Some of the best poker sites online in 2021 have taken the world by storm. Today you can log onto any number of sites and enjoy a rousing hand of poker with real people through live games, video poker, and beyond. The options really are endless.
With the help of the internet and modern technology, we can enjoy a great game of poker from just about anywhere in the world when the mood strikes. As such, there are some great online poker bonuses to take advantage of from some of the top poker sites in 2021 on the internet. Bonuses are a great way to make the most of your depositing habits, playtime and increase your chances to win even bigger than you have before.
- A strong registered player base of over 10 million
- Best Poker operator for 3 years
- Safe and secure software
Guide to Poker Bonuses in 2021
Making the most of your time playing poker online is much easier when you understand the bonuses that are available to you. If you play poker in a casino or a game hall, you’ll find that there are people around you who are wooing you with free drinks, free meals, and perhaps even free entertainment tickets or hotel room comps. Online casinos can’t do this, so they entice you the only way they can: bonuses.
The idea behind a poker bonus is to make one casino more attractive to you than the next. When you take the bonus, you reap the benefits, but it also benefits the casino you choose because you’re spending your money with them and not the next casino.
That doesn’t mean these deals cannot benefit you! There are different types of poker bonuses that you will see, although the names that they are known by may vary slightly from one site to the next.
- The Welcome Bonus. This is one of the most common bonuses, and you’ll see them at big-name poker sites and casinos such as 888, PokerStars, PartyPoker, and more. These are usually first deposit bonuses that allow the player to earn something for making a deposit and playing with the site. An example would be depositing $20 in your account to partake in a 100% match welcome bonus. Upon depositing that $20, you would receive $20 in bonus funds.
- No Deposit Bonus. A no deposit bonus is just what it sounds like. You get a bonus just for logging in, signing up, or entering a promo code. No deposit bonuses often apply to a certain game, a certain type of player, or the bonus will apply to certain games online. The great thing is that with a no deposit bonus, there is no financial investment whatsoever, so no matter the size or type of bonus, it’s free.
- The Reload Bonus. Welcome bonuses are great, but many poker sites and casinos want to retain their new players, so they offer a reload bonus. This is a bonus you get after you have completed successive bonuses or have met prior deposit requirements. For instance, after depositing 5 times a week, you will get a 200% deposit match.
- The VIP Bonus. It’s easy to overlook VIP schemes, but they can pay off. If you have found a casino or poker site you want to be loyal to, you can register for the VIP program, collect points as you play as you would anyway, rise in the ranks of the loyalty scheme, and collect rewards as you go. Usually, the higher you climb in the ranks, the better the kickbacks such as free cash, free hands, free games, birthday bonuses, anniversary bonuses, and more.
- Sign Up Bonus. This is a bonus you get to sign up with a new site. Much of the time, the bonus consists of free spins, free bonus money, or free deposit matching. More and more online poker sites are going to a sign-up bonus that does not require anything except registering with the site. Essentially, it’s free money or spins to try out the site.
- Match Bonus. The match bonus is a great way to grow your bankroll so you can play as you would otherwise, just with a bigger bankroll. Most of the time, you’ll see a “100% match bonus up to $100”. This means that the casino or site will match it up to their specified amount, whatever your deposit amount is. So, if you deposited $20, you now have $40 to play with! Pretty sweet deal.
Types of Online Poker Games
Online poker has really evolved as technology has raced to keep up with the desire of players to be able to play poker from their own computer or mobile device. As such, you may find that no two poker sites or casinos have the same offerings or go about things in the same way.
Generally speaking, you will find that sites and casinos offer cash games and poker tournaments. Cash games appeal to those who want to find a game at any time of the day or night. Cash games ensure that there is always a seat at a table. The games are fast-paced because money is won and lost with each hand. Most people jump into online poker with cash games as it’s a way to get their feet wet.
Tournaments have grown in popularity. Poker tournaments come in various formats themselves, so you’ll need to read the rules associated with them. Tournament gameplay is not always offered 24/7, but the winnings can be massive with them. If you are more interested in long term play, as in winning chips across many games, then this is the best route for you.
For those looking to find something new and interesting, speed poker is rising in popularity. It is an even faster-paced game and is often seen in televised poker tournaments and games.
Most people get into online poker with Texas Hold’em as it is one of the most well-known types of poker. It is arguably the easiest to learn, so it’s a natural place to start online, as well.
