Can I Play Real Money Poker Online?

Date Published

Authored by

Paul De Freitas

Woman in poker

Poker is one of the most exciting card games in casinos; it is thrilling and easy to master. Some people consider poker a game of luck since you don't choose the cards given to you, and others claim you need an excellent strategy to win even if you only have a Two Pair and little chance to land a big win. Apart from knowing the rules and hand rankings, you need to understand the body language and see who is bluffing and just being bold and who really has an unbeatable hand.

Here, you will learn about different poker variations and the rules of the most played poker game in the world. This article will answer your questions about making smart bets and choosing a reputable online casino. Keep reading to find out the best poker sites available on the Internet with great poker bonuses.

Playing Online Poker in the US

Five states consider real money online poker legal and already have at least one running poker site: New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. US players can only access licensed online poker sites from within the selected states. You don't have to be living in that state; you can simply come to visit and play poker for real money from the comfort of a cafe or hotel (e.g., 888 Casino in New Jersey). Using VPN might not always work as real money online poker sites are getting better at detecting it.

Legalized and regulated means of online gambling (e.g., sports betting, casino card games, and slots machines) bring better players' security and protection, casinos' obligation to attend to customers' issues, and fairness of real money poker sites.

Since only a handful of states agreed on legalizing real money poker, there is a growing number of active bettors, and you can have a greater chance to land a big win if you join a poker site now.

Types of Real Money Poker Games

Real money poker sites offer different game variations; some are newer, and others are just like you remember them. With advanced technology, online poker games are becoming much more interactive and engaging, not far behind the experience of being on a brick-and-mortar casino floor. Moreover, a trusted online poker site can offer better rewards and free bonuses to attract new players, and it can also be safer and more protected.

Texas Hold'Em

Being the most popular type of poker, Texas Hold'em is a must-have poker room at any reputable online casino. There are loads of material published to help beginners learn and assist pro players improve their skills and strategies. This variation of poker is also easy to master with straightforward rules.

Up to ten people can join Hold'em, and each player is dealt two cards, and the dealer lays five community cards on the table. Players will have four rounds to make bets:

  • The first bet is available right after the two main cards are dealt
  • The second bet is available after the third community card is flipped on the table
  • The third bet comes after the fourth card is revealed
  • The final bet is available after the fifth card has been shown

All game members can use the community cards, and the main two cards will allow players to create various hands. The hand with the biggest value wins the round.

Omaha Hi

Omaha Hi is a fairly similar poker game to the previously described Texas Hold’em. Both types have similar rules that differ in the number of cards dealt at the beginning of the game. A dealer gives each player four main cards in Omaha Hold'em compared to only two in Texas. By the end of the fourth round, players need to create the most valued combination to win the game; however, they can only use two main cards out of four and three community cards out of five. Omaha Hi poker game is more advantageous than Texas Hold'em because there is a bigger chance of having a good combination at the end.

Five Card Draw

As the name suggests, each player is dealt five cards in total, three of which can be exchanged after placing the first bet. This version of poker is considered the simplest. After the exchange is complete, the player with the greatest value of cards wins. If you decide to play this poker variation, make sure to observe the cards your competitors give up to predict the final value.

You do not have to be afraid that there are lots of more experienced players that will put more pressure on you - you can take your time, learn all the rules, and think about some strategies and methods you want to use in your game. When you are in a comfortable space like your home, you are likely to be less nervous and acquire knowledge more quickly.

Seven Card Stud

Seven Card Stud, compared to Five Card Draw, brings more excitement to the poker room. Every player has seven cards in total, three are face down, and four are visible to others. More cards mean more possibilities to create a better combination. The players need to select the best five cards and develop a strategy, evaluating competitors' three open cards.

Video Poker

You can play live poker in any of its variations or compete against a machine. Many online poker sites offer interactive and no less exciting games of video poker. You don't have to worry about other players, and if you feel pressured during a live match, video variation can significantly benefit you. You can place the lowest bets, and you can play double or nothing bonus rounds, too. You can try playing real money poker with the highest pay rate and most engaging gameplay.

How to Play Real Money Online Poker

Playing poker online can seem strange and different for people who are used to attending brick-and-mortar casinos. However, online gaming has advanced a lot over the last couple of years, and it can offer so much more to players. When you first decide to play online poker, you get loads of bonuses, you play securely, and you can text or voice chat with other poker players. If the traditional casino can have one to two poker variations, you can easily find many more appealing games online. A single poker site has over 100 online real money games; you just need to know how to get started.

There is an extensive selection of poker games, but our focus will be on Texas Hold'em as one of the most played poker variations.

Introduction to Texas Hold'em Poker Game

There are actions in this poker variation that you should know to perfectly understand the game. During rounds, you will be able to choose from the following:

  • Check: If you check, it means you wish to decline a bet, but you still keep your cards. You simply pass the round to the next player.
  • Bet: If a player makes a bet, you can either fold, call, or raise.
  • Call: If you choose to call, you bet the exact amount as the previous player.
  • Fold: If you decide to fold, you choose to withdraw from the game and lose chips.
  • Raise: If you decide to raise, you bet the same amount as the previous player with additional chips.

