POKER SITES - real money poker rooms and live dealer poker
Wait a minute … are you telling me that I can actually play online poker with real money?
That’s right … there are dozens of online poker sites strewn around the web that let you face off against fellow players and wager real money. Poker, as true players know well, is at its best when there are stakes. This is why none of those cutesy little Texas Hold ‘Em video poker apps will ever come close to comparing to the rush that comes with playing poker for real money online. I don’t know about you, but aside from maybe providing a bit of practice, I have little to no interest in playing online poker for tokens or points. There are a couple crucial factors needed for me to truly get into the game.
The first thing is, as I have said, being able to wager real money. Secondly, though (and arguably just as important, as far as I am concerned), is being able to play against new players. The strategy behind the game of poker is, at its heart, partly psychological in nature. The best poker players know how to read people, their opponents. This is why the best online poker sites do so much more than simply let you play a hand against a computer … video poker, if you ask me, is hardly poker at all.
I need the thrill and the unpredictable nature of cash games played against real people. After all, where is the fun in trying to figure out if a computer is bluffing? It’s just playing the hands it has been programmed to play. People, on the other hand, are complicated. They are bold; sometimes foolish, sometimes brilliant . Half the fun of playing the game, whether its online poker or at a casino table, is trying to read your opponent, trying to keep yourself from being read. The other half of the fun, of course stems from having something tangible at stake. And what’s more tangible than cold, hard cash?
Fortunately, though, you can put your digital tokens away for good and get out your wallet. Today, you are going to receive a crash course in the best online poker sites that offer plenty of real money poker rooms and hoardes of new players whose cash is up for grabs (so long as you play your cards right, that is).
What do all of the best poker sites have in common? How did you decide what sites to include in this list?
If you have been to BettingDude.com before, then you already know that I don’t waste my time (or yours) reviewing subpar sites. Every single online poker site found on this list is, in one way or another, exceptional. It is hard enough as it is to find an online poker site that you can trust. Google is littered with irreputable, dishonest, poorly designed sites. This is because, well, unfortunately, anyone with a little bit of money and a rudimentary understanding of coding can technically create a poker site. Whether it is legitimate, though, that is a different story altogether.
What I am in the business of doing, however, is filtering out all of the garbage and providing you with a handy lsit of in-depth reviews, making it as easy as it should be to find only the best of the best online poker sites that the internet has to offer. As a longtime player who has a serious reverance for poker, I wanted to make sure that other serious players were able to find the top poker sites for them. The more people that there are to play online poker, the more real money there is for me to win (bring it on!).
And the more accessible it is for people to find info on the best online poker sites, the more new players there will be to play against. Makes sense, right? What separates the best online poker rooms from the mediocre, though? What are the qualities that I look for when I am evaluating these poker sites? Well, let’s dive right into the nitty gritty, shall we, and figure that out.
Reputation, reputation, reputation
Shall I say it one more time, just for good measure? … Reputation … This is one of the most important things (arguably the most important thing) to take into account when considering one poker site over another. As we have already established, when it comes to playing poker online, real money is at stake — at least if you are on a poker site worth playing. Therefore, you want to make sure that the site in question is to be trusted.
Does the poker site has a history of controversial customer complaints? Have they ever been accused of withholding winnings for any reason? Do they have an accessible and helpful customer support service? Or, in a worst case scenario, have they ever been accused of scamming or cheating players?
To find out the answers to these questons, I always start my reviews with any relevant information on the history of the company in question. It seems a logical enough place to start (start at the beginning, right?). More importantly, though, by investigating a poker site’s history, any potential red flags can be addressed upfront. Again, I would never even give a scam site the time of day (let alone a whole review.
However, if there is anything noteworthy as it pertains to an online poker site’s history, I will always be sure to let you know as early on as possible. No sense in reading the rest if it turns out that the poker site in question has done anything in the past that makes you uneasy about becoming a player there today. When it comes to chooing the poker sites on which you will deposit your hard-earned money, you should never be taking a gamble.
Design and user experience can make all the difference
There are a plethora of online poker sites from which to choose. That is why you should never have to settle for online poker rooms that are shoddily designed, offer poor graphics, have slow or laggy gameplay, or are cumbersome to navigate. The best poker room is the poker room that creates an immersive, smooth, and intuitive user experience. Some online poker rooms do this through exquisite in-browser wen design. Others offer a downloadable standalone poker room application. Others, still, rely most heavily on their mobile app.
The poker sites that are the best, however, are the ones that provide a real money poker experience that comes as close to emulating the real life poker experience as possible. Your poker room should feel, well, like a poker room … not like a cheaply thrown together website on which you can play poker. Whether you prefer to play poker through your web browser, mobile device, or a standalone program is up to you, but the best poker sites offer the best, most immersive poker experience.
