Best Online Poker Sites (February 2024)

Best Online Poker Sites Comparison

We have tested and rated the best online poker sites and poker providers. All big poker providers have been tested in 12 categories and rated on a scale of 1 to 5. The table below shows which sites had the best results in our poker site test.

There are quite a lot of poker rooms online. Where are most players? Where are the most fish? Who offers the best bonuses? Which software is the best? We strive to answer all these questions honestly and help you pick the best poker provider.

List: Best Online Poker Sites 2024

FilterAccepts players from
Sort
JackPoker
★★★★★★★★★★3.9
Best New Operator
Soft GamesNo HUDsGenerous bonus
0
players
Details
50% up to $3,000
18+ | T&C apply
Games
Texas Hold'emOmahaStudDrawBadugiShort DeckMixed GamesTournamentsJackpot SnGs
Rating
Software3.4★★★★★★★★★★
Cash Games4.4★★★★★★★★★★
Tournaments3.5★★★★★★★★★★
Other Games3.3★★★★★★★★★★
Rake and Fees1.8★★★★★★★★★★
Bonus4.8★★★★★★★★★★
VIP Program4.6★★★★★★★★★★
Player Pool3.5★★★★★★★★★★
Softness4.8★★★★★★★★★★
Reputation3.9★★★★★★★★★★
Support4.3★★★★★★★★★★
Banking4.5★★★★★★★★★★
Payment Options
VisaMastercardSkrillNetellerecoPayzLuxon PayPayPalPaysafeBitcoinEthereumUSDTBank Transfer
License
Gaming Curacao GLH-OCCHKTW0704092022
Bonus
50% up to $3,000Welcome bonus clears at $5 per $20 rake for a net cashback of 25%. Players have 60 days to play through the bonus. The minimum deposit is $20.Code: NEWBONUS
BetOnline
★★★★★★★★★★3.4
US friendlyCrypto deposits/withdrawalsLong established
0
players
Details
100% up to $1,000
18+ | T&C apply
Games
Texas Hold'emOmahaStudDrawBadugiShort DeckMixed GamesTournamentsJackpot SnGs
Rating
Software4.4★★★★★★★★★★
Cash Games4.1★★★★★★★★★★
Tournaments3.0★★★★★★★★★★
Other Games2.1★★★★★★★★★★
Rake and Fees2.0★★★★★★★★★★
Bonus1.8★★★★★★★★★★
VIP Program3.1★★★★★★★★★★
Player Pool3.3★★★★★★★★★★
Softness4.8★★★★★★★★★★
Reputation3.6★★★★★★★★★★
Support4.0★★★★★★★★★★
Banking4.7★★★★★★★★★★
Payment Options
VisaMastercardSkrillNetellerecoPayzLuxon PayPayPalPaysafeBitcoinEthereumUSDTBank Transfer
License
Panama NR: 620623
Bonus
100% up to $1,000Welcome bonus clears at $10 per $100 rake for a net cashback of 10%. Players have 30 days to play through the bonus. The minimum deposit is $50.Code: NEWBOL
Tiger Gaming
★★★★★★★★★★3.3
Soft Cash GamesBitcoin deposits / withdrawalsWeekly racesBad Beat Jackpot
0
players
Details
100% up to $1,000
18+ | T&C apply
Games
Texas Hold'emOmahaStudDrawBadugiShort DeckMixed GamesTournamentsJackpot SnGs
Rating
Software4.4★★★★★★★★★★
Cash Games4.1★★★★★★★★★★
Tournaments3.0★★★★★★★★★★
Other Games2.1★★★★★★★★★★
Rake and Fees2.0★★★★★★★★★★
Bonus1.8★★★★★★★★★★
VIP Program2.4★★★★★★★★★★
Player Pool3.3★★★★★★★★★★
