Odds Shark Top Poker Sites

Real Money Online Poker

Online poker real cash

It might come as a surprise to some poker players that not only can you play online poker for real money but it’s both safe and secure. Hundreds of online poker sites sprang up in the early 2000s as everyone chased a quick buck but over the years the market has been consolidated to a smaller group of operators that place a huge emphasis on keeping players’ funds safe and offering reliable software. Most of these online poker sites also offer play money games but if you want to get a feel for real-world poker or potentially earn some cash, then there’s no better place than real money online poker.

How Does Real Money Poker Work?

Real money poker is actually quite simple.

Online poker sites accept real-life funds from players and then credit a corresponding amount into the player’s online poker account.

Players can use the funds from their online poker account to take part in any game the site offers whether it’s tournaments, cash games or Sit & Go’s. It’s similar to getting chips at a casino. Players are able to withdraw their funds at any point. The money that players win is real.

Online poker sites also segregate players’ funds from their operating expenses to keep the players’ accounts safe at all times. Nearly all online poker sites are audited by gaming regulators.

In addition players have to pass the required age verification test to successfully deposit money into an online poker account.

While depositing on an online poker site will always require a certain amount of trust, there are hundreds of thousands of online poker players who make deposits and withdrawals on a regular basis. If a poker site was failing in its ability to let players make withdrawals, then you would definitely hear about it.

Do I Have to Play Real Money Poker?

Nope. Pretty much all online poker sites offer play money games so that players can try out their software without risking anything.

Play money poker is a fantastic way to get familiar with the rules and gameplay of poker without spending a cent.

Of course play money hands tend to play a little differently than actual hands so it’s generally a good idea to at least try your hand at small stakes once you get a handle on the rules of the game.

Do Poker Sites Offer Small Stakes?

Yes. Small-stakes poker is actually something that online poker perfected and it’s referred to as “micro stakes.”

Players who are playing online poker for the first time will be surprised to know that nearly all poker sites start with No-Limit Hold’em micro-stakes of just $.01/$.02. That means an average buy-in for those games is just $2.

You can make $50 last a very long time playing those games and it’s something that live casinos could never offer considering they have to pay for the physical space and the live dealer.

Online poker obviously takes place in a virtual space with an automated dealer so operators can scale their efforts from $.01/$.02 all the way up to $200/$400 or higher with very little difficulty.

Micro-stakes make online poker an excellent place to learn poker with very little ramification. There are a number of living-the-dream stories where first-time poker players deposited just $50 in the beginning and then managed to run that amount up into the millions.

Of course those stories are not exactly common and most players will likely make a few re-deposits over the course of their poker journey. It’s all part of the game.

Can I Win Real Money?

Of course. That’s the whole appeal of online poker. Poker is a skill game (with a degree of luck added into the mix) where the best players tend to rise to the top. Some of the best players in the world make a very healthy living playing online poker.

While only a select group of players have the ability to make a living playing online poker, there are plenty of amateur players who have managed to win a big tournament or go on a cash game hot streak and fill their pocket.

It’s generally not wise to count on poker as an income source but there are plenty of players who have funded vacations, car purchases and more simply by utilizing their card-playing skills.

It’s up to the individual player to decide when to withdraw money or whether to simply use cash to play bigger games.

Will I Lose All My Money?

Not unless you try really, really hard.

Most poker players employ something called bankroll management where they only risk a small percentage of the overall funds in their online account. For instance some players would never risk more than five percent of their bankroll on a single tournament.

It’s an excellent way to deal with the inherent variance in poker and avoid going broke. Furthermore, online poker sites generally have limits on how much you can deposit. You should never deposit more than you feel comfortable with in the first place.

One thing that movies and TV shows tend to get wrong about poker is the risk involved. You can never lose more than you enter a table with. That means no betting your house, car or wedding ring.

Is it Legal to Play for Real Money?

People might be surprised to learn that real-money online poker is completely legal in a large number of countries. It’s important to check the local laws in your region, however.

Online poker generally fits into two categories:

  1. Fully legal and licensed by government or state bodies.
  2. Gray area regions where the government doesn’t endorse online poker but sites continue to operate.

Most countries that outright ban online poker are very restrictive when it comes to the internet in general. There’s a decent chance that if you’re reading this, some form of online poker is legal in your area. Be sure to check the local laws, however.