PokerStars – The Biggest Online Poker Site by Far
When it comes to traffic levels, PokerStars trumps all other sites and networks, with an average player base that ranges between three and four times the size of its biggest rivals. On average, you’ll find around 12,000 players at the cash tables at any one time. When you include while the total number of players can be as more than ten times higher.
This means that players at PokerStars will generally rarely have any problems finding a game and this is true of both low and high stakes games. No limit Texas Holdem is obviously the most popular game on the site, but such are the traffic levels that games such as Omaha and Stud have a good number of tables running too. The high traffic allows PokerStars to offer niche games that other sites can’t run. These include mixed poker games, Razz, Draw Poker variations and even 2-7 triple draw.
The tournament fields are large as well, meaning some very good pay outs are possible, even at low stake tournaments, although if you prefer faster action, these events may not be for you (PokerStars do offer ‘beat the clock’ events for such players who are short on time). The biggest weekly event is the infamous ‘Sunday Million’. Even the million-dollar guarantee for this event is beaten when the regular online poker events are scheduled.
888 Poker – Number #2 For Traffic Worldwide
In recent years 888 Poker has made great strides in player traffic and now sits second when it comes to internationally available poker sites. The average player base at the cash tables sits at around 1,700 players, again many more players come for the tournament games.
When you consider that the 888-brand started off as a casino, the poker site has achieved great things in a relatively small amount of time (PokerStars have gone the opposite way, and now offer a casino and a sportsbook alongside the poker site). While traffic at the cash games is solid (especially at the micro to mid stakes cash games), tournament field sizes are considered ideal by many – a nice mix of a decent pay out while the tournaments won’t stretch on for too long. This is especially the case when the regular ‘XL Series’ events are running.
Ignition Poker – The Highest Traffic US Online Poker Site
Ignition Poker has the highest traffic levels of all US friendly poker sites. With a 7-day average of around 1,100 cash players (which peaks at over 2,000 during the US evening and weekends) finding a seat at most tables is straightforward.
At Ignition Poker, you’ll be playing at anonymous tables (players are assigned a number) so instead of searching around with the aim of finding a table, you’ll simply select a stake and be sat automatically. This site seems intent on pushing their ‘zone poker’ variety too, and this high paced fast-fold version of no limit holdem attracts many recreational players. Players will also enjoy decent sized tournaments – slightly smaller than at 888 Poker, but still within a nice range of both pay outs and time.
Winning Poker Network - #2 for US Players
Players in the US can also play on any of the sites on the ‘Winning Poker Network’, where the traffic levels are the second highest in the country. This network consists of sites such as America’s Cardroom and True Poker and sees traffic levels which are enough to allow for some big online poker tournaments. The high traffic levels allow this network to offer the only US poker tournaments with $1 million guaranteed prize pools. These often take place alongside the ‘OSS’ (Online Super Series) events.
This network has a slightly more innovative approach to their game offerings. You’ll find Jackpot sit and goes (with a potential win of 2,500x your buy-in) and ‘Sit and Go 2.0’ where you’ll never know the exact payout and the number of places paid until you start the game.
Mid-Traffic Poker Sites Around the World
While the high traffic sites have all the headlines, there are some good reasons to check out some of the mid-sized sites. At one time, www.PartyPoker.com led the way when it came to poker traffic, but the withdrawal of the company from the US poker market in 2006 saw this come to an end. The company has regrouped however and a huge merger with Bwin has seen the site on the rise again in recent years, now behind only PokerStars and 888 Poker when it comes to overall traffic levels. You might not find as many games compared with those big sites – though there are plenty more ‘fish’ at the tables!