Best Online Poker Sites 2020: Your Pick
Choosing between the best online poker sites can seem daunting. Especially for someone new to online poker who may not know exactly which poker games they want to play. What do we think? The best online poker site is the one that's best for you.
Maybe it's something as simple as the way the software looks or which avatars you can pick. Maybe it's because of the tournament schedule with the biggest guarantees. Whatever your poker experience, our goal is to give you all the info you need to find that perfect poker room. Just go through our expert poker site reviews.
Ultimately it may be best to choose more than one poker site and play some free online poker on. Just to see which one you enjoy more. Once you've determined which site you prefer, you can then just play most of your action there.
If you're from either the US or the UK you might want to check our country-specific Best Online Poker Sites toplists:
How All Online Poker Sites are Different
Poker is one of the rare games where you don’t necessarily want to play against the best players all the time. Most people, in fact, would rather sit at a table with marginal players that like to gamble. If you find the right poker games with just the right wildcards there you could rake in some serious cash. For some, that's a really important factor to consider when picking an online poker room. For others, less so. They just want to punt around at the small stakes and relax after a stressful work day. Whatever your poker situation, there's an ideal poker site out there for you.
If you stick to one of the biggest poker sites, such as PokerStars, 888poker or partypoker, you'll definitely find cash games or tournaments that appeal to you. If you try out one of the smaller poker room skins on a bigger network, such as Tiger Gaming Poker, you'll find a lot of easy-to-beat games and a smaller community of like-minded players. Not every poker room has thousands of players online at all hours of the day. And there are some distinct advantages to playing on a smaller poker site.
Some online poker rooms, in fact have notoriously bad players and it’s worth putting up with fewer players to be surrounded mostly by terrible ones. Smaller poker sites also tend to do more aggressive marketing and will either give you a better poker bonus. Or lucrative loyalty rewards as you play more hands. It’s also worth remembering that certain poker rooms are known for particular games. For example, PokerStars is known as the best online poker tournament room - and the best site to play mixed games. But there are arguably better cash-game sites. So if you want to try out new poker variations, like Short Deck Hold'em (6+ Hold'em), you can find it at GGPoker now too.
If you do manage to find a poker room (or poker rooms) with extremely bad players you’ll probably want to stick around for a while. And probably keep it a secret all for yourself! Soft competition is another factor we consider when reviewing online poker sites.
Online Poker Room FAQ
How Do I Get an Online Poker Room Bonus?The best poker sites love bringing new players to their tables. In fact player traffic is pretty much the lifeblood of online poker and every good online poker room will spend a lot of money to get players into its games. That means every one of the best poker sites will give you a reward, or "poker bonus," for opening a new player account and making a deposit.
- The most common sign-up bonus is a Welcome Bonus or deposit match offer. That means if you deposit $50 and the poker room has a 100% match bonus you’ll receive $50 in free money for play. That money comes with one caveat: you have to unlock it in stages by playing a set number of hands in the poker room. It's usually a fairly reasonable amount of hands, though, and with just a little bit of play you'll clear the whole thing. Poker site bonus offers can vary a great deal, though, so make sure you pick the one that suits you best. For instance, some rooms will offer a big sign-up bonus in terms of total cash value but it'll take a lot of play to unlock it all. Some poker sites will give you a small but immediate bonus which suits a casual player much better. Some poker rooms, like 888poker, also offer a free bonus which doesn't even require a deposit at all. You can literally just create a new account and have real money available for playing poker games right away. Most poker rooms will also give you various benefits on top of that including tickets into free poker tournaments where you can win real money. If you don’t plan on putting in a huge amount of volume we recommend going for these smaller, more immediate reward bonuses.
We also suggest comparing a few of the best poker sites before deciding on the bonus for you.
Which Online Poker Rooms Have the Best Software?Poker software has improved immensely over the last decade so there’s really no reason to waste any time playing in a slow, boring or downright glitchy online poker room.
