Best Online Poker Sites - Play the Top Online Rooms
Play online poker games on the top online poker sites and join thousands of others in games of Texas Hold'em, Omaha, and more!
Use our list of the best online poker sites to browse bonuses available and read in-depth reviews of the top poker rooms to find the right one for you.
This page doesn't list every single poker site under the sun. Instead, it gives you direct access to the most exciting games and the best offers to play on the best online poker sites.
We have also negotiated the best sign-up bonuses in the industry. Every time one of our players open an account to play real money poker on one of the sites in the list, we guarantee the best welcome bonus package.
In other words, if you are looking for the best poker rooms to play online games, you'll love this page!
PokerNews has been reviewing online poker sites since 2003 and is the leading poker website in the world. Our team of experts have reviewed all the websites where you can play online poker for free and real money.
To sign up for a (free) poker account and get your guaranteed welcome bonus, click on the 'Visit Site' buttons on the list and follow the instructions on the screen.
The PokerNews' Guide to the Top Poker Sites
If you are new to online poker and you just want to play a quick game online, finding the best online poker site might seem difficult.
Whether you already know the kind of games you want to play or not, how are you supposed to know the difference between all the gaming portals where you can play online poker?
Even more, what should you pay attention to? Is it best to go for the largest bonuses or should you focus more on reputation, number of games available, or limits?
Truth is, choosing between the best online poker sites is not hard.
Each of the sites you see listed above serves a different kind of audience and deliver a different online poker experience.
Some are perfect for high rollers or players who are all about playing big sums of money. Others are built to let recreational players have fun and enjoy a game or two with friends.
Throughout PokerNews's guide to online poker, you find everything you need to identify the best online poker sites for you and play exactly the kind of poker games you are looking for.
In other words, if you are looking for a comprehensive guide to online poker and the top online poker sites — you'll love this one.
How to Find the Best Online Poker Sites
To find the best poker site for your games, first you need to understand what kind of poker games you want to play online.
That's because some players turn to online poker sites to find the most competitive games out there. They want to be challenged and play with the best players in the world.
These are the pros who look for high stakes games and top-notch poker software that will let them play online for hours.
Others simply want to enjoy quick and easy poker games online. These players are not in it to chase six-digit real money prizes. They look for a different kind of experience.
They want the field to be soft (aka. the games to be relatively easy), the buy-ins to be cheap, and the tables to be full of recreational players.
That's why defining what is the best online poker site is a very subjective matter.
To help you find the best online poker game for you, we tried to list all the elements you should look in a poker room before you register there to play.
Top Poker Sites for Beginners
Since the word 'beginner' may be a little misleading, let's clarify what kind of players are best suited for these poker websites.
You qualify as a beginner if you have never played online poker before or you have very limited experience with the game.
As a beginner, you want to play online poker on sites where you find the following:
a lot of Texas hold'em games
good recurring promotions for new and existing players
a soft field
a good offer of low stakes tournaments
a high number of online qualifiers to play expensive events for smaller-than-usual buy-ins
clear policies against the use of poker software and HUDs
Some websites like Unibet Poker, PokerStars and partypoker have gone great lengths to create an environment that is particularly favorable for recreational players and beginners.
Rather than focusing on the most expensive high stakes games or the most complicated variation of online poker, these sites created an online experience that seems to be perfect for first-timers and those who want to play for fun.
You find all the information about the different characteristics of these sites and why we believe them to be the best poker sites for beginners in the reviews published here on PokerNews.
Top Poker Sites for Experienced Players
Defining an experienced player is equally controversial. Some say that experience has to do with the number of online poker hands you have played while others correlate it with your results at the table.
To keep it simple, we are going to consider 'experienced players' those who already know how to play poker, have played thousands of hands, and are not scared to play poker games with a buy-in of $50 or more.
These players look for sites with a different set of features compared to the previous ones as they value a different type of online poker experience.
For them, the best online poker sites, are those that offer:
a generous rakeback or cash back program
a wide variety of poker games
high traffic volumes on poker variants like PLO
exportable hand history and other similar features
high stakes game and tournaments with big guaranteed prizes
Online Poker Traffic
Some believe that playing on the biggest poker sites is always the safest choice. Those are the players who keep playing always on the same websites and never try anything new.
From PokerStars to 888poker and partypoker, the largest online poker sites are always a safe choice — even if they aren't always the best one.
On these poker sites, you find an endless number of cash games and poker tournaments. The buy-ins range from few cents to thousands and they offer an impressive number of daily freeroll tournaments if free poker is what you're into.
So, why aren't these the best poker sites?
The answer is simple. Because everyone plays there already.
All the best players and all the ones who know how to play poker are already active on the largest online poker sites. As a result, the games on these websites tend to be more competitive and difficult compared to those at smaller and lesser-known sites.
Which means the games are also less profitable for beginners who want to win cash.
When you play on the biggest online poker sites, you find action all the time because these are the sites with the highest traffic numbers and the largest amount of players connected at the same time.
A lot of other internet poker sites don't share the same quantity of players of the three above. In fact, they may look almost a 'little dead' during certain times of the day.
These are the poker sites you should not disregard if you are looking for easy poker games to play.
There are advantages in playing on small poker websites or on small skins of larger poker networks. These are the gaming sites where you may find the worst players and engage in easy-to-beat games of online poker.
In fact, some of the smallest online poker sites are famous for the bad players at their tables. If you think this is a bad thing, it means you have never played an easy game of online poker.
Trust us, that moment you find easy-to-beat games of online poker, you are not going to leave the poker site that hosts them.
Another important aspect to consider when choosing a website to play online poker is whether or not the site is legal in your country.
Different countries regulate online poker for real money in different ways. As a consequence, not all sites are available to all players.
