First, we had Ethereum casinos, and then we had Ethereum sports betting sites. And now? Players have access to fully-fledged Ethereum poker rooms at the click of a button. Such platforms allow you to play poker with other players from the comfort of your own home or via your mobile device. Whether you’re looking to play cash tables, tournaments, or good-old sit and go – Ethereum poker rooms host thousands of games on a 24/7 basis. With that being said, if you’ve never played online poker before at a crypto-centric gambling site, we would suggest reading our comprehensive Ethereum Poker Guide for 2020. Within it, we cover the ins and outs of how Ethereum poker works, the many benefits that Ethereum gambling platforms offer over traditional sites, and how you can get started today.
What is an Ethereum Poker Site?
In its most basic form, an Ethereum poker site is an online gambling platform that allows you to play poker with other players. Everything is facilitated online, meaning that you can play poker via your desktop or mobile device. By using a specialist Ethereum gambling site, you will only be able to deposit and withdraw funds using cryptocurrencies.
As such – and as we cover in more detail shortly, this allows you to benefit from instant transactions. Moreover, there is never a requirement to provide any personal information or upload any ID documents when playing Ethereum poker – so you can remain 100% anonymous at all times.
In terms of the fundamentals, the underlying process itself operates much the same as any other poker platform. For example, Ethereum poker sites offer you the choice of playing cash tables, tournaments, or sit and go games. Moreover, the rules will mirror that of the offline space, so you’ll need to ensure that you understand winning hand combinations, blinds, and rakes.
Ethereum Poker vs Traditional Poker Sites
If you’re wondering why you should consider using an Ethereum poker site as opposed to a traditional platform that operates with fiat currencies, we welcome you to read the following benefits.
Instant Deposits and Withdrawals
Although some poker sites allow you to deposit funds instantly, it’s the withdrawal process that often frustrates players. For example, you will need to wait a couple of days for the poker site to manually process your withdrawal request, and then an additional few days for the respective payment issuer to credit the funds.
Moreover, you’ll need to add an extra couple of days on top if it’s your first withdrawal, as poker sites are required to verify your identity. With that said, Ethereum poker sites operate in an autonomous manner, so all withdrawal requests are processed instantly. This means that you should receive your winnings in your private Ethereum wallet in less than a minute!
As we briefly noted earlier, Ethereum poker sites do not ask for any personal information from you. This is in stark contrast to a traditional poker site, which will need to collect your first and last name, date of birth, home address, nationality, and more.
The platform will then ask you to validate the provided information in the form of ID. On top of a passport or driver’s license, you’ll also need to supply a proof of address.
However, by using an Ethereum poker site, you won’t need to provide any of the above. Instead, you’ll only be asked for an email address – which is for the purpose of resetting your password in the event you forget it.
Those of you based in the US will remember Black Friday well. For those unaware, Black Friday refers to the date that US legislators installed new regulations to govern online poker sites. At the forefront of this was a ban on platforms being able to accept US residents.
As such, poker sites either needed to move offshore, or close their doors indefinitely. This means that US players are often banned from joining online poker sites.
The good news is that Ethereum poker platforms do not discriminate against location or nationality. Instead, as all player accounts are anonymous, there are no jurisdictional restrictions enforced by Ethereum gambling sites.
What Ethereum Poker Games can I Play?
In a similar nature to traditional sites, Ethereum platforms typically offer the three core poker games – sit and go, tournaments, and cash tables.
We’ve briefly outlined how each poker game works below:
Sit and Go
Sit and Go games consist of one or more table – with each table hosting between 6 and 9 players. The overarching concept is that all players need to pay a fee to enter the game. Moreover, all players will start with the same number of chips.
Unless the sit and go game permits re-buys, you are removed from the game when you lose all of your chips. The last remaining players will then get a share of the prize pot – proportionate to where they finished. For example, the winning player will get the largest share.
In order to keep the flow of the game going and thus – prevent players from simply folding their cards until they get a strong hand, the blinds in sit and go games increase incrementally.
Ethereum poker sites will offer a range of sit and go games, meaning you can find a table that meets your stake levels. This usually starts with an entrance fee of $0.50, right up to a thousand dollars and more.
If you’re the type of player that seeks that life-changing win, then you might be best suited for Ethereum poker tournaments. The concept is somewhat similar to sit and go games, not least because all players will start with the same number of chips, and everyone pays the same fee to enter. Moreover, the blinds will increase incrementally until the game has finished.
However, Ethereum poker tournaments usually host hundreds, if not thousands of players. In fact, for as long as the game is still accepting new registrations, there is no limit to the number of players that can join a tournament.
Most Ethereum poker tournaments will allow players to buy back into a game for a limited amount of time. For example, let’s say that you enter a tournament that costs the ETH-equivalent of $15, and re-buys are allowed for the first hour.
This means that you can re-enter a game as many times as you want until the 60-minute deadline is activated, albeit, you’ll pay the $15 entrance fee on each re-buy.
Ethereum cash table games operate in a completely different way to tournaments and sit and go games. First and foremost, there is no entrance fee to join a game, so you can bring as many chips to the virtual table as you wish – as long as you meet the minimum table requirement.
Crucially, while tournament/sit and go chips have no monetary value, each chip in a cash table game has a real-world value. For example, a $1 chip is worth $1, a $25 chip is worth $25, and so on.
