If you live in a State where real money online poker is not legal, https://windowcitytints.com/ then our recommendation is to use a play money site or a social poker site. The best of those are Global Poker, WSOP Social App and PokerStars Play. Remember, these sites do not offer real money poker.
Best Poker Sites in UK, Europe and Rest of the World
How to find the best online poker rooms
To find the best online poker room for your favorite games, first you need to understand what kind of poker games you want to play online. The best poker sites online offer several poker variants as cash games and tournaments, other real money poker rooms have more limited choice.
That’s because some players turn to online poker sites to find the most competitive games out there. They want to be challenged and play with the best players in the world.
These are the pros who look for high stakes games and top-notch poker software that will let them play online for hours.
Others simply want to enjoy quick and easy poker games online. These players are not in it to chase six-digit real money prizes. They look for a different kind of experience; they just want to play poker for the fun and thrill of the game.
They want the field to be soft (aka. the games to be relatively easy), the buy-ins to be cheap, and the tables to be full of recreational players.
That’s why defining what the best online poker rooms are is a very subjective matter. All online poker players are different, and are attracted to poker rooms for different reasons. The great thing about playing online poker is you can have accounts with several online poker sites; you are not limited to only one.
To help you find the best online poker game for you, we tried to list all the elements you should look in a poker room before you register there to play.
Best Online Poker Sites for Beginners
Since the word ‘beginner’ may be a little misleading, let’s clarify what kind of players are best suited for these poker rooms.
You qualify as a beginner if you have never played online poker before or you have very limited experience with the game.
As a beginner, you want to play at an online poker site where you find the following:
— a lot of Texas hold’em games or other poker variants if you are learning a new game
— good recurring promotions for new and existing players
— a soft field
— a good offer of low-stakes tournaments
— a high number of online qualifiers to play expensive events for smaller-than-usual buy-ins
— clear policies against the use of poker software and HUDs
— have dedicated mobile poker apps for playing poker on the move
— you want to ensure you are playing at regulated online poker sites
Some websites like 888Poker, PokerStars and partypoker have gone great lengths to create an environment that is particularly favorable for recreational players and beginners.
Rather than focusing on the most expensive high stakes games or the most complicated variation of online poker, these sites created an online experience that seems to be perfect for first-timers and those who want to play for fun.
You find all the information about the different characteristics of these sites and why we believe them to be the best poker sites for beginners in the reviews published here on PokerNews.
Why 888poker is a great online poker site for beginners
Although 888poker offers high-stakes cash games and tournaments, it is better-known for being recreational player friendly. Inexperience poker players flock to 888poker for the famously soft cash games and wide selection of low-stakes tournaments. The poker room is often awash with players from other areas of online gambling, thanks to 888 also having a popular online casino and sportsbook. These non poker players frequent the poker room for a change of pace or to gamble between casino sessions.
Why PokerStars is a superb poker room for recreational poker players
PokerStars is one of the biggest and busiest legal online poker sites globally. it offers substantial poker bonuses that attract beginner and experienced poker players in equal measure. While PokerStars’ higher stakes games have a high percentage of professional grinders, its lower-stakes games are a potential gold mine due to the sheer number of poker players seated at the tables.
Having the best online poker software helps draw in players, and with cash games starting as low as $0.01/$0.02 blinds make PokerStars’ games open and accessible to all. Throw into the mix a portfolio of other online gaming options, and you can see why PokerStars is often considered the all round best poker site.
What makes PartyPoker suitable for new poker players?
PartyPoker has been around for more than 20 years, making it one of the oldest online poker websites in existence. PartyPoker is part of an online poker network featuring various online poker sites that share cash game and tournament traffic. Each poker site is linked to a busy sportsbook and casino where customers are often more concerned about other forms of online gambling than learning how to play solid poker.
PartyPoker is one of only a handful of poker site that rewards its players with weekly cashback in addition to a poker bonus when you first join the poker room. The site rewards lower-stakes players more than the higher-stakes grinders, which keeps the poker room recreational player friendly.
Best Poker Sites for Experienced Players
Defining an experienced player is equally controversial. Some say that experience has to do with the number of online poker hands you have played while others correlate it with your results at the table.
To keep it simple, we are going to consider ‘experienced players’ those who already know how to play poker, have played thousands of hands, and are not scared to play poker games with a buy-in of $50 or more.
These players look for sites with a different set of features compared to the previous ones as they value a different type of online poker experience.
