Online poker has several key advantages unavailable at land-based venues, such as cash bonuses, non-stop tournaments, better game variety, note-taking ability and more. Poker itself has long been popular in Australia, going back to the 1950s. Then, of course, it got more popular with the rise of brick-and-mortar casinos. However, playing poker online is simply easier and more convenient than going to an actual casino. This is especially true if you are a new player, learning the ins and outs of the game. There are many benefits of playing poker on the internet.
Before you get into playing poker on the web, read more about the laws and regulations of playing online poker in Australia.
If you have played online, but are interested in trying a new room, check out our recommended poker sites listed below.
Below is our list of the top-rated poker sites in Australia, along with some tips for playing with cash, how to find the best games and which banking option is available to poker players within Australia.
Many players start by playing poker online at play money stakes, and after a while, they move up to real money play. But how do you move up to real money play? Should you stay at the site you’ve been playing at or move to another site? Will you be able to win at real money poker?
Setting up a poker account online is easy, but there are many more things to consider when making a move to real money. Below are some tips for making the transition along with how to find the best games and making your first deposit at a real money poker site.
AustralianGambling.lv recommends the following poker platform:
Ignition Casino – Ignition Casino has been in business since 2016, offering generous bonuses and games that everyone can play, from the novice poker player to the experienced pros that haven been at it for years. Join up now and enjoy a huge $2,350 welcome bonus to get you started.
Ignition Casino can be played on both iOS and Android. There is no need to download an app; you can simply play at Ignition’s mobile site.
Traditionally players have been offered the opportunity to download software from the various poker operators, but more and more operators are moving to offer in-browser options as well.
Real money sites for Australian players make it easy to make your first deposit and start playing online poker. Below are the simple steps you need to take to make your online poker deposit:
Note that some sites will require you to select your poker bonus while you make your first deposit. At some point, typically when you enter your account information, you will be asked for a promotional code, or you will be presented with an offer to accept. Take the appropriate steps to accept the offer if you wish to redeem.
In most cases, your deposit is complete, and your funds are available immediately for play. Some deposit options, such as bank wires, may take a bit longer to process. Any delayed processing times will be disclosed on the website before making your deposit.
If your deposit declines or funds are not available immediately, please contact customer support to investigate your deposit further.
Getting money onto an Internet poker site is one thing, but what’s the fastest way to cash out your winnings? Depending on the AU real-money site, you’ll likely have multiple options to cash out your funds. The most commonly used withdrawal methods are listed below:
E-wallets– The most widely used e-wallets by Internet poker rooms are Skrill and NETELLER. Some sites will allow you to use PayPal as well. With e-wallets, your funds are transferred within 24 to 48 hours after processing.
Bank transfer– Some sites offer bank transfers using systems such as SWIFT or iDebit. Others will do a direct e-check or wire transfer to your bank account. These can take as long as ten days to credit after processing.
Check by mail – If no other form of withdrawal is available, an online poker website may be able to send you a physical check by mail. This method tends to take the longest, and it may take up to 15 business days for you to receive your funds.
Cryptocurrencies– A growing number of poker rooms in Australia are offering transactions win Bitcoin while others also provide transactions in altcoins such as Litecoin, Etherium, and Bitcoin Cash. Electronic currencies are mostly unregulated, and the transfer of funds is nearly instantaneous after processing.
Traditionally, players have been offered the opportunity to download software from the various poker operators, but more and more operators are moving to offer in-browser options as well.
Keen to play via mobile or tablet? A lot of sites have a real money poker app or better yet, a mobile client which is able to handle normal browser play on a mobile device. Joe Fortune & Ignition have both recently released apps for iOS and Android, which offer more reliable options as well.
Regardless of which Australian poker site you play at, you will have to become verified by the site to cash out your funds. This is done by internet poker sites to judge your risk to the site. Some people will use poker online and other gambling methods for illegal activities, such as money laundering and moving of funds from one criminal organization to another.
This is why many poker websites on the Net have enacted Know Your Customer (KYC) processes to collect and analyze data from their customers. Know Your Customer is a process of guidelines specifically designed to combat money laundering from criminal elements.
Poker operators take the data collected from you and analyze it against known criminal and terrorist organizations. Afterward, they examine your risk of committing money laundering or fraud against the poker room. Finally, they regularly monitor your behaviour to ensure to make sure it fits into established guidelines to further ensure you don’t start off playing honestly, only to defraud the site later.
As such, you will be required to verify your information before cashing out from a legal Australian poker site. For many sites, this includes cryptocurrency transactions. The process is relatively simple, but it does require you to provide documentation.
To become verified under KYC, you have to provide your legal name, date of birth, and your official place of residence. Documentation is required for proof, and you can use the following to prove your name and date of birth:
Some sites accept other documentation based on your country. For example, in Australia, you can use your Proof of Age card or your Citizenship certificate to help prove your identity.
