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The Best Online Poker Sites

Where's the Best Place to Play Online Poker?

Poker has been a popular pastime for gambling fans and casual card players alike. Popularized in the media (Casino Royale fans, anyone?), poker has risen as one of the most well-known card games of all time. With a variety of "versions" of poker, there's something there for everyone, even the less competitive fans who play with quarters or chocolate candies.

Today, poker is enjoyed by millions of people around the world, both as a recreational pastime and as a serious competitive sport. It makes perfect sense, then, that online poker has risen in popularity since its inception in the late 1990s. Online poker sites offer a wide range of games, including Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Seven Card Stud, and more.

Friday, June 21st

2024 Online Poker Site Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Ignition Casino Review 5 Star Rating

Ignition Casino

5 Star Rating
  • Officially licensed and regulated
  • Up to $8.7 million in guaranteed prizes
  • Welcome bonus up to $3,000
  • Special 200% bonus for Bitcoin users
  • New live dealer games with image previews
  • Above-average loyalty rewards program
  • Great selection of casino gameplay and slots
  • No-download instant-play platform
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

A newer option out there for online poker, Ignition Casino quickly established itself as a top platform since its launch in 2016. They are part of the PWL network, formerly known as Bodog Poker, one of the largest online poker rooms in the world and often ranking as the biggest. Having recently gained a valid license and regulation through Curacao in 2021, the poker site has a lot to offer, including fast payouts, a wide selection of tournaments, and a 150% bonus for new players up to $3,000.

  • Card
  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Tether
  • Litecoin
  • Vouchers

No download needed

To create an account with Ignition Casino, click on the 'JOIN' button located at the top of the screen. Enter the necessary information, create your password, and start playing. There's no fee or download required to get started with Ignition Casino. Once you're in, you can choose from a variety of industry-standard methods to deposit and withdraw money with Ignition Casino including:

Full range of tournament and casual poker

Ignition Casino offers the three most popular variants of poker: Texas Hold'em, Omaha, and Omaha Hi-Lo for both ring games and tournaments. The poker site also uses anonymous seating, making it difficult for sharps or professionals to target specific players. For ring games, players have the options of no limit, fixed limit, pot limit, and zone poker, among other features. If you're daring enough, you can even play up to 15 tables simultaneously.

Go beyond poker

You can also access a range of non-tournament casino-style poker and gambling games including:

  • Roulette (European and American)
  • Blackjack (Classic, Single Deck, Double Deck)
  • Casino poker games (Caribbean Stud, Pai Gow, Tri Card Poker)
  • Video poker
  • Specialty games (Bingo, Keno, Scratch Cards)

Contests with high payouts

Ignition has a wide range of daily, weekly, monthly, and semi-annual contests available, making it one of the best online poker rooms for tournaments. You can participate in the weekly $150,000 GTD, the monthly $1 million guaranteed, or the Super Millions Poker Open, which has $8.7 million in guaranteed prizes every summer.

Best Online Poker Sites

Great bonuses for spending

Ignition provides one of the best poker bonuses available, with an impressive $3,000 poker and casino crypto deposit bonus, which is higher than most other online poker casinos. This bonus is a 150% deposit match up to $3,000, split between the online poker room (up to $1,500) and the online casino (up to $1,500). However, a minimum deposit of $20 using cryptocurrency is required to claim the bonus. On the bright side, the 25x wagering requirements for the casino bonus are excellent, way below the industry average, and the bonus funds can be used on the best online slots at Ignition. The poker bonus is released at the rate of $1 per 30 Ignition Miles earned, which are earned through cash games or poker tournaments.

Top-tier user experience

Ignition uses some of the best online poker software, fully optimizing its poker room for instant mobile in-browser play. They also have a poker app that provides simple and clear betting options and other convenient features, like a poker tournament search tool to quickly find the game you want to play. However, the app is only available on a desktop, so if you prefer playing online poker via mobile, you'll have to do it via your phone's browser.

Players love Ignition

In terms of player satisfaction, Ignition is very popular on poker-specific review sites. Earning a 4.1 out of 5 stars on one site, Ignition Casino was praised for its online options for poker and its wide range of promotions and bonuses available to its players. Members specifically enjoyed the loyalty rewards program for Ignition Miles and felt it was a worthwhile investment.

