Our Top Sites for Australians to Play Poker Guide in 2019
Why do i need this Guide?
Although it was a long time coming, most Australian online poker players knew the day of reckoning would come, and for them, that day was August 9, 2017, the day the bill prohibiting real money online poker in Australia, was passed into law.
Online-Poker-Australia is rallying support in opposition to the bill and you can show your support by signing our petition against the Interactive Gambling Act here.
That being said, being serious players ourselves we want to play despite the outcomes of this ridiculous law. So we developed this guide to help Australian players and prevent you from being burnt when navigating the somewhat murky waters of offshore operators.
We have navigated the murky waters of offshore Poker sites so you don't have to
In short, we want to ultimately repeal the ban but, in the meantime, we can provide our fellow Aussies with the lessons we have learnt when playing the game we all love to play.
If you don't want to read our in-depth review and just want to play immediately, here's our No 1 recommended Operator. With Bodog88 you can play without the need for a VPN or Offshore bank account.
Otherwise happy reading and playing!
The Big Boys have been Booted Out!
Immediately after the bill became law, the government quickly moved to drive off major online poker sites off the land and eliminate online poker sites for Australian players, or so they thought.
It is fair to say the big boys of the poker industry like 888poker, PartyPoker, PokerStars and a whole host of other online gambling sites have left the land under due to the harsh conditions imposed by the Australian lawmakers, there are still a good number of online poker sites that are giving Australians are opportunity to play their favorite online poker game despite the stringent conditions they operate in. As it is with other facets of life, it is expected that there will be some good honest companies that offer legitimate opportunities for Australian to play poker online, while other companies are using the opportunity to pilfer unsuspecting online players.
We found many disingenuous Poker Sites!
It is essential to separate the wheat from the chaff, and in doing so, we've reviewed current online gambling firms, and tested their authenticity and genuineness, in order to create a guide for the best online poker site in Australia. With this guide, you can be confident of making the right choice in terms of where you want to play poker online, and not some random shack that is just a scam waiting to happen.
Won't I get prosecuted for playing online?
For players that are apprehensive about playing poker online after the law was passed, well have no worries the gambling law is apparent in this regard, and There are no penalties, I repeat no penalties for any individuals engaged in online betting. The law is only is only in place for firms that provide betting games and not individuals who play them. So, you can engage in online wagering without any fear of punishment, indictment, or prosecution.
Do I need a VPN to play Online Poker in Australia?
When the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill of 2016 was signed into law, and companies started pulling out of the Australian market and shutting their doors to Australians, the use of VPN (Virtual Private Network) was considered an option by many as a way of bypassing the blockade imposed by some of the big sites.
Even an Australian Senator suggested it!!!
One of the major oppositions of the bill was Senator David Leyonhjelm, an advocate of allowing Australians play any online poker they want, even supported the VPN route as an option for players during an impassioned speech. He was quoted saying,
"…Finally, if the legislation passes, I would like to advise all online poker players out there. Irrespective of the risk of offshore hosts, screw the government: get yourself a reliable VPN as well as a reliable offshore account and enjoy yourself. And I wish Good luck.”
Unfortunately, the majority of VPNs won't work with the major poker sites
The big poker sites are serious about not allowing players to play from countries that have prohibited playing online poker. Therefore, they now can detect players using public VPN services by having huge databases of all the IP addresses that the VPN services use to route internet traffic through and blocking users using those IPs.
What about a private VPN?
We have done successful tests using private VPNs as the online poker operators won't have the IP address in their databases, due to not being a known VPN service. However this is quite technically difficult to set up and requires significant IT knowledge and specialist hardware to carry out. Hey if you can do it, why not.
Don't worry, you can use other vendors who offer online poker to Australians without the need for a VPN
The good news is that there are lots of online poker outlets that open their doors to Australians, that means you can open an account with them using your legit personal information. These online gaming sites operate under the system of World Trade Organization guidelines which permits cross-interactions of these companies into different markets. As we mentioned before there are a lot of illegitimate operators so we recommend using one of the providers we mention below and do not worry you won't be violating any laws either.
There is one benefit to playing poker Offshore
For those that are still sceptical about offshore poker sites, know that there are advantages to using these offshore sites (the legit ones though). The benefits of these offshore Australian poker sites was echoed by TABCORP one of the companies that were behind the enactment of the 2016 Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill (aka the bad guys). In their report of the impact of offshore wagering review, inadvertently, TABCORP highlighted some of the advantages of offshore poker sites to Australians. Their unwitting admission can be found on Page 4 section c of the report, in which they wrote;
"Some people may also choose to use... offshore wagering providers for reasons of secrecy... offshore wagering providers are not subject to Australian laws or regulatory oversight, so individuals who are prohibited or excluded from betting on an event... can do so undetected. This also applies to high profile individuals who may not want their betting habits subjected to regulatory scrutiny.”
