Complete Guide to Bitcoin Poker Sites

Josh H
by Josh H  |  Owner and Editor-in-Chief

Bitcoin Poker Sites

If every online poker player would bother to learn how to use Bitcoin today, deposit and withdrawal troubles around the globe would be solved tomorrow.

I hate to go all Ron Popeil on you, but if you’re a regular player, using Bitcoin poker sites will change your life. Bitcoin’s got all the answers.

Got the declined credit card blues at your favorite online poker site? Bitcoin will wash them away with the ferocity of a thousand fire hoses.

Nosy banking hucksters shutting you down because you had the audacity to deposit and withdraw your own money for your own online poker games? Bitcoin’s got you covered like a decentralized warm blanket out of the dryer.


Poker Site

Bitcoin Accepted


Payout Time



Bovada Poker
Bitcoin Accepted


up to


1-30 minutes


Ignition Poker
Bitcoin Accepted


up to


1-30 minutes


America's Cardroom
Bitcoin Accepted


up to


5-30 minutes


Bitcoin Accepted


up to


5-60 minutes


Bitcoin Accepted


up to


5-60 minutes


Nitrogen Sports
Bitcoin Accepted

Loyalty Program

15-30 minutes

Do you think moving your money from online poker to investing involves a suit-clad broker, management fees, and profit returns that need a microscope to measure?

Bitcoin will empower you as a poker player with the blockchain-fabric cape, crushing middlemen like ants and effortlessly making you the smartest investor in the room.

Here’s the best part:

Bitcoin for poker as easy and as powerful as you want it be. Seriously.

Only interested in making deposits and withdrawals at poker sites and casinos like a boss?

Use Bitcoin like PayPal.

Totally embrace the tech, ready to take back power from The Man, and want to make money doing it?

We’re like Bitcoin brothers in the ether.

Table of Contents

Think Bitcoin Poker is too confusing?

There’s a lot of lazy FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) out there when it comes to Bitcoin poker, but I’m confident I can show you everything you need to play Bitcoin online poker by the end of this page.

The best way to deposit and withdraw from poker sites we’ve ever seen is at hand.

Learn it, use it, and you’ll never turn back.

Poker Sites Accepting Bitcoin

My personal experience with Bitcoin poker online

Before I get into the nitty and cryptographic gritty of Bitcoin, let’s first get something straight: I only list Bitcoin poker sites that have earned my personal trust.

To be clear, I’ve personally used Bitcoin for multiple deposits and withdrawals at every poker site I even consider listing here. I’ve also done massive poker site reviews on the games at each one of them.

Each Bitcoin poker site on this page has:

  • Been in operation for 6-14 years
  • Successfully processed multiple Bitcoin deposits for me without issue
  • Sent all of my Bitcoin payout requests within 48 hours, and usually much sooner

The best analogy I can use is that Bitcoin is like a combination of gold and PayPal. Like gold, it’s a valuable commodity that has a limited supply. Like PayPal, you can use it to pay for goods and services, like deposits and withdrawals at Bitcoin poker sites.

Frequently Asked Questions
✅ What is the best Bitcoin poker site?

Finding the best poker site accepting Bitcoin will depend on your priorities. If you want the fastest payouts and most players, I recommend Bovada Poker since they send Bitcoin withdrawals in under 12 hours. Besides classic Bitcoin, they also now accept Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV.

✅ What is a Bitcoin poker bonus?

Online poker sites still give a full bonus to players depositing with Bitcoin. Often, larger bonuses are given if you use Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. You will usually receive a pending bonus amount that is released into your cash balance as you play.

✅ Where can I play Bitcoin poker online in the US?

Fortunately, almost every online poker site that accepts Bitcoin also accepts US players. In fact, Bitcoin is one of the easiest deposit methods for Americans because of its speed and privacy.

✅ Is it easy to use Bitcoin at a poker site?

If you're already familiar with the mechanics of Bitcoin, it's incredibly simple to use it at a poker site for deposits and withdrawals. Simply send your Bitcoin deposit to the address provided by the poker site cashier, or provide a new receiving address from your Bitcoin wallet in order to receive a payout.

Bitcoin Poker 101: What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency, released in 2008 with the first open-source Bitcoin wallet launched in 2009.

It’s also the most successful and widespread cryptocurrency to date with a market cap exceeding $100 billion.

Unlike traditional government-issued currency (fiat), Bitcoin only exists in digital space. No government, company, agency, or individual controls the Bitcoin system, making it totally decentralized.

Bitcoin payments, including those used for poker sites, take place directly between users without a middleman. Bitcoin also doesn’t require any personal information to function.

Bitcoin Whitepaper
The original Bitcoin whitepaper, which outlined the goals and mechanisms of the first cryptocurrency, was published under the name Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008

Bitcoin is both an asset and a currency

Bitcoin is both an asset and a currency, which, like traditional money, can be used for the purchase of goods and services. The value of Bitcoin can fluctuate significantly based on supply and demand, although it has risen exponentially since it was first released to the public.

Since its launch, the value of each Bitcoin has gone from a fraction of a cent each to an all-time high of $20,000. That’s an appreciation of over 20,000,000%.

A few key facts that you should know:

  • When you make a deposit or withdrawal at a Bitcoin poker site, it will be based on its US dollar value at the time of transfer.
  • Bitcoins are created and transactions are proofed via cryptography, hence its cryptocurrency moniker.
  • Each Bitcoin transaction is recorded publicly on a ledger, which is updated and mirrored on computers around the globe. This is what’s known as the blockchain.
  • Bitcoin was the first widespread implementation of a blockchain system.

Bitcoin Glossary

Bitcoin poker is honestly only as difficult as you make it. You don’t really need to know all the terminology or even how it works in order to use Bitcoin, especially just for poker sites.

Still, let’s go into each piece a little deeper to explain what each piece of the Bitcoin poker puzzle means.

Cryptocurrency Icon


Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, which is a type of digital money that uses cryptography to record transactions and complex math problems to create new units of currency.

Basically, a bunch of numbers and complex math formulas replace the banking records and printing presses behind traditional money.

Private Key

Private Key

If Bitcoin poker transactions are public, how can you make sure no one steals or tries to spend your Bitcoin? Every time Bitcoin is sent, it must be signed by its matching private key.

Private keys are automatically handled using your Bitcoin wallet. They’re like the ticket to spending Bitcoin.



Bitcoin is based on blockchain technology, which can also be called a distributed ledger.

Instead of using a central database that could be hacked, manipulated, or compromised, updates to a blockchain are mirrored on software records around the globe.



Unlike fiat currencies, which only lose their value over time as more of it is arbitrarily printed and released, Bitcoin’s value is constantly changing according to supply and demand.

In that way, Bitcoin functions more as a stock holding or commodity. Daily gains or losses can exceed 15-20%.

Overall, Bitcoin has increased in value more than 10x over the last 2 years.

Bitcoin Address

Bitcoin Address

A Bitcoin address is a long alphanumeric string that represents a destination. You provide your address to others in order to be sent Bitcoin.

Addresses are automatically handled by your Bitcoin wallet software.

Bitcoin Wallet

Bitcoin Wallet

Your Bitcoin is stored, sent, and received using a wallet. There are dozens of software Bitcoin poker wallet options.

Addresses and private keys are automatically handled by your wallet. A backup phrase can restore your Bitcoin wallet on a new device if yours is lost or stolen.



Decentralization means that there is no central authority behind Bitcoin. No government controls Bitcoin, no conglomerate makes up the rules for Bitcoin, and no one server hosts it.

That makes the Bitcoin online poker system invulnerable to government corruption or banking manipulation, which is commonplace in the world of “normal” currencies.

Bitcoin Supply


There are currently around 16 million Bitcoin in circulation and its maximum supply is 21 million, which will be reached around the year 2140.

That rate of “inflation” is minuscule compared with the amount of printed currency that is added in to bank reserves daily to prop up the traditional economy.

Unlike fiat, there is a limited supply of Bitcoin that can ever exist.

Head spinning already a little bit? Bitcoin can be intimidating – until you actually do it. It’s a learn-by-doing kind of thing. Once you do it, ​you’ll see how simple it can be.

My friend over at Kick Ass Poker also has an excellent primer on using Bitcoin for online poker.

The Biggest Advantages of Bitcoin Poker

Big brother isn’t watching

Big Brother

Dollars. Pounds. Euros. Yen. Quetzal. It’s all the same. Printed money controlled by a central government. Banks want you to use that to play at the poker tables.

You’re under someone’s thumb and subject to whatever sadistic game of Simon Says they want to play on how you can spend it.

Bitcoin? It’s decentralized, meaning no one governs it.

Short of shutting down the internet, no one can yank your Bitcoin away from you, tell you how to spend it, or print more of it at will and decrease your value of it.

Your country doesn’t matter

Bitcoin by Country

The Antarctican government got you down again about the new online gambling ban? The Martian kingpins blocking your Visa Intergalactic again? Bitcoin’s got your back.

