Australian Parliament outlawed online poker establishments in the country. On August 9, 2017, the Australian Senate passed a bill to get rid of online casino poker in Australia. Full Tilt Poker, Pokerstars, 888poker, and many others were exiled from the country, overnight.
In the years since the Aussie poker crash of 2017, the online poker industry has had to adapt in different ways to keep dealing with the cards. Apart from illegal online poker rooms, in defiance of the laws of the land, the online poker business in
So does that mean you have to immigrate to a different country to play a few hands of hold-em’?
Take it easy, mate–find out how and where Australians can legally continue to play poker online for real money. Find out how Australian citizens play online poker real money games without breaking the law.
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2019 Guide to Online Poker Real Money Games in Australia
If you are wondering whether or not it is still possible to play online poker real money games in Australia–it is. Good news, Aussies! It’s just a different venue than it used to be, but you can legally play.
The law in Australia clearly ascribes penalties to gambling operations, establishments, and website owners operating in the country. It does not, however, penalize the players. You can play online poker for real money in Australia–but you can’t run a business to provide online poker for real money in Australia.
You can play all the online poker you want in Australia. The website on which you play, however, cannot operate from within Australian borders.
The only parties restricted from taking part in online gambling are the service providers. Average players are not under any law enforcement regarding taking part in online poker for real money.
What to Consider Before Making an Online Poker Deposit
But, you still have to be careful about choosing an online poker room in which to play.
There are three things you want to avoid when choosing your online poker game. The first is unwittingly playing on an illegal online Australian poker site. But, let’s be honest, if you aren’t trying to break the law then you probably won’t end up unwittingly joining an illegal game.
The second thing to watch out for are unreputable poker websites. You don’t want to end up putting down a deposit, only to find out that the company is going out of business. This is all too common for online gambling websites, and, often the players lose the funds in their poker account.
The third is sharks. In poker, a shark is a player who is tight and aggressive. They don’t play most hands, but the hands they play, they win. Make sure that the online poker site you are on is not a shark trap.
Some poker websites are like the high-rollers table at a casino: it is full of grinders that know each other. They aren’t on the same team, but they aren’t playing against each other, either. A shark trap poker site offers a great deposit bonus, low or no-fees, and other incentives to lure in the fish.
Your Old PokerStars Account…is Useless
PokerStars got the short end of the stick when the new online gambling laws went into effect in Australia. The company reacted in the same way in which it did when the US outlawed online poker: it left the country.
PokerStars ceased to offer service in Australia right after the laws went into effect. So, you cannot play on PokerStars for real money in Australia, legally.
If you try to use your old PokerStars account to play online poker real money in Australia, you are refused service. And, workarounds run you the risk of PokerStars terminating your players’ account.
VPNs don’t work, either, for playing within Australia. The firewall is on a higher level than a VPN can handle. So, if you attempt to use a VPN to make it look like your IP address is from another country, you will likely be caught.
Best Online Poker Real Money Games for Australians
The good news–you don’t have to play on PokerStars. There are plenty of online casinos and poker rooms offering real money games that are legal to play in Australia. But, they aren’t all created equal, so here are the best online poker rooms for Aussies.
Shortly after PokerStars exited the Australian online poker scene, in 2017 Ignition poker stepped in to take its place. Ignition Poker is part of the Bodog Group, which has been operating online poker venues for over a decade.
Ignition Poker and Ignition Casino are subsidiaries of the PaiWangLuo Network, which operates the largest conglomerate of online gambling venues in the world.
When Ignition Poker came online, in 2016 it was only available for players in the United States. But, as of September 2017, Ignition Poker opened up to Australians, as well.
Ignition has, since grown to the largest online poker real money room on the internet.
Ignition offers player perks, like club rewards and promotions for Ignition Casino. And, it offers a wide range of cash and tournament games from which to choose.
Ignition Poker runs a regular tournament schedule with high guarantees–just like PokerStars used to do. However, unlike PokerStars, Ignition Poker makes all of the players anonymous.
Deposits and Withdrawals on Ignition Poker
Ignition Poker supports two deposit types: Bitcoin or credit/debit card. The limits and minimums for depositing funds into your account are based upon your deposit type.
For card deposits, the minimum is $20 and the maximum deposit is $1,500. For Bitcoin, the minimum is $10 and the maximum deposit is $5,000.
The huge benefit of depositing with Bitcoin is that there are zero transfer or deposit fees. With Visa or MasterCard deposits, Ignition charges a 5.9% deposit fee. If you are using American Express, there is a 9.9% deposit fee.
Poker Games and Table Stakes
Ignition Poker offers Pot-limit Omaha, Pot-limit Omaha 8-or-Better, Limit Omaha 8-or-Better, Limit Holdem, and No-limit Holdem games. Players choose between cash tables, sit-and-go’s, and tournaments. And, you can play up to four cash games at once.
The stakes for No-limit Holdem cash tables start at $0.01/$0.02 and go up to $10/$20. Single table Sit-and-Go tournaments are between $1 + $0.10 entry fee all the way to $200 + $14. Ignitions guarantee tournaments range between $3 + $0.30 entry fee, to $250 + $20.
Ignition Poker also has recently added a new lottery Sit-and-Go feature. When you enter a lottery sit-and-go, the prize pool is randomly multiplied, up to 1,200 times the initial buy-in amount. So, a few dollars might go a long way.
Bodog88 Poker and Casino
Bodog88 Poker is a part of the Bodog Poker Group, which started in Canada and spread to the United States. Bodog88 Poker serves several Asian countries, as well as Australia. Both, Ignition Poker and Bodog88 Poker are part of the Bodog Group, so you know they are reputable games.
Bodog88 is more of a Poker room within a larger casino, whereas Ignition Poker is a separate entity than Ignition Casio. As a part of the online Casino, Bodog88 Poker offers Sportsbook and table games.
Bodog88, like Ignition, offers fast-folding, multi-table options, and Zoom-poker mode. But, Bodog88 also offers some gaming experiences that you won’t find on Ignition Poker. Bodog88 offers real-time dealers and games made by the leading software companies in the industry.
Players can make deposits on Bodog88 in the form of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, or a Credit Card. Australians can also deposit on Bodog88 using the Astropay prepaid debit card. And, first-time deposits get a 100% match bonus up to $1,000.
For the high-rollers who fancy themselves poker sharks, you might prefer a poker site offering higher stakes, like BlackChip Poker. BlackChip Poker offers cash table games with blinds as high as $50/$100. And, whereas Ignitions highest priced single table sit-and-go is $250, you can play a micro SNG for as much as $1,200 + $15 on BlackChip.
BlackChip attracts more serious poker players than fish, and it offers more types of poker games. You can play stud poker in several forms, as well, as 6 Plus Holdem. And, players have more sophisticated table options, such as straddling and preferred seating.
There is, however, a catch for Australians. If you are trying to play on BlackChip Poker from within Australia, you have to use a VPN. BlackChip does not operate from within Australia, so it is not illegal for you to play.
But, the website is not optimized for Australia’s online gambling restrictions, so it has to look like your IP address is somewhere else. And, if you live in Australia, the only deposit or withdrawal method that BlackChip will accept is in cryptocurrency.
If you are within Australia you will have no problem getting set up on Ignition Poker or Bodog88 Poker. If you are happy, playing in larger and lower-stake poker rooms, Ignition or Bodog88 is the best choice.
If you are a more experienced player, and you know your way around cryptocurrency transactions, check out BlackChip Poker. Even though you have to use a VPN, it is a reputable and high-quality poker platform.
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