Best Bitcoin Poker Sites for 2018
Which Online Poker Sites Accept Bitcoin Payments?
While for players, enjoying real money poker at offshore sites is completely legal, US banks still do their best to block deposits. Thankfully there is a super-reliable solution available – Bitcoin. What was once in the realm of technical ‘geeks’ is now very much mainstream. Anyone can set up a Bitcoin wallet, fund it and deposit at online poker sites quickly and easily.
On this page you will learn the following;
- Why Bitcoin has become a popular banking method for US players
- How to deposit and withdraw using Bitcoin
- Which US poker sites cheaply and easily accept Bitcoin
- History and information on how to get started with Bitcoin
USA poker rooms continue to thrive. Most are based out in the Caribbean, or in Central America. In the past, you would need to make an international credit card purchase (or money transfer) to get money on-board – now you can use Bitcoin at all of the main networks.
If you want to deposit to an online poker site using Bitcoin, check out the list below!
Also on this page: Top Bitcoin Sites >What is Bitcoin > Deposit & Withdrawal Limits > Types of Online / Offline Wallets > Downloading a Wallet > How to Buy > How to Cashout > Pros & Cons > FAQ > Terms
Which Sites Are The Best Sites for Bitcoin Deposits ?
1. Ignition Poker are the single biggest site. Their software features anonymous gaming, and a restriction on multi-tabling which keeps grinders away and the games easy. This poker site has a detailed explainer video, which shows you how to use Bitcoin to get your money on board. You’ll find more games and tournaments here than at any other US friendly poker site.
2. Bovada Poker is top online poker site for tournaments. Their weekly schedule is packed full of small to mid-buyin games, many with guaranteed prize pools. Look out for the tournament festivals known as the ‘Online Super Series’, which often include a tournament with a $1,000,000 guarantee.
3. BetOnline Poker are the final major legal US poker site welcoming Bitcoin. This is a long-running sports betting brand which is based down in Panama. BetOnline are a leading site on the Chico Poker Network (another US site on this network is Sportsbook Poker). You’ll find plenty of cash games, and a lot of action generated by the sports betting crowd.
With so many other legal poker deposit options available, there are fewer international brands making the move to Bitcoin. NetBet have started accepting BTC at their UK Licensed sportsbook and casino – I hope that some poker rooms will join this list soon.
Non-US players are welcomed at both the Winning Poker Network (America’s Cardroom) and the Chico Poker Network (BetOnline.ag).
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is the world’s largest cryptocurrency – the coin that started the crypto revolution. Bitcoin allows for peer-to-peer money transfer, which are written in a digital ledger, a bit like an accounting transaction. There’s no coin or physical manifestation of bitcoin – it’s just simply code, which represents a value in fiat currency.
Getting in to definitions about bitcoin can become quite technical, and quite quickly, so it’s best just to think of it as a digital payment method that does away with the banks, payment providers, and prying eyes of the government.
Bitcoin was first released in 2009, following a white paper explaining the fundamentals of this new technology. The cryptocurrency is attributed to an anonymous inventor – Satoshi Nakamoto – who’s true identity remains a mystery to this day.
Today, you can buy bitcoin on exchanges and wallet services like Coinbase or Bitpay. These are probably the easiest option for those new to buying or selling bitcoin for fiat, providing both access to the bitcoin market as well as a digital wallet service for storing and transacting with your bitcoin.
Bitcoin wallets are the digital equivalent of the wallet in your pocket. From this wallet, you’ll send and receive funds using your unique wallet address and corresponding private key, which secures your bitcoin. Don’t lose any of this information – lose track of your wallet or your private key, and you might end up getting locked out of your funds.
Multiple different wallet services exist. While the likes of Coinbase roll all the services you’ll need into one, downloading a wallet and buying/selling bitcoin yourself remains the cheapest option.
Downloading a Bitcoin Wallet
If you don’t want to download and maintain a wallet and you’re just looking for the easiest way to buy, store and send your bitcoin, check out Coinbase. Otherwise, you can follow these simple steps below to get up and running with your own bitcoin wallet.
Bitcoin.com offers a wallet app which can be quickly and securely downloaded to your smartphone – perfect for both bitcoin core (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) transactions.