The Bitcoin poker system isn’t controlled by any one entity so no one can block its usage. In fact, you don’t even need to give your country or even your name to create a Bitcoin wallet and make Bitcoin transactions.

That often blows the minds of folks used to traditional banking.

99% more anonymous

Bitcoin Anonymous

Your bank might as well have a camera in your wallet. They know everywhere you shop, how much money you make, and everywhere you travel.

Do you want them to know you play online poker regularly?

With Bitcoin poker sites, you are your own bank. Bitcoin wallets don’t need a scrap of your info to set up and transactions only exist as a long alphanumeric string.

At worst? Your fiat currency bank sees you doing business with a Bitcoin exchange – not an online poker site.

The myth that using Bitcoin for poker is anonymous

The FUD and lazy reporting on Bitcoin poker is real. I’ve seen plenty of Bitcoin poker pages (and even poker site operators themselves) try to sell players on Bitcoin because it’s anonymous.

So, let me clarity: it isn’t.

Bitcoin poker is pseudonymous, which is a helluva lot more private than credit cards, bank wires, or any other types of fiat transaction.

By nature, every Bitcoin poker transaction is public on the blockchain. That’s how Bitcoin ownership can be established and transactions can be confirmed. Fortunately, Bitcoin addresses are a long alphanumeric string, which is gibberish to onlookers. However, if a third-party can tie any person to a Bitcoin address, that starts the trail.

Bitcoin Address for Poker
That long alphanumeric string is a Bitcoin address, which you’ll copy and paste to send Bitcoin to and from online poker sites

If James T. Nobrain posts his Bitcoin QR code as his Facebook profile photo, every transaction made to and from that address can tied to Mr. Nobrain. Anyone can try to fill in the gaps from there.

Hence, Bitcoin poker is as private as you make it. Each user is responsible for his or her own privacy. By its nature, Bitcoin transactions don’t need your name, address, birth date, or galaxy of residence. That’s a different world of money than most are used to.

The further Bitcoin online poker transactions get from any wallet address that can be tied to you, the use of a VPN, and refraining from posting your Bitcoin address publicly all make your Bitcoin more anonymous.

“Normal” Fiat Money vs. Bitcoin

Fiat Currencies Bitcoin
Printed money and coins issued by a central government Cryptocurrency that only exists digitally


Examples: USD, EUR, JPY, GBP Bitcoin ticker abbreviation: BTC
Easy to use Can be used by anyone anywhere in the world
Guaranteed acceptance within a country’s borders Eliminates banks and government control
Familiar to everyone Minuscule inflation rate
​Value is usually only extrinsic as governments rarely back currency May change in value significantly
Relies on central agency to regulate inflation levels Poker site transactions cannot be blocked
Susceptible to decisions made by government ​Value is only extrinsic
Only decreases in value over time Learning curve to use
Banks can block poker site fiat transactions Acceptance is limited in the offline world, meaning you’ll probably need to convert to fiat first

Bitcoin 102: Why Bitcoin and Online Poker Sites are a Perfect Match

Okay, so Bitcoin poker is awesome and uses the money of the future. Why should online poker players care? Because Bitcoin is tailor-made for the online poker market. Honestly, it’s a match made in cyber-heaven.

Here’s why:

Your Bank Can’t Stop You

Bitcoin and BanksSure, your government might forbid its banks from sending money to and from online poker sites, but guess what? Bitcoin doesn’t use banks.

When you send Bitcoin to a poker site it’s a direct transaction between you and the poker site using a currency they don’t control.

No fees to get your Bitcoin online poker money

No Bitcoin FeesBitcoin poker sites love the king of crypto because they don’t have to pay anyone to charge your credit card or cut you a check.

Online poker sites accepting Bitcoin might be paying a lot on Bitcoin mining fees, but they don’t pass it on to the players. Compare that to $50-100 to get a bank wire or paper check from some poker rooms.

The lowest poker deposit and payout limits

Bitcoin DepositsSince it’s so cheap and easy to send and receive it, Bitcoin poker sites always give the lowest minimum deposits and withdrawals.

Think $20 minimum Bitcoin deposits, which is at least half of what you’ll see if you use an archaic credit card.

The fastest payouts from every poker site

Fastest Bitcoin PayoutsBitcoin poker sites don’t have to set up a check to be mailed out to you or hire a monkey paid in bananas to visit the nearest cash transfer office.

No reputable Bitcoin poker site takes more than 2-3 days to get your Bitcoin to you. The usual timeframe? Within 24 hours. No other withdrawal method can touch that.

Transactions safe from prying eyes

Keeping Poker Transactions PrivateYou could pay for poker and life with a credit card, PayPal, checks, or bank wires.

As soon as you make a deposit you’ve now told your bank or ewallet, “Hi, my name is John Q. Hackee. I play online poker. Please feel free to close my account whenever you feel like it and block any transactions on a whim.”

Even if you buy Bitcoin with your bank account, they never see any transactions with poker sites. Playing Bitcoin poker never blocks anything. You are your own bank with Bitcoin.

Choosing a Wallet
The easiest and most necessary first step in playing online poker with Bitcoin is to choose a Bitcoin wallet to install

How To Play Bitcoin Poker Step 1: Get a Wallet

Who needs a Bitcoin wallet: everyone making any transaction with Bitcoin

Why you need a Bitcoin wallet: a Bitcoin software wallet is where you spend your Bitcoin from and receive your Bitcoin to. It’s what you’ll use to deposit to online poker sites and it’s where you’ll receive payouts from poker sites.

Josh’s Pro Tip

Josh AvatarWarning: I do not recommend the Bitcoin exchange/wallet formula almost every other poker affiliate site and forum is recommending.

If you’ve read Bitcoin poker guides from any other poker affiliates (and even on the poker Reddit), you’ll probably see this combination recommended: Coinbase to buy Bitcoin and to make the transfers. Yuck.

Neither of them are my first choice – especially for poker – and I’ll explain why below.

Bitpay: My Top Hot Wallet Choice

The Bitpay app is my easy wallet recommendation for new Bitcoin poker users because it marries 3 essentials in one attractive package:

  1. A secure and popular open-source wallet in Copay
  2. The ability to buy Bitcoin in-app
  3. The integration of the Bitpay ATM card.

Best Bitpay Aspects

Bitpay is also available on pretty much every desktop and mobile platform, so no matter what you like to use you can get it. Download it, follow the tutorial, and you’ll have a functioning wallet to send and receive Bitcoin in seconds.

The UI is designed well so that Bitcoin poker newcomers aren’t intimidated. If you’re buying Bitcoin somewhere else, simply click the big Receive button to see your wallet’s address and QR code.

Advantages of Using Bitpay for Online Poker Drawbacks
Very easy to use with a clean interface Bitcoin can only be accessed from one device
Incorporates excellent open-source Bitcoin wallet Copay Remote possibility your device could be hacked
Unlike an online wallet like Blockchain or Coinbase, nothing is stored on a server
Very difficult to hack without physical access to your device
Purchase of Bitcoin and Amazon gift cards right within the wallet
Allows easy transfer to Bitpay debit card
Allows a secondary required password to spend Bitcoin
  • What you need: An iPhone, iPad, Android device, Mac desktop, Windows desktop, or Linux desktop
  • Best for: Anyone new to Bitcoin who wants a one-stop shop or advanced users looking for a secure hot wallet
  • Security: Medium-to-High
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Download: Links to all platforms available on Bitpay’s website

My Favorite Bitpay Features

Create as many wallets as you want, name them whatever you want, and even choose different colors for them.

More advanced Bitcoin users can create multiple addresses and/or wallets to give to multiple poker sites at once, if necessary.

Bitpay is a hierarchical deterministic (HD) wallet, meaning it will automatically create new receiving addresses for each new transaction.

That also means a single 12-word recovery phrase can restore all your addresses within a wallet if you lose access to your Bitpay app.

The one-tap ability to reload your Bitpay card, get Amazon gift cards, and buy Bitcoin without going through an exchange are the cherries on top with this wallet.

Why online wallets like Blockchain are so dangerous, and why Bitpay is different

Using Bitpay for Poker

The best part of Bitcoin is also its most dangerous: With no middleman, bank, or government oversight, there’s no one who can get it back for you if it’s stolen or you make a mistake. They can also be hacked and stolen from much easier than offline software wallets.

Also, if your Bitcoin poker funds are stored online, what happens if the wallet provider’s server goes down or the entire company goes under or gets hacked?

That exact scenario literally happens to Bitcoin providers several times per year.

Further reading:​ This excellent Forbes feature on the dangers and personal stories behind SMS verification.

What makes Bitpay more secure is that it creates offline Bitcoin wallet on your device, rather than making you log in to a third-party server. That means there’s no online account for anyone to hack.

Some useful security tips:

  • You encrypt your wallet with a “spending password” and protect any access with a required fingerprint scan on mobile devices.
  • You absolutely must write down your wallet backup seed phrase for every wallet you own.
  • You can find it in Bitpay by going to Settings-Your Wallet Name-Backup.

