Sites like PokerStars, 888poker, and PartyPoker consistently produce significantly high traffic, and there are some online poker networks in Asia that do as well. However, most of the traffic on the majority of sites now is relative. A high-traffic site may be one that has several thousand players in contrast to another that has only a few tables running. It varies depending upon the data provided and the regulations in place in the parts of the world being monitored.
Why Does Traffic Matter to Sites?
Sites can measure some of their successes by traffic numbers. When they know what times of the day or night most players are likely to log on to play poker online, they know when to provide more customer service agents. If they know that certain months of the year are generally low, they can implement extra promotions to combat those numbers. It’s a part of the business.
Some of the most important factors that companies seek with traffic data include:
- What times of the day or night are most popular with players?
- What months of the year see higher and lower traffic?
- How does weather (usually seasons) affect traffic numbers?
- How do traffic increases correspond with promotions and bonuses?
- How do competitors’ traffic numbers compare?
- Do regulated sites attract more customers than unregulated operators?
By compiling and analyzing the data, companies in the online poker business can make decisions for the immediate future as well as setting short-term and long-term goals.
Why Should Players Care about Site Traffic?
In general, players do not care much about traffic data. They do not typically track the number of players on their favorite sites and certainly don’t compare numbers from various sites. This type of activity is only of interest to the operators themselves and companies that seek to benefit from them, such as affiliates, sponsors, etc.
In a roundabout way, however, online poker traffic does matter to players, and they do respond to it. But instead of seeking out graphs and data, they notice the number of tables running on sites they choose to frequent or how many game variations are available in the poker site lobbies. They know where their friends choose to play, and they see where the pros play when they watch their Twitch streams or instructional videos. They see the chatter about various sites on Twitter and other forms of social media, which helps dictate where they will play online poker.
For example, a real money site that attracts only 100 or so players may not be ideal for a poker pro who requires certain stakes to play and desires to play several tables at once. That pro may also not be able to find tournaments that are worth his or her time, as they won’t offer large guarantees or prize pools. But a low-stakes or recreational player might want to experiment with a low-traffic site to gain experience, play the lowest stakes to try new strategies, or simply find familiar names each time he or she plays on the site.
Sites with low traffic might offer better deposit bonuses to attract more players, though high-traffic sites will tend to offer more promotions in general, and they will be more lucrative. There are benefits for various players on all sites, as they simply must determine what qualities in online poker sites are most important for them and pertinent to their reasons for playing.
The three poker sites with the most traffic from locations around the world are PokerStars, PartyPoker, and 888poker. While some of their sites are restricted to operations within borders of certain countries, their dot-com sites still cater to a large part of the world’s population and draw significant numbers on a daily basis.
Other sites are also popular with players in numerous jurisdictions, like Bodog, Bovada, and Ignition Poker. Bet365 is also a globally-recognized site that draws enough players to the tables to remain competitive in several markets.
Traffic to Rise in 2018 and Beyond
Traffic for poker online has diminished since Black Friday, as many countries have walled themselves off from the dot-com playing fields. And while governments and regulators have benefited by clearing the field, making it easier to monitor online gaming activities, and making money by issuing licenses, they have also discovered that revenue within their jurisdictions is going to be limited at a certain point – case in point, Delaware.
Enter shared online poker liquidity.
This means that jurisdictions can join together to allow their players to share online poker tables in cash games and tournaments. Increased numbers mean better options for players, bigger tournaments, and larger guarantees and promotions.
And regulators are discovering that liquidity is not as difficult as once imagined. When companies like PokerStars operate in several markets, those companies can lead the way to join sites across state and country borders in order to increase liquidity. As countries in Europe and states in America begin to achieve liquidity and see the benefits, more countries are likely to do the same. This will inevitably lead to more high-traffic poker options for players in various markets in the next several years.