As a new player, you may be wondering where to find the best online poker sites for beginners, and more importantly where you should deposit your hard-earned cash.
There are lots of different online poker sites to choose from and below are my recommendations based on what you’re looking for in a site.
Use the filters provided to see which sites I recommend for:
Table Of Contents
- GG Poker
- Americas Cardroom
- Pokerstars Europe
- 888 Poker
- Full Tilt (Not Recommended)
DitoBet is really only the best site if you are either a casual player, a beginner, or are more into casino games and/or betting on sports. As part of the newer BetConstruct network, DitoBet lacks the traffic required for more serious poker players, and don’t offer any promotions for poker (not even a sign-up bonus).
Ideal For: Casual Players who also play Casino games or bet on Sports
DitoBet have an outstanding online casino with a wide variety of games and great promotions, including an amazing sign-up bonus. DitoBet also offer an excellent sportsbook with plenty of betting options across a massive variety of sports. Even if you are a serious poker player, you should still consider joining DitoBet if you ever play casino games or bet on sports. Although not a good option for serious poker players, DitoBet is very good for casual players as the games tend to be rather loose (since most of the players are casino gamblers rather than your typical online poker grinder).
Sign-Up Bonus: Poker: None; Casino: $1,000 +100 Free Spins; Sports: $250 + $25 Free Bet
Casino: The DitoBet casino sign-up bonus is spread over your first 3 deposits. With your first deposit, you get a 100% sign-up bonus up to $220, plus 20 Free Spins. On your second deposit, you receive a 150% bonus up to $330, plus 30 Free Spins, and on your 3rd deposit, you receive a 200% bonus up to $450, plus 50 Free Spins.
Sports: Get a 100% sign-up bonus up to $250, as well as a $13 Free Bet with an initial deposit of at least $10, or a $25 Free Bet with an initial deposit of at least $125.
Loyalty Rewards Program: None for Poker
DitoBet offer promotions on sports betting, such as boosted betting odds, and boosted winnings. They also offer a 5% Live Casino cashback. However, they do not currently offer any promotions for poker.
Network Traffic: D+
BetConstruct are a fairly small player in the online poker market. Although they are growing, they have a long way to go if they wish to compete with the likes of 2nd tier sites (by traffic) like 888 Poker, Pai Wang Luo (Bodog), or the Winning Poker Network, with currently roughly one quarter of their traffic.
Site Quality & Trust
Although DitoBet are new to the online gambling market, BetConstuct have been around for over 15 years. Their software is incredibly clean with no clutter, and simple, user-friendly navigation.
Join DitoBet today if you want to enjoy excellent poker software and soft opposition.
GG Poker is our #1 recommended poker site for serious poker players (and it’s pretty darn great for casual and beginner players also)! A relative newcomer in the online poker scene compared to the other sites in this list, GG Poker has grown immensely and is now the biggest online poker sites in the world (and continues to grow). GG Poker is best known for its incredibly soft cash games but also has an outstanding loyalty rewards program. Serious players simply won’t find a better combination of soft games and high rewards! Casual players will appreciate their loyalty rewards program that rewards beginners even more than it rewards the pros! GG Poker also offer casino games, but if you want to bet on sports, you will need to join another site (we recommend either DitoBet or Bet365 )
Ideal For: Everyone (except Sports Bettors)
GG Poker’s loyalty rewards are a bit complicated (see below for more details). However, the basic idea is that players who lose get bigger rewards than players who win. As a result, GG Poker have a system that encourages weaker players to keep coming back, while also providing solid rewards to the winners. It’s an online poker pro’s dream! GG Poker also offer casino games, but if you want to bet on sports, you will need to join another site (we recommend either DitoBet or Bet365)
Sign-Up Bonus: 100% up to $600, or $100 FREE
GG Poker offers a fairly standard 100% sign-up bonus up to a maximum of $600. For every $20 you generate in rake and fees, you receive $5 of the bonus, for a respectable 25% rakeback. You also have 90 days to earn the bonus, which makes this an above-average sign-up bonus.
Casual players are better off taking advantage of GG Poker’s $100 in Free Rewards package. Simply deposit a minimum of $20 and you will receive a total of 60 Spin & Gold tickets across 6 days with a total value of $40. You can also earn up to $45 in cash by playing a minimum number of All-in or Fold cash game hands each day, and if you complete all 6 All-in or Fold daily challenges you will receive a $15 tournament ticket as well!
To take advantage of either of these offers, click here.
Loyalty Rewards Program: Fish Buffet
Play any real money poker or casino games and you will earn Fish Buffet Points (FP). Earn enough FPs during a specific time period and you will earn higher ranks, which award higher cashback. Each time you increase your rank, you get to spin a wheel to determine your prize. Earn enough FPs in a year and you can switch to a fixed rakeback percentage.
Players earn FPs at a different rate based on their player profile. There are multiple factors that go into your profile, but in general, winning players earn fewer FPs per $1 of rake, and losing players earn more. Low rake, decent rakeback rewards, plus soft cash games are why GG Poker is our top-rated online poker site for serious players!
In addition to their excellent loyalty rewards program, GG Poker is constantly running multiple promotions that they change every month, from big hand jackpots to daily leaderboards. The site gives away over $100,000 every day across 5 different leaderboards, which is just another reason they are our top pick for serious online poker players!
