Best online poker sites 2021

In this page you will find all the best online poker sites where you can play with real money safely.

How we rate online poker sites?

When we evaluate online poker sites, we look for several aspects them to determine how good they are. Most important issue for us is how trustworthy and safe the site is for players.

Poker sites are run with real money and players have to deposit their own money on the sites, so it is extremely important that we can thrust the site to take care of our money and keep them safe and available to be withdrawn at any time.

Other aspects we look to evaluate the sites are:

  • How many poker games are available
  • Welcome bonus
  • Loyalty program and promotions (includes rake back)
  • Software quality on desktop and mobile
  • Payment methods
  • Any licenses to make it legal offer real money games
  • Country restrictions

How to choose best poker site for you

Choosing the best online poker site is the most important step what will affect how well you will do in poker, not only in profits, but also how much you enjoy playing online.

Think what you are looking from the poker sites and then read our reviews on poker sites to make an informed decision. This way you won’t get disappointed when you make the right choice from the start. If you are new to online poker, read our online poker guide for beginners.

Game selection and player pool

Not all poker sites have thousands of players to fill up poker tables at all stakes and forms. There for it is important to get an idea how many players plays in the poker site on average.

Especially when playing higher stakes or not so popular poker variant, like Razz for example. Poker site much have huge player pool who plays there regularly to ensure you will find players to play against in the game and stakes of your choice.

Minimum game selection on any poker site should consist of these game types and variants:

  • Texas hold’em
  • Pot limit Omaha
  • Cash Games
  • Fast cash game tables
  • Tournaments
  • Sit & Go’s
  • Spin & go’s

For cash game players the new type of game mode which allows you to fold a hand before it is your turn to act, and move right away to new table with new hole cards and different opponents makes sure you will never have a dull moment or idle time while playing cash games.

Not all poker sites have this format yet, and often different sites calls this with different name. It can be called Zoom poker, Fast Forward, Go fast or Rush and Cash, just to name few.

Less known poker variations

Even though these game are not well known and there are not many players for these games, it is still fun to try and learn new games time to time. So if poker site offers any exotics and less known poker variations, it is a small positive sign for them.

Just to name few less known poker variations, these are more common ones of those:

  • 5 or 6 card pot limit Omaha
  • 7 card stud and stud hi/lo
  • Razz
  • Five card draw
  • 2-7 triple draw and single draw
  • Ace to five lowball
  • O.R.S.E which consists of 5 different variations (Texas, Omaha/8, Razz, Stud and Stud hi/lo)
  • 8-game and other mixed games
  • Short deck

Online poker Welcome bonus

Poker bonus

There is a hard competition between online poker sites who gets the new player to make their first deposit to their site. One way sites are competing each other is offering welcome bonuses to new players when they sign up and deposit money.

Most common welcome bonus is match bonus on first deposit up to certain amount. This match bonus can be express this way: 100% bonus up to 100 dollars. This means poker site would double your first deposit up to 100 dollars. So if you deposit 100, you will get 200 to play with.

Albeit rarely you will get this bonus money straight into your account where you could just withdraw it, poker sites gives them incrementally after you generate certain amount of rake by playing their poker games.

Welcome bonus can also include no deposit bonuses, where players will get tournament tickets or few dollars money to try the games just by creating an account to their site. But this kind of bonus is rare to find.

Loyalty program and promotions

poker loyalty program

Good poker sites offers vast amount of running promotions each much so players will be exiting and entertained to play on the site. Different poker sites offers different kinds of promotions and it is always good to check the promotion pages to see what is running.

Loyalty programs on the other hand is one of the key features on online poker sites. All the good sites offers some kind of scheme for loyals players where players will get valuable prizes like rake back, straight up cash or tournament tickets.

Most common loyalty feature is rake back, where player will get certain percentage of the rake back he generated in previous week or month. Good rake back can boost your winnings quite a bit or cut your losses hefty as rake back sometimes can refund up to 60% of the rake player had generated.

Small stakes players can expect good rake back to be somewhere around 20-30%, usually the more player generates rake, the higher the rake back percentage will be.

Cash game rake races

Rake races are good for players who plays a lot cash games as rake races will reward those players who generated the most rake in certain games and stakes. Rake races are good for poker sites as they will incentives players to play more cash games and thus generate more actions on their site.

And for players, rake races are good way to gain extra income if they place high in the leaderboards. Even in low stakes cash games, prizes on rake races can be very good and worth of putting hours on playing poker.

Tournament leaderboards

For tournament players there are sometimes leaderboard promotions which last a tournament series or a month, even a yearly leaderboard has been seen in the past.

Tournament leaderboards have the same concept at rake races. Players will gain points towards the leaderboards depending how well they place in the tournaments. So deep runs and winning a tournament is key to place well in these leaderboards along playing a lot of tournaments.

Prices often includes tournament tickets to major tournaments, special trophies and cold hard cash. Playing a lot of tournaments is very time consuming so be prepared to play a lot of hours if you want to win the whole leaderboard, it will be worth it though!

Software quality

To ensure the best playing experience on any game, the software must be in top notch condition and run smoothly even in older computers. Nothing is more frustrating than slow software where you don’t really know if it has crashed or just being slow.

Online poker software is very important so players will get good playing experience and the user interface has to be easy to navigate and understand. There are so many good softwares nowdays that players should not accept even a small inconvenience or bug in the software.

Good software also is secure and works on desktops, laptops, PC’s, and Mac’s. To see if the software is any good will come clear usually just playing for a little while on the site.

Mobile poker software

Mobile poker is quite new phenomenon, and more and more players are playing though their mobile phone. Often these players will only play one or two tables and a short session only. But still mobile software must work perfectly and has to offer nearly all the same features as computer version.

All the major poker sites offer good quality mobile software already, but there are still some small poker sites that has just assembled something for mobile players so they can advertise it.

Payment methods

When a player wants to make a deposit to a online poker site, or want to make a withdrawal after winning a bunch of cash it is important that there is the right payment option available.

There might be difference between countries also what methods are available. But it is good to see overview of the options are if the poker site is taking a fee on each deposit and withdraw or not.

We think taking a fee on money transfers is half criminal actions and we don’t support it at all. All transactions should be cost free for the player.

Common payment methods for online poker sites are:

  • Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard)
  • Bank transfers
  • Neteller
  • Skrill
  • MuchBetter
  • PayPal
  • Paysafecard
  • Bitcoins

There are some variations between countries which payments are available, and some countries have unique methods which are there just for their country.

Is the online poker site licensed and trustworthy

There are many institutions which gives and regulates gambling licenses to online poker sites. These lisences makes sure that the site operates according to their rules and regulations and thus keeping the games and players monies safe.

Obtaining and maintaining a gambling lisence must provide transparency to these gambling authorities which will also conduct random check that everything works and the games are honest.

The most common gambling licenses includes:

  • Malta Gaming Authority
  • UK Gambling commission
  • Alderney gambling commission
  • Isle of Man Gambling supervision commission
  • Gibraltar Gambling commission
  • Estonian Tax and Custom Board

We can expect other countries to create their own gambling commission in the future as the online gambling matures more and the law makers and politicians gain more knowledge of this sector.

Country restrictions

Lastly we look country restrictions. There are many countries which have banned online gambling completely or only allows certain license owners to offer real money gambling and poker to their citizens.

The more countries are restricted on the poker site, the bigger player pool they likely have thus making the games running around the clock. Just be sure that you are allowed to play in the poker site from your location.