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7 Best Poker Sites for Beginners Latest List 2021

best poker sites for beginners feature imagePoker

Best Poker Sites for Beginners 2021

 

The best real money poker sites for beginners should have a Trusted/Secure Platform, Low Stakes Games, No Shark-infested tables with attractive sign-up bonuses & freeroll offers. 

If you are new to online poker, finding the best online poker site may be difficult. We answer your question of “What is the best online poker site for beginners?” based on the assessments on the above key factors. 

BTW, if you have never played online poker, you need to understand Texas Holdem’n because playing poker generally means playing texas Holdem, so go Texas Holdem Strategy For Beginners – 15 Minutes Crash Course first. 

 

List Of Best Online Poker Sites for Beginners

 

Since every player has unique preferences when choosing a poker site, we highlight “Ideal for WHO” geographically on each poker site title and list the best sites in each factor later

 

Ignition Casino Poker – For American & Aussie Newbies/Casual Players

ignition casino poker logo

Snapshot
  • Ignition Casino Poker was founded in 2016, belongs to Lynton Ltd, regulated in Costa Rica.
  • Same as Bodog & Bovada, Ignition belongs to Paiwangluo Poker Network and is famous for the softest games.
  • Offer Poker, Casino & Bingo (Sportsbook is provided by Bovada, and the same poker rooms are shared among Paiwangluo poker skins)
  • Banning HUD (heads-up display) & provide an Anonymous table (called Shark-Free zone).
  • The preflop rate is said to be pretty high, even for the higher stakes, No Rakeback offer is available (not favor for pros)
  • No download is required
  • Hybrid (Fiat & Cryptocurrencies) – Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Zelle, Mastercard, American Express & Visa are accepted
  • Accepting countries: Only USA & Australian players are accepted.

 

 

Ignition Sign-Up Offer

 

100% Deposit Bonus Up To $1,000
No Code Required, Tap/Click this entire box to claim!!

 

ongoing offers

Total $2 million Guaranteed Tournaments Every Week, Earn Poker Points, which you can accumulate and convert to tournament tickets or casino bonuses, Royal Flush (x50 bb up to $200) and Bad Beat Jackpot (x50 bb up to $1,000)

 

 

 

Bovada – For American Newbies/Casual Players

Bovada Bookmaker for US Players

Snapshot
  • Bovada was owned by Mohawk Morris Gaming Group (MMGG) that rebranded Bodog to Bovada in the US Operation in 2011, licensed in Costa Rica, has become one of the most respected online betting brands in the US, and now belongs to Paiwangluo Poker Network that also operates Bodog & Ignition
  • All-in-one service including Casino, Sportsbook & Racebook
  • Probably the most popular online betting site & the highest poker traffic in the USA.
  • Bovada Poker bans HUD (heads-up display) & provides an Anonymous table (Only ongoing session stats can be seen), the flop rate often shows 40%+, so the games are easier, looser & wilder.
  • Hybrid (Fiat & Cryptocurrencies) – Bitcoin, Credit Cards & Western Union/MoneyGram are accepted
  • Restricted Countries: Available ONLY for the USA but don’t accept players from the states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Nevada

 

 

 

Bovada Poker Sign-Up Offer

 

100% Deposit Bonus Up To $500
No Code Required, Tap/Click this entire box to claim!!

 

Ongoing offers

Weekly $2,500 freeroll,
Bad Beat Bonus (x100 bb up to $1,000),
Royal Flush Bonus (x50 bb up to $200),
and Casino Bonuses From Poker Points etc!!

