Best Poker Sites for Real Money 2021

Real Money Online Poker

Most people who want to try online poker for the first time are often clueless about which platform to go with. They have one in mind initially but everything falls apart once they realize that it’s unavailable in their area.

To help you avoid this problem, we’ve made a concentrated list of the most trusted platforms there are, with each platform having good reasons to be considered the best poker site for real money. We’ll go over their welcome bonuses and promos, their sites’ features, and their payment methods. There’s a poker site here for everybody, so let’s dive in.

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The Best Poker Sites for Real Money in 2021

PokerStars

Most people consider PokerStars as the best poker site online. But that’s debatable. What’s not debatable though is the fact that PokerStars is the largest real money online poker site in the world. Since it directs two-thirds of the total online poker market, you won’t find another site that can offer a more crowded poker server.

Availability

To play poker for real money online, you first have to look for a site that’s available in your country. One of the reasons why people love PokerStars is that it is available in many countries. Whether you’re in North or South America, Europe, or Asia, there’s a good chance you can create a PokerStars account and enjoy its vast array of services.

Because PokerStars accept people from most parts of the world, it would be much better to mention the countries where it’s currently unavailable. Some of these prohibited countries include Australia, Colombia, Malaysia, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, and the United States (though not completely).

While PokerStars isn’t that widespread in the US, there are three states where it’s currently licensed. These three states are New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Note that you don’t have to be a resident of these states in order to use PokerStars’ software. You just have to be physically located inside their borders.

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PokerStars Welcome Bonus and Promos

PokerStars has become the best online poker site for real money partly because of its great welcome bonuses. There are two you can choose from: a $30 free play or a $600 match deposit. To activate the match deposit bonus, use the code “STARS600.” To activate the free play bonus, use the code “THIRTY.” Let’s take a closer look at each.

$600 Match Deposit

If you choose this bonus, the initial amount you deposited will be matched by 100% up to $600. You can make up to 3 qualifying deposits within 60 days to get the full value of this bonus.

After each qualifying deposit, you’ll have 4 months to clear your bonus by earning redemption points. For every $1 you pay in rake or tournament fees, you’ll get 5 redemption points. Gather enough and you’ll be able to withdraw your bonus funds. Withdrawing immediately will forfeit any uncollected amount.

$30 Free Play

PokerStars’ $30 free play bonus is very easy to claim. In fact, all you have to do is deposit at least $20 and enter the required code. This $30 promo is distributed into 6 days, which means you have to log in consistently to get its full value.

On your first, second, third, and fifth day, you’re given 5 $1 Spin & Go tickets. On your fourth and sixth day, $5 in cash. No strings attached.

Software Design and Features - The Most Convenient

The PokerStars client is so simple that even new players won’t have any problems navigating it. To search for the specific game you want to play, just click the “All Games” tab and explore the lobby from there. If you want to adjust your preferences or change some options, you can find “Tools” and “Settings” along the right-hand side.

Playing poker for real money online with PokerStars is even made more enjoyable thanks to amazing features like the Quick Seat, which lets you access PokerStars’ most popular games in a flash.

To avoid all the complications that go into joining a room, all you need to do is click the “Quick Seat” tab, select the poker variant you prefer, and set your buy-in. You’ll be quickly sent to a table with an open seat.

Once in a room, PokerStars makes sure that your playing experience is unique, fun, and interactive by giving you a simple interface that you can personalize. You can use buttons and sliders to help you submit your actions easily (“check,” “call,” “fold”).

Because PokerStars treats you like a pro, you’ll have a lot of tools at your disposal such as hotkeys, statistics tracker, hand replay, instant hand history, auto buy-in for ring games, all-in cash out, and more.

Payment Methods

PokerStars’ withdrawal and deposit methods include:

  • Visa
  • Apple Pay
  • Instant eChecks
  • INSTADEBIT
  • MuchBetter
  • NETELLER
  • Skrill
  • WebMoney

You can tell PokerStars has a strong case for being the best poker site for real money by looking at its payment methods. Because there are many options and we want to keep the list short, we’ve only included methods that allow you to get your both money in and out. Note that you may see a different set of methods depending on where you live.

