Online Poker 2023 – The Game and Sport
Despite 2021 having brought about so many unique changes (not all beneficial) to the world, online poker continues to grow, gaining new followers every day. In every corner of the world the enthusiasm for this fantastic game of skill (and a little bit of luck…) is amazing.
In this article we would like to provide you with general information about online poker that should have you ready to make the most of what this game has to offer. And, of course, we’ll share with you the perfect online poker operator with whom you can enjoy your adventure.
When it comes to online poker and poker sites in 2023 (and beyond…), YourPokerDream should always be the first stop on your journey – regardless of whether you’re just making an occasional trip to the virtual felt or are treating it a little more seriously. On YourPokerDream you will find all the useful information you’ll need about the best poker rooms currently available, along with a variety of exclusive promotions, tournaments and, of course, the highest online poker Rakeback deals.
Finding the right online poker site for you is not always the easiest job because there is such a large selection available on the Internet. All of the sites mentioned in this article have been personally tested by our experts so that we can provide you with easy to understand comparisons. Our in-depth analysis features factors such as software, the various poker formats offered, bonus programmes, rakeback, payment methods, customer service and – one of the most important – privacy and security. With this in mind, we can guarantee that no matter which poker room you choose, with YourPokerDream you’ll know you’ve made the right choice.
What should a good online poker room offer?
- First and foremost, there should be a big enough pool of players online, and (hopefully) at multiple limits, and across the different variants. You will want to have a wide selection so you can pick and choose according to what you’d like to play; it’s important to avoid having to wait for a free seat or a table to open.
- Next, we want to help you find a site that has a lot of poor players (fish) at the tables. We want to ensure your poker experience isn’t ruined by constantly sitting down with only the most serious – even professional – players.
- You want to feel totally comfortable as a player on a poker site, the aim being to simply get on with the game in the knowledge that the highest levels of security are being maintained. The priority is that players are provided with the best possible gaming experience and, for this reason, we work with only the largest and most reputable, well-known providers. All the poker rooms we recommend have a valid gaming license and a proven track record in the industry that goes back years.
- A nice bonus programme, interesting promotions and generous rakeback deals are, of course, great news. But who doesn’t want a bit of extra money if it’s there for the taking? We can offer players who join via YPD exactly that in the form of juicy exclusives!
The top online poker sites for 2023
We partner with a number of online poker rooms, and below you can find the ten which we most recommend. Sign up with one of these via YPD and we are confident you will have a fantastic online poker experience.
YPD Recommendation: GGPoker from the GGNetwork. While GGPoker might not have initially enjoyed the same level of recognition as older, more established operators, their fortunes have improved considerably in recent years, now sitting justifiably at the top of the pile of online providers after amazing growth. It’s a testament to GGNetwork’s rapidly expanding player pool that the WSOP chose them as official partner. Indeed, the GGNetwork is currently number 1 in the global online poker market, and continues to threaten for the top spot. With state-of-the-art software, fantastic promotions & rakeback deals and many recreational and inexperienced players from Asia, the GGNetwork is your perfect first stop. You won’t regret it!
Use the bonus code YPD when you register at GGPoker so that you receive our exclusive VIP Deal and also get access to our exclusive $2,000 GG WelcomeFreeroll, $1,500 YPD Summer Masters plus $4,000 in private tournaments …and many more interesting and exclusive promotions/tournaments.
To sum up: If you want to get the most out of your online poker experience – join GGPoker!
Of course, PartyPoker, Bwin and Unibet are also good choices. No matter which provider you choose, there are many great welcome offers and numerous exclusive extras from YourPokerDream.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
600$ Bonus/Up to 60% Rakeback
600$ Bonus/6.000$ YPD Freerolls
200€ Bonus/Up to 65% Rakeback
500$ Bonus/Up to 60% Rakeback
2.000€ Bonus/30% Flat+Rake Chase
2.000€ Bonus/30% Flat+Rake Chase
2.000$ Bonus/Up to 55% Rakeback
400$ Bonus/VIP System + Freerolls
The History of Online Poker
Online poker first appeared in 1998, but it took a good five years for it to grow a sufficiently large player base to provide regular games. With the world so interconnected today, it feels natural to play anything from a few hands to long sessions of online poker from the comfort of your home. Mixing it up against players from around the globe through a phone is something few could have imagined when online poker was first introduced.