Even the lesser-known online poker sites have fantastic software now but it’s still important you feel confident using the game client - especially considering you’ll likely log thousands of online poker hands there.
The various features on each poker site vary a bit so make sure you do a bit of research before plunking down a big deposit.
Multi-table functionality, anonymous tables, four-color decks and auto reload at the tables are just a few of the features that online poker players have been known to covet.
The best poker software is lightning fast, easy to use and streamlined. It should also offer a variety of features for every kind of poker player including a few exclusive modes that you won’t find anywhere else.
Generally speaking PokerStars is considered to have the best poker software for the professional or dedicated player but 888poker, partypoker and Tiger Gaminghave dramatically closed the gap over the years. 888poker and partypoker in particular have just launched new software that has dramatically improved both game play speed and functionality.
A good mobile poker app is also a must for all good online poker rooms and most have now rolled out very slick poker apps you can use for real-money poker. Check out our page here for more detail: Real Money Poker Apps. Virtually all online poker rooms also have play-money games (or free online poker games) you can try out to get a feel for the software so it's definitely worth your while to download the software and play around a bit before you commit to a deposit into your online poker account.
If you use a Mac computer or iPhone/iPad, we recommend you check out our Mac poker sites page for more advice:Mac Poker Sites.
How Do I Know if an Online Poker Room is Secure?You absolutely need to make sure you’re playing on a safe online poker site before you put your cash on the line. Fortunately, the best online poker sites are highly monitored by official government oversight and have to go through countless audits by gaming organizations these. Every aspect of the online poker room is analyzed including its random number generator and encryption process. Every poker room review is listed by PokerListings is for a poker site that has received certification from an authorized online gaming regulatory body. These days online poker sites must be completely transparent and your money is always segregated and never used for operational expenses.
At any point you can withdraw your cash back from your online poker account and receive it promptly. No matter how appealing a "rogue" online poker site appears to be - especially if you're trying to play from the United States - it’s never worth risking your cash to get a few hands in. Put your money into a trusted online poker room like those listed here and you’ll play better knowing your account (and your personal information) is safe and secure. If you live outside of the United States the list of regulated poker rooms is quite long and you won't have to look far to find one that is officially recognized in your country. If you live in the US, where the online poker market is still fractured and regulated on a state-by state basis, your choices are a bit more limited. Read more about which online poker sites are licensed and regulated in the US here: Best US Poker Sites. If you're playing online poker from mainland Europe, Canada, Mexico, Asia or the UK you can be very confident any of the online poker rooms you choose is fully licensed and certified by a legitimate oversight organization like the Malta Gaming Authority, UK Gaming Commission and more. Just check the bottom of the poker site's home page to see all of its official licensing organizations.
How Do I Deposit at Online Poker Rooms?Almost everywhere in the world online poker sites function like any other legitimate online business. Just pull out your Visa or Mastercard, punch your numbers in and money will arrive in your online poker account instantaneously. Online e-wallets, payment processors, debit cards and even cryptocurrency like Bitcoin in some cases are also very common online poker deposit options. For a full rundown of all deposit options open to online poker rooms around the world, check our extensive guide to online poker deposits & withdrawals here: Online Poker Deposit Options. In the United States it's a little different. If you're in Nevada, New Jersey or Delaware (with Pennsylvania and West Virginia to join the group of legalized online poker states in 2020) online poker is fully licensed and legalized and runs just like it would in any normal casino. In New Jersey, for example, you can even load up your poker account via PayPal or stopping in at a local 7-Eleven. While not illegal in other states, online poker is in a gray area in most U.S states and finding a proper online poker room with a recognized payment processor can be a challenge at first. Pay special attention to the particular deposit options offered by each site. These change on a regular basis and it’s worth looking into what the most recent options are. It’s important to note that playing online poker in the USA is not illegal - and never has been - despite what certain politicians might like you to believe. It is, however, not recommend to play on an unlicensed poker room from the United States as you can't guarantee your deposits or the game play is being properly monitored for fairness and security. Again, for more information of the best poker sites available to Players in the US, check our US poker sites page: Online Poker in the USA.
