Below are our expert reviews of some of the best sites for playing poker online. At these sites you are welcomed with first class poker games and great bonuses.
Enhance your poker skills and dominate online poker rooms. In this guide you will learn about the different poker variants, the top poker sites (as well as which to avoid), and how to play better. Check out our list of recommended sites for the best player experience.
CasinoTop’s team of experts prides itself on providing players with honest reviews. While we recommend the best of the best, we also have a blacklist of sites that are best avoided. All sites that do not meet our standards in terms of security, software and games, or bonuses and promotions are headed straight to the blacklist.
There are many variations of poker available from online casinos; from stud poker to Texas Hold’em. In addition, you can also play virtual or via live dealer.
Whether you are playing for free or bet your own money, both have their pros and cons. The table below presents the pros and cons of each.
To determine if an online poker room is worthy of being listed as a top poker room, CasinoTop follows a multilevel review process.
Any good relationship needs trust; this is no different when it comes to poker rooms. Any casino with a bad reputation or an above average rake immediately raises concerns. We will never recommend a site that we do not fully trust.
Bonuses and promotions like freeroll poker tournaments are key in keeping players playing. We are thus always on the lookout for sites that offer bonuses and promotions regularly.
While Texas Hold’em is the headliner for most online poker sites, we are always looking for sites with more poker variants and tournaments that suit various budgets and skill levels.
All good online poker sites keep up with the times. This means having either a website compatible with mobile devices or a dedicated mobile app for players to enjoy on the go.
There is nothing worse than winning a generous sum and not being able to access it. If you won in accordance with the rules, you should be able to cash out your winnings quickly. For this reason, we never recommend sites that have been reported to pay out poorly.
Fewer players means that you will struggle to find a game or sit at half empty tables, which is never good. To prevent this, we are always looking at poker sites’ flow of players.
Only poker sites that meet all the above criteria make it to our list of top poker sites. They should thus be trustworthy and mobile compatible, offer bonuses and freerolls, have superior quality games and a steady flow of players.
Freeroll poker is a free-entry poker tournament where players can win real cash prizes. If you are new to poker, this might be the perfect opportunity to brush up on or learn new skills.
To learn more about freerolls and gain access to freeroll passwords visit our poker freeroll page.
Below is a list of some of the most popular poker games, which can be played on both desktop and mobile.
Texas Hold’em is the most popular variation of poker online and in land-based casinos. However, it is never a bad idea to try something new; you might like it. Regardless of your chosen game, keep a lookout for a bonus that accompanies it.
This is the most popular poker variation in the world and requires players to build the strongest hand possible using 2 hole cards and 5 shared cards. If you need more help understanding how to play, visit our guide for basic Texas Hold’em.
Players must build the best possible hand using only five cards. Standard video poker games are inspired by this variation.
Players must create two five-card hands, high and low, by selecting and combining two hole cards and three community cards.
Players must create the best possible five-card hand from the seven cards they are dealt.
Like with Seven-Card Stud, players must form a five-card hand. This time, however, it must be the lowest hand possible.
This multigame variant of poker cycles hands of Razz, Texas Hold’em, Seven-Card Stud, Seven-Card Stud High/Low or Split-Eighter.
To win at poker you need to brush up on your online poker knowledge. If you want to win you should:
To make it even easier, we are providing you with a downloadable poker ranking chart, the importance of position in a poke game, and tips on expertly managing your bankroll. If you apply these tips,you will be ready to play in no time.
Although it is difficult to read physical tells online, you can learn a lot by studying your opponent’s betting behavior.
Any poker player knows that you will fold often. To keep it exciting, play at multiple tables, just not more than you can handle all at once.
This way you get the thrill of playing for money, without the pressure that comes with more high-stake games.
Pad your bankroll by entering a freeroll where you stand a chance to win real cash, risk free.
Use our downloadable poker hand chart to determine how strong your hand is. It will also teach you when to raise or fold.
This is best used for online poker or mobile apps since land-based casinos do not take kindly to cheat sheets at the table. If you are a newbie, rather learn the game before joining a table. While you might not land a flush straight away, there are other valuable hands that could make it worth your while.
Poker sites aimed at beginners tend to offer the popular Texas Hold’em, as well as other simple variations of the game, and tournaments with low stakes. If you would like to get into online poker, keep an eye out for the following:
Advanced poker players usually look for poker tournaments with higher buy-in and more advanced poker variants.If you would like to get into advanced online poker, keep an eye out for the following:
A lot of online casinos allow you to play poker games with friends, where you can choose either tournaments or cash games. To play, you and your friends need to be registered at the casino. While these games are usually mobile compatible, it depends on the casino.
If you prefer to play poker at live casinos, do keep live traffic in mind. It could be tempting to head to the most popular online casino, but if you want less competition, smaller sites are your best bet.
How strong your hand is is the only thing that matters in poker, right? Wrong. In online poker games it also matters where you sit.
Late position means that you are either last or near last when it comes to action. The advantage is that you will be able to see what most players have done. You can thus place an informed bet based on your hand and what the players before you did.
