The Top Real Money Online Poker Casinos in 2023

Experience the best mix of skill and luck that has ever graced the world of online gambling by playing the best real-money online poker casinos in the business. Pick up handy tips, explore poker variants, understand betting options, maximize poker strategies, study hand rankings, and more in this extensive real-money online poker guide.

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Online Poker
Dive into the exciting world of online poker by learning the ins and outs of this timeless classic. Pick up handy tips, discover expert insights, get a clear overview, partake in free poker games, learn obscure terminology, and more in this in-depth guide.


Poker is the bridge between casual gambling and professional gambling events. A poker set is the go-to birthday present for thousands of people around the world, with its appearance at a party immediately sparking interest. While most of us have had the pleasure of experiencing a game of poker in real life, few of us have experienced it online. We at OnlineCasinoReports believe that this is a missed opportunity that should be amended as soon as possible, which is why we have prepared the following in-depth guide.

We will explore online poker like true gambling detectives, starting with its history and then transitioning to betting options, strategies, poker hand rankings, poker rules, tips, and more. Each section will give you a unique insight into online poker and get you one step closer to being a real money online poker pro. We will also present the various poker variants that you might encounter during your poker adventure, which will help you pick a genre that aligns with your personal preferences. Let us dive right in.

The History of Poker

Poker can trace its roots back to 16th and 17th century Europe, where games like “primero” and “poque" were played in Spain and France, respectively. Both games were based on betting and bluffing.

What was to become poker eventually made its way to North America, thanks to French settlers in the 18th century. As the game evolved, it absorbed elements of other card games, such as the English game of “brag”. The American frontier accepted it with open arms in the 19th century.

The 19th century was crucial for poker, as it gained popularity, especially across the Mississippi River region. Major changes to the rules were made, with a new exciting format of "stud" and "draw" poker emerging.

It is these variants that were infamously played in the Wild West, where legends such as Wild Bill Hickock and Doc Holliday made their mark. The former’s death even gave birth to the Dead Man’s Hand.

Poker was standardized in the 20th century, with variants such as Texas Hold 'em and Omaha emerging. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) was established in 1970. Its popularity led to the creation of the first online poker games in the 1990s. These became prominent in the early 2000s, with mobile and live poker quickly joining the fold. Recent years have seen a shift towards VR and AR gaming, which promise an incredibly exciting future for the timeless game poker.

Poker Versus the House

A special subset of online poker are so-called “casino poker” games, where players compete against the house or casino rather than against each other. In these games, the casino acts as the dealer and represents the house. You are tasked with beating the dealer's hand or achieving special hand rankings.

The game rules and payout structures are fixed, with the rules being very straightforward to the point where even novices can enjoy playing. The hand rankings are standard, with a royal flush being the best and a high card being the worst card. Their associated payouts are predetermined, with slight variations between games.

Casinos naturally want to incentivize gaming, so they introduce various bonus bets that offer additional opportunities to win. These bonus bets are based on achieving specific hands. The main overall downside is that you simply cannot bluff.

A few examples of player versus house poker that you can try include Three Card Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, and Let It Ride. Note that you can find these in our recommended online real-money poker casinos.

Poker Versus Other Punters

The poker variant that you think of when you hear the word “poker”. It consists of punters placing bets, employing betting strategies, bluffing, and competing for the best possible hand. The games involve multiple players that use dealt and community cards to form their winning hands.

The betting rounds are relatively straightforward, with punters checking, betting, raising, and folding. This is where various strategies come into play, with all of them being based on hand rankings. The latter differ from variant to variant, with the lowest being a high card and the highest being a royal flush.

Player versus player or PvP poker involves a lot of skill, as rounds can be won purely by bluffing. There are also various tournaments where you can compete for a prize pool. These tournaments have many forms, with freezeouts, rebuys, and sit-and-gos being very popular.

The Ins and Outs of Online Poker

Online poker can be an unforgettably fun gambling experience, but it might also leave you wanting. We have prepared a list of pros and cons that help you ground your expectations, with the pros being:

  • Convenience - You can play online poker from your favorite device, be it a PC, Mac, Android, or iOS.
  • Game Variety - There are plenty of poker variants, such as Texas Hold 'em, Omaha, Seven Card Stud, and more.
  • 24/7 Access - You can play online poker anywhere and at any time, with poker rooms and casinos being open 24/7.
  • Bonuses and Promotions - There are plenty of exciting bonuses, promotions, and loyalty programs that enrich your bankroll and gameplay.

