How Bitcoin Online Poker Works

December 7, 2016
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A Helpful Guide To Online Casinos Using Bitcoin

We Tell You Everything You Need To Make Bitcoin Deposits and Withdrawals
Bitcoin Accepted

If you are a serious online poker player, you have probably heard about an alternative to depositing real money into your online poker accounts. A new type of currency has slowly been gaining momentum and may change how we purchase goods, services, and even the way we play internet poker.

Bitcoin (BTC) is a form of digital currency (also called a cryptocurrency) that can be traded between two people anywhere in the world, including for chips with online Bitcoin poker sites.

The list of places that accept Bitcoin grows each day, and includes Amazon, Overstock.com, the NBA's Sacramento Kings, and of course many online poker Bitcoin sites. There are also Bitcoin exchange programs that allow you to trade BTCs for real cash.

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Bitcoin at a Glance

Developed in 2008, Bitcoin is a digital currency that can be traded between two parties located anywhere in the world. It is continually growing as a currency, and it’s an increasingly common experience to find yourself on a site accepting Bitcoin. Internet poker using Bitcoin is also on the rise, and it has found its way to a small number of online poker rooms. While playing online poker with Bitcoin is still unavailable at most sites due to its newness, depositors of the currency favor it for its efficient, secure and low-cost features.

The Ins & Outs of Bitcoin Poker

Bitcoins can be acquired in a variety of ways, the most common being buying them from specific sites, receiving them as a form of payment, or through a process called 'mining'.

A Bitcoin miner is a free application that users install on their computers to generate, or 'mine', Bitcoins. The connected network of all these miners adjusts the amount of Bitcoins created so they are generated at a frequency that is predictable and doesn't flood the market. Once 'mined', an electronic signature is added and the currency is now permanently in the network for distribution and exchange.

What are the advantages of using Bitcoin to make a deposit?

Though it can be tricky to find a poker room that takes Bitcoin, there are many advantages to having it as your deposit method of choice. Firstly, transactions take place very quickly. As Bitcoin is exchanged via a peer-to-peer system, you send funds directly to your recipient without the intervention of a third party. Secondly, you won’t have to provide any personal information when you deposit on a poker site that accepts Bitcoin, making it a safe and secure option for those uncomfortable with sharing information online. Lastly, because the cryptocurrency’s operational costs are cheaper, you will usually find that a poker room that takes Bitcoin has a lower rake charge. Players get to keep a greater portion of their winnings when playing internet poker using Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Poker vs. Real Money Poker

Bitcoin vs. Money

To be able to make withdrawals, transfers, and deposits with Bitcoin, you will need what is called a "Bitcoin wallet". This is similar in concept to your internet banking or PayPal account.

A big difference between using a Bitcoin wallet versus a website like PayPal is that the latter has to be tied to a bank account. Bitcoin wallets are typically considered more secure and horror stories of Bitcoin-accepting sellers getting hit with account freezes and chargebacks are non-existent.

The wallet needs to live on your hard drive and you will need to know its 'address' to receive BTC. Wallets can also be accessed on your iPad, iPhone, Android, or similar device.

The Benefits of Going All In With Bitcoin

One of the main reasons for Bitcoin's popularity is that there is no possible way for third parties (i.e. the government) to seize or freeze your Bitcoin wealth. This also means there is no way for any party to ever tax your Bitcoin income or spending. The currency is also completely private as no one except each wallet's owner will know how many Bitcoins someone possesses.

There are also no transaction costs or waiting periods associated with transferring around Bitcoins, unlike traditional banking or even PayPal. The entire system is a lot quicker and more secure than traditional currency, which would only require knowledge of a few authentication details to steal money. With Bitcoins, a thief would need have to have access to a user's physical computer in order to send Bitcoins to their own account.

The Bitcoin Poker Downsides

Bitcoin will likely become invaluable to serious online poker players.

While BTC is becoming more widely accepted, the amount of places that welcome Bitcoin are still sporadic and limited. The market and value of Bitcoin is also wildly unstable and unpredictable, leading to possible confusion in transactions.

Also, because accessing Bitcoin requires physical access to whatever device they are stored on, Bitcoins could be 'lost' forever in the event of a hard drive crash, or if you lose your device. With no way to get them back, you could go from being the richest Bitcoin owner alive to being Bitcoin-broke if someone smashed your hard drive.

