How to play poker with bitcoin
It is possible to play online poker using bitcoin as your payment method. The two options are simple: it is possible to convert your bitcoin into a regular currency at the casino’s cashier, or play at a website that only supports bitcoin. The first option is much more common in 2019 with many of the best poker sites accepting bitcoin deposits.
Overview of online bitcoin poker sites
Playing poker has become one of the biggest gambling businesses in the world with the emergence of online institutions such as PokerStars and Full Tilt and the popularity of live tournaments like the World Series of Poker. The good news for Bitcoin enthusiasts is that there are now several options to use this cryptocurrency as a deposit and withdrawal method.
The beauty of using bitcoin to deposit money at online poker dens is that it is almost instant. However, the downside is that there is increased scrutiny on the use of bitcoin at poker sites. This could be looked at as a positive, with many gambling sites, some we never thought we would see, adopting bitcoin as a deposit method. Global gambling companies such as Bodog that operate in black or grey gambling markets have also brought bitcoin to the mainstream as a deposit method for poker players.
Best online poker gambling sites
Americas Cardroom: Americas Cardroom has been around longer than bitcoin. The popular USA-serving poker website began accepting bitcoin in early 2015. With both downloadable software and an instant-play version, as well as the ability to deposit bitcoin and real money, Americas Cardroom is a great alternative to the USA-banned PokerStars. Read our full America CardRoom review.
Sign-up & verification process
Unlike at PokerStars and other major poker websites you are not obliged to jump through hoops to begin playing at bitcoin poker sites. When you are making an account at bitcoin casinos and poker halls it is simple as making a username and password. You don’t have to give up your identity to play at these places. In fact, you can use an email account that is not even linked to your true identity.
However, this has changed significantly with more heavily regulated online casinos adopting bitcoin as a deposit method. This means most of the best poker sites accepting bitcoin will also make you prove your identity. This is to cover their backsides from accusations of money laundering and other inquisitive regulatory bodies.
Depositing & Withdrawing bitcoins at online poker sites
When you have made an account at a bitcoin casino or poker site you will have your own unique bitcoin address given to you. You can think of it like an account number. This will always be found in the banking section of the gambling site you have signed up at.
To fund these account numbers is a simple process. You need to have a funded bitcoin wallet and you simply send over how much of the virtual currency you want to play with.
The withdrawal process is just as simple. You just repeat the above steps in the reverse order. So you go the withdrawals page on your chosen site and send your balance back to your bitcoin wallet’s address.
Bitcoin Poker – Hold’em, Omaha and Video
Some of the platforms you will find at online poker sites accepting bitcoin are outstanding in 2019, with many big brands accepting this deposit method, including Ignition Poker and AmericasCardRoom. Other major brands that have market-leading platforms such as Pokerstars do not accept bitcoin, largely because it would clash with their tight adherence to global gambling legislation.
The good news is that you will find many different variations of poker at the sites that do accept bitcoin. These include your popular titles like Hold’em, which is hands-down the most heavily played online, while Omaha and Video Poker are also readily available. Basically if you can play it at a regular online poker hall you will find it at a bitcoin establishment.
If you choose to play at a website that only accepts bitcoin, in our experience the player numbers are not as high as they are at other options, but they have slowly been growing as cryptocurrencies have become more popular.
Omaha Hi-Lo: This is a game where the stakes are generally high. You are dealt four private cards. Five cards are then dealt publicly on the table. The player can then use two cards from their four private cards, along with three cards of the displayed cards. Forming the best poker hand they can out of five cards.
Texas Hold’em: If there wasn’t Texas Hold’em available it just wouldn’t be poker and there certainly is a good range at several different Bitcoin websites. These options include regular tournaments and ‘sit and go’ tournaments. Of course there are also cash games available. Often the pots are quite big at SWC while playing bitcoin poker.
Video Poker: Several Bitcoin casinos have video poker available for their customers. Video poker is just a one-person game. It’s basically chasing poker hands for odds payouts. It’s always worth a few hands when you’re gambling online.
Is bitcoin poker safe?
Like any online gambling, you need to be well aware of where you are playing. If you’re playing at a dodgy website there is a chance that you could be ripped off.
There are several things that you can do to make sure that you remain safe while playing poker at bitcoin poker sites.
The first is to read about the website that you are intending to play at, do your homework, read reviews and make sure people have not had issues with them in the past. For instance cashing out.
The second thing you can do is limit your damage. Start with a small deposit and try the website out, even make a deposit and immediately withdraw it. After all, Bitcoin deposits are generally instant, or at least within 20 minutes.
Finally, it can be a good idea to cash out when you’re gambling at bitcoin gambling sites. While chances are that everything will be fine if you left your funds in the account, you never know what could happen – just ask the players at PokerStars who had their accounts frozen in America, and that was with regular currency.
The rake and bitcoin poker
If you’re playing poker online you generally pay a fee to the house. This is referred to as the rake. The standard rake at PokerStars is usually around five per cent, but this amount is capped at $4. This means that you can be playing a high-stakes game and the rake will be $4.
The rake when playing bitcoin poker is usually significantly lower, which is obviously a huge plus for players, but you don’t get the associated benefits that come with the rake being higher. But in reality how often do you actually get any bonus of note from websites like PokerStars and Full Tilt.
The host website usually won’t charge a rake during a tournament, but a small percentage of your entry fee will be charged.