Online Poker Real Money – Top 10 Real Money Poker Sites for 2021
Welcome aboard, my fellow poker connoisseurs. I’m Adrian Sterne, your tour guide for today. I know that finding a legitimate online poker platform may seem like a daunting task, with so many options to choose from. That’s why I wrote this article — to help you identify the best poker sites for real money.
Since you probably can’t take my word for it, I provided a detailed explanation as to why I consider my picks to be genuinely the best. However, this guide is much more than a top poker sites list. I will also talk about the best real money poker apps, blacklisted poker sites, the most popular deposit methods you can use on online poker platforms and more.
By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll be familiar with the following poker-related things:
Let’s get started, shall we?
Best Real Money Poker SitesIn order to simplify your life, I’ve scoured the Internet in a quest to find the most reliable and trustworthy online poker rooms around. Separating the wheat from the chaff was not an easy task, but I was able to single out several first-class options.
Feel free to check them out below
How I Rate Real Money Poker Sites
Before I recommend any poker site, it must go through my stringent internal vetting process. I take into consideration only the operators that pass my strict criteria and put many hours of time into these sites to determine whether they are truly the best options. Read on below and you’ll understand how I hand-picked the sites from my page.
One of the best forms of entertainment on the internet happens to be playing real money poker. Gone are the days when people hung out playing poker together because today there are hundreds of different legal online poker sites that allow you to play for real money wherever you are. Compared to just 5 years ago when there were only a handful of quality options, this is an incredible achievement of the online gambling industry.
However, this also makes for a tough task. Finding the best real money poker website that can fulfil your needs is harder than ever. It’s even tougher for the new players that have only recently developed interest in playing poker and don’t know what to do.
The variables to consider are numerous, and a rookie player can easily get overwhelmed by all the details when signing up with a particular real money poker site. The biggest fear is if the player has landed on a legitimate site where the withdrawal of his winnings and his security are guaranteed.
The length of time in the industry of a poker site is one of the first things to consider. This speaks a lot about its legitimacy. Of course, there have been and always will be exclusions. But, in general this is a valid point.
Those that make the exclusions are sites that have been long time in the industry but have failed to instill confidence in the poker community through their actions. This is mainly because they have failed to successfully process deposits and cashouts, especially the latter. A site that has a long history of complaints about cashouts is a site to be avoided.
Every year we see many new online poker rooms. Some end up doing just fine and deserve your trust. But, it’s always best to go with an established brand at first. When the new names have made a firm reputation, you can try them out then.
Here are some other important aspects to consider.
Safety and trustworthiness come firstThe safety of my readers is paramount, which is why the first thing I check is whether the site has a proper license. Only when I’m sure that the site is licensed by a reputable regulatory body will I consider putting it on the list.
Apart from having a well-known jurisdiction that regulates its operations, a poker site should use cutting-edge security measures like the SSL technology. With these safety protocols in place, your confidential data will be protected at all times.
The best online poker rooms and gambling sites in general make use of the 1024-bit encryption technology which protects the operations from third-party interference. This protects the players’ personal information, credit card details and the money on their accounts. Other security measures employed by reliable poker sites are regular audits from specialized companies such as eCOGRa which test the provable fairness of their software.
The poker room must be generousThe poker operator must look after both newcomers and regular players. An enticing welcome bonus is a must, but the site should provide rewarding incentives for ongoing players as well.
I always pick poker rooms that feature cashback and Rakeback promotions that could help you get your lost money back. Most sites from my list also boast some kind of a loyalty scheme that constantly rewards returning players.
Every operator must offer a versatile game selectionThe games available on the real money poker sites can also play a decisive role when choosing your preferred operator. The main purpose of these sites is entertainment, which is why players should be able to access the games which fit them the most.
Although Hold’em and Omaha are the two most popular variants of poker, some players like to have more options to explore like Stud, Draw, Razz and several others. That’s why I always pick poker websites that offer numerous poker varieties to keep things interesting. For example, Omaha is available in two formats – High and High/Low, as well as Stud which has 5-Card and 7-Card versions of the game.
Apart from the games mentioned above, some of the best real money poker sites even include mixed poker games in their selection. A famous example of this type is the game H.O.R.S.E., which is actually an acronym for Hold’Em, Omaha High/Low, Razz, Stud (7-Card) and Eight or Better.
