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Poker Site Recommendations

Fult Tilt

One of the biggest on-line poker sites. No shortage of games at any level. US players welcome.

For the beginner, be warned that the smallest cash tables are 0.05/0.10 with a $10 maximum buy in. This implies that if you are going to practice proper bankroll management, and, you plan to buy in to the table for the full amount, your bankroll should be $200 = 20 buy ins for proper management. Alternatively you could also say to yourself that I’m willing to deposit $200, but I’m going to try $100 here first and deposit the rest later if I want to or try the other $100 later at another site.

On the other hand all kinds of tournaments and Sit and Goes are available for $1, $2, $5 and $10, up to and including the big $750,000 Sunday Guarantee. There are a number of satellite tournaments where the prize is a buy in to a bigger tournament which can be a good way to grow a small bankroll by taking shots at bigger prizes. Conversely this means that if you have the skills and bankroll to play bigger tournaments you will often be facing a number of less inexperienced players meaning the level of competition might be lower than at some other sites for comparable levels.

At the time of this writing there is a 100% first deposit bonus up to $600, meaning that up to a maximum of a $600 first deposit, you can earn up to 100% of your first deposit as a bonus by playing enough raked hands. Deposit $500, play enough hands with a high enough rake in 4 months, and Full Tilt will credit your account with $500. The good thing is that the bonus is earned in $10 increments so as soon as you earn $10 in bonus you will receive $10. Not all sites will pay partial deposit bonuses.

Software-wise I turn off the avatars because they’re silly and you can’t add your own, so it doesn’t help much in visually identifying players that you’ve played before. I like having the “Bet Pot” button available but hate the bet slider as it’s difficult to get it to bet the amount that you want. I like the detachable and resizable chat box as I usually have the full details of the hand history listed for easy review. I also like the graphical hand history screen, but don’t like the fact that the hand history details in this box are in a tiny area that is not resizeable. Multi-tabling is easy as the tables are fully resizable.

Full Tilt is where I ran my 40 $1 Turbo Sit and Go project.

Create a play money account to try out the software and see if Full Tilt is the site for you.

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PokerStars

Currently the biggest site on the internet, no shortage of games at any time. US players welcome.

Beginners cash tables from 0.01/0.02 and up to high stakes.

All kinds of tournaments as well as Sit and Goes, although Sit and Go stakes jump from $1 to $5 without anything in between. You can also satellite or buy directly into big tourneys like the Sunday Million.

PokerStars also offers a 100% first deposit bonus, but the maximum amount tends to vary so check the site for the current limit. They give you 6 months to earn the bonus, but you must earn the entire amount during that time. If you fall short, you receive no bonus, so choose a lower first deposit amount that you will be more likely to achieve. PokerStars was the first site that I made a deposit on so I went for a $50 first deposit rather than a larger amount just to make it easier to achieve the deposit bonus.

The software is nice and lightweight (the only one that still runs on Windows ’98 that I know of, which means you can still use that old laptop if you want) Customizable avatars, which I like to have turned on as it helps me visually to remember the players better. Good bet slider and resizable, easy to read hand history. Multi-tabling is easy as the tables are fully resizable.

PokerStars is where I ran my Bet/Raise/Fold exercise.

Sign up, give the play money tables a go to get a feel for the software, and see if you like PokerStars.

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(Other site recommendations pending at this time)

For related posts, see:

Choosing An On-line Poker Site

Poker on Facebook: poor software

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