Poker Sites That Accept Bitcoin

There are many top Bitcoin gambling sites, though it can be considered risky to play on newer sites because of the aforementioned downsides. Check our reviews for safe places to play poker with Bitcoin

And if you're worried about the legalities of Bitcoin Poker, don't sweat it. Since Bitcoin is unregulated and legally considered a commodity as opposed to a currency, laws against depositing and playing online poker with American dollars do not apply on US Bitcoin poker sites. In addition to America, this also applies to Europe and the rest of the world.

The Future Of Bitcoin Poker Sites

As Bitcoin gains more and more acceptance across the world, the number of top poker sites Bitcoin is valid on will continue to grow. With instant transfers and no transaction fees, Bitcoin will likely become invaluable to serious online poker players.

How To Deposit for Online Poker with Bitcoin

  1. In order to be able to deposit at a poker site that accepts Bitcoin, you first need to create a wallet so that you can purchase your digital currency. A list of e-wallets which support Bitcoin are listed at https://bitcoin.org/en/choose-your-wallet. You can find clients for computers, tablets and mobiles.
  2. Once you have downloaded an e-wallet which supports Bitcoin, you can purchase the currency through various exchanges which can be found at http://howtobuybitcoins.info/. Bitcoin you have purchased will be stored in your wallet, which you can then use to deposit at a poker site.
  3. Once you have found an online poker site accepting Bitcoin, go to the cashier page and select Bitcoin as the payment option. You will need the recipient Bitcoin address so that you can deposit money into your poker account. When you pay, you will be redirected to your Bitcoin wallet for completing the transaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Bitcoin at online poker sites?

Bitcoin Poker Sites

Yes! Though it's not yet universally-accepted, there are many top online poker rooms such as the ones listed on this page) that accept Bitcoin deposits, withdrawals, and wagers. Any internet poker site will list alongside their other welcomed currencies if they accept Bitcoin or not.

Is this available in any country?

Part of BTC's appeal is that it knows no borders in terms of acceptance, meaning it can be traded with online poker palyers on the other side of the world without having to worry about transaction or conversion fees. Just know that some online poker sites won't accept players from certain countries, regardless of if they are gambling only with Bitcoin or not.

Are there sites that specialize in Bitcoin poker games?

Yes! And on this page we have listed the top online poker rooms that both accept and specialize in BTC gaming.

Is Bitcoin poker legal?

Yes! Playing with Bitcoin is not prohibited because it is not yet recognized by governments as legal tender. Just know that some European poker rooms will block the IP addresses of American-based players, even if they are only trying to play with Bitcoin.

Is it a safe payment method?

Absolutely. Anyone trying to steal your Bitcoins would not only need the log-in information to your digital wallet, they'd also have to get a hold of your physical device. Much more difficult than someone simply hacking your bank account from the other side of the world!

Are poker winnings processed and paid back in Bitcoins?

It depends on the online poker site, but typically whatever currency you deposit with (including Bitcoin) can be processed and withdrawn the same way.

Am I eligible to receive poker bonuses?

Like playing with USD, the Euro, or any other currency, the bonuses you receive at Bitcoin online poker site are going to vary. Most (if not all) Bitcoin poker rooms will offer bonuses and incentives for players just like any other online poker room would.

Can I use Bitcoins when playing on a mobile device?

Yes! If you have a Bitcoin wallet on your mobile device and are playing on a mobile-friendly online poker site, you can wager your BTC just as you would if playing on a desktop computer.

Are there any advantages to using Bitcoin for online poker?

Many! One of the most popular reasons for Bitcoin's rise in usage is that third parties (such as the government), can't freeze, seize, or tax your wealth. This is in part due to the currency being completely private, meaning no one except you can see how much BTC is in your wallet.

Another reason so many love Bitcoin is that the transactions are instantaneous, unlike wit PayPal, traditional banking, and other services. Not only is this much more convenient, it adds another element of security to your transactions.

What are the disadvantages of using Bitcoin to play poker?

Bitcoin is not yet universally-accepted and it can be frustrating trying to find a bitcoin-accepting online poker site with all the features that you enjoy most. The BTC market is also an unstable one, which means the cryptocurrency's value can swing wildly from day to day. And because the currency is tied to a physical device, a crash or loss of the device could mean losing all of your bitcoins as well.

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