Softness4.8★★★★★★★★★★
Reputation3.1★★★★★★★★★★
Support3.9★★★★★★★★★★
Banking4.9★★★★★★★★★★
Payment Options
VisaMastercardSkrillNetellerecoPayzLuxon PayPayPalPaysafeBitcoinEthereumUSDTBank Transfer
License
Curacao Curaçao eGaming 5536/JAZ
Bonus
100% up to $1,000Welcome bonus clears at $10 per $100 rake for a net cashback of 10%. Players have 30 days to play through the bonus. The minimum deposit is $50.Code: NEWTG
William Hill
★★★★★★★★★★3.5
Simple software80+ years experienceWeekly Twister races
0
players
Details
100% up to £100
18+ | T&C apply
Games
Texas Hold'emOmahaStudDrawBadugiShort DeckMixed GamesTournamentsJackpot SnGs
Rating
Software3.8★★★★★★★★★★
Cash Games3.8★★★★★★★★★★
Tournaments3.2★★★★★★★★★★
Other Games2.3★★★★★★★★★★
Rake and Fees3.1★★★★★★★★★★
Bonus2.3★★★★★★★★★★
VIP Program2.9★★★★★★★★★★
Player Pool4.0★★★★★★★★★★
Softness3.7★★★★★★★★★★
Reputation4.6★★★★★★★★★★
Support3.8★★★★★★★★★★
Banking4.4★★★★★★★★★★
Payment Options
VisaMastercardSkrillNetellerecoPayzLuxon PayPayPalPaysafeBitcoinEthereumUSDTBank Transfer
Licenses
GRA GRA / 034 & 042UKGC UKCG / 000-039225 R-319373-009
Bonus
100% up to £100First deposit bonus clears at £10 per £70 rake (net cashback of 14%). New players have 45 days after their first deposit to claim the bonus.No bonus code needed£9 free on 1st depositBonus consists of 6 tourney tickets worth £1 each plus 10 free casino spins worth £0.50 each. This bonus is on top of the £100 First deposit bonus. Casino free spin winnings are capped at £20 and need to be wagered 40 times before they can be withdrawn.No bonus code needed
bet-at-home
★★★★★★★★★★3.8
Strong European brandEasy to clear bonusOutstanding support
0
players
Details
100% up to €1,500
18+ | T&C apply
Games
Texas Hold'emOmahaStudDrawBadugiShort DeckMixed GamesTournamentsJackpot SnGs
Rating
Software3.8★★★★★★★★★★
Cash Games3.8★★★★★★★★★★
Tournaments3.2★★★★★★★★★★
Other Games2.3★★★★★★★★★★
Rake and Fees3.1★★★★★★★★★★
Bonus4.0★★★★★★★★★★
VIP Program4.3★★★★★★★★★★
Player Pool4.0★★★★★★★★★★
Softness3.7★★★★★★★★★★
Reputation4.5★★★★★★★★★★
Support4.3★★★★★★★★★★
Banking4.4★★★★★★★★★★
Payment Options
VisaMastercardSkrillNetellerecoPayzLuxon PayPayPalPaysafeBitcoinEthereumUSDTBank Transfer
License
MGA MGA/B2C/173/2004
Bonus
100% up to €1,500100% up to €1,500 which clears at €5 per €25 in rake paid over the first 60 days.No bonus code needed
Betsson
★★★★★★★★★★3.8
Great for grinders
30% cashbackStrong bonus6+ Hold'emSwedish company
0
players
Details
100% up to €2,000
18+ | T&C apply
Games
Texas Hold'emOmahaStudDrawBadugiShort DeckMixed GamesTournamentsJackpot SnGs
Rating
Software4.1★★★★★★★★★★
Cash Games3.8★★★★★★★★★★
Tournaments3.2★★★★★★★★★★
Other Games2.3★★★★★★★★★★
Rake and Fees3.1★★★★★★★★★★
Bonus4.0★★★★★★★★★★
