Playing poker with Bitcoin is something of a growing trend. After all, the internet joined players from around the world together in a way they had never been joined before, so a currency everyone around the world can use seems like the next logical step, right?
Yet picking trustworthy Bitcoin poker sites isn’t easy. Since lots of poker operators are jumping onto the Bitcoin bandwagon, there are naturally lots of world-class operators and plenty of others you should avoid like the plague.
Which sites are which? That’s what we’re here to help you decide. We’ve explained our assessment process in the next section, and the best Bitcoin poker sites are listed directly below.
Our List of the Best Bitcoin Poker Sites for 2018
Why These Bitcoin Poker Sites?
As we mentioned above, there are now so many Bitcoin poker sites that it can be overwhelming to try and pick one. So, why did we pick these to recommend over all the others? It comes down to a few key factors.
They Are Safe and Secure
Since Bitcoin is relatively new to most people, there are unfortunately lots of predators out there waiting to trick you into making a Bitcoin deposit you’ll never see again. These scam poker sites will lure you in with seemingly great offers, accept your deposits, lock you out of your account, and make it impossible for you to withdraw.
Our experts are trained to spot these sites, and we know every trick in the online gambling scammers’ handbook. We only select sites which are safe, secure, and above all else, trustworthy.
They Offer Lots of Poker Action
For a site to get our seal of approval, it’ll need to offer lots of tournaments, some of which should have guaranteed prize pools. We also give sites extra points if freeroll Bitcoin poker tournaments are offered so we can play for real money without risk.
Extras like poker schools and educational material are appreciated, but it’s all about the action at the end of the day. If there are lots of tournaments with big pots on offer, we will at least consider the site. If not, we give it a miss.
They Pay Pots Quickly
While the glory is nice, it’s the money we really want, and we want it fast. Yet there are poker sites which will make up all sorts of excuses and procedures to keep you waiting for your rightful payouts.
Again, our team has seen and dealt with it all. There’s nothing these operators can slip by us that we haven’t seen before. When we tag these sorts of shenanigans, we automatically relegate the poker site to the “no-play” list.
If you play at our recommended sites, you can be sure that you’ll get your Bitcoin pots quickly (preferably the same day you request them), and you won’t have to jump through endless hoops to do so. You can also be sure you won’t get gouged on the way out the door with unreasonable withdrawal fees.
The Service Is World-Class
From questioning where your Bitcoin transactions are to how long payouts will take to perhaps verifying what the site’s exact procedure is for depositing Bitcoin, you’ll want fast, easy-to-connect-with operators with a helpful attitude.
We sign up at the sites we recommend, and even if we don’t end up gambling for real money, we test the customer support team with common questions. If the service is slow and unprofessional, we consider that a major violation of our assessment criteria, and we won’t recommend that site.
Why Play Poker with Bitcoin?
Depending on your level of experience using Bitcoin, you might be looking for a site, or you might be simply flirting with the idea of playing at a Bitcoin poker site. We’ve provided more information to help you make up your mind.
We always try to give our readers both sides of the story. We’re going to do the same here. We’ll start by listing the reasons many people think Bitcoin poker sites are the way to go, and then we’ll consider some of their drawbacks. Sound fair?
Nobody Can Stop You
This is often reason enough for some players to go ahead and play poker with Bitcoin. It’s decentralized and not in the control of any financial entity, so no one can impose rules upon it, even the governments of the world who would like to stop their citizens from gambling online.
Bitcoin was designed this way by its enigmatic programmer, Satoshi Nakamoto. He or she dreamed of a permissionless world where people could send and receive money to whomever they want, whenever they want, without needing permission from any authority or institution.
There’s no need to get into this too deeply here. Let’s just say that lots of online poker players love the notion that they can use their money as they see fit, right from the comfort of home, without asking anyone if it’s okay.
You Can Play Poker Anonymously
One of the big draws of playing poker with Bitcoin is financial privacy. If the sites offering it get what Bitcoin is all about, and they do if they’re accepting it at this stage, they know that lots of players value privacy a great deal.
While it will still be necessary to share your personal details when signing up so that these sites can comply with anti-money-laundering laws and the likes, the point is that you’ll never have to share your financial data such as your credit card numbers or bank details.
This has two advantages from a privacy standpoint. First, if the site is ever compromised by hackers, nobody will be able to steal your financial details. All they will see is your Bitcoin wallet address and transaction history, and that’s of no use to them without your secret keys. Second, the banks and financial institutions won’t know you’ve been gambling, and neither will anyone who obtains your statements.