Network Traffic: A-
GG Poker is currently the largest online poker site and is steadily growing. Although based in Asia, they have successfully tapped into the western market as well. Signing Daniel Negreanu as their ambassador, and hosting the WSOP online has no doubt contributed to their continued growth, but they were already steadily growing beforehand. There are usually more than 20 tables of 6-handed No Limit Texas Hold’em for all stakes from 1¢/2¢ up to $1/$2, and 8-15 tables for $2/$5 and $5/$10!
Site Quality & Trust
GG Poker is a relative newcomer to the online poker scene, having been established in 2014. Their primary focus has been in Asia, but they have recently focused on growing their market in Europe and the Americas as well. Despite not having the history of many other sites in this list, they were trusted enough to host the 2020 WSOP, which was held online due to Covid-19. If the WSOP trusts the site enough to represent their brand, then that’s good enough for me! The site quality is great and offers all of the features you’d expect from an online poker site with this much traffic.
Click here to take advantage of GG Poker's 100% match up to $600 deposit bonus or simply $100 in rewards.
Betsafe are an all-around solid option for poker, casino, and sports betting, with excellent promotions for all three. They are also one of the most trusted sites in this list (which is why we rate them so highly). As a member of the iPoker network, the site offers decent poker traffic with lots of tournaments.
Ideal For: Casual and Serious Poker players, Casino players and Sports Bettors
Whether you prefer to play poker, play casino games, bet on sports, or any combination of the three, betsafe are an outstanding option! For poker, they offer an attractive 10% rakeback for casual players (most online poker sites do not give casual players any rewards). Higher volume players can earn up to 30% rakeback, but also earn additional rewards from the site’s numerous other promotions. Casino players and sports bettors also receive a wide variety of promotions, plus access to a huge selection of games and betting options.
Sign-Up Bonus: Missions; 100% up to €1,000 + 200 Free Spins; €25 Bonus + €10 Free Bet
For poker, betsafe offers a series of missions you can complete to earn various rewards as well as an exclusive €100 freeroll. It’s hard to quantify the value of these missions, because you get to choose missions based on your preferred playing style.
In the casino, you receive a 100% sign-up bonus up to €1,000, plus 200 Free Spins on the Gates of Olympus game. For sports, you can receive a €25 Bonus, plus a free €10 bet.
Loyalty Rewards Program: Loyalty Club
Receive 10 Loyalty Points for every €1 or £1 contributed in rake or fees. Your tier (Silver, Gold, Platinum, or Diamond) is determined by how many Loyalty Points you earn in a month. Higher tiers offer a higher reward point multiplier (from 1 for Silver to 3 for Diamond). Exchange 100 reward points for €1 cash, resulting in 10-30% rakeback based on your volume of play. Betsafe also offers other poker promotions, such as the Spring Poker Festival, during which players can complete missions to earn tournament tickets and entries to exclusive freerolls. There is also a weekly €12,500 Twister rake race. Twisters are 3-player SNGs with a random prize pool that can be up to 1,000 times the buy-in. The top 250 points earners each week will receive a prize ranging from €20 to €1,000.
Betsafe also offer a wide variety of promotions for Casino players (far too many to list here). Win up to €500 daily by collecting Draw Tickets, earn up to 1,000 Free Spins each day playing specific games, play the game of the week to earn 10 Free Spins, and get up to 10% Bonus Money Back up to €100 on all Live Casino games from Tue-Thu each week! There are also frequent casino and slots tournaments with rewards ranging from €1,000 for 1-day events to €20,000 for month-long tournaments. The site also gives away up to €500,000 each month in Daily Drops & Wins. Become a VIP Player and get access to even more offers!
Sports bettors can participate in a monthly points race, with the top 60 participants sharing €10,000. You can also collect up to 50 Tickets Daily for a chance to win a €200 Free Bet each week. Bet on Virtual Sports and receive a €5 bonus, or bet on multiples and get a refund if just 1 (of your 5) picks lets you down.
Network Traffic: B
The iPoker network are currently the 5th largest poker site/network, which means they have more than enough activity to satisfy all but the most hardcore grinders. There are plenty of active cash games across a wide range of stakes as well as lots of tournaments.
Site Quality & Trust
Betsafe was founded in 2006 in Malta and focused on providing sports betting, casino games and poker to players in Scandanavian countries. In 2011, the company was acquired by Betsson Group, who have been around since 1963, originally providing slot machines to restaurants in Sweden. Despite being in the gambling industry for almost 60 years, there are virtually no reports of unethical behavior by the company, or any of its subsidiaries.
Join betsafe today for amazing promotions regardless of whether you play poker, bet on sports, or enjoy casino games!
If you don’t reside in the Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, or the USA, you can skip the next 4 entries.
The next 4 sites on this list are all on the Pai Wang Luo network (previously known as the Bodog Poker Network). Although each site offers slightly different promotions, the only real difference between them is the countries they accept (and each is highly restrictive, serving only a few countries).
Ignition is the US-facing poker site of the Pai Wang Luo poker network. In addition to the US (except Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York), Ignition also accepts players from Argentina, Brazil, Morocco, and New Zealand. Ignition are also the only online poker site we know of that accepts players from Australia!
Ideal For: American & Aussies, especially those who enjoy Casino Games and Sportsbetting
If you live in the US and exclusively play poker, then Americas Cardroom may be a better option due to their lower rake and better rewards. However, if you do not like Americas Cardroom, or also enjoy casino games and/or betting on sports, then Ignition is a much better site, especially since games on this network are notoriously soft! Rakeback is great, but winning is even better!
