Best Online Poker Sites to Play For Real Money in 2016

This article reviews the best, most trusted places to play online poker based on our experiences at PokerUpdate. These rankings relate to online cash poker sites and games for real money online available to players in different geographical regions around the globe, so please consult each site to find out if the region you are in is eligible. Here is a handy chart of the best poker sites to play for real money online.

These are the best 2016 online poker sites in the world:

  • $88/£20 FREE Welcome Bonus, Double Deposit Bonus up to $888

    2300 average 4000 peak hours
    Up to 35% via VIP Program Cash Back
  • 200% up to £1200, Deposit £30 Get £60 Bonus

    1000 average 3000 peak hours
    Unlimited Rakeback for every 100 Titan Points
  • Welcome Bonus 100% up to $500, Deposit £10/$10 Get £20/$20 FREE

    1000 average 3000 peak hours
    Up to 30% via VIP Program Cash Back
  • Signup & Get 100% up to $500 Bonus

    600 average 1100 peak hours
    Up to 30% via VIP Program Cash Back
  • Deposit £20 Get £75 FREE, 200% up to £1200 Bonus

    900 average 1500 peak hours
    Up to 27% rakeback on contributed terms
  • Receive $20 free when you make your first deposit

    16000 average 29000 peak hours
    VIP Club Benefits (Rakeback Equivalent)
  • 200% Up To € 1500 Welcome Bonus

    400 average 650 peak hours
    35% Weighted Contributed (WC) rake

What Are The Best Online Real Money Poker Sites?

There are dozens of real money poker websites you can play on, but which sites are indeed the best? When looking for poker websites, you need to consider several factors including how long the site has been in business and whether they are regulated.

Online poker players had problems in the past because they have elected to play on new sites that are not regulated by a major gambling commission. The best online poker sites have years if not decades in the online gambling business, and have went through the process of becoming regulated to ensure player safety.

What Makes a Poker Site the “Best in the World”?

Unlike former WWE wrestler CM Punk, it is not enough for an online poker site to claim that they are the “Best in the World.” Rather, they have to earn this title and that comes from their overall reputation with players from around the world.

When determining which sites are the best in the world, the following criteria are considered:

🌟 Traffic – The best online poker sites have a high amount of traffic in both cash games and tournaments. PokerScout.com ranks the top sites based on cash game traffic. The more players in cash games, the more you will find playing in tournaments.

🌟 Quality of Poker Client – A lot of a sites popularity rests on how functional their client is to the average user. Clients that are difficult to use or have frequent glitches will force players to play elsewhere.

🌟 Available Games – While Texas Hold’em is the king of poker, there are plenty of players out there that want to play other games. If a sites offers just a couple of poker variants, they will struggle to retain the modern day online poker player.

🌟 Generous Tournament Guarantees – It is no longer enough for a site to offer poker tournaments, they must now offer generous guaranteed prize pools. Sites that offer regular guarantees to their tournaments will attract new players and give existing players a reason to keep coming back.

🌟 Promotions – Players want an incentive to play at an online poker site. The sites that offer generous promotions to new and existing players are the one that are able to earn loyalty from their players.

🌟 Loyalty Programs – Regular players expect to be rewarded for their play. Sites that offer solid loyalty programs, especially those with rakeback, are the ones that retain loyal customers.

🌟 Customer Support – The best online poker sites offer superior customer service to their customers and generally offer more options than simple email support.

What Factors Determined Rankings For Online Poker Sites?

The online poker sites listed above are ranked based on a number of factors, including number of games available, the amount of traffic they generally receive, and how easy it is for real money players to deposit and cash out on the Internet poker sites.

How quickly each poker site’s customer service department responds to queries was also considered, as was the availability of online poker bonuses and other promotions throughout the calendar year.

Poker Bonuses Explained

One important consideration when signing up for an online poker site is the types of bonuses they offer to new and existing players. In the list of the best online poker sites above, you will notice several promotions mentioned. Below we break down the different type of bonuses you can expect to find:

♠ Signup Bonus – Free money that’s added to your account when you register for an online poker account.

♣ Welcome Bonus – Bonuses given to new players after they register for an account, typically in addition to a signup bonus. These can be in the form of deposit bonuses, freeroll poker tickets or special prizes.