Their report clearly states the advantages of foreign sites to Australians, citing privacy and secrecy as a significant benefit. If you are one of such who values his/her privacy, this will come as great news for you. You can further subject yourself into the private helm of affairs by using crypto-currencies rather than regular cash; you won't have to worry about someone peeping from your back. Trust us when we say, it saves you on so many hassles and challenges along the way. Let's not keep you waiting any longer for our guide to Top 7 online poker sites for Australians, check them out below.
So which sites should I use to Play?
There are lots of online poker sites opened to Australians, and we've already established the facts that this review guide will only be about genuine and reputable sites that Australians can play their games on. Each of the sites in our guide has its own advantages and disadvantages after all no system can be perfect, but notwithstanding, they provide an enjoyable gaming experience for you with a variety of benefits.
We've done the research so you don't get done!
Our evaluation process is centered on the fact that we've been in the business of playing poker online for years now, and in that time, we’ve been able to acquire the skills, and knowledge needed to evaluate real money poker sites. Our evaluation is based on a number of factors such as; quality of game and variety, cashouts speeds, cashouts methods, bonuses and promotions, and a whole lot of other factors. So, you have zero worries about the authenticity of the sites in our guide. We've taken time to review them, and we've found out that they are the best online poker sites for Australians in 2019.
1. Ignition Casino
Ignition casino poker room is the kid in the block, having made its way into the Australian market in July 2017. The poker company is part of the Bodog Group that has been in the online poker business since 2004. So, we can say although Ignition Poker is a new entrant in the Aussie market, the people running it have been in business for close to 15 years.
The major highlights of Ignition poker and what makes it our number one pick is first, the number of games it has for players. Ignition poker is simply massive, with a plethora of games, and tournaments for players. Another impressive highlight of Ignition poker is that newcomers have the same opportunities as seasoned players, talk about a fair gaming experience. Lastly, the site is strictly for Americans and Australians! This is great news if you want to test your prowess against only players from the US.
There are lots of options for players; normal ring games are up to $10/$20 PLO, PLO-8 and NL Hold'em. Also, LO8 and LHE run up to $30/$60. If you are a bit adventurous, and you like to try your hands on something new, then you will love the fast-fold type game called Zone. In this game, you have the option of folding your hand in one table and starting another round in a second table, and you don't need the previous hands to complete before making the switch. Ignition allows you to play a maximum of only four cash tables at a go.
There are lots of tournament options of players with grand sums of $150 + $12 $100,00 guaranteed every Sunday. There also other guaranteed tournaments on display all through the week with prices set at $3 + $0.30 and $250 + $20. The highly acclaimed tournament Black Diamond Poker Open is Ignition's recurring tournament, and since its inception, it has given out millions of dollars in cash prizes.
There lots of goodies available for players in Ignition. New depositors attract 100% poker bonus (the benchmark is set at $1000), and it clears at a rate equivalent to 30% rakeback in MTTs and SNGs.
Players can access the Ignition poker room on their Mac, Windows, and mobile.
Players also have the option of funding their balance via credit cards, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Bitcoin (BTC). Cashouts is either via checks, BCH, or BTC depending on your choice. Of the three cashouts options, BTC and BCH provide a faster and less complicated route for players.
Bodog and Ignition poker both share certain similarities after all they are sister sites. You will encounter the same variety of games seen in Ignition, in Bodog88 as well, notably fast-fold zone poker, and bespoke Jackpot Sit & Go lottery. However, unlike ignition, Bodog88 offers a sportsbook option, and this is why Bodog88 is the popular choice between both.
Bodog88 offers a variety of gaming options not found on other platforms, and this is the reason why some gamblers prefer it.
There lots of attractive bonuses available to players in Bodog88. New depositors attract 100% poker bonus (the benchmark is set at $1000), and it clears at a rate slightly lower than that of Ignition. With Bodog88 you stand the prospect of a sports bonus up to $168, free casino cash up to $258, and to cap it off, $168 to use in any Live Dealer games of your choice. The site provides special offers to frequent players on certain occasions.
Players can access the Bodog88 poker room on their Mac, Windows, and mobile.
You can transact on Bodog88 with BTC or BCH. Aussies can make deposits using a credit card, or prepaid Astropay debit card.
As part of the popular Winning Poker Network, BlackChip Poker has become a popular choice for players these past few years.
In all of our reviewed top online poker sites for Australians, BlackChip has the highest ring games rising to $50/$100 for both NLHE and PLO. These games can be pretty eventful as tables get filled up quite quickly. High-rollers will love BlackChip Poker. Players have access to Normal SNGs, Jackpot Poker lottery games, and Large tournaments.
