With the growing popularity of poker in India, we have seen numerous online poker sites launched in last one year. It’s good for the poker industry of the country as more the organizers, more are the options for the players to choose and play. However, a poker enthusiast should be careful while choosing an online site to play real money games. One should not fall for the lucrative offers which the website put on big display ads but, judge the company on a few parameters before signing up and depositing their hard-earned money.
Here we list 7 different parameters which you must check before joining a newly launched poker site. Moreover, we spoke to a few young poker talents of India who have spent hundreds of hours on the Indian poker sites to know what they think before joining a new poker site.
#1 Software and Security
The most important thing you must check in an online poker site is its software and security measures. The software must be user friendly at one hand and the Random Number Generator for the card dealing must be certified by a proper certification body/agency like i-tech labs, Gaming Laboratories International Accreditation (GLI) etc. Moreover, the website must be using a secured SSL certificate and an anti-virus protection like Norton which ensures the security of your personal data and money on the website.
Poker is game played among individuals be it online or live. So, once you are sure about the software and security of the website, another thing to consider is whether the site has enough traffic to make game available round the clock. You should check in the game lobby if games and tournaments are running as per your play timings. On a low traffic website, you funds may get stuck due to unavailability of games of your choice.
You should verify from the website that it follows the Indian laws of gaming and taxation. A poker website in India not following the defined laws will be shut down by the authorities sooner or later and it will impact your gameplay heavily. Hence, as a responsible poker player, you must verify the establishment’s legality aspects. One of the most decisive parameters can be TDS certificates which the poker sites must provide to its players in compliance with the IT act. Non taxation of poker winnings above the defined threshold may drag you in Black Money cases.
#4 Deposit and Redeem Options
How will I deposit and how will I redeem money from the poker site? This question arises in the mind of every poker player as money handling by the company must be a smooth and transparent process. Credit card, debit card, net banking, online wallets are the popular channels of deposit while bank transfer and cheque are mostly used for redemptions. You should check the time duration which the website takes for redemption requests to be processed.
#5 Customer Support Services
A good poker company always has multiple windows of interaction with its users. Customer support calling number is the best practice in online businesses which poker sites should follow. One may also look out if the poker site has options of query resolution on e-mail, live chat etc.
#6 Bonus Offers
Once you have checked the above 5 parameters which assures that the website is running in a professional manner by a company, you should look for first time deposit offers. You may also check for bonus offers on subsequent deposits. It will help you start with a good bankroll and survive longer.
#7 VIP Program and Rewards
A good poker site will always have a reward program for its regular players. You should look into the details of the reward program as in benefits of higher loyalty levels, conversion ratios offered and freebies offered by the company at certain milestones.
When we contacted a few players who have been playing on Indian sites they suggested on some of the crucial parameters they look into before joining the new site.
Yuvraj Singh from Mumbai says, “I generally look for the number of tables running and the tournaments held by the site before signing up”.
“Legality is the main aspect I check as well I don’t like sites which has too many agents”, says Aashray Arood from Bangalore.
Kartik Ved from Pune ranked the software and the credibility of the site as the top parameter in consideration while deciding to play on a new site.
Sumit Sapra from Delhi listed 4 different factors ranking “Quality of the software and User Interface” at the top.
Simon Mint from Bangalore says that the number of players on the site is very important as if there are not enough games, the site is not good to play.
Another Bangalore based poker player, Prabakar Che says, “First of all I see the traffic of players and promotions. And, nowadays guaranteed daily tournaments are important apart from cash games.”