Last Updated on 21/09/2022
Fact checked by: James Leeland
Winning in a poker app with play money feels good, but winning in a poker app with real money feels perfect. If you’ve had enough practice playing poker games with no actual risks and rewards, this content is for you!
We at Strafe have gathered the best online poker apps for real money. With these poker apps, you can bring your best poker game to win some serious money. We’ve looked at each app and considered important things like design, security, legality, performance, and more. Anywhere you live, there’s a poker app here for you. So, let’s dive in!
We’re going to start with the best online poker app for real money that almost everyone can use: PokerStars. PokerStars is owned by Flutter Entertainment, a global sports betting, gaming, and entertainment provider that operates in the UK and Ireland.
Flutter Entertainment is a public company listed on the London Stock Exchange and is the powerhouse behind some of the leading international gambling brands including FanDuel, Betfair, Paddy Power, FOX Bet, Sky Bet, Sportsbet, TVG, and Adjarabet.
PokerStars is fully licensed and regulated by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission, which guarantees that they follow all laws and promote Responsible Gaming. This makes PokerStars one of the best poker apps in the market.
If it’s your first time making a PokerStars account, you’ll find on their registration page that you can choose any country as your place of residence. This is because PokerStars allows people to play their games with either real or play money.
While the play money is available in most countries, the same can’t be said with the real money. Some of the countries that are blocked from real money activity are Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
By being the real money poker app that’s most available in the US, PokerStars is considered one of the best poker apps, if not the best. Currently, states that can use their services include New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Colorado.
What’s the first thing that makes PokerStars the best poker app? Real money promotions! With two welcome bonuses, a 100% matched deposit bonus up to $600, and a $30 free play, you can choose the one that suits your preference.
Your first deposit should be at least $10 to use the 100% matched deposit bonus with the code “STARS600.” You don’t have to get the full value of this bonus right away but can make up to three qualifying deposits in 60 days.
For every $1 you pay in rake or tournament fees, you’ll earn 5 redemption points. Once your redemption points reach the bonus funds you get after signing up, the bonus will be cleared and you’ll be able to withdraw funds.
You have 4 months to earn all redemption points needed to release your bonus, which is more than what the other real money poker apps are offering. Though if you’d rather avoid wagering requirements, you can choose the $30 free play bonus instead.
To activate this, you need to use the code “THIRTY” on your first deposit with a minimum of $20. Only the $10 of this bonus is cash you can use to play any games of your choice. The $20 comes as Spin and Go tickets.
PokerStars is the best poker app because of its simple, clean, and user-friendly interface. After logging in, you’ll see a handful of poker thumbnails each belonging to categories like Spin & Go, Cash Games, Sit & Go, and All Upcoming Tournaments.
You can look for the poker game that you want by scrolling horizontally on your screen. There are tons of poker games to choose from such as Texas Hold’em like Limit, No Limit, Heads Up, and much more!
Things get more interesting once you join a poker room. All the details are presented clearly, and basic action buttons like “fold” and “call” are huge, making it near impossible to make a costly mistake.
Because the app offers the same functionality that the website does, making the transition takes little effort. The only unavailable features on the app that are on the site are Image Changes, tools like Request Statistics, and Hand Sharing.
GGPoker is a product of GGNetwork, one of the leading suppliers in the iGaming industry. They’re a private company based in Malta and are regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).
GGNetwork offers table and arcade games, but their flagship product gets to have its own separate brand, which is GGPoker. It’s known for its outstanding software and speed, which is why many people think it’s the best poker app.
People who follow poker celebrity Daniel Negreanu often get disappointed when they first realize that his go-to poker app is only available in a handful of countries. Let’s just put it this way: availability isn’t GGPoker’s strongest suit.
Sadly, the US is among the countries that don’t have access to GGPoker’s services. So why is GGPoker one of the best poker apps? Because it’s available in Canada, Indonesia, Brazil, Malaysia, and some other countries where poker is also huge.
Like PokerStars, GGPoker offers two welcome bonuses you can choose from: a 100% matched bonus and a $100 free tickets bonus. There are no codes needed for both bonuses, which makes using them a little bit easier.
As for wagering requirements, you’ll unlock $1 for every $5 paid in rake and tournament fees. Sure, this requires some effort from you, but with a 90-day time frame, clearing your bonus should be no problem.
The $100 free tickets bonus requires some work, too. You’ll get the first $40 in free tickets over six days after your first deposit, but you’ll have to play All-In or Fold on each day to receive the last $60.
