The best poker site is not the one that is the biggest, has the most beautiful interface or the most promotions, but the best poker site is the one that suits you best.
We work together with all relevant and interesting poker providers and we have compared and thoroughly tested all the major poker sites.
Here on this page you will find our summaries of the the major online poker rooms. You will also find detailed descriptions and analyses of the offers behind the corresponding links. You can also download the software of the best poker sites for free right here, so you can start playing poker right away.
You can learn more about each poker site in our poker room reviews. At some of them you can even start playing poker right away without downloading it in your browser. An additional download of the software is therefore not absolutely necessary to play poker.
POKER SITES IN TEST: OUR COMPARISON
It’s not so easy to find your way around the jungle of online poker providers. There are dozens of different sites that invite you to play. Some of the providers are bigger, some smaller, some have good software, others seem more antiquated. But the selection is not just about finding the poker site with the most players or the most beautiful interface. It’s about finding the site that suits you best, and most importantly, where you play most profitably.
In addition, the providers offer various bonuses and loyalty systems to reward regular play. In addition, different sites attract different levels of players. While on one side you are surrounded by all kinds of fish, elsewhere you are eaten by sharks. In poker, strong players are called sharks, while bad players are called fish. Opponents with an extremely large bankroll and rather modest skills are consequently called whales.
In the list above you will find a list of poker sites that we currently recommend. We have thoroughly tested the existing poker sites and have compiled detailed information on bonus systems, promotions, loyalty programs and the quality of the software.
We have rated the poker sites according to these criteria:
1. NUMBER OF PLAYERS AND TRAFFIC OF THE POKER SITES
The bigger a poker room, the more opponents you will find for your own variation and limit. If you mainly play lower stakes up to a maximum of 100 Euro buy-in and Texas Hold’em cash game, you will always find enough opponents and running tables on practically every serious site.
For low limit cash game players, the number of players on a poker site is only of limited relevance, as there are always more tables than you can play. However, if you play higher limits, other variations or multi-table tournaments, the number of players is a decisive factor.
2. SOFTWARE OF THE POKER ROOMS
You should feel at home on your poker platform and poker should always be fun. A good-looking software that offers extensive functions but is still clearly arranged is essential for most players. Most poker sites now have a decent design, so you can find your way around. With every provider you can also play via a mobile poker app on your mobile phone or tablet. You can test all providers with play money – we have explained here how to play poker for free.
However, before you deposit larger amounts, you should take a closer look at a site in terms of appearance and operation. For this purpose, every poker provider offers play money modes that allow you to test the software free of charge without incurring any money risk. The poker sites offer partly very different features, at some sites you can play directly in the browser without downloading or installing any software. This is especially interesting for players who do not play exclusively on their home computer.
3. BONUS OF THE POKER SITES
If you plan to play a lot, you should definitely take a look at the bonuses and loyalty programs of the poker rooms. Through these, the poker sites pay out a sometimes significant portion of the rake paid back to the players and reward them for playing regularly at the poker tables. For many professional players, these bonuses make up a large part of their winnings.
There is the type of player that is jokingly referred to in the poker scene as a “bonus whore”. These sometimes very strong opponents go from side to side and deposit just enough to be able to clear the maximum bonus. There’s nothing dishonorable in this, this type of player simply consistently takes advantage of the options offered by the poker sites. In most cases the money won is then withdrawn and reinvested at other sites to clear a new bonus.
However, players who play comparatively little or only on very low stakes will not have as much of these deposit bonuses, as they usually require a very large amount of play before relevant payouts are made.
4. ONLINE POKER VIP PROGRAM
Staying at a poker room is usually worthwhile, as frequent playing will earn you player points, which in turn can give you advantages.
For example, many poker rooms offer VIP Points for each hand that produces rake. These points allow you to reach a certain status, which in turn gives you further advantages.
The points can be exchanged for products such as computer mice or poker books in the in-house shop.
5. GAMES OFFERED BY THE POKER SITES
Poker is played worldwide in all possible variations. There is the classic Texas Hold’em Poker, Omaha Poker, Seven Card Stud Poker and exotic variations like Badugi or Razz. In addition, the games also differ in the way in which bets can be placed. In No-Limit Poker, you can bet all your chips at any time, whereas the betting amount is regulated in Limit or Pot-Limit Poker.
When choosing the right poker site, it is of course crucial that the offer in your favorite variant is right. At most smaller poker rooms, you won’t find the more exotic variations, mostly Texas Hold’em poker and the occasional bit of Omaha.
Variations such as Razz, Stud or 5-Card Draw are almost exclusively found at PokerStars these days.
