Best Real Money Poker Sites
If you're tired of playing around with play money, switching to a real money poker site is a big step forward.
For a "real" poker experience like you see on TV, a real money poker site is the only way to go.
It 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 - almost all 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 the best real money poker sites our editors have put together a guide to the top real money sites below.
Sign up and create an account via the "Play Now" link or via one of our review pages and you'll be eligible for an exclusive bonus up to $2,500! (That's real money, too!).
Where to Play Online Poker for Real Money
|Rank||Poker Site||Rating||Best Sign-Up Bonus||Why?||Play Now|
|1.||7.7||Regular: Flat $500||
||Play Now Free Download|
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So you've tried out a Facebook or play-money poker app and done pretty well. Or you've even played a bit at the play-money tables at online poker sites like 888poker, PokerStars or partypoker.
You're now likely asking yourself a few questions:
- What's the difference between play-money and real-money poker sites?
- Just how good are the players at most real-money poker sites?
- How much are the average real-money games?
- How little money can I actually real money online poker for?
Diving in to real-money online poker 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-money poker games.
In fact, you may even find more success as the unpredictability of play-money poker (since it's not real money players don't care about losing their chips and therefore make pretty ridiculous moves) becomes much more predictable - and much more exploitable - in real-money poker.
Real Money Poker Sites: Why Start Playing for Real Cash
Absolutely everyone who starts out in play-money poker before moving on to real-money poker 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 in those games, 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 online poker with real money - 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.
Can I Play for Real Money on PokerStars or Other Top Poker Sites?
Real-money poker games are where the "real" action is. The strategy is more interesting, the players are more consistent and the games are even more beatable - if you know a bit about what you're doing of course.
You don't have to waste a lot of money learning the ropes either. Most real money poker sites - including all of the sites listed above - offer hundreds of low-limit real money options from 1¢/2¢ cash games to $1 single-table tournaments.
The start up almost instantaneously in some form or another and you can find yourself in a seat literally minutes after you create your account.
Even better these days most real money poker sites have moved to a recreational-player driven model where you're protected from the more experienced players on the sites.
You'll play at beginner-stacked tables, have plenty of time to get adjusted to the game and don't have to worry about getting in over your head too quickly.
You can deposit money with Debit or Credit cards (VISA, MASTERCARD etc). The process is easy and you will be playing at the tables before you know it.
Are There Any Real Money Poker Sites for US Players?
Two of the most common questions new real-money poker players ask are "How do I know my money is secure?" and "How do I know if a real-money poker site is legal where I live?"
The answer for that, of course, depends on where you live.
In most jurisdictions around the world, and especially across most of Europe, real-money poker online is regulated, licensed and consumer-protected by a multiple organizations including state governments and regional licensing authorities.
If you're playing for real money at any of the long-established poker sites like 888poker, partypoker, PokerStars, Tiger Gaming, etc etc you have nothing to be concerned about.
Real-money poker sites in the United States, however, are in a transition period. Prior to 2011 US players (meaning based in the United States) could play on many of the top international poker sites including PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.
After Black Friday those sites were shut down by the US Department of Justice (although all player money was rightfully returned to players).
Now, real money online poker legislation is moving forward state-by-state with Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey currently the 3 states where real-money online poker is licensed and taxed like any other business.
States like California, Pennsylvania and New York are close behind, though, and it appears 2018-2020 will be breakthrough years for real money poker sites in the USA.
Live in New Jersey? Try PokerStars NJ and get $30 free. For a complete list of the Best Real Money Poker Sites in the USA, Canada or the UK, check our toplists here:
- Best Real Money Poker Sites for US Players
- Best Real Money Poker Sites for UK Players
- Best Real Money Poker Sites for Canadian Players
And again, for most countries in the world, online poker with real money is a fully sanctioned, government and privately operated industry with all the proper regulation and protection you'd expect.
How Can I Make a Deposit at a Top Real Money Poker Site?
It depends on where you live and your own personal banking or credit options but getting money on a real money poker site can be a pretty simple undertaking or take a few more steps.
If you live in the UK or Europe, for the most part making a real-money poker site deposit is as easy as taking out your credit card and making a purchase like any other online.
Poker players in the US and elsewhere also like to use third-party eWallets like Skrill, PayPal or Neteller where you can fund a separate account you can then connect to your online poker account.
No matter where you live, visit our Online Poker Deposit Options page here to see your options for real-money poker deposits:
Even with Small Deposits You Get Free Bonuses!
Look through our real-money poker sites reviews above and you'll soon see your options are virtually limitless when it comes to the style of poker games you prefer.
The best part is you can quickly learn all you need to know to become a winning play for, at most, a few bucks a day. When you get the hang of it, winning will be all the sweeter.
Check our poker strategy section for the basics you need to start making a small profit online and check our reviews for exclusive bonus codes.
Not quite ready for real-money online poker? Learn more about playing for free on free poker sites!
Can I Play Real Money Poker on my Phone?
You definitely can. All of the top real-money poker sites now have downloadable apps you can use to play real-money poker on your iPhone, Android Phone (Samsung Galaxy, etc) or iPad.
Almost all of the standard features are available plus the full range of games and stakes offered in the full software client. Depositing and withdrawing money is also very secure. We recommend playing Fast Fold poker for the best mobile poker experience.
Good luck - and enjoy the ride of real money poker!