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November 20, 2023

The Best Online Poker Apps—A Concise Guide to Playing Poker Online 

The world of online poker is more exciting than ever, with countless virtual tables waiting in the palm of your hand. These days, almost every online casino provides access to a myriad of poker variations—many of which are also available as iOS and Android apps. 

By playing at an online casino that supports mobile devices, you can have a game of poker whenever you like—from your morning commute to a relaxing evening at home. While thousands of iGaming venues offer easy access to mobile poker, choosing the best online poker apps isn’t easy. 

To help you pick an establishment that’s both fun and safe, our guide to the best online poker game apps will delve into ways to recognize an excellent iGaming platform. We’ll also make some specific recommendations for trustworthy venues. 

How To Choose the Best Mobile Online Poker Sites

To ensure you’re enjoying poker in a legal and secure digital environment, you should consider where you’ll play carefully. There’s no simple rule of thumb that can tell you which online casinos are legitimate and which to avoid, but there are plenty of objective factors you can take into account while examining each establishment.

While choosing our recommendations for the top online poker sites, we’ve used the following criteria: 

  1. Gaming licenses
  2. Casino audits
  3. Customer support
  4. Data privacy
  5. Cybersecurity
  6. Poker RTP rates
  7. Available banking methods
  8. User experience
  9. Wagering requirements
  10. Game variety

We’ll explore each of these factors in more depth to help you choose trustworthy online poker rooms.

Gaming Licenses

Before depositing money at an online casino or poker room, confirming whether this establishment has the proper gaming licenses is crucial. All online casinos are based somewhere, and the majority of legitimate venues have a gaming license in their home country. In some cases, they also have licenses from other jurisdictions where they serve players.

In Canada, two provincial regulatory bodies currently oversee online casinos: 

  1. Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)
  2. Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC)

Officially, these two agencies only oversee iGaming activities in Ontario and the Kahnawake territories in Quebec. In practice, players throughout the entire country follow their guidelines because both regulatory bodies perform extensive background checks on their licensees. 

Besides these Canadian gaming authorities, there are other notable casino regulators across the world. Some of the most trustworthy iGaming agencies are the: 

Check each casino’s website to ensure they’ve got adequate regulatory oversight before playing. 

Casino Audits

While casino regulators perform their own research, they also rely on third-party auditors. These iGaming auditors check the most important aspects of an online casino before awarding it with their certificate, including:

  • Game fairness
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data privacy
  • Payout processing

When you examine a casino website, check for auditor certificates along with gaming licenses. Legitimate iGaming establishments usually showcase these on their homepage or About Us page.

The absence of any credentials is an immediate red flag—don’t trust casinos that solely rely on easily fabricated customer testimonials to establish a reputation. Here’s a list of some of the world’s most reputable iGaming auditors: 

  • Gaming Laboratories International (GLI)
  • iTech Labs
  • Technical Systems Testing (TST)
  • eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA)
  • BMM Testlabs

Customer Support

When playing poker in an online environment, being able to reach the casino staff effortlessly is important—especially when it comes to dispute resolution or any potential technical glitches. Over a long enough period, some of these are bound to happen, even in the best app for online poker. 

The majority of online casinos let you choose between a few common customer support channels: 

  1. Live chat
  2. Phone line 
  3. Email address

The live chat function is usually available 24/7, unlike the phone line, which is only open during business hours—even the most successful online casinos rarely maintain a round-the-clock customer service phone. 

For the most urgent questions, the live chat is your best bet. If the answer can wait or you need a more in-depth response, contact the casino via email. Some establishments also maintain a FAQ page, where you can find answers to the most common issues and save some time.

Data Privacy

Online casinos share user data with various third parties, including government agencies, advertisers, and companies that perform player background checks. Because of this, it’s paramount for an online casino to adopt and implement a clear data privacy policy. 

When you play at respectable online establishments, those policies will tell you with whom your personal information is being shared. Otherwise, your data would be at the mercy of anyone with whom the casino and its staff decide to share it. 

If such a policy exists, the casino usually displays it as a section of its Terms & Conditions page or on its Data Privacy page. 

Don’t underestimate the volume of data shared with online casinos. It includes various financial, personal, hardware, and software information, such as: 

  • eWallet screenshots
  • Passport
  • Utility bills
  • Driver’s license
  • National ID card
  • Bank statements
  • Payment card numbers
  • Bank account details
  • Hardware information
  • Location
  • Browser version
  • Operating system

Cybersecurity

Considering the volume of player data that the most popular online poker apps collect, process, and share, cybersecurity should be a top priority when choosing where you’ll play. 

