Online poker is popular amongst both professional poker players and beginners in 2021. Playing poker online offers a completely different level to cash games with friends or a tournament in a casino. A much faster process brings players real money in online poker. We’ve prepared all the relevant information for you in the following guide to help you get started: from the right poker room to choosing the type of game and managing finances – you’ll learn everything about playing online poker.
The best way to start playing online poker
- Find a suitable poker room here
- Online poker cash games, Stay and Go and MTT
- Learn tips and tricks for real money games
The top 10 online poker rooms
Up to first $2000
Rakeback Up to 60% Elite VIP / Fixed 27%
* New customers only.
How to choose the right online poker provider
In our top list of the best internet poker rooms you can quickly find a provider that meets your online poker needs. We regularly review poker sites and pay attention to the respectability, proper approval, safety, data protection and transparency, regulated payments, large range of games, great customer service and attractive poker bonus programs with a welcome offer and many promotions.
Choice of games
- All popular variants of poker
- Hundreds of tournaments every day
- Satellite coverage for all live tournaments
Bonuses and freerolls
- Welcome bonus and deposit bonuses
- Freeroll tournaments for new clients and regular players
- Rakeback and regular promotions
Payout of winnings
- Quick processing of withdrawals
- Reliable and convenient payment methods
- No commission for payments
- EU regulatory authority license
- Verified and certified poker software
- High level of security with SSL encryption
- Great availability
- Free to contact by telephone, chat, e-mail etc.
- English-speaking customer support
Play online poker step-by-step
Online poker can seem a little bit difficult, but starting to play for real money is easy and can be done by following these steps:
- Choose a poker site that suits you from our list. All providers were tested and verified by us therefore you can count on security and reliability.
- Register as a new client. To do this enter your personal information. For legal reasons you must show that you are an adult with a valid ID.
- Depending on the provider you either download the poker game software or you play online in your browser. In any case you must be logged in as a new customer.
- In order to play for real money you must place funds into your account. There are several different payment methods available. Choose the most convenient method for you and enter the desired amount. With the majority of bank transfers your balance is available immediately. Don’t forget to ask for a welcome bonus with your deposit.
- Now you’re ready to play online. Online poker providers have a lobby as a starting point for the game. Here you can chose one of many poker variants and decide if you want to play in cash games, at Sit’n’Go tables or in multiple table tournaments. You can limit the search using the filter functions for buy-ins and limits.
Different variants of online poker games
If you look in the lobby of one of the larger poker rooms, you’ll find that you have a big choice before you. Firstly, there are different poker variants, such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha or Stud poker. Secondly, there are cash games, Sit’n’Go and MTT. Different formats suit different types of players and have their own advantages and disadvantages. We give you an overview. We’ll tell you about them.
Unlike tournaments, chips in cash game have real value and therefore in each round you play directly for real money rather than a prize at the end. The maximum buy-in can be applied to no-limit games. You can start and leave cash games at any moment. You also have the option of buying more chips.
- Small time investment: leave the table when you want
- You can buy chips at any time
- Constant blind bets
- Your stack fluctuates less
- Larger bankroll needed
- Player level increases with limits
- Many sharks waiting for fish
Sit‘n ’Go is a poker tournament that begins only when the table has enough players. Usually this has no repurchase and you pay the fee for participating, buy-in and play for prize money. It’s different from cash games in that the number of players decreases until it reaches heads up and also in Sit’n’Go you can be more strategic but at the same time different stages require a bit more skill.
- You only pay to participate
- Variants with different numbers of people are possible
- Different strategies are possible
- Takes more time
- Different stages of the tournament and different number of opponents
- Your stack can fluctuate a lot
MTT: Multi-table tournament
Major poker tournaments take place over a long period of time and involve multiple tables.
The winner of each table is promoted until the best players in the tournament make it to the final table.
In order to take part you also pay buy-in here and usually can’t buy more, unless it’s a re-buy tournament. MTTs require a lot of time and knowledge about different tournament phases, each of which have their own strategy.
