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Poker is a pretty old game, and like most old games, it has seen its fair share of innovations, like online poker. Another innovation to the game is Bitcoin poker, which is more recent than the regular and online poker variants.
The concept of Bitcoin poker is pretty simple: it’s a poker game that uses cryptocurrency for most transactions before, during, and after the game. In simpler terms, the game doesn’t come with a new set of rules; when you play online poker on a site that accepts crypto, you’re playing Bitcoin poker.
However, not all online poker sites will let you play with Bitcoin, thanks to the currency’s age. If you’re hoping to play the game, this article will show you how to play with Bitcoin on poker sites. Also, you’ll learn how to figure out the best Bitcoin poker sites and the pros and cons of using them.
How Does Bitcoin Poker Work?
Bitcoin has some disadvantages that will make it challenging to use as the main currency for your typical online casino, and we’ll get to them in a second. So, how does online poker work despite all the challenges of running a betting site using Bitcoin?
You should note that while most online crypto betting sites let you deposit crypto, you don’t use it while playing in-game. In short, they convert your crypto to another currency unit, usually something like the US dollar, which you use to stake during poker games.
If you record wins after playing, the platform converts your winnings to Bitcoin and pays you the equivalent amount. That way, the units are simpler to use, and the general volatility of the cryptocurrency space will have zero bearing on how you stake and cash out your winnings.
While the explanation above seems very easy to understand, it’s not as practical as you’d imagine. There’s still a learning curve to playing with crypto on poker sites, especially for users with minimal crypto knowledge. If that describes you aptly, the following section will show you how to play with Bitcoin on poker sites.
How to Play with Bitcoin on Poker Sites
The expertise required for playing with crypto on poker sites is a rough mix of online poker knowledge and familiarity with transacting with crypto. If you’re here, you almost certainly have the former, but the latter always proves to be somewhat of a challenge.
With that in mind, here is how to play with Bitcoin on poker sites.
1. Register with a Trusted Crypto Exchange
To start playing Bitcoin poker, you need to get some Bitcoin first, which makes sense. Otherwise, how would you even get the Bitcoin to deposit to the poker site? To acquire some cryptocurrency, you’ll need an intermediary, and that’s where the crypto exchanges come in.
As you’d expect, the crypto exchange works like a trading app where you exchange crypto for fiat currency like US dollars. Some crypto exchanges even come with a built-in wallet. If you don’t understand how that’s useful, I’ll get to that shortly.
The best exchange for you will depend on your location, as they tend to be location-restriction. With recommendations from friends and other users, try to figure out which would work best for you and create an account. The process usually takes a couple of minutes at most.
2. Purchase Some Bitcoin
After signing up for an account with your preferred crypto exchange, it’s time to acquire some Bitcoin. Crypto exchanges typically make it very simple for users: you deposit US dollars or some other fiat currency to your account on the platform, and they exchange it for Bitcoin.
3. Get a Bitcoin Wallet
While you can buy and sell your Bitcoin through a crypto exchange, it typically doesn’t allow you to pay platforms like an online poker site. For that, you’ll need a Bitcoin wallet, which works like a storage medium for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as the name implies.
Once you sign up for a wallet, you should get a wallet address that lets you receive crypto transfers. Request to transfer your crypto to your wallet (from the exchange) and input your wallet address wherever required to complete the transfer. After a couple of minutes, your wallet should update the appropriate amount of Bitcoin you sent.
4. Get a Bitcoin Poker Account
If you haven’t signed up for an online poker account at this point, you should go ahead and do it. There are numerous poker sites online that will let you stake with Bitcoin; choose any trustworthy one with mouthwatering bonuses for new and existing customers and proceed to create an account.
5. Deposit to Your New Account Using Bitcoin
After creating your new crypto poker account, you’ll need to deposit to start playing the games for real money. At this point, I’ll assume you have a crypto wallet with sufficient Bitcoins to afford the exact amount you intend to deposit.
To deposit to the casino from your Bitcoin poker site, head to the Deposit tab or equivalent and select the crypto deposit option. Then, enter how much you intend to deposit, and the next page should generate a unique wallet address for that purpose. To make the transfer work, send the amount you entered earlier to the wallet address and wait a few minutes for the transaction to complete.
In most cases, the deposit page will feature a countdown timer indicating how much time you have to complete the transaction. You should close the tab and restart the transaction if the timer is dangerously close to the limit. You don’t want a scenario where you make a deposit that doesn’t reflect in your account.
When you deposit the Bitcoin successfully, the crypto poker site should convert it to a fiat currency like the US dollar to make it easier to bet in units.
It’s becoming increasingly common for poker sites to accept deposits and disburse payments in Bitcoin, thanks to the recent widespread crypto acceptance. If you’d like to jump on the trend, this guide is all you need to start playing with Bitcoin on online poker sites.