You can claim up to an additional $45 by hitting daily hand targets and even a $15 GGMasters satellite ticket if you manage to hit all six daily hand targets. The GGMasters is GGPoker’s signature event where winners in satellite tournaments can get thousands!
The GGPoker app might be a little confusing at first. There’s a lot to digest, from the promotion images moving at the top and the glorious music playing in the background. Because of the packed interface, there might be a learning curve.
On the app’s home section, you’ll see right away the poker games you can play. After clicking one, you’ll be taken to a different section of the app where you’ll see the events you can participate in.
Though the GGPoker app has a complex interface, it offers a lot of different features that you’ll find both fun and helpful. Unlike most poker apps, the screen layout inside GGPoker is set in portrait, which makes it easier since you can hold your phone with one hand.
With the GGPoker app, you can translate languages in real time. It also has unique and innovative features like Smart HUD, Smart Betting, Card Squeeze, and more! You can customize your table however you see fit and you can even customize banners and table emojis.
888poker is operated by 888 Holdings, a public company listed on the London Stock Exchange since 2005 and a fully regulated online entertainment and gaming provider since 1997.
Since their services are international, 888poker is licensed and regulated by multiple government agencies including the Gambling Commission in Great Britain and Ireland’s Revenue Commissioners.
888poker is available in many countries but it’s not legal in the ones where poker is most played such as the US, Canada, and Indonesia. Those in the UK will also have to choose from the other best poker apps on this list.
888poker’s services are accessible in Brazil and Malaysia though. Just because poker-enthusiast countries can’t use it doesn’t mean it’s unavailable anywhere else. People in places where online gambling is allowed can definitely enjoy 888poker.
888poker only offers a 100% matched deposit bonus up to $400, which you can activate with the code “WELCOME100.” While this might seem like a let down after the alternative bonuses and $600 max limits of the previous poker apps, 888poker has its own merits.
The wagering requirements here are simpler and less annoying. For every $1 of your contributed rake, you will earn 2 bonus points, a much better deal than $1 (or 1 point) for every $5 paid in rake.
For example, if you contribute $25 of a $100 pot and a $4 rake is taken from the table, you contributed $1 of the rake. This system will let you clear your bonus much faster, so you won’t even have to worry about the 30-day time frame!
To make it all even easier, 888poker also allows you to clear your bonus by playing their casino, not just their poker. Other apps don’t offer the same freedom, which is why 888poker is one of the best poker apps out there.
What makes 888poker the best poker app? Real money glamor. No other poker app can make you feel like you’re in an expensive nightclub other than 888poker. Its home section is filled with flashing lights and glinting flares which make it look like one of those eSports apps.
The app’s design is even made sleeker thanks to its smooth performance. You can navigate the app with just a couple of swipes and there are no excess buttons and images that complicate everything.
888poker offers only a few poker games that are all neatly organized and easily accessible on the home section. At the bottom of the screen, you can move to the app’s other services like its casino and sportsbook.
Playing poker games in 888poker is grander than its shiny interface. Whether you play Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, or 7 Card Stud, it’s all there! If you want to play a fast-paced poker game, the app has Snap poker format, where you immediately get a new hand after folding.
In a poker room, 888poker takes away things like emojis and images and gives nothing but the pure poker experience. The landscape layout gives the details and buttons a lot of space around them, so everything is separated and decluttered.
Operated by GVC Holdings, partypoker is among the best poker apps in the industry. Some of GVC’s most famous products that you may know include Sportingbet, bwin, and partycasino.
They are licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, which ensures that they strictly follow standard practices and promote fair play. The app is supported by efficient software, guaranteeing the security and safety of your data.
Being a betting app for real money, partypoker has to consider a lot of legal matters before its services become available in different countries. Unfortunately, it’s still improving in this area and is only accessible in some countries including the US, UK, Canada, and Brazil.
In the US, partypoker is only legal in New Jersey. For Americans who want to use partypoker, you have to go to partypoker NJ, not to their main homepage. They’re always making efforts to improve the app’s availability, which makes them still one of the best poker apps.
With partypoker, you get the best of both welcome bonuses offered by PokerStars. It has the usual 100% matched deposit bonus of up to $600 plus free tickets bonus up to $30. If your first deposit is $10, you get $10 in tickets; if $20, you get $30.
To clear your bonus, you must accumulate 4 times the amount of your deposit bonus amount in loyalty points within 90 days from the date of the eligible deposit. As you gain 10% of the loyalty points required, 10% of the bonus fund is released.