For them, the best online poker sites, are those that offer:
— a generous rakeback or cash-back program
— a wide variety of poker games
— high traffic volumes on poker variants like PLO and Seven Card Stud
— exportable hand history and other similar features
— high stakes games and tournaments with big guaranteed prizes
PokerStars is one of the best online gambling sites, one with a superb casino site and sports betting section that you can access from your poker account. For two decades, PokerStars has been considered the best online poker site of them all, thanks to its unrivaled choice of poker variants and formats, its lavish rewards, big guaranteed tournaments, excellent customer support, and arguably the best online poker software in the business.
Everything works perfectly at PokerStars, including third-party tools like PokerTracker and Holdem Manager, among others. The site’s mid and high-stakes games do have a high percentage of professional poker players, which can make the game intense and challenging, but a pro-heavy field should tell you that PokerStars is the place to play online poker if you are an experienced player.
Although PartyPoker is highly rated with amateur or less experienced players, it is a great online poker site for seasoned grinders. The weekly cashback loyalty program is potentially very lucrative, with the highest volume players able to receive up to 60% of their rake back into their playable account balances.
Many of PartyPoker’s higher stakes games are frequented by casino and sports betting regulars, who tend not to be as skilled when it comes to playing poker online. Be aware PartyPoker prohibits the use of tracking software and Heads-Up Displays (HUDs), which may not be ideal for you if you are used to utilizing these tools in your everyday poker playing.
GGPoker is often where you find elite-level professionals playing cash games for the highest stakes and tournaments with buy-ins of up to $50,000. Although a very busy site with some soft games, the large guarantees and busy big buy-in cash games naturally attract the best players in the poker world. GGPoker has a built-in HUD but all other software is prohibited. In addition, the site does have higher rake than its rivals, and high rake can severely affect your profits and losses when playing poker online.
Poker Sites with the Best Bonuses
Another key factor that you need to keep in mind when you look for a new website to play online poker games, is the bonus you receive on signup, or bonuses and rewards for existing customers.
Poker bonuses are particularly lucrative for new players as they offer extra money to explore the games on a platform and see if the poker site you chose is exactly the best one for you.
Online poker sites offer different types of bonuses. These range from the traditional match bonus on your first deposit to the more rare (but always welcome) no-deposit offers.
Each type of poker bonus serves a different purpose and is best suited to a different player. If you don’t know how to use a poker bonus or how to identify which offer is best for you, we advise you to read our guide to online poker bonuses.
Rewards at PartyPoker
New PartyPoker customers can enjoy a superb welcome bonus without the need for a bonus code. New customers depositing only $10 receive a package of tournament tickets worth $10, while increasing that initial deposit to $20 grants a package of tickets worth $30. The tickets package in in addition to a 100% match up to $600 bonus, which releases into your account when you earn points for playing real money games.
PartyPoker also offers weekly cashback as part of its rewards scheme. Everyone is eligible for cashback, which is paid on Mondays and based on the previous week’s real money play. You can receive up to 55% rakeback once you have hit 10 loyalty points for the week, which can be achieved with as little as $2.50 rake.
Rewards at PokerStars
PokerStars last revamped its rewards program in October 2021, making it possible to earn the equivalent of 65% cashback. On top of a welcome bonus worth up to $600 (£400 in the United Kingdom), PokerStars players earn cash-awarding Chests when they hit specific rake totals. The chests contain prizes ranging from $0.50 to $250, with PokerStars setting player-specific challenges that grant up to 40% rakeback. If you are a high volume player, the PokerStars Rewards program is one of the best from all real money poker sites.
Rewards at 888poker
888poker wants to attract recreational players, and what better way to do this than to offer them free money and tickets? 888poker hands out free cash and tournament tickets just for creating an 888poker account via PokerNews’ links. When you do come to make your first deposit, it is matched 100% up to $1,000 when using the bonus code «WELCOME100.»
Top Poker Sites with the Lowest Rake
Poker sites make money by taking a small percentage from each pot in cash games and by charging a small fee when you enter any tournament variant. Although the rake amount is relatively small, usually just a few percent, it adds up over time. Too much rake, regardless of the site’s rewards, can turn breakeven players into losing players.
Lower-stakes players feel the effects of rake more severely because the pots do not often grow large enough to overcome the money removed from the pot. For example, removing $1 from a $20 pot in a $0.05/$0.10 game is costlier than removing $3 from a $1,000 pot in a $5/$10 game.
Low-Rake Poker Games at Unibet Poker
Unibet Poker has the lowest rake in the poker industry for low-stakes games. For example, its €0.02/€0.04 games are raked at a mere 1% up to a maximum of €1. Its €0.05/€0.10 games are raked at 3% up to a maximum of €2. The industry standard for these games hovers around the 5-6% mark.
