If you’ve ever seen poker played on TV where players are trading thousands of dollars back and forth, you may have been tempted to try your hand at playing poker for money online. The problem is, there are so many options for you to choose from, so how do you decide which site to play on? To help you out, we’ve tested and ranked the best online poker for real money sites – and these are the results.

Real Money Poker Sites

REAL MONEY ONLINE POKER GAMES

The first thing you need to learn is the mechanics of how the game’s played; how many betting streets there are, what your possible actions are, how much money you need to buy in with, etc.

Once you’ve got the basics down, you can then start to learn strategies for your game that you can use when you play. However, those are not essential if you just want to play for fun – only if you want to win.

 

Why Play At Online Poker for Real Money Sites?

When there are free options available, it may seem a little silly to play real money online poker when you’re not very experienced. However, while the free-to-play games are good for learning the rules and the mechanics of how a poker game works, they will limit your ability to improve as a player.

This is because, without the risk of losing money, there’s no incentive for you, or anyone, to play “correctly”. There’s no penalty for calling every single hand to the river or jamming all-in every hand. When you play for money, even if it’s just for pennies, there’s a financial incentive to make the correct plays. Playing at the best online poker sites against better players is what improves our own game, so by playing against people who are actually trying to win you give yourself the best opportunity to improve.

Our Real Money Online Poker Site Ranking Criteria

There are a lot of recommendations for real money online poker sites out there, with some being more reliable than others. A lot of review sites will accept payment to promote a site, regardless of the actual quality. Here at TightPoker, we have a list of criteria that we use to rank real money online poker sites to ensure that you are getting the best recommendations possible.

These criteria include:

Licensing

All of the sites we recommend are fully licensed and regulated poker rooms. After the Black Friday debacle, a lot of off-shore, unregulated sites started popping up, offering their services to US players. While this gives Americans some much-needed access to poker, these sites come with huge risks, and it’s not uncommon for the games to be unfair or for players to have their deposits stolen.

Software

While it may seem like a secondary concern to some people, the software is what you’re going to spend your time looking at. You’d be surprised the difference quality software makes when it comes to which sites are best to play on. No one wants to look at a confusing, poorly colored interface for hours on end, so we’ve played on each site to be able to report which are hot and which are not.

Secure and Quick Payouts

There’s nothing worse than making a big tournament score and then finding out you’ve got to wait two weeks to withdraw your winnings. While pretty much all sites offer instant deposits, there’s a lot of variability in how quickly poker rooms will let you take money off their site. We’ll give you the lowdown on quick and secure each site is when it comes to withdrawing money.

Top-Notch Customer Service

If you have an issue on a site, you’ll want to know whether you’re going to be supported or left hung out to dry. A lot of real money online poker sites are increasing the quality of their customer support as they realize that if they don’t, players will play on a site where they’ll be supported in their time of need.

Mobile Capability

Not everyone has the time to sit at a desk and dedicate a couple of hours a night to playing poker. Some of us need to be able to play on the go, and knowing whether or not a site has a dedicated mobile app could be a dealbreaker when it comes to signing up.

User Experience

Most importantly, we look at what the site is actually like to play at. How much can you customize the software, what are the table settings like, what games are there, how big are the prize pools – all things you would consider important when signing up to a poker site.

How to Choose The Right Real Money Online Poker Site

So what should you be looking for when you’re picking a poker site to play on? With so many choices it can be hard to decide which one is best for you. Each player is going to have different priorities when choosing a real money online poker site, but here are some of the things you should consider:

  1. Bonuses and Promos

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    One of the best things about signing up to a poker site for the first time is all the different bonuses and promotions you get to take advantage of! These sites are in an arms race against each other, offering more and more generous promotions in order to get players to choose them over their competitors.

    There is a range of different offers to choose from. Some of the more popular options are:

    Welcome Bonus

    No-Deposit Bonus

    Loyalty Bonus

    Freerolls

    Percentage Bonus; and many more.

    If you’re a first-time player, take the time to look over the bonuses these sites have to offer and pick the one that’s right for you. If you want to learn more about the specifics of the different bonuses available, travel to our poker bonus page.

  2. Banking Options

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    Being able to get your money on and off the site is extremely important when picking a poker room. Not only do you have to consider the different banking methods a site allows, but also the speed at which they process your deposits and withdrawals. It’s no good having your preferred banking option if it’s going to take two weeks to withdraw your winnings.

    Most real money online poker sites offer a wide range of banking options these days; whether you want to use a debit card, an online wallet such as Paypal, or even cryptocurrency. Each of these withdrawal methods has different average times to get from the site to your account, so it’s worth checking to see which one best suits your needs.

  3. Poker Game Variation

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    Despite what some people think, poker doesn’t begin and end with Texas Hold’em. There are a large number of other games out there for people to play such as PLO, Short Deck, 5 card draw, and many others! More and more sites are offering these mixed games, so if they’re something that you enjoy playing check to see if your site offers them.

    When it comes to game variation, it goes further than the poker variant you want to play. You want a site that has a good mix of tournaments, cash games, and sit and gos available to players. This not only gives you more choice in the games you want to play but you get the opportunity to learn different formats of poker.

