How We Rate Poker Sites & Casinos

  • Avatar für the CardsChat Editorial TeamWritten by  the CardsChat Editorial Team

Ever since we launched in 2004, our mission has been to be the most helpful and trusted gambling resource online. As part of this, we rate and review poker sites and casinos to help you decide where to play.

Before we recommend any site, we carry out a thorough review process. Find out exactly how we do this below.

Our 8-Step Review Process

Every site we recommend must pass the following checks:

  1. Safety and Security
    Sites must be properly licensed and regulated and use advanced SSL encryption technology to ensure your details are kept safe. We also look for the stamp of approval from eCOGRA, an internationally approved testing agency. 

  2. Payout Speed
    All recommended poker sites and online casinos must have a quick and simple withdrawal process, offering fast payouts so you can receive your winnings quickly and securely.

  3. Payment Options
    Real money sites should offer a wide variety of the best deposit options so you’re not restricted by your choice of payment method. Minimum deposit amounts and any fees should be clearly stated.

  4. Software Quality
    Only sites using reliable gaming software are recommended, so we can be sure they offer a quality gaming experience. We look for leading developers such as NetEnt and Microgaming.

  5. Game Variety
    We look for sites that cater to many players. This means ensuring poker sites offer several poker variations and casinos offer a wide variety of the most popular casino games.

  6. Bonus Offers
    Bonus offers should be generous and have reasonable wagering requirements. Not only that, we try to secure exclusive welcome bonus offers for our users. We expect to see lucrative promotions for VIP customers, too.

  7. Mobile Compatibility
    Every site we recommend must have an impressive mobile site or app that is easy to use and offers all or most of the features as its desktop counterpart.

  8. Customer Service
    We only recommend sites that provide a superb customer service experience and resolve queries effectively. We look at response time, communication methods, and the resolution process.

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    What Happens When a Site Fails Our Checks?

    When a site doesn’t live up to our expectations, we place it on our poker blacklist or casino blacklist. We don’t want anyone to sign up to these sites.  

    The top reasons a site may end up on a blacklist are:

    • Poor security and player protection
    • No licensing or independent auditing 
    • Inadequate or slow customer support
    • Legitimate allegations of cheating
    • Late payment of players’ winnings
    • Unjustified refusal to pay out winnings

    We typically find these sites during our review process or through industry contacts. If you’ve found a site that you believe should end up on our blacklist, you can contact us and we will investigate further for you. 

    Why You Can Trust Our Recommendations

    We’re not just any comparison site – we’ve been building a safe and friendly community since we started operating in 2004, and have continued to cultivate this trusted environment ever since. We really value our users, and we think this is what sets us apart. Check out some of our proudest achievements below.

    • We’ve got an ‘Excellent’ score on Trustpilot.
    • We have loads of fantastic testimonials written by CardsChat members.
    • Some of the biggest name in poker sit down with us each week on our popular poker podcast.
    • 366,533 people from 190 countries have joined CardsChat as a member.
    • We manage to secure over $200,000 in exclusive freerolls and tournaments every year for our members.
    • We’ve published over 90 reviews in multiple languages and have plenty more to add! Check out our online casino reviews and poker site reviews.

    Find out more on our About Us page.