Enjoy Online Poker Without Downloading Software
The days when the only option for playing online poker was a big software package are long gone. You can now access poker games from many of the big sites via your web browser. These can work on mobile devices (including iPhones) as well as desktops of laptops.
This page covers all you need to know about the practical aspects of enjoying no-download poker. You’ll find information on the different games, deposit options and bonuses which are accessible without installing any software.
Here are the no-download poker topics covered on this page:
There are a lot of reasons to choose the instant-play versions of popular poker rooms. Some of these are practical, while others are for safety and security.
Before you fire up your browser and start playing, you need to understand the drawbacks of this playing method. These involve the game selection – and difficulty playing more than one game.
As you saw above, some instant-play poker clients have a restricted game selection. Here I have covered the main poker formats – and discussed the pros and cons of each for no-download players.
Cash Games:Real money cash games are the most commonly offered games on browser poker sites. The advantage here is that you can step in for a short time and enjoy a few hands. There are always 100’s of games going on with stakes ranging from the micros ($2 stacks) through to high stakes cash games. You’ll find most games are No-Limit Holdem, though at bigger sites a selection of PLO, PLO8 and even Stud games run.
Poker Tournaments:Of all the formats, multi-table tournaments are the least suited to no download poker. This is especially the case when you are out and about using a mobile device. It is the length of these games which makes them unsuitable. Many poker sites with instant-play options do not run tournaments at all.
Sit N Go Tournaments:With a smaller time commitment and straightforward strategy, Sit N Goes work well via your browser window. The most popular format is 1 table with 9 players – three of which make the money. There are turbo and even hyper turbo variants available if you are short on time.
Fast-Fold Poker Games:If you are accessing a no-download poker site via a mobile phone, Fast-Fold games are ideal. This is a cash game variant involving pools of players. You start a new hand as soon as you fold your hand. This makes the best use of a single table – as there is no waiting time between hands like in a regular cash game. Some sites – such as the US-friendly Bovada – make this the focus of their no-download client.
Lottery Sit n Goes:Another super-fast format, this time with 3 players and hyper-turbo blinds. This is another poker format which works well for very short sessions. You can finish these games in under 10 minutes. A big attraction is the random prize pools – these allow you to win up to 10000x your buy-in. Prizes are only shown once the game begins.
It is not only possible to play games without downloading poker software, you can also deposit and withdraw from your account. Before you do this, always make sure that your instant-play client is displaying the ‘https’ secure website sign.
How you can deposit will depend on whether you are US-based or not. US players can enjoy no-download poker at offshore sites. While these sites operate legally, banks and financial networks will try to block payments there.
Here are the no download deposit options for US players:
Outside of the US, you will have a lot more options. These include mainstream payment services including PayPal or Apple Pay in many cases. Debit and credit cards are the most popular international option. Without the banking restrictions, using these is just like making any online purchase.
Another category of international payment options are electronic wallets (known as eWallets). These are online accounts, which form a bridge between your bank and the no-download poker rooms. They add security and peace of mind for a small fee. Popular brands include Skrill, Neteller and Trustly.
There are certainly some big benefits to using a no-download poker client compared to the full software package. The flexibility to play wherever there is a computer available is the main one. This includes instant-play clients which work on your mobile devices.
A hidden benefit is the flexibility to switch between sites – without needing to install a full package of download software each time. If you share your computer, then downloading poker software might be an even bigger ask.
You should be aware that the game selection via no-download rooms is more limited. Some sites only offer fast-fold poker – or only cash games. If you are a tournament fan, I recommend using instant-play for cash, and installing software for the longer format multi-table tournaments.
With full cashier functionality, you’ll have no problem funding your account via your browser too.