Best poker site

Ignition Casino is a newer but top-rated option for online poker. As part of the PWL network, it has a strong reputation and offers a wide variety of poker variants, tournaments, and non-poker casino games. The anonymous seating and multiple table options make it a great choice for both recreational and serious players. The $3,000 deposit bonus, with low wagering requirements and a loyalty rewards program, is one of the best in the industry. With many positive reviews on poker-specific sites, Ignition Casino is a great choice for a fun and high-quality online poker experience. They earn our highest rating.

America's Cardroom Review 4.5 Star Rating

America's Cardroom

4.5 Star Rating
  • Officially licensed and regulated
  • Largest single poker win was $6,382,500
  • Bonuses up to $2,000
  • Bitcoin payouts available
  • Mobile app available
  • Unique game modes no other poker sites have
  • Sports and slot machines

America's Cardroom (ACR) is a well-established brand that has been providing players with exciting cash games and tournaments for over 20 years. It is the flagship brand of the Winning Poker Network (WPN) and has become a popular destination for poker enthusiasts due to its long list of large tournaments, unique variants, and a generous welcome bonus of up to $2,000. The site offers a wide variety of cash games and tournaments and even options for sports gambling. America's Cardroom caters to players of all skill levels.

Free to play and download

To start playing, poker fans must download the America's Cardroom software and create an account. By doing so, you gain free access to the poker client, which allows you to explore all the available cash games and tournaments to find the one that best suits their preferences. There is no cost to start playing. The only time you have to pay is when you load money into the game account.

Various options for money transfers

You can choose what method you want to use for money transfers including:

  • Credit or Debit Cards, but acceptance varies by country. Most accepted cards include: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, and Discover
  • Luxon Pay works with your credit card or BTC and offers instant deposits for verified accounts.
  • Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency which have unlimited deposits and no fees in most cases
  • Person to Person through Ria or Money Gram for transferring cash to other players.
  • E-Wallet for cross-border payments
  • E-Transfer for Canadian banking only
  • Pay 4 Fun for Brazilian banking only

If you want to withdraw money or winnings from your account, you get many of the same options, with the addition of the following withdrawal methods:

  • Money Transfer, for players who want to pick up their winnings at one of 347,000 locations worldwide
  • Checks, which are free once every 30-day period and are only for US and Canadian banks.

No anonymous players

In terms of gameplay, one of the standout features of ACR is its refusal to use anonymous play options, making it an ideal platform for seasoned players looking for a challenge. The platform is also home to a laundry list of sponsored poker professionals. However, recreational players can also benefit from the platform by leveling up their game and improving their skills.

Poker and more

There are a variety of poker types on America's Cardroom including:

  • Texas Hold'em
  • Omaha
  • Omaha Hi/Lo
  • 7 Card Stud
  • 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo

On top of poker, America's Cardroom also offers virtual slot machines, poker games with live dealers, and an online sportsbook to gamble on your favorite sports from the comfort of your home.

Best Online Poker Sites

Best in class for tournament payouts

For many players, the mammoth tournaments offered by ACR are the main draw. With $12 million guaranteed in weekly pools, players can participate in daily Progressive Knockout (PKO) tournaments, as well as a weekly $1 million GTD tournament. But perhaps the most exciting tournaments are the Venom events, which include $5 million guaranteed and a staggering $10 million GTD event that takes place four times a year. The winner of the largest Venom payout at ACR took home $6,382,500.

Bonuses for joining and winning

When it comes to bonuses, ACR is also very generous. New players who sign up with the platform are eligible for a 100% deposit match of up to $2,000. To claim the bonus, a minimum deposit of $25 is required, and the bonus is released in $1 increments for every 27.5 Awards Points earned. Points can be earned by playing in tournaments and through rake and tournament fees.

Mobile app available

While ACR's mobile gameplay option isn't as robust as its PC version, it still provides a seamless playing experience. Players can access the platform directly from their mobile browser and have three options for poker: Blitz Poker, Jackpot Poker, and Venom Blitz Satellites. However, to access the full range of tournaments and cash games, players are advised to use the PC poker client. The mobile site is fast, dependable, and offers easy navigation.

Top option for international play

In terms of reputation, America's Cardroom stands out as one of the top places to play online poker in the world. It's got plenty of regular players who have been coming back for years and has played host to famous names in professional poker across the world. Users have noted that America's Cardroom is a reliable site, and it's currently the largest arena for worldwide online poker.

So much to offer

America's Cardroom offers a variety of exciting cash games and tournaments, catering to players of all skill levels. The platform has been in operation for over 20 years and is the flagship brand of the Winning Poker Network. It offers a wide range of deposit and withdrawal options, including credit cards, cryptocurrency, e-wallets, and more. The platform is also home to a variety of poker types, virtual slot machines, games with live dealers, and even an online sportsbook.

