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Are you a keen poker player and looking to utilize your skills online to make a bit of money? If so, then you’ll be fully aware that although the game does possess an element of ‘luck’, experienced poker players are able to make consistent gains in the long-run.
Nevertheless, while the online poker space is now jam-packed with options, it might be worth considering a Bitcoin poker site. Not only will you benefit from super-fast deposits and withdrawals – but in some cases, you can remain 100% anonymous at all times.
If this sounds like something that interests you, be sure to read our in-depth Bitcoin Poker Guide. On top of listing the top 5 Bitcoin poker sites of 2019, we also give you a full breakdown of how Bitcoin poker works, the different types of games available, what you need to look out for when choosing a new Bitcoin poker site, and how you can get started today!
Note: Although some poker players are able to make consistent long-term profits, this isn’t guaranteed by any stretch of the imagination. On the contrary, most online players will lose money, so only play at stakes that you can afford to lose.
Criteria used to rank the best Bitcoin poker sites
❓ What game types does the poker site offer? (cash tables, sit and go, tournaments, etc)
❓ Whether deposits and withdrawals are instant?
❓ Does the poker site offer any bonuses or promotions?
❓ How much player traffic the site has?
❓ What customer support is like?
❓ What the poker table interface is like?
Guidance for US Players: Online gambling regulation is super strict in the US, so not all platforms will accept players based in the US. As such, always check whether or not your chosen poker site allows registrants from the US before depositing funds.
The best 5 Bitcoin poker sites in 2019
What is a Bitcoin poker site?
In a nutshell, a Bitcoin poker site is essentially a traditional online poker platform that allows you to win real-world money. However, the key difference is that instead of using your debit/credit card, e-wallet, or bank account to deposit and withdraw funds, you will be using Bitcoin.
As such, this often allows you to play online poker without needing to identify yourself or upload any sensitive documents, such as a passport or driver’s licnese. Moreover, sticking exclusively with Bitcoin will often allow you to benefit from instant withdrawals.
Ordinarily, fiat currency withdrawals can take days, if not weeks to be credited back into your account, as gambling regulation requires all operators to perform enhanced due diligence. However, as Bitcoin does not fall within the remit of fiat currency regulations, poker sites that deal primarily in cryptocurrencies are not affected.
What types of poker games can I play at a Bitcoin poker site?
If you’re an experienced poker player, then you will likely have a full grasp of the many variations of poker that are typically available in the online casino scene. If so, then you will be pleased to learn that Bitcoin poker sites cover all three of the most commonly played game types. Notably, this includes cash tables, sit and go, and tournaments. Moreover, for those of you that are also looking to play video poker, this can also be accessed at a Bitcoin poker site.
With that being said – if you are still a newbie in the world of online poker, then we would suggest reading the following section where we explain how each poker variation works.
Note: Regardless of whether you are playing at a cash table, sit and go table, or a tournament table, the underlying rules of poker will always remain constant. As such, we’ll explain the main rules of the game once you know how each game type differs.
If you are looking to play at a cash table, you could be playing against just one player, up to a maximum of 8 other players. As such, not only is the entire game played on a single table, but there are no limits to how long you can play for. In other words, you can play just a single hand, or sit at the cash table all day.
It is important to note that unlike a sit and go or tournament game, there is no limit to the amount of money that you can lose in a cash table game. The reason for this is that each and every chip is represented by real-world money. On the contrary, in both sit and go & tournament games, you pay a single entrance fee, and that is all that you can lose.
Nevertheless, let’s explore how a cash table typically works.
First and foremost, in order to assess what sort of stakes you want to play for, you need to assess what the ‘blinds’ are. In its most basic form, the blinds are a crucial part of playing poker, as it ensures that players don’t fold each and every hand until they get something worth playing. Instead, the blinds encourage players to keep the flow of the game consistent.
So, regardless of whether you are playing a cash table or sit and go game, there will always be the ‘small blind’ and the ‘big blind’. The small blind is held by the player sitting to the right of the player holding the big blind. After each hand has finished, the blinds will move to the next players in a clock-wise fashion.
As such, if you were holding the big blind in the previous hand, you will need to hold the small blind in the next. Both small and big blinds automatically go into the pot for that respective game, meaning that it will be taken from your chip balance.
Choosing the right blinds for your required stake level is crucial, as this typically dictates how much is going to be wagered per game. The good news is that blinds can be as low as $0.01/$0.02, so if you’re just starting out at a cash table, then you can play for really small amounts. At the other end of the spectrum, some Bitcoin poker sites will have blinds that run into the thousands of dollars, which is crazy. However, there is obviously a market for stakes this high, as tables always seem to have players!