6. THE SOFTEST POKER SITES
When evaluating a poker room, it is wrong to assume that “more players” is synonymous with “easier opponents”. While it is true that more players means more fish at the tables in absolute terms, there are also more good players at the tables chasing the fish.
When it comes to the strength of the opponents, the poker rooms sometimes differ considerably. However, one must also differentiate here with regard to the poker variants offered. If you go to 888.com, for example, you won’t find as many cash game tables as at PokerStars, but the opponents are almost ‘legendarily weak’. At PartyPoker, you’ll find a slightly inferior player base, especially in the tournaments.
Overall, however, it must be said that in 2019 there will be no such thing as a particularly soft poker site. Above a certain limit (and most sites have a 20 to 50 Euro bet), most players at the tables are simply quite patent. Unfortunately, there is no more money and fish in excess. But on the lower limits you can still find juicy games.
DEPOSITS AND WITHDRAWALS AT POKER SITES
Most poker providers offer a variety of payment options. By default, credit cards (VISA, Mastercard), online wallets such as Neteller or Skrill or modern options such as Trustly or Zimpler are accepted by most poker sites.
Deposits cost no fees and are usually credited within seconds.
Withdrawals, on the other hand, almost always take a few days and some poker providers also charge fees for withdrawals.
RAKE: HOW POKER SITES EARN MONEY
Poker rooms earn their money through the so-called rake.
Rake is the commission charged by a poker site. It is generally 2% to 5% of the pot in each poker hand, up to a predetermined maximum amount. Poker sites do not take rake in a game like Texas Hold’em when a hand does not flop. This is called “no flop, no drop”.
Poker is a player-versus-player game, and the house does not bet against its players (unlike Blackjack or Roulette), so this fee is the main mechanism for generating revenue.
In online poker, the rake covers the various operating costs such as support, software and personnel. The rake per hand online is usually much lower than in live games.
In order to win in poker games where the house takes a share, a player must not only beat opponents, but also overcome the financial loss of the rake.
The percentage rake is used in cash games. The rake for participation in poker tournaments is charged as entrance fee. This can be indicated by showing the tournament buy-in as €100 + €20, where the €20 is the house fee or “fee”. However, many providers have now moved to the less transparent option of not specifically displaying the rake in tournaments. You buy into a €100 tournament and only see in the fine print that €20 of it is withheld as a fee.
What types of games are offered on poker sites?
Most of the poker games offered online are Texas Hold’em games. The reason is simply that this is the most popular poker variant. No Limit is the most commonly played variation. But you will also find Pot Limit and Fixed Limit at all the good providers. At most poker sites you will also find Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo in the three different limit variants. Some lesser known variants tend to be found only at the biggest and Chinese Open Face Poker.
Do you have to play for real money at poker sites?
No. While many poker fans believe that it’s the real money game that gives poker its true appeal, you can play all the games for play money at the poker sites we recommend. However, you can only win play money. Occasionally, online poker sites also offer freeroll tournaments. These are completely free to enter and you can still win cash prizes. In some freerolls you can even get tickets to higher-end tournaments or satellites.
Can I play on my mobile device?
Yes, a mobile poker game offering is a must for virtually any online poker site these days. This means that the online poker rooms we recommend have a wide range of downloadable apps and instant play versions available from your browser for playing on the go. The biggest offer is for Android phones, such as Samsung, LG or Sony phones. However, there are also apps for iPhone phones with the iOS operating system and occasionally for the Windows Phone operating system. However, you can play at the many poker sites with all Internet-enabled mobile phones in the browser.
At what age are you allowed to play online poker for real money?
As soon as you reach the age of maturity, i.e. 18 years of age, you are allowed to play poker for real money on the Internet.
Where can I find the best poker sites?
The poker experts in our editorial team test different online providers on a daily basis to determine the best poker rooms. With elaborate test procedures, the results of which we present to you here in the form of test reports and poker site top lists, we put various providers to the test. We can be your first port of call if you want to find out about the best providers.
How do you get the best online poker bonuses?
To find the best bonuses, you can check out our bonus pages. We have researched the different bonus offers and the bonus conditions of the poker rooms and recommend those with the best bonus program.
Which sites have the largest player base?
PokerStars is still the industry’s industry leader and over half of all online poker players in the world play for real money at this poker room. But the iPoker network and 888 Poker also have a huge player base.
Are the sites recommended here safe?
We recommends poker sites that have a gambling license of the country where you can play legally and in accordance with the law. In addition, all the sites we recommend here have been checked and certified by independent organisations and so we can guarantee that no cheating software is used here to manipulate the random generators of the poker tables and that no super users hired by the provider are at work to rip off normal players.