Great all-around choice for online poker

ACR is known for its mammoth tournaments, generous bonuses, and reputation as one of the top places to play online poker in the world. While the mobile gameplay option may not be as robust as its PC version, it still provides a seamless playing experience. Overall, America's Cardroom is a reliable site with a loyal following of players. It should be one of the first sites you visit for playing poker online.

BetOnline Review 4.5 Star Rating

BetOnline

4.5 Star Rating
  • Officially licensed and regulated
  • $1,000 welcome bonus
  • Winnings up to $10,000
  • Sports betting and casino options
  • Over 400 individual games available
  • Mobile app available
  • Over 20 live dealer casino games

BetOnline has been in the online gambling industry since 2004, and in that time, it has established itself as a top casino site that many poker players trust. They belong to the Chico Poker Network (CPN), which is currently the third-largest poker network.

Popular with players

At BetOnline, players can expect to find a substantial number of people on the platform at any given time. The site's popularity is due in part to its variety of game offerings: it provides not only poker tournaments, but other casino options, sportsbooks, and e-sports betting. The site is licensed and regulated in Panama.

Full range of banking options

To get started with BetOnline, you just need to download their software. Creating an account with BetOnline is completely free to start. When you open your account you will select the type of banking you'd like to do with BetOnline, and then you're all set. For deposits, you can work with a variety of banking options including:

  • Credit and Debit Cards
  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Ripple
  • Person to Person
  • Money Orders
  • Bank Wire Transfer
  • Cashier's Check

It's important to note that there is a 6% fee on credit and debit card deposits. For cashing out or receiving your prizes, you have all the same options for getting your funds except for credit and debit cards and money orders.

Variety of tournaments and games

Gameplay at BetOnline has a range of poker options. They offer regular and guaranteed tournaments, and you can play common poker styles like Deuces Wild, Joker Poker, Jacks or Better, and All-American Poker in both single-hand and multi-hand formats. You can also find 7-card stud and a range of ring games, such as straddle, capped, jackpot, ante, no limit, pot limit, and more. Additionally, the site offers tournaments around the clock, including rebuys, Omaha tournaments, and windfall sit-and-goes.

Up to $10,000 in winnings

One of the standout features of BetOnline is its progressive knockouts (PKO) tournaments. The site offers over a dozen daily PKOs, including single re-entry, six-max, hyper, full ring, and more, with prize pools ranging from a few hundred dollars up to $10,000. The tournaments are one of the reasons why many players choose BetOnline over other online poker sites.

Best Online Poker Sites

Casino and sports betting

If you're looking for more than just poker, BetOnline has you covered. They provide access to sports books for betting on a variety of pro sports, including Esports, which stands out from other options in this review. They also offer betting for races if you're a fan of cars or horses. There's plenty to keep a player occupied at BetOnline.

Bonuses and rewards

In terms of incentives, there are plenty of promos at BetOnline. For example, at the time of this review, new players were welcomed with a 100% deposit bonus of up to $1,000. They also offer a variety of in-game bonuses and up to 30x rollover on some of those.

Restyled mobile app

BetOnline offers freshly revamped Android and iOS mobile poker apps, making it easy for players to access all their poker options with incredible usability, fast and accurate gameplay, and customizable options. The site's mobile gameplay is powered by Connective Games, an outstanding online poker software company. Unlike other CPN members, BetOnline's full poker offerings can be played on mobile browsers, giving players greater convenience and flexibility.

Strong bot-sweep software

In terms of customer satisfaction BetOnline has a good reputation overall. It has a 3.6-star rating out of 5 stars on a third-party review site with over 3,600 individual reviews. Customers noted that payouts with BetOnline are fast and easy to earn. However, some players complained about problems while using Bitcoin currency, and others said that sometimes the software that scans for bots makes errors and suspends accounts of real players instead of bots. On the other hand, the heightened security at BetOnline makes it harder for cheating to occur with bots, which can be a plus for many players, but frustrating for others if you're erroneously caught in a bot sweep.

Best option for a wide variety of games

BetOnline is a top casino site for poker players due to its variety of game offerings, including sportsbooks and e-sports betting. With its availability on mobile devices and easy-to-use software, it offers a convenient and flexible playing experience. The site's PKOs tournaments and various promotions provide added incentives for players. While some players have experienced issues with Bitcoin transactions and bot detection software, the site's fast payouts and heightened security make it a reliable choice for online poker. Overall, BetOnline is a solid option for anyone looking to play online poker and enjoy other forms of online gambling.