The operator should also offering a variety of SNGs and tournaments and have modern formats like Spin and Go and fast-fold poker. While reviewing poker sites, I also look at the betting range that should be suitable for both recreational players and high rollers.
Ultimately, one of the latest inventions regarding this aspect is live poker. These are specific poker games which are run by a live dealer transmitted through digital video while dealing the cards in a studio or an actual poker room, on a poker table. It is much more interactive than standard poker, as players can communicate both with the dealer and other players through a live chat room.
Every recommended site should accept a wide range of payment methodsIf you don’t have means of depositing and withdrawing money to and from your account, all other aspects are irrelevant. I always look for operators that offer a number of universally used payment methods like credit/debit cards, e-wallets, wire transfer, Skrill, PayPal and cryptocurrencies etc.
I also try to keep the list clean by putting only the operators that have easy-to-use payment options with low withdrawal fees and high deposit limits. If an operator needs an eternity to facilitate withdrawals, it certainly won’t get a recommendation from me.
Each site must provide around-the-clock customer supportThe customer support segment is another crucial consideration that can help poker players to choose the best site. Forget the software and the number of games if you can’t get a decent customer support. As even the most experienced poker players sometimes have trouble finding their way around the poker platform.
Customer support is one of the most important things when using any type of service, not just poker services. Imagine you have some issue with your deposit or other like software glitch, problems with your account etc., and you can’t resolve it because the customer support is rude, unprofessional and not helpful at all. Now, imagine customer support that helps you resolve the problem in just 2 minutes. Which site would you choose?
That’s where responsive customer service comes in handy. If you need help with locating a particular feature, the customer support representatives can point you in the right direction.
It should consist of several contact channels such as a toll-free phone line, an email and a live chat option. It is advisable to look for reviews regarding this aspect or test the agents’ responsiveness yourself before risking your hard earned cash. Another useful feature which is present at reputable poker sites is an FAQ section.
Blacklisted Real Money Poker SitesThe online poker industry is booming, with new sites popping out each month. And with so many possibilities to choose from, it can be tricky to distinguish a difference between a legit and a shady operator. If you make the wrong call, you might get ripped off.
I don’t want anything like that to happen to you, which is why I comprised a list of blacklisted poker sites — the ones that should be avoided at all costs. These sites are unregulated and utilize poor security protocols for safekeeping personal data. Some of them also have a proven terrible track record for stalled payments or have cheated their users in some way.
Here is the list of the notorious poker rooms you should stay away from.
|Operator||Why it got blacklisted||Explanation||Status|
|Lock Poker||Stalled payments||Lock Poker emerged as one of the most promising poker platforms after the retreats of Full Tilt, Pokerstars, and other industry giants in 2011. They quickly made a name for themselves by offering generous RB promotions and organizing the best tournament lineups in the business. Things took a turn for the worst when the site began halting withdrawals from 2012 to 2015. In 2014, it was revealed that Lock still owed $3 million to its players.|
|OddsPoker||Confiscated bonus winnings||OddsPoker was accused in several forums of denying its players of their rightfully deserved bonus winnings. The site still operates under the Antigua license, but I would recommend you to stay away from it.|
Real Money Poker vs Free Poker
Earlier, I briefly mentioned the differences between playing poker for free and playing for real money. I guess you can say that each variant has its pros and cons, depending on the kind of action you’re trying to get at the poker table.
Playing for free is great for learning the game rules and betting options. It’s fun, fast-paced, and you don’t have to worry about making a mistake because you’re not actually risking anything. However, the obvious downside is that you can’t make real money at free play poker tables.
On the other hand, real money poker can be challenging, and often stressful, but it’s the only way you’re ever going to learn about all the intricacies of the game and capitalize on that knowledge.
Checklist On Choosing The Right Real Money Site for you
In the previous section, I went into the whys and wherefores of how a particular poker site got into my top list, revealing my entire evaluation process. However, ultimately, it all boils down to choosing an operator that suits your betting preferences and skills. If you’re a recreational player who enjoys a casual online poker game, then your requirements differ from those of a high roller who’s seeking some high-stakes poker action.