Sending Bitcoin Using Bitpay

Josh’s Pro Tip

Josh Avatar After being prompted to record your 12-word wallet recovery phrase, the first thing you should do with your Bitpay wallet is set a “spending password”.

Besides requiring a password before sending Bitcoin or exporting your wallet, this will actually encrypt the private keys on your device, which Bitpay doesn’t really make clear. That means that even if someone stole your hard drive, they couldn’t access the Bitcoin private key files without the password.

Electrum: A Bitcoin Poker Wallet for Power Users

Besides requiring a password before sending Bitcoin or exporting your wallet, this will actually encrypt the private keys on your device, which Bitpay doesn’t really make clear. That means that even if someone stole your hard drive, they couldn’t access the Bitcoin private key files without the password.

Electrum: A Bitcoin Poker Wallet for Power Users

Electrum is one of the most popular and widely trusted desktop Bitcoin poker wallets, thanks to its open-source nature and appeal to power Bitcoin users.

I do not recommend Electrum for new Bitcoin poker users, since you’re likely to make a mistake, get confused by the ’90s-era interface, or both.

If you’re new to Bitcoin, I still strongly recommend just getting Bitpay. It’ll do everything you need.

Once you’ve been around the block and made a few dozen transactions, then I might recommend Electrum if you want to do things like import paper wallets, private keys, or set up multi-signature wallets.

Electrum for Bitcoin Online Poker

Best aspects: Drawbacks:
Advanced functionality Clunky interface
Does not store Bitcoin private keys online Bitcoin can only be accessed from one device
Is not dependent on a third-party server Remote possibility your device could be hacked
Private keys are encrypted on your hard drive No built-in way to buy Bitcoin
  • What you need: An Android device, Mac desktop, Windows desktop, or Linux desktop
  • Best for: More advanced Bitcoin users who want a secure wallet
  • Security: Medium-to-High
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Download: Links to all platforms available on Electrum’s website

Why Bitcoin Poker Players Might Choose Electrum

Electrum actually stores your Bitcoin private keys in encrypted files on your hard drive, so you aren’t relying on an online service to keep your funds safe, like the online wallet service a lot of poker players settle for.

Your Bitcoin private keys are never uploaded anywhere with Electrum so it’s nearly hack-proof, but it’s remotely possible that a very targeted hacker could intercept them from your device. Electrum is still a “hot” wallet. That’s the highly-improbable risk with storing a wallet on any device that is connected to the internet. Risky Short-Term StorageBlockchain Wallet for Online Poker

Best aspects:

  • Nothing to store on your device
  • Very easy to use
  • No personal information required
  • Can log in from any device


  • Your wallet and private keys are stored online
  • Vulnerable to hackers or server failure
  • Notification system is buggy
  • No way to recover its wallet on other wallet software

What you need: A web browser

Best for: Poker players who won’t keep Bitcoin in their wallets and want an easy setup

Security: Low-to-Medium

Difficulty: Easy

Website: You can sign up for an online wallet at Blockchain’s website

The number of poker players and sites recommending online wallets is staggering. They’re less secure, open to hackers, and transfers to poker sites could potentially be tracked.

Blockchain is the Lazy Bitcoin Poker Wallet Pick

Creating a Wallet
You don’t need to look far to find poker sites recommending that Bitcoin noobs get a wallet from Blockchain and, if you’re willing to get an online Bitcoin wallet, it’s the only one I would consider using for short-term transfers

I used Blockchain for more than 2 years before I learned enough to realize it isn’t smart to store any form of Bitcoin private keys or logins online.

Best aspects: Drawbacks:
Nothing to store on your device Your wallet and private keys are stored online
Very easy to use Vulnerable to hackers or server failure
No personal information required Notification system is buggy
Can log in from any device No way to recover its wallet on other wallet software
  • What you need: A web browser
  • Best for: Poker players who won’t keep Bitcoin in their wallets and want an easy setup
  • Security: Low-to-Medium
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Website: You can sign up for an online wallet at Blockchain’s website

The number of poker players and sites recommending online wallets is staggering. They’re less secure, open to hackers, and transfers to poker sites could potentially be tracked.

Blockchain is the Lazy Bitcoin Poker Wallet Pick

Creating a Wallet You don’t need to look far to find poker sites recommending that Bitcoin noobs get a wallet from Blockchain and, if you’re willing to get an online Bitcoin wallet, it’s the only one I would consider using for short-term transfers

I used Blockchain for more than 2 years before I learned enough to realize it isn’t smart to store any form of Bitcoin private keys or logins online.

If you still want to go the online route, they’re easily the largest provider of online Bitcoin poker wallets.

All you need is an email address to sign up, so no personal information is required. It also has a very straightforward interface, which I think is extra important if you’re new to Bitcoin.

If you need to switch between multiple computers, phones, and tablets to manage your Bitcoin, Blockchain is easy to use since it isn’t tied to any device. You can log in to Blockchain from anywhere you have your credentials – and therein lies its fatal flaw.

The Fatal Flaw of Blockchain

The convenience of Blockchain is also it’s biggest flaw: it lives online.

Do you want to rely on a third party to store and protect your Bitcoin?

That means your wallet account could conceivably be hacked and drained of its Bitcoin contents as easy as your email account. If that happens, you’ll have no recourse since, by its nature, Bitcoin transactions can’t be reversed or reported to any law enforcement.

You absolutely shouldn’t even consider using Blockchain unless you set up two-factor with Google Authenticator or Authy, but, even if you do, what happens if there’s a system-wide hack of the entire wallet database?

That happens seemingly every day to massive companies in larger sectors than Bitcoin and, in fact, it has happened multiple times specifically to Bitcoin exchanges. Sometimes it has a (kind of) happy ending and many other times it doesn’t .

Josh’s Pro Tip

Josh Avatar I wouldn’t even consider using Blockchain without Two-Factor Authentication and second password enabled. You’ll find them in the Security section. SMS codes are useless and can be easily hacked these days.

Use the authenticator app option and get Authy on your phone. That way, even if someone has your  wallet ID and password, they can’t log in without physical access to your phone. The second password option also adds an extra password prompt before any Bitcoin is allowed to be sent.

Ledger Nano S: Unhackable Bitcoin Poker Storage

Ledger Bitcoin Wallet If you’re going to store Bitcoin long-term, there’s almost nothing safer than a hardware wallet like a Ledger Nano S.

Ledger Bitcoin Wallet
If you’re going to store Bitcoin long-term, there’s almost nothing safer than a hardware wallet like a Ledger Nano S
Best aspects Drawbacks
A physical device that cannot be hacked Extra work to send and receive Bitcoin
Stores Bitcoin private keys on a separate secure chip Requires purchase of the hardware
Built-in screen
Recovery phrase is never shown on computer
Up to 8-digit PIN must be entered to access crypto wallet
  • What you need: A desktop computer with a USB port and the Chrome/Chromium browser for the wallet management apps
  • Best for: Long-term hack-proof Bitcoin storage
  • Security: Very High
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Price: $80-100 shipped worldwide
  • Website: I may be paranoid, but I will only purchase these from Ledger’s official site

Why I Love Ledger

The Ledger is the ultimate Bitcoin poker wallet. It’s a hardware wallet, meaning it’s a specialized physical piece of hardware only used for storing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency private keys.

The Ledger Nano S is one of the most popular hardware crypto wallets out right now along with the Trezor. I like the Nano S a little more because it’s a little less expensive, looks cooler, and never shows your recovery phrase on your computer screen.​

Bitcoin Poker with Ledger Wallet
If you want to send Bitcoin to an online poker site – or anywhere else – you’ll need to manually approve it using physical buttons on the Ledger Nano S

True Cold Storage

The Ledger Nano S is true “cold” storage, which is technically the only safe way to store Bitcoin long-term. It’s cold because it doesn’t sit on a device that can be connected to the internet and the actual architecture of the chips inside it makes it impossible to hack.

Even if the Ledger could be hacked electronically (it can’t), you have to physically input your PIN (which can be up to 8 numbers) with real buttons on the device and accept transactions via a cool built-in screen with a blue LED to process them.

Ledger even states that you can use it on a malware-infected computer and it will still keep your private keys safe.

To access your wallet you insert a mini-USB cable into the Ledger Nano S and the other full-sized USB side into an open USB port on your Windows, Mac, Linux, or Android-based computer (think Chromebook).

You then use a Ledger Chrome (or Chromium) browser extension to access the super-simple wallet interface to send or receive your Bitcoin.

Ledger Nano S for Bitcoin Poker
The Ledger Nano S is true “cold” Bitcoin storage since your private keys only reside on a separate offline device

The Best Wallet Combo for Playing at Bitcoin Poker Sites

My ideal Bitcoin wallet combo: use Bitpay on your phone as your hot wallet loaded with “walking around money” and keep anything more than that on your Nano S.

