starstruck as anyone else, from time to time, and when I find out that someone whom I admire is going to be playing, I try to head on over. If I wasn’t signed up at both of those sites, I might have missed the chance to meet them and learn from them. So sometimes more is better.

Ultimately, sometimes it’s not the website or the software or even the rewards that keep you going back. Sometimes it’s the community. I’ve spent plenty of time at some very high-tech, user-friendly, good-looking poker rooms only to find out that nobody was ever really that much fun to play with. If you can find an online poker room with a group of people that you actually look forward to playing with, you’ll know you found the right place.

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