Other game variants you’ll see when you play online include Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, Snap, Blast, 2-7 Triple Draw, Pick’em, 7 card stud, Razz, Chinese Poker, and five-card draw. With so many variants and the choice between cash games or tournament play, those who love poker will find that there truly is no limit to the amount of poker they can enjoy online.
Understanding the subtle differences between the games is important.
Here is a simple breakdown of the five most popular poker variants:
- Texas Hold’em. This is the most popular poker game globally, so if you are learning, this is a good place to start. This game starts with the dealer shuffling a 52-card deck. Each player is dealt two hole cards. Five community cards are then displayed in the middle of the table on the flop, the turn, and the river. The goal is to create the best five-card hand possible.
- Omaha. If you like Texas Hold’em and want to up the ante, you might want to try Omaha. In this game, players will be dealt four hole cards instead of two, and they can only use two cards from their hands. Omaha has five community cards with a flop, turn, and river. This variant usually has a limit or a pot limit, so you’ll see Omaha High or Omaha 8 or Better, also known as Hi-Lo. Omaha High has players looking for the best high hand. Omaha 8 or Better will split the pot between the best high hand and the best low hand. Omaha High tends to be a very intense, action-packed poker game.
- Seven Card Stud. This was “the” poker game before Texas Hold’em came into popularity. This variant can be played with two to eight players and does not have a flop or community cards. Players start with two cards face down, and a third card will be dealt face-up, also known as the hole cards and the door card. A total of 7 cards will be dealt, three faces down and four face-up. The players choose their best five-card combination. This is generally played as a limit game.
- 2-7 Triple Draw. This is considered by most to be a more advanced game of poker. This type of game aims to make the lowest possible five-card hand in four rounds of betting and three draws. This is a unique game with each round of players choosing cards to discard, up to five cards, and the dealer will replace them. There is a last round of betting and a final draw to see who has the lowest hand.
- Chinese Poker. New variants are being introduced and catching on all the time, and Chinese Poker has taken off. This game was invented in 2011, and instead of rounds, players will be playing for points in this game. After card replacement rounds, in this game, players will arrange a total of 13 cards into three hands, the top, middle, and bottom. Each hand is compared, and those with top-scoring hands win. This game is played with four people or more and is usually done face up.
Poker Deposit and Withdrawal Options
Every poker site or casino that you visit is going to have different deposit and withdrawal options. This is because every site is going to have its own banking contracts and processes. In most cases, you will see banking options include; Visa, PaysafeCard, PayPal, Skrill, MasterCard, Neteller, Debit Cards, PaybyPhone, American Express, Pay Near Me, EcoPayz, Bitcoin, Boku.
When you join a new poker site or online casino, you should look closely at all the available options. Consider which you are already familiar with and have a history of being trustworthy. Look at any fees associated with the banking options, as well, as deposits are usually free, but withdrawals can have fees associated with them.
Another consideration is to look at daily, weekly, and monthly deposit abilities. These limits can help guide you in your deposit and withdrawal choices.
Processing times can be a big selling point of one deposit or withdrawal method. Some methods will allow you to withdraw and have your funds nearly instantly, while others will take more than a week. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are growing in popularity for just this reason, as it is near-instant in most cases.
Points to Consider When Selecting Online Poker Sites
There are more poker sites than most of us even realize until we go looking for a place to play. There are some points to consider that will help you choose the best place for YOU to play, as poker sites are not one size fits all.
- Country Restrictions. If you are an American or European, this will be a critical consideration for you. Where you are gaming from will impact where you can play. So, before you fall in love with a poker site, make sure that you can legally play from the country that you reside in.
- When you want to play. There are some huge poker sites out there, such as PokerStars, that will have games going 24/7 because the number of people who access the site is so high. Smaller sites may always have the capability to have multiple games going, but they may not have the traffic. So, if you know that you will typically be playing in off-peak times, you may need to choose a larger site to play with, so there is the traffic to support your gameplay.
- Games played. Most people who play poker have a favorite variant or format. Not all poker games are the same, so when shopping around, look and see what poker variants are played, such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha, etc. Also, check to see if there are cash games, tournaments, speed poker, or all three. Even a popular site isn’t the right fit for you if they don’t offer the game of poker you are in search of.
- Don’t forget to consider how much poker will cost you. No, not just how much of your own money you will play with, but fees associated with the site, rake fees, and the like. You should be able to find these terms when you shop around easily. While you are going to encounter fees, make sure you compare sites to see where the balance between rewards, winnings, and fees is the fairest to you.