It is a similar story for Pot-Limit Omaha games, with only stakes above €0.25/€0.50 raked more than 3.5%; the rake cap is only €3, too.
Low-rake Poker Games at PokerStars
Like Unibet, PokerStars has lower rake for its micro-stakes cash games, with the lowest rake weighing in at 3.3% with a $0.30 maximum cap. There is quite a jump from $0.01/$0.02 to $0.02/$0.05 because although the percentage only increases to 3.9%, the cap increases from $0.30 to $1.
Low-rake Poker Games at PartyPoker
The effects of rake at PartyPoker are dulled down by the site offering weekly cashback payments. Most No-Limit cash games are raked at 5% up to a maximum of $1-$3 depending on the stakes. The percentage remains the same for higher stakes, but the cap can be up to $40 per hand at the $50/$100 and $200/$400 levels, but when you are playing for $10-$40,000 pots, $40 rake is not that much.
Top Poker Sites with the Softest Players
There is no point being the sixth-best poker player in the world if you continually battle against the world’s top five players because you’ll lose money in the long run. Ideally, you want to face off against players that are lesser skilled than you, so want poker sites with the softest opponents. If you want to make money playing poker, you need to play against weaker players more frequently.
Soft Games at 888poker
888poker is not one of the biggest online poker rooms but it is known around the world for having some of the softest poker games of all the sites. Not only are the site’s software, bonuses, and promotions geared towards inexperienced players, but the fact 888poker offers all forms of online gaming products means non-poker players often frequent the tables, akin to Las Vegas where casino game players often sit in a poker cash game for a few hands because they are intrigued about the game being played.
Soft Games at PokerStars
PokerStars has some of the toughest games but also some of the softest due to its sheer size and the amount of traffic it enjoys. Micro and low-stakes No-Limit Hold’em games are full of weak, inexperienced players dipping their toes into poker’s waters, but games like high stakes seven card stud are frequented by some incredibly talented poker players.
Soft Games at WPT Global
WPT Global is the official online poker site of the World Poker Tour, and it famous for having some of the softest poker games going. The site is hugely popular in South America and Asia, with the latter continent infamous for its players’ willingness to gamble. Virtually all poker rooms have an influx of «fish» but WPT Globa seems to have a huge pool of players that ar there to have fun and who are not overly interested in making money.
Online Poker Traffic
Some believe that playing on the biggest poker sites is always the safest choice. Those are the players who keep playing always on the same websites and never try anything new.
From PokerStars to 888poker and partypoker, the largest online poker sites are always a safe choice — even if they aren’t always the best one.
On these poker sites, you find an endless number of cash games and poker tournaments. The buy-ins range from few cents to thousands and they offer an impressive number of daily freeroll tournaments if free poker is what you’re into.
So, why aren’t these the best poker sites?
The answer is simple. Because everyone plays there already.
All the best players and all the ones who know how to play poker are already active on the largest online poker sites. As a result, the games on these websites tend to be more competitive and difficult compared to those at smaller and lesser-known sites.
Which means the games are also less profitable for beginners who want to win cash.
When you play on the biggest online poker sites, you find action all the time because these are the sites with the highest traffic numbers and the largest amount of players connected at the same time.
A lot of other internet poker sites don’t share the same quantity of players of the three above. In fact, they may look almost a ‘little dead’ during certain times of the day.
These are the poker sites you should not disregard if you are looking for easy poker games to play.
There are advantages in playing on small poker websites or on small skins of larger poker networks. These are the gaming sites where you may find the worst players and engage in easy-to-beat games of online poker.
In fact, some of the smallest online poker sites are famous for the bad players at their tables. If you think this is a bad thing, it means you have never played an easy game of online poker.
Trust us, that moment you find easy-to-beat games of online poker, you are not going to leave the poker site that hosts them.
Online Poker Sites Regulation
Another important aspect to consider when choosing a website to play online poker is whether or not the site is legal in your country. Different countries regulate online poker for real money in different ways. As a consequence, not all sites are available to all players.
Regulation is important because it protects the players at the site. Governing bodies ensure that online poker sites are operating their business effectively, not using customer funds for their operating costs, and that poker rooms are fair and random, among many other features. Playing at unregulated is not recommended because you have little to no recourse should the site go bust or decide on a whim to close your account and keep your funds.
All the poker sites that apply and obtain a regular gambling and poker license have to go through rigorous checks. That’s why it is important you always choose a site that is legal in your country.