Ignition is also a great option for beginner players who want to be as anonymous as possible. If you’re new to online poker, then chances are you won’t be particularly good (even if you’re a regular winner in your local game). Online poker professionals will quickly identify weaknesses in your game that they can exploit, and on most online poker sites these pros can search the tables for players they’ve previously identified as weak…but not on the Pai Wang Luo network! On Ignition, you don’t have the option of picking which table you will join; you can only pick the game, the table size, and the stakes!
Sign-Up Bonus: 100% up to $1,000 ($1,500 with Bitcoin)
Ignition offers a 100% bonus up to $1,000 ($1,500 if you deposit with Bitcoin). Although you only have 30 days to earn this bonus, it is paid out at a whopping 50% rakeback. Even better, you also get an additional $1,000 ($1,500 with Bitcoin) in Casino bonuses, making Ignition an amazing option for players who play both poker and casino games. And you get both bonuses on the same deposit! That is, if you deposit $1,000, you get BOTH the $1,000 poker bonus ($1,500 with Bitcoin) and $1,000 Casino bonus ($1,500 with Bitcoin)! If you primarily play casino games, go for the $3,000 sign-up bonus from Bovada or BetOnline instead.
Loyalty Rewards Program: Ignition Rewards
Earn 15 Ignition Miles per $1 of rake or fees. You also earn Ignition Miles from casino games, and for betting on sports. You can then redeem Ignition Miles for cash. There are also a few other promotions, such as a Royal Flush bonus and Bad Beat bonus, but in total this comes out to <2% rakeback. You want to play on Ignition for the soft games, not the rewards! There is also a weekly $2,500 freeroll.
Network Traffic: B
The Pai Wang Luo network is estimated to be the 6th largest online poker network. However, Pai Wang Luo do not publish their traffic numbers, so this is just an estimate. Even logging into the site doesn’t show how many tables are active in order to protect players from being targeted by professionals.
Site Quality & Trust
Ignition Casino has been around since 2016 when they purchased the Bodog Poker Network. Although Bodog still exists, it is now a skin on the Pai Wang Luo network, of which Ignition Casino is the flagship brand. The site quality is excellent and provides player anonymity in that players cannot select tables to join. Instead, players simply select the stakes they wish to play, and are then assigned to a table. This prevents sharks from searching for known weak players.
Join Ignition today if you enjoy playing poker against weak opposition!
Bovada is the US-facing poker site that is owned and operated by Bodog. So, while US-based players cannot play poker with Bodog, they can play on the same network with Bovada (except residents of Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York). Players in Argentina, Brazil, and Morocco can also play on Bovada. However, this site is also on the same network as Ignition, so unless you play a lot of casino games, you should probably just join Ignition instead as they have a better sign-up bonus, and slightly better promotions.
Ideal For: Players who prefer Casino Games or Sportsbetting to Poker
Bovada are ideal for US-based casino players and sports bettors thanks to their incredible sign-up bonuses (see below). Otherwise, you should join Ignition Poker, or Americas Cardroom if you play exclusively poker and live in the US.
Sign-Up Bonus: 100% up to $500
Use Bovada bonus code “PWB500” to receive a 100% matching bonus up to $500. The bonus is earned at a whopping 50% rakeback, which is great, but Ignition Casino offers the same percentage on the same network, but up to $1,000 ($1,500 with Bitcoin), making it a better option for most players. The advantage Bovada offer over Ignition is for Casino players. Bovada’s Casino sign-up bonus is $3,000 ($3,750 if you deposit with Bitcoin). If you primarily bet on Sports, you can get a $250 Sports sign-up bonus ($750 with Bitcoin).
Loyalty Rewards Program
Earn 15 reward points per $1 of rake or fees. You can also earn reward points from casino games, or from betting on sports. You can then redeem reward points for cash. However, this is an abysmally low 0.6-1.5% rakeback. You want to play on Bovada for the soft games, not the rewards!
Network Traffic: B
Bovada is a member of the Pai Wang Luo network, which is estimated to be the 6th largest online poker network. However, Pai Wang Luo do not publish their traffic numbers, so this is just an estimate. Even logging into the site doesn’t show how many tables are active in order to protect players from being targeted by professionals.
Site Quality & Trust
Bovada was created in 2011, a couple of months after the infamous Black Friday in an effort to protect the Bodog brand, but still allow the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group (MMGG) to continue offering online poker, casino, and sports betting to the US market. The site is a skin of Bodog and offers all the same functionality. This is one of the few networks that hides its tables so that online poker pros cannot go searching for specific players to play against.
Join Bovada today if you enjoy playing casino games more than online poker!
Bodog.EU only accepts players from Canada (but not from Quebec), and is a different site than Bodog.com (although both are on the Pai Wang Luo poker network). Note that although this is the only Pai Wang Luo site that accepts Canadian players, Canadians are not nearly as restricted as Americans in their online poker options. Pretty much every site in this list accepts players from Canada (except the other 3 Pai Wang Luo sites: Ignition, Bovada, and Bodog.com).
Ideal For: Canadians who enjoy Casino Games or Betting on Sports
If you live in Canada and enjoy playing casino games and/or betting on sports, then Bodog.EU is a great option for you. The poker rewards are poor, but the games are incredibly soft.