 

 

 

Bodog – For Canadian Newbies/Casual Players

bodog logo

Snapshot
  • Bodog was established by Calvin Edward Ayre in 1994 who has licensed brand to various companies including Mohawk Morris Gaming Group (terminated in 2011) that operates Bovada  (exclusive for US citizens), regulated in Costa Rica, and now belongs to Paiwangluo Poker Network
  • All-in-one betting sites including Sportsbook & Casino, and the most popular betting site in Canada
  • Bodog Poker set a 4-table maximum rule, terrible for multi-tabling pros. So together with Banning HUD & Anonymous table, Bodog remains largely untouched by grinders to this day, No Rakeback Offer, this means also bad for regs.
  • Hybrid (Fiat & Cryptocurrencies) – Bitcoin/BitcoinCash, Credit/Debit Cards, Wire Transfer, & Ewallets (InstaDebit/iDebit) are accepted.
  • Restricted Countries: Originally focused on Canada but expanded into Europe & Latin America based on the brand-licensing model and difficult to catch up with the latest status. So click Bodog and if you’re not blocked then assume you are allowed to open an account.

 

 

 

Bodog Sign-Up Offer

 

100% Deposit Bonus Up To $1000
No Code Required, Tap/Click this entire box to claim!!

 

Ongoing offers

Numerous Daily Guaranteed MTT Tournaments, Bad Beat Bonus (100 times the big blind up to $1,000), Royal Flush Bonus (50 times the big blind up to $200) and Casino Bonuses From Poker Points (good value)!!

 

 

 

888Poker – For UK & European Newbies/Casual Players

888Poker Logo

Snapshot
  • 888Poker was founded in 2002, licensed in Gibraltar Gambling Authority & UKGC (UK Gambling Commission), and owned by 888 Holdings.
  • 888Poker is one of the highest traffic independent poker brands in the world and yet maintains the status of very soft rooms with an above-average flop rate (VPIP seems to be higher than PokerStars & PartyPoker by 5-10%). 
  • NDB (No Deposit Bonus), many low-stake games & excellent educational info (888poker eMagazine) fits beginners to intermediaries who want to improve skills. 
  • HUD is partially restricted, which means you can yet use it widely, suits for some reg
  • Restricted Countries: Israel, Turkry & the USA (except DE, NJ, & NV)

 

 

 

888Poker Welcome Offer

 

£20 ($32) No Deposit Free Play & 100% 1st Deposit Bonus up to $888 with promotion code of “NEW888”

 

Ongoing offers

888poker Club Freeroll events, full range of cash games & big weekend tournament schedule

 

 

 

PartyPoker – For UK & European Newbies/Casual Players

partypoker logo

Snapshot
  • PartyPoker was founded in 2001, licensed in Gibraltar Gambling Authority & UK Gambling Commission, and now owned by GVC Holdings.
  • PartyPoker is all about low-stake Hold’em and casual, they have been heavily focusing on recreational players lately. Anonymous cash tables discourage pros but tournaments are not anonymous yet, so players’ pools are naturally segregated.
  • MTTs (Multi-Table Tournaments) running around the clock with relatively high prize pools includes major festivals like the “POWERFEST” & “Monster” series (over 1,000 entrants).
  • Rakeback is 25-40%+, not bad for reg.
  • Restricted countries: many and changeable, so click HERE, and if you’re NOT Geo-Blocked you may be accepted.

 

 

PartyPoker Welcome Offer

 

100% Deposit Bonus up to £400 + £40 Free Play
No Code Required, Tap/Click this entire box to claim!!

 

Ongoing offers

Weekly $250k Cash Games Hold’em & PLO leaderboards, Daily $12k Guaranteed Cash Tournament, and $60M in GTD (guaranteed prize money) Tournament!!

 

 

 

BetOnline Poker – For Almost All Newbies/Casual Players in the World

betonline ag logo

Snapshot
  • BetOnline was founded in ‘91 & licensed in Panama, fast-growing in the US with the business principle of “1st priority Service over Sales”. Together with SportsBetting & Tiger Gaming, It belongs to the Chico Poker Group.
  • All-in-one betting site offering both sportsbook & casino.
  • BetOnline Poker has softer games than many other poker sites, high traffic without being a pro-infested site. Looks predominantly populated by players from their other gaming platforms namely sportsbook & casino and the cash tables are fairly loose.
  • The Voluntarily Put In Pot (VPIP) rate often exceeds 35% – 40% 
  • Overlay seems to be fairy common
  • It allows HUD but overall every table is very soft, which means you take advantage of using HUD.
  • Hybrid (Fiat & Cryptocurrencies) – 7 Cryptocurrencies, Credit/Debit Cards, Wire Transfer, Money Order, P to P, & Cashier’s Cheques are accepted
  • Restricted Countries: Australia, UK, France & Panama

