Real Money Poker Sites - Where to Play Real Money Online Poker
Play-money games are great for learning the poker basics - what the rules are, how the betting works, etc. But when it comes to "real" poker - feeling the rush of a big bluff, making a hero call and taking all of your opponent's chips - poker for real money is the only way to go.
Doesn't have to be for high stakes or with a table full of pros. But when the stakes are real (even just a nickel or two - most real money online poker games in fact are in the 5¢-$5 range), poker is a completely different game altogether.
If you're looking to test the waters of real money online poker, our editors have put together a guide to the top real money poker sites below. Sign up and create an account and you're only steps away from the action and an exclusive bonus up to $1,000 or more.
The Best Real Money Poker Sites
About Playing Real Money Poker
So you've tried out some Facebook poker and done pretty well. Or you've even played a bit online on the play-money tables at a real poker site like PokerStars or Full Tilt Poker.
What's the difference between that and the real-money tables? Just how good are most real-money players? How much are the average stakes? How little money can I actually play for?
Most players looking to make the jump to real money online poker have a lot of questions. And diving in can seem like a daunting proposition. But it doesn't have to be. And while play-money poker is definitely a different game than real money poker, if you've done well in the free games you've likely got all the skills you need to do well in the real thing.
In fact, you may even find more success as the unpredictably of play money poker (since it's not real money, players don't care about losing their chips and make ridiculous moves) becomes much more predictable - and much more exploitable - in real-money games.
Absolutely everyone who starts out in play-money poker before moving on to real-money games agrees the play money games are great for one thing: learning the basics. A few hours at the play tables are indispensable for getting a feel for the game - the order of play, how to make bets, adjusting to the pace of the action, how the controls work and more.
If you're hoping to learn effective real-money poker strategy, though, you're barking up the wrong tree. For the most part, play-money players are ridiculously loose and careless - and why not? They have nothing to win and nothing to lose, so they freely make crazy bets and crazy calls.
Once they run out of chips, they simply ask for more. And then go and waste them the same way. This just doesn't happen in real-money poker - even at the 1¢/2¢ microstakes (although you will still find a few loose cannons, numbers are drastically reduced).
There are plenty of terrible players, sure. But they're not hell bent on losing their chips as fast as they can. In fact, despite how small the games can be - and how little the financial risk - some players hold on to their chips for dear life.
This means they're absolutely 100% predictable at the tables. And virtual money in your pocket. Either way, there's just no comparison.
Real-money games are where the "real" action is. The strategy is more interesting, the players are more consistent and the games are even - if you know a bit about what you're doing - more beatable.
You don't have to waste a lot of money learning the ropes either. Most poker rooms - including all of the sites listed above - offer hundreds of low-limit options, from 1¢/2¢ cash games to $1 single-table tournaments.
You can learn all you need to know for, at most, a few bucks a day. And, when you get the hang of it, winning will be all the sweeter. Check our poker strategy section for all the basics you need to start making a small profit online, and check our reviews for exclusive bonus codes and freeroll offers.
Good luck - and enjoy the ride.