To help you find legal online poker games for you, we developed a particular technology that we apply to the list published on this page.
Matching the location of your IP address with your local poker regulation, we are able to display only online poker sites where you are allowed to play.
Online Poker Regulation in USA
If you’ve been around poker, you’ve probably heard of Black Friday. What was Black Friday? For poker players, Black Friday was the day the US government forever altered the course of online poker.
Black Friday was the day the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) shut down the three major online poker operators by not only shutting down access to the sites but also charging various individuals with crimes, such as bank fraud, stemming from the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
Rising out of the ashes of poker’s Black Friday was the opportunity for state-regulated online poker sites. In 2013, Nevada and Delaware became the first two states to offer online poker, while New Jersey would join later that year. Four years later in 2017, Pennsylvania joined the fray, while both West Virginia and Michigan followed suit in 2019, though the former has yet to actually offer online poker while the latter didn’t launch until January 2021.
The state of online poker varies from state to state due to a number of factors including state laws, gaming interests, and of course, politics.
Regulated Poker Sites in UK, Europe and the Rest of the World
Similarly, different European countries have adopted different approaches to legalizing online poker. That’s why online poker sites need numerous licenses to offer their services at the international level.
One of the most popular licenses in Europe is the one issued by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). This state-controlled authority acts as the ultimate guarantee for players in terms of fairness of the site’s operations and platform. The UKGC is infamously strict in handing out licences as it wants to protect the British public as much as possible. If a site has a UKGC-issued license, you can bet your bottom dollar that it is trustworthy.
Other regulators include the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, ARJEL in France, and the Malta Gaming Authority.
Online Poker Software
The quality of the poker software is undoubtedly one of the most important factors to consider when looking for the best online poker site.
Some poker clients, like the one in use at PokerStars, may be rich in featured but also slightly outdated in their looks.
Others, like the ones of GGPoker and partypoker have a much more modern look-and-feel and come with exclusive extras that players love deeply.
To be completely fair with you, it’s fair to say that the reliability of the poker software is not the only element to look for in an online poker site.
These days, the ability of an online poker room to offer a great mobile experience is also extremely important. That’s why some websites put an extra focus on their mobile product and work hard to create poker apps that are easy to use and super responsive at the same time.
You can find all the details about the top options on the market on our page about the best mobile poker apps and in the reviews of each and every individual online poker site.
Online Poker Site Reviews
Until now, we discussed a number of general elements you should keep in mind when looking for the best online poker site.
This slightly superficial overview might be enough for some players. However, it does not paint a complete picture.
If you need more and you want to know all the ins and outs of every single online poker site, I have only one more thing to say: read our poker reviews.
Who Are PokerNews and Why Listen to Our Reviews?
The PokerNews team has been playing online poker and reviewing online poker sites for more than a decade. That’s why PokerNews is the guide where you find the most comprehensive reviews of all the best websites that offer games of internet poker.
In each review, we analyze the software, the bonuses, the mobile platform, and the traffic of a poker site.
The reviews are also the place where you find useful information about the terms and conditions of every promotion as well as the key points that make a poker site special.
And when there’s nothing that makes a poker site special…that’s what we write!
Whenever you are on the lookout for new online poker sites to try, have a look at our reviews. Those are your best resource to get to know what the top online poker rooms are and find out what poker website hosts exactly the games you want to play.
Choose a poker room
Which Online Poker Sites and Poker Rooms do we Review?
PokerNews is open to reviewing all online poker rooms, although we focus our attention on those that are fully licensed and regulated to operate in their jurisdiction. PokerNews never promotes online poker sites that do hold licenses or that operate illegally according to local laws.
Our staff are poker players at heart, which makes them perfect to review poker sites accurately and honestly. The integrity of our work is paramount, which means we do not recommend poker sites to you that we ourselves would not be happy playing at. We work with many potential partners, but only the best online poker sites make it to the fully published review stage.
How Do We Judge Each Poker Site We Review?
There are dozens of factors we consider when writing a poker room review. These include, but are not limited to, the poker site’s license and regulation status, game choice, traffic, bonuses, banking options, security, and customer support.
Our team of poker-loving writers scour the internet for any forum and social media posts, or negative stories relating to the site they’re reviewing. Anything untoward is flagged and mentioned in our reviews.
Our team creates an account and plays the games etc at the online poker site they’re reviewing, so you know 100% what to expect if you decide to become a customer of that poker room.
Is It Safe To Play Online Internet Poker?
This is a common question that is asked by many players who are new to the internet poker world.