✔️Limit vs No Limit Poker
Once you have decided which blind levels you want to play at, you then need to determine whether you want to opt for a limit game, or a no-limit game. Once again, this decision is only required at cash tables. Nevertheless, no limit poker allows you to ‘raise’ as much as you want on a single decision. For example, if the current pot is $300, and you decided to raise $30,000, technically speaking this would not be an issue.
On the other hand, a limit game of cash table poker will limit the amount that you can raise per hand. The specific amounts will vary from game-to-game, so you will need to check this out for yourself. Moreover, deciding whether to go for limit poker or no limit poker will ultimately depend on your personal preference. In most cases, experienced players that make long-term gains will typically opt for no limit poker.
Now that you have decided what blinds you want to play at, and whether you want to play at a limit cash table or no limit cash table, you now need to assess what the minimum ‘buy-in’ is. In a nutshell, this refers to the minimum amount of chips that you need to bring to the table. As we noted earlier, all chips in a cash table game will have a monetary value applied to them, much in the same way that a chip on the blackjack table has an actual value that can be exchanged for cash.
The minimum amount that you will need to buy-in will be based on the size of the blinds. In most cases, this will average between 20-40 big blinds. For example, if you are playing at a cash table with blinds of $2/$4, and you are required to buy-in 40 big blinds, this means that you’ll need to exchange $160 for the privilege of sitting at the table.
Note: Although you are required to buy-in a minimum amount of chips to sit at the cash table, this doesn’t mean that you will need to play through the entire amount. On the contrary, you can leave the table at any time.
Sit and Go Tables
So now that you have a firm understanding of what you need to know when playing at a cash table, we are now going to explain how sit and go tables work. In a nutshell, although the rules of the game remain constant with that of cash tables, there is a fundamental difference to consider. Essentially, unlike cash tables – which enable you to lose an unlimited amount of money, you can only lose the buy-in amount for that particular game.
Here’s a breakdown of how sit and go tables work at a Bitcoin poker site.
Tip 1. Choose your buy-In
First and foremost – and similarly to a cash table game, you need to look at the buy-in. This will dictate how much you are looking to stake in a particular game. Sit and go tables are available for all budgets, which is great. For example, most sit and go games can be played with a buy-in of just $1.10.
This means that irrespective of whether you win the game, your $1.10 buy-in is all that you can lose. On the other hand, sit and go tables can also be played for high stakes. Much like cash tables, some Bitcoin poker sites have sit and go tables that allow you to buy-in for well over $1,000!
Tip 2. Choose your table size
Once you have assessed how much you want to stake, you then need to decide how many players you want in your respective game. Much like cash tables, a sit and go game will only ever be played on a single table. As such, a game will either have 6 players or 9 players.
On the one hand, choosing a game with 6 players will give you more of a chance of winning, not least because you are competing against fewer players. On the other hand, a 9 player table will have a higher prize pot, as more players have bought in.
Tip 3. Look at the prize payout
This step is absolutely crucial – as depending on the size of your sit and go table, your respective game might pay a prize for first and second, or first, second and third. Essentially, if you are playing a 6 table game, then the last two remaining players will share the pot. The specific split will typically be in the region of 70% for the winning player, and 30% for the player that finished second.
Alternatively, if you’re playing at a 9 player table, the last three remaining players will get paid. As such, while first place might pay 50% of the pot, second and third might pay 30% and 20%, respectively.
Note: It is important to note that regardless of what sit and go Bitcoin poker game you play, the platform will always charge a ‘rake’. This is a small fee that the Bitcoin poker site charges for facilitating the game. For example, if you play a sit and go game that costs ‘$3.00+$0.30’ to buy in, this means that $3 goes into the prize pot, and $0.30 is paid to the casino as a rake.
Tip 4. All players start with the same chip stack
When you play a cash table game, the amount of chips that you have at the table will depend on how much you decided to exchange from real-world cash. On the contrary, sit and go players will always start with the same amount of chips. Take note, these chips do not have a real-world value, as they are used exclusively for your respective game.
In the vast majority of cases, Bitcoin poker sites will give all sit and go players a starting chip stack of 1,500. As the chips are virtual, there are no restrictions on the specific bet sizes that you can implement, which is super convenient.
Tip 5. Blinds increase every 8-10 minutes (sometimes faster)
In a similar nature to cash table games, all sit and go tables will have both small and big blinds. However, while in cash table games the blinds will always stay the same, sit and go games will see the blinds increase incrementally until the game has finished. This is to ensure that the game does not take hours-on-end to finish, and subsequently prevents players from folding hand after hand.
Although the specific time-frame will vary depending on the Bitcoin poker site and the type of sit and go game you are playing, blinds typically increase every 8-10 minutes. When they do, the blinds will always double in size. For example, if the blinds are currently at $5/$10, the next increase will see the blinds go to $10/$20.