BitPay for Smaller Bankrolls

A good guideline to keep in mind is that a Bitcoin hot wallet is like the real cash wallet you walk around with. You keep enough money in it to do business, but your life savings is somewhere safer. In the Bitcoin world, that’s cold storage.

If you only plan to use your crypto wallet to quickly transfer modest amounts to and from poker sites, exchanges, and/or your Bitcoin ATM card, you’re probably safe with a “hot” wallet like Bitpay.

Ledger Nano S for Bitcoin Poker The Ledger Nano S is true “cold” Bitcoin storage since your private keys only reside on a separate offline device

Ledger Nano S for High Roller Rolls

I recommend the Ledger Nano S because it allows you to safely hold Bitcoin long-term. It also supports alt-coins like Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Dash and others.

True, it’s a bit of a hassle to have to physically plug it in every time you want to send or receive Bitcoin from poker sites or other merchants, but the peace of mind is worth it to me.

If you plan to leave more Bitcoin in a wallet than you’re willing to lose, you need a hardware wallet offering true cold storage like the Ledger Nano S.

If you want to HODL Bitcoin long-term and actually make a savings out of it, you’ll need to get a hardware wallet.

Step 2: Actually Acquiring Bitcoin

So you’ve got a Bitcoin wallet set up now, but now you need to actually put Bitcoin in it to send to the poker sites. Fortunately, you’ve got a lot of choice on how you do that.

Option 1: Turn your existing online poker money into Bitcoin

Do you already have fiat currency deposited at a Bitcoin poker site? If so, you’re standing on the precipice of the beautiful horizon of Bitcoin ownership.

Literally, all you have to do is:

  1. Create a Bitcoin wallet. More on how to do that here if you skipped that part.
  2. Find the Bitcoin button in the poker site cashier’s withdrawal section. My top 2 companies for playing poker with Bitcoin are Bovada Pokerand BetOnline Poker . In additiona, they have the busiest cash games and tournaments.
  3. Type (or preferably paste) in your Bitcoin wallet’s receiving address at the poker site.
  4. Wait about 12-48 hours depending on the poker site and – BOOM – you’ve got Bitcoin in your wallet ready to go. You just turned your poker money into Bitcoin.

Copying a Poker Site's Bitcoin Address

You just turned your online poker money into Bitcoin. You can now send it to another poker room or do whatever else you’d like with it. See my recommendations here for what to do with your shiny new cryptocurrency.

If you already have money at a poker site that supports Bitcoin, then you already have Bitcoin.

Can you still do this if you’ve never made a Bitcoin poker site deposit?

Your original deposit method at the poker site doesn’t matter.

You can still make a Bitcoin poker withdrawal directly to your chosen wallet regardless of if you used a credit card, cash transfer, or bottle caps as your original deposit method.

The poker sites would rather send you Bitcoin instead of a check anyway. It’s cheaper, easier, and unregulated for the poker room just as it is for you. Poker rooms will often give you an extra deposit bonus just for using Bitcoin.

The Best Parts of Bitcoin Exchange via Poker Sites

You know what I like best about making the poker sites be your Bitcoin exchange?

You never have to create an actual Bitcoin exchange account, charge you bank account, wait for ID verification, or give away all your personal information.

Besides, using Bitcoin for online poker withdrawals is faster, more private, and more convenient than getting your money as a check, cash transfer, or wire. Bitcoin is perfect for the poker industry.

You can deposit it right back to another Bitcoin poker site, withdraw it using a Bitcoin ATM card, make purchases with it, or hold onto it and make yourself money.

The best poker Bitcoin exchange sites

This method will work at the following Bitcoin poker sites, which I’ve used for multiple Bitcoin withdrawals and trust:

Option 2: A Bitcoin ATM

Best aspects: Drawbacks:
Turn cash on hand into Bitcoin immediately Buy price is 5% or more than average Bitcoin exchange rates
Will probably require an ID

May not be available in your area
  • What you need: A Bitcoin wallet on your phone and fiat cash
  • Best for: Players who need a modest amount of Bitcoin immediately

How to use a Bitcoin ATM

  1. You will likely have to confirm your mobile by giving the Bitcoin ATM your phone number in order to receive an SMS code. In the United States, you’ll also probably have to allow the ATM to scan your ID.
  2. Open your mobile Bitcoin wallet to the receive screen, which will also display the QR code. For mobile Bitcoin wallets, I prefer Bitpay or Breadwallet.
  3. Hold up your QR code to the ATM’s scanner.
  4. Choose how much Bitcoin you’d like to purchase.
  5. Insert your cash into the ATM. Your cash is exchanged into Bitcoin and sent right away to your Bitcoin wallet. It will likely complete confirmation is 15-30 minutes. Note: If you don’t have cash on hand, withdraw what you need from your bank account at a standard ATM first. which is probably right next to the machine.

Using a Bitcoin ATMBitcoin ATMs are simple enough to use to buy or sell Bitcoin, but their availability is limited and they give awful exchange rates

How to find a Crypto ATM

If you have the Bread Bitcoin wallet app on your phone (and everyone might as well, even if it isn’t your primary one) there’s a built-in tool under the Buy Bitcoin option to show you the nearest ATMs that dispense crypto currencies.

You can also use the map at CoinATMRadar to find the nearest one.

As you would expect, major metropolitan areas may have dozens of Bitcoin ATMs, whereas rural areas may not have any.​

Find a Bitcoin ATM
CoinATMRadar shows that almost all Bitcoin ATMs are in major metro areas in first-world countries

ID Verification

Thanks to the pervasiveness of Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering (KYC/AML) regulations in the United States and other countries, you’ll probably have to either have your ID scanned by the ATM, have your fingerprint scanned, or both.

This will depend on the ATM type and how much you’re depositing.

Depositing with a Bitcoin ATMWith the ID checks at almost every Bitcoin ATM, you might as well just sign up at a real online Bitcoin exchange

Awful Exchange Rates

Although Bitcoin ATMs are convenient to buy your poker funds, you pay a premium for it. The price you’ll pay for Bitcoin is about 5-7% worse than what you’d pay at a reputable quality exchange like Kraken or Gemini.

For example, .1 BTC would cost about $550 at Kraken at the time of this writing. You would pay $600-625 at a Bitcoin ATM.

If you can wait a week or so to get your Bitcoin, it’s always a better deal to buy it from an exchange or from within a supported wallet like Bitpay.

Option 3: Within Your Wallet

Buying Bitcoin in your Wallet

Best aspects: Drawbacks:
Keeps things tidy by allowing you to buy and sell Bitcoin right from your wallet Most do not support credit card buys
No exchange signup necessary May not support sells back into fiat
Fair buy fees at 1% or less May not be available to non-U.S. residents
  What you need: A Bitcoin wallet that partners with Glidera such as Bitpay or Airbitz, a checking account, and your ID
  • Best for: Players who need to buy occasional Bitcoin at fair rates

How to buy Bitcoin from your wallet

Most Bitcoin users think of Bitcoin wallets like Bitpay, Breadwallet, Mycelium, or Airbitz simply as storage, but within the last couple of years they’ve picked up an incredible useful function: you can now buy (and usually sell) Bitcoin in-app. You can’t get much more convenient than that.

About a dozen Bitcoin wallets use Glidera, which is now operated by one of my favorite exchanges – Kraken. Simply click the “Buy Bitcoin” button on the home screen or menu of your wallet to be guided through it.

After sending Glidera a scan of your ID, you input your banking details from an impressive list of partnering banks.

Currently, only ACH transactions are supported, meaning you cannot use credit cards. The fee is very reasonable at 1% and you should have Bitcoin delivered right to your wallet in about 5 days.

Bitcoin exchanges are the biggest Bitcoin parallel to PayPal. They’re regulated and used to link your real-world bank account to Bitcoin purchases and withdrawals.

Buying Bitcoin from an Exchange
A growing number of Bitcoin wallets, like Bitpay, Bread, and Airbitz allow you to buy Bitcoin right from your wallet

Option 4: Bitcoin Exchanges – The (mostly) Necessary Evil

Best aspects: Drawbacks:
Provides a direct link from your bank account to Bitcoin Crypto exchanges have previously been hacked or become insolvent
Allows large purchases of Bitcoin and withdrawals of Bitcoin back into fiat currency Bitcoin private keys are stored with the exchange
Can wire money directly back to your bank account Requires a large amount of personal information for higher limits
Allows trading between multiple cryptocurrencies
Reputable exchanges are regulated by government compliance agencies
  • What you need: A web browser, your personal information, and the ability to send in a photo of your ID
  • Best for: Players who need a steady option to buy Bitcoin and withdraw fiat right back to their bank accounts
Kraken for Bitcoin Poker Exchanges
Kraken has become my favorite Bitcoin exchange for their lack of BS or controversy.


Buying Bitcoin at KrakenThat isn’t to say that Kraken’s interface is great for new users. Just read their guides well and you’ll get the hang of it.

What is a Bitcoin Exchange?