In a world of data snoops and mass marketing companies who buy and sell your details like a commodity, it’s no bad thing to keep you gambling private. Unless you want to make it public knowledge, nobody should know.
Bitcoin Poker Pots Can Increase in Value
Take a quick look at the history of Bitcoin, and you’ll quickly realize that this currency is a rollercoaster ride in terms of its value against most other major world currencies like the USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, and CAD.
In fact, Bitcoin once ran from $1,000 per coin to almost $20,000 per coin in the space of six months. It doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that if you won a $1,000 pot in June and held onto it for six months while the value increased 20x, you would be one happy (and rich) camper.
Some players let the Bitcoin price swings put them off using it. Yet others see the volatility as a sort of opportunity. It all comes down to your perspective and how patient you are.
This volatility could be a bad thing since it would be a major pain to lose 10% of the value of your winnings overnight because of a Bitcoin price crash. Luckily, that risk can be mitigated by cashing out your BTC quickly, which brings us nicely to the next reason many poker players prefer Bitcoin.
Pot Withdrawals Are Much Faster and Cheaper
Imagine you’re a banker who has had made countless amounts of money charging people percentages of their money to move digits around on a screen for decades. You can probably rest easy knowing that even if transactions take up to a week to settle, people really don’t have any other option.
Then imagine that one day you wake up and realize that a piece of software has been invented which can settle global transactions in minutes for a few pennies. Not only that, but this software runs on a peer-to-peer network which cuts you (and your fees) out of the picture.
You might be worried, and rightly so! Bitcoin solves the online poker player’s two biggest problems – transaction fees and slow payouts. As we’ve said many times before, waiting 3-5 days for your cash is no fun, and paying up to 5% to the bank for the privilege is definitely a downer on an otherwise jubilant time.
Even if you’re playing at Bitcoin poker sites on the other side of the world, your Bitcoins will be with you in minutes when the cashier clears them. Of course, you still need to select a poker site with fast transaction clearance times, but that’s what our reviews are for.
The point is this – you don’t have to wait, and you don’t have to pay through the nose to move your money when you use Bitcoin to play poker online. That’s a step up.
Bitcoin Poker Bonuses Tend to Be Bigger
If there’s one thing you can take to the bank, it’s that the online gambling industry is always leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to adopting new technology. Poker sites, online casinos, and sportsbooks across the web have been intertwined with Bitcoin for years, while the rest of the world still considered it “funny internet money.”
We won’t get into the ins and outs of why that is here other than to say that it’s basically due to insane competition. However, the point is this – poker site operators know that cryptocurrencies are the future, and they want to get their hands on as much of it as possible today.
One effective way to do that is by getting people to gamble it with cryptos. For poker sites, they make Bitcoin through rakes and tournament fees. This is easy Bitcoin for them, and so they’re happy to offer players big bonuses to make it worthwhile to play poker with Bitcoin in the first place.
There’s nothing wrong with this – it’s a clever marketing technique like all bonuses, and you get all of the other benefits mentioned above. A big bonus such a free Bitcoin poker chip is just the icing on the cake. It’s a win-win, and that’s always a positive thing.
Why Some Players Don’t Use Bitcoin Poker Sites
Like all technological breakthroughs, there are pros and cons to this one. There’s nothing under the sun that’s perfect (except Floyd Mayweather’s boxing record), and Bitcoin poker sites have some drawbacks you should be aware of before using them.
Some People Find It Confusing
Lots of new Bitcoin users find the whole concept of getting and using it intimidating and a little nerve-wracking to begin with, especially when sending or receiving a large amount.
After all, you have to enter the Bitcoin poker site’s wallet address perfectly before you click “send.” Otherwise, you’ll lose your Bitcoins and won’t be able to retrieve them without a LOT of hassle, if you can even retrieve them at all.
This is definitely a hurdle you’ll have to overcome if you want to enjoy the benefits of playing poker with Bitcoin – there’s no doubt about it. Yet there’s no way around it. You have to go through it and learn like every other Bitcoin user.
Thankfully, it’s nowhere near as complex as it seems, and after one or two transactions, you’ll have it down to a fine art.
You Can’t Get Bitcoin Refunds
If you fall for a scam Bitcoin poker site, it can be almost impossible to get you Bitcoins back. Since Bitcoin isn’t owned by a company, you can’t call someone and complain that you sent Bitcoin and didn’t receive what you thought you were paying for.
