This is one of many play money poker apps, like Upoker, that are based on an agent-club-union model. It’s a relatively new app (launched in 2019), which has kept running - for now. Bar when PokerBros shut down from the App Store due to “unexpected circumstances”.
The number of PokerBROS Clubs to join are quickly increasing - especially in the US, and many clubs and unions operate in America. But without proper regulation, there’s no stopping such apps from scamming players and taking their money. We don’t want that to happen to you - so here’s the full disclosure in this review.
In Our PokerBros App Review:
- Pokerbros unions and club model using agents
- Suspicious poker “Legality” - and why Pokerbros USA is a thing
- Why it’s hard to make a withdrawal
- Why the app isn’t safe for players
- High rake and fees charged by third-party agents
- Reported scams and failure to ban cheaters and hackers
- What legit poker sites we can honestly recommend for your area
BLACKLISTED POKER APP
PokerBROS is not safe.
We strongly advise against playing here.
How the PokerBros App Works
The PokerBros on PC is not available per se. You can either play via the PokerBros Google Play app on Android or on iOS. Or use Android emulators to shift to Windows after your Pokerbros download. The platform was released in 2019 and is basically a poker ponzi scheme. It has a multi-level structure involving agents, club admins, and the like - where nobody has responsibility. So you’ll likely get no support should you have any issues with the app, payments or experience.
As they said in response to one of many bad reviews on the App Store and Google Play: “No players are paying for the app because PokerBROS provides a platform for poker games, NOT running any clubs. Private individuals own clubs and unions, and we aren't involved in their activities.”
Basically you need to purchase chips for PokerBros Diamonds but you can’t redeem them for cash. You need to organize payouts with the owner of the club you join. Or the agent that the club owner may delegate the running of the club to. This also means the possibility of fraud and money laundering is very real. Because dishonest club owners and their managing agents get a back door to easily run off with player money. There have been such accusations against this site which they could not justify.
Then there are the Pokerbros Union varieties, which are essentially congregations of clubs that share player traffic. Whoever is running the union takes some of the rake - up to 10% at times - to cover their costs and efforts.
Is PokerBros Illegal?
Essentially, there are no PokerBros real money games. Instead, the app uses play chips which you can purchase along with Diamonds in private clubs. This is how the PokerBros app real money misconception came about, and how it’s possible to have PokerBros online in the US and other restricted jurisdictions. But we need to clear this up.
They manage to bypass the many anti-gambling laws in places like the US, UK and Australia. But these private clubs are shady because all interactions are between the club owner and member - shifting risk onto players. Firstly, the specific formats you’re able to play depends on your club, so the schedule is available behind closed doors. Secondly, you also need to purchase the "Play money chips and diamonds" from a third-party agent, which leaves the site with zero financial / legal accountability.
The fact that there is selling of chips behind closed doors makes it illegal though - but it’s hard to track and report. And Pokerbros customer service will never intervene.
Play Money & Real Money Loophole
You can sit in Pokerbros MTT games for NLHE, PLO, and OFC with play chips or diamond buy-in. Or use this virtual currency to unlock features like extra time banks and rabbit hunting. Basically the site/ company provides chips to private clubs, and the club managers or their managing agents decide how to distribute these chips among members / players. This means there's no fixed agreements to acquire chips, so players have to negotiate them. Yes, there's a lot going on beneath the surface of the clubs.
Although the app claims to be a virtual/ play money platform, it’s known to actually have real money gaming. Because players buy chips from club owners or agents and ’sell’ back their winnings.
Clubs Owners Profit Off Players
The club owner is known to make a profit here because they’re charging high rake and fees to “run the club”. Meanwhile, agents recruit players to the site in exchange for a percentage of the player’s Pokerbros rake. If you sign up, your agent gets credit and you’ll be considered a member of their downline.
There are many instances where Pokerbros rakeback is promoted. However, this also comes down to the club owners and agents - and your agreement with them. So there’s no guarantee. Also this rakebackmay be whittled down by clubs charging tax percentages, withdrawal fees, and similar impositions.
A PokerBros Cash Out is Tricky
You’ll need to alert your agent for your Pokerbros Union that you want to withdraw winnings to either Bitcoin or an e-wallet. Again there’s no fixed procedure, and PokerBros software won’t intervene. Of course, with such free rein, you’ll see lots of agents slow-pay players - or not pay at all. We’ve seen hundreds of complaints in PokerBros club reviews from players down even four and five-figure sums. And who, in truth, may never see their winnings, because there’s nobody overseeing these transactions.