Start by reading reviews provided by our poker players on this website for each poker rooms. The shortest way to filter out the good real money poker sites and find out what they offer is through reviews. Reviews provide insight into details like best games, deposit limits, issues with the customer support, usability of the software on different devices etc.
While some review sites offer biased and sponsored reviews, other like this one offer reviews made by experienced players, players that have actually used the services of the poker site in question. There are many review sites on the internet, which is even better because you get to read about different points of views.
Before you start playing poker for real cash, you should determine which category you fall into, and I’m going to help you with that. Below, I’ve listed the key factors you should consider before switching to real money poker play.
Why Should You Even Play for Real Money?
If you want to take your game to another level, you must step away from free-to-play poker tables where everyone is going all-in all the time, without actually caring if they lose or not. Players at the real money poker tables don’t recklessly throw their chips. Simply put, playing in “free play” poker tables isn’t going to give you an insight into how players are going to behave when real money is at stake.
Measure Your Poker Skill
However, for a serious player who wants to move up through the stakes, there is a definitive need to pick a trade. The list of options for high rollers is not exhaustive, as many of the top poker sites are famous for soft competition and don’t feature a lot of high-stakes tables.
Check Out the Legitimacy of the Site
Just to be on the safe side, you should also check the operator’s reputation among the poker community. Reputable review portals and poker forums can give you an insight into the sites that are safe to join. You should do a thorough background check on the poker site’s history; check customer complaints and anything else that could help get a better picture of how players are treated.
Attention To Selection of Bonuses as Well As Terms
Bonus offers can be found on most online poker rooms and gambling sites, causing a lot of players to abandon brick-and-mortar gambling establishments. There are many different kinds of bonus offers available in order to fit the player profile. The most famous bonuses include the No Deposit Welcome Bonus which awards players for creating an account with a certain operator and the First Deposit Bonus which matches the players’ initial deposit to a certain percentage.
A bad beat bonus is also available at some online poker rooms. It specifically targets those players who have a strong hand, but they end up being beat by someone with an even stronger hand. Poker rooms normally use it to show appreciation for their players’ skills and luck.
Promotions are another incentive to attract players to real money poker sites. Time-limited promotions are usually related to certain events such as tournaments, while others are offered on a regular basis.
VIP Loyalty Programs are also popular among poker players. These are usually tiered programs which award players for reaching a certain level. Most of the time, this is done by constant deposits and active play which allows the players to accumulate a significant amount of points.
If you are still struggling to find where to play poker, have a look at Online Poker America to get more lists of poker rooms for players from America.
Almost all bonus offers at poker sites are seemingly fantastic, offering massive amounts of money for both newcomers and regular players. Many players end up joining the promotions they don’t fully understand. However, you should look beyond the sheer size of the bonus and pay attention to the terms and conditions.
These unclear and often confusing terms trick players into making less informed decisions which they end up regretting later. You should avoid poker sites with stringent bonus T&C that make it impossible for players to actually collect any winnings.
Look for a Poker Site With a Solid Poker Traffic
High traffic poker sites offer big guarantees in their scheduled tournaments. The prize pools depend on the number of participants, so bigger sites means bigger wins. And this is great news for poker players dreaming of raking in the big tournament bucks.
Usability and Functionality of the Site Are Vital
Another issue is if the client runs on an obsolete software, you’ll probably experience technical difficulties the majority of time you spend browsing the site. Worst case scenario — it will break in the middle of your poker session.
Try to find a poker site that runs on up-to-date software — the one that gives players a seamless experience. This way, you’ll spare yourself from a lot of frustration at the real money poker table.
The Site Must Be Mobile-Compatible
Is Playing Real Money Poker Legal?
This depends on the country where you live or where you are accessing a site from. Every country in the world has different laws that regulate online gambling. Some governments have banned all forms of online gambling including poker, while other allow their citizens to participate in certain gambling activities ( Nevada Gaming Control Board, New Jersey Casino Control Commission, Delaware, UK Gambling Commission ).
It’s extremely important to get to know the laws in your country so that you won’t need to face repercussions. Depending on the country you live in these may include fines, funds seizure, or even jail time. Many poker sites don’t accept players from countries where online poker is illegal. Such countries are USA (except for New Jersey and couple of other states), Turkey, and Germany etc.