Sign-Up Bonus: 100% up to $1,000
Bodog.EU offers a 100% bonus up to $1,000. Although you only have 30 days to earn this bonus, it is paid out at a whopping 50% rakeback. If you mostly play Casino games, you can instead receive a 100% bonus up to $600, plus 50 Free Spins. If you primarily bet on sports, you can instead choose the 100% bonus up to $400, plus 50 Free Spins. If you play casino games and bet on sports, your best option is to deposit with Bitcoin, which gives you a 100% up to $300 Sports bonus, and 150% up to $900 Casino bonus.
Loyalty Rewards Program
Earn 15 reward points per $1 of rake or fees. You also earn reward points from casino and sports betting. You can then redeem reward points for cash. There are also a few other promotions, such as a Royal Flush bonus and Bad Beat bonus, but in total this comes out to <2% rakeback. You want to play on Bodog.EU for the soft games, not the rewards!
Network Traffic: B
Bodog.EU is a member of the Pai Wang Luo network, which is estimated to be the 6th largest online poker network. So, although Bodog.EU only accepts players from Canada, you will still be playing against players from the US, Australia, New Zealand, Morocco, and Latin America. However, Pai Wang Luo do not publish their traffic numbers, so this is just an estimate. Even logging into the site doesn’t show how many tables are active in order to protect players from being targeted by professionals.
Site Quality & Trust
Bodog.EU has been around since 1994. The site is registered and licensed in Antigua, and its casino is certified by iTech Labs. The site quality is excellent and provides player anonymity in that players cannot select tables to join. Instead, players simply select the stakes they wish to play, and are then assigned to a table. This prevents sharks from searching for known weak players.
Join Bodog.EU today if you live in Canada and enjoy playing online poker, casino games, and betting on sports!
Bodog.com is intended for players in Latin America. However, we can only confirm that they accept players from Mexico and Chile. It’s also possible that players from Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Peru can play here. Players from Argentina and Brazil must instead join Bovada or Ignition. Note that although this is the only Pai Wang Luo site that accepts players from Mexico and Chile, players in these countries are not nearly as restricted as Americans in their online poker options. If you live in Mexico or Chile, you can join almost every site in this list (just not the other 3 Pai Wang Luo sites: Bodog.com, Bovada, and Ignition).
Ideal For: Mexicans and Chileans who enjoy Casino games and betting on Sports
If you live in Mexico or Chile and enjoy playing casino games and/or betting on sports, then Bodog.com is a great option for you. As for poker, the rewards are poor, but the games are incredibly soft.
Sign-Up Bonus: 100% up to $1,000
Bodog.com offers a 100% bonus up to $1,000. Although you only have 30 days to earn this bonus, it is paid out at a whopping 50% rakeback. If you mostly play Casino games, you can instead receive a 100% bonus up to $1,300 (spread across your first 3 deposits). For sports, Bodog.com only offers a $30 sign-up bonus.
Loyalty Rewards Program: None (but decent Sports promotions)
For some reason, Bodog.com does not appear to offer the same loyalty rewards program offered on every other Pai Wang Luo site. However, those loyalty rewards offer a maximum of 1.5% rakeback, so it’s hardly something you will miss. Bodog.com does have some interesting sports promotions, such as an 80% refund on losing multiple bets (up to $100 per week), a weekly raffle for 25 free $5 bets for players who deposited that week, and 20% cashback on games that end up 0-0 (up to $100 per week).
Network Traffic: B
Bodog.com is a member of the Pai Wang Luo network, which is estimated to be the 6th largest online poker network. So, although Bodog.com only accepts players from Latin America, you will still be playing against players from the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Morocco, Argentina, and Brazil. However, Pai Wang Luo do not publish their traffic numbers, so this is just an estimate. Even logging into the site doesn’t show how many tables are active in order to protect players from being targeted by professionals.
Site Quality & Trust
Bodog.com was launched in 2000 and is one of the most well-known brands in the sports betting industry. Although there has been plenty of controversy (including multiple criminal charges) surrounding the site’s founder, Calvin Ayre (who is officially no longer associated with the brand), there have been virtually no issues regarding players. The site quality is excellent and provides player anonymity in that players cannot select tables to join. Instead, players simply select the stakes they wish to play, and are then assigned to a table. This prevents sharks from searching for known weak players.
Join Bodog.com today if you live in Mexico or Chile and enjoy playing online poker, casino games, and betting on sports!
Americas Cardroom is another great option for serious online poker players, especially any who reside in the USA. This site charges some of the lowest rake available online, offers incredible rake races for cash games and Sit & Go’s, and has an outstanding loyalty rewards program that doesn’t penalize winning players! However, if you also enjoy betting on sports, or playing casino games, you should instead join a site like DitoBet, betsafe, or Ignition (if you live in the US). It’s not that Americas Cardroom do not offer casino games or sports betting, it’s that their selection of games and promotions are really poor compared to the others.
Ideal For: Hardcore Poker Grinders, especially Americans
Americas Cardroom offers one of the best rake races available online. Combined with the excellent Elite Benefits rewards program, you can actually earn more than 100% rakeback with this site! Americas Cardroom are 1 of 4 sites in this list that accept US players. Of these 4 sites, Americas Cardroom charge the lowest rake and have the best rewards by a considerable margin! However, the games are also significantly tougher than those on the Pai Wang Luo network, which is why we have listed Ignition and Bovada higher in this list.
