5 Best Online Poker Sites for Real Money [2017]

We know how hard it can be choosing the best online poker site to play at – we’ve been there. As it turns out, we promise that we are going to show exactly which poker sites are the best. In this in-depth comparison, we looked at all the that you might want in an online poker site.

We believe that in the selection below, you will be able to find the best one for you. We have reviewed dozens of poker platforms and business, and with years of playing experience on our team, we think that these five are the best ones to start playing at today.

If you would like to learn more about our rating criteria, then scroll to the end of this article. To find a more specific list, such as for Mac, or poker sites that have Courchevel, then head over to our Top Poker Sites page, or search the site using the handy function at the top.

If you’ve liked this list, after reading it click below to tweet it to your friends and family, so that they may also play poker online.

So without further ado, here are the best places to start betting today.

Best Online Poker Site Summary

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Winner

PokerStars

5/5

Best Online Poker Sites

  • PROS
  • Average of 17000 people online
  • Apps for all operating systems (incl. mobile)
  • Best Poker Team around
  • Superb Tournaments and Promotions
  • Great Poker Club
  • CONS
  • No 24/7 Support
  • Not much else

PokerStars has been in the industry for over 15 years, and it’s pretty safe to say that they are one of the biggest gambling sites around today controlling over 20% of the traffic. This means that while the Bonus isn’t the largest, the poker tournaments and VIP scheme blow the rest out of the water.

With an average of over 17000 people online at any one time, you’ll never be short of competition. With such a large number of players, you’ll always find a great seat to play at. While most of these players are fish, be aware of some great sharks that are lurking at PokerStars. However, with highly customizable gameplay and fantastic all-round performance it is THE poker room to choose whether you’re a beginner or professional.

Claim your PokerStars Bonus Today!

Visit PokerStars »

100% Deposit Match up to $600!

2nd place

888Poker

4.4/5

888Poker

  • PROS
  • Average of 2500 people online
  • Apps for all operating systems
  • Superb tournaments and promotions
  • “Live the Game”
  • US allowed!
  • CONS
  • Maximum 6 tables
  • Lack of high stakes poker

888 Poker is one of the oldest and most respected poker websites in the business and with plenty of reason. The years have allowed the company to mature in more ways than one. Not only does it run some of the best promotions on the market, it always has plenty of cash game traffic to please those that live and breath poker. On top of this, their software is fantastic, and they even have WebCam games, so it becomes a lot easier to tell if your opponent is bluffing or if they really do have pocket aces on that table.

On the downside, if you’re looking to play to make money then this might not be the best option for you. Firstly, their high-stakes department is light, and secondly, you can only play at six tables at once.

Visit 888Poker »


3rd place

FullTilt

4.1/5

FullTilt Poker

  • PROS
  • Partnered with PokerStars
  • You earn VIP points for time and rake!
  • Two VIP paths
  • Jackpot and Fastfold poker available
  • Initial freeroll tournament entries
  • CONS
  • Graphics are a bit outdated
  • Only 3 VIP levels

Full Tilt Poker is the little brother of PokerStars so it’s no surprise that you’ll find many similarities between the two gaming environments. The software is extremely similar, and while the graphics are of a slightly lower quality, functionality wise you can achieve the same. This means that you can play at over 24 tables at any one time and use some great third-party applications to track and improve your gameplay.

What sets Full Tilt apart from the other poker sites out there is the fact that they provide you with the option of two VIP systems to choose from. You can go for the simple Edge method, which is like a traditional scheme, albeit only with three levels. Alternatively, you can go for the Gold Coins path, whereby you can gamble the coins for a chance at The Deal Jackpot, which at the moment stands at $152000 and continually rising. To top this all of, you get player points not just for the rake amount accumulated but also the amount of time you spend playing, something which we’ve only seen at one other poker site!

Visit FullTilt »


4th place

PartyPoker

3.8/5

PartyPoker

  • PROS
  • Very high-quality software
  • Loyalty points across poker, casino games and betting platforms
  • Stud poker available
  • One of the most trusted brands around
  • CONS
  • Bonus match could be higher
  • More/ better ambassadors required

When it comes to poker, PartyPoker is one of the most trusted brands out there. The company has worked hard to develop a reputable and high-quality presence. This is reflected in all aspects of their service from the game itself to customer support provided.

The platform allows for the standard Texas Hold’em Online as well as Omaha, but on top of this you are also supplied with some stud variations. Like with any decent poker site, they have a great VIP scheme which allows you to level up and claim better rewards with each level that you reach. However, unlike with most poker sites, they also provide you with player points for betting and casino play, the latter of which of course has video poker too. So if you’re looking for some good side action, then PartyPoker is one to consider.

Visit PartyPoker »


5th place

Unibet

3.3/5

Unibet

  • PROS
  • Extremely unique and entertaining software
  • Awards and challenges
  • Perfect for beginners
  • CONS
  • Very secretive VIP system

Unibet is different to most of the other platforms in this list but in a good way. The standardized layouts and expectations are completely flipped on its head. This starts, first and foremost with the software which has a very modern and high-quality feel to it, yet with their funky avatars, they put you at ease in your seats.