The game experienced a huge boom in popularity when the aptly named Chris Moneymaker won an incredible $2.5 million in the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event. Apart from being a marketing dream thanks to his last name, Moneymaker provided the industry with the perfect ‘rags to riches” story, having started his journey by qualifying online for the $10,000 buy-in Main Event via a $39 satellite tourney. At the time, Moneymaker wasn’t even a professional poker player, working a 9 to 5 job as an accountant. However, overnight he became known as the regular guy next door who turned a few dollars online into a multi-million dollar payday. All around the world, people’s eyes were opened to the dream of hitting it big with online poker.
Playing online shares a number of similarities with live poker. The tables might be virtual, but the players are real, and so, of course, is the money. The players don’t see each other as they would in an actual so-called ‘bricks & mortar’ casino, but that doesn’t mean the psychological aspect of the game doesn’t still play a major role. There’s nothing more satisfying than pulling a giant bluff after having noticed something about an opponent’s betting patterns. Whether you want to stick to Texas Hold’em or try the more action-packed Pot Limit Omaha, there’s a game online for you.
Online Poker is a game for everybody
Online poker just keeps growing and growing, and has become firmly established in the gaming world. A few countries have tried to block and outlaw it, but even here this tends to be in order to clear the way for their own government-regulated and taxed sites to profit. The game is definitely here to stay.
The notion of playing at home yet competing against players from all over the world attracts thousands of people every day to the virtual tables. Whether you’re playing for a few pennies or you decide to take a shot at big money, there’s always something for everyone, with an abundance of games and formats to suit every bankroll. There are many online poker operators out there, but we can help you navigate your choices to find the most suitable site for you – this is because only the best poker rooms can be found here on YourPokerDream.
Online poker is a game for young and old – it’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with people of all ages, from all walks of life and from around the globe. Everyone is equal at the virtual poker tables.
YourPokerDream is the perfect place for online poker players. Here you can find numerous promotions, bonuses and rakeback deals with the most famous and well respected online poker rooms. We’re also here to help you learn and improve your game, with plenty of articles on a variety of topics, including rules, strategies and the increasingly important psychological side to poker, as well as general information about the game and even the latest news items about what’s going on in the poker world from day to day.
We also strive to give all our YPD members the best service at any time. The mission here at YourPokerDream is to help provide poker fans with a fun, safe and secure feeling when they log on. Join our community today and you’ll immediately start to reap the benefits. It takes less than a minute to sign up, and is 100% free.
Benefits of Playing Poker Online
While there are obvious similarities between ‘live’ and online poker, there are distinct differences, too. Here are some key ‘pros’ of online poker.
Comfort & Convenience
Comfort and convenience are important considerations whatever we’re doing, but when it comes to online poker it’s a particularly striking difference between the two choices. First, the very fact that we don’t have to leave home to play is a fundamental plus. Saving on both the time and cost getting to a casino is already a considerable advantage afforded us by online poker providers, while many poker fans don’t live anywhere near an actual poker room. Playing at home – or anywhere! – also means we aren’t restricted by time or other factors – online poker runs 24/7, every day of the year; we can play literally when and where we wish… there isn’t even a dress code! Quite simply, we can access an online poker room via a desktop or mobile device, at any time, anywhere, and find ourselves playing against other enthusiasts from different parts of the world.
Numerous Poker Variants
When you play at a good online poker site, such as GGPoker, you will have access to a number of different variants of the game. By not being limited to the specific type of poker that we tend to see in in casinos, players are able to broaden their poker horizons, which can be a sure-fire way of improving. Some popular poker variants available online include Texas Hold’em, Omaha, 5-Card Draw and 7-Card Stud.
Numerous Tournament Formats
Another benefit of playing poker online is the noticeable difference compared with casinos in the sheer volume of tournaments and tournament formats we can enjoy online. This is another important area that for many is a vital advantage of online poker. Again, being able to participate in different kinds of tournaments is another way in which we can improve our game. Online poker also features countless tournaments that guarantee awesome prizes and payouts, which certainly cannot be said for casinos, where space determines the number of players, which in turn determines prize pools. And we still haven’t mentioned a major pro of online poker, namely the facility to multi-table!
