Play Live Poker Online – Best Sites, Rules & Strategy

These days, almost anyone can rack up returns when playing live poker in 2023. Seasoned players and online newbies alike can wager and win real money at top poker platforms, both locally and offshore. Find the right sites, and you’ll unlock some of the best bonuses along with lower buy-ins over a wide array of leading titles. 

Stick around as we unpack all you need to know about live poker. We’ll compare the best live casino poker sites to win real money at, delve into different hand ranking, odds and playing styles, as well as list some key tips and strategies that you can use to full effect. Keep in mind that live poker is rare, and the below platforms should be considered all-rounders instead.

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26/09/22

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35x wagering requirement which must be met within 30 days. Promo code WILD250 must be used to claim.

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14/04/22

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100% deposit match up to $3,000 with your first deposit. Promo code CAWELCOME100 must be used to claim. Wagering requirements : 30x (live betting and craps do not qualify for rollover requirements). Maximum wager of 50% of your deposit in one bet.

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Max bonus to claim is $750. Minimum deposit of $45 applies. 40x rollover requirement on your bonus and 1x wagering requirement on your deposit before you can withdraw funds.

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25x wagering requirement, requirement must be met within 30 days. No promo code applies. Up to %150 deposit match for new players ($1500 casino & $1500 poker)

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12/12/22

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13/10/22
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100% deposit match up to $3,000 for new players. This is spread over your first three deposits, $1,000 maximum awarded with each deposit. Minimum of $25 for each deposit. Wagering requirements: 30x.

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Bonus code HELLOSLOTS200 must be used to redeem bonus. Playthrough requirement is 35x, only play after the deposit counts towards the requirement. Minimum Deposit from $10. General terms & conditions apply

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Minimum deposit of $50 applies. Enter CAS150 promo code to apply offer. Subject to 30x wager requirements on casino games only. Max cash out of $10,000. Offer expires within 14 days.

The Best Live Poker Sites to Play for Real Money

Live poker can be tricky to find online. And, while the games are played in real-time, in an open poker room with other players from around the world, it’s rare that you’ll find ample live dealer poker action. This is mostly reserved for games like blackjack or baccarat. 

That said, we’ve compiled the best all-rounder poker sites in 2023. Registering an account only takes a minute, and after that, you’ll be free to explore a world of online poker action, complete with generous welcome bonuses, recurring offers, top titles and more. You’ll also find some leading live tournaments and leaderboards.

  1. BetOnline – The best site for playing top online poker titles
  2. Wild Casino – Fast, secure banking methods including crypto
  3. Bovada – Anonymous tables and zone poker
  4. MyBookie – Reload bonuses and freeroll incentives
  5. Ignition – Strong poker title selection 
  6. Cafe Casino – Stylish live dealer poker suite with early payouts
  7. MyBCasino – Intuitive poker interface with a core mobile integration
  8. Big Spin Casino – Fast poker payouts with lower rakes
  9. Las Atlantis – Captivating graphics and strong bonuses
  10. Slots.lv – 100% up to $200 referral bonus

Comparison of the Best Live Poker Sites

The best live casino poker sites are known for their variety of titles and buy-ins. Here you can tailor your gameplay to your own unique style, choose your betting limits and unlock a poker welcome bonus in the process. Check out the comparison below for finding and playing both live poker and poker against the house.

Play Live Poker Online - Best Sites, Rules & Strategy

Poker Played Against the House

Casino Texas Hold’em  Omaha 7-Card Stud Min/Max Bet Limit  Casino Welcome Bonus
Wild Casino  $0.05/$0.10 – $30/$60 250% up to $1,000 (WILD250)
BetOnline  $0.02/$0.10 – $15/$30 100% up $3,000 (BOLCASINO)
Bovada $0.05/$0.15 – $30/$60 125% up to $1,250 (BTCCWB1250)
MyBookie $0.02/$0.10 – $15/$30 150% up to $750 (MYB150)
Ignition $0.05/$0.10 – $30/$60 150% up to $1,500

Live Dealer Poker Room

Casino  Live Poker Freerolls Texas Hold’em Omaha Min/Max Stakes Poker Welcome Bonus
Wild Casino  $0.05/$0.10 – $30/$60 100% up to $1,000 (WILD100)
BetOnline  $0.02/$0.10 – $15/$30 100% up $1,000 (NEWBOL)
Bovada $0.05/$0.15 – $30/$60 100% up to $500 (PWB500)
MyBookie $0.02/$0.10 – $15/$30 150% up to $750 (MYB150)
Ignition $0.05/$0.10 – $30/$60 150% up to $1,500

How to Play Live Poker Online

By and large, the most common live poker variant is Texas Hold’em, with Omaha a close runner-up. The game is fun to play and easy to get the hang of once you’ve familiarized yourself with the rules. In order to win, you’ll need to create the best five-card hand using your two face-down hole cards and five cards from the community deck. 