Various establishments use different cybersecurity measures to protect their websites against unauthorized access. Data encryption is one of the basic cybersecurity methods employed by most respectable establishments, and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is the standard used on most websites. 

You can easily check if an iGaming venue uses data encryption—the website will have a padlock icon next to its URL in your browser. By clicking on the lock icon, you can see which specific security certificate it has. 

Gaming auditors and regulators perform routine checks to ensure licensed and certified casinos maintain a robust cybersecurity posture—another reason to play only in legal establishments. 

Poker RTP Rates

The return-to-player (RTP) rate is one of the crucial metrics to understand in all casino games, and online poker is no different.

This rate shows the percentage of all bets that a poker game is expected to pay back to all players over time. 

Playing at casinos that provide fair RTP rates is essential, but bear in mind that this metric doesn’t predict the winnings of any single player or wager. It shows how much a game pays out to players as an aggregate. For example, if a game has an RTP of 92%, on average, casino winners will collectively receive $92 for every $100 they bet.

A game’s default RTP rates are more important in pure games of chance, like slots. In poker, the outcome of each round is also heavily influenced by the players’ skills. 

Some auditors, like eCOGRA, post breakdowns of casinos’ RTPs on their websites, allowing you to compare the rates at different establishments.

Available Banking Methods

Everyone uses different payment methods for their online transactions, and most of us have one or two preferred options. Before registering at an online casino, it’s important to check whether the venue supports your favourite banking methods. 

Pay attention to how many different modes of payment the casino provides. The number is another indicator of a venue’s credibility because the top online poker apps for real money bets always try to make deposits and withdrawals as convenient as possible. 

Here are some of the most widespread banking options at online casinos: 

Bear in mind that some of these payment options are only available for deposits or withdrawals, while others are usable for both. 

User Experience

The one thing that all the best online poker games for iPhone and Android have in common is excellent visuals—but this means more than attractive graphics. To facilitate a superb user experience, respectable online casinos also invest in navigable, functional websites.

Every part of a quality poker site should be easily reachable and clearly visible. The same goes for the players’ profile settings, which should be properly presented in categorized sections. 

Mobile device compatibility is another crucial aspect of a positive user experience. These days, over 50% of all Internet traffic comes from mobile devices, and many people prefer visiting online casinos via their smartphones. 

That’s why most of the best online poker sites that we’ll recommend below support mobile players with dedicated Android and iOS casino apps. 

Wagering Requirements

If you’ve visited an online casino before, you’ve probably noticed that its website is covered in banners and other vivid imagery showcasing its player campaigns. This is no coincidence—almost all iGaming venues aim to incentivize players through campaigns, often offering free casino money and similar benefits. 

Before opting into a campaign and making wagers with casino money, keep in mind that these campaigns are only worth it when used effectively in a fair gaming environment enabled by a reputable establishment. 

Most casino campaigns come with a set of wagering requirements—predetermined playthrough counts you must fulfill before withdrawing your casino winnings. 

The playthrough counts are shown as multipliers of the campaign amount you’ve received—a 20x wagering requirement on a $50 campaign means you have to bet $1,000 before requesting a withdrawal. 

Study the terms of any casino campaign before opting in, and avoid playing at casinos with unreasonably steep playthrough requirements. 

Game Variety

So far, most of the aspects of high-quality online casinos that we’ve covered have been related to the establishments’ legality and ease of use. We’d be negligent not to mention a different yet equally crucial factor—the variety of available casino games.

As a poker enthusiast, you’re no doubt interested in your favourite poker varieties. Depending on how much the online casino in question focuses on the game of poker, you can expect a different number of varieties, though most iGaming venues host some form of Texas Hold’em, Seven Card Stud, and Omaha. 

