The 8 best real money poker sites in 2018 | Reviews and player guide
We test poker sites for security and trustworthiness, software functionality, bonus and promotional offers, leave you a detailed review to read, and then rank the best online poker sites for real money, so you can make an informed decision before playing poker online for real money.
We do not randomly pick the best internet poker websites by coincidence, but we thoroughly test them and review them meticulously so we can compare them to other poker sites. This process enables us to find the best poker sites online.
The best real money Poker Site in our reviewer’s eyes in August 2018 is AmericasCardroom.
A real money poker site is only legit and trustworthy if the governmental authorities license it. The reason why this is just such a powerful signal of dignity is that they have to pass strict requirements to be licensed. The best poker sites must have a badge that proves they are certified, regulated, trustworthy and legal. The following licensees are handing badges that are marks of authority, proven fairness and legality: The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA), Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) and the New Jersey Casino Control Commission (NJCCC). There are more licensees to count, but those mentioned are the most transparent, recognised and authoritative institutions that can grant the poker site a permit to operate online poker legally.
Playing online poker is not the same as playing casino games. In casino games, you know that the machines are set to make a profit of you. But if you play online poker for real money, you are playing against humans, but nontheless the poker sites software deals the cards. Legit real money poker sites are using a random card generator (RNG) that deals cards without any recognisable patterns or sequences, at least if they are trustworthy. Also, all financial transaction must be encrypted, secured and must be held in a separate fund pool which can not be touched by anyone. There are independent gaming laboratories which, before the poker rooms get its license, test the RNG and safety and security of the respective poker site to confirm whether the new poker site is fair and secure or not. The following gaming laboratories are independently testing poker sites RNGs for fairness: Gaming Labs (GLI) and iTechLabs (ITL).
The most important factor after playing online poker in a secure environment is not to have to wait too long for willing opponents while also having the opportunity to play a wide selection of different poker games. When we test a poker site, we check their active player count that is online at various poker games at different times and record those stats to showcase them on our review pages. To simplify this process, we adhere a traffic rating at the top of each review for you to identify how lively the customer base of each respective poker site is in general. But we also go into details about the traffic at specific games, so if you have a favorite game you know exactly if the poker site suits you.
Rake is the fee a poker room takes for you participating in real money poker games online. Every poker sites business model relies and speculates on making a profit when charging rake for the player’s partaking in online poker for real money. There is a mass of poker rooms online, and some of them demand too high fees from their consumers compared to their competitors. Some poker sites offer you rake back as a type of loyalty bonus which means that they give you a price reduction on the fees you pay in the form of a real money poker bonus. You should always choose a poker room that offers you advantageous Rakeback deals as that cuts your rake costs significantly.
Although almost all real money online poker rooms offer First Deposit Bonuses (FDP) and such, some of them hide nasty terms and conditions that could, for example, disable you for cash outs after claiming the “gift” and winning money. We at Pokerreign review the terms of poker bonuses and evaluate if they are worth our listing, transparent and fair. And if the conditions are vaguely stated or misleading, we will not list it as we do not like the idea of sending our visitors to poker sites that are using unethical tricks to win a customer. For example, the bonus term “no deposit bonuses” is often used by poker sites to falsely let the interested poker player believe that they get free poker money without being required to deposit. The only option you have when you want to play poker for free but win real money is to play freerolls.
Playing poker online for real money is not the same as playing in a brick and mortar Casino. In a standard Casino, you are surrounded by people with the same interest as you who you can have fun conversations with and maybe a couple of drinks while enjoying the Casino flair. So, this social part is missing when playing Online Poker which is a pity. So how do online poker rooms try to make the missing social component up and deliver an as enticing experience? Well, with unique and exciting promotional offers, new game variations and competitions that are solely available to online poker player’s. And when we review poker sites, we list all of the promotions that are worth mentioning in our detailed poker room reviews, so you can see what offer you are attracted to and decide which poker room to play on.
The best real money Poker Site overall is AmericasCardroom - U.S Friendly
Americas Cardroom (ACR) is a US-friendly poker site which grants access to poker players from 43 of 50 states in the United States, and can also be enjoyed from most countries in the world outside of the USA. AmericasCardroom has outstanding promotional offers, a lively player pool, excellent bonuses and is trustworthy and legal.
When signing up to Americas Cardroom, you will get a $1.000 first deposit bonus, and when playing poker for real money, you get up to 73% of the rake you pay back in the form of loyalty rewards.
Not only that, but they also offer Rakeraces in which you compete versus other players by chasing points, and try to rank highest in the leaderboards to get bonuses of a staggering amount of up to $8.000.
Although ACR is preferred mostly by players from the USA, everyone who’s from a country outside definitely missed out when not already being signed up.
You can play real money poker games around the clock, in various formats, and enjoy tables opening up as quickly as you sit down at a cash game or register to a poker tournament.
The Winning Poker Network powers both, ACR and Blackchippoker, and hence share the player pool and a lot of other things including bonus and promotional offers.