As the game runs from round to round, (and based on the strength of your hand), you can either choose to match another player’s bet (call), increase the size of your existing bet (raise), pass on making a bet (check) or bow out of the game and throw in your cards (fold). The game is played according to traditional poker hand rankings where a royal flush (or similar) gets the pot. 

Check out the below steps for playing Texas Holdem online poker, live or in person.

1. Placing the initial bets

To start the game off, two mandatory bets are placed. The player to the direct left of the dealer will post the small blind (i.e $2) and the player to their left will post the big blind, which is usually twice the amount of the small blind (i.e $4)

2. The cards are dealt

The dealer will issue each player two cards face-down, starting again with the player immediately to their left (the small blind). These cards (known as hole cards) will only be revealed to the rest of the table at the end of the game (the showdown). 

3. First betting round (pre-flop)

The first round of betting (known as the pre-flop) begins. The player to the left of the big blind will start off the bets. They will need to decide whether they would like to call, raise or fold. At this time, they won’t be able to check. Each player will then have their turn to call, raise or fold until the action makes its way back to the player who posted the initial big blind. 

Since the big blind has already been counted as their initial bet, the big blind player may now choose to check, raise, or fold, depending on the potential strength of their hole cards. 

4. Three community cards are dealt (the flop) 

The dealer will burn (remove) one card from the pack and issue three cards, face-up, on the table. These three community cards (known as the flop) are visible to all players and can be used to estimate the potential value of their current hand (community + current hole cards) as well as the potential for other strong cards to come up in later rounds. 

5. Second betting round (post-flop) 

The second round of betting ensues, known as the post-flop. The player to the left of the dealer will start off the action and choose to check, call, raise, or fold. The bets will move clockwise from left to right until everyone has had a chance to play.

6. One community card is dealt (the turn)

The dealer will burn (remove) another card from the top of the deck and issue one face-up card into the existing community pile (known as the turn). Based on the new card, each player will weigh up their hand ranking once again, using their hole cards and the four existing community cards. 

7. Third betting round (post-turn)

A third betting round (known as the post-turn) kicks off, moving clockwise and starting once again with the player to the immediate left of the big blind. Each player will have the option to check, call, raise or fold. 

8. The final community card is dealt (the river)

As the game moves closer to showdown, the dealer burns another card from the deck and issues a fifth and final face-up card to the community pile (known as the river). With all cards in, players will have a solid understanding of the strength (or weakness) of their hands.

9. Final Betting Round

The fourth and final betting round ensues (sometimes known as the fifth street). Starting to the left of the big blind, each player will once again have the option to check, call, raise, or fold their existing hand.  

10. The Showdown

Each player will now reveal their hands. The showdown will happen when there are only two players left at the table, or when the final round of betting has concluded. The player that bet last will reveal their cards first. Players can use any combination of community/hole cards to build their best five-card hand. 

Play Free Live Poker Online

Some of the above poker platforms will let you try certain poker titles for free. The demo (or practice) mode feature is a great way to hone your skills and perfect your online poker strategy without needing to wager real money. Simply head over to your chosen site and look for the demo mode button on the live casino dropdown menu.  

By the time you make your first online deposit or place your first buy-in, you will have racked up valuable playing time, gotten to grips with the table’s unique structure ( min/max stakes, limits and similar) and built up enough confidence to hold your own against other live poker players. 

Moreover, online poker platforms like Bovada, Ignition and BetOnline will offer freerolls from time to time. These incentives grant you free entry into different high-level tournaments, where you won’t need to make an initial wager to compete. You can also search for live poker near me to find the best tournaments online.

Play Live Poker Online - Best Sites, Rules & Strategy

 Live Poker Hand Ranking

Hand rankings are the backbone of a winning live poker strategy. Know them off by heart, and you’ll be able to utilize them to the fullest when facing off against other players. For the most part, poker hand rankings are pretty universal. You start off with a single high-card hand (the lowest) and move all the way up to a royal flush, straight, or similar. 

Below is a breakdown of the ten poker hand rankings that you’re sure to come across when next sitting down to a game of live poker. 

