Playing poker online with Bitcoin is starting to catch on, especially if you use the best bitcoin poker sites.
Playing poker with bitcoin gives you these benefits over traditional online poker:
- Faster withdrawals and deposits of your winnings and funds.
- Potential anonymity when you deposit and withdraw in crypto.
- Bigger and better bonuses over traditional online poker.
Nevertheless, there are a few cons when it comes to Bitcoin poker.
- A poker room/site may get hacked and all your funds stolen
- You might get hacked or scammed out of your winnings
- Restrictive withdrawals that limit put your winnings in danger of becoming lost.
In this article we’ll examine how you can maximize the pros while limiting any cons that can present themselves. Perhaps this article may be too small to cover absolutely everything you need to know about Bitcoin poker, but it’s a great start.
Bitcoin Poker — Is It Legal?
The first question you might want the answer to (and, let’s face it, need the answer to) is whether or not playing poker with bitcoin is even legal.
The short answer is: if playing online poker is legal in your region, then playing poker online while using bitcoin is also legal.
This is because bitcoin is viewed as another monetary payment system. If the online poker site accepts it, then it’s a good sign it’s legal. After all, becoming a legally operating bitcoin poker room is far more challenging, legally speaking, than setting up a legal system to accept bitcoin deposits and withdrawals.
If you’re based in the U.S. for example, then LegalZoom has this to say for you:
“As there is no federal law against playing online, simply placing wagers online is legal. (However, a wager must NOT be placed on a site located in the United States. More on that later).”
The article goes on to state that, as long as the crypto poker site is located and registered outside of the U.S. then it’s perfectly legal — it simply cannot be registered or located on American soil.
So if you find a site that is located in Europe or Asia or one the Caribbean countries — don’t worry; That’s what they need to do in order to remain legal.
So if you live in the U.S. then double check the bitcoin poker site is located anywhere else besides the U.S. And if you’re from a different country, simply google and see if online poker rooms are legal for you to play in. After that find a legal site that accepts bitcoin and you’re off to the races.
Bitcoin Poker — Is It Safe?
The second thing you must know and consider about Bitcoin Poker is whether or not it’s fair. After all, online sites are not like traditional brick-and-mortar casinos where you can see if the house is cheating you out of your winnings or not.
Online casinos could employ dirty tricks to change up the odds in their favor.
Thankfully with online poker rooms that accept Bitcoin, they should also provide a system for you to check whether or not the poker game you played is provably fair.
Provably Fair is a new system that’s been helping poker players verify the results of their games. One definition goes like this:
“In the case of online gambling, provably fair means the odds and outcome of a bet can be proven, through code and blockchain transactions, to have not been manipulated.”
This type of online gambling tactic is only made possible thanks to the invention of blockchain technology — which also powers Bitcoin, Ethereum, and almost all of the top cryptocurrencies. That’s because it is extremely difficult if not impossible to manipulate.
Since online casinos can’t manipulate the Blockchain, they can’t manipulate the outcome or odds of online games that you play either. All the poker games you play with digital cards are recorded on a public ledger. This way you’ll be able to see all transactions and payouts.
So when you find a poker site that accepts BTC and is legal in your area, the next step is for you to double check and make sure they are dealing the cards fairly. You don’t want them or one of their favorite players getting an advantage over you.
Bitcoin Poker — Other Things to Watch For
If you keep up with good bitcoin poker sites, then you’ll know if something is rotten at one site or another. You’ll also brush up on your poker skills and your crypto skills.
One skill to polish is the habit of double checking the address you are sending or receiving Bitcoin to. Remember, if you input the wrong address or give the wrong address, your winnings could be lost forever. Always double check!
Another skill to watch for is the terms and conditions at online poker sites. Some sites have quite restrictive withdrawal policies. So if you win big, you might be stuck withdrawing your winnings over a period of days, weeks, or months.
The price of Bitcoin is quite volatile, which means if your winnings are stuck — and the price plummets — your winnings could change into losses. So always check the poker sites terms and conditions when it comes to withdrawing Bitcoin, and make sure you’re okay with it.
Featured image via Unsplash.