Sign-Up Bonus: 100% up to $2,000
Although Americas Cardroom offers one of the highest sign-up bonuses in this list, it is only earned at 20% rakeback. This means it’s a great bonus for high volume players, but not so great for low volume players. You will need to generate $10,000 in rake within 60 days to earn the full bonus!
Loyalty Rewards Program: Elite Benefits
Earn 5.5 Rank Points (RPs) for every $1 you generate in rake and tournament fees. Earn enough Rank Points, and you will gain ranks (Lieutenant to 5-Star General). You earn a number of Combat Points per Rank Point based on your rank. For example, a Lieutenant earns 1 CP per RP, while a 5-Star General earns 5 CPs per RP. Rank Points are only used to determine your status level, while Combat Points are exchanged for cash.
Additionally, as you hit annual Rank Point milestones, you earn cash achievement rewards, from $10 at 750 RPs to a whopping $2,600 at 770,000 RPs. These achievement bonuses are in addition to the cash you can earn by spending your Combat Points. When you combine your Combat Points and Achievement Bonuses, you can earn as much as 70% rakeback with Americas Cardroom (but that’s only for extremely high-volume players)! It’s more complicated to explain than to participate. As a player, all you need to do is play and you’ll earn points you can convert to cash, and will earn additional cash as you hit various annual milestones.
And that’s before we count the rewards you can earn from their amazing weekly rake races. The Beast is the site’s weekly cash game rake race. You earn points based on how much rake you generated that week. Sit & Go players participate in the weekly Sit & Crush leaderboard. Unlike most tournament leaderboards, Sit & Crush rankings are based purely on fees paid, and not on where you finish in each tournament. The prize pools for each Leaderboard are based on the amount of rake/fees collected that week, but here’s the great part: Americas Cardroom don’t charge any more rake or fees to pay for these promotions! And they’ve already got some of the lowest rake and fees online!
Network Traffic: B-
The Winning Poker Network is the 8th largest online poker network. Although this network is made up of many different sites, including True Poker, Black Chip Poker, and others, all sites are owned and operated by the same company. There are usually 10-20 tables of 6-handed No Limit Texas Hold’em for all stakes from 1¢/2¢ up to ¢10/¢25, 4-6 tables of ¢25/¢50 up to $1/$2, and 1-3 tables all the way up to $25/$50!
Site Quality & Trust
The Winning Poker Network has been around since 2001. They have gotten a lot of flak in the past few years for claims of rampant bots on the site. However, in 2019, they made several security updates to fix this issue and refunded affected players hundreds of thousands of dollars. That issue has long since been resolved. The site has great customer service, and they always try to resolve each issue as fairly as possible.
Click here to go to ACR's website and see their latest offers.
BetOnline is the fourth online poker site on this list that accepts players based in the USA. However, they charge more rake than the other sites, and do not offer any loyalty rewards.
Ideal For: US Players who don’t like Americas Cardroom or Bovada/Ignition
If you enjoy betting on sports or playing casino games, then BetOnline is a decent option, although you’re probably better off with Bovada or Ignition, who offer a better sign-up bonus and charge less rake. If you play exclusively poker, then you should probably join Americas Cardroom, who have the lowest rake and best rewards of 4 options for US players, but have a garbage sportsbook and casino, and tougher games.
Sign-Up Bonus: 100% up to $1,000
Use BetOnline bonus code “NEWBOL” to receive a 100% matching bonus up to $1,000. While the maximum bonus amount is double that offered by Bovada, you need to generate $50 in rake to earn $10 of the bonus, which is just 20% rakeback (less than half what you get from Bovada). And Ignition offers the same $1,000 bonus as BetOnline, but earned at 50% rakeback.
Use BetOnline promo code “BOL100” to receive a 50% Sports welcome bonus up to $1,000. The site also offers regular reload bonuses. Or, if you prefer to play Casino games, use promo code “BOLCASINO” to get a 100% bonus up to $1,000 on your first THREE deposits (for $3,000 in total bonuses).
Loyalty Rewards Program: None
BetOnline will sometimes offer rake races, but not consistently. They also have a Bad Beat Jackpot, but it’s incredibly hard to qualify: you need to lose with quad deuces or better! For Casino games, they offer $500 and $1,000 Cash Races every day.
For Sports, BetOnline offer plenty of contests. Some require an entry fee, with prizes up to $500,000, but most are free, with prizes up to $20,000. There are typically 1-2 contests every week.
Network Traffic: B-
BetOnline is a member of the Chico Poker network, which is the 13th largest online poker network. There are usually 7-12 tables of 6-handed No Limit Texas Hold’em for all stakes from 5¢/10¢ up to $1/$2 and 3-4 tables all the way up to $5/$10!
Site Quality & Trust
BetOnline was created in 2004 and have been offering online poker since 2011. Since that time, the site has only had 2 major controversies, both of which it resolved professionally (although perhaps not as quickly as they could have).
Join BetOnline today to earn up a $1,000 sign-up bonus!
If you live in France, Portugal, or Spain, then you cannot play online poker with PokerStars.com, but you can play with PokerStars Europe. Even though you must download a software client for your specific country, all 3 countries play on the same network. Although PokerStars.EU is objectively much worse than PokerStars.com, we have listed PokerStars.EU higher on this list because players in these countries have fewer options.