Your Cards Remain Hidden
It might be that those who play only online poker haven’t even given any thought to the safety of their cards as the whole process is automated and we need not concern ourselves with keeping our cards out of view, but those same players in a casino environment would be surprised at the effort necessary to make sure their opponents don’t see what they’re holding. And it’s even a player’s responsibility to make clear to the dealer that they’re still involved in a hand – failure to do so can see your cards being collected by the dealer!
(No) Noise & Distractions
While some can concentrate regardless of their environment, this isn’t the case for many, so it’s a welcome pro for the vast majority of poker fans that they can play at home because this means being able to engineer playing conditions that don’t come with the distractions that are often experienced at bricks & mortar poker rooms. The noise (which can be very loud) is one, while people moving around, ordering and being served drinks and food at the table while you’re contemplating whether or not to call that big bet with your pair of Aces and weak kicker, talking loudly and so on – any of these can in themselves be a potentially decisive distraction. With online poker, on the other hand, players are in control.
Drawbacks of Online Poker
There are, of course, drawbacks to online poker.
- Poker purists, for example, would suggest that a key reason to play ‘live’ is exactly that – to enjoy the experience.
- Not being physically in the company of your opponents means being unable to read them for tells via facial expressions and body language. This can be a very useful skill, and some players might miss it more than others.
- With the above in mind, bluffing can be a different animal. Online players are essentially in the dark compared with ‘live’ game players when faced with a possible bluff.
The difference between Real money and Play money
All online poker rooms offer both Play and Real Money mode. As a new poker player, it makes sense to familiarize yourself with the game in Play mode before joining Real Money poker tables.
In Real Money mode there are significantly more game variants and tournament formats available. Of course, being in a position to be able to win money tends to require an investment of money, but it should be noted that there are also various Freeroll tournaments where you can add to your bankroll without risking any funds.
Most online poker players play for real money – the thrill factor and the chance to win big are a major part of poker’s appeal, after all. Another ‘advantage’ of using actual money is that you can find real money games at online poker rooms 24/7 – whether you play Cash Games, Multi-Table Tournaments or Sit & Go Tournaments, there is always action. In Play mode, on the other hand, there is very little action and there are only a few players to practice against.
There’s an important distinction that new and inexperienced players should be made aware of, which is the fact that the actual gameplay between practice and real money mode is very different. The poker rules are the same, but real money poker is about real money and therefore naturally affects the way you play. This is simple human nature at work. For example, with Play money many players will happily go all-in more often because the stakes are low and, significantly, there’s no monetary risk involved. It’s a totally different game. In Real Money games players are clearly going to be more careful when making such decisions. This is why Play Money tables have a very limited use – it’s great to be able to learn the ropes without putting any money on the line, but ultimately there comes a time to graduate to Real Money games because, importantly, this is the only way to experience real poker …
What do I have to do to play poker for real money?
An online poker room provides players with a platform and service that allows them to connect and compete with players from all over the world. For the poker site it’s not important who wins because the set-up is such that they finance themselves via the small service fees paid by players in return for games being hosted 24/7 throughout the year.
A player has several options to transfer real money into their online poker account. The best-known deposit and withdrawal options are credit card, PayPal, Paysafecard, bank transfer and the e-wallet providers ecoPayz, Neteller and Skrill. YourPokerDream highly recommends e-wallets as there is no faster and more convenient way to deposit and withdraw from a real money online poker room.
It’s easy. Choose an online poker room, register and choose one of the numerous deposit methods to make a real money deposit into your account, and then you’re good to go. It’s worth comparing online poker rooms a little in order to find the most favourable deals for new players so that you can make the most of your initial deposit.
Most operators help you get started by hosting free-to-enter Freeroll tournaments that feature actual cash prizes. This is very useful in that it allows players to gain experience for free while being able to win real poker money.
Playing Poker Online – Is it legal?
All of the online poker sites with whom we partner have a valid gaming license. However, that doesn’t mean that any poker fan can play at every site – the legality of poker varies from country to country. We provide a full review of each of our partners on YourPokerDream, as well as a full list of any countries from where players are excluded from joining that particular site.
