Updated Updated: October 7, 2019

Online Poker Networks

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Pros
  • Reliable poker software
  • Bigger tournaments and multiple poker games
  • Continuous 24/7 poker action
  • Various pot limits and player experience
  • Cross-over traffic from casinos and bookies suggests more poker fish
  • Ongoing development to introduce new poker features
  • Easy to switch between poker rooms within a network
  • Take advantage of multiple bonus offers within one network
Cons
  • Development and new features can take time due to the number of members involved in the decision-making process
  • Networks can close and leave several brands and players in the dark
  • Rogue tactics from one brand can affect the whole network
  • Rules and banking limits may be different from room to room
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Online poker is a competitive business and during the past 20 years, we have seen a handful of brands rise up and take over the lion’s share of the poker business. PokerStars and 888 Poker are both huge names that attract a large section of the UK and global markets.

This dominance by the few, however, does not help any of the new and independent poker brands who are looking to break into the market, and so here is where poker networks come into play. A poker network gives hope to startup companies who are looking to find some footing in the online poker landscape and build long-lasting player bases.

At the same time, these networks offer many advantages to the millions of online poker players like you who are looking to find the best rooms and poker bonus deals.

What is a poker network?

All poker networks consist of a group of online poker rooms bundled together to share the same gaming software and players. The term ‘online poker room’ can also be described as ‘poker skins’ or ‘poker brands’, and these are essentially working together to build their businesses. Each poker skin is redesigned with logos and unique colours to distinguish each brand from one another.

The beauty of these networks is that each business can offer a top-rated poker product that attracts a lot more players than if they had tried to do this all alone. But it’s not just the benefit of using a professional poker room software that interests them, the ongoing development is a huge business cost and keeping up with the current trends of poker technology is hard enough as it is, let alone finding the money to fund it. Splitting the costs between network members allows everyone to enjoy continued innovation and this brings the best poker gaming experience to the players.

The History of Poker Networks

Planet Poker

Online poker goes back to 1998 when Planet Poker opened up the first online room that offered real money prizes. The online satellite games proved to be popular in the early days when players were given the chance to gain entry to the real-life poker tournaments. The online poker boom exploded when a PokerStars player, by the name of Chris Moneymaker, won a seat at the 2003 WSOP through an online satellite game.

Moneymaker did the unthinkable and created a huge shock when he went on to win the main event. The whole world then saw the potential of online poker and from there the industry snowballed into what we know today with hundreds of sites available online. The majority of today’s online poker is a mix of independent sites and networks, but due to the ever-changing online poker landscape, the multi-site networks are starting to offer more value and variety for poker players like you.

How do Poker Networks work?

If you log into your poker account through your preferred network site, the players you play against are pooled together from across the whole network. For example, you could be signed up to Poker Red and still play against players from the Poker Blue and Poker Green sites. The games will always look like Poker Red branding but your opponents could be signed up to any of the sites within the network. All sit-and-go, tournaments and ring games (otherwise known as cash games) are open to the network and it’s this setup that allows liquidity and non-stop poker action throughout all sites.

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It’s not ‘one-size fits all’ throughout the network though and you’ll find that promotions are often the main distinguishing feature. Unique sign-up bonus offers, loyalty-based deals and prize giveaways are used to entice players to register and deposit their money. As we said before, it’s great news for players because there is nothing stopping you from signing up to multiple sites in one network. Take advantage and rack up that bonus money!

The Best UK Poker Networks

The UK is known as one of the best countries to offer online-friendly poker and there is no shortage of rooms to play at. If you look through the list of poker networks, you’ll notice one or two that stand out from the rest. Aside from the obvious independent networks of PokerStars and 888 Poker, who both enjoy the majority of the online poker market. It’s the iPoker network and the MPN who are the two UK front runners, both offering UK players excellent poker rooms with attractive promotions and bonus offers:

iPoker

iPoker

iPoker is the biggest of the UK networks with more than 30 different skins in over 15 different languages. It’s managed and run by the global software giant, Playtech. The top poker rooms under the iPoker network include the household names of Bet365 and William Hill. Yes, two of the UK’s top online sportsbooks are using iPoker for their online poker gaming, and this shows the size of the network when you combine the customer base of both brands together.