When in late position you should play strong hands, as well as marginal hands (hands that are not too high or low) like A-9 or Q-10. This aggressive play in late position is helpful if you follow it up with a strong play like attempting a steal due to a bad flop. However, you should also be ready to fold if there is a lot of action in a scary flop.
On the other hand, if you are in the early position (just after the big blind or next to them) try to maintain a strong hand in order to hold up to raises that might follow. For example, what would you do if you get raised and reraised from a late position? If you call that would be the first action post-flop. You have no idea what your opponents will do after your action.
Some players even believe that if you are in an early position, you should not play any hands at all, but if you do, they should be strong.
Effectively managing your bankroll is a tip that applies to both online and live betting, so make sure you have that under control before placing any bet.
It is tempting to dive right in when you come across a tournament with cash prizes or a seemingly low stake cash game. But if your funds are not managed properly or you bet money you do not have you can end up in a pickle.
Our top tip is to set aside money for betting and stick to it. If you lose, take a step back and rebuild your bankroll.
The unwritten rule is to have 20 to 30 buy-ins set aside for cash games (especially when multi-tabling). When playing tournaments approximately 50 buy-ins would be sufficient. This will allow you to reload and keep playing without worry.
Experienced players can read their opponents’ moves - regardless of whether they are playing online or offline – and call a bluff when they see it.
Online poker is perfect for players who are looking to improve their gameplay, as there are many online resources to help them along. It also allows you to play a wider variety of games and face more opponents than players at a traditional casino, which aids learning. Let us look at some advanced tips to improve your gameplay:
If you want to become a serious poker player, you must understand what multi-tabling is.
Simply put, multi-tabling is when you have as many real money poker tables open on your screen that you can manage. Really advanced players can manage from 16 to 24 poker games at once. This is usually a combination of tournaments, cash games, and Sit ‘n’ Go’s to yield higher returns. Another advantage is that if you signed up to a casino with a real money welcome bonus, you would play through any real money faster to activate the bonus.
Counting cards simply means keeping an eye on the cards that remain in the deck; and using that knowledge to determine your next move. This trick is more popular in blackjack because it can get a bit complicated when used in poker. For example, the deck is shuffled after every round, making it difficult, even impossible, to count cards. However, you can still try to use it at your traditional physical casino.
This one is especially for those who prefer to play cash games. One example is PokerTracker 4, which is a Heads-Up-Display, which enables you to track the moves of your opponents. This is a must-have if you plan to study your regular opponents.
Time to put on your poker face; nobody needs to know you are a newbie. This glossary contains the most common phrases and terms used in poker, but if you would like to learn even more, we also have a casino and gambling glossary.
|All In||Putting all your chips on the table|
|Action||Your turn to raise, bet, or fold|
|Bad Beat||When you lose despite having a strong hand|
|Backdoor||When you need two cards to complete your hand, which you then get during the fourth and fifth street (Also called the turn and river)|
|Big Blind||Betting the full ante before the cards are dealt|
|Bankroll||The money you put aside for playing poker|
|Boat||A synonym for a full house|
|Bluff||When you bet or raise despite having a weak hand, hoping to persuade your opponents to fold|
|Blind||A mandatory bet required from all players before any cards are dealt|
|Bubble||The moment in a tournament just before the prize pool is reached|
|Board||Community (or shared) cards, which is visible to all players|
|Button||The dealer’s seat|
|Burn||The card on the top of the deck that gets discarded before dealing|
|Check||When you pass on the action to the next player without placing a bet|
|Call||When you match the bet of another player|
|Continuation Bet||A mini bluff where you raise before the flop|
|Chip||The tokens on the table that represent cash – assorted colors represent different values|
|Drawing Dead||You have no chance of winning|
|Fish||A weak or inexperienced player|
|Flush||A strong hand consisting of five cards; all the same symbol or suit|
|Fifth Street||The last community card, also called river, dealt|
|Fourth Street||The fourth community card, also called turn, dealt|
|Flop||The first three community cards dealt|
|Full House||A strong hand consisting of a pair and threeofakind|
|Fold||Forfeit the game|
|Freezeout||A tournament where only one player ends up with all the chips: no re-buys or add-ons|
|Freeroll||A free-to-enter tournament with a cash prize|
|Gutshot||A type of straight that requires only one card to complete|
|Heads-up||A poker game with only two players|
|Kicker||A card that is used to break a tie between hands with the same rank|
|Loose||A player who plays hands often and rarely folds|
|Limp||Someone who calls instead of raises when entering the pot|
|MTT||Abbreviation for Multi-table Tournament|
|Monster||An exceptionally strong hand|
|Muck||To fold without disclosing any hole cards|
|Nuts||Having the best possible hand|
|Outs||Any cards left in the deck that could help your hand|
|Offsuit||Hand consisting of mismatched suits|
|Overpair||Hands that consist of 2 same-value cards|
|Pocket Pair||A starting hand that consists of a pair|
|Play the board||Creating a hand using only community cards|
|Position||Your turn in the betting order|
|Quads||Having four of a kind in your hand|
|Rags||A weak opening hand|
|Raise||Betting more than the player before you|
|Rainbow||A flop containing cards with mismatched suits|
|River||The last (fifth) community card dealt|
|Rake||The percentage of the pot that goes to the cardroom|
|Set||A poker hand where three-of-a-kind is formed using a pocket pair in the hole|
|Satellite||A poker tournament where you can win tickets to an even bigger tournament|
|Side pot||An extra pot that is created when several players are all-in|
|Showdown||When after the last round all remaining players disclose their hands so that a winner or winners can be determined|
|Small blind||The required minimum bet that must be placed before cards are dealt|
|Sit and Go||Tournaments, usually single table,which can only start once all seats are filled|
|Straight||A hand that consists of five cards in a sequential order, for example 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8|
|Split Pot||When there is a tie, and the pot gets divided equally|
|Top pair||A hand that contains a hole card and the highest card on the board|
|Tilt||When players get frustrated or emotional due to a bad beat|
|Turn||The second to last community card dealt|
|Trips||A three-of-a-kind hand that consist of one hole card and two cards from the board|
|Under the gun||The first action made pre-flop|
In its short lifespan, online poker has experienced some remarkably high highs as well as exceptionally low lows. Let us look at a few of the key moments in the history of online poker:
Planet Poker was launched as the first online poker site to offer real money Texas Hold'em games.
