Online Traps to Avoid
One of the biggest traps to avoid online is a huge bonus that looks great but the fine print requires endless hours of playing in order to qualify. Sure the bonus may be $1000 but you would have to play everyday for 5 months to get it.
Don't bother with rooms that have low player traffic. Besides the obvious reason that there are less games to choose from. Some of the smaller rooms will actually hire shills. Shills are players that get a huge discount on rake or are sometimes even payed by the hour to play.
Even some land based card rooms in Las Vegas, Reno and L.A. do this. It is not cheating or illegal. These players are playing with their own money and get no special help. During the slow times they are positioned by management to specific tables in order to get games started or keep them going.
Online this is usually done at newer rooms that don't have solid player traffic yet. That way when a new player comes in looking for a game there will be players they can compete against.
The problem is many of these shill players may be advanced or low to mid stakes professionals trying to squeeze out a few extra bucks an hour. And they are not going to be easy competition. No online poker room is going to advertise doing this. I know who they are but I don't want to mention them for obvious reasons. But I will tell show you the poker rooms that don't do it.
Also smaller poker rooms may be less likely to hunt for things like collusion or other unethical acts. Since they may be desperate to keep any players they can get. Or don't have the resources to take precautions against them. They also have less to lose than the bigger established rooms.
In general the bigger the room the better for these reasons. A big room has no reason to cheat or allow players to cheat. They are making tons of money running a legitimate card room and the last thing there going to allow is some kind of funny business. They also have greater resources to hire programmers that create programs specifically designed to spot illegal or unethical acts by monitoring players.
I'm sure there are many small online poker rooms that do provide secure online poker games. That do not use shrills. And have great bonuses. The information on this page is only stating my opinion. I have no hard data, reports or statistics to prove any of my opinions. Which are pure speculation based on hear say, word of mouth, or random reading.