VIP Program4.3★★★★★★★★★★
Player Pool4.0★★★★★★★★★★
Softness3.7★★★★★★★★★★
Reputation4.6★★★★★★★★★★
Support4.3★★★★★★★★★★
Banking4.4★★★★★★★★★★
Payment Options
VisaMastercardSkrillNetellerecoPayzLuxon PayPayPalPaysafeBitcoinEthereumUSDTBank Transfer
Licenses
MGA MGA/CRP/108/2004UKGC 000-006516-R-315838-015Spelinspektionen C-87620
Bonus
100% up to €2,000Receive 100% up to €2,000 first deposit bonus which clears at 20% net cashback over 60 days.No bonus code needed
Juicy Stakes
★★★★★★★★★★3.6
Rakeback available
Soft gamesGreat $2k BonusRakebackUS Friendly
0
players
Details
Up to $2,000 Bonus
18+ | T&C apply
Games
Texas Hold'emOmahaStudDrawBadugiShort DeckMixed GamesTournamentsJackpot SnGs
Rating
Software3.0★★★★★★★★★★
Cash Games4.0★★★★★★★★★★
Tournaments3.1★★★★★★★★★★
Other Games2.2★★★★★★★★★★
Rake and Fees3.5★★★★★★★★★★
Bonus4.4★★★★★★★★★★
VIP Program4.3★★★★★★★★★★
Player Pool2.4★★★★★★★★★★
Softness4.6★★★★★★★★★★
Reputation3.4★★★★★★★★★★
Support4.0★★★★★★★★★★
Banking4.4★★★★★★★★★★
Payment Options
VisaMastercardSkrillNetellerecoPayzLuxon PayPayPalPaysafeBitcoinEthereumUSDTBank Transfer
License
Gaming Curacao
Bonus
200% up to $2,000Min. deposit is $25. The bonus can be claimed over 90 days and clears at a cash back rate of 42%.Code: 1000JUICY
CoinPoker
★★★★★★★★★★4.0
Lowest rake
Crypto paymentsOperating worldwideOpen Face Chinese
0
players
Details
100% up to $1,100 bonus
18+ | T&C apply
Games
Texas Hold'emOmahaStudDrawBadugiShort DeckMixed GamesTournamentsJackpot SnGs
Rating
Software3.5★★★★★★★★★★
Cash Games4.2★★★★★★★★★★
Tournaments3.6★★★★★★★★★★
Other Games4.3★★★★★★★★★★
Rake and Fees4.4★★★★★★★★★★
Bonus4.5★★★★★★★★★★
VIP Program3.6★★★★★★★★★★
Player Pool3.2★★★★★★★★★★
Softness4.7★★★★★★★★★★
Reputation3.4★★★★★★★★★★
Support4.2★★★★★★★★★★
Banking4.4★★★★★★★★★★
Payment Options
VisaMastercardSkrillNetellerecoPayzLuxon PayPayPalPaysafeBitcoinEthereumUSDTBank Transfer
Bonus
100% up to $1,100 Welcome BonusOver the first three deposits players can claim three bonuses amounting up to USDT 1,100. Players have 60 days to play through the bonus. The bonus has the value of 50% rake back.No bonus code needed
Bovada
★★★★★★★★★★3.9
US friendlyMany playersBig Tournaments
0
players
Details
$500 Sign Up Bonus
18+ | T&C apply
Games
Texas Hold'emOmahaStudDrawBadugiShort DeckMixed GamesTournamentsJackpot SnGs
Rating
Software3.9★★★★★★★★★★
Cash Games4.3★★★★★★★★★★
Tournaments4.1★★★★★★★★★★
Other Games3.7★★★★★★★★★★
Rake and Fees3.5★★★★★★★★★★
Bonus4.0★★★★★★★★★★
VIP Program2.6★★★★★★★★★★
Player Pool4.0★★★★★★★★★★
Softness4.2★★★★★★★★★★
Reputation3.9★★★★★★★★★★
Support4.2★★★★★★★★★★
Banking4.6★★★★★★★★★★
Payment Options
VisaMastercardSkrillNetellerecoPayzLuxon PayPayPalPaysafeBitcoinEthereumUSDTBank Transfer
License
Curacao 1668/JAZ
Bonus