To prove your place of residence, you’ll need to provide one of the following:
Again, other items may be used for this. In Australia, a Notice of Council Rates from the last three months, or a Notice of Tax Assessment from the Australian Taxation Office in the last year will suffice.
Note that you must provide documents that match the information you used when signing up for a poker site online. Otherwise, you will not pass the verification process.
Also, you will not be permitted to cash out from online poker sites until your information is verified. If you wait until you’re ready to cash out, the verification process will delay your withdrawal. That’s why we recommend you verify your information early, preferably as soon as your sign up for your account. Some players will ask how fair is internet poker, and the poker rooms have to be upfront with that information. The poker rooms ask their players to do the same with their personal information, hence, the verification process.
The three main styles of Internet poker are as follows:
Cash Games: Available for six to 10 players per table for fixed limit, no limit and pot limit betting. Bet real money each hand and join or leave at any time. Blinds/stakes for cash games range from $0.01 and $0.02 all the way up to $500 and $1,000.
Scheduled Tournaments: Referred to as multi-table tournaments (MTTs), these are the equivalent of the major tournaments you see on television or the smaller tournaments held at your favourite casino. They are scheduled ahead of time, with set buy-ins and entry fees, and prize pools determined by the number of registered players. All players receive an equal amount of chips (no cash value), and are eliminated if they run out of chips. The last player remaining wins overall, though others who survive late in the tournament also often win prizes. 888 Poker offers a number of public and private tournaments which you need to register for in order to play.
Sit-and-Go Tournaments: These tournaments, also known as SNGs, can start whenever there are enough interested players available to fill one (minimum two players required). SNGs usually feature one table worth of players, though multi-table SNGs are also available. Like MTTs, players start with equal chip amounts and battle until one players remains. Those who place second, third and even fourth are often entitled to prizes, too.
Sit-and-Go contests & MTTs can also be played with fixed, no and pot limit betting. Buy-ins and entry fees for these formats of play can range from free to more than $2,000.
Here, the different betting styles are explained:
No-Limit: These games allow bets of any size each round, so long as they are at least the size of the minimum bet and/or the last bet placed in the current round.
Pot-Limit: In pot-limit games, players may make bets or raises equal to the size of the pot. This allows for large wagers, but does not allow people to simply move all-in at the beginning of a hand.
Fixed Limit: Also known simply as limit, these games allow only a specific size of bet each betting round, increasing by set increments every round.
If playing a pot or no limit game, you will have a slider bar so you can change the size of your bets. You will also have the option to bet the minimum, half the pot, three quarters of the pot, the full pot amount, or the maximum (all-in). The speed of certain games can also be set according to your own preference; options include regular, turbo and super turbo. You can also play several tables simultaneously. These factors combine to make the online version of the game faster and more beneficial to the player than the game-play at traditional casinos. Once you figure out what type of game you want to play, you can start working on your general poker strategy
One of the most common questions we’re asked is how to find the best real cash poker games and online tournaments. They’re both quite simple to find as long as you’re willing to do a small bit of digging on the site.
To find the best cash games, start by checking out the stats on the games at the limits you wish to play. Some sites provide statistical information on the table such as:
How do you decipher these numbers? Well, the two key stats to look for is the percentage of players that see the flop and the average pot size. If you’re seeing games where the average percentage of players that see the flop is 30% or up, then the game is generating a lot of action.
The same holds true for average pot size. Usually, the two correlate, but sometimes you will find the average pot size inflated if you have one or two players that are donating to the table. Also, pay attention to tables that seem to have more players waiting than the rest. This may be indicative of some particularly bad players.
Finding the best tournaments is a bit more subjective. Since you don’t have stats regarding play, you should be looking for events that offer large guarantees or consistently large payouts. Most Australia poker online sites now offer a wide variety of guaranteed prize pools for tournaments. If the site provides regular guaranteed events, check out the previous games to see whether the events are beating the guarantees and to see what they are paying out.
Otherwise, your best way to find the best tournaments is by researching the past events held on the site. Look at the completed tournaments held weekly and see which ones drew the best crowds and had the best prize pools.
There are many Web-based poker titles which are hard (or impossible) to find in live casinos, and this is one of the key benefits to playing for real AUD money (or practice) over the Web. Here’s a quick run-down of the kinds of games you can find:
Texas Hold’em: The so-called “Cadillac of Poker,” Texas Hold’em is the most popular form of the game in the world, where players each receive two cards, and can use up to five community cards to form the best possible hand.
Omaha: Omaha is similar to Texas Hold’em, except players receive four cards and must use exactly two of them in making their final hand. This game is also largely popular, especially in pot-limit format. Obviously, Omaha poker strategy will be a little different from Hold’em.