The exchanges I recommend are regulated companies who turn standard currency from your bank into Bitcoin. They also turn Bitcoin back into fiat currency (USD, EUR, GBP, etc.) and transfer it to your bank account.

Why are they necessary?

It’s one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get Bitcoin using your bank account. It’s also the only easy way to sell your Bitcoin back into traditional currency and dump it directly back to your bank account.

How do Bitcoin exchanges work?

Very easily, although each one has a different interface and requirements. You sign up for an account, verify your identity, which is usually by sending in a scan of your ID, and provide a bank account to link. You can then move both ways between government fiat currency and Bitcoin.

Why are Bitcoin exchanges “evil”?

Because exchanges do transfers with banks, they require various amounts of personal information to use. It starts with what’s found on your driver’s license for small transactions and escalates from there depending on how much you want to transfer.

Exchanges doing business with Americans are also beholden to the IRS, FinCEN, and whichever acronym wants to know more about any of its customers for any reason. Exchanges create a middleman and government meddling over a currency whose central culture avoids The Man like the plague.

The worst Bitcoin exchange offenders (i.e. Coinbase) regularly interrogate their customers and ask for documentation beyond what even traditional banks would require.

Exchanges to Use for Bitcoin Poker



I’ve heard Gemini mentioned by a lot of Bitcoin enthusiasts and decided to test them out as a secondary exchange to Kraken. Everything has gone smoothly so far and I give Gemini serious props for their user privacy. I haven’t been interrogated or stopped from going about my business once since doing business there.


Pros: Cons:
Instantly buy Bitcoin from your bank accounr Wait up to 2 weeks for them to verify a scan of your ID
Interface is easy to understand Limited number of cryptos for trading
Slightly less verification than Kraken No Bitcoin buys from credit cards
Excellent same-day ACH withdrawals, some processed within hours
Licensed by New York State
No wire fees

Gemini has easy to work with and allow instant Bitcoin buys from your bank account once they check your ID. Their also unmatched with wire transfer withdrawal times.

Even better, Gemini gives users the choice of “bank transfer” withdrawals, which uses ACH instead of a tradition wire. That way, you avoid the overpriced incoming wire fees from your bank. I’ve received some Bitcoin poker withdrawals from Gemini within hours and have never waited more than 24 hours.



My advice for using Kraken: learn their interface, wait to get verified, and don’t look back. While it was awful waiting for them to verify me, it’s been smooth sailing since. They don’t ask questions, don’t add markup to prices, allow me to trade between tons of cryptocurrencies, and their withdrawals are unmatched.


Pros: Cons:
Excellent personal experience Interface could intimidate new Bitcoin users
Trading between 15+ cryptocurrencies Requires multiple photos of your ID before you can buy or sell Bitcoin
Minuscule $5 fee for wire withdrawals ID verification can take 2-3 weeks or more if your photos are rejected
Wires are sent within 1-2 days No Bitcoin buys from credit cards
Can be buggy: occasionally and inexplicably marks withdrawals as “failed” and forces you to request them again



Unfortunately, I see a lot of online poker players using and recommending Coinbase, especially on social sites like Reddit. I’ve personally had an awful experience with Coinbase, which ended with me demanding they close my account just to wash off their stench.

Pros: Cons:
Quickest exchange to just buy Bitcoin Higher Bitcoin buy prices than almost anyone
Interface is very simple Egregious Bitcoin sell fees
Allows small credit card Bitcoin buys instantly Random interrogations of customers
  Shares information with the IRS
  Will close accounts for transacting with poker sites

Josh’s Pro Tip

Josh Avatar I recommend signing up and getting verified at 2 Bitcoin exchanges, even if you don’t think you’ll need them. That way, all the ID garbage is done and you’re ready to cash Bitcoin out at a moment’s notice or buy it later if you need to.

Remember, you don’t need to buy Bitcoin to use an exchange. You can use them simply for turning your Bitcoin poker payouts into real-world money that gets sent to the bank.

A Personal Warning on Coinbase

If you’ve searched around about Bitcoin and poker you’ve no doubt run into the wolf in sheep’s clothing: Coinbase.

Nothing beats them in terms of sharp interfaces, speed of verification, and ease of use. They even somehow managed to be the only exchange with a mobile wallet app that lets you buy Bitcoin directly using a credit card.

Coinbase is like the smiling stranger in a nice car, luring in the lost and inexperienced before fleecing them back at the lair.

A lot of poker players settle for Coinbase, which pains me.​

Don't Use Coinbase for Poker
Coinbase is ubiquitous and easy to use, but they track your transactions and will interrogate you if they catch you sending or receiving Bitcoin from poker sites

Check out some of the recent fiascos involving Coinbase so you aren’t just taking my word for it:

A sampling of Coinbase’s ratings on customer review sites:

Coinbase Reviews


Coinbase Bitcoin Exchange

Coinbase doesn’t want or deserve Bitcoin poker players

If you play online poker (and even if you don’t) and use Coinbase, you’re likely setting yourself up for future frustration, interrogation, and/or financial surveillance.

If you want to just make a small Bitcoin buy, transfer it to your wallet, throw it on to a poker site, and then never use them again, you’ll probably be fine with Coinbase. Anything more than that, however, and prepare to be interrogated, buy and sell at worse rates, and possibly have your trading history shared with the IRS.

Coinbase also is allegedly silently tracking customer transactions and specifically forbids its users from doing business with poker or any other gambling site.

I’d only say to touch it with a 10-foot pole as a last resort if:

  • You just want a “Buy Bitcoin Now” button and can’t wait for ID verification at the better exchanges
  • You’re dealing with credit cards.
  • You DON’T send directly to a poker site from them or any other exchange. Always take the extra 60 seconds and send it to your real wallet first.​

Using Your Own Bitcoin Poker Wallet If you bought your Bitcoin from an exchange, you’ll need to transfer it to your own Bitcoin wallet before sending it to a poker site.

Using Your Own Bitcoin Poker Wallet
If you bought your Bitcoin from an exchange, you’ll need to transfer it to your own Bitcoin wallet before sending it to a poker site.

Option 5: Is Free Bitcoin Available from Poker Sites?

Blockchain Poker, which has recently shut down (but, don’t fret – we have some alternatives for you to try) actually gave you free Bitcoin to sit down at the tables. I have yet to find any other crypto poker sites that offer free coins – but, I will let you know as soon as do.

Getting Bitcoin to Your Wallet before you deposit at the poker site

Sending your Bitcoin from your exchange to a real Bitcoin wallet before using it at a poker site like America’s Cardroom is a critical step you can’t skip.

If you make Bitcoin transfers (to anyone, but especially online poker sites) right from your exchange, you’re voluntarily giving your transaction history to a company who is beholden to the government and knows everything about you short of what you ordered at Chipotle for lunch.

How to send Bitcoin from an exchange to your wallet

A quick step-by-step guide on how easy it is to send Bitcoin from an exchange to your wallet.

  1. Log in to your exchange, whether it be Kraken, Gemini, or the dreadful Coinbase.
  2. Each interface is different, but you’re looking for a “Send” or “Withdraw” button. (On Kraken, which admittedly doesn’t have a great UI, go to Funding, Withdraw, and then choose Bitcoin from the withdrawal methods on the left column.)
  3. Copy-paste that long alphanumeric string shown in the receive section of your wallet, since that’s where you want to send your Bitcoin. (If you’re using Bitpay, there is simply a big “Receive” button that will show you your latest receiving Bitcoin address and QR code.)
  4. Some exchanges and sites let you scan a QR code for your Bitcoin receiving address, so I like to have both the exchange and my wallet open on the same device to copy-paste. From your wallet, copy the receive address and then paste it into the ​exchange’s withdraw field.
  5. Submit the withdrawal with the exchange and your Bitcoin should be confirmed in your wallet in as little as 10-15 minutes.

Getting BTC from an Exchange

Josh’s Pro Tip

Josh Avatar

With modern Bitcoin wallets, every time you receive Bitcoin a new Bitcoin address will automatically be created for the next transaction. This is called an HD wallet.

That means that the long alphanumeric receiving address will be different every time you receive Bitcoin. This is essential to protect your privacy. Don’t worry – every single address that is created is stored in your wallet.

You’ll see it on the Bitcoin wallet immediately, but it isn’t ready for poker yet

When you send Bitcoin to your wallet, you’ll be able to see it there within about 5-10 seconds. Unfortunately, your Bitcoin isn’t really available to use for poker or anything else quite yet.

Bitcoin transactions have to be confirmed first by miners processing the Bitcoin ecosystem. That’s who the fees go to. This article by CoinDesk explains the Bitcoin transaction process nicely.

Unconfirmed BTC Transaction

What you need to be is patient and calm at this point. I’ve had Bitcoin transfers confirm in as little as 5-10 minutes and, in one weird instance, take about 48 hours. I would estimate 90% of my all-time Bitcoin transactions confirmed within 30 minutes.

Once it’s confirmed, your Bitcoin is ready to be sent to a crypto poker site or anywhere else you choose.