Players Hand  Definition
High Card  The value of your highest card and the lowest possible winning hand. I.e, Q.
Pair Two cards of the same value. I.e, J-J along with 3 other unmatching cards.
Two Pairs  Two pairs or sets of cards with the same value. I.e, 4-4-10-10-3. 
Three of a Kind  Also known as Trips. Three cards of the same value along with two unpaired cards. I.e, Q-Q-Q-8-3
Straight  Five cards (of different suits) ranked in sequence.  I.e, 3-4-5-6-7.
Flush  Five cards of the same suit that are not in numerical order. I.e, 4-8-10-J-Q of hearts.
Full House  Three of a kind with a pair. I.e, 8-8-8-K-K.
Four of a Kind  The same card, in each of the four suits along with an unmatched card. I.e,  8-8-8-8-6
Straight Flush  Five cards in a row and all of the same suit.  I.e 6-7-8-9-10 of diamonds.
Royal Flush  The highest possible winning hand. I.e, 10-J-Q-K-A of the same suit. 

What are the Live Poker Odds?

Live poker odds will vary depending on the game you’re playing. But using Texas Holdem (the most common form of live poker) as an example, we’re quickly reminded that poker played against other players will not have fixed odds or a particular winning method for that matter. . The game is essentially played as a zero-sum endeavor, where your win is directly proportional to another player’s loss. 

The only time you’re really able to see live dealer poker odds present themselves is when the pre-flop happens and your hole cards, or when you’re dealt a golden hand and winning becomes an inevitability.

Remember that while you may find fixed RTPs for certain online poker variants, you won’t have the same luxury when playing live poker. The game moves fast, players are constantly bluffing and the outcomes are unpredictable at best. 

Comparing the Live Poker House Edge to other Poker Games

There is no house edge in live poker. Players are competing against one another so the house will have no vested interest in the outcome of the game or who wins, etc. They will however still take their portion of winnings (commission) on cash games (the rake). 

Some poker variants that are played online directly against the house will have a predefined house edge, however, Texas Holdem and Omaha hardly ever fall into this category. 

Three Card Poker: 1.5% house edge

Pai Gow: 2.5% house edge 

Caribbean Stud: 5.22% house edge

The Best Live Poker Strategy

Live poker is far less a game of luck and far more grounded in strategy. The world’s top players meticulously study the game for years on end to achieve the best results. But, as with all things in life, the best strategies are grounded in the basics. Here are some of the more common (entry-level) strategies for live casino poker (Texas Holdem). 

1. Know Your Positions and Hand Rankings

Before wagering your stake, you need to carefully analyze your hand, understand your starting position and decide whether these factors work in your favor or not. If you’ve been dealt a less than promising starting hand, you may want to fold and wait for a new game to start. 

Likewise, if you’re positioned to the immediate left of the dealer you’ll be first up to bet. Not only will you need to fork out the big blind but you also won’t have the advantage of watching how the rest of the table bets. 

2. Vary Your Gameplay

In live poker, you want to be as cryptic as possible. Repetitive actions tend to send the wrong messages to the rest of the table. Always raise and you may be holding a winner. Perpetually call (or limp) and your competitors may pick up that your hand is weaker than the rest. 

While it’s good to start slow and feel the table out before placing aggressive bets, it’s also important to vary your gameplay so as not to come off as too predictable. You’ll also struggle to get control of the pot and other players may start to drive you out with higher bets and riskier wagers. Remember, if you’re not entirely sure, it may be best to fold early. 

3. Double Down on Stronger Hands

If you’re sitting on a powerful poker hand, it pays to double down and work towards chasing other players out of the pot. For the most part, it pays to raise your stronger hands so that you can build the pot and keep your momentum.

Don’t be afraid to play a little faster and even a little more aggressively when building up to a powerful hand. Analyze your hole cards, compare them with what’s on the table and estimate what your opponents might be holding based on what’s already been dealt  Also, play on lower limits to start. You’ll have less to lose and more room to vary your play with lower risk.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Fold

At certain points in a game of live poker, folding is the best option. Analyze the in-play factors that may persuade you to fold, such as the strength of your starting hand, and whether other players at the table are already starting to bet heavily on the pre-flop. 

The main advantage of folding is that it gives you the control you need to play stronger hands (when you get them) over fewer games. As a general rule, when you find yourself weighing up whether to call or fold, as opposed to raising or betting, it may be the right time to bow out gracefully, reevaluate your position and come in stronger at a later stage. 

