The Best Online Poker Real Money Sites in 2020
You never know when that itch to play poker will creep up. It could be on a random weeknight when you’re hundreds of miles from the nearest casino or realize it’s impossible to gather enough friends to boot up a fresh game before the weekend. Despite these hurdles, that itch must be scratched and for that, online poker real money casinos are always there in your time of need.
Our basic guide will help you find the best online poker sites, explain why real money games are so popular, walk you through the poker deposit process, highlight bonus offers and promotions, and share some tips for beginners.
Best Online Poker Real Money Sites 2020
- What is online poker?
- What are some popular variations of online poker?
- What are the advantages vs. regular poker?
- What are my deposit options?
- What are some tips to winning online poker?
From its inception in the early 1800s and for decades to follow, poker was known for its intimate in-person setting, with players positioned around a gaming table. Over the past 20 years, the iconic game has embraced technological advances. Online poker in the United States popped up in the late 1990s via the IRC (internet relay chat) format and opened up a new digital world for players that eventually led to the creation of Planet Poker, the first site to offer real money poker.
In the years to follow, more online poker sites were born and paved a new pathway to Las Vegas’ World Series of Poker. Online tournaments’ top prizes were a coveted seat at the main event. Once Chris Moneymaker not only won a seat via a PokerStars online satellite tournament, but became the 2003 WSOP Main Event champion, the digital poker boom erupted.
In the eight years to follow, more casual at-home players took their “talents” to the internet in hopes of becoming the next Moneymaker or Greg Raymer. As a result, more and more online poker real money sites were born to address the heavy demand. You could say poker enjoyed a renaissance during the first decade of the 21st century.
However, it was also short-lived. In April 2011, on what would become known as “Black Monday,” the federal government seized the three largest online poker site operators, PokerStars, Full Tilt and Absolute. The poker boom came to a screeching halt.
Black Friday forced offshore operators to step up their regulatory measures, which third-party authorities keep tabs on throughout the year. Only the top regulated sites manage to thrive in this online poker environment, such as the ones we recommend near the top of this page.
If you’re new to online poker real money, sites offer several game variations to choose from, but don’t worry as these games are often just like the at-home, casino floor poker room versions you already know.
- Texas Hold’em (Limit, No Limit, Pot Limit) – The most popular variation of online poker for real money. This is what you will see at the World Series of Poker Main Event.
- Seven-Card Stud (High and High/Low) – Make your best possible five-card hand from seven cards, which are a mix of both face-up and face-down cards.
- Five-Card Draw – The easiest real money poker game variation. It is the same as video poker.
- Five-Card Stud – Players receive one face-down card, but the rest are face up.
- Omaha (High and High/Low) – Players have to make their best hand from two of four cards dealt to them, along with three community cards out of five.
- Razz (Seven-card stud low only) – Instead of players going for high cards, the goal is to get a hand from Ace to Five.
- 2-to-7 Triple Draw Lowball – The low hand wins the pot in this variation.
- Texas Hold’em
- Seven-Card Stud
- Five-Card Draw
- Five-Card Stud
- 2-to-7 Triple Draw Lowball
At the end of the day, online technologies do provide convenience. This ease of use is why online poker continues to gain new players and rise in popularity. No longer is there a need to book a hotel and a flight to Vegas or Atlantic City, sit in traffic on the way to a local casino or nag your buddies into hosting poker night at their house this time. You can hop into a real money poker game from the comfort of your own home without getting off the couch or putting down your mobile device.
With so many online poker game variations, there’s a little bit of something for every taste. If you’re not a fan of Texas Hold’em, no problem, just hop into the next Omaha or Five-Card Draw session.
Always a Seat at the Table
Most online poker casinos offer multiple rooms and tables. So, if you join a table and see there are no open seats, simply exit and find the next one. Due to the popularity of the online poker sites highlighted at the top of this page, games are always on and seats are always available.
After you sign up for a new online casino account, you’ll need to visit the cashier to make your first deposit. As you can see in the sample chart below, most online poker real money sites accept major credit cards and bank wire transfers, but cryptocurrencies have become a viable option in recent years and, depending on the casino, Bitcoin and the like enjoy generous deposit bonuses.
When you visit the cashier, you’ll provide financial information over an encrypted website so you can be assured those details are safe and secure. Once the deposit is processed, you’ll see the balance on your account reflect the amount added. From there, you can make your way to the online casino’s poker room.
|Deposit Type||Min-Max Deposits|
|Bitcoin||$20 – $100,000|
|Ethereum||$20 – $100,000|
|Ripple||$20 – $100,000|
|Litecoin||$20 – $100,000|
|Bitcoin Cash||$20 – $100,000|
|Visa||$50 – $2,500|
|Mastercard||$50 – $2,500|
|American Express||$50- $2,500|
|Person to Person||$100 – $600|
|Money Orders||$300 – $9,000|
|Bank Wire Transfer||$1,000 – No Max|
Promotions are extremely common at the best online poker sites. Most large real money poker sites offer an initial deposit bonus, which matches your deposit up to a certain dollar amount (100% up to $500, for example). Poker bonuses are usually released in increments based on the stakes and number of hands you play. Other promotions to look for include bad beat jackpots, loyalty programs, rakeback, and giveaways to major tournaments like the WSOP. Be sure to do your homework on deposits and withdrawals before signing up for a new online casino account.
Table position does play a factor in online poker strategy. If you are one of the last players to bet on any given hand – known as late position – you are at an advantage because you get to see if previous players bet, raise, fold or check before making a decision. This can allow you to be more or less aggressive with your next move. If the rest of the table checks and you’re holding two KINGS, perhaps a raise is in order or you could slow-play the hand, lure them in and fatten the pot.
The best bankroll advice is: plan ahead. Know before you sit down at a table cash game or tournament how much you want to bet, have to bet and, if needed, how much you want to reload should you hit a cold streak. Don’t budge from the budget and your online poker experience will be an enjoyable one.
If you’re new to online poker or poker in general, it’s a good idea to study the game before you jump in and wager real money. Join an ongoing poker session, but don’t sit down. Get the lay of the land and how each hand works, including betting amounts and pace. By doing this, you’re improving your chances of winning in the early going, while you continue to build a knowledge base. No poker player is perfect and if you do your homework, anybody can find the edge needed to win the next pot or tournament.