The answer is yes, as the sites that we have listed have been in business for a number of years and have no incentive to keep a player’s funds.
These sites all generate millions of dollars of revenue each and every year, and they have far more to lose than they would gain by taking anyone’s money.
These sites all have complex ways of dealing out the cards with random number generators, which helps to keep the games fair for all players.
They have millions invested in both advertising and security, as they want to encourage new players to sign up while at the same time protecting player funds and the integrity of internet poker games.
We wouldn’t list these three rooms as the best poker sites in the world without ensuring they are safe for our readers to play on, so rest assured.
Is Playing Online Poker Like Playing Live Poker?
Online poker games are all structured in the same way as the games at brick-and-mortar casinos. If you understand the flow in a live poker game, then you should have no problem playing on the internet.
There are of course some differences in the games, but these are mostly based on playing at home on the internet versus playing in a live casino.
You can play from home in your underwear, and that may not be looked upon too kindly if you were to try that in a Las Vegas casino.
The speed of an online poker game is much faster, as you are not relying on a live dealer to deal the cards and to push the pot to the winner of the hand. Get started today with one of our top online poker rooms, or you can read some more about our top poker bonuses.
How to Know if a Poker Site is Legit
Anyone can set up an online poker room, but not everyone can create one that is legit and fit for purpose. There are a few things to look for that help you discover the legitimacy of a poker site.
Are they licensed and regulated? — Online poker rooms will always proudly display the logo of their regulator and details of their licence on their home page. Avoid any that are not regulated or licenced.
Are they mentioned on PokerNews? — PokerNews is the voice of the poker world, so if we are not talking about an online poker site, there is every chance it is not worth your time. We do not write news stories about poker sites that are not legit.
Do negative stories appear in internet searches and on forums? — The poker site is unlikely to be legit if your internet search brings up several negative stories about the room. People often take to the internet to vent their frustration of poor customer service or shady dealings they have experienced.
What banking options are there? — Legit companies usually have traditional, well-known banking options available, such as Visa, MasterCard, etc. If a poker room only has cryptocurrency or some payment processors you have never heard of, alarm bells should start ringing.
Check the terms and conditions of bonuses to see if they are realistic — Non-legit poker companies may offer a too-good-to-be-true no-deposit bonus of $1,000 but then put 150x wagering requirements in the T&Cs. That is a dodgy practice. What else are they being shady about?
Best Online Poker Sites FAQs
Real money poker is legal and available only in the states of New Jersey, Delaware, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
For a complete overview of the entire legislative process in the US and to know when online poker will become legal in your state, you can check our US online poker map.
No. US players can play real money games of online poker only on the sites that are legal in their states.
To know more, you can see this list of the legal NJ poker site or this page dedicated to the PA poker sites that hold a license to offer real money games online.
All the bonuses are available on registration. To claim one, fill out the registration form and confirm your email address.
According to a recent survey made by [i]PokerNews[i] the best desktop poker clients are those in use at [B]PokerStars[/B] and [B]partypoker[/B].
A recent survey promoted by PokerNews identified GGPoker and Unibet Poker as the best mobile platforms to play poker online.
For more info about the different solutions and app to play poker from a smartphone, you can refer to our mobile poker rankings.
All the sites you find on this page hold a license to offer games of poker online. We match the location of your IP address with the regulation in your country/state to make sure we offer only online poker sites that are safe and legal for you.
Yes! There are dozens of online poker sites that you can play real money poker at, with more than a dozen reviewed and trusted by PokerNews.
While there is a large luck element to poker in the short term, players can improve their knowledge and skills to increase their chances of success in the longer term.
Many online poker sites make it possible to play poker for free using play money instead of money and chips with real monetary value. In addition, the best poker sites offer free-to-play poker tournaments that award real cash prizes.
First, you need to be of legal gambling age to play online poker. Then all you need is an internet connection, a computer or laptop, or a modern smartphone, an account with a poker site you have joined via PokerNews, and you are good to go.
Gambling laws differ from country to country, and even on a state level. You can play online poker for money from home, and you can play live poker at home for real money. It is best to check with local laws about the legality of charging a rake when playing poker at home.
Yes! Thousands of poker players cash in online poker tournaments every day, in addition to winning money in cash games.
Full Tilt Poker was one of the giants of online poker, and one that was fully licensed and regulated. However, gross mismanagement by the poker room’s management team forced the regulator to withdraw its license in 2011. Thankfully, PokerStars came to the rescue and ensured all Full Tilt customers we repaid in full. Full Tilt Poker no longer operates.