Bovada Review 3.5 Star Rating

Bovada

3.5 Star Rating
  • Officially licensed and regulated
  • Highest tournament payout starts at $150,000
  • Anonymous gameplay
  • New players get up to $500
  • More than 300 slot machines
  • Extensive sportsbook with props builder and live betting
  • No fees for withdrawals
  • Mobile app available

Bovada is an online poker website that has been providing recreational and experienced players with great gameplay since 2011. The platform is known for its heavy traffic, anonymous tables, and fast payouts. The website is part of the PWL poker network and is licensed and regulated under a Curacao eGaming license. Additionally, Bovada stands out with an up to $500 welcome bonus (that matches your first deposit amount), and the site also allows users to use their sports betting features with the same account.

No download required

To get started with Bovada there is a one-page form to fill out for your free online account. Bovada doesn't require any download, so you can start playing as soon as you've finished setting up your account. And you can play for free at first, to get the hang of the way Bovada works before you start paying to ante and bid in higher stakes games.

Variety of banking options

Once you do start playing and earning cash, there are a variety of banking options available at Bovada. You can choose between these methods to both spend and cash out your money:

  • Card
  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Tether
  • Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin SV
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Vouchers

Extra fees for card payments

While Bovada offers many great features, it's important to note that there are some downsides to playing on the website. One of the cons is the high card fees, which can be a deterrent for some players. On the other hand, Bovada rewards users for using crypto, which has no fees, by delivering their payouts within an hour if they use Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash. Additionally, the website offers limited PC instant play, which may be inconvenient for players who prefer to play on their computers rather than on mobile.

Stay fully anonymous

On the other hand, one of the standout features of Bovada is the fully anonymous gameplay, which is perfect for casual or new players as it dissuades sharks from frequenting the site. This feature cannot be found on many other online poker websites, making Bovada a unique and attractive option.

Best Online Poker Sites

Lower card game selection, but lots of slots

In terms of individual poker styles, there aren't as many at Bovada as some other options in our review. You can find Texas Hold'em, Omaha, and Omaha Hi/Lo. Some of the casino options offer Blackjack, but those are separate from the poker tables. If you're looking for options beyond poker, you can play other casino games, like over 300 slot machines as well as place bets on horses. There are also a variety of jackpot games available daily, so you can browse the site and keep up your lucky streak outside of cards if you're so inclined.

Gambling on the go

Like many other online poker venues we reviewed, Bovada offers a great mobile platform that is fast, intuitive to navigate, and dependable, making it a great option for players who prefer to play poker on the go. Unlike the limited PC instant play options, mobile users have the entire poker offerings right at their fingertips.

Reputation has fallen recently

While Bovada had a good customer reputation, it started to fall in recent years. The site currently has a 1.3-star rating on third party review sites. Customers who are long-term fans of Bovada note that the promotions and bonuses have been falling recently, leaving fewer incentives to play with Bovada vs. other online poker institutions. While some fans still love the site, others have had trouble getting their winnings out, despite showing a credit in their account. So, you may want to check elsewhere for faster payouts.

Attractive $500 welcome bonus

Bovada is a popular online poker website that offers a wide range of features and benefits. The platform is known for its fast payouts, anonymous gameplay, and high traffic, making it an attractive option for both recreational and experienced players. Bovada also stands out with its up to $500 welcome bonus, as well as the ability to use the same account for sports betting.

Good stop for beginners

While the website offers a limited PC instant play option and high card fees, it rewards users for using crypto. However, the site has recently received negative feedback for its declining promotions and bonuses, as well as difficulty with payouts. Despite this, Bovada remains a solid choice for those looking to play online poker in a more casual setting. So, if you're looking to learn poker and enjoy anonymous gameplay, Bovada is worth a look.

Everygame Poker Review 2.5 Star Rating

Everygame Poker

2.5 Star Rating
  • Officially licensed and regulated
  • Match 200% up to $1,000 poker welcome bonus
  • Many permanent and time-sensitive promotions
  • Low buy-ins
  • Full-fledged sportsbook and three casinos

Everygame Poker has been providing online poker games since 1996. It still attracts a significant amount of traffic despite having outdated software that lacks modern features. Regardless, Everygame Poker is a safe and legitimate poker room, as it holds a gambling license from the government of Curacao.