Meanwhile, the YourPokerDream Support Team is online 24/7 and can be reached via email and Skype to assist you with any questions you might have, so please do not hesitate to contact us for help and advice.
Choosing the Best Online Poker Sites
As we pointed out earlier, not all poker sites offer the best services to players. With this in mind, it can be helpful to consider certain aspects when looking for online poker rooms that are the most suitable for you. What might not be important for one player could be a deal-breaker for another. Below we will set out a few factors that are worth including in the selection process.
Licensing is Key
Licensing should be the first thing on your list of important considerations when finding a good online poker site. The most respectable and established operators have a valid licence from an appropriate and respected regulatory authority. This authority specifies the rules and regulations that the online provider must adhere to, which in turn tends to maximise the quality of the services these poker sites ultimately deliver. You should always avoid playing at any poker site that is not licensed as they don’t have to operate according to key stringent rules and could also potentially be scam sites.
Available Poker Variants
What kind of poker variants an operator makes available – and how much the choice on offer extends – is a good indicator of the quality of an online poker room. This is an important factor because the wider the variety of games on offer, the more poker fans will be likely to join, which in turn makes for larger player pools and busier traffic generally. GGPoker is one of the best online poker rooms that have plenty of game types to enjoy.
The numerous payment methods that a betting site supports determine how you can fund what games you play and (hopefully!) receive your winnings. Therefore, it is important that you go for a top poker site that supports a wide range of easy-to-use payment methods. It’s also worth checking the processing speed for payouts, as well as any fees that apply when making transactions. In addition to GGPoker, other good online poker sites with a wide range of banking options include Unibet and PartyPoker.
Bonuses and Promotions
We all like something extra, so it’s a good idea to search out what kind of bonuses and promotions are offered. Not all are the same, with some being more generous or player-friendly than others. In fact, you might be surprised how much of a difference the right kind of bonus can make, with the best deals affording players more chances to add to their bankroll and opportunities to win big. Top online poker sites offer players generous Welcome Bonuses, daily promotions, loyalty rewards and so on. GGPoker, for instance, offers a Welcome Bonus of a $100 reward or up to a $600 Match Bonus, depending on the player’s choice.
Customer Support might not seem too big a consideration, but the kind of support an online poker room provides its customers determines how easy it will be for players to receive assistance when they need it. The best poker sites offer support 24/7 via different channels, such as Live Chat, email and telephone. Most also have a comprehensive FAQ section with answers to commonly asked questions. When you play at any of the sites we’ve recommended so far you can rest assured that your enquiries (and any complaints) will be handled quickly.
Security and User Experience
Given that you will be asked to provide your personal and financial details when registering with a poker site, you’d be right to expect that the security put in place is of top quality. The best online poker rooms secure their platform using SSL encryption – all communications on these sites are encrypted with this technology, so your information won’t fall into the wrong hands. You should also check the overall user experience of the poker site. Make sure it is easy to navigate and is responsive on both desktop and mobile devices. Some top poker sites like GGPoker have a downloadable app for desktop devices that you can install for easy access.
We hope that, in discussing the pros and cons of online poker, this article has served to highlight how to choose the best poker sites. Remember that your gaming experience is going to be based on how good the site is at which you’re playing, so when finding somewhere to play this fascinating game it’s well worth investing a bit of time making the right choice before investing your hard-earned cash.
Online Poker FAQ
To help you along your poker journey, here are a few of our most Frequently Asked Questions. If you have more of your own, then please feel free to contact our Support Team for help and advice.
We are always happy to assist you. The fastest way to get in touch is via live chat by Skype/Telegram or Discord, while we can also be contacted by email.
Telegram Messenger: https://t.me/Yourpokerdream
Discord Channel YourPokerDream Community: https://discord.gg/G2A5B3a76q
What types of poker games are available online?
If you’re looking to try your hand at Cash Games you can find No Limit Texas Hold’em on all online poker sites, with many also offering Limit and Pot Limit Texas Hold’em. Fans of the action-packed Pot Limit Omaha format will have no problem finding a table on most poker sites. Recently, Short Deck Hold’em has become increasingly popular – this is no doubt due to the increased action generated by stripping the deck of all cards 5 or lower.
