Bitcoin Online Poker Sites

So you’ve got some bitcoins and you want to start playing online poker? Well, before jumping straight into it, for those who don’t already know, allow me to explain what exactly is bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital currency that allows for instant payments to anyone including online poker sites. If fiat currencies like the US dollar are seen as major currencies for the material world, the Bitcoin currency, which was established in 2009 as a peer-to-peer system for online payments, is viewed as the currency for the internet. Hence it being referred to as a “digital” or “virtual” currency.

Unlike fiat currencies, Bitcoin does not require a central bank. As a result of the way the bitcoin system works, payment processing fees are minimal. The only fees are the ones associated with buying, selling, and using Bitcoins.

Bitcoin poker sites are fairly new and so as a result you can’t expect them to be as well populated as some of the other poker sites that are yet to start accepting bitcoins like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.

With that being said, they have gained in popularity in recent years. As this virtual currency has experienced global acceptance, operators and players alike have seen it as a legitimate way to fund online poker accounts to play poker or do whatever else they would like to do using bitcoin.

It should be noted that when you make a deposit into a Bitcoin poker site, it would be the same as if you had deposited using another deposit method such as an e-wallet. Depending on the online poker site you are playing at, your deposits made using bitcoin will be in the Bitcoin currency (or fractions of bitcoins) or your Bitcoin deposit will be exchanged into the currency setting of the poker room. This is the case when you are playing at multi currency bitcoin poker sites, which have added bitcoin as a convenient deposit option for their players.

Of course, when you Bitcoins have been exchanged into an alternative currency, you are playing with a difference currency, for example dollars, pounds or euros, and you would be required to withdraw your winnings back to your Bitcoin wallet in order to technically still be owning the Bitcoins you deposited with.

This is important to understand since the value of bitcoins has fluctuated dramatically especially over the past year or so. If, for example, bitcoins value doubled, but you were playing at a poker room which exchanged your deposit into an alternative denomination, then you wouldn’t benefit from this, as you are now playing in a non-bitcoin currency.

The value of Bitcoins is established much like other currencies, with it being based on the number of people using the currency and the number of bitcoins in existence. The value of bitcoins can also be affected by recent small events, business activities, and trades. If you own bitcoins for the sole purpose of playing online poker at bitcoin accepting poker sites obviously it’s hard to keep up with it all, you just have to accept that by dealing with bitcoins there is some risk involved, but it’s something any seasoned online player would come to realize, having experienced the Full Tilt Poker and UB fiascos, when these sites got shut down by the U.S. DoJ.

The majority of bitcoin poker rooms deal exclusively in bitcoin. Sites like Satoshi Poker and Seals with Clubs have benefited hugely from the difficulty in depositing onto US-facing poker sites. As a result, you can expect to find plenty of US players on bitcoin poker sites. SealswithClubs is a favorite amongst many bitcoin poker players since it has good player traffic especially at peak hours of the day and it’s a Mac-compatible poker room.

How Do I Get Bitcoins?

Without a doubt the easiest way is to simply buy them, from one of the various bitcoin exchanges such as Mt. Gox or BitStamp. These exchanges will let you purchase bitcoins using different fiat currencies, including US Dollars, Euros, Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars, and New Zealand Dollars, just to name a few.

An alternative to buying bitcoins is to mine for them by validating bitcoins and therefore creating new bitcoins online. This is quite a process intensive task which requires a special rig. It really only makes sense to do this if you are mining bitcoins for fun and definitely not as a way to make money because as an individual it can take you months or even a year just to mine one bitcoin. So, unless you have the necessary hardware to mine for bitcoins in an efficient manner, it probably isn’t worth it just so you can use the currency to play online poker.

What other things can bitcoins be used for? In a nutshell, not a whole lot. But offline businesses are now starting to accept bitcoin for transactions, so as it gains more mainstream acceptance, you will be able to use this currency for a lot more than simply playing online poker or as a speculative investment.