100% up to $500The bonus can be claimed over 30 days and clears at $5 per $10 rake.Code: PWB500
888poker
★★★★★★★★★★4.1
Perfect for beginners
Loose gamesMany free promosGreat low-stakes traffic
0
players
Details
$20 no deposit bonus
18+ | T&C apply
Games
Texas Hold'emOmahaStudDrawBadugiShort DeckMixed GamesTournamentsJackpot SnGs
Rating
Software4.2★★★★★★★★★★
Cash Games3.9★★★★★★★★★★
Tournaments4.2★★★★★★★★★★
Other Games3.5★★★★★★★★★★
Rake and Fees3.2★★★★★★★★★★
Bonus5.0★★★★★★★★★★
VIP Program2.9★★★★★★★★★★
Player Pool3.9★★★★★★★★★★
Softness4.5★★★★★★★★★★
Reputation4.8★★★★★★★★★★
Support4.4★★★★★★★★★★
Banking4.5★★★★★★★★★★
Payment Options
VisaMastercardSkrillNetellerecoPayzLuxon PayPayPalPaysafeBitcoinEthereumUSDTBank Transfer
Licenses
MGA (MGA/CRP/543/2018/02)UKGC (000-039028GRA (039 & 022)
Bonus
€20 free without depositNo deposit needed. Bonus will be granted in Tournament Tickets gradually over 7 days after the claim date.No bonus code needed100% up to €400100% welcome bonus with up to €400. Players have 90 days to clear the bonus.Code: WELCOME100
Americas Cardroom
★★★★★★★★★★3.8
Massive guaranteesBig weekly point races
0
players
Details
100% up to $1,000
18+ | T&C apply
Games
Texas Hold'emOmahaStudDrawBadugiShort DeckMixed GamesTournamentsJackpot SnGs
Rating
Software4.3★★★★★★★★★★
Cash Games4.2★★★★★★★★★★
Tournaments4.2★★★★★★★★★★
Other Games4.0★★★★★★★★★★
Rake and Fees3.6★★★★★★★★★★
Bonus3.7★★★★★★★★★★
VIP Program4.0★★★★★★★★★★
Player Pool3.9★★★★★★★★★★
Softness3.8★★★★★★★★★★
Reputation3.2★★★★★★★★★★
Support3.3★★★★★★★★★★
Banking3.5★★★★★★★★★★
Payment Options
VisaMastercardSkrillNetellerecoPayzLuxon PayPayPalPaysafeBitcoinEthereumUSDTBank Transfer
Bonus
100% up to $1,000Min deposit: $25. Bonus increased to 200% up to $1,000 when depositing with cryptocurrencies.No bonus code needed
Black Chip Poker
★★★★★★★★★★4.0
Best operator for US playersFast Withdrawals
US friendly$1m+ gtd. TourneysHundreds of active tables
0
players
Details
$2,000 bonus
18+ | T&C apply
Games
Texas Hold'emOmahaStudDrawBadugiShort DeckMixed GamesTournamentsJackpot SnGs
Rating
Software4.3★★★★★★★★★★
Cash Games4.2★★★★★★★★★★
Tournaments4.2★★★★★★★★★★
Other Games4.0★★★★★★★★★★
Rake and Fees3.6★★★★★★★★★★
Bonus4.0★★★★★★★★★★
VIP Program4.0★★★★★★★★★★
Player Pool3.9★★★★★★★★★★
Softness3.8★★★★★★★★★★
Reputation3.7★★★★★★★★★★
Support4.1★★★★★★★★★★
Banking4.4★★★★★★★★★★
Payment Options
VisaMastercardSkrillNetellerecoPayzLuxon PayPayPalPaysafeBitcoinEthereumUSDTBank Transfer
Bonus
100% up to $2,000Players have 60 days to clear the bonus. and need to deposit $25 to claim the bonus.No bonus code needed
Ignition
★★★★★★★★★★3.9
Largest US-facing operator
Accepts US playersGood Welcome BonusBig Player PoolCrypto Payments Available
0
players
