European Poker Sites
This article is designed to steer European poker players towards the best online poker rooms in their market. We have pored over a number of different online poker sites to find the best for European poker players, and have also included a breakdown on what players should be looking for in a European poker site.
As the online poker market around the world becomes more Balkanized (segregated by regions), especially in European markets, players from more and more countries are finding themselves faced with smaller regional markets serviced by only a handful of regulated poker rooms, and unlike the swath of worldwide online poker rooms from just a few years ago, where you can play online poker often depends on where you live, since certain sites are only licensed in certain regions.
The good news is that these regional markets have been created in the wake of many European countries passing online poker legislation, giving their residents the capability of playing on legal and regulated online poker sites. The bad news is that in exchange for licensed and regulated online poker rooms we have to give up some of the features we have become accustomed to, including the huge player pools and countless online poker sites to choose from.
So what should online poker players from Europe be looking for when they go in search of their first online poker site, or are shopping around for their next online poker home? There are several things European poker players should be looking for, and in this article we are going to go over all of these factors.
At the end of this article you will find our choices for the best European Poker Sites.
European Poker Sites
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Licensed and Regulated Poker Sites
One of the first things you should look for in an online poker room in today’s poker world is to make certain that the online poker site in question is licensed and regulated in your country or region. If you happen to live in one of the countries in Europe that has not passed online poker legislation, you should be looking for an online poker room that is licensed and regulated by one of the major regulatory bodies that govern the online poker world.
Not only is your money a lot safer at a licensed and regulated online poker room (especially if the site in question is regulated by your home country which often impose much stricter regulations than independent groups) but you will also not have to worry about a government shutdown of the site, or a foreign body like the US Department of Justice throwing a wrench into the works.
You should also look for online poker rooms that play by the rules around the world. Whenever a country legalizes online poker you can tell who the legitimate poker rooms are by who applies for a license in these locales.
Deposit and Withdrawal Options
Another factor that should weigh heavily into your decision is the poker site’s deposit and withdrawal options. You should be looking for a site that offers transaction methods that are consistent with what players from the country are accustomed to using and options that are available in your region.
Having to use deposit options that are unpopular in your region can lead to long waits and heavy fees. I’d gladly give up $200 in deposit bonuses if it meant that I didn’t have to pay a $25 fee on every withdrawal I made over my time at the site.
If the online poker room you are looking at joining doesn’t offer easy to use, fee-free, services for depositing and withdrawing from the site you should probably think twice about joining the site.
One final point on this subject, a site doesn’t need to offer country specific options if they accept popular worldwide options like credit cards, Neteller, and Paypal, since virtually every person around the globe has access to these options. But sites that do accept regional options are showing their commitment to that part of the world, and an understanding of what players from specific countries are using for online transactions.
It’s not going to do you any good if you live in Denmark and the poker site you have chosen runs satellites to World Poker Tour events in Florida (unless you are able to travel to these events of course). Instead you should be on the lookout for a poker site that offers satellites to local tournaments, even if they aren’t as prestigious as the events at other sites at least you can play in them!
Basically, don’t join an online poker site because the promotions are so great, join the site because the promotions will be beneficial to you in particular. Whether or not you can take advantage of the deal is just as important as the deal itself –after all, I wouldn’t buy a German copy of Harrington on Holdem for $1 if I can’t speak German! Even though it’s a great deal, it would do me no good.
Many sites also sponsor local tournaments in different regions, so if you want to know which online poker rooms are investing heavily in your region look no further than who is sponsoring tournaments at your local casinos.
The best poker site for you depends in where you live, and how well the site caters to players from your region.
What is the Site’s Mission Statement?
Is the site you are looking to join growing or stagnant? Do they have a business plan? Are they actively marketing to entice new players? Have they been applying for online poker licenses in regulated countries or do they skirt the laws of these nations? These are all questions you should be asking yourself before you choose your next online poker room.
Sites that are active in sponsoring televised poker events, sites that have a stable of relevant sponsored pros, sites that are launching online tournament series, creating new poker formats, or updating their software are all good signs for potential players. All of these things point to willingness on the site’s part to grow their business and give back to their players.
In the end where you decide to play poker should involve a number of different factors: Everyone is aware that finding a good rakeback deal, a good deposit bonus, and a good loyalty program are important factors in your search, and most people look at things like traffic numbers, game selection at the site, and the quality of play, but far fewer people take the above reasons into account when searching for the best European poker room to play at.
So if you have narrowed your choices down to two or three online poker sites (that all appear to be equal in your estimation) things like the deposit and withdrawal options available or satellites to local tournaments could be the deciding factor.
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