Meanwhile, there’s a smorgasbord of tournaments to add to the overall feast of online poker. And there’s a great deal of fun to be had! There are always many options available, from huge 1000+ plus player Multi-Table Tournaments (MTT) to quicker games such as Sit & Go or Spin & Go tourneys.
Is it possible to play online poker on a mobile device?
Nearly every poker site has a mobile version or app to use – both for iOS and Android platforms. No matter what kind of smartphone or tablet you might have, poker is available to you on the go. However, note that most poker apps are available only directly from the poker site itself rather than the Google Play or App Store.
Download the poker app from the poker room you like and you can play whenever you want, and from any place. All you need is access to the internet and you’re good to go and ready to compete with players from all four corners of the world.
Which currency can I use?
Usually, all poker sites offer players GBP, USD and Euro currency options, while most tend to use USD as the standard table currency. Note that currency conversions are automatically carried out at the same exchange rate when you sit down or leave, so there’s no need to worry about currency exchange fees when switching seats.
Which payment methods can I use?
Most online poker rooms offer the option of depositing via Visa or Mastercard. In addition, there are plenty of e-wallet providers available, such as Neteller, Skrill and EcoPayz. Depending on the poker site, you may also be given the option of making either an instant or delayed bank transfer. At GG Poker you can even use Bitcoin as a payment method.
Recommendation: Use one of the e-wallet providers – there is no easier and faster way to make a deposit or withdrawal at an online poker room. This option also affords players the added advantage of not having your bank seeing the numerous transactions that mean money moving in and out of your account – often to a different country. If you’re new to the concept of e-wallets, they’re quite similar to PayPal, but those we recommend allow access to poker and casino sites. For a comparison of the major e-wallet providers, have a look at our e-wallet article.
Can I play poker at multiple tables at the same time?
The facility to play more than one hand of poker at a time is one of the main reasons why so many prefer online to live poker. It’s one of the indisputable positive differences between the two formats. Not only does multi-tabling considerably reduce the waiting time between hands but, crucially, it also offers players exponential earning power from our Rakeback deals. And here is a very important reason why the team at YourPokerDream works tirelessly to offer the best Rakeback deals available.
With this in mind, if you find the middle stages of a tournament are running rather slowly, why not fire up a NL Texas Hold’em Cash game on the side? Alternatively, what about the fun challenge of playing two Heads-up Pot Limit Omaha games at the same time? Whatever you’re looking for, multi-tabling can provide plenty of action and liven up a poker session in a way that is possible only via an online provider.
What is the minimum age requirement to play online poker?
You have to be at least 18 years old to play online poker, and this limit can be higher depending on your country of residence. As part of the process of opening an account, or prior to cashing out, it is standard practice for poker sites to request a copy of your identification to verify your age and identity. These regulations are put in place by the relevant gaming authorities in order to ensure responsible gaming, and mirror those you would encounter in a regular bricks and mortar casino.
If you are younger than 18, then you are not allowed to play online poker for real money, and will also not be permitted to register at any poker room or casino.
Where can I find the most players?
All the poker sites we recommend and review have large enough player bases to ensure there are always games running for you. No matter which site you choose, you’ll find plenty of tables running 24/7, with the popular variants such as Texas Hold’em Cash Games and Pot Limit Omaha featuring heavily, plus a very wide range of Multi-table tournaments with very attractive guaranteed prize pools.
Are online poker rooms safe?
YourPokerDream recommends – and only works with – the world’s largest, most reputable online poker providers. Each has a valid gaming license, thus ensuring that you can play legally, with the security of being backed by the provisions of EU law.
In addition, all listed poker sites are checked and certified by independent auditing organizations, so we can guarantee that the cards are being dealt 100% fairly.
Learn the rules
Here at YPD we appreciate that not everyone is a seasoned poker expert who knows everything about the game, its history and how to go about making the most of what online poker has to offer. As always, we’re here to help, so this section is designed to point new and inexperienced poker fans in the right direction.