Ideal For: Europeans who like high rake and low rewards
Since PokerStars Europe has to pay taxes in each of these countries, and the company isn’t about to eat those costs themselves, the rake on PokerStars.EU sites is brutally high (as much as 50% higher at lower stakes than on PokerStars.com). Sadly, if you live in one of these 3 countries, your options for online poker are limited.
Sign-Up Bonus: 100% up to €500 (FR), €10-50 FREE + €50 Bonus (ES), or €20 FREE (PT)
PokerStars France players can choose between two sign-up bonuses. Casual players should use bonus code “15KDO” and make a deposit of €10 or more to receive 5 x €1 Spin & Go tickets, plus €10 in cash bonuses. Higher volume players should use promo code “BONUS500” to get a 100% matching bonus up to €500. You have 90 days to earn this bonus, which is earned at a rate of just 19% rakeback.
Players in Spain can receive €10 in tournament tickets without making a cash deposit. Make a deposit of €20 or more with the bonus code “WELCOME” and you will get an additional €40 in tournament tickets and a €50 sign-up bonus. For every €1 paid in rake, you will receive 5 redemption points and will receive €5 of the sign-up bonus for every 75 redemption points earned. This is a respectable 33% rakeback, but you only have 30 days to earn the full €50 bonus.
Join PokerStars.PT with bonus code “PORTUGAL20” and make a deposit of €10 or more to receive €5 in cash bonuses each week for four weeks, for a total of €20 free cash. To qualify for each weekly €5 cash bonus, you must play real money cash games that week.
Loyalty Rewards Program: Stars Rewards
PokerStars recently changed their Stars Rewards program yet again, vastly improving it from the previous pile of garbage. It still offers chests, but they have removed the variable prizes (that is, all chests of the same color give the same reward). They have also significantly increased the rewards. Although the site claims that you can earn as much as 65% rakeback with the new Stars Rewards program, that’s virtually impossible (due to ever-increasing targets). Low volume players will earn between 0-15% rakeback, while high volume players will earn 35-40% rakeback (20-30% if you are a consistent winner).
Network Traffic: B
Despite only having traffic from 3 countries (and charging ridiculous amounts of rake), PokerStars Europe is the 7th largest online poker network! There are usually 20-40 tables of 6-handed No Limit Texas Hold’em for all stakes from €0.01/€0.02 up to €0.10/€0.25 and 7-20 tables up to €1/€2.
Site Quality & Trust
PokerStars.EU launched in 2012 and uses the same high-quality software as PokerStars.com.
Download PokerStars.FR today if you live in France!
If you live in Spain, download PokerStars.ES to start playing online today!
Download PokerStars.PT today if you live in Portugal!
For over a decade, PokerStars were the biggest online poker site in the world. They offer the best software and probably the best security of any online poker site. However, they have been implementing unpopular changes to the site for many years now, from constant rake increases to dramatically slashing rewards. These unpopular changes, combined with the emergence of several big sites in Asia has resulted in PokerStars dropping to 2nd in terms of traffic. The site also offers a casino that they are constantly promoting, but it’s a poor option compared to other online casinos on this list.
Ideal For: Beginners
If you’ve never played online poker before, then you really can’t go wrong with PokerStars. The rewards aren’t great, but they’re not terrible, and their software sets the industry standard for ease of use and security. The fact that they treat their customers like living, breathing ATMs won’t become apparent until after you’ve played there for a couple of years. By then you will have a better idea of what you are looking for in a site and can find one that better fits your needs. The only problem with getting comfortable with PokerStars first is that every other site’s software will be disappointing by comparison.
Sign-Up Bonus: 100% up to $600, or $30 FREE
Nothing describes the conundrum that is PokerStars more than their sign-up bonus. Most of the promotions offered by PokerStars look great but are actually garbage. By contrast, the sign-up bonuses look really bad, but are actually really good!
Casual players should use PokerStars bonus code “THIRTY” when creating an account. Make a deposit of $20 or more and you will receive 25 Spin & Go tickets worth a total of $20, plus $10 in cash bonuses. This is a very good bonus offer for casual players, rivalling the similar offer from PartyPoker.
More serious players should use PokerStars bonus code “STARS600”. This is a 100% matching bonus up to $600. While this may not seem like much, you actually have a far better chance of earning the full bonus than from most other bonus offers. First, you can make up to 3 qualifying deposits over a 60-day period. You then have a whopping 4 months to earn the bonus (that’s 6 months in total!). The sign-up bonus is earned at a respectable 28% rakeback.
In 2019, PokerStars decided that they no longer wanted to reward winning poker players, regardless of how much rake they generate. At the time, high volume players were earning as much as 65% rakeback from the old Supernova program. With Stars Rewards, winning poker players were earning just 2.4% rakeback!
PokerStars have since learned the error of their ways and re-vamped their Stars Rewards program once again. You can read more about the current Stars Rewards system here, but basically, it has gone from being one of the worst rewards programs to being below average.
The site claims that you can earn as much as 65% rakeback, but that’s intentionally misleading since it involves ever-increasing targets. You might earn 65% rakeback in a given month, but it’s virtually impossible to do that every month. Typically, low volume players will earn between 0-15% rakeback, while high volume players will earn 35-40% rakeback (20-30% if you are a consistent winner).