Seven Card Stud: Once the gold standard of poker, Seven Card Stud has fallen somewhat out of fashion since the rise of Hold’em. However, there are still plenty who enjoy and play this title and it is still largely offered on the Net, where each player receives seven of their own cards (three face down cards only viewable to the individual player, and four face up cards, for everyone to see) to make a hand.
Razz: This fun game is Seven Card Stud “in reverse,” where the goal is to come up with the lowest hand possible.
Draw Poker: Players receive hands completely hidden from the rest of the table, and have at least one chance to exchange – or draw – more cards. There are several variations based on what kind of hand players are trying to make, as well as the number of draws allowed.
Mixed Games: A true test of any player’s skills, a mixed game is one in which several forms of poker are played on a constant cycle. The most common of these is H.O.R.S.E., which consists of:
One of the more confusing aspects of poker has to do with the rake. In all cash games – online or live – players compete against other players, rather than the house. However, the casino or card room still needs to make money. It does so by taking a small amount of cash out of most pots. This amount is known as the rake.
In most cases, rake will only be taken out of a pot if at least one round of betting has been completed. Generally, rake is calculated by taking a certain amount out each time the pot reaches a certain level, up to a maximum amount. This ensures the rake never rises above a set percentage of the pot, and that it never grows too large, even if the pot becomes huge.
Here is an example of how the rake works at a typical no-limit hold’em table:
At a $1/$2 table, the pot will be raked one cent for every $0.20 which goes into the pot – or in other words, at a rate of five per cent. The maximum rake amount however, is $4.00. If there is a $20 pot, a rake of $1 will be taken out. If there is a pot worth $500, five per cent of that pot is $25, however only the max of $4.00 would be raked.
The rake you pay is also an important part of most bonus and reward programs. When you sit at a table and rake is taken from a pot, a percentage of that rake is attributed to you (how much and how often depends on the rake allocation method used by the site). The rake you generate helps to clear bonus offers and earn points for your loyalty program.
While there is no rake in tournament play, the tournament host will still make money by charging an entry-fee and a buy-in. Tournament entries prices are thus often expressed as two numbers, such as $10 (the buy-in: the money which goes to the prize pool) + $1 (the entry fee: the cash which goes to the hosting party), however many tournaments simply include the entry fee in the buy-in fee.
Many people that play poker online begin playing in free money online poker cash games and tournaments. While these games are a great way to get acclimated to a poker site and learn the basics of the game, they are merely a stepping stone to playing real money poker.
When you’re ready to move from play money games to real money games in Australia, you need to prepare for the experience. Below is a bit of a checklist you should go through before playing real money poker games:
#1 – Make sure you understand how the poker client operates – Before signing up for real money, make sure you’re comfortable with using the poker client software, including finer points such as looking up hand histories and searching for specific games. Not all clients are the same, so if you used play money games on one site and are now playing real money on another, test out the real money client a bit before starting.
# 2 – Make sure you understand the rules of the poker games you wish to play – Some players make the mistake of learning the ropes of one game in play money, but try to play a completely different poker variant after signing up for real money. Most commonly, this happens to Hold’em players that want to try their hand at PL Omaha. Make sure you understand the rules and how to play poker; otherwise, you will blow your deposit making mistakes.
#3 – Develop a strategy for playing– The level of competition in real money poker games is different than play money, so you need to adopt a proper strategy if you hope to win. Playing lottery style poker is going to result in fast losses.
#4 – Start at low stakes– Some players go crazy and try and jump into games like .50/$1 or event $1/$2 online after making a deposit as small as $50. They then wonder why they run out of money after one session. Better players are at stakes as small as .25/.50 online, so start at the lower stakes such as .01/.02 and .02/.04 to work on your real money game.
#5 – Focus on your best game– You should only play poker when you can focus your best or able to play your best game. If you find yourself becoming frustrated, going on tilt, or becoming distracted, it is time to either take a break or come back another day. The games are not going anywhere.
#6 – Use bankroll management – Many players fall into the trap of playing for their entire bankroll in a session. That’s because they fail to use bankroll management. You should have about 20 buy-ins for the stakes you wish to play in your bankroll and should risk no more than 10% of your roll on average in any one session. This helps you weather periods where you’re not winning and prevents you from playing over your head. Figure out what the poker stakes and bankroll requirements are before you start a new game.
#7 – Create a study plan– In the past, you could get better by playing more. Unfortunately, that does not work very well in the modern era. The best players are always working on their game away from the table through study, hand review, and even direct coaching. Set aside some time each week to work on your game away from the table. Study from some of the best poker players in Australia, such as Billy Argyros, Gary Benson, Joe Hachem, and Lee Nelson.
#8 – Research deposit bonuses– Every poker room on the internet offers a deposit bonus, and some will provide multiple deposit bonuses. Do a little digging to see which place offers the best deals and if you can even improve on those you’ve already seen for a particular site. For more information on this subject, read our detailed guide to understanding bonuses and poker loyalty points and programs in online poker.