State restrictions

Everygame Poker adheres to these regulations, ensuring transparency in payouts and withdrawals. Unfortunately, the platform has certain state restrictions. US residents from Maryland, New Jersey, Washington, New York, Kentucky, Missouri, and Louisiana cannot create an account and play poker here. Nevertheless, the platform is accessible to international players around the globe.

Download and online play

To get started at Everygame Poker, you must download the available software. Although there is an instant play mode on the web browser, most players prefer Everygame's downloaded platform. Once you're all set, you can choose from a list of industry competitive options for depositing and withdrawing money from Everygame Poker. These include:

  • Credit cards
  • Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Litecoin
  • Money Blocal
  • Prepaid visa cards
  • Skrill Neteller
  • PaySafeCard vouchers

However, some users noted that their card was declined one in four times they tried to deposit money to Everygame Poker, making Bitcoin the easiest cashflow option in and out.

Not many poker styles

The poker styles with Everygame Poker include Texas Hold'em and Omaha, which are split into No Limit, Pot Limit, and Fixed Limit. The buy-ins range from $0.02/$0.04 up to $5/$10, and tables are available with seats for six players or eight in some circumstances. The Sit 'n' Go tables for either Hold'em or Omaha are also available to play. However, the software has not been updated since 2006, and it lacks the modern features that most online poker players desire.

Best Online Poker Sites

Strong sports betting options

There are options other than poker with the Everygame Poker website. There are a variety of casino games available including a fun Game of the Week that changes out for different opportunities to win big. One of the places that stands out at Everygame Poker is their sports betting, which is spoken of highly by professional gamblers.

Not a heavy-hitter for poker

In terms of player satisfaction, there aren't a lot of user reviews. Professional poker sites noted that Everygame Poker is reliable as a platform, but generally, everyone agrees the software is out of date compared to the competition. Everygame Poker is praised most for its sports betting program rather than the poker itself, so it's worth considering another venue if poker is your primary focus. Many reviewers also noted the overall traffic to Everygame Poker is lower than on other sites, so it can be harder to find a full game.

Outdated and low traffic

Everygame Poker is a long-standing online poker platform that still attracts a decent amount of traffic despite its outdated software. While the platform offers some decent features, including table customization options, and a good poker room for low-stakes players, it falls short in some areas, such as low traffic levels, outdated software, small tournament guarantees, and withdrawal charges. Nevertheless, it is a legitimate and safe platform with various deposit and withdrawal options.

Better for sports or casino games

While Everygame Poker might not be the ideal platform for avid online poker players, it is worth considering for players who prioritize sports betting or enjoy a mix of casino games and more casual poker. However, with other heavy-hitters in our review that offer better options for poker and casino play, this option comes in quite low in our rankings.

WSOP Review 2 Star Rating

WSOP

2 Star Rating
  • Officially licensed and regulated
  • Highly secure transactions
  • Deposit bonus of 100% up to $400
  • Updated site
  • Available to players in Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada

WSOP is the official online poker site of the World Series of Poker, launched in 2009 by Caesars Entertainment. The site is part of the 888 Poker network, which ranks among the top ten poker rooms in terms of cash game traffic. However, before you get too excited, it's important to note that this site is not available to most residents of the United States. The site is popular overseas and is officially licensed and regulated within the states where it's legal to play paid games.

Paid gameplay is limited by state

Although WSOP is a popular brand in the online poker industry, it's important to note that its availability is limited to certain states in the US. This can be a significant drawback for players who reside outside of these states, as they may be unable to access the site and its offerings. While WSOP shares liquidity with online poker sites in Delaware and New Jersey and has a virtual monopoly in Nevada, it is not currently active in other states. Only recently has WSOP said it will be available in Michigan and Pennsylvania, with some delays in the launch. For players who are looking for a wide range of options when it comes to online poker, the limited availability of WSOP may be a major negative factor to consider.

High transaction security

WSOP has an excellent security rating with its backbone provided by Dragonfish, which uses the MD5 Random Number Generator (RNG). The poker room conducts periodic tests to ensure fairness, and the RNG has been certified by eCOGRA. All financial transactions are secured with both public and private key encryption.

Competitive promos and bonuses

WSPO has competitive promotions, with a generous deposit bonus of 100% up to $400, although it may not be easy to clear for low-stakes players. The site's unique positioning as the World Series of Poker's official online poker room offers great benefits for players. However, since most of the US can't take advantage of these advantages, they don't land as high in our rankings as they would otherwise.