Option 6: Getting Bitcoin from Peers

As a disclaimer, I’ve never used a peer-to-peer exchange service or purchased Bitcoin from a private party. However, I’ve heard from plenty of Bitcoin enthusiasts who swear by services like LocalBitcoins.

Best aspects: Drawbacks:
Alternative to exchanges if your country doesn’t support them Highest risk of getting scammed
Another option if you cannot purchase Bitcoin through other channels Relies entirely on trust
May not require any personal information


Sites like Bovada even recommend Bitcoin-hungry players to this site. It’s essentially an eBay-like service, but for buying and selling of Bitcoin. There’s a feedback service for a chance to try to discourage scam artists.

I would never personally trust such a Craigslist-y service, but just know it’s there if you’re feeling adventurous.

Trusted poker forum members

If you’re a veteran of a poker or Bitcoin forum, you could also ask for recommendations of a trusted member who might be able to do a personal PayPal or poker site transfer for Bitcoin transaction.

Bitcoin poker deposits from the cashier Once your Bitcoin is in your own personal Bitcoin wallet, a simple copy-paste from the poker site’s cashier will get you ready to play.

Bitcoin poker deposits from the cashier
Once your Bitcoin is in your own personal Bitcoin wallet, a simple copy-paste from the poker site’s cashier will get you ready to play

Step 3: Getting Your Bitcoin onto the Poker Site

If you’ve used an exchange to buy Bitcoin and sent it to your wallet, you’ve already practiced using Bitcoin once. You’re going to do the same thing with your poker deposit.

You’ve followed the steps up to this point and your Bitcoin is ready to go in your wallet. You’ve taken the on-ramp, changed into the fast lane by sending your Bitcoin to a real wallet, and now you’re ready to finally to open it up.

What’s next? The last step of the deposit puzzle, which is actually sending your Bitcoin to a crypto poker site.

Let’s use Bovada Poker as the example site, as I’ve had excellent Bitcoin experiences with them in the past, aside from great poker gameplay. You can also use your funds at their sportsbook. However, this process will be identical on any other Bitcoin poker websites.

How to make a Bitcoin poker deposit

Step 1: Open the crypto poker software and log in. I’ll use Bovada Poker as an example since I think they do Bitcoin best.

Step 2: Visit the cashier and select Bitcoin as your deposit option.

Making a Bitcoin Poker Deposit

Step 3: Type in how much you’d like to deposit in US Dollars. If you’d like to deposit your entire Bitcoin wallet balance, you should make this $1-2 less than you have to account for the mining fee. Let’s choose the minimum $25 for this example.

Depositing BTC at Bovada

Step 4: The Bovada Poker cashier will then generate the exact amount of Bitcoin (BTC is the currency acronym for Bitcoin) you need to send based on the current exchange rate. You’ll also see the Bitcoin address (and QR code for that address) you need to send it to.

Completing a Bitcoin Poker Deposit

Here’s another example of what the Bitcoin poker deposit screen will look like if you’re playing on mobile. This is using BetOnline Poker.

Bitcoin Poker Deposit at BetOnline

You can’t scan a QR code with the same device you’re using, so if your wallet is on the same device you’re playing poker on just highlight and copy the alphanumeric address.

That’s what I’ll do here since I’m on the Bovada Poker desktop software.

I will be using my Bitpay desktop wallet. If you’re playing poker on a desktop and your Bitcoin wallet is on your phone, just scan the QR code with your phone in the next step.

Step 5: Open your Bitcoin wallet and set up a send transaction. Most wallets make doing this very clear. On Bitpay, for example, just hit the big “Send” button at the bottom.

Placing the Bitcoin Address

Step 6: Paste in the Bitcoin address you copied here. You can also scan the QR code given from the poker room if you’re using another device.

Entering the BTC Amount

Step 7: Now make sure the amount of the Bitcoin being sent exactly matches what the poker cashier requested.

Copying a Bitcoin Poker Deposit Address

Step 8: If there’s an option to adjust the mining fee, I recommend leaving this alone for now.​ This has a direct effect on how long your Bitcoin poker transaction will take to confirm.

Most wallets calculate for faster (with slightly higher fees) confirmations by default.

It used to be obnoxious to pay $5-15 for a $25 Bitcoin transaction, but that was just the state of Bitcoin fees at the moment I took these screenshots. They’ve since settled down to under $1.00 for even urgent Bitcoin transactions.

The good thing is you’ll pay almost the same thing if you send $2,500 or $25. It’s a trade-off I’m willing to make for all the benefits of Bitcoin.

Step 9: Obsessively check to make sure you’re sending to the correct address and send it away. Depending on the wallet you’re using and how securely you set it up, you should have to input a PIN, type a password, click a physical button on hardware wallets, or scan your fingerprint.

You enable that level of security to make sure that, even if the device with your Bitcoin wallet on it was stolen, no one else could spend your Bitcoins.

Bitcoin Payment Sent

Step 10: Bovada Poker is pretty remarkable as they often credit your poker account within seconds rather than waiting for the Bitcoin blockchain confirmations.

At other Bitcoin poker sites, there will likely be a 15-60 minute delay depending on how backed up the Bitcoin network is on confirmations.

Bovada Confirmed BTC Deposit

Step 11: The Bitcoin poker site will credit your real money balance in US Dollars.

It may sound like a lot of steps, but essentially you’re just copying a Bitcoin address from the poker cashier to your wallet, choosing an amount, and sending it. As you get more familiar with using Bitcoin, you can perform this whole thing in under a minute.

Making a Bitcoin Poker Withdrawal
Withdrawing your poker balance to your Bitcoin wallet is faster and more private than requesting a check or other old-school payout methods

Step 4: Withdrawing Money from a Bitcoin Poker Site

Bitcoin is easily the best withdrawal method for poker sites we’ve ever had, and that’s coming from someone who’s tried almost everything since 2004.

So you’re building up your bankroll, enjoying shooting some fish in a barrel, and you’re ready for a little profit-taking.

Have a check cut from the poker site, wait a week or two for Fedex, and deal with invasive questions from your local banksters? Voluntarily give the bed mates of the IRS more data on your finances? That’s, like, so 2008.

Bitcoin’s got your back. Here’s what you need to do:

How to get a Bitcoin poker payout

Step 1: Visit the Bitcoin poker site’s cashier and click withdrawal. Again, I’ll use Bovada Poker as an example because they’re simply better at Bitcoin (and most things).

Step 2: Click the Bitcoin icon in the poker cashier. Let’s do a $45 Bitcoin payout.

Making a Withdrawal at a Bitcoin Poker Site

Step 3: Open your Bitcoin wallet. If you don’t have one yet, see my dedicated section above on how to do that. It’s easy as pie.

Step 4: You want to find the “Receive” section, which is clearly marked in every sensible Bitcoin wallet. You’ll then see your wallet’s latest Bitcoin receiving address and QR code.

Where to Send Bitcoin from Poker Site

Step 5: Highlight and hit CTRL-C (or just click/tap on many wallets) to copy this alphanumeric address. Since I’ve yet to see a Bitcoin poker site cashier that allows you to scan QR codes (weird), I recommend having both the poker room and your Bitcoin wallet open on the same device so you can copy-paste.

Copying Your Withdrawal Address

Step 6: Paste your Bitcoin address into the poker room cashier, cross-check it, and submit it.

Copying a Bitcoin Payout Address

Bitcoin Poker Payout at Bovada

Step 7: Depending on the poker site, you’ll receive Bitcoin to your wallet in about 12-48 hours. This particular example from Bovada took exactly 16 hours.

You’re going to wait a lot less time for your Bitcoin poker payout

With Bitcoin, the waiting time from the poker site is cake compared to any other method.

I’ve never waited more than 72 hours for a Bitcoin poker withdrawal and the sweet spot seems to be about 18-24 hours. The best poker sites will even beat that.

Americas Cardroom, who has the largest regular tournament prize pools, will send your Bitcoin within minutes. They also have a number of Bitcoin promotions regularly. I’ve played the most hands over the years at Bovada Poker, who also sends me my Bitcoin in minutes. Both have poker, casino games, and sports betting.

A huge selection of casino games are available at Bovada, including baccarat, roulettel craps and slots where you can earn free spins. There are also live dealer games available here, making it one of the most comprehensive bitcoin casinos on the web.

You’ll receive the Bitcoin exchange rate of your fiat currency poker withdrawal, which will go straight to your Bitcoin wallet.

If you’re sending to a wallet on your mobile, I recommend having push notifications on so you know as soon as the poker site sends it over.​ You’ll also usually receive an immediate email from the poker room when they send your Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Poker for USA Players
I recommend that anyone playing poker worldwide switch over to Bitcoin for deposits and withdrawals, but it’s particularly convenient for USA players whose banks may not process poker transactions

Step 5: What To Do With Your Bitcoin Poker Money

Now that you’ve got that sweet Bitcoin sitting in your wallet, what can you actually do with it?