Details
$1,500 bonus
18+ | T&C apply
Games
Texas Hold'emOmahaStudDrawBadugiShort DeckMixed GamesTournamentsJackpot SnGs
Rating
Software3.9★★★★★★★★★★
Cash Games4.3★★★★★★★★★★
Tournaments4.1★★★★★★★★★★
Other Games3.7★★★★★★★★★★
Rake and Fees3.5★★★★★★★★★★
Bonus4.0★★★★★★★★★★
VIP Program2.8★★★★★★★★★★
Player Pool4.0★★★★★★★★★★
Softness4.2★★★★★★★★★★
Reputation3.9★★★★★★★★★★
Support4.2★★★★★★★★★★
Banking4.7★★★★★★★★★★
Payment Options
VisaMastercardSkrillNetellerecoPayzLuxon PayPayPalPaysafeBitcoinEthereumUSDTBank Transfer
License
Curacao: 1668/JAZ
Bonus
150% up to $1,500 BonusBonus is triggered when depositing via crypto. For credit card deposits players receive a 100% up to $1,000 bonus.No bonus code neededPlus $1,500 Casino BonusSeparate $1,500 Casino Bonus is included in this bonus, giving a total bonus value of up to $3,000.No bonus code needed
PokerStars
★★★★★★★★★★4.1
Huge player poolBig tournamentsDraw and Stud GamesMany cash game variants
0
players
Details
$600 first deposit bonus
18+ | T&C apply
Games
Texas Hold'emOmahaStudDrawBadugiShort DeckMixed GamesTournamentsJackpot SnGs
Rating
Software4.5★★★★★★★★★★
Cash Games4.2★★★★★★★★★★
Tournaments4.4★★★★★★★★★★
Other Games4.4★★★★★★★★★★
Rake and Fees4.3★★★★★★★★★★
Bonus3.8★★★★★★★★★★
VIP Program4.3★★★★★★★★★★
Player Pool4.7★★★★★★★★★★
Softness3.7★★★★★★★★★★
Reputation4.6★★★★★★★★★★
Support4.0★★★★★★★★★★
Banking2.8★★★★★★★★★★
Payment Options
VisaMastercardSkrillNetellerecoPayzLuxon PayPayPalPaysafeBitcoinEthereumUSDTBank Transfer
Licenses
MGA (MGA/B2C/213/2011)NJDGE
Bonus
100% up to $600Receive 100% match bonus up to $600 over your first three deposits.Code: STARS600$30 free play bonusReceive tickets and cash worth $30 over the first six days after your first deposit.Code: THIRTY
GGPoker
★★★★★★★★★★4.3
Largest poker room worldwide
Very soft gamesWSOP partnerStrong VIP ClubNo HUDs allowed
0
players
Details
$600 bonus
18+ | T&C apply
Games
Texas Hold'emOmahaStudDrawBadugiShort DeckMixed GamesTournamentsJackpot SnGs
Rating
Software4.5★★★★★★★★★★
Cash Games4.5★★★★★★★★★★
Tournaments4.7★★★★★★★★★★
Other Games3.3★★★★★★★★★★
Rake and Fees3.4★★★★★★★★★★
Bonus3.8★★★★★★★★★★
VIP Program4.0★★★★★★★★★★
Player Pool5.0★★★★★★★★★★
Softness4.6★★★★★★★★★★
Reputation4.4★★★★★★★★★★
Support4.1★★★★★★★★★★
Banking4.7★★★★★★★★★★
Payment Options
VisaMastercardSkrillNetellerecoPayzLuxon PayPayPalPaysafeBitcoinEthereumUSDTBank Transfer
Licenses
Gaming Curacao
GLH-OCCHKTW0706162019
UKGC
47768
MGA
Bonus
$100 tickets on sign upBonus released over several days. Bonus consists of multiple tournament tickets. Min. deposit is $10.No bonus code neededUp to $600 match bonusThe bonus can be claimed over multiple deposits and players have 90 days to clear the bonus.No bonus code needed

