Our expert team have compared the best online poker sites, so that you can find a place to play poker online easily, without the hassle of worrying about which rooms are reliable, pay on time and provide a good quality poker game. You also want to play poker using glitch free software, against players whereby it’s easy to win, too – which are both vital aspects of our rating system. You can play both real money poker and play money poker online.
What online poker games can you expect to find at these sites?
Poker sites typically offer a number of different types of poker, the most popular of these being Texas Hold ‘Em. Other popular poker games you can play online include Omaha, Razz, HORSE and 7-card stud. There are always new games becoming available. Traditionally there are three types of Texas Hold ‘Em you can play online: no-limit hold ‘em, limit hold ‘em and pot limit hold ‘em. To get started, we recommend that you try out all 3 types of Texas Hold ‘Em, to find which you enjoy playing the most. If you’re not sure about exactly how to play, check out our beginner’s guide on how to play poker.
What’s important when choosing a site to play poker at?
There are a number of factors that influence whether you should join a particular online poker room or not. All the poker rooms we recommend we have personally played on, and have checked to ensure there are no major issues which will affect your experience. Some of the aspects that you should look out for are below.
Number of players
You don’t want to end up playing poker in a room where there’s very few players, do you? The best poker rooms will have at least hundreds of players playing poker online at any time of day, making it easy to find a suitable poker game at the limits you want to play. If the poker room you have signed up for feels a bit deserted, try out one of the rooms we’ve listed above. They all typically have thousands of players online at once.
The level of bonuses offered
If you play poker online a lot, or otherwise plan to make a big deposit – then the bonus schemes available are important. Poker rooms often compete against each other to offer players the best bonuses possible, and we are always comparing poker rooms to ensure that we put forward the best bonuses we can find to our readers. Don’t sign-up for a poker room without finding a good bonus here first, or you’ll be missing out on what’s effectively free poker money!
You don’t want to get stuck playing poker online on glitchy software. Imagine if you’ve put half your stack in, and the software crashes. You could potentially lose hundreds if not thousands of dollars! We only recommend that you play poker online at rooms with excellent software, to minimise the chance of this happening. All our recommended poker sites put numerous measures into place to minimise the impact of power cuts, computer and internet failures on all real money hands and tournaments.
The rake is the small amount of money that the poker room takes out of the pot in each hand – all poker rooms charge a rake, whether they are in a brick & mortar casino, or online. The rake is how an online poker room make their money from you playing poker. Poker rooms can have various different rake levels, and we only recommend sites which we believe offer a very fair rake level to players.
Service & support
It’s important that if you play poker online you are confident that the room you play at offers a high level of customer support. You don’t want to be stuck in a position where you have thousands of dollars sitting in a poker room which you cannot withdraw! We make sure that each poker room we recommend responds promptly to support requests, and is in a good position to help its players.
Who are some of the world’s best online poker players?
We’ve all heard the amazing stories about some of the staggering amounts of money that players have won playing poker online, so we thought we would put together a couple of brief bio’s on some of the world’s very best online poker players.
Tom “durrr” Dwan – Typically plays cash poker
Tom “durrr” Dwan rose to true fame by playing high stake cash games, having started out with just $50 on full tilt poker. He rapidly learnt how to play online poker with real money and soon begun cracking the $6 s-n-g’s, and from there his rise just hasn’t stopped. He is well known for his fearless bluffs, and being one seriously aggressive poker pro. Whilst Dwan mainly sticks to the cash tables, he also has not insignificant tournament winnings. He has reached the final table of both the WSOP and WPT, and won well in excess of $1m in tournament winnings.
Dwan is famous for losing what was the biggest pot in online poker ever at the time, against Di “Urindanger” Dang, in October 2008, whereby Tom Dwan’s kings rather unfortunately ran into Dang’s pocket aces, which held up, resulting in Dwan losing the massively famous ~$723k pot. Not to be scared away from the high stakes, Tom Dwan subsequently was involved in the biggest pot ever to be broadcast on the television show, “High Stakes Poker”. Tom Dwan won an even bigger ~$919k pot on the show against Barry Greenstein, in March 2009.
Most recently Dwan has offered any player 3:1 odds on $500k of their own money to play Texas Hold ‘Em online against him heads-up, at 4 simultaneous tables for 50,000 hands. Patrik Antonius was the first player to jump at the challenge, however it is believed that Patrik Antonius bought out of the bet, as he was massively down to Dwan. At the last known point of the durrr challenge, Tom Dwan was up by more than $1.8 million, a nearly insurmountable lead for Patrik to catch.
Phil Ivey – Perhaps the all around best online poker player in the world
Phil Ivey is perhaps the most well known and renowned poker player in the world. Widely feared at the table due to his reputation proceeding him, his staggering poker ability – and well, just look at that poker face. Phil Ivey has more or less won it all, from tournaments to cash games and Omaha to Texas Hold ‘Em. A player this successful and diverse is simply staggering, and we struggle to think of anyone like him when it comes to true poker skill.
As a young man, aged 18, Phil Ivey was given the nickname by players down at his local casino: “No Home Jerome”. However at this point in his life, Phil Ivey wasn’t the poker great he is today. He frequently lost, and was not a winning player – his gambling often got him into troubles with keeping up with bills and he ended up in some pretty desperate situations.
This all turned around when he reached the tender age of 21, and begun to start turning a profit. He finally told the floor staff at the casino his real name, after playing with a fake id for years, and aged 24 he started placing in some of the world’s biggest poker tournaments, such as the WSOP events in both NL Hold ‘Em and Omaha. Phil has since won WSOP events 5 times, and finished on the final table 9 times. He has dominated some of the world’s biggest cash games too, a frequent at the $4k/$8k table in the Bellagio.
Phil Ivey’s poker tournament winnings to date total more than $16 million, which is simply staggering.
Is playing poker online safe and legal?
You can play poker online legally in many countries around the world, but it’s up to you to check and ensure that you can play in your particular country, and that the poker room you are playing at allows you to withdraw money there. For most countries it’s no problem. If you are in the United States, you need to pay particular attention to where you can play. There is an ongoing battle in the US to legalise and legislate online poker, but unfortunately it’s taking longer than we originally hoped. Some countries such as India ban players from playing poker online, so if you are not 100% sure whether online poker is legal or not in your country, it’s best to check. Wikipedia have a good set of up-to-date information on the legality of online poker in various countries here.
There are a couple of poker rooms which do allow players from the US, the primary poker room we recommend to US based players is Lock Poker. If you are a UK player looking to play poker online, then check out our list of the best UK poker sites.
Online poker is safe, providing you play at one of the reputable rooms we have listed on this page. We only recommend top poker rooms, which have stood the test of time and have timely payouts.
Interested In Playing Different Casino Games Online?
No problem! Although we recommend you check out our list of the best online casinos instead. We review our online casinos using different methods. Not all online casinos offer poker, and not all online poker rooms offer casino games either. It’s often worth creating a casino account at one website, and a poker account at another to get the best playing experience. Some casino games you can play include roulette, craps, blackjack, keno, 3 card poker, let it ride and much more.