Below are a few countries which we have picked out to explain more
Real Money Online Poker in the US
Online poker in the US has been the subject of debate ever since the Supreme Court struck down the PASPA law. Playing poker for real money in the US is a fairly complex issue, especially as far as legalities are concerned.
At the moment, only five states in the US offer real money online poker options:
Michigan was the last to jump on the bandwagon, but more states are expected to join soon. You should be able to play legalized online poker in California, West Virginia and Florida anytime soon.
For more information about the legal status of online poker, as well as the best poker sites in the US, feel free to visit this page. If you’re accessing the poker site from there, you’ll become eligible for fantastic bonuses and freerolls. Better yet, your money will be kept safe at all times!
As with all other recommended online poker rooms, I’ve put my selected top US poker sites through rigorous testing to determine whether they’re good enough to be included in the site using the same criteria that I’ve discussed in depth in the sections above.
Below are some of the poker rooms the US has to offer:
The operator features a vast number of cash games and tournaments and a mind-boggling welcome bonus for all newcomers. You can also take part in the rake race and compete for outstanding cash prizes!
BetOnline regularly sets records for poker traffic in the US, resulting in more action, better promotions, and bigger bonuses. If you’re concerned about the site’s legitimacy — don’t be! This poker platform is licensed by the Panama Gaming Commission, one of the most respected online gambling regulatory bodies for US operators.
- Rewarding daily cash races
- A household name in the US poker market
- A wide variety of poker games
- Accepts bitcoin payments
The site is ideal for beginners, as it boasts a large number of tables with soft competition. And to kickstart your poker adventure with a bang, Ignition provides a hefty housewarming gift worth up to $1,000. The operator’s mobile poker client is meticulously built for Android and iOS devices such iPad and iPhone. The best part? You don’t have to download any software to play on the go!
Ignition casino’s fully-loaded poker room is available for US players, but it also accepts players from Canada and Australia.
- A multitude of no-limit Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker cash games
- The mobile client works flawlessly for cash games and quick-fold Zone poker
- The biggest poker site for players from US and AU
- Exquisite rakeback in SNGs, cash games, and MTTs
The majority of the games are focused on Texas Hold’em cash games at lower stakes, but you will also find a number of regular tournaments and some Sit’n’Gos. The website runs on the US-facing Horizon Poker network and is specially optimized for mobile and tablet play.
Intertops facilitates safe and easy deposits across a broad range of payment methods and supported currencies. Sign up today and become the latest member of the most promising poker platform in the US!
- Outstanding 36% rakeback on both ring games and tournaments
- 200% up to $1,000 welcome bonus
- A longstanding reputation in the industry
- A variety of tournaments for low-stakes players
Real Money Poker in the UK
UK poker players are among the luckiest ones because they can enjoy real money poker in both country-licensed and offshore poker sites. Provided that you’re older than 18, you can legally play online poker in the UK. As with other forms of gambling in the UK, poker sites operate under the identical regulations recognized in UK casinos and sportsbook laws.
You’ll find plenty of UK-friendly poker sites that allow players to deposit cash and play the most popular UK online poker variants like Hold’em, Omaha, Stud, Razz, and Horse.
Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should register at the first real money poker site you stumble upon. There are plenty of rogue poker platforms out there, and you might need someone experienced to show you the way.
I have an entire section on my site dedicated to British online poker fans who are looking for the best poker sites in the UK. As usual, I’ve tried to separate the best from the rest and keep the results as objective as possible.
Real Money Poker in Australia
Aussies are the world’s most prolific gamblers, and that’s a fact of life. They like to play every casino game from pokies and roulette to blackjack and poker. There are plenty of sites that offer Australian online poker players the chance to play the game they have loved for decades.
The choice is often tough because picking a site you can trust is easier said than done, especially when you can’t count on the Government to protect you. Don’t worry though — I got you covered. Whether you’re a fan of Hold’em or Omaha, I can help you find the most trustworthy poker sites Australia has to offer.
If you’re curious about online poker in Australia, take a look at my recommended list of the best online poker sites for Australian players. I checked all my listed sites against an extensive list of criteria to ensure that you have top security, quick deposit methods, and the best software to use.
Real Money Poker in Canada
The online gambling market in Canada is booming, with dozens of first-class cardrooms offering their services to avid Canadian poker players. On top of that, Canadians can also hone their skills on exclusive Canadian-only sites and get splendid offers that aren’t available to players from other countries.