Best Online Poker Sites – Our Comparison Criteria

It’s not that easy to find your way around the jungle of online poker providers. There are dozens of different sites that invite you to play. Some are larger, some smaller, some have good software, others seem rather prehistoric. For most players, it’s not just about finding the poker site with the biggest player pool or the most beautiful interface. The key factor to the best online poker site is to find out which one suits you best and, above all, at which you play most profitably.

Virtually all poker providers offer a variety of bonuses and loyalty systems to reward regular playing. In addition, the level of competition is different at various sites. At some you are surrounded by fish, at others, you might just be eaten by the sharks.

In the list above you will find all the online poker sites we currently recommend. We have thoroughly tested the poker sites and compiled detailed information on bonus systems, promotions, loyalty programs and the quality of the software.

We rated the poker sites on a scale of 1 to 5 and used 12 criteria.

This is each poker room’s detailed rating:

Those are the main criteria we use to evaluate online poker sites:

Number of players & poker site traffic

Best Online Poker Sites - Player numbers

The larger a poker room is, the more opponents you will find at your preferred variant and limit. If you mainly play lower stakes up to a maximum of $100 buy-in and Texas Hold’em cash game, you will always find enough opponents and active tables at virtually every online poker site.

For low-limit cash game players, the number of players on a poker site is not the most important factor, as there are always more active tables than you can play at. However, if you play higher limits, other variants or multi-table tournaments, the number of players is a decisive factor.

In terms of traffic and the number of players currently, the top poke sites are GGPoker and PokerStars.

For rating purposes, we considered the cash game players, more precisely the peak number of concurrently active real money cash game players (over the period of one week).

Please note that many sites will list a higher number of active players in their lobby, but those numbers usually include play-money players and players that are in the lobby without playing a game.

Network / Operator
Traffic
Trend

» More Details: Largest Poker Sites and Online Poker Traffic History


Best Online Poker Site Software

Best software for online poker sites

You should feel at home at your poker platform and be able to find and use all the features you need. A good-looking software that offers extensive functions and is easy to use is essential for most players.

All of the best poker sites in 2024 have an acceptable design and you will find all the games and necessary functions easily.

All providers also allow you to play via a mobile poker app on your phone or tablet. You can also test all the providers with play money first, which is a decent way to get to know the software.

However, before you deposit larger amounts, you should take a closer look at a poker site in terms of functionality.

GGPoker Table
GGPoker Table
Americas Card Room Table
Americas Card Room Table
PokerStars Table
PokerStars Table
Tiger Gaming Cash Game Table
Tiger Gaming Table
888poker Table
888poker Table
Juicy Stakes Cash Game Table
Juicy Stakes Table

Softness

Fishes - Softness of online poker sites

When rating a poker room, it is not necessarily correct to assume that “more players” is the same as “weaker opponents”. While it’s true that with more players, there are more fishes (i.e. weaker players) at the tables in absolute terms, there are also more good players at the tables hunting the fishes.

In terms of opponent strength, the poker rooms vary considerably. On 888poker for example, you won’t find as many cash game tables as you do on PokerStars, but the players at 888 are almost legendarily weak.

Overall, unfortunately, it has to be said that in 2024 there is no such thing as a particularly soft poker site. At all games beyond a certain limit (and this limit is usually anything beyond the $20 buy-in level) most players at the tables know what they are doing – at least to some extent. The glory days of super whales spewing millions (literally!) at the highest limits are long since gone. But at the lower limits, you’ll still find juicy games.

Tip: Avoid the second-lowest limits

Absolute beginners and players who play for fun almost always start to play at the lowest available limit. Weak players who don’t care too much about the money are often found at higher limits. But the second-lowest limit is chosen almost only by players who are trying to work their way up the limits. You will usually not find too many very weak players at those limits


Games offered

Draw Variants

Poker is played in very many variants. There is classic Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Seven Card Stud and slightly more exotic variants like 6+ Hold’em, Badugi or Razz.

