Minimum Deposit Poker Sites
A minimum deposit poker site is one that allows players to make deposits as small as $5 to $20 (though you could argue that a site with a minimum deposit of $50 fits the list too). These micro stakes poker sites exist because not everyone can afford to deposit hundreds or thousands of dollars. Others prefer to treat online poker as a hobby. When you factor in that online the stakes are as low as .01/.02 and .05 for tournaments, depositing more than $20 or $50 is unnecessary for many players.
If you’re shopping for a minimum deposit poker site, you’ll find our top recommendations below. Further down the page you can read about the benefits of small deposit poker sites and what the best games are for playing poker on a budget.
Which Sites Have Small Deposit Requirements?
The minimum deposit required will be different from one online poker room to the next. The following are the top US poker sites with small deposit requirements. Bovada and Ignition accept $10 poker deposits using Bitcoin or $20 deposits using MasterCard. Intertops Poker has a minimum deposit of $25. And finally, Sportsbetting and BetOnline have $50 minimum deposit requirements. Once you make a small deposit, play in the micro stakes poker games to manage your bankroll and clear any wagering requirements for your poker bonus.
Credit cards will often have the lowest minimum deposit requirements at popular poker rooms. However, keep in mind that some of them will have fees too, which obviously raises the minimum a bit. Visit sites’ payment method pages to learn about minimum deposits and withdrawals. You’ll find that $10-$20 is the norm, while other (arguably better) options have much higher minimum limits.
Why Deposit the Minimum?
You might considering depositing a small amount for a couple of reasons.
One, making a small poker deposit minimizes your risks. There are more bad or unstable sites than there are good and stable poker rooms. By making a small deposit you have the opportunity to test the site out. If they turn out to be bad it’s not such a big deal. You only have $10, $20 or $30 invested in the site.
Secondly, you might not want to deposit that much money until you’re sure you like the site first. While reviews help, they don’t replace hands on experience. You might want to play different games or stakes, not to mention that your experience depositing or working with support might be different than any review you read. Furthermore, many (if not most) reviews are biased. Anyway, the point is that you’ll want to try a site first, but without having to deposit hundreds of dollars to do so.
For a lot of people it’ll just come down to budget. For everyone else you can use the minimum requirements to your advantage to reduce the risk of playing poker online.
What Games to Play on a Small Bankroll
If you’re on a budget there are certain poker games that I recommend over others.
The best games to play on a budget are sit’n go’s (SNGs), namely the multi-table variations. What I like about them is that they’re relatively easy to learn, primarily a pre-flop game, have large payouts compared to the buy-in and smaller variance compared to large MTTs. They give you more bang for your buck too – where else can you play a game for 45 minutes to 2 hours for as low as $1?!
Those are the best games to play. The games you should avoid include heads-up, hyper turbos, double or nothings or any sort of short stack game. These have a lot of variance to them, and while you can earn a lot of money quickly, you can lose your ass just as fast. The games I mentioned above have a solid balance of variance and opportunity.
Accept entry into any freerolls offered. Most poker sites give new players a ticket into a new depositors’ free-roll poker event. Always accept entry, even if the prize pool is small. You’re playing on the margins with minimum deposits, so any small bonuses or freerolls matter.
I would also avoid cash games. If you do, with a $20 deposit the highest you should play is .01/.02 games. Many people just don’t have the patience to grind out a bankroll in order to move up. If you do, by all means play them. Otherwise I would just stick to the games I mention above, build a roll and then make the switch to cash (if you want) when you have $500-$1,000. At that point you can play 50nl.
But Be Aware…
Depositing small amounts in online poker rooms can lead to negative experiences too. So you want to keep the following points in mind when making your deposit.
- Some rooms have small minimum deposit requirements, while having large withdrawal requirements. The idea is to suck you in and not give you a chance to leave. You’ll have to save up to $50-$250, which might be hard to do on a $20 deposit unless you win big and/or consistently on real money poker games.
- Deposit bonus offers often have minimum deposit requirements. These requirements can be larger than the minimum for a deposit. If you’re not careful you might make your (first) deposit and void your opportunity to earn a bonus.
- What deposit method do you plan to use? Each one will have a different limit. Credit cards and debit cards are usually your best payment option, but each site is different. Search through the payment methods to see the minimum deposit for web wallets, e-vouchers, crypto-currency like Bitcoin, and bank wire transfers.
- A small deposit will equal a small bonus. Most offers are on a first deposit basis only. So if you want to test out the site and their software, you might want to try their free software first. Otherwise, you put yourself in a position to only earn a small portion of the site’s overall bonus offer ($20 or $50 versus $500-$2,500).
These are important points to keep in mind because you could lose out on hundreds or thousands of dollars otherwise.