While we’ve witnessed a global explosion in online casino gambling over the last decade, there’s no doubt about which particular table game is the star of the show – poker. Whether it’s in the form of high-profile, celebrity players such as Ben Affleck and Michael Jordan grabbing the headlines, or individual tournaments offering staggering prizes to eventual winners, poker is never far from the front page.
It’s also established itself as by far the most popular online casino option among regular players. It’s a rare casino site that won’t offer a full range of poker options these days, and passionate players are also well served by a large number of sites that concentrate exclusively on poker.
Whether you’re new to the game or an experienced pro, there’s never been a better time to hit the tables online. In this piece, we’ll concentrate on one of the most popular and convenient funding options that users have when it comes to getting money in and out of their accounts – PayPal. We’ll cover background on how to find sites with online poker that accept PayPal and a range of useful info about both the online wallet and how you can best use it when gambling online.
Let’s kick things off with a quick look at how best to find sites that offer the combination of full-service poker options and PayPal as a funding mechanism.
If you’re relatively new to the world of online poker, it’s sensible to start your search with the main online casino providers out there. This will give you a solid overview of what the standard options out in the market are, and give you a useful base of comparison when looking at more niche providers. Traditional gambling powerhouses such as William Hill, Paddy Power and Ladbrokes all provide complete casino sites which accept PayPal and arrive with excellent general reputations for security, stability, and performance. They will all also happily accept PayPal as a funding solution. Start by having a browse around their sites to get a feel for the options available.
As we’ve mentioned it above, it’s worth stressing that online reputation should always be a factor in assessing a potential casino. Be sure to check popular gambling forums and social media for mentions of any casino you’re considering, and steer well clear of those which have attracted unfavourable reviews from other gamblers.
You’ll also want to review the terms and conditions of any site you’re considering in detail. You want to be absolutely certain that you understand exactly how areas such as payouts and deposits work well in advance. Be sure to doublecheck that the casino in question offers a full range of customer support options also. It’s also worth treating the first couple of weeks as a test period with any casino after you sign up. Be sure to explore the full range of functionality with a small test budget, and make sure you’re totally happy before committing to them as your main provider.
You should find PayPal listed as a payment option with the vast majority of online casino sites. Before we move onto looking at the advantages of using PayPal, let’s briefly step through some background on it.
PayPal’s rise to global prominence since being launched back in 1998 has been a staggering one. Its astonishing early success led swiftly to an IPO in 2002 and a subsequent takeover by eBay the same year for $1.5 billion. In the intervening years, PayPal has firmly established itself as the leading global e-wallet and handled over a quarter of a trillion dollars in transactions in 2014.
With over 15,000 employees and around 174 million users, PayPal has established quite a lead over its rivals in the last decade and now handles transactions across 190 countries in more than 25 currencies. Though there have been recent hiccups in services in a small group of countries such as Japan, Turkey, and India, the service is essentially global in nature at this stage.
Let’s move on to look at some of the advantages PayPal offers to online casino users.
The first main plus point that PayPal brings is simply its ubiquity. The funding option is widely available in most casinos and omnipresent elsewhere online across all major territories and currencies. That’s a combination that’s hard to beat.
PayPal also enjoys an excellent reputation for online security. As one of the highest-profile targets online, they’ve been forced to be at the absolute cutting edge of online security simply to stay in business. Though there have been a series of isolated security incidents over the years, their response has always been swift and decisive and the company is widely regarded as being an inherently secure option.
PayPal transactions are also incredibly fast. Though you may have to deal with slight delays in terms of actually getting money out of a PayPal account to your bank or credit card account, getting money in and out of a casino account via PayPal should be more or less instantaneous.
The final advantage is the slight separation of reporting that PayPal gives you in terms of your funds. Rather than the details of any gambling transactions being directly recorded on your bank or credit card statements, they will be housed inside PayPal itself if you choose to go that route. For those who are looking for discretion in terms of their funding, this could be a big plus point.
Getting started with PayPal is refreshingly straightforward. Though there are a number of different types of account (including dedicated business options), most gamblers will simply go for a standard account.
All you need to get started is simply an email address and password. Once you’ve got your basic account set up by verifying your email address, you can then move on to adding credit cards and/or bank accounts to the account in order to fund it.
As we mentioned earlier, there are some minor restrictions in territories such as Japan that you’ll need to be aware of. Using PayPal in conjunction with gambling sites is also restricted in the United States. As with any service provider, we advise you to carefully check the terms and conditions that apply before you sign up.