Online Poker these days is mostly confined to the two most popular variants: NL Texas Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha. Basically, all poker sites offer cash games and tournaments for those variants.

If you want to play Stud Games or Draw Games, PokerStars currently is the only site where you will regularly find active tables.


Best Online Poker Sites Bonus

Poker sites with decent bonuses

If you plan to play a lot, you should definitely take a look at the bonuses and loyalty programs of the poker rooms. Through these, the poker sites redistribute a (for some players significant) portion of the rake and reward players for regularly playing at the tables. For many professional players, these bonuses make up a large part of their profits.

In the poker scene, there is a type of player that is jokingly referred to as a “bonus whore”. These players can be formidable opponents (although they are only rarely truly excellent players) and they jump from poker room to poker room and play just as much to be able to unlock the maximum bonus. There is nothing dishonorable in it, this type of player simply consistently exploits the possibilities offered by the poker sites. In most cases, the money won is then withdrawn and reinvested on other sites to unlock a new bonus.

Many strong match bonuses can still be found on sites that belong to the iPoker Network (Betsson and bet-at-home) have more than decent deposit bonuses which clear at rates of 20% additional cashback.

Low-stakes players and beginners usually don’t play nearly enough to profit from those big match bonuses though. Many of the best online poker sites have bonuses especially aimed toward recreational players. Those bonuses usually come in the form of free tournament tickets or a little bit of extra cash on the first deposit. While those bonuses usually are smaller (often only up to $30), they are much easier to clear and thus usually better for new players. PokerStars for example hands out tournament tickets and cash worth $30 once you deposit at least $20 – no strings and play-through requirements attached. Some are even proper No Deposit Bonuses.

A quick note regarding the 888 “free” bonus

The 888 bonus ($88 free without deposit) looks really good on paper. But unfortunately, this bonus is incredibly easy to clear. Players only receive the first $8 for free (and only in small installments over multiple days). The money can only be withdrawn after generating a certain amount of rake. The rest of the bonus has to be unlocked by generating hundreds of dollars of rake (which is more or less impossible at the lower stakes).


Poker VIP Program

Decent VIP Programs

Playing a lot at a single poker room is worthwhile in most cases, as almost all sites allow you to earn some sort of player points through frequent play, which can be turned into extra cash or bonuses.

Many poker rooms offer player points for each played hand that generates rake. These points allow players to climb up a VIP status ladder, which will then provide additional benefits.

In the past, PokerStars offered the best VIP program, but these days ended a couple of years ago. Nowadays the best VIP program can usually be found on iPoker skins like bet-at-home or on smaller sites like Coinpoker or Juicy Stakes.


Banking Options for the best online poker sites

Banking Options

Most poker providers have a variety of payment options available. By default, credit cards (VISA, Mastercard), online wallets such as Neteller or Skrill and modern options such as Trustly or Zimpler are accepted by most poker sites. Many newer sites also accept cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals.

Deposits do not cost any fees and are usually credited within seconds.

Withdrawals, on the other hand, almost always take a few days and some poker providers also take fees when making withdrawals.

Tip: Stick to one currency

Make sure to deposit and withdraw in the same currency that your account has. Otherwise, the poker rooms will charge you an exchange fee which can be up to 3% of the transferred amount.


Rake and Fees – How Poker Sites earn money

The rake is too damn high!

Poker rooms earn money through the so-called rake.

Rake is the commission charged by a poker site. In general, this is between 2% and 5% of the pot in each poker hand, up to a certain maximum amount. Poker sites don’t take rake when a hand doesn’t have a flop. This is called “no flop, no drop”.

Poker is a player-versus-player game, and the house does not bet against its players (as opposed to blackjack or roulette), so this fee is the main mechanism for poker sites to generate revenue.

To make a long-term profit in poker games, the player must not only beat the other players at the table but also overcome the rake.

For cash games, a percentage rake is used. The rake for poker tournaments will be charged as an entry fee. Usually, this fee is between 5% and 10% of the buy-in and is displayed when looking at the tournament structure.