Pros are naturally balanced by cons, which include:

  • Lack of Physical Tells - You cannot see the facial expressions or bodily movements of your opponents when you are playing online.
  • Internet Connectivity Issues - You might experience technical difficulties, such as lag or a disconnected internet connection.
  • Dependence on Technology - The visual and sound quality of your poker game depends on your hardware.

Betting Options

Online poker is very straightforward when it comes to betting options. You only need to read the betting options once, and you will have a firm grasp on every potential move. Check out the following breakdown to learn more.

  • Check - A move where you essentially pass the action to the next player without adding chips to the pot.
  • Bet - Placing chips into the pot to increase the size of the wager. Every participating player has to match the bets of other players.
  • Call - If a bet has been played by another player, you can call by matching the amount that they wagered.
  • Raise - You can increase the size of your current bet by raising. Other players have to raise or fold their hands when you do so.
  • Fold - If you have a weak hand and do not want to continue, you can simply fold. Note that this forfeits your chips.
  • All-in - If you do not have enough chips to call but still want to participate, you can go all-in and partake by risking all of your chips. This might result in a side pot being created.
  • Check-raise - This involves checking initially and then raising when an opponent places a bet.
  • Overbet - A bet that exceeds the current size of the pot. The idea behind it is to exert maximum pressure on opponents and make them think that you have a strong hand.
  • Value Bet - A bet that is made with the intention of getting paid off by a weaker hand. It is usually made when your hand is strong enough to win, but you want your opponent to call and waste his funds.
  • Bluff - The act of betting or raising a weak hand to deceive your opponents into folding their stronger hands.


Online poker is an exhilarating game that punters have been trying to crack for hundreds of years. Some have taken up card counting, while others have attempted to outright cheat. Check out the following breakdown of handy poker strategies and see if any speak to you.

  • Starting Hand Selection - It is vital that you know which hands are smart to play and which to fold. We recommend playing strong hands, such as high pairs, high cards of the same suit, and connected cards. Fold weak hands unless you want to bluff.
  • Bluffing - Bluffing is a great way to trick your opponents into overextending themselves and allowing your hand to win more than it would otherwise. Note that too much bluffing can be counterproductive.
  • Pot Odds and Expected Value - Understand the concept of pot odds and EV to make better decisions about calling or folding. Pot odds help determine if a call is profitable in the long run, while EV considers the potential outcome of various actions.
  • Positional Aggression - Use betting and raising to make aggressive and effective plays when you have a strong hand. Note that your stance can greatly impact your table image.
  • Card Counting - A very misunderstood strategy that most believe is illegal. Card counting is, in fact, completely legal and acceptable. The main issue is that it is incredibly hard to pull off online, where poker games use multiple decks that are shuffled at random.

You might be tempted to combine various poker strategies with betting systems, such as the Martingale of Fibonacci system. While these are fun and exciting ways to play online poker, they can often result in horrendous losses. We, therefore, recommend that you test your strategies for free or demo mode. If neither of those is available for your chosen online real-money poker title, simply use low-limit wagers.

Poker Hand Rankings

It is crucial that you are familiar with the hand rankings of your chosen online poker game. Hand rankings differ greatly from title to title, with the minimum winning hand often being the main difference. You should know exactly how your current or potential hand ranks before you start committing funds to wagers, which is why we have prepared this handy breakdown of conventional hand rankings from best to worst.

  • Royal Flush - The highest-ranking hand consists of five cards of the same suit in sequence from 10 to Ace, so 10-J-Q-K-A of spades, for example.
  • Straight Flush - A hand consisting of five consecutive cards of the same suit, so 5-6-7-8-9 of hearts.
  • Four of a Kind - A hand consisting of four cards of the same rank, such as 8-8-8-8-2.
  • Full House - A hand consisting of three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank, such as 7-7-7-4-4.
  • Flush - A hand consisting of five cards of the same suit, but in sequence, such as 2-4-7-J-K of clubs.
  • Straight - A hand consisting of various consecutive cards of different suits, such as 4-5-6-7-8.
  • Three of a Kind - A hand consisting of three cards of the same rank, such as 10-10-10-5-2.
  • Two Pair - A hand consisting of two sets of pairs, such as 9-9-3-3-Q.
  • One Pair - A hand consisting of two cards of the same rank, such as K-K-4-7-J.
  • High Card - A hand that has no valuable combination, with the highest ranked card determining its strength, such as A-10-7-5-2, where the Ace is the highest card.