Best Online Poker Sites

Recent updates make it user-friendly

The player competition rating for WSOP is good: the site's network used to be known as the fishiest in the industry, but improvements in the software have attracted more skilled players to the 888 Network. The software rating is very good, with 888 having revamped its poker software in the last few years and making it one of the best in the industry. Players can multi-table and customize table graphics, and hand histories are stored on the player's hard drive.

Top scores from users

The site has a very good rating for customer support, offering e-mail, toll-free phone, and live chat support. Live support is the best option for immediate assistance. The company's ethics rating is excellent, with the site certified by Gamcare and as a member of the Interactive Gaming Council. All new customer support staff are required to take responsible gambling training, and Dragonfish uses over 40 online information sources and in-house software to combat money laundering, underage, and compulsive gambling.

Unusable for most US players

While WSOP is a well-known brand in the online poker industry, its limited availability in most states in the US can be a significant drawback for players. Despite being the official online poker site of the World Series of Poker, players who reside outside of the states where WSOP is active may not be able to access its offerings. However, for those who can play on the site, it offers a high level of transaction security and competitive promotions, including a generous deposit bonus.

Good try

The recent updates to the software make it more user-friendly, and the site has received top scores from users for customer support. Overall, WSOP is a solid poker room with improved software, which earns good marks. However because players within the US can't participate, this site ends up one card shy of a full house.

PokerStars Review 1.5 Star Rating

PokerStars

1.5 Star Rating
  • Officially licensed and regulated
  • Free to join
  • Guaranteed winnings over $10,000
  • Range of poker styles
  • Offer casino games
  • Paid play available in Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania

PokerStars used to be a top option in the online poker industry for over a decade. The site gained popularity following the success of WSOP champions Chris Moneymaker, Greg "FossilMan" Raymer, and Joseph Hachem. Despite becoming a non-US poker room in 2011, PokerStars has continued to host the most players online by a significant margin.

Huge number of players

PokerStars is a licensed and legitimate poker site, operating only in jurisdictions where it is legal to offer poker games. They work with trusted payment processors such as PayPal and are considered one of the most legitimate poker sites online. With close to 200,000 simultaneous players, they essentially hosted as many players as every other poker room combined.

No paid play in the USA

However, if you can't wait to hop on PokerStars, take a step back for a minute. There's a huge drawback with this online casino: They don't offer paid poker games in most of the US. Although the PokerStars website is accessible in the United States, players in only a few states are permitted to participate in the actual cash games offered. This is not due to PokerStars' desire to exclude players. In reality, the site is functioning in almost every state where online poker has been legalized. Currently, only players from Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania can play on PokerStars. For folks in other states, you can only play with in-game fake currency to practice your poker skills.

Home of free-to-play poker

Since you can play any paid games as a US citizen, PokerStars has pivoted in its branding, and promises to be the home of "free-to-play-poker." They especially focus on helping new players learn the game. Since the user interface is slick, it would be a great learning curve for a brand-new player.

Options for those who can play

PokerStars is a downloadable option for those who are able to play in the few states that allow it or overseas. You can play no-limit Hold'em and Hold'em tournaments as well as a wide selection of ring games. However, if you're from inside the US in one of the states that aren't already licensed with PokerStars, you're out of luck for these money-winning opportunities.

Best Online Poker Sites

Promos and winnings for legal states

For those who can play, PokerStars focuses mainly on the overall quality of games and tournaments offered. They have improved their software, ring game traffic, and cashier system despite their massive player volume. They also service players equally from different regions, offering support in dozens of languages, country-specific promotions, and popular deposit options for every country. PokerStars' tournament offerings are considered the best online, with a $1 million guaranteed event every Sunday and guarantees of $10,000+ several times per hour every day.

Reputation has recently fallen

Despite their overseas success, reviewers point out there are some negatives that have brought down PokerStars' overall reputation. The games can be pervasively tight and hard to win, and multiple online blogs commented on the poor customer service options. PokerStars has also made recent decisions to increase rake and decrease player rewards. According to reviewers, the policies can be "predatory" and not worth the time if you're not a top-tier card shark.

Can't compete with top US poker sites

Despite being a dominant player in the online poker industry for over a decade, PokerStars has a significant drawback for US players as they don't offer paid poker games in most states, limiting their accessibility. While they host the most players online, some players have reported tight games and poor customer service options, calling into question the site's legitimacy.

Damaged reputation

Despite offering high-quality games and tournaments, including a weekly $1 million guaranteed event, recent decisions to increase rake and decrease player rewards have resulted in accusations of predatory behavior by some reviewers, further damaging the site's reputation. While still popular among serious poker players, casual players may want to look elsewhere to avoid the site's predatory policies and negative reviews.