1. Head to your device app store.
2. Type ‘bitcoin.com wallet’
3. Find the bitcoin.com wallet
4. Tap ‘Get’ or ‘Install’ to begin the downloading process.
5. Open the app to reveal your new wallets – one for BTC and one for BCH.
You’ll find send and receive tabs below your main wallet balances, which will guide you through the process of transacting in bitcoin.
If you’re buying from an exchange like Coinbase, you can then send your funds from Coinbase to your wallet, using the unique address generated under the receive tab.
How to Buy Bitcoin
Bitcoin is bought from exchange services, or from brokers, depending on your requirements. We’ve already mentioned Coinbase, which is the market leader, but there are others you can use, like BitPay and Blockchain.info. You can also buy bitcoin from any individual – it’s a peer-to-peer market, after all.
Follow these simple steps to buy your first bitcoin.
1. Download and setup your bitcoin wallet – you’ll need your wallet address for storing the bitcoin you’re about to buy.
2. Choose an exchange service, such as Coinbase or Kraken.
3. Create an account with the exchange – you will likely be asked to verify your ID before you can begin purchasing bitcoin.
4. Go to the ‘Buy’ section of the exchange, and enter the amount you want to buy in either BTC or your local currency.
5. You’ll be quoted a price for your transaction. Once you accept this, the transaction will be processed and your bitcoin will show up in your exchange account.
6. From your exchange account, send your bitcoin to your external wallet address.
Be sure to write down your private key and treat it like cash or anything else that’s highly valuable – lose this, and you lose your money in most cases. So if you do intend to store your bitcoin in a software wallet, make sure you don’t lose the digital keys to the door.
What are the Main Benefits of Using Bitcoin
Bitcoin has exploded in popularity since its launch, to the point where an increasing number of merchants online now accept payment in bitcoin.
- Peer-to-peer: no third parties required
- Anonymous transactions (kind of)
- Secure payments
- Variable value: holdings can increase in value
- Low transaction fees
- Minimal counterfeit/fraud risk
What are the Disadvantages of Using Bitcoin
Of course, bitcoin does have some disadvantages you should weight up.
- Not fully anonymous
- Lots of hackers and scams; it’s up to you to securely store your funds
- Processing times for BTC can be sluggish (BCH is quicker)
- Variable value: investments can go down as well as up!
Bitcoin Deposit and Withdrawal Limits
Deposit and withdrawal limits vary with each Bitcoin accepted poker room, along with the processing times. You will find both the deposit and withdrawal limits for each poker site. The minimum deposit varies for each site. Ignition and Bovada both accept deposits as low as $10 with Bitcoin, Sportsbetting and Betonline accept deposits as small as $20 while America’s Cardroom has a $50 requirement via Bitcoin.
- Bovada Poker: Deposit up to $5,000, unlimited withdrawals. Usually takes around 1 day for withdrawals.
- Ignition Poker: Deposit up to $5,000, unlimited withdrawals. Usually takes 1 day or less for withdrawals.
- Americas Cardroom: Deposit maximum of $25,000, withdrawal maximum of $10,000. One withdrawal per day, up to 5 per week.
- BetOnline Poker: Deposit maximum of $25,000, withdrawal maximum of $10,000. Withdrawals take a maximum of 48 hours.
- Sportsbetting Poker: Deposit maximum of $25,000, withdrawal maximum of $10,000. Withdrawals take a maximum of 24 hours.
Online and Offline Wallets – The Pros and Cons
There are two main types of cryptocurrency wallet – online and offline. Online wallets are probably the easiest to use. You login, do your business, and log out. This leaves your coins sitting in the wallet. But this convenience comes at a price – security.
These are called ‘hot’ wallets, because bitcoin is being held online. This means you’re always more susceptible to hacks and thefts, versus storing your coins on a hardware wallet. If you’re only sending $10 here and there, it might not be worth going the whole hog and getting yourself a hardware setup. But if you intend to be a regular user or you’re sending and receiving larger amounts, this can be a good investment in the security of your bitcoins.
Coinbase: The leading online wallet and exchange service, Coinbase is great for those new to BTC. It’s easy to use, secure and probably the most trustworthy name in crypto. However, it can be expensive relative to other services, and some users get understandably nervous about holding large balances with any online wallet.
Electrum: A ‘cold’ wallet, which stores private keys offline. This is the choice for the more security conscious, protecting your funds from the risks of hacking faced by so-called ‘hot wallet’ funds. Not as easy to use as the likes of Coinbase.