What are the Differences Between US and European Poker Rooms?With current legislation in the United States just 5 states (New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia) have passed legislation to legalize online poker and only three - Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware - currently offering active poker games online. All three states, though, have agreed to a player-sharing agreement so at least the player pools are reasonably active.
To play at an online poker room in the US you must either be a resident of any of those three states or a visitor within the state borders. Again, for more information on US poker sites, check our US online poker page.
Online Poker Sites: Quick Reviews
1. 888 Poker
888 Poker is the world’s second largest online poker site and from its launch in 1997 it has grown to become one of the best and most trusted poker sites in the industry. Their increasingly improved software is available for download on desktop or mobile including both iOS and Android apps.
Over 25 million registered players have taken advantage of 888poker's amazing poker sign-up bonus and have created a very stable, steady traffic flow at all games and stakes. 888poker's main attraction for new players is the $88 FREE bonus for players who sign-up for a new account with no deposit required.
Texas Hold’em, Omaha and 7 Card Stud are the principal game options and tournaments, cash games and sit and go’s are all available 24/7 to players around the world. 888poker has its own version of the ultra-popular fast-fold poker variant called SNAP poker. In fast-fold poker, when a player folds he or she is immediately re-seated at a new table with a fresh hand. If you like to play poker from your phone or on a short break at work, for example, Fast-Fold Poker is the best way to get a lot of hands in fast. SNAP Poker can be accessed on the right side of the main lobby screen.
For a lot of amateurs play-money poker games are also a good option for getting started but you'll quickly find that it plays a lot more like a crapshoot and the real-money online poker games are where you can find an edge with proper poker strategy. 888 Poker ensures player safety and security and is verified by McAfee, GameCare, ICRA and multiple gaming commissions across dozens of jurisdictions. Online deposits and withdrawals run 24/7 with a fast and easy quick deposit payment method. Likewise, for cashing out winnings and money transfer, everything is made easy by just clicking on the cashier tab where the withdrawal and money transfer options are found.
- Find out more in our expert review of 888 Poker
2. Tiger Gaming Poker
Tiger Gaming Poker is licensed in Curaçao and has been in operation since 1999. For 20 years it's established an impeccable reputation with an easy-to-use platform and interface for its players. It offers a large welcome bonus of $1,000, too, for a minimum deposit of just $10! Unlike other online poker rooms Tiger Gaming Poker guarantees its players a fast cash out process. It even doubles the requested amount if TG does not pay out within 24 hours.
Several banking options are also available with Tiger Gaming's relationship with Skrill, Neteller, Visa, MasterCard and more. Tiger Gaming’s loyalty scheme is basically through its leaderboards with a $20,000 cash leaderboard, weekly $5,000 Sit & Go leaderboard and a weekly $5,000 tournament leaderboard. Tiger Gaming's navigation is smooth with all the standard features plus multiple table gaming. Side games are also available as well as sports and horse racing bets.
- Find out more about this poker room in our expert review of Tiger Gaming
PokerStars is considered by many to be the best online poker site in the business and has been for a very long time. It's certainly the largest and busiest online poker site in the world. With over 200,000 players logged in simultaneously alongside PokerStars’ renowned customer service, game selection and massive online poker tournament schedule, it's not a surprise PokerStars has been considered the best online poker room for years.
On top of its world-class live tour PokerStars takes pride in its first-rate poker app made available to all mobile devices. The Android or Mac app both offer real money and play money play, in-app deposits and withdrawals and multi-tabling through mobile data or Wi-Fi service.
Traffic is never low at PokerStars and games from the micro-stakes right up to the highest-stakes run 24/7. Freerolls are also very frequent with four $1m freerolls offered in 2016 alone and daily, weekly and monthly freerolls open to new players. For new players opening an account at PokerStars via PokerListings you can get an exclusive bonus.