If you’re looking for the best online poker sites in Canada, then my guide to the top 10 Canadian poker sites is probably one of the best places to get the ball rolling. On that page, I’ve reviewed all the finest poker rooms available for Canadians and highlighted the ones that can be trusted. I’ve also provided a brief overview of the legality of online poker in the Great White North, with details of what is allowed and what is not.
What Is Global Poker and How Does It Work?
Apart from state-regulated poker sites in Nevada, NJ, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Michigan, the only real online poker option is Global Poker. The site utilizes a unique, sweepstakes-based poker room and virtual currency model. As a result, it’s not considered an online gambling site and is therefore legal for all US players.
Global Poker runs on a browser-based proprietary software that is compatible with most popular operating systems, including iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows. It has a limited game selection compared to the big names in the US market, but it’s a great place for recreational players.
Of course, a major positive trait of Global Poker is the fact that it’s the only legal real money poker site in 49 US States, and it’s available for Canadian players as well.
Best Poker Apps for Playing Real Money Poker
Want to play online from your Android, iOS, Windows, or Blackberry device? I’ve discovered the best real money poker apps for you to get some crazy poker action on the go. With these apps, you can enjoy your favorite tournaments and cash games whenever you want, wherever you are.
For your convenience, I’ve arranged all real money poker apps in categories, according to the four most popular operating systems:
Available Deposit Options on Real Money Poker SitesAt each of my sponsored poker sites, depositing and cashing out is a straightforward process. Most poker operators support a wide variety of payment options, ranging from credit and debit cards to prepaid cards, e-wallets, and cryptocurrencies. With a good choice of payment solutions, you can utilize the bonus offers hassle-free, regardless of where you’re from.
Here are the most commonly offered deposit methods at real money poker sites:
mastercard is one of the most widespread payment methods in the online poker industry. It allows secure and quick deposits, however, transactions can be blocked by banks, especially in the US. Credit card withdrawals usually take longer compared to other payment methods.
Due to their convenience and ease of use, e-wallets like Neteller, PayPal and Skrill are becoming increasingly popular payment tools for depositing in real money poker sites. These providers allow people to deposit and withdraw in a wide range of currencies, including CA$, US$, AUD$, and others. E-wallet withdrawals are lightning-fast and usually take between 0–24 hours to process. They rarely come with any fees.
Mobile payments are becoming increasingly popular, with some top-notch financial institutions supporting mobile payment systems.
Unfortunately, you won’t find many poker sites offering this payment option.
In recent years, a whole bunch of real money poker rooms integrated cryptocurrencies into their gaming platforms. Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin are now widely accepted by poker platforms across the globe, allowing players to make deposits with increased security, speed, and an unprecedented level of anonymity.
List of Poker Games and Variations Available for Real Poker
Generally, there are four main types of poker games, or poker formats, you can play in real money poker sites. Keep in mind that each of these categories can be further broken down, based on different poker game variants, speeds, and bet sizing changes.
While No-Limit Texas Hold’em undoubtedly is the most popular real money poker game, Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) comes in second, with variations particularly popular in Europe and the US. Other poker games like Draw Poker and Stud are offered by some poker sites but aren’t nearly as popular as NL Hold’em and PLO.
Now, here are the five poker formats you can play online:
Freerolls are an essential part of any poker site. They are also one of the sweetest ones for budget players, who enjoy freebies and couldn’t allow to spend much of their money to play poker. To be sincere, we all love freerolls.
Freerolls are poker tournaments where players can participate for free. In order to participate in a poker tournament you need to pay the buy-in fee. This will get you a seat on the tournament. With freerolls you don’t have to buy your way into the tournament. You can participate for free. The best thing about freerolls is that the top spots still get to share a prize pool. Now you see why freerolls can be interesting.
That’s it folks! I hope that my all-encompassing poker knowledge hub has provided you with all the information you need to get started at real money poker sites. Finding a reliable online poker platform is simple if you know where to look. Always remember to gamble responsibly, and I wish you all the best on your future poker adventures!
If there is anything else I can assist you with, please don’t hesitate to let me know, and I will be happy to help. In the meantime, feel free to browse through my website and check out more information about the best poker sites in various parts of the world.