Every player is dealt two cards called "Hole Cards" or "Pocket Cards," and the first round of bets is available. There are four stages of the poker game:

  • Pre-Flop: This is the first round of betting right after players have seen their two cards. It is always the player to the left of the button that makes the first action. It is essential to mention that two players are obliged to make a bet before the game begins. The bets are called a small blind and a big blind.
  • Flop: Before showing the next set of cards, a dealer "burns" the top card by removing it from the deck without revealing it. This is done to prevent cheating. A dealer puts the first three community cards face up that are available to all players. At the end of the game, poker players will choose the best combination of all cards.
  • Turn: The turn is the stage when a dealer places the fourth card face up. Another round of betting is available.
  • River: This is the stage when a dealer places the final fifth card on the board. The remaining active players can place a bet, raise it or fold.

Once the actions have been done, the showdown starts, meaning the remaining players reveal their cards. The player who has a greater value wins, and if the hand is the same for both players, the pot is equally divided. And a new game begins.

The Hands Rankings in Real Money Poker

Online poker feature

To properly play real money online poker, it is vital to know the combinations in order to win the game. Without knowing the rankings and combos, you blindly play poker games and lose a lot. The cards rank from the highest to lowest as follow:

  • Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2
  • Ace can become the lowest card in the combination of Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5. To avoid significant losses, make sure to remember the following hand rankings:
  • Royal Flush: The best combination you can have at the end of a game. Royal Flush is when you have 10♣, Jack♣, Queen♣, King♣, and Ace♣ of the same suit. You need to be lucky to collect all of them because the probability of them being dealt by the end of the last round is small.
  • Straight Flush: Like the Royal Flush, the Straight Flush is the sequence of cards in the same suit. For example, 4♠, 5♠, 6♠, 7♠, 8♠.
  • Four of a Kind: For this combination, you need to have four same cards, for example, four Kings or four 2s.
  • Full House: To have the Full House, you need to collect three and two cards of the same value or number. For example, Queen♠, Queen♥, Queen♦, and 9♥, 9♣. If two players have the Full House, the one who has greater value wins the pot.
  • Flush: This is the combination of five cards in the same suit like Jack♦, King♦, 2♦, 10♦, 5♦.
  • Straight: This is the sequence of cards regardless of the suit, for example, Ace♥, 2♠, 3♦, 4♥, 5♣.
  • Three of a Kind: For this combination, you need three cards of the same rank, for example, 3♦, 3♠, 3♥.
  • Two Pair: Two Pair combination is when you have two cards of one rank and two more from another as Jack♣, Jack♥, 7♦, 10♠, 10♠.
  • One Pair: One of the lowest combinations you can have in poker, and this is when you end up with one pair like Queen♥, Queen♣, and another three cards.
  • High Card: High Card happens when everybody is left with no combinations and no pairs, and to appoint a winner, a card of the highest value is chosen.

Texas poker can be played as Limit, No Limit, and Pot Limit. Limit Holdem means there is a predetermined amount of the lowest or highest bets. Pot Limit is when you cannot place a bet higher than the pot's current amount. No-Limit Texas allows players to bet "All In" at any stage of the game. Depending on the poker site you choose, you should select the type of Texas that suits your budget.

Strategies to Win at Real Money Online Poker

Playing online poker for real money can still be confusing after getting acquainted with rules and hands ranking. Before you participate in a real game with poker players, it is best to have free play. Many online casinos offer you the option to practice poker for free, and it is also a great chance to try out different combinations and start preparing a strategy.

Since you don't know what your competitors hold, you cannot be overly sure you will win the game. You need to understand when to fold, raise your bet, or simply check when possible.

It is vital not to be intimidated by your opponents if they increase the bet or go all in. You shouldn't repeat the actions of others unless you feel confident with your cards and you are sure they are bluffing. You need to set a budget that you cannot afford to go over and stick to the money you are willing to bet in poker.

Apart from determining your budget, you should observe the poker players and their actions. Bluffing and provoking others to fold their cards in poker is a common practice, and you should think clearly about the reason behind those decisions. Many players tend to be rash and sometimes even careless if they feel others have greater value than them. Thus, play with a cool head and think through what your next step is.

Even if you have felt like it's your big win and lost money, never bet to win it back. Online gambling is a means of entertainment and should never be considered as a way to earn money.

How to Choose Real Money Poker Sites?

When it comes to choosing a real money poker site, you need to check a couple of things before registering. Since you plan to bet money and share some private information with the casino, you need to ensure your privacy stays secure and your bank account will not be compromised. One casino usually has hundreds of games available, from slots to blackjack to live poker games. You will be able to enjoy both poker and try out other popular choices.

Selection of Games

When choosing a casino, make sure you check what casino games it offers. Some poker sites can even let you play for free to understand if the games suit your preferences. It is an excellent opportunity to search for poker variations and see if they have your favorite one. You could also check the feedback of previous players about any games that attracted your attention and read what they have to say about the odds and poker bonuses.