- Many providers offer freerolls without commission
- With the winnings you can increase your bankroll
- It requires a lot more time depending on the number of participants
- Receiving real money is difficult
Manage your real money bankroll in online poker
The term bankroll in online poker is the sum of real money available for your poker games. You play only with the money that you have at your disposal. You must play only in the tournaments, Sit’n’Go tales and cash games that you can afford, meaning that your game should match your bankroll. Of course, you can play online poker with a smaller budget if you limit yourself to low buy-ins.
When choosing a suitable table or tournament it’s important to remember several factors: buy-in means the fee for participating in a tournament or the maximum sum with which you can participate in cash games. Blinds, divided into large and small blinds, are the minimum bets that players to the left-hand side of the dealer must bet. Big blinds are the minimum sum that you can raise. When planning your bankroll keep in mind that blinds can increase throughout the tournament.
As practice shows, your bankroll in no-limit Hold’em must be no less than 20 buy-ins. Limit hold’em must be 300 big blinds and in tournaments it must be no less than 400 buy ins. In the following table we provide a detailed overview:
|TYPE||BANKROLL IN BUY IN|
|Cash game in a no-limit hold’em 6-max||30||50||100|
|Ring cash game no-limit hold’em||25||40||75|
|Cash game Pot-limit Omaha 6-max||50||100||150|
|Ring cash game Pot-limit Omaha||30||50||100|
|Sit’n’Go no-limit hold’em 9 players||30||50||100|
|Sit’n’Go no-limit hold’em 45 players||500||100||150|
|Sit’n’-Go no-limit hold’em 180 players||100||200||500|
|МТТ no-limit hold’em||100||200||500|
|МТТ no-limit hold’em (large player field)||200||400||600|
The variant with the smallest bankroll gives you less wiggle room, while the medium bankroll suits most players, and the large bankroll suits cautious players. For example: you want to play a cash game with no-limit hold’em. Our table recommends a bankroll with 40 buy-ins. If the maximum buy-in is 20 euros then your bankroll should be no less than $800. If you want to take part in hold’em sit’n’go with 9 players, the medium bankroll is 50 buy-ins. With a participation fee of $50 for the tournament you’ll need a bankroll of $2500.
FAQ: Frequently asked questions about online poker
What is the difference between live poker and online poker?
Online poker and live poker are identical from the point of view of processes and rules. However games on the internet in poker rooms are fast and you have less time to wait. The choice of providers for online poker is great and suits all types of players. It’s easy to find a suitable table and tournament. You can also use tools such as poker software for online poker games.
Who can I play poker against online for real money?
You can play against any player who has registered on the same poker site. Large virtual poker rooms belong to the so-called poker networks that have several thousand players. So you don’t need to worry about finding teammates. Online poker is available at any time day or night.
Is it safe to play poker online?
Despite the fact that online poker is generally safe and regulated there’s always questionable providers who stand out due to their bad business practices. We recommend only using safe and transparent reliable poker sites. We pay attention to the EU license, reliable payment methods, verified poker software, easy payouts and security via encrypted data transmission. Serious providers have no game fraud or manipulation and offer secure customer accounts.
What is ‘rake’ in online poker?
Rake is a part of the bank when you pay the online poker operator in the form of commission from the pot. The amount varies depending on the type of game and can range from 2% up to 10%. The rake is normally different for tournaments and cash games. In online poker the rake is lower compared to live poker or poker in a casino.
What do I do: play an online poker tournament or a cash game?
It all depends on you. Poker tournaments and cash games are played in different ways and have advantages and disadvantages. Many poker players specialize in one or the other but you should try out both. Find out which you like better and play that! In any case, in order to start you should try the freeroll tournaments from the online poker provider.
Can I play on several online poker sites?
Yes, there’s nothing bad about registering with several poker rooms. That way not only can you take advantage of several welcome bonuses but also the regular offers and use different details about yourself. For example, individual providers can differ in tournaments or be a member of different poker networks.
Where and how can I find the best online poker provider?
Don’t go looking for an authoritative and trustworthy online poker site yourself. Our specialists regularly test poker sites and have made a list of the best providers for all players. Choose from the best online poker rooms!