 

 

 

BetOnline Sign-Up Offer

 

100% Cryptocurrency Deposit Bonus Up To $1,000
use code   * NEWBOL *  

 

Ongoing offers

Weekly $2.5 Million Guaranteed Tournament, $10k Cash Race, $5k Sit ‘N Go Leaderboard, Bad Beat Jackpot, Jackpot Sit ‘N Go, Sunday $150k GTD (Guaranteed Prize Pool) & 20% Balance Boost (crossover promotion casino, sports & poker)!!

 

 

 

Nitrogen Sports – For Any Newbies/Casual Players Worldwide

nitrogen sports logo

Snapshot
  • Bitcoin Exclusive Poker Site
  • Nitrogen Sports was founded in 2012 & Licensed in San Jose Costa Rica and drove high traffic (ranked 5-7th in the USA), not belonging to any syndicated poker network but completely independent.
  • No personal information including e-mail is needed to register, the only requirement is Setting User Name & PW
  • All-in-one betting service including sports (competitive service recommended by best sports system) & casino (all games are “provably fair“).
  • Banned HUD & user name can be changed, fewer sharks, no cutthroat competition
  • Low rake of 1 – 4%
  • Restricted Countries: None

 

 

 

Nitrogen Sports Welcome Bonus

 

Currently Nitrogen Sports offer no welcome bonuses.

 

Ongoing offers

Many Freeroll tourneys (probably one of the best in the US) including 100 Daily Flops Free Roll Challenge, 100mbtc Guaranteed, 300mbtc Guaranteed, 1000 Weekly Flops Free Roll – Diamond Challenge, Daily Big Chip Challenge, etc!!

 

 

 

Factors To Decide Best Poker Site for Beginners

 

1) Trusted & Secured Poker Platform

 

Regarding the legality, all the poker sites we list here obtained the license and are regulated by each jurisdiction they register such as UKGC, Gibraltar, Costa Rica & Panama, etc.) but also rated A+ in many reputable reviews sites (means they’re definitely not rigged). 

All the above sites’ software provides you with features that are straightforward and easy to use. 

The bottom line is that as long as you play poker sites we list here, you don’t have to worry about safety & security. 

 

2) Educational Materials

 

For beginners, basic education is essential. Exploit free learning materials such as 888Poker; 888poker education

You can also find similar materials in PartyPoker “How to Play” Section. 

Although we don’t list PokerStars in this guide (see why in 4) No Shark-Infested Tables section), this world’s largest independent poker brand gives you a very useful Free Poker course. We strongly suggest taking a look at Poker School

 

3) Low Stake Games

 

Many beginners feel more comfortable playing low stakes when starting. The best place to start as a beginner poker player is at the micro stakes level.

Playing “Micro Stakes” games, which is as you can imagine the game costs you very small to buy in. Any cash game that has a maximum buy-in up to $25 is considered to be micro stakes.

You can play the Micro Stakes in all the above poker sites including the smallest stake of NL2 ($.01/.02 blinds), so you can avoid heavy losses while making the inevitable mistakes of your early career.

Besides, you may want to check a Freeroll offer because you can put in hours of practice without risking any hard-earned cash. See 5) Freeroll & Beginner Tournaments later. 

 

4) No Shark-Infested Tables

 

For beginners, Competition Level is very critical since poker is pretty much skill-oriented. 

Obviously, you want to avoid the site filled with skilled players a.k.a. Shark or Reg, Grinder, and should locate the sites for recreational players (unskilled players are known as Fish).

As you imagine, poker sites with the highest traffic have many fishes because the beginners feel safe in a big poker room. However, at the same time, there are many best players.

The sharks tend to play lots of games. Playing 5, 10, or 20+ tables at once is normal for a full-time professional. Only the highest traffic poker sites (represented by PokerStars) that offer lots of game selection & high stakes games can accommodate such professional activities. Thus the poker sites with the highest traffic have many pro-infested tables.