BitPay: An easy to use app which does it all for you. Like Coinbase, this can be a more expensive choice, in terms of fees and exchange rates. However, it is simple to use, and widely regarded as a trusted bitcoin wallet and payment service.
Blockchain.info: Send, receive and trade with a Blockchain.info wallet, which offers up some of the lowest fees around. It’s still an online service, so not quite as secure as hardware wallet options, but over 29 million users trust Blockchain.info to handle their crypto transactions and store their coins safely.
Ledger: A hardware wallet that lets you store your cryptocurrency entirely offline – the most secure option available for safeguarding your funds. Probably not for the casual user, and there’s the hardware cost for buying a Ledger wallet, but the security benefits make this more than worthwhile for those regularly using bitcoin, or sending larger transactions.
How to Cashout from a Poker Site with Bitcoin
So you’ve got a bitcoin balance after you cashed out from the poker room and you want it in cold, hard local currency. Simple – this is a ‘sell’ transaction, so you’re basically going to go through the buying process in reverse.
- Login to your exchange account and find your exchange wallet address. The exact process here varies depending on which platform you’re using, but this is usually not too difficult to find. Platform-specific instructions will be available from the ‘Help’ section of your exchange.
- From the wallet where your bitcoin is currently stored, you want to send the amount you’re intending to withdraw to your exchange wallet, so your funds are primed and ready to go. Alternatively, if your funds are already stored in a wallet linked to an exchange, you can just directly sell them for market value.
- Head to the ‘sell’ section of the exchange, and input the amount in BTC or local currency equivalent you want to sell.
- Confirm the transaction and wait for funds to appear in your exchange account. From here you can withdraw to your bank account through your verified exchange account.
FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions
Are Bitcoin Poker Sites Safe to Use?
Bitcoin is entirely safe, as long as you’re careful with where you’re sending your money. If you transact through an exchange like Coinbase, and you double check you’re sending to a verified, trusted bitcoin address, that’s a perfectly secure transaction. However, there are scammers out there who will do their best to get you to part with bitcoin, your private keys or other sensitive information – so you should definitely be careful, at least until you know what you’re doing.
Is Bitcoin Legal?
Bitcoin is legal in most jurisdictions worldwide, although some countries like Russia and China take a more restrictive approach to its use. There’s nothing illegal about bitcoin in itself, just as there is nothing illegal with any cash payment. Bitcoin is just another currency, albeit in digital form – even if some countries don’t yet recognize its status as legal tender.
Is Bitcoin Really Anonymous?
Bitcoin is anonymous to a point. There’s nothing with your name on it, but all transactions are permanently recorded in the distributed ledger, and it may be possible to trace transactions that originated from the same accounts. So it’s anonymous in most cases. But if you’re doing something illegal, you should still be concerned about this being traced back to you, in part through the clues you leave on the bitcoin ledger with each transaction.
Can I Use BTC to Deposit and Cashout?
Yes! Bitcoin is supported across a growing number of real money poker sites. Check out Bovada Poker, Ignition Poker or Americas Card Room for great sites that allow you to deposit and cashout with BTC.
Which Sites Process Bitcoin Withdrawals the Quickest?
Terms to Know for New Crypto Users
Cryptocurrency: Any virtual currency like bitcoin or ethereum that is bought and sold digitally.
Bitcoin address: The unique address, a string of letters and numbers, which makes up your bitcoin wallet. Send and receive funds to this address, like an email address.
Private Key: The main security feature, you’ll need this private key to send transactions from your bitcoin wallet address. Guard this with your life, it’s the equivalent of your PIN number.
Bitcoin Wallet: The digital wallet identified by your bitcoin address, which holds your bitcoin.
Blockchain: The distributed ledger technology that supports cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Blockchain has a number of use cases aside from cryptocurrency, and is widely regarded as one of the most fundamental tech revolutions since the Internet.
Decentralized: The opposite of centralized – bitcoin transactions are recorded on a ledger spread across multiple different ‘nodes’, rather than one single server. This improves security, as well as being fundamental to the smooth operation and recording of cryptocurrency transactions.
Value: The market price for bitcoin at a given time. Bitcoin is valued based on supply and demand, and is still subject to volatile price swings. As a result, the value of bitcoin is always changing – hence why many see it as a vehicle for investment, as well as a digital currency.
Supply: The total number of bitcoins that have been mined, or that are available for purchase. Bitcoin’s supply is restricted to ensure value.