A true innovator and leader in poker software PokerStars has continuously grown its offerings with groundbreaking variations like Zoom Poker and Jackpot Spin & Gos alongside a wide range of mixed games and new poker formats like Short Deck Hold'em. PokerStars also allows players to run their own private cash games and tournaments and when joining a public table players can even choose their preferred seats.
- Find out more in our expert review of PokerStars
4. Party Poker
Party Poker is another long-time stalwart of the poker gaming industry that launched way back in 2001. Cash games, tournaments, Fast Forward Poker (fast-fold poker), and sit & go tournaments are accessible wherever and whenever through their highly rated mobile apps.
In-app withdrawals are allowed and one can basically jump into a game / tournament in minutes via the mobile app. For iOS users the app is only available in selected countries but the Android app is accessible worldwide. As for tournaments, Partypoker has really upped its game with a massive expansion of its online offerings (Powerfest, Millions). Plus, a revitalized live tour spearheaded by EPT founder, John Duthie, and legendary WPT voice, Mike Sexton.
While PokerStars may have been the "grinder's favorite" online poker room for much of the past decade that mantle has started to shift over to partypoker more and more with more rakeback and satellite options drawing hardcore players in to the poker room by the thousands.
- Find out more in our expert review of Party Poker
Bet-at-home.com is an attractive skin on the iPoker Network. While it might not have the highest volume, the games are considerably softer. Originally a sportsbook, bet-at-home.com expanded into poker many years ago but the player base has remained focused on sports betting and online casino games. The lack of tough competition on the site is a boon for experienced poker players looking to earn some cash.
As a member of iPoker Network there are a lot of familiar qualities that you will find elsewhere on the network including relatively simple but usable software, solid promotions, weak players and a wide variety of games including No-Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha and Seven-Card Stud as well as some more unusual games like Five-Card Draw.
- Find our more in our expert bet-at-home review
6. Ladbrokes Coral
Ladbrokes has always been one of the top brands in the gambling industry but hasn't specifically catered to poker players over the years. Offering services to sports junkies and bingo frequenters since 1886, Ladbrokes is a large platform for different kinds of gamblers from slot machine addicts to exchange riskers.
As for the poker room the Ladbrokes Poker room is available in both standard desktop format and in the App Store for both Android and iPhone/iPad. Players get access to Twister Poker, Sit & Go’s, Cash Tables, Speed Poker Cash Tables and Multi-table Tournaments in all forms of the poker room and fast and secure in-app deposits are also possible via PayPal.
Ladbrokes Poker is excellent for beginners as there aren’t many experienced poker players punting around in the low buy-in cash games and tournaments. As for loyalty schemes the Ladbrokes Poker VIP club has 6 levels from Short Stack to legend and gives players access to big recurring deposit bonuses, special rake races, and VIP events. As you climb the ladder bonuses get higher and the better the exchange rates become.
- Find out more about this poker room in our expert review of Ladbrokes.
What are the Differences Between US and European Poker Rooms?
With current legislation in the United States just 5 states (New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia) have passed legislation to legalize online poker and only three - Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware - currently offering active poker games online. All three states, though, have agreed to a player-sharing agreement so at least the player pools are reasonably active. To play at an online poker room in the US you must either be a resident of any of those three states or a visitor within the state borders. Again, for more information on US poker sites, check our US online poker page.
European Online Poker Rooms Have It All
The multi-country PokerStars.eu and PokerStars.com poker rooms have by far the largest player pools and the largest selection of tournaments and cash games running around the clock. They have a wide selection for different stakes and also have good selection for non-NLHE games, such as Omaha and Limit Hold’em. Other online poker room providers in Europe like 888poker, partypoker and Unibet Poker have very similar platforms and player pools they can draw from although have slightly less traffic/slightly worse software than PokerStars.
Both France and Spain used to have segregated player pools but recently signed an agreement to merge the two, making for much better cash-game and tournament pools. If you're playing online poker in the UK you'll need to create an account at an online poker room that has been officially licensed by the UK Gaming Commission. All of the major book makers you're used to - William Hill, Ladbrokes Coral, Betfair etc. - have affiliated online poker rooms although the best action is still at the major online poker sites mentioned above.