Generally, you will find a lot of unskilled players in fewer traffic sites.

We assess Poker Site Softeness based on “Fish Radar” (for worldwide, see Softest Online Poker Sites – Latest List to Prey Fish, just FYI)

Shark Unfriendly Rules 

You should select the poker sites setting the rules that keep Sharks away.

Limited Multi-Tabling

One of the easiest factors to find fewer shark poker sites is each poker site’s unique rules. If the site sets the rules prohibiting players from multi-table to say more than 4-6 tables, it’s clear that such sites have fewer pros.

Anonymous Table

Another rule is allowing not to use screen names but anonymous as the below Ignition example;

ignition anonymous playAnonymous tables discourage advanced players and help casual players feel more comfortable.

HUDs Disallowed

You may have heard HUD (Heads-Up Display). HUDs collect data on everyone you play against and then put it into numbers displayed right next to your opponent’s seat at the table as below example;

HUDs allow sharks to identify fishes. Blocking the tracking software like HUD shows also the sites’ efforts to create a warm, friendly, and welcoming environment for recreational players by discouraging pros from targeting and taking advantage of weaker players.

In other words, for the players who want to win online poker consistently, HUD is an essential tool. See the details in Best Hud for Poker – Head-Up Display Software.

Actually, HUD is just a part of the functions of Poker Tracking Software which can be used as an excellent tool to improve your Poker Skills.

You will find the best tracking software for beginners at the end of this guide, suggest you don’t miss it.  

All-in-one Betting Site

There are 2 types of betting sites regarding the range of offering services, which are;

  • All-in-one betting sites, including a sportsbook, casino, and poker room, all playable with a single account
  • Poker only sites

All-in-one sites like BetOnline: Betonline all in one betting site tend to have the easiest online poker games.

The reason why a poker room with a casino and/or sportsbook is Softer is that there’s often a lot of people who crossover. You’ll find considerable spillover from the casino tables at the poker tables, and they are usually not Sharks but recreational players.

 

Considering the above factors, the easiest poker rooms are;

  • 1st: Ignition – Extremely soft with anonymous table, HUD disallowed & limited multiple tables
  • 2nd: Bovada – Extremely soft, exactly same as Ignition (same PaiWangLuo network) 
  • 3rd: Bodog – Extremely soft, exactly same as Ignition (same PaiWangLuo network)
  • 4th: BetOnline – Very soft, huge spillover from casino & sportsbook, high pre-flop rate
  • 5th: Nitrogen: – Very soft, spillover from casino & sportsbook & HUDs banned
  • 6th: 888Poker – Fairy Soft, with many beginners induced by NDB & HUD partially banned
  • 7th: PartyPoker – Relatively Soft, many low cash games, anonymous tables but HUD allowed

 

5) Attractive Welcome & Recurring Bonuses

 

In the first place, if you’re very new to online poker, you may want to deposit small amounts at first.

From this perspective, 888Poker NDB (No Deposit Bonus) must be one of your best choices.

For beginners, a juicy welcome bonus is also an important element to kick-start your bankroll. However, the most important point of the deposit bonuses is the clearing requirements of the bonus. Thus we separately prepared a Complete Guide to Online Poker Bonus Hunting for Dummies, which explains online poker bonus types & how to evaluate each bonus to cash out them efficiently. 

Some of the best deposit bonuses is;

  • Bodog – 100% Deposit Bonus up to $1,000 (Claim HERE)
  • BetOnline – 100% Deposit Bonus up to $1,000 (Claim HERE
  • Ignition – 100% Deposit Bonus up to $1,000 (Claim HERE)
  • Bovada – 100% Deposit Bonus up to $500 (Claim HERE also BTC exclusive Membership)
  • PartyPoker – 100% Deposit Bonus up to £400 + £40 Free Play (Claim HERE)

 

6) Freeroll & Beginner Tournaments

 

A poker freeroll is a tournament that costs 0 to enter.

Remember, a freeroll is different from a free game because if you end amongst the top players you win a real prize (money). No other free poker event allows you to win real money for free, therefore freeroll poker tournaments are very popular with beginners.