If you do manage a withdrawal - which may take a very long time, it’s all done under the table. Because this is a play money app and withdrawing to real money is illegal. You may lose your account and funds if caught. In fact, all players communicate transactions via third parties.
So - Is PokerBros a Scam?
- No Financial Liability
If the app shuts down, every player’s money disappears and you can’t cash out your account. There’s no proper licensing and hence no regulations, which means no security for your money - nor the games available. The terms state that ThinkLean Limited - the company behind the app is not held liable for any loss of funds. Because they can hide behind the fact that they are only providing the platform, they can turn a blind eye to transactions that happen externally with agents. You just grab an ID for a club and owner and that’s the extent of it from ThinkLean’s end.
- High rake, fees and exploitation
Essentially players have no rights and are not protected from such a Pokerbros scam. In theory, the rake can be 3-5% depending on the game. But club owners may decide on higher rake up to 10-12% for specific games. And even charge players additional PokerBros clubs fees - which are uncapped. The fact that it’s play money obscures how much money players actually lose along the multiple levels of this platform.
- Unethical Behavior - Cheating, Colluding, and more
There are also some terms that state there are no external tools allowed aside from the PokerBros HUD. No cheating and collusion allowed and no hate speech and so on. There is even mention of the Game Integrity Bros team that keeps things in check. But we’ve seen countless allegations regarding player collusion, HUDs, PokerBros bots and cheating using Pokerbros cheat codes. And no one does or can do anything about it, which is upsetting, and affects the integrity of the game.
Many high-profile pros have called out the app on its lack of integrity. One of which being Joey Ingram in early 2020 when Pokerbros home games - like other poker platforms online - were booming. Many also mistrust the Pokerbros algorithm stating that every hand results in multiway action that incentivizes pot bloating. Or massive hands clashing repeatedly, like Kings versus Aces. Of course, we can’t justify this. But the fact that so many users state the same thing in reviews is noteworthy.
Why We Blacklisted the PokerBros App
- Not licensed by any recognized legal body.
- Ponzi scheme layout with no rules and no player safety
- High fees charged to players
- Scams and cheating allegations denied or ignored
- Slow or no payouts
- Player collusion, cheating and bots - And no investigation
- Player info is shared to third party messenger services
Legit, Real Cash Poker Checklist
The main purpose of PokerListings is to serve as a complete guide for poker players. So it’s in our best interest to only point you towards safe, reputable online poker sites. Our team has decades of online poker experience to be able to spot the bad eggs. So when we’re recommending a poker room, you can rest assured that it has the following:
- Official licensing seals, made public as proof
- External auditors, like eCOGRA, testing them
- Up-to-date security measures and protection policies
- Some of the best poker bonuses and promotions
- Fast payouts using reliable deposit / withdrawal methods
- Player funds kept separate for payout reasons
- Responsive, helpful support team on-hand
Our Recommended Online Card Rooms
Online Poker Rooms
Is PokerBros rigged for action?The PokerBros software in itself doesn’t seem to be rigged and iTech Labs, Gaming Labs, and BMM all gave their RNG a PASS. However, the system leaves doors open to players being scammed by agents and admins, money laundering, and high rake. Withdrawals are illegal based on their concept and actively discouraged.
Is Pokerbros legit and legal?The platform gets around poker legality by having clubs offering ring games for play chips and Diamonds instead of real cash. So it’s legal in the USA and other domains on a technicality - but it shouldn’t be. You need to purchase chips and Diamonds through third-party agents with no financial and legal liability - and have zero protection as a player.
Is PokerBros real money?PokerBros is a social gaming platform for play money games, so players can’t legally play for real cash. Instead, you agree on how to deposit funds with a PokerBros agent of a club and follow instructions. You will also have to negotiate how to withdraw winning with the club owner or agent.
Is PokerBros a scam?We believe so. It isn’t properly licensed and regulated, which means no protection for players. Club owners and admins get to control clubs any way they wish. Games are controlled behind closed doors. And it’s the club owners / agents who decide how to distribute chips and diamonds to play games with. There are extra fees and charges for clubs and transactions which happen illegally via third party services. Since Thinklean Limited exits liability here, players have no one to turn to when issues arise and funds go missing.
Who owns PokerBros?The PokerBros owners are ThinkLean Limited. However, the platform operates with hundreds of private clubs, each owned by a third-party PokerBros agent or agents and admins.
Which is better - pokerbros vs pppoker?You can argue that Pokerbros has better graphics since it’s more modern and was released more recently. But PPPoker has more clubs and a much bigger playerbase, unfortunately. We cannot in good faith recommend either of these apps. Check out our legal and legit app options instead.