Here are the main routes:

Sell Bitcoin right in your wallet

WalletIf you used the Glidera service within a supported wallet like Bitpay to buy your Bitcoin, selling it is incredibly easy. Even if you aren’t, follow the “Buy or Sell Bitcoin” link in your wallet and follow the prompts to sign up with Glidera.

Once you’ve verified your ID and linked your bank account, you can sell your Bitcoin to Glidera and they’ll send USD directly to you within 2-3 days. It’s sort of a mini-exchange without all the extra bells and whistles.

Sell your Bitcoin poker funds at an exchange

ExchangeThis is the other option If you want fiat money back in your bank account as easily as possible. Log in to your exchange account and you’ll find an option for depositing Bitcoin.

Copy the address or scan the QR code into your wallet and send it over to your exchange account. You can then trade the Bitcoin back into USD or other fiat through the exchange and then withdraw it directly to your bank account.

I’ve done this numerous times with Kraken and Gemini and have only good things to say about them. No holdups and received my funds between 4-72 hours. The fees are also tiny, with a $5 wire fee and fractions of a percent for the Bitcoin-to-USD trade. Compare that to possible interrogations and 1.5% or more from the putrid Coinbase.

Buy Amazon gift cards or other products

Amazon Gift CardsAnother way you can immediately turn your Bitcoin poker winnings into funds usable in the real world is through a gift card service such as eGifter.

They sell virtual gift cards and accept Bitcoin as a payment method. Most importantly, Amazon is on the list. You also earn about 5% back in rebates.

I’ve used eGifter for maybe a dozen Amazon gift cards paid for with Bitcoin and, while it may take up to an hour for delivery, it worked fine. If you use Amazon as often as I do, a gift card there is as good as cash.

If you use the Bitpay Bitcoin wallet, you can also convert it to Amazon gift cards right within the app, which is even easier. I’ve done it many times and it couldn’t be simpler. You also get your gift card voucher right away without waiting for Bitcoin confirmations.

There are also a number of of smaller online retailers that​ accept Bitcoin directly, with Overstock being the biggest name thus far.

Get a Bitcoin ATM card

Bitcoin ATM CardBitcoin ATM cards are a brilliant idea, providing a direct link from your Bitcoin to the “normal” financial world. It’s the perfect way to literally get cash or make purchases as soon as the same day you requested a poker cashout.

You’ll have a physical card you can use to withdraw cash, make in-person purchases at merchants, or use online.

My favorite provider of this is Bitpay. You can integrate right into your Bitpay wallet, which lets you load the card in seconds. The ATM limits are excellent, allowing you to withdraw up to $3,000 per day and $750 per ATM transaction. There are no extra fees for any of it, although you’ll pay about $1 in Bitcoin miner’s fees per transaction.

The only disadvantage is having to give your Social Security number to get the card (which can take up to a month to arrive in the mail), which is required for anyone issuing debit cards in the United States. Bitpay has also recently started incorporating mining fees into card loads, which is a big drag.

Need to get your poker winnings into a bank account ASAP? Skip the exchange and a couple of days. Just send it over to your Bitpay wallet, load it onto the card, withdraw it from an ATM, and deposit it into your bank account as cash. Easy peasy.

Deposit Bitcoin at another poker site

Another Poker SiteThis probably goes without saying, but with Bitcoin loaded in your wallet you’re empowered to deposit with any other poker site that accepts Bitcoin.

That kind of tears down that mental wall of apprehension and dread that normal deposit methods create to stop us from trying something new.

With Bitcoin ready to go, you can poker site hop almost as quickly as you can copy-paste those address lines.

Let your Bitcoin make you more money

Bitcoin MoneyI’ll go into more detail on how investing with Bitcoin in the next section, but if you want to start earning the best returns that (almost) no one knows about, you literally don’t have to do a thing from here. This isn’t investment advice, but Bitcoin has increased in value more than 10 times in the past 2 years, blowing away returns on every traditional investment.

Cryptocurrency is only for the strong-willed, but if you can leave it alone, the value of Bitcoin has only increased long-term.

Commit to a brave social experiment and live on Bitcoin alone

Bitcoin LogoFor an idea of what to expect, read this excellent Bitcoin experiment by a Forbes writer who performed two stints of living exclusively on Bitcoin. It perfectly encapsulates the disconnect between rising Bitcoin values and stagnant real-world adoption.

Even though it was written in 2014, not much has changed in terms of actual businesses accepting Bitcoin.

In short, be prepared to hang around a big city, make friends, and risk skipping lunch if your Bitcoin payment doesn’t confirm in time. I salute you if you stay off the mainstream financial grid entirely and I wish you all the needed luck in the world.

Bitcoin Poker and Investing

Disclaimer: I am not qualified to give investment advice. These personal accounts about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies should not be taken as financial advice. Do you own research and make up your own mind before investing in Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, or anything else.

As online poker players, Bitcoin is incredibly useful as a currency. It’s faster and more private than any other method to date. It’s perfect for deposits and withdrawals, which makes it easy to overlook Bitcoin as an asset.

That’s what’s unique about using Bitcoin at poker sites: it’s both a medium of exchange, like a $100 bill, but it has its own speculative value, similar to gold.

The Long-Term Returns of Bitcoin are Staggering

What Bitcoin has done long-term can’t be argued. If you’ve held onto Bitcoin from almost any time in the past, you’ve made money. If you’ve held onto it for a while, it’s a lot of money.

Let’s take a look at 3 big-name stocks that have done well in recent years: Amazon, Apple, and Google.

  • Amazon Stock Return vs. Bitcoin Amazon’s stock price has increased an amazing 300+% over the past 5 years.
  • Apple Stock Return vs. Bitcoin Apple has had strong, but not astronomical gains of 60+% over the past 5 years.
  • Google Stock Return vs. Bitcoin Google has returned its shareholders nearly a whopping 150% over the past 5 years.

Here’s Google:

Google Stock Return vs. Bitcoin
Google has returned its shareholders nearly a whopping 150% over the past 5 years.

Now take a look at Bitcoin:

Bitcoin Investment Returns
Yup. Bitcoin has risen in value over 30,000% over the past 5 years and I’m actually shortchanging it since I made this image before recent gains pushed it over $10,000.

As online poker players, Bitcoin is incredibly useful as a currency. It’s faster and more private than any other method to date. It’s perfect for deposits and withdrawals, which makes it easy to overlook Bitcoin as an asset.

That’s what’s unique about using Bitcoin at poker sites: it’s both a medium of exchange, like a $100 bill, but it has its own speculative value, similar to gold.

Each Bitcoin could be worth $100,000 within 10 years. –Financial analyst Kay Van-Petersen for CNBC

My Bottom Line on Bitcoin Poker Online

Whew. Congrats on getting through all that with your eyes still open. You deserve an avocado ice cream and a few (hundred) satoshis.

I absolutely understand if you’re overwhelmed, intimidated, confused, or are enjoying a cocktail of all three right about now.

I get that using Bitcoin for poker is different.

It’s unlike any money system that we’ve grown up with and become accustomed to for our entire lives.

It’s got numbers and letters, QR codes, wallets, no government oversight, and its own lexicon with big words like decentralization and cryptocurrency.

I also get that Bitcoin is better for online poker than anything else ever.

I have a habit to over-explain things that I’m passionate about, but I’ve done it for players interested in playing online poker with Bitcoin because it’s that important to me. Bitcoin is that much better than any other government-controlled scam fiat system out there.

Bitcoin poker is 100% better than anything else we’ve ever seen. That’s true for poker players in unregulated US states or out of the country in a place like the UK.

It literally solves every problem online poker has ever had with deposits and withdrawals. No one can tell you where to spend it, there’s no bank looking over your shoulder, and you’ll never see a declined transaction.

The Whole Bitcoin Poker Process in 6 Steps

How to Play Online Poker with Bitcoin

At the end of the day, Bitcoin poker is really as simple as: acquiring it in your wallet and sending it to a poker site using long codes you can copy-and-paste or scan. Want to cash it out? Send it back to your wallet and do what you want with it from there.

You’ll choose how you want to get Bitcoin, where to store it, and how to cash it out. I’ve gone into detail on options for each step so you can choose what’s best for you at each step.

Learning Bitcoin Poker is Like Riding a Bike

Learning Bitcoin poker is like learning to ride a bike or change a lightbulb for the first time. You can read all about it, but the only way to really learn is by actually doing it. Once you do it a few times, it couldn’t be simpler.

Spending a few hours of your time to get set up with Bitcoin will fix everything when it comes to your online poker banking and could open your eyes to a lot more. That’s a +EV use of a half a day.

Several years ago, a poker site told me that they would only give me my money in Bitcoin. I had never used Bitcoin in my life and, not mincing words, I was pissed.

But what choice did I have?

Today? When it comes to poker, I would rather have Bitcoin in my wallet than dollars in the bank. It turned this skeptic into a Bitcoin missionary.

