Poker Networks for US Players
Poker Networks vs. Standalone Sites
When it comes to online poker sites catering to US players, there are two primary types: standalone sites and poker networks. Each type operates differently, offering unique benefits to players.
Essentially, a poker network is the group of poker sites that operate on the same platform or client. Some have the same parent company, but this is not a requirement. For example, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker operate on the same software and are both owned by The Stars Group.
Poker Network Advantages
Poker networks offer several advantages, such as sharing player pools, enabling smaller sites to offer more game choices and larger guarantees.
This also facilitates networks to host bigger poker tournaments with more players and larger guarantees. Large tournament series are also possible on networks because the sites join to offer more options and money to make it worthwhile for players.
Coordinating cashier programs enables quicker payouts and a wider range of deposit and withdrawal options. All sites on networks do not share cashiers.
Smaller poker sites are able to build their name, brand, and reputation without investing in new, proprietary software, which makes it more affordable for startup poker sites. Sites maintain individual brands on most networks, with their own graphics and designs. Some sites even keep their own promotions and VIP programs.
Choosing Poker Networks
Players should choose poker networks as they do their individual poker sites, based on reputation, reviews, and opinions of fellow poker players.
American players’ online poker options include networks. Some sites open to the US market, like Americas Cardroom and Ignition are parts of networks. Even in states that now regulate their own online poker sites, such as in New Jersey, sites like BorgataPoker and PartyPoker share the same network designed for the new US market.
Poker Network Reviews
The poker sites presently on the Horizon Poker Network were developed and previously associated with the now-defunct Cake Poker. That became Revolution Gaming, which also went out of business, but two sites survived. Through it all, the one site that never lost its reputation as a safe and honest poker site was EveryGame, still open to American players.
Under new ownership as of 2019 through a Hong Kong-based company. It has expanded its offerings beyond Canada to various areas of the Asian, American, and European markets. Not all sites share player pools, but many do. The primary sites on the network that are open to American players are Ignition Poker and Bovada Poker.
This is one of the smaller networks, but Chico has done much to grow through the years. One of the biggest improvements in the past few years is its upgraded software by Connective Games, which allows games on Macs or PCs and via iOS or Android mobile devices. The two most prominent poker rooms on the Chico Poker Network are BetOnline and SportsBetting.ag.
What started as a relatively small poker network has grown exponentially in recent years, mostly due to its flagship site, Americas Cardroom. Its popularity with American players is almost unparalleled into today’s poker environment. With the increasing player numbers, WPN has upgraded its software, game variations, and tournament opportunities. The four sites on the network share player pools, which allows for large tournament series like OSS Cub3d. The largest sites that are a part of the network are Americas Cardroom and Black Chip Poker.
The Revolution Gaming Network, initially launched in 2012, has a deeper history rooted in the online poker industry. Originating as Lock Poker in 2008 within the Cake Poker Network, it later transitioned to Merge Gaming in 2010. Subsequently, Lock Poker acquired the struggling Cake Network and rebranded it as Revolution Gaming, making Lock its flagship site. Notable brands such as Cake (now Win Cake), Juicy Stakes, and Sportsbook.com found a home within this network.
Separating Grinders From Recreational Players
Players have mostly become accustomed to the new online poker atmosphere that tries to even the playing field for all competitors. Network and site operators continue to implement changes to adapt to the evolving poker arena, which has largely brought all players to the same tables again. Grinders have found ways to make a living, and more recreational players have joined the sites to grow the market.
Biggest Differences From One Network to Another
Each network has taken its own approach to anonymous player pools and sharing player pools. But there are still differences that players may find among the networks.
- Games and Stakes – Since Americas Cardroom’s latest growth, it has come to offer more poker variations and a wider range of stakes than most other poker sites that currently cater to US players. This site also has higher stakes than Ignition and Bovada, which previously dominated in that arena.
- Tournaments – Americas Cardroom also dominates with regard to tournaments and series. Its first OSS Cub3d series in 2020 offered 220 tournaments with $13 million in guarantees. That’s only expected to grow in the coming years. Ignition does well with its Black Diamond Poker Open, the event has offered more than $6 million. BetOnline has increased its offerings of late and has a great many benefits for those willing to play for somewhat lower stakes. Each network has daily, weekly, and semi-annual series.
- Non-Poker Offerings – Some players choose a network based on the gambling and betting options available in addition to poker online. For example, Ignition players enjoy being able to use the same account for casino games, virtual sports, and online poker. Americas Cardroom has increased its offerings to offer more sports wagering options that most other US-facing poker sites.
Choosing the right poker network is essential for US players looking for a rewarding and enjoyable online poker experience. By considering factors like reputation, game offerings, and tournament opportunities, players can find the perfect fit for their preferences and skills.