Spend any time browsing online casino sites and you’ll soon realise that there is a range of attractive bonuses on offer to attract gamblers. The reasons why aren’t hard to work out – the online casino business is incredibly competitive and companies are battling furiously with each other to attract and retain customers. Offering regular bonuses at various stages of the customer lifecycle is an obvious way of doing this – and one that you can take advantage of!
The first type of bonus you’ll see on offer are deposit bonuses. These are simply amounts, usually expressed as a percentage of your initial deposit, that are offered upfront by casinos to encourage you in the door. Be aware that there will always be terms and conditions governing the use of these bonuses and that you may well be required to gamble past a certain limit in order to access them
Non-deposit bonuses are essentially a free trial option offered by casinos. With this strategy, they give you a small amount of free credit that you can wager with. If you’re looking for a quick, easy, and affordable way to test out the basic functionality of a casino, using non-deposit bonuses to do so makes sense.
In addition to the two options above, you’ll also see regular prizes and promotions on offer from most online casinos throughout the year. The best way of getting a feel for what type of promotions a particular casino tends to run throughout the year is to keep an eye on their blog and social media accounts where you’ll generally see these marketing initiatives promoted heavily.
As you sift through sites you might want to favour with your business, you should notice a full range of poker variants on offer. Let’s briefly step through the three main variations that are out there:
- Draw poker: Draw poker is the workhorse of the poker world and you’ll find it on offer in pretty much every online casino site on earth. Five-card draw is the obvious main variant here and is a great variation to cut your teeth on if you’re still getting familiar with the game.
- Stud poker: This variant offers a mix of face-down and face-up cards which introduces a whole other level of strategy and gameplay into the mix. Five-card stud and seven-card stud are the two leading variations here.
- Community card poker: In this variation, you’ll have a partial hand and access to shared face-up cards. Texas Hold ‘Em is the leading option from this school and an incredibly popular variant worldwide in tournament play.
In addition to the poker variants we discussed above, you’ll also find different type of games generally on offer at online casinos to suit your personal tastes and budget. Here’s a quick listing of three broad categories to choose from:
- Standard automated games: These are simply games where the cards are dealt by specialised software. Everything behind the scenes is fully automated and uses technology such as certified Random Number Generators to ensure fair play.
- Live dealer games: Thanks to video streaming technology, you’re able to interact with a live dealer remotely in this option. It’s basically just like being in an actual casino with a real flesh-and-blood person dealing each hand. Many players prefer this option as it brings a bit of personality and feedback into proceedings.
- High-roller games: Whether you’re going for software-driven or live-dealer games, you’ll find a subset of tables reserved for high rollers with big budgets. This isn’t an option everyone will be able to take advantage of when they’re starting out, but if you play your cards right over time, you may well end up sitting in on larger pots with the pros.
Playing poker online presents few legal problems in most territories, but there are some notable exceptions to that rule. The situation across Europe is mostly straightforward – online gambling is fully regulated and legal across the continent.
The situation varies wildly across Asia being extremely popular and legal in some territories, but completely banned in others. Be sure to check the local laws very carefully if you are gambling in Asia. The American situation is also under constant review. At the time of writing, online gambling is only permitted in certain states such as Nevada and New Jersey, though there is constant pressure to loosen the laws nationwide.
Though PayPal is a popular funding method, it’s far from the only one you can take advantage of. We generally recommend using a range of funding methods to be on the safe side and the following are all excellent alternatives:
- Skrill: Skrill has steadily emerged as the leading direct e-wallet competitor to PayPal over the last number of years, and has achieved particular traction in Europe where it funds an impressive amount of transactions per year.
- Standard credit cards: Standard credit card options such as Visa, Mastercard, and Amex remain excellent options to have in your back pocket and are accepted by the vast majority of online casinos. You’ll benefit from world-class security, convenience, and special promotions with these cards.
- Wire transfer: Traditional wire transfer remains an option that’s available on pretty much every online casino. If you’re looking to transfer large amounts securely, it’s a possibility that’s well worth exploring if the fees involved aren’t too onerous.
Though luck plays a considerable role, poker is ultimately a game of strategy. In order to get the most out of your time at the tables, you should commit to learning the basics of the game in depth and getting a handle on strategy.
Begin by making sure you have a solid understanding of pot odds and the various permutations at play at any one time. You’ll also want to get familiar with being able to profile your opponents and get comfortable with the ebbs and flows of loose and tight play.
Understanding these concepts is relatively straightforward, but mastering them can take some time so be prepared to put in the hours of study in order to raise your overall game!
We hope our guide to poker sites which accept PayPal has helped clarify the area for you and given you some pointers on where to go next. Be sure to check out our recommended casino partners for great PayPal-friendly options and good luck with your play!
Check Out Our List Of Poker Sites That Accept PayPal!