This means that Etereum cash table games are a lot more risky, as there is essentially no limit to the amount you can lose – especially if playing at a no-limit table. On the contrary, you can only lose your original entrance fee when playing a tournament/sit and go game.
With that being said, professional poker players swear by cash tables, as they feel that the underlying rules allow then to get more of a long-term advantage over less capable players.
What About Ethereum Video Poker?
Ethereum gambling sites also offer a number of classic video poker games. This includes the likes of Five Draw Poker and Deuces Wild. The rules work in exactly the same way as in the traditional space – albeit, stakes are facilitated with ETH.
Player Traffic at Ethereum Poker Sites
One of the most important metrics to look out for when playing poker online is traffic. This refers to the number of players playing at a poker site at any given time. Although the Ethereum poker space is still in its infancy, player traffic is growing year-on-year. Furthermore – and perhaps most importantly, Ethereum poker sites typically partner with at least one network.
For those unaware, a poker network sits between multiple sites, subsequently ensuring that player traffic remains high. For example, if poker site A, B, and C has 500, 200, and 4,000 players respectively, the number of players active at all three of the sites would amount to 4,700.
This is because all players are playing via a collective network. As such – whether you decide to play cash tables, tournaments, or sit and go games, Ethereum poker sites usually offer good levels of player traffic around the clock.
How do I get Started at an Ethereum Poker Site?
Like the sound of Ethereum poker and wish to get started today? If so, be sure to read our step-by-step Ethereum poker guide below.
Step 1: Choose an Ethereum Poker Site
There are a number of crypto-centric gambling sites that now facilitate online poker, so you need to choose a platform that best meets your needs. Look at metrics such as deposit/withdrawal times, player traffic, and reputation.
If you don’t have time to perform your own due diligence, check out some of the Ethereum poker sites that we recommend further down on this page.
Step 2: Open an Account and Deposit Funds
Once you’ve chosen a platform, you will then need to open an account. This shouldn’t take you more than 30 seconds – as you’ll only need to enter your email address, and then choose a username and password.
Next, you’ll then need to deposit some ETH. Copy your unique deposit address down, head over to your private Ethereum wallet, and then transfer the coins over.
Step 3: Join a Poker Game
Once the Ethereum poker site credits your deposit, you will then be able to join a game. Firstly, you need to choose the type of poker game that you wish to play – such as a tournament, cash table, or sit and go game.
You will then be presented with a number of different games that are currently in play, or about to start. You can filter the game down by the entrance fee (tournaments and sit and go games) or the blinds (cash tables). You can also set your filters up by the speed of the blind increase – which includes standard blinds, turbo blinds, and super-turbo blinds.
Once you have found a game that you like the look of, you will need to choose a seat. If opting for a cash table, you will need to bring a minimum number of chips to the seat. Don’t forget, each chip has a real-world denomination.
If opting for an Ethereum poker tournament or sit and go game – and the game hasn’t started yet – you will be seated automatically when the game commences.
Step 4: Withdrawing Your Ethereum Poker Winnings
If you are fortunate enough to be in a position to withdraw your winnings, the funds will be transferred to your private Ethereum wallet. Simply click on the withdrawal button, paste in the receiving wallet address and the amount you wish to cash out, and the Ethereum poker site should process the withdrawal instantly.
Ethereum Poker Guide: Best Poker Sites in 2020
With heaps of Ethereum poker sites now in operation, knowing which platform to sign up with can be challenging. As such, we’ve listed our top 3 picks below.
Betcoin offers one of the most comprehensive Ethereum poker arenas in the crypto-centric arena. Whether it’s cash tables or sit and go games – you’ll have access to heaps of poker rooms. Player traffic is also notable at the platform, so you’ll have no issues getting a game regardless of what timezone you’re on. One of the standout features of using Betcoin for your online poker needs is that the platform hosts huge tournaments.
This allows you to win a life-changing amount of money with a super-low entrance fee. Betcoin does not require you to enter any personal information when you sign up, and you won’t ever be asked to submit any ID. All payments are processed autonomously, meaning that withdrawals are virtually instant.
If you’re more interested in playing classic video poker games, we would suggest checking out the merits of Stake.com. The online gambling platform accepts multiple digital currencies – including that of ETH. All deposits and withdrawals are instant, and you can gamble 100% anonymously.
When playing Ethereum video poker games at Stake, you will have the opportunity to set your own betting parameters. As such, the platform is ideal for both low and high stakes players. Finally, Stake is also a good option if you want to combine video poker with other classic casino games. This includes everything from roulette, blackjack, dice, and slots.
FortuneJack is one of the largest crypto-centric gambling platforms in the space. Operating since 2014, the platform used to host a number of live poker games. However, it has since decided to scrap its live rooms in favour of its ever-growing video poker department. The platform hosts multiple variations of the game, with the underlying software backed by a number of leading developers.
On top of video poker, FortuneJack hosts thousands of other casino games. This also includes a live table department, so you can play the likes of blackjack and roulette via a real-world dealer. Moreover, FortuneJack also offers a fully-fledged sportsbook. This covers thousands of betting markets – both pre-match and in-play.
In summary, more and more players are making the transition over to the Ethereum poker space. This is for a number of reasons, such as the ability to deposit and withdraw funds instantly, gamble anonymously, and access ever-growing poker networks.
Crucially, Ethereum poker sites typically facilitate all-three poker variants – including cash tables, tournaments, and sit and go – as well as video poker games.