♥ First Deposit Bonus – When you’re ready to make a deposit, most sites will match your deposit with bonus money. This is often a 100% match. Note that this bonus usually requires you play a set amount of hands to release a portion of the bonus. Read the details of your offer to learn more.

♦ Reload Bonus – This bonus is for existing players who have deposited in the past. Unlike the First Deposit Bonus, this one may not require as many hands to be played to clear a bonus.

When you’re considering whether to accept a bonus offer, here are a few things to consider:

1. Are there any codes to enter. If so, make sure you enter the right code for the offer you want.

2. Are there any special requirements to receive your bonus money. Read the fine print of all offers to find out more.

3. Is this the best deal available on the site? Sometimes sites will run several promotions at one time. Shop around and verify your deal is the best one before signing up.

Online Poker Site Reviews

You need to do your research before you make a deposit on any online poker site. There are literally hundreds of poker “news” sites that will provide “reviews” for online poker rooms but the majority of these are written by contracted writers who have never played a hand of online poker.

The reviews at PokerUpdate.com were done by online poker players who have years of playing experience. They know how to properly evaluate online poker sites and will give you an honest review of which sites you should play on and which ones you should avoid.

The virtual poker sites we reviewed for these rankings include PokerStarsFull Tilt888 PokerTitan Poker and PartyPoker.

Using many of the criteria above, we have reviewed several of the game’s top online poker sites. Below are brief reviews on each of them.

888 Poker

Read our Comprehensive 888poker Review Here

888poker_logo_188x154888 Poker is the top ranked online poker network in the world. With almost 4,000 cash game players daily and over 10 million registered users, there’s plenty of action available on 888 Poker.

888 Poker offers some of the most exciting online poker tournament gaming in the industry. Popular events on the site include Twister Poker, The Whale and the Mega Knockout.

888 Poker also offers some of the best promotions in online poker, including $88 free for new account signups. They also provide several options to play online poker, including clients for the Mac and apps for both Android and iOS.

PartyPoker

Read our Comprehensive PartyPoker Review Here

partypoker-logo-232x188PartyPoker is one of the oldest online poker rooms on the internet and possibly one of the most recognized names in the game. The site presently ranks 7th in cash game traffic per PokerScout and averages between 10,000 and 20,000 players daily in their online poker tournaments.

The site has been famous for a robust spread of cash games and PartyPoker presently offers over $1.6 million in weekly tournament guarantees. They offer some of the best promotions in the industry, including the chance to play your way into live World Poker Tour events.

William Hill Poker

Read our Comprehensive William Hill Poker Review Here

williamhillpokerWilliam Hill Poker is one of the oldest brands in online poker. The are the largest site on the iPoker Network, the second largest online poker network in the world. The iPoker Network averages around 3,500 cash game players and between 10,000 and 15,000 tournament players daily.

Online poker tournament players will love William Hill as they offer over €5 million a month in online poker tournament guarantees. They also boast a generous loyalty program where players can exchange points for either cash or tournament tokens. Their first deposit bonus of 200% up to €1,500 is among the best in the industry.

 

Bwin Poker

Read our Comprehensive Bwin Poker Review Here

bwin-logo-black-transparent-300x173Bwin poker has long been an innovator in online poker. They were among the first to offer a Mac poker client and one of the first sites to go mobile. After merging with PartyPoker, bwin poker is a top 10 online poker site that offers superior gaming.

Their poker client has a distinct look that separates it from the rest of the industry and their gaming is among the best in real money online poker.  Unique features such as casual cash games give players options they don’t see on other online poker sites.

Betfair Poker

Read our Comprehensive Betfair Poker Review Here

betfair-poker-200x100Betfair Poker is one of the largest and most-trusted brands in online gambling. Developed by PlayTech, Betfair Poker is another site on the robust iPoker Network. The advantage of being on the #2 poker network in the world is that you will never lack for player traffic. As such, Betfair boast massive tournament guarantees and has plenty of cash game action 24/7.

Betfair Poker has all the same features as other iPoker sites, including Jackpot and Twister Sit & Go’s. They also have many of the creature comforts online poker players want, such as resizable tables, preferred seating, and auto top-up for cash games.