PartyPoker - UK Poker site with a great rakeback deal
If you don’t know what a Rakeback deal is, that is probably because you haven’t met Partypoker yet. Partypoker is the best UK Real Money Poker Site and offers you to get up to 50% of your paid fees back, paid out on every Monday.
We got a special bonus for real money poker player’s from the UK: Sign up to Partypoker now, cash in a minimum of £10 and get £20 for FREE. And for every dollar you are depositing,
Partypoker will also give you an equally big match bonus of up to £500.
Use our Bonus code Pokerreign when signing up to be eligible for this UK Poker Bonus. You will find plenty of poker tournaments with enormous guaranteed prize pools of up to £500.000 at this poker site. If you don’t fancy tourneys, you can opt to play cash games or sit and goes with stakes ranging from low to high-stakes. Don’t worry,
Partypoker always has willing opponents in various real money poker games on all stakes for you. Another reason why we think Partypoker is one of the best real money poker sites is the excellent software which allows you smooth and straightforward navigation.
Natural8 - New poker site with uniqe promotions - Asia/Australia-friendly
Natural8 is a new poker site with a heavy focus towards the Australian and Asian online poker market. This poker website for real money has some of the most sophisticated, unique and entertaining poker promotions on offer.
Natural8 offers you to play poker for real money but does not demand you to make any payment with their freeroll tickets that allow you to take part in one $50 guaranteed freeroll every day.
Also, they give you the opportunity to run your bankroll up from $100 to $10.000, while streaming it on Twitch, and if you manage to do it, you get a reward of $10.000. That’s a one-time opportunity which is super cool and motivating.
Natural8 is part of the GGNetwork, and all skins that are part of this network have the chance to participate in a tournament leaderboard which has a $100.000 price pool and rewards the 1# with $10.000.
Also, this new poker site benefits you with one of the best Rakeback offers where you can get up to 54% of your paid fees back.
Unibet Poker - A perfect no deposit Poker site for 2018
Everyone wants to play online poker for real money rather than playing for free for meaningless chips where the competition does not care whether they lose or win. Well, at Unibet you can do both; You can play poker for real money and that for free.
You can participate in 12 different freerolls, every day without being required to deposit. Freerolls are free online poker tournaments that regardless of their free entry hide real money price-pools.
Unibet is one of the coolest animated real money poker sites on the UK market and lures the interested poker player with a sweet €100 first deposit poker bonus which doubles your initial deposit by 100%.
The downside of this poker site for real money is that they do not have the most vivid traffic which means that sometimes it might take a while until you find a good real money poker game to enter, but only if you prefer to play games that extend the mid-stakes.
BetOnlinePoker - The best Canada-friendly poker site for real money
BetOnline Poker is not only popular in Canada, in fact, it is the biggest US-friendly real money poker site on the market and is certainly doing a good job to sustain that 1# position.
This poker site online for real money is the best choice for every low stakes player. I tell you why. When you play poker for real money at BetOnline, you collect points which are used to rank you in a leaderboard.
Those leaderboards are divided into divisions dependent on stakes and games you play, and each division rewards you with real money when ranking in top places.
So if you play poker with $1-$2 blind, you take part in the daily $1100 Rakerace with all other players playing the same stakes.
That gives you a great chance to have a fair battle between players with bankrolls of the same size when chasing the top ranks in the leaderboard.
The bad thing about BetOnline is that they do not offer any rake back. But besides that, this poker site is a perfect fit for everyone who wants to play poker online for real money, especially if you are from Canada or the U.S as they are very prominent there.
Bovada - The Biggest real money Poker Site in the USA
Bovada is the single biggest poker site for U.S players and hence has action going on around the clock.
Whatever game type you like, whether it is Texas hold’em or something less popular like stud poker, at Bovada you will find willing opponents to play poker for real money on any stakes and any format.
When first signing up to Bovada, you can claim a 100% match bonus worth $500 which is paid out incrementally dependent on how much rake you pay.
Now, here comes the bad things about Bovada. Whenever you start a new real money poker game, you are assigned with a one-time alias which changes everytime you change the table.
So, you can’t build a history with your opponents which is terrible, at least in our opinion. And those anonymous tables only, do not allow you to use any poker tracking software either, so if you like to use a HUD when playing poker for real money, you might look above you to find a better poker site.
Ignition Poker - real money Poker web site for Australian players
Ignition is a new poker site having its doors open restrictively for players residing in the United States and Australia. The coolest feature of this poker site is that you can win real money losing.
Sounds fun? I tell you about it – It’s called the Bad Beat Jackpot. You can only participate in the Bad Beat promo when playing cash games for real money, and every time you lose with four-of-a-kind or better, you get 100 big blinds of the stakes you are playing. So, if you are playing stakes $0.05-$0.10, and win the Bad Beat Jackpot, you get 100x the big blind which is $10. This promo pays out up to $1000.
There is another cool promotion this poker site offers – The Royal Flush bonus. Every time you make a royal flush; you get 200x big blinds of the stakes you are playing. The sad thing about this poker site is that you won’t get many bonuses besides those mentioned above, and that just isn’t enough.