Anyone that has ever played through an online poker site, by either downloading their software or playing through the webpage itself, should know that these poker sites are actually part of a larger community. This community, where online poker rooms join forces, is called a network. It is true that these poker sites do not need to become a part of a poker network in order to function, but there are a lot of benefits for them when they do join. The poker network handles the larger picture stuff, in how they operate, their software, and even with how they handle the financial side of things. The individual poker sites that make up a network usually handle the specifics, such as rules and regulations, and how the website operates and looks like – not to mention legalities such as licenses.
Poker Network Operations
With the diverse, and high number of, poker networks that are in business makes for a very competitive environment. Each network must determine what market they want to enter, which depends on how they want to operate. There are two options, where the networks can pick one or the other, or even a combination of the two. Networks usually enter one of two markets; there is the US friendly market and the Non-US friendly market. For those networks that choose to exclude the US poker players from their websites, are usually the networks that do not want to adhere to the new, stricter policies that the US has recently passed in order to regulate online gambling. Due to so many networks excluding the US, some networks have taken this opportunity to jump into the ignored US market; some networks that currently do this is the Merge Gaming Network and Yatahay (currently known as the Winning Poker) Network. They do have to adhere to stricter rules when it comes to gambling age limit, as well as with the financials.
Poker Network Software
The vast majority of the poker networks create and develop their own online gambling software, such as the required poker software that the players use. This one of the benefits that the online poker sites, that joins a network, have. They do not need to go to a third party source for their software, and the same network will create personalized software. The networks do not use one software package for each website; they do develop them to fit each websites preferences and taste.
The financial side of the online poker world depends entirely on the networks operate. If the network is the type to exclude the US, then they are not required to follow certain rules, which gives them and their players more freedom when it comes to depositing and withdrawing from the site. As for the networks that are US friendly, they have other guidelines that need to be met in order for a player to deposit and withdraw from the site. Another aspect that is determined by this is the currency that will be used. Almost every single network, both US and non-US, allow the use of Dollars since it is an internationally used currency. However, for those non-US sites they also allow other currencies such as the Euro and the British Pound.
Poker Network Benefits
As mentioned before, a big benefit of being part of a network is the software development. Other perks include traffic, accounts, and competitiveness. When websites join a network, they tend to share the traffic count. This means they share the amount of users that play each time frame, such as day or hour. This will mean an increase for both sites in this regards, making it more popular. The websites within the network can also choose to share player accounts, since the accounts can be stored in one central location. This means that the player does not need to create multiple accounts for each online poker site within a specific network. Using the popularity of the combined sites, the network as a whole can also compete at a higher level against the other networks.