- Best Poker Sites for Beginners 2021
- List Of Best Online Poker Sites for Beginners
- Ignition Casino Poker – For American & Aussie Newbies/Casual Players
- Bovada – For American Newbies/Casual Players
- Bodog – For Canadian Newbies/Casual Players
- 888Poker – For UK & European Newbies/Casual Players
- BetOnline Poker – For Almost All Newbies/Casual Players in the World
- Nitrogen Sports – For Any Newbies/Casual Players Worldwide
- Factors To Decide the Best Poker Site for Beginners
- Best Poker Sites for Beginners Wrap Up
Best Poker Sites for Beginners 2021
The best real-money poker sites for beginners should have a Trusted/Secure Platform, Low Stakes Games, and 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 “What is the best online poker site for beginners?” based on the assessments of 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 to 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 Sign-Up Offer
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 Poker Sign-Up Offer
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 Sign-Up Offer
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 Welcome Offer
888poker Club Freeroll events, full range of cash games & big weekend tournament schedule
BetOnline Poker – For Almost All Newbies/Casual Players in the World
BetOnline Sign-Up Offer
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 Welcome Bonus
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 the 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 (which means they’re definitely not rigged – you may check World 19 Best Offshore Betting Sites Offers for additional reasons why they are well trusted).
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;
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 as you can imagine the game costs you very small to buy in. Any cash game that has a maximum buy-in of 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, the 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 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 on 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.
One of the easiest factors to finding 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.
Another rule is allowing not use screen names but anonymous as in the below Ignition example;
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 in below example;
HUDs allow sharks to identify fish. Blocking 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 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: 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 are 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 Poker – Extremely soft with anonymous table, HUD disallowed & limited multiple tables
- 2nd: Bovada Poker – Extremely soft, exactly the same as Ignition (same PaiWangLuo network)
- 3rd: Bodog Poker – Extremely soft, exactly the same as Ignition (same PaiWangLuo network)
- 4th: BetOnline Poker – Very soft, huge spillover from casino & sportsbook, high pre-flop rate
- 5th: Nitrogen Poker: – Very soft, spillover from casino & sportsbook & HUDs banned
- 6th: 888Poker – Fairy Soft, with many beginners induced by NDB & HUD partially banned
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 are;
- Bodog Poker – 100% Deposit Bonus up to $1,000 (Claim HERE)
- BetOnline Poker – 100% Deposit Bonus up to $1,000 (Claim HERE)
- Ignition Poker – 100% Deposit Bonus up to $1,000 (Claim HERE)
- Bovada Poker – 100% Deposit Bonus up to $500 (Claim HERE also BTC exclusive Membership)
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 up 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;
7) Poker Site Popularity
Traffic is also a 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 Poker / Bovada Poker / Ignition Casino Poker
- Independent Brand (Global Traffic 9th): 888Poker
- Chico Poker Network Skin (Global Traffic 12th): BetOnline Poker
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 Poker & SportsBetting Poker 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 of 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 it.
However, Making $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 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 be adjusted 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 – BTW you may want to use Betfair Alternatives)
- Free Hand Grabber to Paiwangluo Poker Network (Ignition, Bovada & Bodog)
- A very active forum is available.
We explained in full detail about this excellent tool as well as a multi-tabling tool in Best Hud for Poker – Head-Up Display Software.
Lastly, if you want to be a sharp casino & game bonus hunter, strongly suggest taking a look at the List of 52 Best Bitcoin Casino Bonuses and for those who appreciate the highest privacy, go to the List of Best Anonymous Bitcoin Casinos & Bonuses, just FYI.
Joshua Walker (bio)
Editor – Global Extra Money (GEM)