  4. Tournaments Prizepools

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    The whole point of playing a tournament is you get the chance to win a huge score from a small buy-in. There’s not much fun in playing one and only winning 5x your buy-in (unless you’re playing in one of those super high roller tournaments).

    Playing on a site that offers large guarantees in their tournaments not only gives you the opportunity to win more money, but large prize pools attract weaker players to the games. If you’re someone who’s looking to make money from tournament poker, consider looking for the sites that offer the largest tournament guarantees.

  5. Licensing

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    It’s important that any site you choose to play on is fully licensed and regulated. If it isn’t you’re leaving yourself exposed to any number of things happening; such as playing in an unfair game, playing against bots, or just having your money stolen by the site.

    Every site that is licensed will display its license on its site so you can be sure that you’re playing on a secure site. There are a number of different regulators out there, all with different requirements that need to be met in order to gain a license so it’s worth checking what rules your chosen site must follow.

  6. Complaints and Third Party Reviews

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    Knowing the opinion of fellow players is vital when choosing a real money online poker site. If the majority of reviews on the site are negative, then not only does it mean you’re likely to have a bad experience, but it means that most people won’t even bother to play on the site at all.

    It’s also a huge red flag if a site has had formal complaints made against it by its players. Usually, these complaints are due to blocked withdrawals and if these have been done illegitimately by the poker site, it suggests you’ll also have a hard time getting your money from the site.

  7. The Terms and Conditions/Fine Print

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    No one ever seems to do it, but reading the fine print should be something we do as standard. When we play on a poker site, we agree to play by their rules – which are laid out in their terms and conditions. If you don’t know the rules of the site, you could be breaking them without your knowledge and will have no defense if they try and withhold your winnings.

    For example, if it’s in the terms and conditions that HUDs aren’t allowed and you’re found to be using one, you could have your account closed and your money confiscated. The worst part is, you’ll have no recourse as the rules were clearly laid out in the terms and conditions which you didn’t read!

  8. Player Traffic

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    The players are the lifeblood of any poker room. You can make your site as great as you want but if people aren’t playing on it, it’s going to fail. It’s natural that players will flock to the site with the most traffic – as more total players equals more weaker players to play against.

    In some restricted markets there isn’t a great deal of choice, but if you live in an area where there are a number of poker rooms to choose from have a look at the daily number of players to get an idea of how much traffic these sites get. Where there’s traffic, there’s money!

Online Poker for Real Money Apps

A lot of providers have mobile apps for people to play real money poker on the go. Each of these apps offers different things to their players, so we’ve checked them all out to give you a quick summary of what you’ll get from each of them.

Ignition Poker Logo

Ignition

The Ignition mobile app catches the eye with a simple, clean, but effective design that’s specially optimized for running on smartphones. It has great player traffic, sharing the same player pool as the computer version of the site and it’s completely regulated and secure.

Ignition Poker Review
Bovada Poker Review

Bovada

The Bovada site does things a little differently as it doesn’t have a dedicated mobile app you need to download, instead, it uses a mobile-optimized website that players can access from their phones. When you sit at the tables, Bovada makes every player anonymous so you can’t tag players or make permanent notes.

Bovada Poker Review
betonline

BetOnline

This poker room only offers a dedicated mobile app for android users – available from their site or from the Google Play Store – whereas iOS users can play from the site directly. Both the site and the app offer a wide range of poker games including Hold’em, Omaha, and Omaha Hi/Lo

BetOnline Poker Review
EverygameLogo

Everygame

This is another site that doesn’t have a dedicated mobile app but has a mobile-optimized site that can be accessed from any device. Everygame is one of the better-looking mobile sites out there, with a sleek red and black design with fast and responsive features.

888poker_logo

888Poker

888Poker offers both cash games and tournaments to its mobile users, with a dedicated app for both iOS and Android users. The app also features the “snap” poker variant where players are immediately seated at a new table once they fold their hand.

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Party Poker Logo

PartyPoker

One of the biggest names on our list, PartyPoker has a well-established poker app that uniquely offers a portrait layout that allows you to play poker one-handed. The app also has access to all the same games as the desktop version as well as a multi-tabling feature if one game is too boring for you.

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Americas Cardroom

America's Cardroom

ACR is another poker room that has decided to focus on a mobile-optimized website rather than create a downloadable poker app – an advantage for those who have little space left on their smartphones! While it doesn’t have the full range of games that are available on PC, there is still a wide range of options for you to play on the go.

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bodog logo 2

Bodog

Bodog is the original brand that was changed to Bovada when marketing in the US, so expect to see a lot of the features the same between these two sites. It’s another mobile-optimized site with anonymous tables and access to a range of games such as Hold’em and Omaha.

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black chip poker logo on a black background

Black Chip Poker

A part of the Winning Poker Network, Black Chip Poker shares its player pool with ACR so you can be assured there are a lot of players to play against. One of the great advantages of the Black Chip Poker app is that practically nothing is missing between the mobile app and the desktop app – it’s a truly authentic poker experience on mobile.

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Real Money Online Poker FAQs