GGPoker

Aside from having the best online poker app, GGPoker has also become a mainstream poker brand thanks to its giant ambassadors like Bryn Kenney, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, and Daniel Negreanu. It’s one of the most popular poker sites on the planet, among the few to have formed a partnership with the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

Availability

It’s hard to think that such a renowned poker site like GGPoker is only available in some countries. The best way to find out whether you can create a GGPoker account or not is to literally go to their site and try to sign up. Browse through the list of countries and find yours. If it’s not there, it means you need to find another site.

But since we want to help you play poker for real money online, we’re going to mention some of these countries right here. If you’re living in Canada, Brazil, Malaysia, and other places where poker is massive, you’ll be able to access all of GGPoker’s services without restriction.

Sadly though, the list doesn’t include the US, which is weird since it’s the country where poker is being played the most. Next to PokerStars’ massive fanbase, this lack of availability seems like GGPoker’s biggest handicap.

We don’t think so. Unlike other poker sites that take advantage of a country’s blurred legal stance regarding poker and gambling in general, GGPoker assures that they’re operating in a place on solid grounds.

GGPoker Welcome Bonus and Promos

To contend for being the best poker site for real money, GGPoker also has 2 welcome offers. In fact, GGPoker almost has the same welcome offers: a $600 match deposit bonus and a $100 free ticket bonus. GGPoker doesn’t use bonus codes though, so activating their bonuses is slightly more convenient.

$600 Match Deposit

While GGPoker and PokerStars offer the same $600 match deposit bonus, there are some areas where the two bonuses differ. For one, PokerStars lets you claim the bonus in 3 different deposits, whereas GGPoker only allows you to claim it in a single deposit.

Then there’s a small but major difference in how you claim the bonus. With GGPoker’s match deposit bonus, you don’t need to collect redemption points or any kind of points. For every $5 you pay in rake or tournament fees, you’ll get $1 directly into your account.

This is a much better deal because you won’t have to gather every point before you can spend your bonus funds. There’s a catch though: much like on PokerStars, withdrawing your money without having cleared all your bonus funds will forfeit any remaining amount.

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$100 Free Ticket

GGPoker’s $100 free ticket bonus works similarly to PokerStars' $30 free play bonus. The welcome offer is distributed into 6 consecutive days, starting from the day you activate the bonus.

Unlike PokerStars' bonus, GGPoker’s second bonus isn’t that simple. You can get tickets every day that amount to $52.50 in cash, but to grab the last $47.50, you have to play All-In or Fold cash tables and hit the daily hand targets on each of the 6 days as well.

Software Design and Features - Highly Informative and Fun

Some notorious poker legends wouldn’t have called GGPoker the best online poker site for real money if it wasn’t for its sublime software. If it’s your first time launching their software, you’ll find that there’s a lot to digest. The long list of icons, texts, and numbers can be overwhelming.

But once you’ve mapped out everything, you’ll realize that the overload of info is helpful. For instance, the buy-in section on the right side of the software can actually narrow down the rooms you prefer. The details you see before joining a table give you awareness of its structure, type, prize pool, and other crucial data.

Once seated at a table, you’ll appreciate GGPoker’s simplistic and highly engaging interface. The developers are always making sure there’s fun stuff to throw around, like wacky emojis.

You’ll have access to game-changing tools as well such as Smart HUD, a feature that allows you to keep track of your rivals, learn about their playstyles, strengths, and weaknesses. It also allows you to keep track of your own play and analyze your history.

Payment Methods

GGPoker’s popular withdrawal and deposit methods include:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Skrill
  • NETELLER
  • ecoPayz
  • MuchBetter
  • AstroPay

When you think of the best poker site for real money, a part of what you consider is the availability of many payment methods. And that’s what GGPoker offers. After making a withdrawal, you’ll have to wait for the Cashier’s approval first. You can check the status of your request by visiting the “Withdrawal” tab in the cashier.

