Real Money Poker – Basics of Playing Poker for Money

In this day and age is increasingly easy to use money with any online service. In that manner, it is also easy to use real money to play online poker. It’s only a matter of searching “Real Money Online Poker” to find not only hundreds but thousands upon thousands of results from different sites where you can start playing against pros and casuals alike. The question is, after finding all of these results, where should you start?

Where Should I Play Poker for Real Money?

If a poker site is to be considered one of the best around, it needs a large player pool. The more players online, the better the selection of games available and the larger the tournament prize pools. So even though there are hundreds of real money online poker rooms, you can count the ones worth joining with one hand. That’s good for the poker economy since it would be much worse if all the players were evenly distributed among, say, ten or 20 poker rooms.

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Ideally, you should sign-up at a few sites. Just joining one of the biggest poker sites ensures you’ll have plenty of people to play against, but having a few different sites to play at ensures you can take an advantage of an ample amount of opportunities.

Location matters

Your location makes a big difference especially if you’re from the US. Those who are physically located in America have significantly less options, and even the ones that are left are smaller, which means fewer players and uneventful prize pools. Still, Americans have decent-sized poker rooms to choose from in Bovada, Poker and BetOnline.

Our list of trusted poker sites is geo-targeted based on your location and shows the poker rooms that we consider most trustworthy. We have been involved in the online poker industry around ten years by now, so we feel like we have a decent idea of which sites to trust and which ones to stay away from.

Is It Safe to Play Poker for Real Money?

Nothing you do online is 100% safe but certain poker websites, like BetOnline and Bovada, have proven to be trustworthy and secure throughout the years. But being an online poker giant doesn’t ensure complete safety, like in the case of Full Tilt and (albeit significantly smaller) Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker. But we consider the likes of PokerStars and Party Poker as safe as you can get.

The risk US citizens face

As each of the sites that accept US customers are operating from some offshore jurisdiction and against the will of the US government. What happens when one of these folds? US citizens have gotten screwed before and, considering how playing online likely violates laws in almost every state either directly or indirectly, playing itself is a risk from a legal point-of-view.

There are exceptions – States where you can legally play Online Poker

Three states – namely Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey – have legalized and regulated online poker. If you’re located within state boundaries, you can play internet poker legally at sites that have been licensed to operate by the states in question.

We have ranked USA online poker rooms in order but they’re all offshore sites. We recommend that you contact a local gaming lawyer to find out if playing internet poker for real money is legal where you live.

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How to Move Money Around?

We all want to get our money to and from internet poker rooms as quickly and cheaply as possible. Players outside of the US have a wide variety of ways of moving money around instantly with low (or zero) fees – in most countries, you can transfer money via online banking services, e-wallets (like Neteller and Skrill) and credit cards (mostly Visa and Mastercard).

But for those in the US, deposit methods are limited to cards (credit, debit and gift) and money transfer services (like Western Union). Withdrawals can, in general, only be processed through money transfer services and checks. The exception is, of course, if you play at licensed sites that operate within the three states mentioned above, which offer deposit methods like ACH transfers, credit cards, e-wallets and even live casino cage cashier transfers.

Recommended Methods for Secure Transactions at Online Poker Sites


Bitcoin Logo

A digital currency that’s available to the public and can be traded without the involvement of any government or banking institution. These coins can be purchased at exchanges, and they’re kept in a virtual wallets.

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Credit Cards

Credit Card

Nowadays Credit Card Poker games are somewhat ubiquitous, Credit cards, gift cards, and prepaid cards with the Visa or MasterCard logo are best for online poker deposits, because more sites accept those cards than American Express.

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Instadebit Logo

Instadebit debuted in 2004. Since then they’ve been serving as a viable online payment option for those wanting to pay merchants directly from their bank account. The site is known for delivering safe transactions across the planet.

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Neteller Logo

Launched in 1999, Neteller has grown to become one of the most well-known e-wallet services in the world. Neteller Poker Sites have grown in popularity. Money can be rapidly and safely transferred from person-to-person or person-to-merchant.

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PayPal Logo

PayPal has been in business since 1998. They’ve rapidly positioned themselves as one of the leading virtual payment systems on the planet. They’ve been a subsidiary of eBay since 2002, but they spun off into an individual company in 2015.

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Skrill Logo

Skrill provides customers with digital wallets and prepaid debit cards, and they’ve been around since 2001. Originally known as Moneybookers, the company rebranded itself as Skrill in 2013 and has grown to include some the biggest corporations.

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How Can I Win Money When Playing Poker?

The million dollar question is: how to win at real money poker? This is one of the questions that simply have no easy, straightforward answer. Winning requires lots of dedication and studying, plus the right kind of a mindset. The goal is simple, though: you need to beat your opponents by more money than what the house takes as a rake, and you need to be able to do that over a long period of time. Additionally, you can’t have moments of weakness where you gamble away all the money you’ve won by playing conservatively.

Start by learning the basics:

If you want to see real online poker winners in action, you might want to try signing-up at some poker training websites. There are literally thousands of poker videos online that show how real money winners play and think through their decision-making processes.

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