Strategy and Tips
Poker might have climbed out from pub backrooms to widespread TV coverage, massively popular online streaming and a global internet presence, but the fact remains that to the vast majority of people it remains another casino game. As such it is erroneously considered a game of chance alongside the likes of roulette, with Lady Luck the deciding factor. If you’ve made it this far, you’ll already know that poker deservedly sits atop games of chance in a category of its own that features the skill element. Take a look at our article Skill and Luck in Poker to find out more.
The best players focus on strategy to ensure they make plays that are accurate and justified. The trick is to remain consistent when making decisions, which should be backed up by various factors so that the overall strategy should result in long-term profit. Luck still plays a part, of course, and we can lose against opponents who play terribly but, over time, string play brings dividends.
Take a look through our Strategy guides for tips on how to improve your game and to accumulate knowledge by adding to your poker armoury. Poker is a rich tapestry full of nuance and detail, and seemingly identical situations can require quite different approaches just by virtue of one ostensibly minor difference such as position or stack size.
Your very own Poker Glossary
Those new to poker might be surprised to learn that the game seems to have a whole language of its own, given the number of poker terms we come across. It’s interesting that despite poker not necessarily being mainstream, there are specific poker terms that have nevertheless found their way into everyday language – ‘all-in’ and ‘the buck stops here’ (as in Button) being just two. While it pays to devote our time to learning about the game, it’s also worth familiarising ourselves with the most common poker terms. This is useful for a couple of reasons – apart from understanding what other players are talking about, it’s necessary to be aware of what the likes of ‘open-ended straight draw’, ‘gutshot’, ‘blocker’ and countless other terms mean if we are going to make the most of strategy articles, for example.
Take a look through our Poker Glossary and be in the know. And if you think there’s a poker term we’re missing just let us know – we’re always looking to expand our dictionary…
Poker Hall Of Fame
Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Mike Sexton – these names are well known by poker fans and, as such, have pride of place in the Poker Hall of Fame. Founded in 1979 by Benny Binion, the long-time owner of the Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, the Hall of Fame preserves the legacies of the world’s greatest poker players. Each year a couple more players are selected to join their ranks, with the minimum requirements being that they are over 40 and have enjoyed consistent success at the game’s highest level.
Click on the link below for more about the Hall of Fame, and to read a few bios on some of the greatest players in history.
Online Poker Articles
As fun as it can be to play hand after hand at the poker table, a key part of any poker player’s growth is keeping up with the game by studying and reading – time spent away from the tables, studying the game, is just as important as playing. YourPokerDream brings you regular articles and updates on the poker world in our news section. Whether you are a poker beginner or a seasoned pro, you’re sure to find something interesting and useful. From tips on how to boost your bankroll, and latest promotions, to serious strategy discussions and the latest poker news – we have you covered.
Check out a collection of some of our more popular articles below.
Live Casino Poker
Online poker is fantastic – we’re well aware of that! But if you fancy a change of scene occasionally and would like to try transferring your skills to the ‘live’ Bricks & Mortar arena, then you might like to visit your local casino or card room. You might even have a few chip tricks you’ve been practicing at home and would like to show off… Just remember, before you head out, to take a look at our guide to live poker, where we share a few strategic tips and deal with table etiquette and fundamental differences between online and face-to-face casino poker.
While many legendary poker pro stories start with that first credit card deposit, an e-wallet is definitely a necessity for any poker player, whether you’re a serious would-be grinder or your interest is purely recreational. E-wallets allow players to move funds easily, and in real time, to virtually any online poker room or casino. This excellent, user-friendly option is as secure as a credit card and without the accompanying (high) fees or interest.
Check out our review of the best e-wallet providers along with an in-depth comparison of the fees and advantages of each provider.
Spin & Go/Jackpot Tournaments
Spin & Go games – or Jackpot SnGs – are the fastest growing format in online poker. With these unique three-player mini-tourneys, just a few dollars and a few minutes of your time can result in winning very large sums of money! Prizes are not fixed, and can be various multiples of the buy-in, so the potential nosebleed payouts not surprisingly attract many players looking for glory. They’re also great fun, as well as the perfect game via which to generate juicy rakeback!
Check out our article below for more information about this popular poker format, and how YourPokerDream can help optimize your winnings.