Best Bitcoin Poker Sites in 2017
We are entering into an exciting new year for Bitcoin. The start of 2017 saw Bitcoin reach its all time high of over $1,100, attracting widespread news coverage from across the world. It is also likely that 2017 will be the year that both Segwit and the Lightning Network are introduced, providing enormous benefits to poker players through the use of faster payment channels. With such a positive outlook ahead, we conducted a review of the best Bitcoin poker sites in 2017 so that you can find the top tables to play at. Below is a ranking of the current top 5 sites:
For more information on these rankings as well as Bitcoin poker in general, please choose a topic below:
- Deciding the rankings for our top 5 Bitcoin poker sites
- Why some Bitcoin poker sites don’t make the cut
- Top Bitcoin poker sites vs behemoths like PokerStars and Full Tilt
- Bitcoin poker update 2017-01-11
Deciding the rankings for our top 5 Bitcoin poker sites
Poker rooms are increasingly turning towards Bitcoin as a new deposit method for their players. The speed, security and anonymity of each Bitcoin deposit makes for the best user experience – much improved over traditional banking options. As Bitcoin payment channels become more commonplace and easier to use, it’s likely that players will turn to some of the BTC poker rooms like the ones above. Our rankings for this top 5 list have been curated by expert and impartial poker players. These poker players are also avid fans of cryptocurrencies and together they created this strict ranking criteria:
Does the Bitcoin poker site offer some great bonuses? A great bonus does not always mean the best site; many bonuses come with terms and conditions that are not easy to meet. For example, some Bitcoin poker sites require that users generate an unachievable amount of rake before their bonus can be unlocked. In the worst cases, bonuses can be refused on any grounds deemed necessary by the poker site. The best poker rooms are the ones with bonuses that are achievable and can be easily withdrawn. Not all of our top Bitcoin poker sites offer bonuses, but those that do (like Betcoin.ag) are great for new players.
While customer support would be expected from any of the big “traditional” poker rooms like PokerStars or Full Tilt, this service is not always commonplace in the Bitcoin world. To make it into our top 5 list, these poker sites must have fantastic customer service – ideally 24/7 and with a live chat option as well. We found Betcoin.ag to be the best poker site for customer support, typically replying on live chat within minutes and with excellent responses.
Of course no poker room would survive without a good number of active players. Activity is essential as it means that the Bitcoin poker room can provide big guaranteed prizepools in their tournaments, and that the cash games are always filled with opponents (ideally mostly fish). Again, Betcoin came out on top for us, thanks to its cash tables that are regularly populated with beginner players as well as tournaments with over 100BTC guaranteed.
There is a whole range of other metrics that we took into account when ranking these Bitcoin poker sites. These metrics included:
- Player reviews – what did real players think of the poker room?
- Altcoin deposits – does the site accept more currencies than just Bitcoin (FortuneJack was the clear winner here)
- Poker software – does the provider offer browser or desktop based poker software, and do they offer a mobile app?
As you can see, a lot went into finding the greatest poker sites – and we feel that our top 5 rankings are an accurate reflection of the market in 2017.
Why some Bitcoin poker sites don’t make the cut
There are dozens of poker sites that accept Bitcoin which didn’t make the cut. Here are a few common reasons as to why a Bitcoin poker room didn’t make it to our top 5 list.
Fiat vs Bitcoin
Many poker rooms that originally offered deposits via fiat currency (bank transfer, PayPal, Skrill etc) have “tagged on” Bitcoin as a payment method. At these websites, there tends to be a huge amount of paperwork required with registering, and the appeal of using Bitcoin to gambling quickly dissipates. For that reason, we have only included two of these fiat/Bitcoin hybrids in our top 5 list, and they are BetOnline and Americas Cardroom. These are the only two poker sites that were capable of integrating both fiat and Bitcoin seamlessly.
Bitcoin Poker Withdrawals
A surprisingly large number of poker rooms will offer Bitcoin deposits without also offering Bitcoin withdrawals. At these sites, a player who deposits Bitcoin will then need to withdraw to a bank account or PayPal address. This largely defeats the point of using Bitcoin as a deposit method. We believe that sites who practice this type of deposit/withdrawal scheme are doing so purely to attract new players interested in Bitcoin – it isn’t until later that the player finds out that they are unable to withdraw.
Top Bitcoin poker sites vs behemoths like PokerStars and Full Tilt
The Bitcoin poker industry is certainly still very new when compared to the early 2000s poker rooms like PokerStars and Full Tilt. That being said, the profitability of Bitcoin poker has led to some fantastic developments in the Bitcoin poker space. Betcoin.ag offer a browser-based poker room that is arguably on par with that of PokerStars. The casino facility attached to FortuneJack’s poker room is also outstanding, and would put many of the smaller traditional poker sites to shame. While there are a number of “basic” Bitcoin poker rooms like SWC’s, the quality, particularly amongst our top 5 list, is always remarkable.
The only aspect of Bitcoin poker which under-performs when compared to the behemoth poker rooms, are the prize pools. Player activity and tournaments are still good and very popular at Bitcoin poker sites, but there is no denying that some multi-million dollar weekend prizepools would be a welcome addition. Fortunately, we have seen a strong upward trend in the size of Bitcoin prizepools, particularly at Betcoin.ag, who in 2017 will no doubt host a number of 200+ BTC tournaments.
Bitcoin poker update 2017-01-11
This page will be updated each year to reflect the best Bitcoin poker sites at the time. This update is the first of many, and will continue to be curated over time to ensure that you can always find the top Bitcoin poker rooms right here.