The network centres around the low and middle stake games with Hold’Em and Omaha being the popular options, with plenty of big cash tournaments and loyalty rewards on offer as well. You can be sure of two things on the iPoker network, big bonuses and 24/7 action no matter what time of day it is. 

iPoker Top Rooms:

MPN

MPN

MPN, formerly known as the Microgaming Poker Network, has gone on to become one of the biggest names in the poker networks list. It does trail behind iPoker in terms of the number of big-brand names but that doesn’t mean they haven’t got their fair share of top poker rooms themselves.

The likes of Grosvenor Casino and Betsson are both partnering up with the MPN to give their casino and sports customers a taste of the poker action. All of the usual games are available on the MPN and you’ll always find tables to play at the lower limits, although expect to wait during non-peak hours to play the higher stake games. Guaranteed cash prize tournaments take place over the weekend and there are several worthwhile deposit bonus and reload offers available as well. 

MPN Top Rooms:

Poker Network Rules

It always pays to read the rules of poker before you start playing. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing at an independent site like PokerStars or a network of multiple sites, the rules and table etiquette remain the same. Yes, sometimes you might get unlucky and get the rude player whose sole aim is to aggravate everyone else, but pay no mind to them because they’ll soon get banned from the network. Try and keep in mind the following advice when playing poker online and you’ll always find a friendly crowd to play with:

Poker Network Strategies

You can play poker in various ways and your gameplay comes down to your own style and character. Are you a risk taker who likes to force the game on others or do you prefer to sit back and take a more calculated view on the game? You’ll come across loose players, passive players, aggressive players, and they all play in certain styles that come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Learning how to deal with each style of player and managing your own game is key to becoming a great poker player. Of course, you will encounter a bluff every now and then, but these will do you no harm, quite the contrary these players will help you step up your game.

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Poker Network Etiquette

Poker should be played with a spirit of fair play in mind and if all players come to the table knowing the poker etiquette then everyone will enjoy the game a lot more. No cursing in the chat box is a big rule and anyone doing so will usually end up getting kicked out of the room very quickly. Giving hints as to why you have folded your hand should not be expressed due to the unfair advantage being gained by other players, and we would also advise against deliberate slow play. Follow these etiquette tips and you’ll be appreciated by fellow players and network moderators in every poker room that you play in.

Online Poker Network Tools

The internet is full of poker strategies and ‘how-to’ guides that you really should read if you want to become a better player. It gives you an excellent advantage over many casual players, and this is key if you want to start winning more pots and tournaments. However, there are illegal tools out there on the web that give players unfair advantages such as poker bots and auto-folding software. These are strictly prohibited and any sign of you using them will result in you being banned and blacklisted from the network.

Tricks of the Trade

Playing at the biggest poker networks can bring many advantages as we’ve already pointed out earlier. However, understanding what to look for in a poker network and how to find the best poker rooms will give you a head start. You need to be playing at the best sites who offer the best deals if you want to be winning and making money at poker.

Plenty Of Poker Fish

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Many online casinos and sports betting sites join up with poker networks to further extend their gaming services to customers. The poker tables seem like exciting opportunities for slots players and bingo lovers but the thing is, they don’t really understand the game of poker all that well. What does that mean for you? Lots of inexperienced poker fish to play against!

The Multi-Sign Up

Sign up to multiple poker rooms within a network and enjoy the benefits from each site because simply put, there are no rules against it. Some networks might enforce small conditions such as a period of inactivity at one site before you sign up to another. If this is the case then you can jump between networks and make the most of even more poker rooms. However, you’ll find that most networks allow players to sign up and move around poker rooms freely.

Poker Bonus Paradise

Following on from the above tip is the fact that playing at networks allow you to claim multiple bonus deals. Many of the bigger networks have over 100 individual poker sites and each one will have a welcome bonus deal upon sign up. It’s not hard to see the amount of poker bonus money you can enjoy at just one network!

Know Your Poker Networks

If you stumble across a poker site that you like the look of but you’re still unsure as to where this site actually belongs, fear not. Simply scroll down to the bottom of the homepage and you’ll find the general site information that provides where it is licensed, which banking options are available, and if applicable, the name of the online poker network to which the site has partnered up with. If you know which networks to play at and which to stay clear of then you can make a quick call on whether to sign up or not.

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