Network Traffic: A
PokerStars are no longer the largest online poker site in the world, but are still 2nd and a massive player in the market with the highest brand recognition. There are usually 50-100 tables of 6-handed No Limit Texas Hold’em for all stakes from 1¢/2¢ up to 10¢/25¢, 15-40 tables of 25¢/50¢ up to $1/$2, and 2-10 tables all the way up to $5/$10!
Site Quality & Trust
PokerStars was founded in 2001, and although they were indicted by the US Department of Justice for charges as serious as bank fraud and money laundering, and a CEO was charged with insider trading in a completely separate incident, the site is actually one of the most secure and trustworthy!
Download PokerStars today if you are looking to play many tables on one of the world’s largest online poker sites!
If you like high rake, low rewards, and an ugly user interface, then 888 Poker is the site for you! Theoretically, the games on 888 Poker should be fairly soft, making them a decent option for new players. Their no-deposit bonus attracts a lot of casual players, while their lack of quality promotions for high volume players discourages hardcore grinders from joining the site (which is why we recommend more serious players play elsewhere).
Ideal For: Casual Players and Beginners
Thanks to their $88 no deposit bonus (see “Loyalty Rewards” below), and an abundance of high value freerolls, 888 Poker is a decent poker site for casual players. It’s also a good option for beginner players as the site offers tables specifically for beginners, letting you enjoy a game against players of similar skill level. The site also offers plenty of freeroll tournaments, giving you the opportunity to build a poker bankroll from scratch! However, if you play any sort of volume, then you will undoubtedly be better served playing on any of the other sites listed above. 888 Poker also have a casino, but it’s not great. If you enjoy playing casino games, join DitoBet, GG Poker, or betsafe instead.
Sign-Up Bonus: 100% up to $400, or $88 FREE
The traditional sign-up bonus with 888 Poker is a 100% matching bonus up to $400. Although you have 90 days to earn the bonus, it is paid out at just 20% rakeback.
If you’re a more casual player, you are probably better off with the $88 FREE Bonus package. With this promotion, you do not need to deposit anything to start playing poker with 888 Poker! After creating an account, you have 14 days to claim this reward. You will receive an immediate $1 bonus credited to your account as well as two 50¢ tournament tickets per day for 7 days. Every time you earn 250 Bonus Points (from playing real money cash games and tournaments), you will unlock another $1 in cash and 14 x 50¢ tournament tickets. In other words, you can use your initial $8 in free cash and tournament tickets to unlock more free cash and tournament tickets up to $88 in total!
Loyalty Rewards Program: 888Poker Club
888 Poker has one of the weakest loyalty rewards programs of any of the online poker sites we have reviewed. As you play real money cash games and tournaments, you will gain status levels. As you gain status levels, you will gain access to higher-value freerolls. For casual players, the value of these freerolls compared to the points requirements to unlock them offers incredible value. However, for more serious players, the equivalent rakeback offered by these freerolls is far less than you would receive from almost any other site in our list.
Network Traffic: B-
888 Poker is currently the 11th largest poker site. There are usually 5-10 tables of 6-handed No Limit Texas Hold’em for all stakes from 1¢/2¢ up to $1/$2, and 2-3 tables all the way up to $10/$20!
Site Quality & Trust
888 Holdings has been offering online poker since 1997 (originally as Pacific Poker). The 888 Poker brand has been around since 2002. The site is user-friendly with all of the features you would expect from a top online poker provider.
Join 888 Poker today to take advantage of their free $88 no deposit sign-up bonus!
Party Poker have been around for a long time, and are a well-respected brand, but there are far better options for online poker. Low volume players will earn no rewards, and higher volume players will earn more on other sites.
Ideal For: Long session grinders
To earn decent rewards with PartyPoker, you really need to rank in the daily leaderboards. To do that, you need to play 10+ hours, across multiple tables. For example, a player who plays 2 hours every day would have little chance of ranking on a weekly leaderboard, and no chance of ranking on a daily one. However, a player who plays a single 12-hour session once per week would have a great chance of ranking on a daily leaderboard, despite playing fewer hours per week than the previous player.
Sign-Up Bonus: $30 FREE
Make an initial deposit of $20 or more and you will receive $30 in free tickets:
- Day 1: 1 x $5 SPINS ticket + 1 x $3.30 MTT ticket
- Day 2: 2 x $1 SPINS tickets + 3 x $2.20 MTT tickets
- Day 4: 2 x $2.20 MTT tickets
- Day 6: 2 x $3 SPINS tickets + 1 x $3.30 MTT ticket
This is a very good sign-up bonuses for beginner and casual players as it gives you $30 worth of tournament tickets absolutely free, with no conditions attached! The problem is that if this is a meaningful bonus for you, then it’s the last bonus you will earn with PartyPoker (and you should immediately move to a different poker site once you have earned the full bonus).
Loyalty Rewards Program: PartyPoker Cashback & Daily Leaderboards
If you like simple rewards programs, then you’ll love the PartyPoker Cashback program. Earn enough points each week and you’ll receive 20-40% rakeback deposited directly into your Party Poker account every Monday!
The problem with the PartyPoker Cashback program is that you need to earn 25 points each week to qualify. Since you earn 1 point for each $1 of rake, that means you need to generate $25 in rake and/or tournament fees each week to qualify for 20% cashback. That’s a decent amount of rake for casual players. If you’re playing 6-handed 5¢/10¢, you’d need to play about 45 hours each week to generate that much rake (or 2 tables for 22.5 hours, 3 tables for 15 hours, etc.).