There’s no doubt that there are lots of scammers in the Bitcoin poker scene. This can be avoided by taking the time to research and read reviews of trustworthy Bitcoin poker sites like the ones you’ll find above.
Don’t get ripped off. Take the time to pick a Bitcoin poker site carefully.
Some Other Cryptocurrencies Are Faster and Cheaper
Believe it or not, there are poker sites which accept altcoins like Litecoin and Ethereum, too. These cryptocurrencies are often faster and cheaper to send than Bitcoin.
Truthfully, Bitcoin is the “oldest” cryptocurrency, and it has some limitations which newer ones don’t. You might want to play poker with Litecoin or one of the other altcoins to enjoy even cheaper fees and faster transaction speeds.
If you’re new to cryptocurrency, we advise gambling with Bitcoin first. Getting altcoins isn’t as easy, and it can just add to the confusion to try and use them from the beginning. Learn how to use Bitcoin first, then consider making the switch.
There Are Fewer Bitcoin Poker Sites
Many of the best-known poker sites don’t accept Bitcoin yet because of two main reasons – first, it’s so volatile, and second, it isn’t regulated and is still associated with criminality to some degree.
Big brands who have to answer to shareholders can’t accept a cryptocurrency which can nosedive by 10% in a couple of days. It would be difficult to explain to investors expecting their dividends, and it could create a cashflow nightmare for a huge site doing thousands of transactions a day.
Some players prefer to stick with one or two huge sites they know and have gambled on for years. If these sites don’t accept Bitcoin, they don’t use Bitcoin. It’s as simple as that.
How to Pick a Bitcoin Poker Site
If you’re ready to give Bitcoin poker sites a try, follow this three-step procedure to pick a site.
(1) Read Our Expert Reviews
You’ll be surprised what our reviewers spot and highlight that you might overlook. Since we work as a team and have decades of experience in the industry, we often see things regular players might overlook, such as a nasty clause in the small print or something one site offers which another doesn’t.
It doesn’t take long to read our gambling site reviews. Take 10-15 minutes to digest the most important information and create a shortlist of the sites you think are worth further investigation.
(2) Visit the Sites and Register Accounts
Here’s an insider secret many don’t know – often, you can’t see all of the features of a Bitcoin poker site (such as the full range of games) until you create a player account. That’s why we sign up at every site when conducting our reviews.
There’s no law against holding multiple accounts, and you won’t have to make a deposit unless you want to. We suggest signing up at multiple sites and playing any free poker games offered. Check each site on your shortlist out and see what you think.
(3) Pick the Sites You Like Best and Play
This is the easiest part of the process. Once you’ve found one or more legit Bitcoin poker sites, it’s time to play!
Even at this stage, we suggest making one small deposit first. Once you play for a while, make a withdrawal. You’ll then see for yourself that the site is legit, trustworthy, and offers fast, fair withdrawals.
After that, you can go gung-ho and play for larger amounts. You can play for real money at multiple sites to take advantage of all the different tournaments and offers on various days of the week.
Bitcoin Poker Sites – Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What’s the easiest way to get Bitcoin?
Unless you’re fortunate enough to know someone who will sell you some Bitcoin directly, you’ll need to buy them on a Bitcoin exchange. This exchange will be one which sells Bitcoin for USD or your preferred currency. Once you have an account, it’s as easy as switching your currency for any other. It takes two clicks of a button.
Q. What are some signs of scam Bitcoin poker sites?
If the site doesn’t have a gaming license, has a bad track record with players, or offers unrealistic, too-good-to-be-true bonus offers (think $10k+ in value), these are all red flags.
Q. Are there any US-friendly Bitcoin poker sites?
Yes, there are. In fact, even though US players are technically prohibited from playing online poker, the majority of online gambling with Bitcoin comes out of America. There are lots of operators willing to serve US players.
Q. Is it legal to play poker with Bitcoin?
Yes, playing poker with Bitcoin is just as legal as playing with any other currency. If gambling is strictly illegal in your country, that’s different, but as long as both gambling and Bitcoin are legal, you have nothing to worry about.
Q. Which site offers the biggest Bitcoin poker bonus?
Bonuses change often. You’ll have to refer to the table above to see what the latest bonuses are. These are updated in real-time as the sites come up with new offers.
Q. Can I use Bitcoin from a mobile device?
Yes, there are Bitcoin wallets for most Android and iOS devices. You can send Bitcoin to the poker sites and withdraw your pots to these wallet apps.