Most developers of casino games have their own version of the most popular poker varieties. Here are some of the most reputable iGaming software providers: 

  • Evolution Gaming
  • Big Time Gaming
  • Pragmatic Play
  • Red Tiger Gaming
  • Nolimit City
  • Quickspin
  • Playtech
  • NetEnt
  • Yggdrasil Gaming
  • Microgaming
  • Relax Gaming

Best Real Money Online Poker Apps—Our Top Choices

Thousands of online casinos provide access to different poker games, but not all of them are worthwhile establishments. The table below contains our top choices among poker-centric iGaming websites: 

CasinoTop FeaturesGateway
DraftKings CasinoEntertaining sportsbook section
Reasonable wagering requirements
Decent variety of poker games
Visit the casino!
PartyCasinoSeparate sportsbook section
Mobile-friendly
Over 100 live games
Visit the casino!
PokerStars CasinoExcellent variety of poker tournaments
Reputable casino operator
High-quality interface design
Visit the casino!
BetMGM CasinoOwned by legendary Vegas casino
Extensive data privacy policy
Constantly updated with new player campaigns
Visit the casino!
ComeOnGreat selection of banking methods
Many live poker varieties
1x wagering requirement
Visit the casino!
MansionCasinoFrequent payouts
17 banking methods available
Agile customer support
Visit the casino!
Royal VegasDecent RTP rates
Large variety of casino activities
Plenty of regulatory oversight
Visit the casino!

DraftKings Casino

Step Into the Regal World of Gaming and Claim Your Throne

DraftKings Casino is one of the best online poker apps around—one that will be especially interesting to players who occasionally indulge in other casino activities besides their favourite card game.

This establishment started out as a fantasy sports website, but today, it’s one of the fastest-growing online casinos—complete with a real sports betting section, a large number of poker varieties, and hundreds of other table games and slots. 

DraftKings Casino is also home to an excellent selection of live casino games, including a few poker varieties with real dealers, which you can enjoy in a digital setting from the comfort of your own home. This establishment does a great job of replicating the experience of playing poker at a real land-based casino.

Players who frequently take part in casino campaigns will also be happy to know that DraftKings Casino has low wagering requirements of only 15x—provided you fulfil them within 30 days. 

Pros

Pros

  • Various types of sports and casino betting
  • High number of poker titles
  • 15x wagering requirements
Cons

Cons

  • Short deadline for wagering requirements

PartyCasino

Every Day Is a Party When You Play at PartyCasino

PartyCasino’s reputation precedes it, as this long-standing establishment has successfully been serving players since 1997. The casino has gone through several rebrandings and added separate poker and sports betting sections, but its dedication to superb user experience remains unchanged.

Poker players will be most intrigued by PartyPoker, the casino’s subsection dedicated exclusively to their favourite game. This part of PartyCasino contains dozens of video poker varieties, along with live titles with real dealers. If you’re an experienced player, you may also appreciate the casino’s various daily poker tournaments.

The only downside is that you have to maintain a separate cash balance for each of the casino’s three betting sites.

Pros

Pros

  • 1,000+ casino games
  • Daily poker tournaments
  • Sports betting section at PartyCasino
Cons

Cons

  • Separate cash balances for each section of the website

PokerStars Casino

Will the Stars Align? One Way To Find Out

Experienced poker grinders know that there’s no rundown of the top online poker apps without a nod to PokerStars Casino—by most accounts, one of the most popular real money poker sites you can visit. 

Plenty of the top poker platforms may seem intimidating to newbies, which is precisely what makes PokerStars Casino great. This establishment maintains a free-to-access blog with hundreds of pages of useful poker tutorials, and you don’t even have to register to access it. 

Apart from a huge variety of poker titles, the establishment also organizes poker courses for beginners and a large number of tournaments. The only downside of playing at PokerStars Casino is its limited customer support, reachable only via live chat.

Pros

Pros

  • High-quality and user-friendly interface
  • Poker tournaments 
  • Courses for poker newbies
Cons

Cons

  • Customer support only in the form of live chat

BetMGM Casino

Place a Winning Bet at BetMGM

Our next choice is probably the most powerful brand on this list—BetMGM Casino, owned and managed by a real-world Vegas casino, the MGM Grand.

The online franchise of one of the world’s most famous brick-and-mortar establishments is, predictably, a high-quality casino. BetMGM provides a large variety of betting experiences, including individual website sections for poker, sports betting, and other activities. 

Unlike PartyCasino, you can switch between BetMGM’s three constituent parts seamlessly, with one cash balance and casino account. Apart from its large number of poker games, the casino is also known for its firm approach to cybersecurity and data privacy. However, we have to point out that its number of poker tournaments is low compared to some other casinos on our list. 