- Bonuses are a great selling point for poker sites and casinos. Welcome bonuses are almost always good but don’t forget to look past them. Some sites offer great welcome bonuses, but then after that, the re-up bonuses aren’t great at all. Look for sites that will offer ongoing bonus structures that will benefit your type of gameplay. VIP programs can also be a great way to decide which poker site is best for you.
Best Poker Sites: FAQ
Which poker sites are best?
Poker sites are not one size fits all. There are some well-known sites such as PokerStars, 888 Poker, Tiger Gaming Poker, PokerStars, PartyPoker, and William Hill Poker, but none of these is the right fit for every poker player. The best poker sites are those that are going to offer each player the type of game they want to play, the format they want to play, a great bonus structure, and accessibility from their country, among other things.
Of course, those five names are some of the biggest in poker and generally have something for everyone as they have huge followings. Each of those sites is a great place to start looking at poker sites and offering the average player.
How do we rate and review poker sites?
Ratings come from a variety of resources including but not limited to:
- Professional poker player reviews
- Game variants offered
- Formats offered
- The skill of those who game with the site
- Ease of use
- Deposit and withdrawal options
Poker sites are a dime a dozen. Most players find that they are very overwhelmed when they begin shopping around for their online poker home. As such, care must be taken to review each site and give it a fair rating truly. The rating is geared toward the average poker player, not the professional poker player who may have a different criterion. Each poker site is unique and will appeal to a different player.
Do online poker sites accept PayPal?
Yes! Many poker sites accept PayPal as a deposit and a withdrawal method. This is a benefit to many players who already have a PayPal account set up. PayPal has been around for decades, so it is a known and trusted banking method for many people. You can link PayPal to credit and bank accounts so you can choose to fund directly from those sources through PayPal, which is convenient.
Additionally, PayPal is very straightforward with its fees. Players will know exactly what their fees will be, if any, when they use PayPal. PayPal also protects the buyer, is secure and easy to use, so it is a great option for poker sites and poker players.
Can I play online poker for real money?
Yes! This is the great thing about the internet and gaming technology. Assuming you choose to play with a poker site that is legal to access from your country, you can play for real money just as you would if you were in a local poker hall or casino.
Playing online is convenient because you can play the poker variants and formats that you love, and you can do it from the comfort of your home, office, or anywhere that life takes you. If you can get online, you can find a poker site with a seat waiting for you to play a real hand of real poker that you win real money from.
How do I register at an online poker site and get started?
Every site is a little bit different, so you will need to follow appropriate prompts, but generally, the process is straightforward and goes something like this:
- Click join or register
- Enter all your personal information in the registration form
- Submit copies of documents to prove identity, if required
- Choose your deposit method and make your deposit to start playing
Each site will have different requirements, but all aim to make the process as simple as possible because they want you to stay and play with them. Most sites offer live chat or toll-free customer support options if you need assistance in setting up your account.
How do I know if an online poker site is safe and secure?
Look at the site to see if they open report auditing outcomes from an organization like eCOGRA. If you can’t easily find it, ask for it. If they don’t want to provide such information, steer clear of the site.
Look how long the site has been in business. Longevity is always a good sign that a site has a good reputation. Look at the number of players who are using the site at the same time as you. If it is always busy, that is a good sign. Even more important are players who have been with the site for a long time.
Make sure the site is SSL encrypted. This is about your information being encrypted so it cannot be found and used by third parties.
How do I get an online poker bonus?
Look at the bonuses offered by the site that you play with. Make sure to note any deposit or promo codes that need to be entered when you make your deposit. In some cases, you will be able to navigate to your account dashboard and follow to enjoy your bonus or check your email and follow instructions on how to enjoy your bonus.
Every site is slightly different, so it is important to read the fine print when you make a deposit or go through the motions of utilizing a bonus. Bonuses come in many shapes and forms, so reading the fine print is essential. If in doubt, contact customer support for help so you don’t miss out on high-value bonuses.
Which online poker rooms have the best software?
The term “best” is always subjective because what is best for one player may not be best for another. Yet, some casinos have a track record of having software that can host many, many games at once without issue. As such, the sites with the best software are often the same as those that have a huge following because players go where games and playability are always at their best. It can be argued that the sites with the best poker software would have to include:
Which are the poker sites accepting US Players?
Online gambling in the United States is a difficult topic because the laws prohibit the activity in many areas. This is frustrating for many people who would like to play poker and other games for real money without leaving home.