For the purpose of our rating, we focused mainly on cash game rake. A better rating implies lower percentages and lower rake caps. The following table shows rake percentages and caps for 4 different limits: micro stakes (NL10), small stakes (NL50), mid stakes (NL200) and small stakes heads-up (NL50 HU) for all operators.

Tip: These games have a notoriously high rake

In recent years, many poker sites have launched super fast poker variants where the rake is too high to beat the games in the long run. Almost all jackpot sit and gos (Spin and Gold over at GGPoker, Spin-and-Go at PokerStars, BLAST at 888poker or Twister Sit-and-Gos on the iPoker Network) , for example, are too expensive and you virtually can’t win these games in the long run.


Best Online Poker Site Review Criteria

We used those criteria to rate each poker room:

Software

  • customizable feature-rich desktop app
  • easy to use mobile app
  • antiquated software
  • too many necessary features

Cash Games

  • many active cash game tables
  • different variants & limits
  • fast-fold tables
  • limited to only NLH and low stakes

Tournaments

  • tournaments with substantial guarantees or overlays
  • freeze-out tournaments
  • too many re-entry-events

Other Games

  • unusual variants like 6+ Hold’em, Stud, Draw or Chinese Poker
  • no off-the-beaten-track games

Rake and Fees

  • less than 3% / $3 cap cash game rake
  • less than 9% tournament fees
  • clear announcement of rake and fees
  • more than 5% / $3 cap cash game rake
  • more than 10% tournament fees
  • hidden fees

Bonus

  • good first deposit bonus
  • easy play-through requirements
  • enough time to clear the bonus
  • bonus too difficult to clear

VIP Program

  • substantial effective rake back via VIP program
  • consistent VIP programm
  • luck based rewards
  • intransparent reward system

Player Pool

  • many cash game players
  • many tournament players
  • empty tables

Softness

  • many recreational players
  • external HUDs and trackers banned
  • anonymous tables
  • too many grinders
  • bots

Reputation

  • licensed in reputable territories
  • independent audits
  • legitimate, stock-listed company
  • shady past
  • missing key licenses

Support

  • phone support
  • quick responses
  • friendly & competent staff
  • slow or generic responses

Banking

  • quick withdrawals
  • no fees
  • crypto support
  • few options
  • long withdrawal times
  • hidden fees

The best online poker sites – FAQ

Which poker sites offer real-money poker?

You can play for real money on all major poker sites. Providers such as 888, PokerStars and Bet-At-Home offer online poker for real money. The game can be played directly in the browser or via a desktop or smartphone app.

Is online poker still profitable?

Online poker can still be profitable if you find the right games and play at the right poker sites. The higher limits are very difficult to beat at all sites, but lower limits and especially tournaments can still be played profitably.

Which is the best online poker site?

There is no single “best poker site”. Each poker site has advantages and disadvantages. We can all recommend the poker sites we list above. In case of doubt, you don’t do much wrong by choosing a big site like PokerStars or 888.

Which is the best online poker site for beginners?

The best poker site for beginners is 888poker. The rake is a little bit higher than at most other sites, but the players – especially at the low limits – are very weak. On 888 you don’t have to fear being eaten by sharks at the lower limits.

Which poker site has the most players?

Most players can be found at PokerStars, the current industry leader. About half of the world’s online poker events and the biggest tournaments take place on PokerStars.

Which poker sites are rigged?

None. Online poker sites use a physical random number generator to shuffle the cards. All sites we recommend are regularly tested and reviewed by independent authorities. To date, no irregularities and manipulations of the shuffle algorithm have ever been found in more than 20 years of online poker.

Can I trust online poker rooms?

In general, you can trust all the poker sites we recommend. The sites all belong to companies traded publicly on stock exchanges. 888poker, for example, is traded on the London Stock Exchange, and PokerStars on the NASDAQ. The companies have to report to their shareholders and are generally very trustworthy.

Do have any questions? Agree, or disagree with our rating? Please leave a comment!

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