Some poker sites are big enough that they do not need to join with others in networks. The stand alone poker sites range from the biggest in the industry (PokerStars / Party) through some cool mid-sized rooms like 888 Poker – though to some of the smaller nice ‘niche’ sites including PKR.com.
This article lists the stand-alone poker sites in order of their size, and gives you a summary of what you can expect at each one. I’ll compare them in size and scope to the major poker networks. You will find links to the more detailed review pages and other comparison type articles – as well as links to the sites themselves to check them out.
Remember that poker sites are in fierce competition with each other for your business – you can take advantage of this by making sure you clear a welcome bonus or two, this is a nice boost to any player’s poker bankroll!
Stand-Alone Poker Sites – Pokerstars.com – The Biggest Site Of All
Pokerstars are more than 3 times larger than their closest rivals, and more than 20 times bigger than some of the very well known smaller networks… with massive peaks of more than 250k concurrent players.
This size advantage has both pros and cons. On the plus side the selection of games and tournaments is simply massive! On the negative side you can end up battling with 3000+ players in many of the smaller buy-in tournaments… it can very frustrating to play great poker for 7 hours for just a small cash.
The cool software, generous loyalty rewards and big promotions are the key reasons to choose Pokerstars. While they attract players at all experience levels, you will need to watch out for the army of ‘pro grinders’ in the games – often playing 12+ tables at a time!
You can claim 3 separate welcome bonuses at Pokerstars.com up to a total of $600. Choose ‘Affiliate Marketing Code’ from the ‘Where Did You Hear About Us?’ drop-down list and put Pokerstars Marketing Code PSP3108 in the new box that appears – you have 90 days to claim your 3 bonuses. Click this link to check out the Pokerstars.com website for yourself now!
Stand-Alone Poker Sites – Party Poker – Best Known Among New Players
Party are the best known stand alone site and big brand among non-poker players, and continue to attract first timers because of this. While Party are essentially a stand-alone site, their business partner Bwin recently joined and with with Empire Poker and WPT poker owned by the same company (BwinParty Group) they are starting to look more and more like a network as we go into 2013. They are the 2nd biggest site with peaks of 75k players, and host a huge amount of tournaments, cash games and sit n goes.
When you play in the games at Party Poker you can immediately tell that they are ‘softer’ than those at Pokerstars. Even softer are the designated ‘beginners tables’ that the new guys get to play on. This site are very clever with bonuses, offering new ones in exchange for points you collect at the tables. By the time you ‘clear’ your bonus you have a whole bunch of points towards the next one – like a perpetual cash-back scheme!
This site have been innovators in the past with games like Steps SNGs first appearing at Party. You will also find the unique ‘Double Holdem’ and Hellkat timed tournaments at Party, as well as their fast fold poker variety called ‘fast-forward’. New players can get their bankroll off to a great start with a 100% matched bonus up to $500 – simply use bonus code PBKLUB when you register. Check out Party Poker for yourself now!
Stand Alone Poker Sites – 888.com – Casino Cross Over Keep This Site Crazy!
If you want to see a truly crazy bunch of poker games, then 888 Poker is the place to head. This independent site is part of the same family that includes Casino-on-Net (888 Casino) the biggest online casino. The cross over traffic makes the games verge on insane – though very profitable for players with some poker specific skills and / or experience.
I love this site for a few different reasons. While their cool software is great, it is the focus on recreational players which shines though. Their promos, games and marketing efforts are all aimed squarely at the ‘fun’ end of the poker market. Sure, you’ll make a lot of money (if you are good!!) at the tables, the difference here is that you can have some fun while you do so!
With 10k peaks there is plenty of action, and with those generous 888 Poker bonuses your bankroll will be well topped up too. Click this link now to check out the 888 Poker website for yourself!
Stand Alone Poker Sites – The Best Of The Rest
As we get smaller you will find most of the sites are ‘skins’ of poker networks. There are three main sites to mention here. First Bodog / Bovada are independent sites. They separate US and non-US players into the Bodog and Bovada brands – these sites are smaller,– and also have the cool quirk of anonymous games… where you get a number instead of a screen name and avatar.
PKR should have a mention, their product is fantastic – truly innovative 3d online poker. They are a smaller site with just 500 simultaneous players at peak times… worth checking out for the experience though.
Finally, this article would not be complete without a mention of Full Tilt. After more than a year away they have now returned to action, and already have 40k peaks. I have started coverage over at Sit N Go Planet for this site and will expand that coverage to this and several other of my sites soon enough.
Keep the Poker Bonus Network bookmarked – we will let you know as soon as any big changes in the ever-evolving world of poker sites and networks!
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