Luckily, there are some poker sites that do allow US players to game with them. These sites include but may not be limited to:
- Americas Cardroom
- Bovada Poker
- Betonline Poker
- Sportsbetting Poker
- BlackChip Poker
- Intertops Poker
- Juicy Stakes Poker
- True Poker
The hope for many is that US gaming regulations will soon change and playing online will be a much easier and more enjoyable process. Much of the issue is that laws differ from state to state, so one US player may be able to game with one site while another cannot.
How do I deposit at online poker rooms?
Usually, the process is elementary. Once you have created an account with a site, you will need to navigate to the cashier. From here, you will select the banking source you want to deposit with. You may be redirected to the banking source website, where you may or may not need to log in. From there, you will determine how much you want to deposit, click finish or submit, and you’re done!
This is a basic outline, as it will vary from site to site and from banking source to banking source. Luckily, all the sites have streamlined the process and make it as simple as possible, so you can get the deposit done and start playing.
What are the differences between US and European Rooms?
While many sweat the differences between US and European rooms when they start playing online, it usually isn’t as big of a deal as they had expected. The most obvious difference will be the currency. When you’re dealing with American rooms, everything will be in the US Dollar, but this obviously isn’t the case with European rooms.
If you’re dealing with live games, you will find that US rooms are more apt to tip the dealer than European rooms are.
Languages may also be noticeable. In American rooms, you will generally see that English is the only acceptable language, but this is not always the case with European rooms.
Is Online poker legal in the United States?
This is a complicated question. The bottom line is that playing poker online is not against any US laws. Due to this fact, many offshore sites continue to market to US players. Those sites offering accessibility are doing so creatively to get around banking laws that are currently restricting play within the United States.
Several states have taken it upon themselves to legalize and regulate online poker. These states currently include but may not be limited to Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Other states that seem to be considering or maybe preparing for the legalization of online poker play include California, New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois.
Oddly, live poker games are legally able to be played in most states in the United States. Pushback continues with the legalization of online poker play.
What are the laws and regulations vis-à-vis Online Poker in the USA?
Online poker and US law have a complicated history. The lack of legal play is often attributed to the Interstate Wire Act of 1961, also known as the Federal Wire Act. This law prohibits the operation of betting or gambling businesses using wire communications. The law was not created for online gambling as it is today though, it was meant to stop interstate gambling from putting a damper on organized crime-related gambling.
The second most oft-noted law associated with online poker and gambling is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, also known as the UIGEA, which was passed in 2006. The law made it illegal for US banks to processes any transactions for offshore online gambling operators.
Many believe that the laws do not apply to online poker sites and online casinos but rather apply to sports betting. The Department of Justice disagreed with this view, so online poker remains illegal in most US states and territories.
Poker is a great game that appeals to people from many walks of life. It is challenging, requires a high level of thinking, is entertaining, and can be the source of great wins. Online poker has brought this enjoyment to people no matter where they may be at the moment at home, at work, on the go. It is a pastime loved by many, and the popularity of poker has boomed with online access.
Online sites are many, but every website is different and will appeal to a different demographic. Players should shop sites smartly by looking at the whole site, not just the games, or the fees or the accessibility, but all of it, to choose the right one for their interests, skill level, and enjoyability.
While laws currently make it difficult for many to play poker online, with more and more US states passing laws to allow it, it appears that the popularity of online poker will not wane any time soon.
Table of Contents
- 1 Guide to Poker Bonuses in 2021
- 2 Types of Online Poker Games
- 3 Poker Deposit and Withdrawal Options
- 4 Points to Consider When Selecting Online Poker Sites
- 5 Best Poker Sites: FAQ
- 5.0.1 Which poker sites are best?
- 5.0.2 How do we rate and review poker sites?
- 5.0.3 Do online poker sites accept PayPal?
- 5.0.4 Can I play online poker for real money?
- 5.0.5 How do I register at an online poker site and get started?
- 5.0.6 How do I know if an online poker site is safe and secure?
- 5.0.7 How do I get an online poker bonus?
- 5.0.8 Which online poker rooms have the best software?
- 5.0.9 Which are the poker sites accepting US Players?
- 5.0.10 How do I deposit at online poker rooms?
- 5.0.11 What are the differences between US and European Rooms?
- 5.0.12 Is Online poker legal in the United States?
- 5.0.13 What are the laws and regulations vis-à-vis Online Poker in the USA?
- 6 Conclusion