Safest Poker Sites
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Players are sometimes skeptical when it comes to giving out their banking or credit card information online, and their concerns are warranted. Identity theft in modern society is common and people carry a certain paranoia when it comes to online transactions. However, there are a number of reputable online poker websites that have been doing business for years and consistently maintain virtually flawless track records for customer safety and financial protection.
Here are the common safety questions I have answered below:
- How are poker sites licensed and regulated?
- How can I be sure that the deal of cards is fair?
- How can I deposit and withdraw while ensuring my money is safe?
The Safest and Most Secure Poker Sites in 2018
|Rank||Poker Site||Bonus Amount||Bonus Code||Start Playing|
|1||Ignition Poker||100% up to $2000||*Use Link||IgnitionCasino.eu|
|2||BetOnline Poker||100% up to $1000||*Use Link||BetOnline.com|
Safe and Secure Poker – Licensing / Regulation
The number one rule for safely playing online poker is that you should never play at a site which is not licensed.
Licenses are issued by different legal jurisdictions around the world. US sites, which are based offshore in the Caribbean, are licensed by different countries than the bigger global sites. You should always check that any site you play at has a license before you deposit.
US sites are usually licensed in one of three main jurisdictions:
Antigua and Barbuda: This country is notable for their dispute with the US via the WTO (world trade organization). They claim that the US is infringing on their rights to free trade by blocking gambling deposits. Many poker sites are licensed here.
Curacao: This jurisdiction is also known as the Netherlands Antilles. This is another Caribbean island which licenses a lot of sites (including a lot of casinos). Many of the software companies which license their games to US friendly casinos are also based here.
Panama: This famous haven for tax exiles and is located in Central America. The biggest licensee for poker players here is BetOnline, which has been welcoming US gamblers for more than 10 years from their base in Panama City.
There are other licensees for US sites including Costa Rica and Belize.
Global Poker Site Licensing Jurisdictions:
Gibraltar: This jurisdiction is considered one of the most reputable licensees around. Many of the biggest names in online poker are physically based here, as well as licensed.
Malta: More recently Malta has become a popular place for gambling sites to base their headquarters. This jurisdiction is also considered very reputable and licenses a lot of poker sites which do not offer games to the US.
Isle of Man: The biggest poker site of all, PokerStars, are headquartered and based on this island.
Other global licensees include Alderney and Jersey.
In addition to licenses from these global jurisdictions, many sites also enjoy individual country licenses. The recent requirement for all sites offering games in the UK to be licensed by their Gambling Commission is a good example of this.
Safe Poker Sites – Fairness of the Deal
One of the most widespread myths in online poker is that the deal of hands is somehow unfair or rigged. The evidence against this is not just solid – it is overwhelming! In 20 years, there have been literally billions of hands dealt online. Not one tracking tool, testing company or even individual player’s hand database has shown anything other than a mathematically fair deal.
Some players still insist that ‘their friend’s friend who is a pro said…’ and so on. I’ll go with the math!
To make extra sure you are safe, there are 3rd party auditing companies which test the deal of cards over millions of hands. These companies then certify the sites as fair. Look out for badges and links to companies such as iGaming Labs, eCogra and TST (Technical Systems Testing) on the homepage of your site.
Safe / Secure Poker Sites – Your Money
There are many ways to get money on board safely, even from the more restrictive environment of the US. You’ll find detailed guides to using every conceivable poker deposit option right here at poker websites.net.
As long as you choose a licensed site, which has been running for a few years and is not in the middle of any major payment scandal – your deposit will be very safe.
If you really do not want to give your credit card information to a poker site, then there are several alternatives. For US players, these include buying prepaid Visa cards, using Bitcoin or even making a person-to-person transfer using Western Union or MoneyGram.
If you are outside of the US then you can also use eWallets including PayPal, Neteller and Skrill. These effectively put a virtual account between the poker site and your bank – giving you that extra peace of mind.
As long as you stick to the biggest and most reputable sites (either side of the Atlantic), online poker is a safe, secure and (most important) enjoyable experience.