Real Money Poker Online

Since the early 2000s, since what's become known as the poker boom, playing real money poker online and offline has become a second hobby for millions of people. For many, real money poker has become a professional venture or semi-professional way to make extra cash. Partly due to the popularity of poker tournaments and cash game poker being shown on TV, such as the WSOP on ESPN and WPT, where viewers have got to learn the ins and outs of the game and watch poker players win millions of dollars, the massive influx of poker players to poker rooms online has been staggering. While today you won't find quite the same number of poker games as there were in the mid-2000s, during online poker's peak, the real money poker game online is still going strong. But, before laying down your cash and pulling up a virtual seat, it's worth digging in and doing your research – because there's a big difference between a poker player who knows how to play and a winning poker player. We'll do our best to give you a few pointers on not being the sucker at the poker table.

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Choosing a top U.S. Online Poker Site

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of the poker game itself, the first thing you'll want to do is pick an online poker room to play with, and there are some very reputable sites, while others are to be avoided. So, to get your poker bankroll off to a good start, make sure you play at an online poker site with high standards, a good population of players, and plenty of poker tournaments, cash games, and action. Considering the number of poker sites to choose from, it's worth taking into account the following whenever deciding where to make your first U.S. Poker Room deposit:

  • Safety: ensure you are playing with an online gambling and poker site that's fully licensed and regulated by a governing body.
  • Accepts U.S. players: before going through the sign-up steps, make sure the poker site accepts bets from U.S.A players. The states that are licensed to accept U.S online poker players are New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
  • Game Selection: for poker players, it's essential to have a wide selection of poker games. Check that 24/7 poker games are going on in the poker lobby before signing up.
  • Plenty of Promotions and Bonuses: to keep your poker bankroll healthy, you'll want to take advantage of many poker bonuses and promotions.
  • Accepts U.S. banking methods: check the site's banking pages to ensure they accept a wide range of payment methods like PayPal, Visa/Mastercard, Neteller, PaySafe Card, Skrill, and potentially even Cryptocurrencies BitCoin and Ethereum.

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Where to begin with Real Money Poker games

Starting from scratch as a poker player can be a little daunting because so many players have a vast knowledge of the game. If you haven't yet mastered the basics, you'll want to read our How to Play Online Poker guide. But once you're confident and ready to play some Real Money poker online and feel prepared to take on the seasoned players at their own game, saddle up and choose one of the following real money poker game formats.

** Immerse yourself in the exciting world of online poker with PokerStars lobby.

Poker Cash Games

Starting your online poker career on the cash tables has pros and cons. First of all, thanks to the popularity of real money poker online today, there will be lots of different table stakes to choose from, meaning you can dip your toe in the water with low-limit poker stakes – such as 5c/10c or even 2c/4c Blinds at some of the bigger online poker sites. In that kind of low-stake real-money poker game, you'll be sitting down with as little as $10 or $20, and that bankroll could last you for many sessions. However, if you are playing the most popular poker variation of No Limit Texas Holdem, regardless of the poker stakes you're playing, there's always a chance you can lose your whole bankroll in one hand. That's the nature of No Limit Hold'em. However, Limit Holdem tables are one of the best cash game formats to play when you're getting to grips with the game. In this format, the betting rounds are limited to a max bet pre-flop, on the flop, turn, and river, which means it's improbable you'll lose your whole poker stack, even if you get a bad beat at the poker table. We suggest looking at the different cash game varieties on offer, trying some lower stake games if you want cash games, and only ever playing with a maximum of 15% of your bankroll. The biggest mistake beginners make is to sit down with their whole bankroll at the table! It only takes one bit of bad luck, and your real money poker career online has ended.