Pros

Pros

  • Owned by MGM Grand
  • Low playthrough requirements
  • Strict data privacy policy
Cons

Cons

  • Low variety of poker tournaments

ComeOn

Come On Over and See if the Fortune Favours You

ComeOn’s history isn’t as long as some of the other establishments we’ve showcased so far, but that doesn’t detract from its quality. Despite only being established in 2008, this casino has quickly become a favourite of many passionate poker aficionados. 

This Malta-based iGaming venue has a reputable local license, an excellent variety of titles from popular developers, and a great user interface. However, its biggest draw by far is the symbolic wagering requirements of only 1x. After opting into a casino campaign of $100, for example, you’d only have to bet $100 before requesting your next withdrawal. 

The establishment has a lot to offer in terms of gaming variety, especially in terms of poker. ComeOn’s poker games have been developed by industry giants like Microgaming, NetEnt, and Evolution Gaming. 

Our only nitpick is the relatively low number of payment options. The most widespread card networks and eWallets are supported, but many of the other casinos offer a far greater variety of banking options. 

Pros

Pros

  • 1x playthrough requirements
  • Maltese gaming license
  • Large variety of software providers
Cons

Cons

  • Small number of banking options

MansionCasino

Explore the Games of the Luxurious Online Mansion

While ComeOn’s most obvious drawback was a lack of payment options, no one can say that MansionCasino has the same problem. The next establishment we’re reviewing offers 17 different banking methods. Regardless of your preferences, you’ll find a suitable payment option here.

Besides many payment options, MansionCasino also provides access to a large number of campaigns with low wagering requirements. When coupled with an impressive number of poker titles and fair RTP rates across the board, it’s clear why players have been active on MansionCasino for over two decades.

This iGaming venue is also known for its agile customer support staff, reachable via 24/7 live chat, email, and a toll-free phone line. There’s no real downside to playing at MansionCasino other than the fact that its support phone line is only open during business hours. 

Still, the casino makes up for that with speedy withdrawal times—an important fact, considering slow payouts are players’ pet peeves at many other competing establishments.

Pros

Pros

  • Adequate RTP rates
  • 17 payment options available
  • Short withdrawal times
Cons

Cons

  • Phone line only available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Royal Vegas 

Unlock Your Inner Aristocrat and Play Like Royalty

Royal Vegas is another institution among online casinos—especially those with a wide variety of poker games. The establishment has been up and running for over two decades, but it’s only recently become available in Canada. Besides a Canadian gaming license from AGCO, Royal Vegas is also subject to regulatory oversight by the MGA and AGCC—all dependable iGaming authorities.

If you don’t mind being limited to only a handful of software providers, Royal Vegas is an excellent choice. Its poker varieties and other games were developed by NetEnt, Red Tiger Gaming, and Microgaming. 

Microgaming’s version of Jacks or Better is one of the casino’s most popular poker titles, thanks to its streamlined interface and entertaining visuals. Fans of more traditional varieties have access to NetEnt’s take on the ultimate poker classic—Texas Hold ‘Em Pro. 

The casino is home to over 800 titles with fair RTP rates and excellent visuals, making it an easy favourite for most avid casino-goers. 

Pros

Pros

  • Plenty of casino activities
  • Large amount of regulatory oversight
  • Fair RTP rates
Cons

Cons

  • Only a handful of developers

Scammy Online Casinos You Should Avoid

The online poker apps we’ve recommended here are thoroughly vetted and respectable iGaming venues—but that doesn’t mean every poker site is worthy of your attention. While you explore other online casinos, keep in mind the advice on choosing gaming venues that we’ve outlined above. 

Plenty of other websites are run by scammers, which may appear no different than the trustworthy establishments we recommend. Here are a few examples of online casinos you should avoid:

Crazy Fox
  • Refuses payouts
  • Poor customer support
  • The verification process takes too long
Wild Tornado
  • Extensive verifications to delay payouts
  • Low RTP
  • Bonus-related issues
Hyper Casino
  • Extensive verifications to delay payouts
  • Bans accounts to avoid payouts
  • Suspiciously low RTPs

Always check an online casino’s licenses, auditor certificates, and other credentials before playing. You can also find player testimonials on Google and social media, but their objectivity is far from guaranteed.

Tuomas Laine

Navigating offers and nailing the best, Tuomas is our dedicated Casino Bonus Hunter

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