You may have heard about Bitcoin already. In fact, if you are reading this page, you might already have some Bitcoins that you are considering using to fund accounts at online poker sites. There is a lot of interest in this new type of virtual /digital currency, but also a lot of questions surrounding its use and how exactly it works.
As a US player looking into online poker rooms, chances are you have come up against several roadblocks. After the events of 2011, when the US government basically shut down several of the biggest and most popular poker rooms in the world, there has been a lot of discussion about how to continue playing as an American citizen. After all, these poker sites were never actually declared to be outright illegal; instead, they were attacked based on their policies and procedures for accepting and transferring real cash between their websites and the US banking system.
The question remains, with the increase in popularity of Bitcoin, could this be a new deposit method US players could use to get around the regulations imposed against many online poker sites? We have written this guide to answer this very question, along with many others, such as:
OUR TOP 5 PICKS FOR 2018
Bitcoin can be thought of as digital or virtual currency. It is not physical money that you can put in your pocket and carry around with you. This type of currency was actually created by a Japanese mathematician and computer scientist. It is essentially computer generated code that is treated more or less as currency. The value it has is determined by a fluctuating exchange rate among the major existing currencies: the US dollar, the Euro, Pound, etc.
When you use Bitcoin to make a purchase or to play at any of the best Bitcoin online poker sites, it is nearly the same as playing for a pile of marbles. The major exception is that there are established marketplaces where you can exchange your Bitcoins. The digital currency has a strong value due to the fact that the creator limited the total amount of coins that will ever be created, a process of solving complex math and computer code calculations is done on powerful specialized computer processors.
Part of the allure of Bitcoin, especially as it relates to online poker rooms, is the fact that it exists more or less outside of the traditional banking system. There is very little in the way of regulation and no existing centralized authority or method of control. Hence, many of the very same players who once had trouble making deposits and / or withdrawals from various real money poker rooms might now be able to do so.
Since it is not really any type of legal currency (a more appropriate definition might be that it is simply a medium of exchange) under the laws of any country as of 2018, online poker sites are considering this as an anonymous medium. Something that appeals greatly to a number of real cash players. Imagine being able to play at any of your favorite poker rooms without your government knowing anything you are doing, how much you won, or pestering you for reporting any information at all? On top of all this, some of the Bitcoin poker sites have responded with very low rake commissions since their costs are also extraordinarily low.
You will find that you need to have a few things completed ahead of time in order to go ahead and make deposits into your chosen online poker rooms using Bitcoins. The first, obviously, is that you will need to buy some Bitcoins! This can be rather easily accomplished by visiting one of the Bitcoin exchanges online. Just make sure it is a trusted site with a reputable history.
After you have converted your money into Bitcoin, you will then need to sign up for one of our recommended poker online Bitcoin sites. Be aware that although this number has been growing, there is not a very large selection of such rooms to choose at this juncture. See the special considerations section below for more details on Bitcoin poker sites.
Upon finding your desired poker site, you simply look at the directions given for making your deposit via Bitcoin. The great thing about this is the fact that each and every Bitcoin or portion thereof is unique. In other words, you know that your transaction is incredibly secure. Probably much more secure than every other type of transaction you have made using a fiat (i.e. legally declared) currency. This also means transactions are not reversible, so make sure you know what you are doing.
From here, you can go ahead and play at your online poker sites as you would normally. There might be a few differences, but you will choose tables and seats in the same manner. You will also be making your plays and decisions in the same manner. You will likely be able to grab the best bonuses typically offered by real cash online poker sites.
Just as with 'normal' online poker sites, you will probably be offered a real cash bonus after making your Bitcoin deposit. This is to reward you for choosing their site. Most bonus awards will be about the same as what your will receive from other non-Bitcoin poker sites. For example, you should be able to double your initial deposit.
Bonuses will also typically be expressed as a percentage of your initial deposit. For example, a 200% bonus of up to $1,000 means that your initial deposit will be doubled to come up with your bonus. Make a deposit of $500 and the online poker room is going to give you another $1,000 in free real money. You should also note that in the example above, $500 is the amount of your deposit that maximizes the bonus. Deposit $600 and you are still going to 'only' receive the maximum $1,000 bonus.
Probably the top special considerations to know about making Bitcoin payments into or from online poker sites is the fact that selection of these various poker rooms is still quite limited. Many of the top online poker sites have not yet chosen to get on board the Bitcoin train, although starting in 2018 we have seen some added interest among real money rooms. Just bear this in mind; you might need to choose sites with less of a history than you might otherwise accept.
Another interesting fact to know about Bitcoin, poker online sites will converted them into actual currency for playing purposes. Your Bitcoin is not actually exchanged, rather this is an expression of its worth. The main reason for this is practicality. Since Bitcoin values are fluctuating and a single coin could have a value in the thousands of dollars, it would be difficult to look at poker rooms if they advertised stakes similar to 0.00001 / 0.00002. Hence, most of these online poker sites will display the table stakes in terms of US dollars, Pounds, or Euros.
You will also still need to clear your bonus in the typical fashion. In other words, play a bunch of real money hands that are actually raked by the house. After a little while of doing this, your Bitcoin bonus will begin to 'drop' into your actual playing account in small increments of between $5 and $15 depending on your stakes and pace of play.
Bitcoin has become a popular currency and banking method at online poker sites and while it is not available at all operators as of now, those that offer it come with a big advantage for interested customers.
Rating the best poker rooms which accept Bitcoin is still done through our basic system that tackles multiple issues and makes sure the listed online poker sites are indeed great. On top of all of this, the final criterion which has to be met is the proper use of the cryptocurrency as part of the banking system.
It is not enough for a poker site to just accept Bitcoin but it also must create a secure environment for each transaction, as well as the proper action at the virtual tables. And the banking method should also be joined by other options for real money deposits and withdrawals, such as credit cards and web wallets.
Some of the top international poker sites have added Bitcoin to their platform and our experts believe that this should give them a better rating. In addition, the bonus also plays a big role since the online poker sites on the list all come with nice promotional offers, often times starting with a 100% match on the first deposit, be it in Bitcoin, USD, GBP, EUR or in another currency.