It provides 100% up to $1,000 welcome bonus, which attracts 20% back to you on your tourney and rake fees.
All financial trance can be done by credit card, e-wallet, debit card, checks, and crypto-currencies. You stand a chance of a faster financial transaction when you operate with crypto-currencies, and thankfully, BlackChip Poker is able to transact in over 60 different crypto-currencies.
The major Drawback is that bBlackChip poker is only accessible via a windows machine.
Players can access the Grand poker room on their Mac, Windows, and mobile. You can fund your account with Bitcoins, credit cards, and other available payment methods.
4. Grand Poker
Grand poker made its grand entrance into the online poker market at the backend of 2014. Although it is new to the market, the founding group of the poker house, 5Dimes group have been in the business of casino and bookmaking for a while now, so this gives credibility to Grand Poker.
Its new status means Grand poker doesn't have lots of players yet, so you can quickly familiarize yourself and earn big easily.
Tournaments cost maximum of $5.50 to participate, and it has to be said Grand Poker has a decent amount of tournament for players with zero house fees. This place provides the perfect platform to gather moment and beat some newbies.
Players can access the Grand poker room on their Mac, Windows, and mobile. You can fund your account with Bitcoins, credit cards, and other available payment methods.
Online Poker Payments, Cashouts and Deposits
So, it finally comes down to this, the best way to carry out your financial transactions in your online poker account. Back in the day, making financial transactions was easy, you could easily fund your online poker account from your bank, via credit card, debit cards, and eWallet platforms and even cashouts where easier as well. But times are changing, and using the outlets we listed above is now even more difficult, and the rates are becoming preposterous.
Thankfully, crypto-currencies most especially Bitcoins are providing a more efficient option for players to fund their accounts and cashouts — the Top online poker sites for Australians in our guide all support Bitcoins.
The next step of your grand-endeavor is converting your $AUD to Bitcoins and Vice-versa when you want to cash out. We recommend you utilize Coinbase to buy your crypto-currencies (convert your $AUD to Bitcoins) and use CoinJar to translate your Bitcoins (and other popular crypto-currencies) back to $AUD.
All of these conversion and translation processes will require a crypto wallet to facilitate the process, and for that, we recommend using blockchain.com. You can also try out LocalBitcoins.com (they utilize an escrow system, that protects you and your cash, should the other party fail to meet up with your requirements).
There is also the option of Bitcoin ATMs. However, there is just a hand full of such ATMs in the country, and you will often find crowds in front of them. Although in the future there is bound to be more Bitcoin-Friendly ATMs as ATM firm, Stargroup is already making plans to that effect.
Australian Though Law and Online Poker
The fight to stop online poker by the Australian Government started way back in 2001. It was back then that the Australian lawmakers began the movement to fend off offshore gaming out of Aussie land, by bringing into law the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act.
But as luck would have it, some miswording in the law meant there was a loophole that made the law void, and several online poker firms utilized this miswording to their advantage. Since then, lawmakers have been working night and day to amend the original 2001 Interactive Gambling Act, and thus, the Gambling Amendment Bill of 2016 came into being.
After the various legislative processes, the bill was finally passed into law in 2017. In simple terms, the bill states any unlicensed betting firm shouldn't carry out any form of business in the country, and that includes advertising as well.
Well, the good news is that the amended bill doesn't state that playing online poker is a crime, so players are free to engage in any form of online poker.
Although the details of why there is this law against online poker remain unclear, it is not hard to guess that money and politics are at play once again. A wild guess will suggest that this law was put in place to favor industrial giants and help shield their returns and profits. We can safely assume that industrial giants like TABCORP and big money shots like James Packer are the powerhouses behind this law. It would seem they became tired and jealous that foreign online companies were attracting their client base, and swallowing up their money.
Will the Ban Against Online Poker Sites in Australia ever be lifted?
The long-awaited Senate report on the effect of online poker on Australian participants was finally delivered on October 18th, 2017. What people were hoping to be a reading in their favor of the abolishment of the law, and leading to the legalization of online poker gaming, turned out to be a call for an extended study on the effects of regulatory approaches. The report recommended that unless there is an establishment of a strong National Consumer Protection Framework, no expansion of Internet gambling should take place. So, unless the Framework is finalized, everything the ban will remain as it.
Why are some sites still operational and others are not?
Well different sites, different management systems. Some sites quickly retracted their services from the Australian market in order not to spoil their name in the international front. On the other hand, there are other sites that have literally given the law the middle finger and they opening their doors to Australians. These sites bear the burden of anything that will throw at them, leaving you without any worry of facing any lawsuit. These sites don't operate on the Australian law, but on well-established World Trade Organization guidelines.