Poker is one of the world’s most popular card games, thanks in huge part to the introduction of televised poker events like the World Series of Poker (WSOP) which has turned big prize winners like Australia’s Joe Hachem and American hero Chris Moneymaker into household names. As the popularity of the game soared and continues to rise, it’s no surprise that poker has solidly established itself within the online gambling community.
Playing online poker offers an abundance of advantages that you won’t find in a land-based poker venue, including better game variety, fantastic cash bonuses and access to ongoing worldwide tournaments. Add to that the comfort of being able to play from your own home in your pyjamas if you so desire, or giving you a reason to look forward to the train commute to work and it’s not hard to see why so many poker players are making the switch to playing online.
We take a look at what sites are on offer below, along with the available secure payment methods on offer to give you an idea of what the world of virtual poker has to offer.
Real money poker sites for players
There is no shortage of online poker operators on the web, but it’s important to choose a reputable venue that’s known for its security and player satisfaction. We recommend secure poker sites
Ignition Poker is relatively new to the market, with Ignition purchasing the poker room from Bovada in 2016. The downloadable poker client features cash games and tournaments with Texas Hold’em and Omaha variants available. Don’t expect to find mixed games, such as H.O.R.S.E, here however. Bitcoin is your friend at Ignition, with a $2000 match deposit bonus when you sign up (wagering requirements apply) and free withdrawals. Other payment methods incur a $75 fee or you can play to climb up the VIP tiers to receive free withdrawals.
Intertops Poker has been around since 1996 and offers a downloadable client which you can install on your PC or Mac, or play instantly via your browser. The site offers Texas Hold’em and Omaha variants, which you will find in both cash game and tournament formats. When you sign up you are limited to a $20 maximum account balance, however you can email customer support and request a higher limit. There’s also a 200% match deposit welcome bonus of up to $1000 when you sign up to Intertops – read the review here.
Poker players love this site for many reasons, one being the incredible welcome bonus on offer. New players placing their first real money deposit can take advantage of a generous sign up bonus along with an ever rotating list of incredible welcome promotions that include cash and real prizes like PlayStations, GoPro’s and iPhones. 888 Poker games can be played instantly over a web browser, via the easy download software or on Android mobile devices by downloading the app. Games on offer include Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi/Lo, 7 Card Stud and No Limit Poker.
With an excess of 40,000 active users playing at any given time, PokerStars is the leading poker site on the Internet, making it a highly recommended venue for players to play virtual poker for free or real money. Compatible over a range of devices including desktop computers, iOS and Android. PokerStars only requires a quick software download to open the doors to a range of awesome games including Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi/Lo, HORSE, Seven Card Stud, Razz and Badugi.
Full Tilt Poker
Sink your teeth into an assortment of poker rooms including Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Stud, Stud Hi/Lo, 5 Card Stud, Draw Poker and some lesser known variants like Irish Poker. Full Tilt Poker software requires a quick and easy download to any desktop or laptop computer and also offers a mobile app version to Android users. This flawless poker venue uses a gorgeous user interface and offers a tonne of sought after tournaments, making it a hugely popular site for to play real money online poker.
Different online poker formats
More than just the poker game variations (like Hold’em or Omaha) there are several different formats to Internet poker games. The three main formats found in online poker are:
Cash Games – these are the standard real money games played by the casual online poker player, where games can be entered or exited at any time. There are six to 10 players per table and each game is played to a pre-established betting variation either for a fixed limit, no limit or pot limit.
Sit and Go Tournaments (SNG’S) – SNG tournaments require a minimum of two players and can involve 100s of players. It is as it sounds, there is a cap on the amount of players in the tournament, when 45, 100 or whatever number of entries is received the tournament will begin. Each punter begins with the same amount of chips and competes against all other players until only one player remains, making that player the winner. When more than two players are involved, those who place second and third are also eligible for prizes. SNG’s require more time and dedication than a simple cash game.
Scheduled Tournaments (or Multi Table Tournaments/MTTs) – this is the kind of major tournament you will find in a real life casino or during a televised poker event, with set entry fees and scheduled dates. Prize pools in MTTs are predetermined based on the number of players involved and like SNGs each player has an equal amount of chips and play until they run out. These are generally the most played tournaments and often can win you seats into bigger land-based events like the .
Secure payment methods for poker players
Players at trusted poker sites as detailed above can be assured that their money is always in safe hands.
A range of secure payment services are offered via these poker rooms, with fast deposits and withdrawals available in several currencies. Trusted payment methods for players include:
- Credit and debit cards including Visa and MasterCard
These sites use the latest in 128-bit Secure Socket Layer Digital Encryption technology (that’s Internet jargon for the best security available on the market, the same standard employed by international banks) to guarantee player security at all times.
Some sites above operate using US dollars, so upon depositing a different currency, cash is converted to American dollars at the current exchange rate. When withdrawing your winnings, the USD will simply be converted back into your using the same exchange rate as the initial date of conversion. A fee will likely be incurred.
The benefits of playing Internet poker
Playing Internet poker brings many advantages over playing at a bricks and mortar gambling venue and while it all comes down to personal preference, some of the benefits of playing online poker include:
Convenience – with so many platforms including mobile play, the chance to enjoy poker at any hour of the day from anywhere you can secure an internet connection is much more appealing than getting dressed up to go out and spend additional money on drinks and taxis if gambling within a land based venue. While playing with friends in real life can be a great social event, online poker offers plenty of social interaction between players to maintain those fun social elements. You can also direct your friends to the same online games so you are essentially still playing against them, while saving your poker nights out for special occasions.
Variety – the variety of poker games found online is much greater than those typically offered within a land based casino, with titles that are virtually impossible to find offline. Poker variants include Texas Holdem, Omaha, Seven Card Stud, Razz, Draw Poker and mixed games like HORSE. There are some even less well known variants out there, with more games constantly finding their way online.
Tournaments – poker tournaments are so much fun, however those outside of the professional or semi-pro poker scene often miss out without the insight of where to play or due to unaffordable entry costs. Online poker tournaments at sites like 888Poker are happening all the time and are easy for anyone to enter, no matter your skill level. Tournaments can be entered from as little as a few cents all the way up to $2,000, offering something suitable for all players.
Cash Bonuses – one thing you certainly won’t find at any land-based poker game is cash bonuses. Online poker venues constantly reward their players, from welcome bonuses, to real prize promotions, to loyalty programs and weekly prize pools. Not only is there sweet real money to be won by gambling but the boost of additional cash bonuses and prizes definitely adds an extra layer of appeal.
Best Casinos Offering Poker
Poker against the dealer at online casinos
The following list of secure and licensed online casinos offer single player poker we can enjoy against the dealer, such as casino hold’em, triple pocket hold’em, Texas hold’em, pai gow poker, poker pursuit, Caribbean stud and more.
More useful poker guides
- 7 Card Stud
- 3 Card Poker
- How to play Razz Poker
- Top 5 Australian poker players of All time
- Top 6 best fictional poker players
- How to play Pai Gow Poker
- Caribbean Stud poker
- Rules of 5 Card Draw and Stud
- How to play HORSE poker
To experience why so many are now choosing this form of gambling, head to Ignition Poker or Intertops Poker and start playing for free or real money wagers and see for yourself the benefits of playing Internet poker.