Safe Poker Sites

Below are the safest poker sites to play poker in 2018. We’ve thoroughly tested all these sites, and have marked them as safe. All of them are licensed and established operations, with player bases reaching tens of thousands of players at peak times. Lock Poker is an extremely reputable poker room with a flawless track history and plenty of fish.

Recommended Poker Sites July 2024

1. ignition Ignition yes yes n/a Ignition Play Now!
2. Bovada Bovada yes yes n/a Bovada Play Now!
3. betonline BetOnline yes yes n/a BetOnline Play Now!
4. intertops Intertops yes yes n/a Intertops Play Now!
5. sportsbetting Sportsbetting yes yes n/a Sportsbetting Play Now!
6. americas cardroom America’s Cardroom yes yes n/a America’s Cardroom Play Now!
7. blackchip-poker Blackchip Poker yes yes n/a Blackchip Poker Play Now!

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Background On Online Poker Safety

Gambling on the Internet is a lot like running through an old mine field. Most of the time you can safely make it from one side to the other without even realizing that there’s a problem; but sooner or later there’s going to be one heck of an explosion if you don’t plot out a safe course. There are thousands of corrupt online casinos that exist in cyberspace today, and each of them is designed to lure in players and convince them to make an initial deposit. In some cases, the player wins like mad…but he will never see those winnings reach his bank account. Others are less direct with rigged games or ridiculous fees that will eventually bankrupt a player. This guide will discuss a little bit about spotting these types of establishments. You should always play poker online at the safest poker sites.

Website Selection Criteria : Security at the top of the list

The first thing any legitimate gaming website has going for it is security. The server should be encrypted on a secure channel, and many of the top online casinos use the exact same software that financial institutions use to complete the process of online banking. This means that when you provide credit card information to the casino it is instantly scrambled into random gibberish that no hacker could possibly make sense of; and even though the receiving computer deciphers the code, the credit card information is never shown in its original form.

Likewise, legitimate online poker sites will normally have a security team that does nothing but study the hands being played to make sure that no single player receives an unfair advantage or handicap. Believe it or not, cyber-criminals have developed truly innovative tools that can penetrate a casino’s firewall and change the payouts of various games. Once they gain access, it’s simply a matter of programming to be able to see other players’ cards, rig a slot machine to pay out the jackpot, or even to change the house rules when it comes to payouts. Since no website is ever 100% secure all the time, the only way to prevent cyber-crime is to have a trained staff that can react to these threats in real time.

Safest Poker Rooms Rankings

While we’d rather not make any recommendations as to where you should be placing your wagers, here is a list of some of the safest poker rooms on the internet. Each of them have excellent security to protect deposit transactions, quick payouts, and all of their games are overseen by an established gaming authority that monitors poker rooms all over the world.

Gaming Commissions

Since there is no true way for the average player to know how secure a website is simply by visiting it, another factor to take a look at is the casino affiliation. For example, Ultimate Bet is a member of the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which is an authority that oversees both traditional brick and mortar casinos as well as virtual ones. Under this legislation, Ultimate Bet and many other casinos are placed under constant scrutiny to ensure that their payouts are fair, their players have an enjoyable experience, and their security standards are among the world’s best. Not only does this legislative authority guarantee a pleasant poker room where strict rules are enforced, but it also makes it easy for players to know at a glance that their best interests are always being considered as well.

There are also many other legitimate gaming commissions that ensure fair compliance within virtual poker rooms, but unfortunately the standards can waiver between them. Many corrupt business owners will simply create their own gaming commission to make it appear secure to players, and then they will post this business image on hundreds of their own less than reputable casinos to trick gamblers into trusting them. If the authenticity of a poker room can not be independently verified by a few clicks of the mouse, then it is probably not a place that you should consider gambling at. Whenever you’re in doubt, perform an actual Google search and verify the information yourself; never trust the links on a potentially bogus website.

Withdrawal Options

A final piece of advice to finding safe poker rooms is to look at their withdrawal policy. Legitimate casinos have absolutely no stipulation on when money can be removed or how often transactions can occur, because their number one goal is to make your overall experience as close to what you’d expect in Vegas as possible. Most reputable poker rooms will force players to complete a short questionnaire before their first withdrawal, but this is only to verify that the person making the request is you and not some cyber hacker that happened to discover your account information. While this one-time delay is definitely unfortunate, most players agree that they would rather know that their winnings are being protected 24/7.

Likewise, stay away from online poker rooms that have any type of restrictions on collecting your winnings. Street corner bookies in the 1940’s began forcing their clientele to wager any profit three times before it could be cashed out, which meant that they often had up to 87.5% odds of never having to pay the better a penny. For example, if you placed a $10 wager on your favorite sports team to win, the bookie would issue you a credit for $20 if you won the bet. Then you’d have to let the $20 ride on a second competition and $40 on a third one…only to collect your original $10 profit. To receive the second and third wager, each of those would have to be bet three times as well; making an endless loop of opportunity for the loan shark and very few payouts.

Some casinos use this same theory; since the odds are in their favor, the more times they force the player to bet, the more money that they will make. While this practice may seem unethical, it is completely legal and it takes place on the internet every single day of the year. These types of online poker rooms should always be avoided at all costs because they are little more than a legal way to hustle honest players. The only exception would be first-time deposit bonuses; these will always have to be bet a certain number of times before it transforms over into real money.

Choosing the Right Poker Room

In a lot of ways, playing online poker and choosing your room can be like venturing into the Wild West.  Stories abound about players losing money to a less-than-reputable site (such as Dutch Boyd’s infamous incident with PokerSpot, when he was unable to make payouts to many players) or of cheating by a group of players.  Obviously, you’ve got enough to worry about when you’re sitting at the table playing a hand.  You don’t need to be concerned with the safety of the site you’re on when you’re trying to calculate odds and make reads on other players.  That’s why it’s critical to play poker on a room where your hard-earned money will be safe.

In many cases, choosing a good room is as easy as finding one that has a long-standing reputation.  Party Poker certainly fits the bill, as one of the best known and longest running sites on the web.  A poker room doesn’t get to that point without a certain level of reliability, trustworthiness and customer service, as major incidents turn into massive public relations nightmares, particularly in an industry that is entirely online.  Making it even better, Party Poker has a reputation for hosting games that are easier, on average, than other sites.  If you’re outside of the United States of America, there’s really no good reason not to be on Party Poker.

If you’re in the United States, though, Party Poker is not an option for you due to the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA).  The company got cold feet after the bill was passed and quickly withdrew from the market.  Nevertheless, there are still plenty of safe options for American players.

One of them has to be Bodog Poker, which spends a great deal of money advertising to US players and has backed it up with reliable options to fund your account and pull out your winnings.  Bodog also offers an online casino and sportsbook, giving you other gambling options as well as a player pool that is often slanted towards novice opponents.

Gaining the peace of mind that comes from playing on a site you can trust is worth the extra research, so be sure to make the right choice.  As anybody who had money stuck on Neteller during the big government crackdown can attest, it’s no fun looking at your winnings online and not being able to access them.  That’s a rake you simply can’t beat. That’s why playing at the safe poker sites is always a good idea.

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