Real Money Poker Sites
Getting online to play poker for real money is an insanely simple process thanks to the advances of modern online poker sites. What used to be a long, complicated and drawn-out affair has been reduced to a set of steps that can be completed in under a minute.
But just because the process itself is quite simple doesn't mean that players don't have additional questions about playing poker online for real money. Sure, creating an account is a snap, but there's obviously a good deal more to playing real-money poker online than just choosing a screen name.
Don't let that deter or overwhelm you, however - we've guided thousands of players through the starting stages of their real-money online poker careers and know exactly what general questions and concerns new players have. The rest of our site delves into the more specific queries like how to play real-money poker on Macs, which sites offer a no download option and where you'll be able to deposit with Visa. But for now, let's tackle the fundamental answers new poker players need to get started in right direction.
How Do I Get Money on and Off Poker Sites?
The specific answer to this question depends on where you live and what methods of payment you prefer. The general answer is that most online poker rooms offer a double-digit number of options for making a real-money deposit or cashing out winnings. You'll be able to choose from using a credit / debit card, bank transfer options or services typically dubbed "ewallets." If you'd like to delve a bit deeper into this topic, here are links to additional articles with more targeted information.
- Depositing at poker sites with Visa credit cards
- Depositing at online poker rooms with Visa prepaid cards
- Depositing at poker rooms with Mastercard
- Depositing at online poker sites with Western Union
- Depositing at poker rooms with Amex
Online Poker Rewards Vs Live Poker Rewards
It can be tough for new players to judge the real value of rewards offered by online poker sites. The good news is, there's one clear truth about online poker rewards that can be asserted universally across all sites: The rewards for playing at real money poker sites are simply superior to the rewards you get playing live poker.
There are a number of reasons why this is the case. For one: historically, poker rooms haven't been big money makers for live casinos, so the players at those tables weren't viewed as important enough to comp generously. There's also the fact that United States poker sites can track your real-money play in a far more accurate manner than their live counterparts, so they can tailor rewards very specifically and offer promotions that live poker rooms either couldn't afford or simply wouldn't be able to execute logistically.
Online poker rewards come in a few basic forms. If you're looking to get a sense of how generous a room is in the larger sense with their rewards, then all you need to do is evaluate these ubiquitous online poker promotions:
- First Deposit Bonus: Every room on the planet offers you a bonus on your first deposit. The bigger, the better - although the terms of the bonus can matter as well.
- VIP Program: Nearly all rooms offer some sort of ongoing rewards system, usually called a VIP or Player Rewards program. The total value varies greatly from room to room, so a bit of evaluation upfront can read big dividends down the road.
- Send-A-Friend: If you play poker, there's a good chance your friends do too. While you might not want to send the best ones to your tables, there's no hard in earning a few bucks by referring those who are still getting started. The more a poker site is willing to put in your pocket for referrals, the more real-money poker you can play on their dime.
Security Tactics for Real-Money Poker Play
Anytime there's money involved in an activity, security has to be a concern. It's not that the Internet is some wild west where you need to keep a constant eye on your virtual poker stack when playing real money United States poker - rather, it's simply that the basic precautions one should take are just unfamiliar to some players.
Think of it like this: if you were going to play poker at a casino, you'd probably make a few simple decisions to improve your chances of having a safe experience. For example, you would probably park your car in a well-lit area close to the casino (or maybe even use the valet). You would also secure your money in a safe place that you could access easily. Finally, you would probably try not to make a big show of counting money at the cage, or making it known to the room at large that you're carrying hundreds - if not thousands - of dollars on your person.
All of that is just common sense. But the unique environment of online poker can make it tough to exercise common sense, because it's an uncommon environment. Here are three tips that will help you to familiarize yourself with the basics of real money online poker security:
Only play on secure connections - To return to the live poker analogy for a second: you probably wouldn't play at a poker room in the middle of a barely-lit run-down industrial park. For real money online poker, the connection you play over dictates how secure your experience is going to be. Play on an unsecured or public connection and much of your activity will be visible to those around you.
Keep your bankroll separate from your finances - Fraud can happen in an instant when you're engaged in online commerce, and that's effectively what real-money online poker is - a commercial transaction conducted online. The best way to protect yourself is to limit your exposure. Use separate cards and accounts for poker (and for all online transactions), as a few minutes of extra work now and again is more than worth the trouble you avoid.
Interact with security at the room - It's tough to know how good customer service at a business is until you have a problem. Same goes with security at an online poker site where you play for real money, so get to know them before an issue arises. The quality of their responses for minor questions or issues will speak volumes about their larger competence and commitment to solving the larger issues that can arise in the normal course of operating a real-money online poker room.