Unlike in 888poker where you can beat wagering requirements by playing their casino app that pays real money, you can only clear your matched deposit bonus by playing poker games in partypoker. This means you’re going to have to play for some time to be able to withdraw your funds.
Still, a 10% loyalty point for a 10% released bonus means 1 point for every $1 paid in rake. As you can see, this is better than the wagering requirements of other poker apps on the list where you have to gain 5 points for $1.
The partypoker app focuses on making your poker experience more fun and engaging. We’re talking about emojis, interactions, and more. You can throw stuff at your opponents to add insult to injury and even give them a mocking kiss.
You can switch to partypoker’s portrait layout as well, so you can keep playing poker easily with one hand. Having a vertical screen slightly reduces the room for important details though, which is why partypoker designed their buttons to be small.
One distinct feature of the partypoker app is the Hand Replayer, where you can review your previous hands to learn from previous mistakes. The new game lobby allows you to switch between a carousel or a tiled view.
The raised slider bar in the middle of the screen makes raising the stakes much better because your phone will remain firmly in your hand. The action buttons are smaller than those in other best poker apps though. Make sure to tap correctly!
TigerGaming is Curacao-based best poker app licensed by Thot Management NV. Their services have been in businesses for more than a decade due to their reputation of being safe, trustworthy, and fair.
TigerGaming is one of the best poker apps because of its strong availability. Creating an account on their app, you’ll see a long list of residences that probably includes yours as they’re accessible in most parts of Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
But the bad news is, while their services are far-reaching, TigerGaming isn’t available in the US. This is why TigerGaming remains somewhat behind the leading real money poker apps: they’re yet to be in the country where poker is most famous
TigerGaming is one of the best poker apps partly because of its lucrative welcome bonus. With a ridiculous 100% matched deposit bonus of up to $1,000, it makes other poker apps’ signup bonuses look like lunch money.
The bonus will be released in stages of $5. Every time you earn $50 in rake, $5 of your bonus amount will be cleared until all your bonus funds are released. With a 30-day time limit, you’re going to have to play a ton to clear the bonus.
Fortunately, each stage will be credited to your account instantly once the required amount of rake is reached. Meaning, any released bonus funds can be withdrawn even if you haven’t cleared the bonus yet.
Of course, making a withdrawal before all stages are cleared also means forfeiting any unreleased bonus stages. Having the option to stop clearing the bonus and still get a reward makes TigerGaming one of the best poker apps in the market.
The TigerGaming app’s design offers you all of its poker games in one section. However, unlike PokerStars, there’s no horizontal scrolling feature. This is because TigerGaming doesn’t offer different poker games, only the main ones like Hold’em and Omaha.
Navigating the app demands a little effort. There’s no section area fixed at the bottom of the screen and you’ll have to scroll down first to see poker games and tournaments. The icons aren’t labeled, so you won’t know right away where they’ll lead you.
If you do tap on the icons, you’ll see a large stack of poker games piling on each other. Because there’s no filter, browsing the games and finding the one you prefer can be a little frustrating.
Inside a poker room, TigerGaming’s layout is outdated. The design feels like it’s one of those bingo apps for real money back in the days, which is great if you’re looking for the best poker app that is colorful, simple, and direct.
For Americans, the only available poker app we’ve included is PokerStars. Aside from being the most famous, PokerStars is also the best poker app that is most accessible in the US. There are other poker services out there you might be interested in, but note that most of them don’t have mobile apps.
Outside the US, GGPoker can be the perfect choice especially because it has a lot of daily players and a wide variety of helpful features. The only downside is that GGPoker is only available in some countries, particularly where poker is huge.
This is where 888poker, partypoker, and TigerGaming come in to fill the gap. While not having the large audience that PokerStars and GGPoker have, these three alternatives provide great poker services that cater to many people. They’re as secure, trusted, and functional as their more prestigious competitors.
You can download online poker apps by visiting their sites and following the download links. Most online poker apps with real money aren’t in the Google Play Store or App Store due to some legal reasons. Some sites are fully mobile-optimised and don't even require you to download an app, just as we found when we reviewed the Stake.com app.
PokerStars is the best online poker app that accepts US citizens. It’s available in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Colorado as long as you’re over 18 years old or whatever legal age that applies to you.
With more than 50,000 daily players, GGPoker is the best real money poker app that has the most players. Even though it’s not available in the US, GGPoker has found a massive audience across the world with those who like play to poker for real money online.