Note: If you are playing a ‘Turbo’ game of Bitcoin poker, then the blinds will increase much faster. In fact, you might see the blinds double in size every 4-5 minutes!.
Tip 6. You are eliminated when you have no more chips left
In terms of deciding the outcome of the game, sit and go poker typically utilizes a ‘last person standing’ concept. In other words, when you no longer have any chips left, you are eliminated from the game. As we noted earlier, prizes are usually paid to the last 1-2 players on a 6 table game, and the last 1-3 players on a 9 player game.
If you are looking to chase that life-changing win, it might be worth considering a Bitcoin poker site that hosts tournaments. In its most basic form, the main rules surrounding tournament games are exactly the same as sit and go tables, insofar that [A] you can only lose the amount of money that you bought in, and [B] the blinds will increase every 8-10 minutes.
However, there are a couple of clear differences that make Bitcoin poker tournaments ultra-popular. Firstly – unlike a sit and go table, which can only be played on a single table, tournaments can have an unlimited number of players. Although each table will have a maximum of 9 players, there can be an unlimited number of tables in the game.
As poker tournaments can have thousands of players, prizes can be highly significant. In a similar nature to sit and go tables, tournaments will distribute the overall prize pot to the last remaining players. However, while sit and go tables will only pay a maximum of 3 places, tournaments can pay dozens, if not hundreds of places – depending on how many players are in the game.
Bitcoin poker: Winning hand combinations
Regardless of whether you decide to play a cash game, sit and go, or tournament, the winning hand combinations will always be the same. As you probably know, the player with the best-ranking hand will win that particular round. We have listed all of the winning poker hands below, from highest to lowest.
🃏Royal Flush: The best hand in poker is that of a Roya Flush. You’ll need to land 10, J, Q, K, A all of the same suit.
🃏Straight Flush: Any five consecutive cards of the same suit. For example, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 of Hearts.
🃏Four of a Kind: Any four cards of the same value. For example, four Kings or four 2s.
🃏Full House: A Full House is when you land both a pair and three of a kind. For example, two Queens and three 5s.
🃏Flush: All five cards need to be of the same suit, but in no particular order. For example, 2, 5, 7, 8, 9 of Spades.
🃏Straight: Any five consecutive cards, but of any suit. For example, 3, 4, 5 of hearts, followed by 6, 7 of Diamonds.
🃏Three of Kind: Any three cards of the same value. For example, three 7s or three Aces
🃏Two Pair: A hand that consists of two individual pairs. For example, two 7s and two Queens.
🃏Pair: Any pair, such as a pair of 4s or a pair of Kings
🃏High Card: If none of the above hands can be made, then the player with the highest card wins (2-Ace)
Bitcoin poker bonuses
In a similar nature to the Bitcoin casino space, Bitcoin poker sites allow you to benefit from a welcome bonus if you are yet to open an account with the platform. This will always come in the form of a matched deposit bonus. Depending on the poker site, you’ll typically be able to get a matched deposit of between 50% and 200%, up to a certain amount. In order to get your head around how matched deposit bonuses work, check out the following example.
- You join a Bitcoin poker site that offers a 200% welcome bonus of up to $1,000
- You think that $1,000 is a bit much to deposit, so you instead deposit $400
- As such, the poker site will give you a bonus of 200% on your $400 deposit
- This amounts to $800 in bonus funds
- Therefore, your starting balance is $1,200 – even though you only deposited $400
Once you claim a welcome bonus and subsequently proceed to make a deposit, the funds will be added to your ‘bonus balance’, as opposed to your ‘real money balance’. It is crucial that you understand what this means for your ability to withdraw your winnings, as a bonus balance much first meet a minimum wagering requirement before you can reqeust a cash out.
Regardless of which platform you claim a welcome bonus from, you will need to meet some wagering requirements before you are able to cash the funds out. Otherwise, it would make no sense for a Bitcoin poker site to give you a bonus of 200%, only for you to then withdraw the funds straight back out! As such, the wagering requirement will dictate how many times you need to bet the bonus funds before a cash-out is permitted.
This will always be displayed as a multiple, which you then need to multiply against the size of the bonus funds awarded. For example, if the Bitcoin poker site gives you a $200 bonus, and the wagering requirement is 5x, this means that you need to play at least $1,000 worth of poker games before you can make a withdrawal.
The good news is that Bitcoin poker bonuses typically come with a much lower wagering requirement in comparison to traditional casinos. While casinos will usually ask for a minimum of 40-50x of the bonus amount, Bitcoin poker sites will average about 5x. As such, this gives you a really good chance to turn your welcome bonus into real-world cash!
