Any serious attempt at naming the best poker sites must consider the implications of where the player is located. Your country of residence determines not only the laws that govern online poker, but also which deposit methods and poker sites are available in your location. No single top-list could ever hope to give accurate recommendations to everyone because there are too many factors that are determined simply by where you live.
So with that in mind, I’ve put together the following country-specific ranking pages. You can visit any of these pages to see which sites accept players from your part of the world. Each page ranks poker sites, provides a brief overview of the local gaming laws and anything else you need to know about real money poker in your part of the world.
Country Specific Considerations
The remainder of this page will explain the various factors that come into play when choosing poker sites in your country. Hopefully this will help make sense of why some poker sites are better suited than others in your nation.
The biggest thing to take into account when we talk about international poker sites is the law of the land. Every country in the world takes a unique approach to online gaming. Some countries have a nice, regulated landscape in which operators are licensed and must adhere to a litany of regulations designed to protect the players. The UK is a prime example of poker regulation done right.
Other countries have sadly gone down the prohibition route. The United States, for example, has made several attempts to crack down on internet poker. However, there are usually a few options in even the most restrictive countries. Wherever there is a demand for online poker, someone is bound to come in and find a way to supply the market.
One other thing you should keep in mind is how the law impacts individual players. Most poker legislation targets operators and leaves normal players alone. What this means is that even if online poker is “outlawed” where you live, the odds are good it’s not illegal for you to visit sites headquartered in other nations with more gambling-friendly laws.
This is not a hard and fast rule though, so proceed with caution. I will do my best to give you a brief overview of the laws where you live, but you should know that I am not a lawyer. It is never a bad idea to get qualified legal advice from a professional if you have any questions about the legality of playing online poker.
Each country on the planet has a unique banking system that impacts how you can fund your poker account. Most of the world’s major deposit methods work in dozens or even hundreds of countries. However, not all deposit methods are available in all countries.
The best poker sites in your country should have a firm understanding of the banking environment and provide you with deposit methods that work well in your area. It’s a big waste of time to go through the trouble of downloading the software and making an account just to find that the site doesn’t provide you with the deposit methods you need.
One thing I always look for when ranking sites by country is whether or not sites have deposit methods that cater to that country’s banking system. Big-name payment processors such as Skrill and Neteller accept payments from hundreds of countries. Most major poker sites also provide country-specific options such as Sofort for German/European players, POLi for Australian/New Zealand players and so on.
Large poker sites host their games in one or more of the following currencies: USD, EUR and GBP. It’s rare to find a site that hosts games in any other format because there are just too many currencies out there. If you don’t use one of those currencies, that’s OK. I’ve made sure to list poker sites that are capable of performing currency exchanges.
Typically, currency exchanges are performed as soon as you deposit and you keep your entire account balance in one of the three aforementioned currencies. When you’re ready to cash out, your poker site will then perform the exchange and transfer the money back to your bank.
Large Poker Sites are Usually Your Best Bet
A few big names dominate online poker and accept players from nearly 200 countries. These are usually your best bet because they have extensive experience in dealing with a diverse customer base that speaks many languages and utilizes many currencies. Companies such as 888.com tend to be the best options for the most players.
In fact, I recommend international poker sites over those that cater to exactly one country due to traffic numbers. If you have a choice between a big-name poker site and one that exists only in your country, you’ll probably want to go with the bigger one. Sites that exist in only one country have a hard time bringing together enough players to keep the games running regularly.