Poker Rules

Understanding poker hand rankings and knowing a clever strategy or two is not enough. You need to also be familiar with the gameplay of online poker, which warrants an in-depth understanding of poker rules. Your typical gameplay loop will look something like this:

  • Blinds - There are always two players placing forced bets, known as blinds. The punter left of the dealer posts a small blind, and the player to that punter posts the big blind. These differ in their amounts, with high roller tables demanding higher blinds. The purpose of blinds is to initiate the pot and stimulate action.
  • Hole Cards - Each participating player is then dealt two private cards that are face-down. These are referred to as hole cards, and only you can see them for the time being. Note that this is where various strategies start.
  • First Betting Round (Pre-flop) - Players, starting with the punter left of the big blind, now have several options. They can fold or discard their hand, call to match the big blind or raise to increase the best. Betting continues in a clockwise direction until all players partake.
  • The Flop - The dealer reveals the first three community cards, known as the flop. These are usually face-up in the center of the table, with the purpose of forming the best possible hand.
  • Second Betting Round (Post-flop) - Another round of betting then ensues, with the player of the dealer starting the fun. Players can check, bet, call, raise, or fold, depending on the situation.
  • The Turn - The dealer then reveals a fourth community card known as the turn. It is a card added to the flop cards, forming a total of four community cards.
  • Third Betting Round (Post-turn) - Another round of betting takes place with the same options as the previous two. Note that it starts with the player to the left of the dealer.
  • The River - The dealer reveals the fifth and final community card, which is referred to as the river. This card is added to the other community cards, comprising five in total.
  • Final Betting Round (Post-river) - The very last betting round with the exact same rules as the previous ones.
  • Showdown - This is when winners are chosen, as players are forced to reveal their hole cards. The best five-card poker hand is determined by evaluating hole cards with the five community cards. Note that this does not take place if there is only one active player.
  • Pot Award - The player with the winning hand is given the entire pot, which is the sum of all bets. Note that a small cut might be taken by the casino at this stage.
  • The Start of a New Hand - After the pot is awarded, another round with the exact same gameplay ensues. The cycle continues theoretically forever.

Why Play Online Poker?

Online poker is one of the most popular online casino games, but some players simply do not see what all the fuss is about. This is a completely understandable stance to take, especially if you are unfamiliar with the thrills that gambling provides. We want you to know exactly what you can expect, which is why we have prepared the following lists of pros and cons. Let us start with the pros, which include:

  • Convenience - Online poker is incredibly convenient, with various variants and games being accessible from anywhere and at any time.
  • Variety of Games - There are plenty of exciting online poker variants that boast exciting gameplay and bonus mechanics.
  • Access to Tournaments - Every poker player dreams of participating in some form of poker tournament. Online poker tournaments, ranging from freerolls to high-stakes poker, allow you to do just that. You can even qualify for live poker tournaments.
  • Bonuses and Rewards - Online poker platforms often offer bonuses, promotions, and loyalty programs that can boost your bankroll and enhance your gameplay.

Pros naturally come with cons, which in this case include:

  • Lack of Physical Presence - You are not seated around a real poker table with your fellow punters, which means that you cannot tell how they react to various stimuli physically.
  • Technical Issues - Your entire gaming session can be bogged down by lag or even ended prematurely by a faulty internet connection. Issues can arise on your side and on the side of the online casino or poker platform.
  • Problem Gambling - It is very easy to get tangled in problematic gambling habits, such as depositing more than you can afford to lose and chasing losses or wins.


Everyone wants to maximize their online poker session and achieve unforgettable wins. However, playing an optimal online poker strategy is much harder than it might seem. The following veteran tips should help you make the most of your next online poker session.

Kicking Things Off

Starting your online poker session can be incredibly daunting, especially if you are unfamiliar with the gameplay. We want you to have the best possible online poker gambling experience, which is why we have prepared the following online poker crash course.

1 Pick a Reputable Venue

It is crucial that you join an online casino or poker platform that respects and values you. You should have access to an extensive game library, plenty of bonuses, responsive customer support, and your favorite banking methods. Moreover, the venue should be licensed, regulated, and audited. You can find such poker sites on our list of expert recommendations.

2 Pick the Right Table

Each poker table is unique. The uniqueness comes from paytables, odds, betting options, gameplay, theme, and more. You should pick the poker table that aligns with your personal preferences.

3 Learn the Rules

There are countless online poker variants out there, each featuring a unique set of rules. We recommend that you dive into these and study your rights and obligations before starting your gaming session.

4 Set a Bankroll

Bankrolls or budgets are crucial, as they help keep your gambling in check. Set a bankroll before you even start gambling, and make sure to never exceed it. One of the most important aspects of this is not chasing wins or losses, regardless of what is going on.

