Truth be told, there are few “high stakes” poker sites out there. There are a couple of reasons for this. For one thing, few sites have the needed traits I outline below. Secondly, the high stakes community is pretty small. Since there are fewer high stakes players, it makes more sense for them to stick to the same sites. They have to worry about their hourly rates, too, so you can bet your ass they’ll stick to only the best high stakes poker sites.
Like the ones we have listed on this page.
3 Traits That Make Up the Best High Stakes Poker Sites
If you’re a high stakes player, chances are that you play poker for a living, or for fun, but you have a (large) disposable income. Either way, there are a few traits you should look for in a poker site before signing up. These are very important to making sure have games to play, are capable of paying your bills and getting the most bang for your buck.
1. High Stakes Poker Sites Need Traffic
All poker sites need traffic. However, high stakes need traffic more.
The reason why I say that is because a lot of the poker economy starts at the lower stakes. As players get better and build their bankroll, they take shots at higher stakes. However, if there aren’t that many players at a site, few of them are likely to be at the higher stakes, let alone enough of them for a game to run. And if there are few players, there are likely to be few grinders capable of building a bankroll and moving up. They’re grinding a bankroll elsewhere.
Another reason why you need traffic is so that the higher stakes games actually have fish. The fewer players a site has, the more regs you’re likely to be up against. And you don’t make your money against good players. You make them against bad players.
2. High Stakes Poker Sites Have (Generous) VIP Programs
It’s very important that you find a poker site that has a VIP program. The reason for this is simple.
If you’re spending a lot of money anywhere, you are bound to be rewarded for it. Take brick and mortar casinos, for example, The more money you spend, the more buffets, free rooms, shows and spa treatments the casino will reward you. They do this because you’ve spent a lot of money and have been loyal to them. It’s the same for online poker, so long as you find a room that offers it.
It’s not just enough to find a poker site that has a VIP program, though. It needs to be a good one. What should a good VIP program have? Simple:
- Points for every dollar you spend. These points can be used for cash, to buy into tournaments or to buy things from the site’s store.
- Cashback rewards, preferably paid into your account daily.
- Access to member only freerolls.
- One-on-one service.
… and the list goes on and on. The point is that if you’re spending a lot of money in rake, especially with online poker, being as their overhead is low, you should be getting some of it back. Some of the largest sites online reward their highest earning players with 50-75% or more of what was originally paid into the rake.
3. High Stakes Poker Sites Should Have Solid Banking
If you play for a lot of money, banking should be very important. Since you’ll be doing mostly withdrawals (unless you’re really bad and having to reload all the time), that’s what should capture your attention the most.
When it comes to withdrawals, you need an option that is fast. Options like bank wires, money transfers or e-wallets. If you can get a withdrawal to your debit / credit card then that would be ideal, too. Whatever the option is it should be fast. PokerStars is a great example of what fast is. I’ve had bank wires that made it from my player account to my bank account in less than 36 hours. With operators like this there’s just no reason to settle for the guys that take 2-3 months to pay you, especially if you’re one of their high rollers.
Another thing you’ll want to be concerned about are fees. If you’re a high stakes player, you should definitely not have to pay any fees, at least on the operator end (the poker site has no control over what your bank may charge you).