How to choose a Bitcoin poker site
If none of the five Bitcoin poker sites that we have recommended are of interest, don’t worry – as there are literally dozens of platforms that now allow you to deposit and withdraw in Bitcoin. However, not all of these platforms are going to be suitable for your individual needs, so you need to perform a bit of research before signing up.
Nevertheless – in order to help you along the way, we’ve listed some of the most important factors that you need to look out for prior to taking the plunge.
✔️1. Reputation and regulation
Most importantly, you need to assess whether or not your chosen Bitcoin poker site can be trusted. Firstly, you should do some research to find out how long the Bitcoin poker site has been in the market. Some of the platforms that we have recommended above have been around since the mid-1990s, which typically indicates that they have built a solid reputation that spans more than 20 years.
On top of finding out how long the Bitcoin poker site has been in operation, you also need to evaluate whether or not the platform is regulated. If the platform accepts US players, then it is likely that the poker site will be located in a less stringent part of the world – such as Costa Rica. However, some platforms are regulated in the EU, which adds an extra safeguard.
✔️2. Player traffic
You also need to assess whether or not the Bitcoin poker site has sufficient levels of player traffic. In a nutshell, player traffic refers to the number of players that use the platform at any given time. Ultimately, you don’t want to pick a Bitcoin poker site that has very few players, as you’ll find it difficult to get a game. Not only this, but you won’t be able to benefit from tournament games that come with large jackpots – unless the platform is part of a much larger poker network.
✔️3. Game Types
If you read through our 5 recommended Bitcoin poker sites above, then you’ll remember that certain platforms are better at cash tables, while others are better at sit and go games. With that being said, you’ll want to choose a Bitcoin poker site that excels at your preferred game type.
As a side tip, if you are looking to focus on sit and go tables & tournament games, then you’ll want to stick with a Bitcoin poker site that has a good level of player traffic. Failing this, the platform might still be worth joining if it is part of a poker network.
If you are looking to deposit and withdraw funds using Bitcoin, then, of course, you will need to check that the platform in question supports this. However, you also need to assess what the minimum and maximum deposits/withdrawal amounts are.
Furthermore, check to see whether the Bitcoin poker site charges you anything to deposit in Bitcoin, and how long the platform takes to process a withdrawal. In an ideal world – if withdrawing funds via Bitcoin, we’d like to see the platform process this automatically.
✔️ 5. Bonuses
Finally, as the Bitcoin poker space has become more and more competitive in recent years, platforms are now offering really lucrative welcome packages for players that are yet to open an account. As such, you should only pick a Bitcoin poker site that is prepared to reward you for opening an account. In fact, the best platforms will give you a matched deposit amount that exceeds 100%, so make sure you take this into account when searching for your preferred poker site!
How to register and deposit at a Bitcoin poker site in 5 minutes
If you’re keen to get your Bitcoin poker career off and running, here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to get started NOW!
✔️Step 1: Choose a trusted Bitcoin poker site
✔️Step 2: Quickly open an account
✔️Step 3: Obtain your Bitcoin deposit address and transfer funds to your poker account
✔️Step 4: Join a poker game – choose from cash tables, sit and go, or a tournament
✔️Step 5: Withdraw your winnings back to your private Bitcoin wallet
Do Bitcoin poker sites offer bonuses?
All of the Bitcoin poker sites that we have come across will offer new players a welcome package. This consists of a matched deposit bonus, which can boost your first deposit by between 50% – 200%. For example, if the poker site is offering a 100% welcome bonus up to $400, by depositing $400 in Bitcoin you will have a starting bankroll of $800.
Are Bitcoin poker sites regulated?
Unlike the wider Bitcoin casino space, a lot of poker sites that accept Bitcoin will have a gaming license. However, as a lot of these platforms also want to accept players from the US, these are usually issued by less stringent gaming bodies, such as those based in Costa Rica.
What is the minimum deposit I can make at a Bitcoin poker site?
This will ultimately depend on the Bitcoin poker site that you decide to open an account with. However, if opting for a platform like Ignition Poker, you can get started with a deposit of just $10.
Do Bitcoin poker sites offer tournaments?
They certainly do. In fact, some of the Bitcoin poker sites listed above offer weekly tournament games with a guaranteed jackpot that exceeds $1 million. This is great, as it rarely costs more than a couple of dollars to enter a poker tournament, which is perfect if you want to play for small stakes.
Will I need to upload ID at a Bitcoin poker site ?
This will depend on the specific platform. As most Bitcoin poker sites also deal with fiat currency, they might have a KYC policy in place. However, if you are only looking to play with Bitcoin and thus – have no relationship with fiat currency, you might be able to benefit from an anonymous account.