Sit and Go Poker

Sit ‘n' Go, or SNG poker games online, are one of the best ways to get familiar with the game, risk relatively minor, and still have the chance to triple or quadruple your buy-in. This format has always been extremely popular online. Sit and Go Real Money Poker is essentially a single table tournament, where players all put up the same buy-in (varying from around $2-$1,000 or more) and play until only one player has poker chips. In an SnG poker game with 9 players, the top three players will get a payout, while in the smaller 6-seat tables, the top 2 players win a percentage of the prize pool. As a quick way to play, the SnG poker format is excellent, plus you can get Turbo or Hyper Turbo tables, where the Big Blind and Small Blinds increase more frequently, accelerating the action. Recently, a new format called the Jackpot SnG has become famous under various names. The concept is that players sit at a 3-player table, the winner takes all, but the prize pool is randomly allocated before the hands are dealt – meaning you could be playing for $2 or $100,000. The stakes and prize pools vary, but the appeal of winning big for very little has made this new Real Money poker innovation a huge deal in the online poker world over the last few years.

Multi-Table Poker Tournaments

The Multi-Table or MTT Poker tournament format got many people into poker. Watching players like Chris Moneymaker pitting his wits against big pros for millions of dollars in the World Series of Poker, the attraction of putting your money on the table and playing with the same amount of chips to outwit players for massive prize pools – very often in the millions – turned millions of players into poker enthusiasts overnight. Real Money poker tournaments online are a huge deal, especially with the benefits of playing multiple tables at once, from tiny stakes to the big weekly or monthly headline MTT poker tournaments usually on offer at the best online poker sites. The buy-in varies greatly, from Freeroll tournaments which cost nothing to play, to bigger online versions of the WSOP – which can have $10,000 buy-ins. Commonly though, the top poker tournaments available to play daily are in the region of $20 to $100 and will have 100s of players competing for prize pools in the $1000s. Playing and winning online poker tournaments is an excellent way to build a poker bankroll. One win takes from tiny to medium and high-stakes games.

Real Money Poker in the U.S.A

Before the online casino ban went into effect, real money poker online in the U.S was huge, with sites like Full Tilt and Pokerstars offering both rookie players and pros like Phil Ivery and Daniel Negreanu lucrative sponsorship deals. In the years since, there has been a steady appeal to bring back online poker to the U.S, which has been picking up speed. Now in New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia, and Connecticut, poker players have the chance to play against other U.S poker players online. Though slightly more limited than European poker rooms, the legitimate options are growing year on year, with heavy-hitters like the 888 poker room in New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada, along with New Jersey and Pennsylvania-based Pokerstars, the big online poker rooms coming back to the U.S, giving more and more real money poker options to players. As some of the better-known and reputable poker sites online, here are a few we would be happy recommending – for both being secure and offering a wide range of real money poker games – including Cash Games, Tournaments, and SnG's:

  • Pokerstars Poker Room
  • Poker via 888poker
  • Partypoker via BetMGM

Sweepstake Poker at Global Poker

An alternative to the Real Money poker games is the increasingly popular sweepstakes virtual currency poker room, made famous by Global Poker. There is still the chance to win real money cash prizes, which can be withdrawn onto many banking options like Mastercard, American Express, and Skrill. For many poker players, this form of a poker game doesn't have quite the same true grit as the real money poker games being played with real dollars. And one of the most significant downsides to this kind of poker game is that the players tend not to take the game very seriously, as there is nothing tangible at risk. One of the elements of playing real money poker that has such an attraction is that there's some time at stake on every hand you play.

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5 Things To Think About Before Playing Real Money Poker

Assuming you're wised up to the mechanics of the game, have developed a poker style, and feel you're ready to put your online poker face on for a game where there's real cash at stake, we'd still recommend you take a moment to consider the following before sitting down at the poker table with a stack of real money.

1. Poker Welcome Bonus offers

If you're looking to play for a long term and build a decent bankroll at a poker site, the Welcome Bonus on offer at the poker room or casino is important to consider before making your first deposit. Usually, you will be offered something like a 100% Match Bonus up to $100, or thereabouts. Regardless of the amount being offered, what's important is that you read the terms and conditions very carefully before accepting the bonus. Check the wagering requirements on the bonus, and calculate how many hands or pots you'd have to play at your chosen stake in a poker cash game or how many poker tournaments or cash games you'd have to buy-in to before the bonus becomes cashable and can be added to your real money poker bankroll.