Intertops Poker

Intertops Poker has been the subject of many online casino real money reviews over the years. This is expected, especially since it’s one of the largest poker networks in the US. In terms of site traffic, it’s close behind poker powerhouses like PokerStars and GGPoker.

Availability

There are a lot of people who can play poker for real money online with Intertops Poker. The site caters to many countries and, to give it more credit, most of those countries are dedicated poker fans.

When it comes to poker, there’s no other country more fanatic than the US. The best part is, Intertops Poker appears to be available in states where online gambling is legal, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Tennessee, and Virginia to name a few.

Intertops Poker is also accessible in other countries including Canada, Mexico, Brazil, China, Denmark, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Philippines, Hong Kong, and many more.

To see if Intertops Poker is in your country, go visit the site and click the signup button. The first thing you’ll be asked about is where you’re from. Just scroll through the list and find your country.

Be cautious though because, as usual, legal age still applies. Make sure you are of your jurisdiction’s legal age, which is often 18 or 21 in most places.

Intertops Poker Welcome Bonus and Promos

$1,000 Match Deposit

Intertops Poker’s large set of lucrative welcome offers and promos have helped the site become the best poker site for real money. It’s not all suns and rainbows though because the 120% match deposit up to $1,000 we have here must be wagered 30 times plus the bonus funds. This is a very steep wagering requirement.

To activate this bonus, use the code “SIGNUP1000.”

$5,555 Rookie Raise

If you’re really daring and willing to go far to take on the extreme, Intertops Poker’s $5,555 welcome bonus should give you a nasty challenge. It works just like the $1,000 match deposit bonus but this one is divided into 4 deposits in total. The first and third will match 125% up to $1,000, the second 150% up to $1,500, the third 150% up to $2,000.

With the first deposit, you need to use the code “SIGNUP1000.” With the second, third, and fourth, you need to use “MATCHUP2,” “MATCHUP3,” and “MATCHUP4” respectively.

There’s also a fifth bonus that will give you $55 for free after you enter the code “FREEBIE55.”

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$1,000 Match Deposit + 25 Free Casino Spins

This bonus works almost the same as the first match deposit bonus. The only difference is instead of matching you by 125%, this bonus will match you 200%. Other Intertops customers who play casino and sportsbook games won’t be able to claim this bonus, only those who gamble at Intertops Poker.

Every time you play poker with real money, you will earn Frequent Play Points (FPPs). Collect 83.335 FFPs in order to unlock $5 of your bonus funds. You’re given 3 months to gather all points and redeem your bonus, otherwise, it would be forfeited.

Enter the bonus code “1000ITP” to activate this bonus.

Software Design and Features - Simply Traditional

You can only play 2 poker games on Intertops Poker: Omaha and Texas Hold’em. There are many betting levels, starting at 2-cent and 4-cent blinds for players who only bet small. For players with a much bigger appetite, there are also no-limit games.

As for the software itself, we have to say that it does feel a little outdated, especially since we’ve just gone through PokerStars and GGPoker. The interface is somewhat basic and there’s not much fun stuff to do other than play poker, meaning you can’t throw in emojis to add insult to your opponents’ injuries.

But what we find the most interesting about Intertops Poker is that it’s not only a place where you can play poker for real money online. The site routinely holds and sponsors actual poker tournaments in real life where you can attend to and socialize with other poker players.

Payment Methods

Intertops Poker’s popular withdrawal and deposit methods include:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Bitcoin
  • Skrill
  • NETELLER
  • Paysafe
  • ecoPayz

Intertops Poker’s connection to the most trusted financial services like Visa and Mastercard guarantees the site’s safety and security. It’s what made the site the best online poker site for real money in some parts of the US where the bulk of its traffic is coming from.

888poker

888 Holdings has many different products other than the best online bingo for money. One of these products is 888poker, an online poker cardroom that’s been running since 2002. When it comes to prominence, this site has it all: the exclusive organizer of the World Series of Poker since 2014, the main sponsor of the Super High Roller Bowl, and the loyal partner of the World Poker Tour.

