March 21, 2017, was a sad day in Australia for poker players. Parliment passed the final amendment to the new Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill, which prohibits online poker sites from operating in Australia.
Don’t worry, you can still play. Despite it now being illegal to operate an online poker room in Australia, it’s not an offense for an individual to play. Aussies just can’t operate a site locally.
This rule has induced several dozen online poker sites to stay the course and offer to take players from Australia.
Here is your guide to ten of the best online poker sites still offering Australian money games!
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Lurking out there in the world somewhere is Calvin Ayre, the founder of the famous poker site Bodog. In 2012 Ayre was arrested in the United States for breaking America’s local ban on online poker. Declaring himself a billionaire, Ayre simply left the U.S. and continued Bodog without a pause.
Although the United States would eventually seize the bodog.com domain name, Ayre’s poker businesses continued to thrive in Antigua and Costa Rica. Ignition is the Bodog groups latest offering, and they plan to Ignite poker in Australia with this overseas offering.
One of the unique features of Ignition is that it is a third party country offering poker only where it is locally banned! Basically, only Aussie and American players are on the site.
What a concept!
Ignition offers tournaments and regular cash games, ranging from penny stakes up to $15/$30 No-Limit Texas Hold’Em. As of this writing, they are offering 100% up to a $1,000USD bonus for new players.
Ignition has an HTML5 web portal, as well as native Android and IOS apps. They are part of the PaiWangLuo Network of online poker sites, so you know they’ve been around the block.
Everybody remembers when Matt Damon ordered up six stacks of High Society in Rounders. Those were black chips baby! BlackChip Poker is still offering games to Australian players, 24/7 365.
Of all the sites listed here, BlackChip offers the best cash ring games. You can bomb out on a $25/$50 NLH and Pot Limit Omaha. There are a couple of more unusual games going, like Seven Stud and Omaha-8 limit.
They also offer modern multi-table and single table tournaments ranging from the penny stock all the way up to the black chip $1500.
Oddly, BlackChip only offers software in Windows. There is no Mac, Android or IOS app for this site. You can’t play in a web browser either which makes getting onto this site kind of a pain.
Despite that though, BlackChip does offer some great rake back and cash back bonuses. They accept payments and cash out through the normal financial channels. They also accept just about every cryptocurrency there is, which often have almost no transaction cost to deposit or withdraw.
One of the best online poker sites, Tiger has been opened for business since 1999.
Tiger is a full-blown casino site offering games like blackjack, craps, and roulette to its mostly slot player base. Just like a brick and mortar poker room near the pit, the action brings out the fish (bad players), and Tiger has been known for some of the loosest games on the internet.
Tiger is a member of the Chico Poker Network. Chico is the #3 in total number of online United States players. So you know the games are good.
Intertops has long been one of the best online sportsbooks available to international gamblers.
They offer micro stakes sit’n go tables and very small online poker tournaments. While sports betting is their thing, the poker room sometimes fills up, especially during World Cup time!
You can play on Interops on your Windows PC or on your mobile device like Android or IOS. There is no Mac on Unix software available.
Intertops accepts good old Netteller, as well as most cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and bitcoin cash.
BetOnline is another major sportsbook that caters to Western players. It’s been around since 2004 so it has a very secure reputation for quick payout and great signup bonuses.
They offer standard micro stakes cash games, with a $0.50-$1.00 live game running pretty regularly. They offer multi-table tournaments as well as sit’n goes.
BetOnline offer at least one $100 guaranteed tournament every week, usually on Sunday mornings.
Sites got used to leaving the states when the US UIGEA passed in 2006. It smashed the legal card rooms in America, sending them scurrying to Europe and South America. At the same time, some sites saw an opportunity to expand INTO America.
Right up there with Bodog, Americas Cardroom has become one of the most popular sites in the world because they offer games to American players in defiance of their government. Any site that willfully defies the United States government is going to ignore the Aussie rules too!
Americas Cardroom delivers with tremendous action 24/7 and great games all the time.
This year, they are giving away 50 WSOP packages to Las Vegas to play in the World Series of Poker. If you see a contingent of Aussies wearing their logo, you’ll know they’ve been cleaning up in the bonus tournaments.
While the sites listed here have made the decision to offer games in to Australians, other sites have taken a different approach.
The super big sites: Poker Stars, Party Poker, 888 and Full Tilt, were some of the first sites to go dark once the new legislation took effect. Afraid of the legal and financial consequences, these businesses have chosen to protect their commonwealth legal charters.
You can sue PokerStars in England, you can’t sue the other sites listed here easily. That’s the difference. In order to stay on the right side of that hassle, these sites have packed up shop and turned off the lights in Australia.
This little baby started up in 2014. It’s been struggling a little bit, but it’s definitely worth checking out. Because it’s sort of hit or miss in terms of getting a game, when the games do go, they are grand!
You can play stakes up to $1/$2 with micros down to $0.05/$0.10 No Limit Hold’em. Their biggest multi-table tournaments are only $5, which is a strategy that is working out for them. They’ve had enough players to begin offering a $500 freeroll on Sunday morning.
Grand has desktop software that runs on a Windows or Mac machine, and they have a flash-based portal that you can play on with a mobile device. Because Grand is sort of getting their feet wet in Australia, they are offering numerous signup bonuses as well as up to 50% rakeback for regular players.
Grand Poker is an affiliate of the 5Dimes casino group. They’ve been around for years and are one of the most highly respected and popular online bookies in the world, so you know you can trust them.
Seals With Clubs Poker
Bryan Micon is the founder of Seals with Clubs, an online site that pioneered some of the best full bitcoin games around. Micon found out the hard way that the Las Vegas Division of Gaming Enforcement doesn’t like bitcoin gambling in Nevada USA without a license. In 2015, Micon was arrested there for running his perfectly fine online BTC poker casino.
What looked like a setback then, has turned into an opportunity for Seals with Clubs. Now that poker is semi-illegal in Australia, operators with a reputation for going their own way will have a leg up!
SwC Poker is a fully bitcoin-based site. There is no way to even play with local currency. This makes it an interesting legal entity to watch in the future as lawmakers try to come to terms with the intersection between bitcoin, gambling, and their own fiat money.
A serious poker player himself, Micon has molded Seals With Clubs into the most popular online poker site that deals with bitcoin on the internet. They offer basically everything, including Badugi! Who else offers Badugi?
Nitrogen is another bitcoin only based sportsbook that opened up its own poker room in 2014. This is another site which remains in a weird legal limbo while offering Australian money games, they have absolutely nothing in local currency. It’s all in bitcoin.
It might be hard to find a game on Nitrogen, but if you’re willing to start up, you’ll get plenty of action. Just go park yourself on one of their tables, and a wandering fish will soon be with you.
Nitrogen is one of the few sites that offers direct bitcoin withdrawals straight to your Satoshi address. Most sites use third-party e-wallets to do payouts [Nitrogen does too], but they also will process it directly to a hash. Nitrogen has terrific bonus programs for new players, including up to $1000 deposit bonus that pays off pretty quickly.
The Best Online Poker
It’s true that the Australian Government has banned the operation of online poker rooms within Australia. That doesn’t mean you can’t play! It just means your dreams of running a site yourself will have to be put on hold.
Shuffle up and deal! It’s 2018, and no matter what the Government does, online gambling and online poker are here to stay. Get news, tips on the best online poker, and strategy advice on our blog. Check it out!