While they do have a VIP system, it’s not exactly sure how you can get into it as it’s for extremely high-level players and they keep very secretive about entry requirements. It is suspected that you’ll need to accumulate winnings and points across poker, betting and casino platforms alike. Instead, the primary VIP scheme is replaced by awards and challenges, which reward you with various prizes upon completion. Overall, we love the feel and gameplay of Unibet and if you’re looking for something that challenges the norm then look no further.

Visit Unibet »


Considerations for Online Poker

When choosing the best online poker sites to play at, it’s not as simple as who has the biggest match percentage or maximum bonus match. Though if this is what you’re looking for, then we have lists covering these, alternatively you can visit our Top Poker Bonuses page.

For this ultimate online poker sites list, we have taken the following considerations into effect.

Bonuses and promotions

Let’s be honest, when choosing a poker site, especially if it’s your first time, the sign-on bonus is probably the most important figure in your head. However, be vary of these as granted some sites might promise you up to $2000, but if it takes you 20 hours of grinding per day for a full month, is it really worth it? Yes, some match you 200% and others only 100%, but again the same rule applies. Thirdly, some companies do have a no-deposit cash bonus available but be aware that if you do claim this then you might not be able to get the match deposit at a later date!

While initial bonuses can be important, in the long term the poker promotions offered are even more important. This can be split into two categories: promotions and VIP schemes. It’s important that the company hosts constant and ever changing promotions to not only keep you entertained, but show commitment to the game. With the VIP scheme, it’s crucial that you’re able to climb this at a decent rate and be provided with decent benefits for each level that you achieve.

Some companies might choose to offer challenges instead of a VIP scheme, but in essence these can be just as great if you play the same amount of poker hands as you would usually.

Regional Availability

Depending on where you live this can be a huge problem, or a non-existent one. For those residing in the US it’s enormous, luckily if you are one those people, we also have you covered. Some poker sites might not be available in your region and therefore you won’t be legally allowed to play.

While we have chosen poker sites that have a broad geographical reach, if none of these are available on to you then check out our interactive map or search function to find one that is.

Number of Players

If you plan on making poker a source of income, rather than a hobby then you’ll want to make sure that you always have someone to play against. On the flipside a smaller number of players can be advantageous as if you start taking notes about their habits then in the long term you have a better chance of winning. Either way you’ll always find some new and old players and it’s always useful to take notes to maximize your potential.

Major sites will also have brand ambassadors that you can play against in tournaments and select poker games. For example at PokerStars you can test your skills against the like of Daniel Negreanu aka RealKidPoker.

Types of Games

All online poker sites will support the ever popular online Texas Holdem Poker and Omaha Poker. Sometimes though you not only want some variation but you might also to wish to challenge yourself with playing something completely new. It is for this reason, it’s good to consider where the site allows for anything else. This might be 7 Card Stud, Courchevel, or even Open Face Chinese Poker – it is up to you to decide what games you’d like to play.

Customer Support

It doesn’t matter if you’re a fish or a shark, when you’re in the poker pool money will always be involved. So when it comes to questions and problems you need to know that these can be quickly and efficiently resolved. Even if your question doesn’t revolve around real money poker, e.g. you’re having technical difficulties, the same theory applies.

On top of this, it’s always a pleasure when a company takes a step above and beyond the call of duty. The primary example of this, which all of the above-listed companies do, is to provide players with tips and poker strategy. These can range from the basic poker tips and rules to advanced hand-by-hand walkthroughs and recommendations for the poker cards that you are dealt. Of course, if you are a beginner then we’d recommend playing some free poker games first, luckily Play Money gaming is also an option on most of the sites we have rounded up.

Features and Third Party Software

This is extremely important for the sharks amongst us who are planning on making money online. It’s all good and well if a company has 20 different poker game types and gives you a $5000 bonus, but if you can only play at 1 poker table at a time it will be completely useless. Further to this, as you advance your skill set you will start using poker tools such as Poker Tracker, Holdem Manager and many others and you will need to make sure that the company doesn’t prohibit these.

On the flipside if you’re a fishy or casual gamer, choosing the company with greater restrictions is likely to mean softer competition and an overall more enjoyable experience.

Company History

The online gambling industry is probably one of the most regulated and legally controlled markets on the planet. This, of course, means that there is plenty of illegal action taking place and sometimes not just players but whole companies are involved. On top of this laws and regulations can change overnight, completely causing a company to go bust.

A perfect example of this would be the takedowns that happened in the US which the industry is still recovering from.

With the above in mind, it’s important to look at a company’s history to know what you’re getting in to.

Online Poker Sites Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed reading this list and found the information useful. Have a look at the recap below, leave a comment with your thoughts, and as always we’d appreciate a share using the buttons at the side.

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I'm a tech geek who enjoys extreme sports, computing and, of course, an avid poker enthusiast.


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