Play Poker with Bitcoin
Over the last few years, Bitcoin poker sites have been popping up across the Internet. These establishments offer card games such as Seven Card Stud and Texas Hold’em, as well as an additional option for making deposits and withdrawals.
For those who are unfamiliar with Bitcoin, this article is meant to serve as an introduction to what you can expect.
Basics of Bitcoin
Bitcoin is 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 places known as exchanges, and they’re kept in a virtual wallet and accessed with a verification code.
In order for a customer to buy or sell bitcoins, a complex mathematical code must first be resolved. Such efforts are handled by people known as Bitcoin miners, and these tech-savvy men and women receive new coins for helping the system function. This process ensures security, and it’s allowed the service to avoid any major hacking incidents.
Like any commodity, the value of an individual bitcoin can fluctuate on a daily basis. Production of the currency is designed to halt when the number of coins reaches 21 million, and a recent count found almost 15,500,000 currently in existence. While most of these are in active circulation, some are dormant because users lost their unique password and can no longer access them.
Differences in a Bitcoin Poker Site
There are only a couple of differences between funding your account with bitcoins and other forms of currency. First, deposits and withdrawals happen almost immediately, with the current value of a coin determining the number of chips you’ll receive.
If you’re playing at a Bitcoin-only poker room, you may also notice that the standard sign-up method is different. Instead of being asked to provide your real name and bank account information, you’ll often be able to create an account with just a username and password.
Otherwise, a poker room that accepts Bitcoin looks the same as any other site. The graphics are identical, the players are diverse, and the winnings are just as real.
Positives & Negatives of Bitcoin Poker
If you’re still unsure about using Bitcoin, I’ve put together some pros and cons in this section. Hopefully, these facts can help you make up your mind.
Reasons to Use Bitcoin
- Anonymous Accounts – As mentioned earlier, some Bitcoin gambling sites allow you to sign up without requiring personal details such as your name or bank account information.
- Increased Value of Winnings – Since the worth of an individual bitcoin fluctuates, the value of your poker room account can actually increase over time.
- Transaction Speed – Withdrawals are processed much faster than traditional methods such as credit cards or wire transfers.
- Increased Rakeback – Sites sometimes offer to return a certain amount of entry fees in order to keep players happy. On average, poker sites using bitcoins are more generous when it comes to this practice.
- More Inexperienced Players – Also known as fish, these novice players are more common at sites accepting bitcoins.
Reasons to Avoid Bitcoin
- Lack of Regulation – Some sites that specialize in Bitcoin gambling aren’t regulated by the usual jurisdictions. This lack of oversight could result in sketchy business practices, although no major scandals have occurred as of this writing.
- Lack of Government Backing – Nations are in a habit of protecting their financial institutions, but Bitcoin has no such backing. If some catastrophe were to occur, it’s possible that all your coins could become worthless overnight.
- Fluctuating Value – While this can also be a strength given the upward trend in the value of bitcoins, there’s no guarantee that the currency won’t eventually hit a rough patch and leave investors with far less than they started with.
- The Law Still Applies – Since Bitcoin is a commodity, various anti-gaming laws may still apply based on where you live. If a state or country says it’s illegal to wager something of value on gambling, then don’t assume that using virtual coins makes you immune to prosecution.
Poker Sites Compatible with Bitcoin
The number of Bitcoin poker sites is still relatively small, but more options are appearing with each passing year. Just like any other gambling website, it’s a good idea to do some research before signing up and opening an account. If you’re a fan of online card games and virtual currency, the following is a brief list of poker rooms you might be interested in.
- BetOnline Poker
- 5Dimes Poker
- Bitcasino Poker
- Betcoin Poker
- SWC Poker (short for Seals with Clubs)
Please note that most online poker rooms and casinos have added Bitcoin as an option alongside credit cards and e-wallets. There are, however, some sites that only accept bitcoins as a valid form of currency.
Bitcoin is a form of virtual currency that’s becoming increasingly accepted by vendors around the globe. This also extends to the world of online gambling, where a small number of card rooms have added the payment method to their list of deposit and withdrawal options. In fact, a handful of such establishments have become Bitcoin poker sites by catering exclusively to users of the digital money.
Players who use Bitcoin to fund their online poker adventures often point to items such as anonymity and increased rakeback when listing advantages. It does, however, require a certain computer I.Q. to use, so the mass of Internet surfers and social media addicts aren’t likely to make the switch anytime soon.