Party Poker Review 1 Star Rating

Party Poker

1 Star Rating
  • Officially licensed and regulated
  • Free to join
  • Match first deposit up to $600
  • Popular in Asia and Europe
  • Available for players in New Jersey

Party Poker was once the largest online poker-playing site in the world. It was founded in 2001 by an investment group and it quickly grew by taking advantage of the surge in internet capabilities, faster web browser platforms and communication, and the spike in the online gambling industry. Party Poker rose to prominence, enjoying a large market in Asia and Europe, and is licensed and regulated by iGaming Ontario. However, in 2006, they exited the U.S. market due to changes in regulations and laws, though they maintain a strong presence in other regions of the world.

Restricted to free-to-play

In the United States, residents can only play games utilizing "play money" due to current laws. To participate in the games, players must download the software and create an account, even though they cannot open a deposit account. Although the download is fast and straightforward, the account setup can be frustrating. Pop-ups frequently appear, warning U.S. players that they cannot make a deposit, but they must set up an account. The account setup process also requests a country code but provides no clues about what the numeric code might be.

Competitive range of poker styles

Once a player logs in, they will find the website to be somewhat text-heavy and information-dense. The free-play poker games that Party Poker offers are Limit Hold'em, No Limit Hold'em, Pot Limit Hold'em, Limit Double Hold'em, No Limit Double Hold'em, Omaha, Pot Limit Omaha, and 7 Card Stud. The overall appearance of the website is pleasing, with easy-to-navigate topic headings and graphics. Party Poker also provides a good variety of informational topics that cover playing various games, strategies, and tips to improve a player's skills, regardless of their experience level.

Only available in New Jersey

Party Poker made a comeback to the US in 2013 and partnered with the Borgata Casino to launch an online poker site for New Jersey players, enlisting the help of professional players to promote their brand and rebuild their reputation in the US. However, their expansion has been limited as they have not yet made a move past New Jersey. So, if you're located in that state, you're in luck, but otherwise, you can only get free gameplay at Partypoker. Still, this is a good way to start learning the game.

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For the players who can pay to win

If you're lucky enough to be in a state where you can play at Party Poker, you'll get plenty of deals and promos to support your gameplay. For example, at the time of this review, Party Poker was offering a 100% match to a deposit from a new player of up to $600. So if you pay $600 to play your first round you get $600 of free game credit, plus an additional $25 on the house.

Range of poker tournaments

On top of deals, there is a range of poker tournaments for those able to play for money including Texas Hold'em and Omaha Poker. They also offer unique game modes like "fastforward" poker along with a variety of cash casino games you can win. Unfortunately, this only applies to players outside of the US or those in New Jersey, specifically. For the rest of the US poker fans, you're out of luck.

Unable to compete in the US market

Party Poker was once a major player in the online poker industry, with a strong presence in Asia and Europe. However, due to changes in regulations and laws in the U.S., they were forced to exit the market and only offer free play poker games for American residents. While the website offers a variety of informational topics and easy-to-navigate headings, serious poker fans in the U.S. may want to explore other options that service the country. Nonetheless, for new poker players looking to get the hang of the game without risking real money, Party Poker may be a good starting point.

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Continued from above...

One of the advantages of playing online poker is that you can play at multiple tables at the same time, which is not possible in live poker. This means that you can play more hands in a shorter amount of time, which can increase your chances of winning.

One of the earliest forms of poker was known as "poque," a French card game that was introduced to the United States by French settlers in New Orleans. The game was played with a deck of 20 cards, and players bet on the value of their hands. The game evolved into what we now know as poker.

Over the years, the game of poker has continued to evolve, with new variations and formats being introduced. One of the most popular variations of poker is Texas Hold'em, which was developed in the 1960s and has become the most widely played form of poker in the world. Other popular variations of the game include Omaha, Seven Card Stud, and Razz.

Online poker is generally less expensive than live poker, as there are no travel expenses or additional costs associated with playing at a casino. Whether you prefer casual play or a competitive environment, online poker sites have something for you.

If you're not sure where you want to buy in, here are a few important factors to help you get narrow down your search for the best place to play online poker:

  • Winnings. What are the prizes like? Do players feel they are getting a fair game?
  • Games available. Many online poker sites offer a variety of other gambling opportunities. Are you looking for only a poker focus or do you want to access other casino games or sports gambling at the same site?
  • User interface. Some companies offer downloadable interfaces while others just have online rooms. Do you want a fully updated site or is something that has a solid reputation good enough? Are you looking for a mobile app experience too?
  • Location. Some online poker tables only allow people from certain regions, states, or countries to play. Make sure that the place you choose allows you to play the type of game you're looking for. Some allow you only to play for free, for example.

