Important Features for Us In An Online Poker Site
Speed – Poker players often take to the online tables to play faster than live poker. They want to avoid waiting too long for other players to act, eliminate time wasted waiting for new tables to open, and often play many tables or tournaments at one time. This is what attracted so many players to online poker in the 2000s in the first place.
It is often said that online poker players garner more experience in one month at the online tables than live players gain in years because of the number of games that can be played simultaneously or even at the same time. Players who want to learn the game and climb stakes can do so much more quickly online because of the software.
Online poker sites have improved drastically since the first days of Planet Poker in the late 1990s. Sites now use software that connects players from countries at all corners of the world, transfers money in moments, and even sometimes allows the use of external programs like HUDs to calculate odds and analyze hands at amazing speed. People using today’s technology expect expediency and want software to keep up with the latest developments and trends.
Graphics – Graphics can make all the difference for players. Those who choose online poker, whether for recreational purposes or as pro players, prefer sites that are pleasing to the eyes and keep things like eye strain to a minimum. Graphics should be clear but smooth, with pleasant backgrounds but a sincere focus on the poker chips, tables, cards, and calculations.
Players will have preferences. Some enjoy many colors, while others want simple and calm tones that don’t detract from the games. Online poker operators must choose software that best incorporates the needs of most players but still keeps it fun.
Features – Online poker sites today have many features, including new and ever-changing ones that allow sites to stay a step ahead of their competition. Software must be able to evolve with technology as it develops so sites can continue to add new player features, calculations, currencies like bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, languages, and new games. The best poker software is versatile and forward-thinking.
The original real-money sites didn’t offer much beyond cash games and tournaments, all for hold’em poker. They had options to bet, raise, check, and fold. Today’s operators have to offer many variations of the game to stay competitive, with everything from Omaha to mixed games, pot-limit to no-limit, small to high stakes, and heads-up to full-table tables. In tournaments, there are numerous needs for players, including SNGs and MTTs, turbos and other structures, rebuys and add-ons, guaranteed prize pools and caps. Some sites even offer fast-fold poker, which is an entirely new function for many software developers and site operators.
Today’s software must also consider regulations of different parts of the world where online poker is legal and regulated. Sites must be able to use geolocation technology and player identification checks more than ever before, and wall off its site to include or exclude particular players per new regulations. Software must also be able to offer shared liquidity as various markets decide to share online poker cash games and tournament options across borders, whether in European countries or American states.
Compatibility – Developers once made software specifically for desktop PCs. When Mac computers became popular, they had to make significant adjustments to the software to enable Mac users to play on their favorite sites. Today’s best developers make sure poker players can access the sites on any PC or Mac.
The latest compatibility requirement for software companies is to enable use on all mobile devices, including all smartphones and tablets. This applies primarily to Androids and iPhones and iPads, but there are also Windows products and other new items appearing on the market. Good poker software adapts to new technology and leaves the door open for future trends and possibilities.
Reputation – Trust is a major factor in online poker. Players have been burned numerous times by poker operators that cheated or simply ran with players’ money, never to be seen again. Therefore, an operator’s choice for its poker software indicates the level of care and dedication it will have for its customers.
There are companies like Playtech and Microgaming that have been providing poker software to operators for nearly two decades. These types of companies have gained the trust of the global gaming community. Most poker rooms, however, develop their own proprietary software but have spent years consulting with players and building trust so players know that their products are tried and true. The reputation of the poker site matters partners with its choice of software to show the poker community how much it cares about the players and the game itself.
Proprietary Versus Other Software
Online sites like 888poker, PokerStars, and PartyPoker each use their own unique software for their poker platforms. This makes each site unique and unlike others on the market in most respects.
Bodog was originally a software company, actually, and it currently uses its proprietary software for its Bodog, Bovada, and Ignition Poker. Unique features of the software, including player anonymity, have come in handy when attracting new customers.
Other sites, however, do use other software with great success. Bet365, for example, uses online poker software designed by Playtech. While other sites may use the same basic platform, companies like Bet365 can customize to make it unique to them. It also allows the online poker operator to focus more energy on marketing and innovation rather than software updates, which is left to Playtech.
When searching for a poker online home, it is smart to check out their software. However, the major poker sites – whether on a network or standalone, using a branded software or proprietary – put a lot of energy into making the right software decisions for them and their customers.