Most European poker rooms have very good volume for the most popular limits of NLHE, such as $1/$2, especially at peak hours. The farther you are from peak times the less volume there will be, especially at higher stakes.
Even in Europe, though, poker games other than No-Limit Hold'em have smaller volume but you should be able to find a PLO or mixed game most hours of the day. At the smaller poker rooms, most of your opponents are likely to be regulars so you can get a very good gauge on their abilities and where your most likely poker profits lie. As a general rule, online poker rooms have a lot of fish at the lower stakes and plenty of tough players at the highest so watch your game selection closely. In the biggest weekly tournaments you'll find plenty of tough competition but at the lower stakes there's lots of room to take advantage of bad play. Read more:
Great Poker Bonuses on European Poker Rooms
As virtually all poker rooms are licensed and regulated in Europe, competition for new players is extreme. This makes for very good new player bonuses. The total poker bonus deals offered on European poker rooms are definitely attractive. There are often deposit bonuses, reload bonuses, and points for cash. While US online poker rooms tend to offer lower bonus deals. However, expect these to grow exponentially as the US poker market returns to full strength. Check the best poker room sign-up bonuses and bonus codes here:
Best Online Poker Sites Reviewed
Looking for online poker reviews is never an easy task, especially when there are hundreds of online poker sites out there. But randomly picking a site to play on is like taking a shot in the dark. Our poker room reviews are here to help you choose wisely! Only the best online poker sites make the upper echelon of our toplists and give you the chance to make the most of your deposit.
Our reviews rank poker sites based on quality of the software, security, sign-up bonuses, average skill level of the competition, and more. Our top poker room reviews also recommend the best places to play No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha in addition to more obscure games like Seven-Card Stud and 2-7 Lowball.
For over over 10 years PokerListings has worked with the biggest and best online poker rooms to provide the biggest sign-up bonuses. Check the poker room review toplist for where each site ranks and read the full review for more detailed explanations of each poker room's strengths and weaknesses. We’ve been doing this since online poker exploded in the early 2000s and we’ve learned a thing or two along the way. So what are the best sites where you can play poker in 2020? Read on and click the "Play Now" link to get started with our exclusive sign-up bonuses and poker bonus codes!
At its very core PokerListings is a database of online poker room reviews and poker site rankings. That’s how it’s been since the very beginning and our editors are all very experienced online poker players. Between us, we've logged thousands of hours on online poker sites like PokerStars, GGPoker, PartyPoker, and more. The objective of our top-rated poker room reviews is to give our visitors all the information necessary to make an informed decision about where to find the best online poker site. if you live in the US, find the best real-money online poker sites on this page.
Why You Should Care about Online Poker Software
A poker room’s online poker client obviously has a huge effect on the overall user experience. Many poker rooms share common software platforms and we meticulously detail the pros and cons of playing on certain networks compared to others. Playing on a poker site with buggy and generally unappealing software is something that no poker fan should be subjected to. Some software is simply sluggish and bloated while other software is lightweight and lightning fast.
It also depends what kind of player you are because certain software is much better for tournaments while other software excels in running cash games. There are some features that can only be found at certain sites like four-color decks, re-sizable tables or the ability to play over four tables simultaneously.
There are also questions about compatibility because some sites only run on Windows computers and not Apple devices. We take all of these factors into account when we are reviewing the best poker software. There are some features that can only be found at certain sites. Like the staking platform on the GGNetwork sites: GGPoker and Natural8.
How Does Traffic Affect your Online Poker Room Experience?
It goes without saying that player site traffic is very important. You want someone to play against right? There are sites where there are games going off 24/7 and then there are sites where you may have to wait an hour just to play a specific type of tournament. Player volume is the biggest factor in deciding how fast you’ll be able to find a game.