Party Poker’s Cashback rewards are very clearly aimed at serious online poker players, but pale in comparison to the rewards offered by GG Poker or Americas Cardroom.
PartyPoker also offer a variety of leaderboards for cash games and Sit & Go’s (including a leaderboard for Daily Spins, their version of Spin & Go). One of the great things about their leaderboards is that there are 16 different ones just for cash games (8 for Hold’em and 8 for PLO), with daily prizes of $36,000! This is great, because normally a 1¢/2¢ player would never be able to compete for points against a $1/$2 player, so instead they have different leaderboards (but of course, the prizes are much higher for the $1/$2 leaderboard since these games generate much more rake).
The Sit & Go Leaderboards offer daily prizes of $17,500 and are divided into 3 categories (based on buy-ins):
- Micro (1¢ – $2)
- Low ($2.11 – $16.10)
- Mid ($16.11+)
You earn Sit & Go leaderboard points for fees paid, not for finishing in the money. Thus, you get more rewards for playing more, not for winning more.
For more casual players, PartyPoker offers quite a few freerolls, but this doesn’t offset the complete lack of rewards for anyone generating <$25/week in rake.
Network Traffic: B-
Up until 2006, PartyPoker was the world’s biggest online poker site as they were the first to promote their site on television. In 2011, PartyPoker merged with BWIN and the resulting network is currently the 10th largest online poker network. There are usually 10-20 tables of 6-handed No Limit Texas Hold’em for all stakes from 1¢/2¢ up to 25¢/50¢, 8-15 tables of 50¢/$1 up to $1/$2, and 2-5 tables all the way up to $50/$100!
Site Quality & Trust
PartyGaming has been around since 1997, and PartyPoker was launched in 2001. The site has incredible brand recognition and loyalty. In 2019, the site realized it had a problem with bots and essentially went to war! They began suspending accounts (and seizing and refunding their ill-gotten funds) and refining their bot-detection algorithms.
Full Tilt (Not Recommended)
Full Tilt was founded in 2004 and was once one of the “Big 3” online poker sites (along with Absolute Poker and PokerStars). They were a revolutionary site with lots of innovative ideas. They were the first to create Rush Poker, a concept now present on most online sites. However, Black Friday changed everything. Absolute Poker was already reeling from their 2nd scandal of cheating their players, and Full Tilt had been paying out bonuses with player’s deposits, and thus could not afford to pay the fines (prosecutor Preet Bharara called the site “a massive Ponzi scheme against its own players”). Absolute Poker went out of business and Full Tilt was acquired by PokerStars as part of their settlement with the US Department of Justice.
Since acquiring Full Tilt, PokerStars has basically just turned the site into a PokerStars skin. The player pools were merged, and every Full Tilt promotion was replaced by those offered by PokerStars. There is no longer any reason to download the Full Tilt client (except maybe nostalgia for a once-great poker site). If you want to play poker on Full Tilt, then just download PokerStars instead (because they’re now the exact same).
Get The Most Out Of Your Money While Playing Online Poker
Before playing at real money poker sites, there are a couple of guidelines you should read:
- Make sure you deposit on a site which gives provides you with a worthwhile first deposit bonus (a bonus given by poker rooms which typically double the amount you deposit). Nearly all websites give great first deposit bonuses as we have discussed but some have better deals than others; make sure you pay attention to this when signing up as it can add a significant amount to your bankroll.
- Following from above, deposit as much as you can to take advantage of your first deposit bonus to make the most of it.
- Play in a poker room with good security and ratings. All of the big poker rooms are well regulated. So as a first choice play on one of the well-known poker sites and stay away from the lesser-known sites unless you have a very good reason. The sites we have covered above have good security and ratings, however, be careful if
- Play at a poker room which will have sufficient traffic at the hours you are planning to play. This will be the case for nearly all poker rooms but double-check to make sure especially if you aren't playing on one of the major sites. The level of sufficient traffic will obviously depend on how many tables you intend to play!
- Ensure that you have your photo ID (drivers license or passport) and a recent letter to your home address as proof of your identity. Send it in early and get your account verified. Nobody wants to have to wait for their money when they have just had a big payday!
I want to give a huge thank you to the team at TopPokerValue.com, who provided updated writeups on each of the sites in this list (and even recommended which sites I should promote). If you want to take a deep dive into each site’s various promotions, then I highly recommend you check out their online poker site reviews. TopPokerValue also provide detailed poker site rankings that were invaluable in helping us decide which sites to promote, and which sort of players to recommend them to.
However, if you prefer a more condensed summary then just stick with the ones written above! Ironically, our list is actually more complete because although the TopPokerValue team have completed their analysis on all of these sites, they haven’t finished publishing and ranking them yet!
Useful Resources For Online Poker Sites
So if you are interested in other poker networks, we suggest checking out TopPokerValue’s review of True Poker (USA players friendly) on the Winning Poker Network.
For recent insight into the top poker sites, check out Beat the fish's poker site reviews.
We hope that this best online poker sites guide has helped you choose a suitable poker room; however, we realise that not everyone is suited to the online poker rooms listed above or maybe or you want to play online poker in the US.
Good luck at the tables!