Chris Moneymaker became the first person to qualify to win the World Series of Poker Main Event. He qualified on PokerStars.com for only $80.
UIGEA - which banned all financial transactions on online poker sites - was passed by the US Congress.
On Black Friday this year the Department of Justice shut down five major online poker sites due to money laundering. As a result, many US players lost their money; some are still waiting for refunds.
Mobile gaming boomed, and many online poker sites jumped on board. This meant that players could play on their mobile devices for the first time.
PokerStars, which was and still is the largest poker website globally, dealt its one hundred billionth hand. In addition, US states started creating intra-state online poker sites, of which Nevada's Ultimate Poker was the first.
In this year, the first interstate poker agreement was signed. It allowed online poker players in Nevada to play real money games with players in Delaware.
Anthony Spinella becomes the first person to win an online World Series of Poker bracelet.
Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars merged to form a bigger online platform.
The governments of Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey agreed to permit player pooling. On May 1st, a three-state online poker compact also went live.
It might take only a few minutes to learn the basics of poker, but it could take months to master as there are so many different variants, tips, and tricks. We hope that the tips above help you to be at the top of your game when you place that first bet.
Give the sites recommended on this page a try; they are perfect for newbies as well as advanced players.
You do not need a lot to play poker online. Just a computer or smartphone and a decent internet connection for uninterrupted play.
If a site is recommended by CasinoTop then you know it is one of the best. We recommend only the casinos that meet all our standards.
Yes. Most sites offer free poker games where you can try a game before spending your own money. Some also offer freerolls where you can enter for free and stand a chance to win real cash. CasinoTop provides freeroll passwords daily.
No. Most poker sites will give you the software you need. Simply download it and you are ready to play. Others have no-download versions,which means you can play on the website, straight from your browser.
Yes. Most poker sites allow you to play on your smartphone or tablet. While this is very convenient, the graphics normally are not quite as good as the desktop version.
If a poker variant exists, it is most likely also available online. This is causing some unknown variants, like Stud and Omaha, to catch up in popularity. Some poker rooms also offer poker games like Heads-Up Hold'em, 6-max, Razz, etc.
Yes. Tournaments are played with chips. Freezeout tournaments mean that if you run out of chips you are out. However, rebuy and re-entry tournaments are growing in popularity.
Cash games have a minimum or maximum amount, and you can exit at any time. During these games blinds are consistent throughout.
No Limit games have no maximum bet – you can raise as many chips as you have. On the other hand, limit poker games limit the maximum bet you can place.Then there are also Pot Limit games, where you are only allowed to raise as much as the total pot.
UIGEA stands for Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which prohibits the placing of bets online. This meant that you were not allowed to place a bet at an online poker site, but you could play poker online.
No. While this was a concern in the past, most sites are legit and independently regulated and audited.
Beginners’ odds of winning are 70% based on luck and the rest on skill, but as you advance it is the opposite. So, while luck is involved, the game also requires skill to make money.
The goal in poker is to build the strongest hand at the table. On the board there will be shared cards, which all players can use, and players are also dealt their own cards. During every round, players receive additional cards and bet on whether they think their hand is the strongest at the table. Use our poker guide to learn more about playing poker.
Typically, one deck consists of 52 cards.
Poker apps where you can win real money are immensely popular. Most, if not all, casino mobile apps allow players to play for real money. A few examples are PokerStars and 888. Check out our reviews of the best casino apps.
No, it depends on the site. While some areas have regulations regarding gambling, others do not.
It is quite simple, like most casino bonuses. Just sign up, play the required amount to activate the bonus money, and use this to play any game of your choice
The poker sites listed in our reviews are secure when it comes to the protection of personal information.
When playing online you can try a bigger variety of poker games. This cannot be matched by any land-based casino, no matter its size. Online you can also play multiple tables at any given time, which is not possible in a land-based casino.
This depends on the casino. Be sure to check that it has your preferred payment method before you sign up.