2. Poker Games Variants

We have been speaking mainly about Texas Holdem poker, but there are many other poker variants, such as Omaha, Omaha hi-lo, Limit Holdem, 7 Card Stud, Mixed games like HORSE, Razz, and more. If you're interested in playing more than just Texas Holdem poker, you should search the poker lobby and check that the poker room offers many poker variants. Sites like Pokerstars pride themselves on having a wide range of poker variants, which attracts the more serious player to their poker site.

3. Poker Traffic

A poker site might have the best welcome bonus, excellent game variants, and many tournaments. Still, if it doesn't have enough poker players to guarantee a game at any time of day or night, it's not worth putting your poker bankroll in the poker room. Always check the poker lobby and see how many players are playing at any time of the day. You should be able to see multiple cash games full up and new tables being created at all times.

4. Features and Innovations

Because of innovations in the poker world like zoom and Jackpot multiplier SnG's, you should see that the poker site you're signing up to has multiple options to play the most recent, cutting-edge poker formats.

5. Deposits and Withdrawals

You must be able to top up your bankroll or cash out quickly at a poker site online. Read online poker reviews and keep your eyes peeled for any transaction difficulties. The best online poker sites will have an easy-to-access Cashier page from the leading poker website and within the poker room table so that you can deposit and top your bankroll while in the middle of a poker game.

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Real Money Poker Faqs

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to play Real Money Poker online?

Real Money poker is a safe and secure betting environment. Using encryption technology, licensed poker sites can ensure the safety of your state and transactions. Making sure you can withdraw your cash (exempting poker bonus funds) is a top priority for any online poker site that wants to have integrity. Make sure you choose only from verified and vetted online casinos for real money.

Can I win real money playing for Free at a poker site?

Most online poker sites do have Freerolls, which allow players to play in Freeroll poker tournaments and win real money prizes or tournament tokens. But if you are playing for Free Chips or Freeplay poker, usually there is no way to convert this into cash.

Can players win by playing real money poker online?

Yes, while much depends on how much you are willing to learn the game and play with discipline, players regularly have winnings poker sessions online. Because you are playing against other poker players and there is no house edge, the poker player will win the poker pots. Casinos take a rake, which is a percentage of a cash game prize pot or percentage of the tournament buy-in, but the hands are played between other real money poker players.

Is it easy to deposit money and play online poker?

For obvious reasons, an online poker room or casino wants to make it as easy as possible for you to deposit real money and play. Offering a selection of payment options like PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, e-wallets, and credit cards, you should always have plenty of ways to make a deposit at a poker site and start playing.

Do poker sites accept BitCoin?

More and more online poker sites and casino sites are starting to accept cryptocurrency payments like BitCoin and Ethereum as options to deposit. There are not too many big poker rooms like 888 poker offering these options yet, but let's see what the future holds.

Are there mobile poker rooms?

Over the last few years, one of the significant advances in the online poker world has been the improvement of mobile-friendly poker sites. Sites like Pokerstars have worked hard to optimize their poker games so mobile poker users aren't left out. Playing online poker on your iPhone, Android device, or iPad is one of the best ways to play these days. Appeak Poker, the 888 Poker room, and Pokerstars are top of the crop for mobile poker gaming.

Can I play real money poker in the U.S?

If you're residing or playing within New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia, or Connecticut, you will have options to play real money poker online. Read a site's legal requirements and try logging in from your destination. The poker website should state clearly if you're allowed to play real money poker from your state in the USA.

Is online poker better than offline?

Playing poker online or at a land-based poker room or casino is a very different experience. While some poker players love the social aspect of the live poker room and enjoy the chatting and environment, other players prefer to concentrate on poker hands and strategy from the comfort of their homes.