5. Choose Your Games Wisely

Finally, it pays to be selective when sitting down to a game of live poker. Analyze your opponents carefully, gauge their level of skill and ask yourself if you have the current capacity and know how to match them pound for pound. 

There may just be times when the competition is too strong, the buy-ins too great and the potential to go bust a looming prospect. When in doubt, scroll through the live casino portal, buy into different games and see which one is right for you. The same goes for tournaments. 

Top 5 Tips on How to Win at Live Poker 

Core strategy aside, there are a few key need-to-knows that will help you get the upper hand on the competition, manage your bankroll and keep your rhythm when playing live poker online. 

1. Learn the Rules

While it may seem all too simple, knowing the rules of the game is essential to any lasting poker strategy, both online and in-person. Learn Texas Holdem hand rankings by heart and use them in different combinations. Moreover, analyze the odds at hand, consider the unknown cards and what you’ll need to see on the table in order to build the best combos, come showdown. 

Study past poker matches and see how the pros utilize and roll out their cards at showdowns. Most importantly, know when to call, check, raise or fold, according to your cards. Play unpredictably and vary your style to keep the table guessing.    

2. Play for Free

Wherever possible, opt to play for free. Log in to your poker platform of choice and find the titles that offer free play or demo mode. From here, play as long as you like and get as many hands in. Learn the ropes, master the style and experiment with different hands. Demo mode is entirely free and carries zero wagering requirements. All you’ll need is a registered player account. 

Once you’ve got to grips with the game and are ready to put your newfound skills to the test, you can deposit funds on the cashier’s page. Moreover, some poker platforms run anonymous tables that conceal your profile and playing style. A great tactic for easing yourself into the game and keeping your strategy hidden from other players. 

3. Opt For Lower Limits

When you first start out, you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing the right poker table to play on with reasonable betting limits that will not break the bank. Live poker can quickly become quite costly and it’s always good to test the water and play on lower limits before moving on to larger live poker tournaments and events. 

Moreover, before sitting down to a game of live poker, it’s good to be aware of your starting position. Check the blinds, buy-ins and stakes to ensure they’re not too high and wherever possible, read other players and their tactics before moving on to faster bets. 

4. Use Your Welcome Bonus

One of the best ways to get off to a strong start when playing online poker live is to redeem and utilize your poker welcome bonuses. These match deposit offers come with their own sets of wagering criteria and can add to your existing bankroll once they’ve been unlocked. This in turn will buffer your losses and boost your winnings. 

The top online poker platforms run dedicated welcome offers for first-time players. Check out BetOnline’s 100% up to $1000 match deposit or Wild Casino’s 250% up to $1,000 bonus to get you started. 

5. Play Anonymous Tables and Zone Poker

Available at sites like Bovada and Ignition, anonymous poker tables are a great way to experience all the action in a live setting while keeping your identity, player profile and betting strategy hidden from your competitors.  

Moreover, zone poker allows you to amplify your time at the table, where the moment you fold your hand you’ll automatically move through to a new game with new players and new cards. Not only does this create added momentum, but it also increases your playing time, allowing you to work through more hands and boost your online live poker strategy in the process.

Playing Live Poker on Mobile  

Nothing beats the convenience of playing live poker directly from your mobile device. And, as more players than ever choose to wager from their smartphones, the need for sophisticated mobile poker interfaces is bigger than ever. 

The above live poker sites are known to tailor their offering to mobile gameplay. Head onto sites like BetOnline or Bovada and you’ll find a dedicated desktop-to-mobile poker app, complete with cutting-edge software, fast loading action and some tailored mobile incentives for both Android and iOS users. 

It’s really just a matter of preference. You may find that smaller mobile screens are not conducive to your playing style and betting structure, or you may relish the convenience. Regardless, you can rest assured that you’ll have world-class live poker action waiting for you across multiple devices and operating systems. 

More on poker…

Looking for more online poker matchups, variations and incentives? Check out the below sites, scroll through curated online poker lists and try your hand at all the latest games, including Deuces Wild and some great video poker lineups. 

Best Live Poker Site in the US 

So, having combed through our list of contenders, analyzed the competition and unpacked what each site has to offer, we’re giving the gold to BetOnline. While they don’t offer live poker, the site remains a leading destination for the best online action. 

The platform’s poker suite has a comprehensive, varied offering with a range of different buy-ins, limits and stakes. House rakes are fair, freerolls are quite common and recurring promotions, bonuses and player incentives are always on the cards. 

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