Some of these poker sites are going to excel in different areas, as far as design is concerned. All you have to do is figure out which kind of poker rooms you like best (standalone, browser-based, or mobile app) and then read through my reviews to find out which of the listed poker sites offer the user experience that you prefer.
Features, games, and competition
Although it is undoubtedly the most popular, Texas Hold ‘Em ain’t the only online poker game that you can play for real money. Each of the poker sites you will find here has a slightly different menu of game types available. Maybe you like the occasional game of Seven Card Stud. Perhaps you’re all about Razz or Five Card Draw. Maybe Omaha is more you style. Whatever the case may be, the best sites for online poker are going the be the ones that make it possible for you to play the cash games you like best.
That is not where the decision-making process ends, though. You also want to find poker sites that challenge you in just the right amount. In other words, if you are a pro poker player, you probably want to play with other high rollers. If you are new to the game, I doubt you want to be going up against veteran players who don’t flinch at a $5,000 bet. Different online poker sites, generally speaking, tend to attract a different demographics. Some are even created around the idea of being evenly matched and, thus, filter players of similar skill levels into the same poker rooms. With real money on the line, you have to play smart.
Poker sites differentiate themselves from one another in other ways, too. For instance, some poker sites allow players to choose whether they want to partake in cash games or wager cryptocurrency. Other online poker sites offer rather alluring gifts for becoming a customer.
One thing to keep an eye out for when weighing your options is the welcome bonus. Who doesn’t like free money? With a generous welcome bonus, which usually amounts to real money you can play with (perhaps in the form of a deposit match up to a certain amount). Play your cards right and you could easily triple or quadruple your initial deposit in a matter of minutes thanks to a good welcome bonus. Any online poker site that is worth your time and money will give you something upon signing up.
Do any of these real money poker sites accept US players?
As a United States citizen myself, I know how hard it can be to find an online poker site that lets you play real money poker. Thanks to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, very few online poker sites (or any sit4s that allow you to gamble or bet online, for that matter) have had the courage to accept US players. And of the handful that do, more often than not, they only allow online poker players from 2 states: Nevada and New Jersey.
However, I do have some good news for you, my fellow Americans. Thanks to the relatively recent advent of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, the floodgates have been busted open and there is now a sea of online poker sites from which we can choose. We may not be able to play poker online with our dollar directly, but as long as you don’t mind turning a few of your dollars into bitcoin, you can play online poker just about anywhere (so long as the poker site in question is not based in the US).
There are other practical benefits, too, to wagering bitcoin when you play online poker. For one thing, payouts are almost instantaneous. Because bitcoin does not get transferred through a traditional banking system, when you decide that it is time to cash in your chips, most online poker sites will deposit that bitcoin to your crypto wallet in just 10 minutes or so. That beats the hell out of the 3 to 7 business days that players often have to wait to reap the rewards from their online poker games if using traditional money.
Even better than this instant gratification, though, is the fact that the best online poker sites do not charge a withdrawal fee for bitcoin. Considering the fact that some online poker rooms can charge players up to 10% of their winnings (the reasons for which fall somewhere on a spectrum between covering eBanking fees on one end to downright greed on the other). It is much more difficult, though, for poker sites to justify charging players for withdrawals when it does not cost a cent to transfer bitcoin.
This is truly the golden age of online poker for the US. Never before have we had so many poker sites at our disposal.
Okay, enough beating around the bush … what is the best poker site on the web?
I really wish I could give you an easy answer to this question. Unfortunately, as is often the case, there is no easy answer. This question is far too subjective! The best sites for online poker games depend entirely on what it is that you are looking for — what kinds of poker games you prefer, your skill level, the sort of user experience you like, etc.
Sure, I give every one of these poker sites my own rating out of 5 stars. And some of the poker sites listed here have those 5-star ratings. It is important to remember, though, that even though I do my best to review these poker sites in as objective a way as possible, if you want to get philosophical about it, an objective review is something of a paradox. No matter what, my opinions are most definitely going to be affecting the score that I give a site.
Hell, if you really want to break it down, the very system of evaluation that I have devised for these online poker sites is a result of nothing other than what I think is important. Granted, I do think it is a fairly effective way to critique online poker sites, but, again, I am probably a bit biased. Remember, even the worst-rated poker site here is still the worst of the best on the web (since I only bother reviewing the best poker sites). Therefore, a site that I give a 2-star rating could be the perfecgt poker site for you — it all depends, at the end of the day, what it is that you are looking for.
I am sorry that I don’t have a neater, cleaner answer for you than that. I’m afraid that the best poker site on the web is going to be the one that ticks the most boxes when it comes to what matters to you. That being said, I can guatrantee one thing: you will undoubtedly find that illusive perfect poker site here. All you have to do is browse my reviews and, in a matter of just a few minutes, I am 100% confident that you’ll be on the best poker site for you.
So, what are you wating for? Go find the best poker site and start winning real money today!