Availability

888poker has many strong suits and availability is one of them. Their services are available in many countries and listing all of them here would be uneconomic. As usual, the quickest way to determine whether you can sign up to their platform is to go to their site. You’ll need to download the software first though.

Unfortunately, while 888poker is one of the most far-reaching sites you’ll ever encounter, it’s currently unavailable in countries where poker is being played the most, including the US and Canada. UK players will have to find a different online poker cardroom as well.

But 888poker wouldn’t have been the best online poker site for real money if the bad news didn’t stop there. It may have been absent in poker-crazed countries, but the site accepts players from most parts of Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

If your country isn’t that strict about online gambling, you should have no problem using the software. Still, we recommend consulting some legal advice and following age restrictions if you’re unsure.

888poker Welcome Bonus and Promos

$400 Match Deposit

As 888poker’s only welcome bonus, you know this $400 match deposit is something. It’s not as lucrative as the previous match deposit bonus we’ve seen, but it’s much simpler and easier to claim.

Compared to PokerStars and GGPoker’s match deposit bonus, the claiming process here only lasts a short while. For every $1 you contribute to the rake or tournament fees, you will earn 2 bonus points.

This is obviously a sweeter deal than having to pay $5 in rake before you can earn a single point. And with the time frame being a full month (30 days in particular), redeeming your bonus funds will be a walk in the park.

To make it even sweeter for you, you’re not limited to only playing poker to claim your bonus funds. You can play 888casino as well and try your luck at the roulettes and slot machines. This certainly makes 888poker the best poker site for real money.

Payment Methods

888poker’s popular withdrawal and deposit methods include:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • PayPal
  • Skrill
  • Apple Pay
  • MuchBetter
  • NETELLER
  • ecoPayz
  • Trustly
  • INTERAC

888poker is the best poker site for real money as it offers an e-wallet method. Most 888poker customers choose to play with the site because they can make transactions conveniently through PayPal. And because PayPal doesn’t necessarily require someone to have a bank account, everyone with enough money can literally start gambling right away.

Conclusion – Which Poker Site is Best for You?

You can play poker for real money online with countless sites. We don’t know if they’re all legit or not, but some of them are credible enough to appear on the first page of your search engine.

But if you’re looking for poker sites with the most traffic, the most trusted services, and the most advanced software, you don’t need to look any further. The ones we’ve just mentioned are the current kings of their field that are unlikely to get dethroned any time soon.

If you’re not in the US, you should be able to find one site in the list that you can sign up to. GGPoker and 888poker operate in most European and Asian countries that it’s doubtful both would be unavailable in one.

Best Poker Sites for Real Money FAQ

🤩What is the best poker site for real money?

PokerStars currently controls two-thirds of the total online poker market, making it the largest poker site in the world. It’s only the best poker site in countries where it’s available though.

👌What is the most trusted poker site?

GGPoker is a trusted poker site that is licensed and regulated by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission. Since its launch in 2014, it’s been a partner of many poker organizations including the World Series of Poker (WSOP). It’s currently championed by famous poker players like Daniel Negreanu, Bryn Kenney, and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier.

🙌Are online poker sites rigged?

Some low-rate online poker sites are rigged although the ones we’ve mentioned strictly promote fair play. They also hold licenses in multiple government agencies and are constantly regulated to avoid fraudulent and other malicious activities.

✔Why is PokerStars illegal in the US?

PokerStars is only illegal in some US states where gambling is prohibited. But if you’re living in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Michigan, you should be able to make an account and use their services.

🔓Is 888poker legit?

Yes. 888 Holdings, owner of 888poker, is a public company listed on the London Stock Exchange since 2005. They’ve been under regulation as an online entertainment and gaming provider as early as 1997.

Since 888poker is international, the site is licensed and regulated by more than one government agency such as the Gambling Commission in Great Britain and Ireland’s Revenue Commissioners.

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