You can improve your skill in real tournaments without any risk (some poker sites provide freeroll tournaments that are available only among new players, which means you can compete against other beginners who have a similar skill level as you). 

A few popular freeroll examples are;

  • 888Poker – Daily ‘Blowfish’ Tourneys – $1500 Guaranteed
  • PartyPoker – Daily cash tournament with £3,000 prize pool
  • Bovada – Weekly $2,500 Tournaments

 

7) Poker Site Popularity

 

Traffic is also the factor to assess poker sites because If traffic is high, there are a lot of players who actively take part in online poker games offered on the site.  

The traffic ranking of the poker sites we list in this guide is as below;

  • Pai Wang Luo Poker Network Skin (Global Traffic 5th): Bodog / Bovada / Ignition
  • Independent Brand (Global Traffic 6th): PartyPoker 
  • Independent Brand (Global Traffic 9th): 888Poker 
  • Chico Poker Network Skin (Global Traffic 12th): BetOnline

Poker Network Skin – Skin is an online poker room that belongs to a network with other poker rooms. For example, Bodog, Bovada & Ignition poker sites belong to Pai Wang Luo Network, which means these 3 poker sites share the same player pool.  BetOnline shares the same player pool with TigerGaming & SportsBetting skins, which also belong to Chico Network. 

So, as long as you join these poker sites, you will not face any difficulty to find your opponents at any time. 

 

 

Best Poker Sites for Beginners Wrap Up

 

If you are new to poker games, there is every chance you will lose a bit while learning. Thus, suggest that you only deposit money you are prepared to lose. 

Also, don’t be afraid to try out a few different sites before deciding which one you like the best. Many players play regularly at different places, and it’s an option if it works for you.

Allow me to repeat, study the basics by going through  Texas Holdem Strategy For Beginners – 15 Minutes Crash Course ) and have a certain game strategy from it. 

Every beginner has different expectations on poker, some may have a very high ambition to become a pro. Well, Play Online Poker For A Living is getting tougher & tougher nowadays so, we don’t suggest.

However, Make $1,000 a Month from Online Poker is something you may achieve as long as you are committed & disciplined.

Lastly, the Play Tips for poker beginners are;

  • Keep Simple, don’t play many hands but play only very good hands strongly (a.k.a. TAG – Tight Aggressive)
  • Don’t bluff too much (you may most likely end up losing & confusing)
  • Always play based on the EV (Expected Value) concept
  • Analyze your play and find the mistakes in comparison with your opponents – the fastest & best way to improve your game

Remember the last point. People find it extremely useful in analyzing their lost games because you can find & fix leaks in your gameplay and work on them to formulate better strategies to beat your enemies regularly. 

The below is the best Poker Tracking Software for beginners;

 

Holden Manager 3 – Best For Beginner/Casual Player

 

holden manager logoSnapshot
  • Holden Manager 3 (HM3) was created & introduced by MVS (Max Value Software) in 2007, one of the HUD pioneers
  • HM3 collects all the stats (can customize to make the feed less cumbersome) and does In-depth analysis (can adjust based on skill level). Post Game Analysis helps you improve your core skills by finding your leaks (see features)
  • Very easy to install and use
  • Multi-language support for non-native English speakers
  • The licenses are for life and can be used on up to 3 different machines
  • Poker Sites Supported: Works on 12 major poker sites including 888Poker, Party Poker, Winning Poker Network (ACR & BCP), iPoker Network (Betfair Poker, etc) 
  • Free Hand Grabber to Paiwangluo Poker Network (Ignition, Bovada & Bodog)
  • A very active forum is available.

Free Trial For Casual Player

“15 Days Free Trial – All cash games and tournament buyins are supported

holdem manager pricing

Payment: Card (Visa, Master & American Express), PayPal, Neteller. & Bitcoin

We explained full details about this excellent tool as well as a multi-tabling tool in Best Hud for Poker – Head-Up Display Software.

 

 

Good Luck!!

 

Joshua Walker (bio)

Editor – Global Extra Money (GEM)

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