Players in the United States, for example, are still obliged to play only on free money poker sites unless they do that from one of the few states that have legalized online poker.
Although more and more US states are planning to change their legislation and allow real money poker games online, play money sites stay as the only option until the new bills are discussed and signed.
For more info on this, have a look at the following additional readings:
Similarly, different European countries have adopted different approaches to legalizing online poker. That's why online poker sites need numerous licenses to offer their services at the international level.
One of the most popular licenses in Europe is the one issued by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC).
This state-controlled authority acts as the ultimate guarantee for players in terms of fairness of the site's operations and platform.
All the poker sites that apply and obtain a regular gambling and poker license have to go through rigorous checks. That's why it is important you always choose a site that is legal in your country.
To help you find legal online poker games for you, we developed a particular technology that we apply to the list published on this page.
Matching the location of your IP address with your local poker regulation, we are able to display only online poker sites where you are allowed to play.
Players in Ontario, Canada are now allowed to play on several online poker sites including partypoker, 888poker and PokerStars. Check out the online poker rooms in Ontario for more details!
Another key factor that you need to keep in mind when you look for a new website to play online poker games, is the bonus you receive on signup.
Poker bonuses are particularly lucrative for new players as they offer extra money to explore the games on a platform and see if the poker site you chose is exactly the best one for you.
Online poker sites offer different types of bonuses. These range from the traditional match bonus on your first deposit to the more rare (but always welcome) no deposit offers.
Each type of poker bonus serves a different purpose and is best suited to a different player. If you don't know how to use a poker bonus or how to identify which offer is best for you, we advise you to read our guide to online poker bonuses.
If you are already familiar with how these offers works, keep in mind that all the promotions you see on this page are the best you can get to play games of online poker for real money.
Unless otherwise stated, you do not need a bonus code to access any of the offers published here.
The quality of the poker software is undoubtedly one of the most important factors to consider when looking for the best online poker site.
Some poker clients, like the one in use at PokerStars, may be rich in featured but also slightly outdated in their looks.
Others, like the ones of GGPoker and partypoker have a much more modern look-and-feel and come with exclusive extras that players love deeply.
To be completely fair with you, it's fair to say that the reliability of the poker software is not the only element to look for in an online poker site.
These days, the ability of an online poker room to offer a great mobile experience is also extremely important. That's why some websites put an extra focus on their mobile product and work hard to create poker apps that are easy to use and super responsive at the same time.
Until now, we discussed a number of general elements you should keep in mind when looking for the best online poker site.
This slightly superficial overview might be enough for some players. However, it does not paint a complete picture.
If you need more and you want to know all the ins and outs of every single online poker site, I have only one more thing to say: read our poker reviews.
The PokerNews team has been playing online poker and reviewing online poker sites for more than a decade. That's why PokerNews is the guide where you find the most comprehensive reviews of all the best websites that offer games of internet poker.
In each review, we analyze the software, the bonuses, the mobile platform, and the traffic of a poker site.
The reviews are also the place where you find useful information about the terms and conditions of every promotion as well as the key points that make a poker site special.
And when there's nothing that makes a poker site special…that's what we write!
Whenever you are on the lookout for new online poker sites to try, have a look at our reviews. Those are your best resource to get to know what the top online poker rooms are and find out what poker website hosts exactly the games you want to play.
This is a common question that is asked by many players who are new to the internet poker world.
The answer is yes, as the sites that we have listed have been in business for a number of years and have no incentive to keep a player’s funds.
These sites all generate millions of dollars of revenue each and every year, and they have far more to lose than they would gain by taking anyone’s money.
These sites all have complex ways of dealing out the cards with random number generators, which helps to keep the games fair for all players.
They have millions invested in both advertising and security, as they want to encourage new players to sign up while at the same time protecting player funds and the integrity of internet poker games.
We wouldn't list these three rooms as the best poker sites in the world without ensuring they are safe for our readers to play on, so rest assured.
Is Playing Internet Poker Like Playing Live Poker?
Online poker games are all structured in the same way as the games at brick-and-mortar casinos. If you understand the flow in a live poker game, then you should have no problem playing on the internet.
There are of course some differences in the games, but these are mostly based on playing at home on the internet versus playing in a live casino.
You can play from home in your underwear, and that may not be looked upon too kindly if you were to try that in a Las Vegas casino.
The speed of an online poker game is much faster, as you are not relying on a live dealer to deal the cards and to push the pot to the winner of the hand. Get started today with one of our top online poker rooms, or you can read some more about our top poker bonuses.
Online Poker FAQ
Is online poker legal in the United States?
Real money poker is legal only in the states of New Jersey, Delaware, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
For a complete overview of the entire legislative process in the US and to know when online poker will become legal in your state, you can check our US online poker map.
Can US players play real money games on EU poker sites?
No. US players can play real money games of online poker only on the sites that are legal in their states.
To know more, you can see this list of the legal NJ poker site or this page dedicated to the PA poker sites that hold a license to offer real money games online.
How can I claim the bonuses on this page?
All the bonuses are available on registration. To claim one, fill out the registration form and confirm your email address.
What are the poker sites with the best desktop software?
According to a recent survey made by [i]PokerNews[i] the best desktop poker clients are those in use at [B]PokerStars[/B] and [B]partypoker[/B].
What sites have the best mobile poker apps?
A recent survey promoted by PokerNews identified GGPoker and Unibet Poker as the best mobile platforms to play poker online.
For more info about the different solutions and app to play poker from a smartphone, you can refer to our mobile poker rankings.
How to find out if a poker site is secure or not?
All the sites you find on this page hold a license to offer games of poker online. We match the location of your IP address with the regulation in your country/state to make sure we offer only online poker sites that are safe and legal for you.