We have put together a short but comprehensive FAQ for you to learn how to use our site and poker rooms we promote on it. Feel free to click on the links below for a short explanation. For more thorough information, click on the embedded links within this FAQ to access our Gambling resources pages.
- Where do I start? How do I use the site?
- Should I download the software or play online?
- Is the poker room software compatible with Mac computers?
- Can I try the poker rooms for free?
- What do I need to know about depositing money into my casino account?
- Is my personal and payment information safe?
- Are all outcomes really random?
- What should I know about the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA)?
- Are there any restrictions as to who can open a real money account?
- Are there any cashout restrictions?
- Can I find a poker room in my language/currency?
- Why are licensing and regulation important?
- Are USA players allowed to play at the poker rooms?
- Are UK/European players allowed to play at the poker rooms?
- Should I read the T&C?
- Do poker rooms share the same software?
- How does rake work?
- What is rakeback?
- What is valueback/cashback?
- What are loyalty programs?
- How do bonuses work?
Where do I start? How do I use the site?
It's quite simple really, the recommended process is as follows: compare the features of each poker room using our “Poker Reviews” page which will display all the rooms we promote in a simple to view list with rating, bonus and U.S. restriction information (every column in this list can be sorted). If you want more in-depth details, simply click on the review link next to each casino name to access technical, licensing & regulatory, promotional and other important details as well as short but comprehensive review of the poker room (as experienced by our editors).
If you're looking for a specific bonus type, then mouse-over our "Promotions" menu and make your pick from deposit bonus, rakeback, valueback, or loyalty rewards to see a list of rooms that suit your needs.
We also recommend you visit our "Resources" section where you will find tons of information on everything poker related. This section will help you understand what is and how an online poker room works. It gives valuable information on bonuses and how to choose the right one for you. Why it is important for poker rooms to be licensed and regulated. Why the rake and associated rewards are a crucial decision factor and much more information.
Should I download the software or play online?
This is basically your choice and depends on your playing habits and preferences. Downloadable rooms usually have more games and feature richer graphics and stunning animations. The downside is you have to go through the installation process and you'll need to use the same computer most times. The in-browser (online) version runs on Flash or Java which means you can play straight from your browser, from any computer you want as long as you have an internet connection. It usually has less games (only the basic Texas Hold'Em and Omaha) than the download version and runs lighter, hence the difference in quality of graphics and animation. A big plus to the in-browser version is that it leaves no trace on your hard drive.
Is the poker room software compatible with Mac computers?
Some poker rooms offer Mac friendly downloadable versions of their software, but most don't. You can always play the online-version instead which should have no problems running from your Mac. If you do insist on playing the download version, you can always install VMware or Parallels software.
Can I try the poker rooms for free?
Yes you can, at least the vast majority of them. Most rooms will give you a chance to play at their tables for free using play money chips. Some other rooms will even give you bonus chips or in very remote cases, free real money to test out their room.
What do I need to know about depositing money into my casino account?
All poker rooms in our website are properly licensed and regulated and they all run under secure servers and guarantee the security and safety of your personal and financial information. They also offer a very wide variety of deposit and withdrawal methods in several currencies. For more information go here.
Is my personal and payment information safe?
All poker rooms in our website are properly licensed and regulated and they all run under secure servers and guarantee the security and safety of your personal and financial information. More information here.
Are all outcomes really random?
The poker rooms we promote all use random number generators to produce the outcome of every card dealt and every poker game. Furthermore the random number generators have been thoroughly tested by third party, independent organisations.
What should I know about the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA)?
The UIGEA is a United States law enacted in 2006 that is aimed at stopping online payment methods from financing offshore poker and casino websites. If you're interested in playing at any of the casinos we promote and you are an American citizen/resident, then check out our Poker Reviews and sorting by “US Players Welcome” to find out which rooms are US friendly.
Are there any restrictions as to who can open a real money account?
Yes, most poker rooms registered and licensed in Europe (especially in Gibraltar, UK and Malta) will not allow US players to play for real money. Likewise other rooms, depending on their licensing and registration will not allow players from certain countries or regions to register. Some of the most controversial countries include USA, Turkey and China. Also, only people 18 and over (or of legal age according to local law) are allowed to register at these rooms.
Are there any cashout restrictions?
Yes, but usually this only applies to the first withdrawal. All player accounts must be verified and the best way to do this is during the first ever withdrawal. You might have to produce identity and address proof and in some cases (especially if you deposited via credit card) fill out a form. You will also lose any pending bonuses if you withdraw without fulfilling the wagering requirements.
Can I find a poker room in my language/currency?
Almost all of our rooms offer their websites and games in several popular languages. The deposit methods are also offered in different currencies.
Why are licensing and regulation important?
They are important to us and should be especially important to you since it means the poker room is regulated and audited by a governmental agency which makes sure every single aspect of the room and its related company(ies) are absolutely legal, safe and secure. And more importantly they will guarantee that in case of any disputes you may turn as a last resource to this government agency for mediation. For more information on online gambling jurisdictions, click here.
Are USA players allowed to play at the poker rooms?
Not at all of them, but we do have poker rooms which cater to US players. You can find these by visiting our Poker Reviews and sorting by “US Players Welcome” to find out which rooms are US friendly.
Are UK/European players allowed to play at the poker rooms?
Absolutely yes, except in a very few cases where Maltese nationals are not allowed to play for real money on rooms licensed by the L&GA (Malta).
Should I read the T&C?
Yes, absolutely you should. It is in the Terms and Conditions that you will find all the fine print and details regarding your bonuses, withdrawals, jurisdiction and age limits, multiple accounts and many other topics. Only by reading the T&C can you understand and protect yourself and know where your rights and obligations start and end.
Do poker rooms share the same software?
There are a few dozen poker software providers (Poker Networks) and only a very few of them can be considered to be the biggest/best of them. Amongst the top 5 are Microgaming, Ongame, iPoker, Entraction and Cake. This is the reason you will find many of the same games in so many different poker rooms. Some poker rooms have their own, proprietary software which competes heavily with these networks in number of players. Some of these independent networks include PokerStars, FullTilt Poker, PartyPoker, Pacific Poker, PKR and BetFair.
How does rake work?
Rake is the scaled commission fee taken by a poker room. It is generally 3 to 5 percent of the pot in each poker hand, up to a predetermined maximum amount. Poker is a player-vs-player game, and the poker rooms do not wager against its players (unlike casinos), so the rake is the principal mechanism to generate revenues. The rake covers the various costs of operation such as support, software, licensing fees and personnel.
What is rakeback?
Rakeback is a type of reward or bonus for poker players. It is directly proportionate to the amount of rake they generate to the poker room they play at. This means the more they rake, the more rakeback they will receive. Rakeback is basically when a percentage of the rake paid to the poker room is returned to the poker player. It is usually available only by signing up to a room via a rakeback affiliate.
What is valueback/cashback?
Cashback and valueback are some very new reward methods implemented by many poker rooms and it works very similar to rakeback in that it rewards players for their game play in the form of money paid to their accounts originating from the profits generated by their game play.
What are loyalty programs?
Loyalty programs are yet another reward type by which players benefit from generating points (poker points, player points, etc) and exchanging them for cash, bonuses and other rewards.
How do bonuses work?
At any poker room you will be offered some sort of reward for registering and playing with them, either in the form of deposit bonuses, cashback and valueback and loyalty programs. What is important for you to know is that most bonuses are not really free, they require you to play and rake a certain amount before or after the bonus.