If you're still not sure, Top Consumer Reviews is here to help your inner card shark find the best place to enjoy your online poker hobby. We have reviewed and ranked the best places to play online poker today, so relax and get ready to get your poker face on.

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Online Poker Site FAQ

Many online poker sites offer promotions or bonuses to attract new customers or reward loyal players. These can include welcome bonuses for new players, reload bonuses for existing players, and other special promotions. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of any promotion or bonus to understand the requirements for receiving and using it.
The rake is a percentage of each pot that is taken by the online poker site as a fee for hosting the game. The rake is typically a small percentage, usually between 5% and 10%. For example, if the rake is 5% and the total pot in a game is $100, the online poker site will take $5 as the rake. The remaining funds will be distributed to the players according to the rules of the game.
Online poker sites may have specific rules or guidelines that players are expected to follow while playing. These include rules about the minimum and maximum bets allowed, the types of games that are offered, and any prohibited behaviors (such as cheating or collusion). Be sure to read and understand the rules of the game before you play.
Playing online poker for real money depends on the laws in your jurisdiction. In some countries, online poker is completely legal, while in others it is only legal for players to access offshore online poker sites. In some countries, online poker is completely illegal. Be sure to check the laws in your area before playing online poker for real money.
Yes, most online poker sites offer the option to play for real money. Be sure to check the laws in your jurisdiction to ensure that it is legal to play online poker for real money where you live.
There are several options for depositing money on an online poker site. Some sites accept credit card deposits, while others accept e-wallet payments or bank transfers. Simply check the deposit options for the site you want to play on and choose the option that is most convenient for you.
Most online poker sites offer a variety of withdrawal options, including bank transfers, e-wallet payments, and even traditional paper checks. You can easily check out the withdrawal options for the site you want to play on, and then choose the option that is best for you.
Online poker sites are required to use a random number generator (RNG) to ensure that the cards are dealt randomly and fairly. Most reputable online poker sites are regularly audited to ensure that their RNGs are functioning correctly and that the games are fair. However, it is always a good idea to do your research and choose a reputable online poker site.

Why Online Poker is So Popular

The online poker industry is booming, with some online poker sites claiming to have as many as 20,000 to 60,000 visitors daily. With numbers like that, it would seem that everyone is getting in on the action, placing their bets and letting the chips fall where they may.

But why the sudden surge in popularity of online poker versus live poker at a casino? There are many reasons as to why more people are playing the game online instead of in person.

First and foremost, poker is no longer seen as just another gambler's game. Since the early 2000s, poker has come to be viewed as a sport in the United States, making it attractive to a whole new audience.

At any given time, sports channels may be carrying live, high-stakes poker games instead of soccer, football or baseball. Cable channels like BRAVO, ESPN and Fox Sports Net have all dedicated programming to poker since 2003, helping to bring greater exposure to the game.

In 2011, poker joined games such as chess and bridge as official games of skill by the International Mind Sports Association. The International Mind Sports Association is formally recognized by the International Olympic Committee, making poker an official game of skill for the Olympics.

Thanks to this kind of repeated media exposure, poker has taken on a new life and gained the interest of those who may not have previously considered playing a round themselves.

This increased exposure also has led to poker - more specifically the Texas Hold 'Em format - to be used by numerous charities and organizations looking to host public fundraisers. By doing so, it helped to further mainstream a game that previously had been reserved strictly for casinos and back rooms, and maybe the occasional poker night among buddies.

As poker became more popular, people sought out ways to play the game and have a little fun. Those who do not live close to a casino - or who have reservations about visiting one - found themselves with another option for playing the game: online poker sites.

Players from the United States and Europe are able to engage in a variety of poker-style games on these websites. Popular online poker websites include Sportsbook, BetOnline and LockPoker. Not all online poker websites are open to players in the United States, so before paying any money to join a website or play a game on one, make sure the site is allowed to host players from the United States.

It is important to note that some of these websites allow players to use real money to place bets during poker games. It is therefore very important to select a website that is backed by a financially-secure company. Players who are betting with real money need assurance they will be paid if they win. Be sure to check the financial security and stability - as well as the payout rules - for any site prior to engaging in one of their poker games.

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