5 Practice for Free

If you are unfamiliar with your chosen variant or if you are not quite sure that you grasp online poker, you should practice in free or demo mode. Remember that you can always easily transition to real money plays, often with the help of bonuses and promotions.

Free Poker VS Real Money Poker

Punters are constantly arguing about which is better, free or real money poker. The discussion is completely valid, as both genres have their pros and cons. The following points might help you decide where your allegiance lies.

Free Poker Real Money Poker
You cannot win real money You can win real money
You cannot lose real money You can lose real money
It is perfect for learning It is perfect for having fun

Online poker can be a bit confusing, especially if you are playing with veterans who use their own lingo. You should always know what is going on, which is where understanding the slang and jargon comes in. We recommend that you check out the following poker glossary and always stay in the known during your online poker gaming.

Poker Glossary

Poker Variants

You will encounter countless online poker variants during your poker adventures. Each of these variants has unique betting options and various quirks. You should know exactly what you can expect from each variant by checking out this handy breakdown of the most popular ones:

Texas Hold 'em

One of the most popular poker variants the world over, it is based around giving punters two private or hole cards each, with five community cards being shared by all participants. Your objective is to form the best possible five-card hand by combining hole and community cards. Your payouts depend entirely on the paytable that your specific Texas Hold 'em variant is using.

Seven-Card Stud

Seven-Card Stud gives each player seven cards, three-face down and four face-up ones. The game is comprised of multiple betting rounds, with the goal being to create the ultimate five-card hand. Note that the basic variant does not include discarding cards. Your best five-card hand is picked from among your seven cards.

Omaha High/Low

Sometimes referred to as Omaha 8 or Better, this poker variant is very close to Texas Hold 'em. The main difference is a split pot and the fact that you need to form the best high and low hand. Each of these hands needs to number five cards, with four hole cards and five community ones.

Five-Card Draw

It is a classic poker game that gives each player five private cards. Players can then choose to exchange cards through a drawing round. They can replace one or more cards in order to improve their hand. The best five-card hand wins.


A lowball poker variant where the goal is, oddly enough, to form the lowest possible five-card hand. Aces are low, and flushes and straights do not count against the hand's low value. The game is, otherwise, very close to Seven-Card Stud.

Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker is a unique poker variant that is the perfect mix of poker and traditional Chinese dominos. Punters receive seven cards each and are tasked with creating two hands, a five-card high and a tow-card low hand.

Caribbean Stud

The main objective in Caribbean Stud Poker is to beat the dealer’s hand. You do not have to compete against your fellow punters, which is perfect for maintaining camaraderie. You are dealt five cards with only one face-up card. The remaining ones are eventually revealed and compared to the dealer’s. The dealer has to possess an Ace-King high hand or higher to qualify. Payouts depend on the strength of your hand and the payout structure.

Cyber Stud Poker

It's a casino table game very close to Caribbean Stud Poker. It involves punters competing against the dealer, with the goal of forming a superior five-card poker hand. Players are forced to place bets before cards are dealt, with the usually dealt card count being five. They can then decide whether to bet or fold, with the dealer dealing another four cards in the case of a bet. Note that winning hands can even qualify for progressive jackpots.

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Yes, you definitely can! There are plenty of online poker sites and online casinos that offer free or demo variants of online poker. However, these are limited to digital poker and do not include live dealer titles. We, nonetheless, recommend them to every beginner and veteran wanting to brush up on their skills.

Yes, you can! Online casinos and poker platforms have various mobile solutions, such as dedicated mobile applications and mobile-optimized websites. These can easily be accessed from your favorite Android or iOS device. Note that some venues even give you bonuses for mobile gaming.

Yes, there definitely are! You can expect the usual array of bonuses, including welcome, reload, deposit, no deposit, and even cashback bonuses. Remember that all of these come with wagering requirements and eligible games, so make sure to check if they align with your needs and wants.

Yes, you sure can! Live poker with an actual dealer at an actual poker table is a very popular poker genre, with plenty of streams that are beamed directly from brick-and-mortar casinos and gaming studios. It is also the closest that you can get to an immersive online poker experience.

Yes, there are plenty of them! Online casino operators want to accommodate every type of player, which is why you can find plenty of high and low-stakes online poker games. Note that some poker games are exclusive to VIPs and high rollers, so you might need an invite to partake.

Yes, there sure are! You can partake in various forms of online poker tournaments, including Sit & Go, multi-table, and even satellite tournaments. The latter can potentially open the door to major live events.

That depends entirely on what you are looking for in an online poker game and venue. We suggest that you join one of our recommended online poker casinos, as these are licensed, regulated, audited, and boasting the best bonuses, games, and customer support around.

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