Software Provider

Reputable casinos use professional game software providers to deliver exceptional gameplay and the feeling of being in the real poker room. You can find the information about the provider on a poker site or written in the game description; the location of this information varies. A reliable software provider means the games are regularly updated and improved and have a great return-to-player percentage that lets you beat the game.

Some of the biggest software providers in gambling are Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, IGT, etc. Apart from an appealing game, you will receive attractive poker bonuses and rewards when playing.

Gaming License

For a poker site to run legally, it needs a license. A license means that a casino fulfills specific regulations and provides a safe environment to players. If you see that a casino holds a license, you will have peace of mind knowing that customer support will definitely assist you if you face any problem.

A gaming license also ensures all bank transactions are legal and secure, and a casino will be obliged to send you your big jackpot. The license information can be found on the website, in Terms and Conditions, or you can request it from customer support.

Customer Support

Customer support plays a significant role in casinos because agents should always be ready to assist players with any easy or complicated issue. If you want to see how helpful and fast the customer service is, you can ask simple questions about payments or current poker bonuses. Wait for the reply and evaluate if you are happy with the speed and advice.

It is best to choose casinos with more than one point of contacts, such as email, phone, and live chat.

Best Real Money Online Poker Sites

A2Z Casinos rated the best real money poker websites to play at. We provide an honest review about every casino we evaluate, its pros and cons, and include up-to-date information about upcoming bonuses and rewards. We understand that it is crucial to make a wise decision when playing real money poker games on previously unknown websites.

Here are the top three online poker sites for you to choose from; all of them have various rewards and prizes. What is more important is that all of them are secure and have many games to offer.

888 Casino

888 Casino

888 Casino

Overall rating for 888 Casino4 / 5

Bonus Offer


  • $1,500 Welcome Package
  • Est 1997 | Gibraltar Licensed
  • Big Jackpots & variety of games incl. live dealer
  • 25 Million registered customer

18+ | New players only | T&C apply

18+ | New players only | T&C apply

888 Casino has been delivering appealing games to its players since 1997. Since that time, 888 Casino has won numerous awards for being the best poker and other card games site. It is worth mentioning that this casino is certified by eCorga and has the highest odds for all games. You can now start playing live and video poker and enjoy the daily promotions.

Wildz Casino



Overall rating for Wildz4.36 / 5

Bonus Offer


  • Get $500 on your first deposit + 200 free spins
  • Top payment options like Visa, Mastercard, Skrill
  • Licensed in Malta - Launched in 2019
  • 24/7 customer support

18+ | New players only | T&C apply

18+ | New players only | T&C apply

Wildz Casino was established in 2019 and has since expanded its selection of live poker alongside other card games. You can take advantage of their fantastic bonus offers and games with high odds. The casino has a lot of fast deposit and withdrawal methods and customer support that is available every day at any time.

Uptown Pokies

Uptown Pokies

Uptown Pokies

Overall rating for Uptown Pokies4 / 5

Bonus Offer


  • $8,888 Welcome Bonus
  • Newly launched in 2017
  • Licensed in Curacao
  • 179+ games to keep you entertained

18+ | New players only | T&C apply

18+ | New players only | T&C apply

Uptown Pokies was established in 2017, and it offers casino games accessible from your PC and a mobile device. The casino offers a poker bonus, alongside other card games discounts and promotions. The online casino is pretty new, but it has a strong reputation for interactive games and excellent customer support.

Best Online Poker Sites' Welcome Bonuses for New Players

888 Casino

888 Casino has not one but three welcome bonuses, and you can claim whichever you find more beneficial. The first one is a standard welcome bonus of a 100% match of your first deposit (up to $200). The second welcome bonus (Premier Players) gives you a 100% match of your first deposit up to $100. And if you make the subsequent four deposits and play each three times, you will enjoy a 30% bonus per deposit, up to $350 for a $1,050 deposit. The third welcome bonus requires new players to play 30 times with a bonus amount of $88 before withdrawing the winning.

Wildz Casino

Wildz offers a very attractive welcome bonus of a 100% deposit match up to $500 and 200 free spins when you complete your first deposit. This bonus is a great chance to try slots and play free poker, and you will notice what slots game you can play with free spins and enjoy the gameplay on the site.

Uptown Pokies

Uptown Pokies offers a substantial welcome bonus for new players. You can get up to $8888 with 350 free spins. Using the code, you receive rapid cashout and high odds, among other surprising boosts. If you play poker online after claiming the rewards, you will have a fantastic chance to score high.

Play Online Poker With a Trusted Poker Site

A2Z Casinos is dedicated to helping you make a thorough decision. That is why we work hard to offer only those casinos of a high return-to-player percentage and robust security. When playing poker, you should only worry about whether it is time to fold or raise a bet. Follow our latest reviews about the most popular casinos and their upcoming rewards for current and new players. We analyze casinos for fans of different games like poker, slots, craps, roulette, and many others.

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