Keep in mind that some sites offer more tournaments while others are focused on cash games. It’s also worth noting that while a lot of poker sites offer less popular games like Seven-Card Stud and Draw Poker that doesn’t necessarily mean they have traffic in those games. When we review online rooms we take into account traffic in every game a particular site offers.
You should also remember that some sites hit peak traffic during European hours while others are more focused on North American time zones.
Also some sites get almost all their traffic in micro to small stakes while others offer legitimate high-stakes volume.
Our Poker Site Reviews Take Skill of Opponents into Consideration
This isn’t something that every new player immediately thinks about but when it comes to poker the vast majority of people would rather play against bad players because making money is fun. The average skill level varies considerable from site to site and we try to guide our players to the softer sites or at least let them know where they’ll find the tougher competition. It can be tough to quantify which sites have the “worst” players but we take into account the average amount of cash contributed to a pot pre-flop to help find loose players.
Sometimes you’ll find the softest sites are actually the lesser-known ones. We’re always hunting for the next hidden gem. Whatever you do, don’t discount player skill when it comes to signing up for a new poker site.
Online Poker Sites Offer Various Poker Games to Pick From
If you only want to play No-Limit Texas Hold’em, this isn’t a huge issue. But even if you’re the most steadfast Hold’em purist, we recommend trying your hand at games like Pot-Limit Omaha and Seven-Card Stud. You might be surprised how much you enjoy a little variety. Some sites are vastly superior when it comes to their selection of games.
Don’t like any of the basic games? You’ll be happy to know there are plenty of sites that offer even more obscure games like 2-7 Lowball, Razz, Badugi and Five-Card Draw. There's even TonyBet which offers the gambling favorite: Open-Face Chinese Poker.
Even beyond all the traditional games there are sites that offer poker variants they invented. These can be a welcome change of pace to standard No-Limit Hold’em and you simply won’t find them anywhere else. You might find an edge in those games, considering everyone is still trying to figure out the best strategy. For a full rundown of the rules for most poker variations, visit our poker rules page.
Bonuses and Promotions Can Help You Choose
You may or may not know that the online poker industry is highly competitive. In order to attract new players online poker sites will quite often host free tournaments (called freerolls) or straight up offer bonus cash for a deposit. If you like free money then you’ll want to play close attention to the various bonuses and promotions on each poker site. PokerListings consistently secures the best poker sign-up bonuses in the industry.
One of the most popular online poker site promotions is the deposit match, where the site will match whatever you deposit - provided you play enough hands on the site. Some of the top deposit matches go up to 200% and will match up to a staggering $2,000.
You might be surprised to learn that some of the best deals are located on the smaller sites that have to market their sites aggressively. Some players base their entire game on finding the best bonuses and running up a bankroll from there. At PokerListings we save you time by compiling a comprehensive list of the various online poker sites and the sign-up bonuses they offer.
Why Do We Review Poker Sites?
We think that you should never play online poker on a site you don’t trust. This is perhaps the most important feature of all. That is why we started reviewing back in 2002, do find the trustworthy sites. You absolutely have to feel safe on the poker site you chose to play at. PokerListings.com does in-depth security analysis and only lists sites that have achieved online certification. After the we were sure about the safety we figured we might as well lay out all the pros and cons of the poker sites we encounter on a daily basis. It helps that we communicate regularly with online poker sites to get a good idea of what’s going on behind the scenes.
Equally important to software security is having solid customer support options in case something should go awry and you need to talk to someone. Most top-tier online poker sites now have instant chat options to speak with a customer support agent live immediately. When reviewing online poker sites we carefully take into account the security of an online poker client as well as the variety of support options and their quality.
Is Playing Poker on these Sites Legal?
PokerListings.com is an international brand and we’re always tracking the legality of online poker in various countries around the globe. Our toplists can be filtered by country to give you an idea of what’s legal in the country where you reside. Of course online poker law is always changing and we frequently update our lists to reflect that. These are all out Poker Room Reviews: