The iPoker network is a group of top online poker sites (also called ‘skins’) that have poker lobby and games rooms based on Playtech’s iPoker platform. This collective forms one of the largest poker networks online.
Here Gambling.com considers the advantages of choosing an online poker site from within the iPoker network, and explain differences between iPoker skins that you should be looking out for when deciding where to play.
Poker rooms can become less fun when they’re filled with professional ‘grinders’. These players use a statistical approach to earn pennies over time, slowly 'grinding' away to make small profits.
iPoker ensures a better mix of players by tiering sites so the popular ones that bring in new inexperienced players, such as William Hill, bet365, Betfair, Ladbrokes and Betfred, keep those players in their pool (iPoker 2); sites that bring in fewer new users remain in the lower tier (iPoker 1).
Since January 2015, iPoker also rewards sites that have players who are net depositors (those who spend more money). This gives the network, and particularly those big sites with a broad customer base, a good reason to attract recreational customers and keep things fun. Sometimes the all-round gaming sites offer a better poker experience than the specialists, who may be overrun with grinders.
A vast number of tournaments and cash games are pooled across the iPoker network. Whichever skin you visit, you’ll find Playtech’s signature tournaments with prizes running into the millions. You’ll also find nine different game types, with a range of stake levels and buy-ins.
On top of this, each site in the iPoker network can include its own tables and tournaments. These can include big prize tournaments, special prizes, exclusive freerolls (free tournaments), and play money rooms (just for fun games). iPoker clients also have the option to include side games – casino games that are playable while you’re at the poker table, which vary from site to site.
As part of that commitment to creating a diverse group of online poker players, each iPoker site has a unique range of offers, which can include:
Shop around to see which works best for your playing style.
The beauty of iPoker sites is that, despite pooling players, individual casinos have a lot of leeway to adapt the environment to suit their audience.
Just as they tailor their offers to court the right customers, so the poker rooms are decorated to fit the player. You’ll find that each iPoker site has a different approach to the chat function, with either a focus on player engagement, note-taking or stats, and each will offer the games in a different range of languages, so check they offer games in your native tongue.
Another key factor is whether your iPoker site of choice can be accessed on the move. The iPoker network allows sites to integrate into mobile apps, but not all network members use this function. At the time of writing, bet365, Winner, Ladbrokes and Betfair poker were all available on mobile.
There’s life outside the poker foyer, and it pays to explore the wider online casino environment before you commit to an iPoker site.
Your chief consideration should be the online casino’s wallet system. Check which payments they accept, whether they charge for currency conversions and how long it will take for a fund withdrawal to process.
Although all of the top poker sites will be secure and stable, it’s also sensible to familiarise yourself with their security policies, and whether they refund bets when your connection fails. These are the details that can make all the difference when you’re in the middle of a nerve-wracking tournament.