Learn Bitcoin, embrace it, use it for poker, use it for everything, make money with it, and, yes, it might just change your life, too.​

Ask me anything about Bitcoin Poker

Have any question about Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, or how to use it at poker sites? Is anything still unclear? HODLing on your hardware cold wallet like a boss?

I could talk crypto-shop all day and, unlike the usual suspects like Reddit, no condescending elitists allowed.

Post a comment below and, if I’ve recently had a cup of coffee, you’ll get a response from me within a few hours.

19 thoughts on “How to Play Bitcoin Poker”

  1. Josh,
    You say that it is possible to deposit and withdraw BTC “anonymously” at Bovada, Ignition, America’s Card Room and Betonline but do they not require ID for verification?

    • Hi Ed, thanks for the comment. Requiring ID for Bitcoin payout verification is going to be at the discretion of the poker site. Unfortunately, it seems to be pretty inconsistent in my experience.

      It’s possible the poker sites actually care about money laundering regulations, but what seems more likely is they use ID verification as an extra hurdle before they have to pay you. Otherwise, why would they let you deposit as much BTC or any other cryptocurrency as you want without caring about your ID, but then suddenly it’s for security before they’ll send it the other way?

      It’s been so many years now that I honestly don’t remember if I had to first verify my ID before I withdrew Bitcoin at every site. I do remember Americas Cardroom required it. I don’t recall for Bovada, Ignition, or BetOnline.

      I do know for a fact that Nitrogen Sports never requires any sort of personal information from you, even for payouts. If anonymity is your top concern, that’s where I would recommend you play. Unfortunately, while it’s decent enough, their poker product doesn’t quite measure up to their larger competitors.

  2. Hi Josh, I just spent a couple of hours reading everything and first want to say thank you for everything you shared.
    I noticed that most of the comments and replies were not recent. I am about to get my feet wet and start playing online and using bitcoin. Do you still recommend bitpay or something else?
    Any other current tips would be appreciated.

    • Hi Michael, I really appreciate that, thank you.

      Bitpay is still my choice on either a desktop or mobile for the easiest Bitcoin wallet. That’s especially true if you might get the Bitpay debit card at some point for an easy way to cash out your Bitcoin. If you want something less branded and you never plan to use the card, you could go for Copay or something like BRD on mobile.

      If you get serious about holding Bitcoin long-term, I would still recommend a Nano hardware wallet. That’s probably overkill if you just want to send and receive a few poker transactions, though.

      We’re kind of at an interesting point with Bitcoin in that both the value and fees have skyrocketed. It’s too expensive to do regular daily transactions with, but it still works perfectly for online poker or other gaming sites.

      I hope that helps a bit and best of luck getting your feet wet with it. I strongly believe that if players take the little bit of time to learn how to use Bitcoin, they won’t go back.

  3. Hi Josh
    Killer article and youve got one more poker player into Bitcoin.
    One question- is this a perfectly legitimate and sensible strategy to use everytime I want to deposit and withdraw?
    Bank account deposit AUD into ignition poker – play poker – cash out winnings in bitcoin to bitpay wallet – sell bitcoin for AUD in the app as per your first suggestion ‘Sell Bitcoin right in your wallet’?

    What are the pros and cons of my method- it seems like the least complicated to me but does that mean more fees or what are the trade offs for convienience and not wanting to invest or anything like that.

    • Hi Jack, I appreciate that!

      You also have a good question on how to deal with deposits and withdrawals. If I’m understanding you correctly, your initial deposit method into Ignition Poker is directly from your bank account? That should probably be okay. I mention it because sometimes poker sites can be picky about not cashing out to a payout method you haven’t used for deposits, but I haven’t found Ignition to be a stickler about that. Heck, most poker sites would rather you use Bitcoin regardless of how you deposited so they don’t have to deal with the fees of traditional banking methods.

      I’m also glad you brought up selling Bitcoin from your wallet because I forgot all about that feature! Unfortunately, it’s been out of my mind because I haven’t seen it in the Bitpay wallet for maybe a year or two now. When I first wrote this Bitcoin poker guide, it was alive and well thanks to the integration of Gildera right in the wallet. I just checked again and, sure enough, it’s nowhere to be found. Perhaps it has something to do with Gildera being acquired by Kraken, one of the larger Bitcoin exchanges.

      You can still buy Bitcoin from inside the Bitpay wallet using a service called Simplex, but it doesn’t look like you can sell it. Bummer.

      I would suggest you use one of the other methods I suggested to turn your Bitcoin back into AUD. My top recommendation would be to just get approved at a Bitcoin exchange. It takes a week or two for them to approve all the security checks, but then you’re set for years. That will let you transfer in and sell any Bitcoin you’d like for fair market value. You link up your bank account and they’ll send directly to that.

      By far, my favorite exchange right now is Gemini, which launched in Australia about 6 months ago. It’s annoying to pay their fees, which are around 1-1.5%, when you sell Bitcoin, but you can’t beat the convenience. You won’t have to wait more than 24 hours for them to get your withdrawal to your bank account.

      If you want to totally maintain privacy, you could cash it out at a Bitcoin ATM, but the fees are awful at those.

      I hope that helps!

  4. hey i was wondering if u can answer me some question.. i recently won some money playing on line and i wanted to use Bitcoin and i downloaded BRD wallet to withdraw,, what exchange service would u recommend today or any other way to get your bitcoins converted to cash,,
    thank you

    • Hi Salomon, thanks for taking the time to ask a good question. BRD is a solid and simple wallet, so I think you’re good there. It’s one of the Bitcoin wallets I use for mobile.

      On a Bitcoin exchange, I like Gemini a lot. I’ve never had a problem there, no invasive questions from them, and withdrawals are sent to your bank by the next day. My second choice would be Kraken. I would recommend you avoid Coinbase, the most popular Bitcoin exchange like the plague. I go into detail in the article on why.

      Hope that helps!

  5. Hi, I’ve read your interesting article. I have done some other searching and no one seems to refer Bitpay. It’s all Coinbase Blockchain etc. Do you still stand by your referral of Bitpay as a hot wallet and Ledger Nano S as cold?
    Thank you

    • Hi James, I appreciate the comment and the wallet question makes for a good topic to circle back to after a couple of years.

      In short, yes, I still recommend Bitpay as my preferred hot wallet and, if you store Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency long-term, something from Ledger for cold storage. In my opinion, Bitpay is still the simplest and most consistent Bitcoin wallet for everyday online poker (or other) use. The interface is dead simple, it provides encryption and a sending password, and it’s easy to integrate the Bitpay ATM card if you choose to use it. All the reasons I give in the guide still apply.

      I think something like Bitpay, Copay (the same wallet minus the branding), or Exodus will work just fine and be plenty secure for the vast majority of users. The only real need for a Ledger is if you’re extremely paranoid, are dealing with large amounts of cryptocurrency, or plan to have your Bitcoin sit for a long time. Otherwise, you should probably just save your money.

      You’re right that most Bitcoin guides from other online poker sources are going to just settle for the Coinbase and Blockchain combination, which I believe is the absolute worst you can do. They’re popular because they’re easy to use and people see them around everywhere, but they each have terrible security and privacy flaws. I wrote extensively in the guide on what those are. People recommending those services likely may know about poker, but don’t know much about Bitcoin.

      If we’re talking about Bitcoin exchanges, I’ve become a big fan of Gemini. They’re better in every way than a garbage company like Coinbase and are incredibly easy to use to boot.

      Hopefully that helped a bit!

      • Thanks for the up to date reply. One other question is do you recommend any site that gives notices/alerts as to the price of bitcoin, or others, in a real time basis?
        Thanks and Happy New Year!

      • Absolutely. Thanks for writing in.

        As for Bitcoin price alerts, I would recommend the Crypto Pro app. It’s free and you can set it to give you custom push notifications for anything you’d like. For example, you can get notified when Bitcoin goes above or below a price you choose or all sorts of more detailed options.

    • Good to know. Thanks, Kevin.

      I had sort of been on a hiatus from my Bitpay card after the fees became ridiculous in the latter half of 2017. I’ve mostly just been using the Copay Bitcoin wallet, which is identical to Bitpay aside from the branding and ability to load the ATM card.

      Even if you don’t use the ATM card, though, Bitpay is a solid and easy-to-understand wallet. I’ve used it on both mobile and desktop and can’t complain.

  6. Josh.

    What an awesome article. I’ve been a crypto fan for a few years. Yes, I’ve been burnt: selling before it takes off. Holding on in the bear markets. Even a keyboard logger stealing my passwords and losing my stash. Bitcoin is flooded with speculators ignoring all the great attributes you’ve listed here.

    I’m relatively new to Poker but not to crypto. My problem during the last bubble was where to store the value. Bitcoin is the only currency I trust so I left it to deflate again. It doesn’t matter as the long-term view is up after the panickers settle down.

    I’m practising poker on Zynga before dabbling with live money. Knowing when to make the leap will be the hard bit.

    Check out Exodus wallet if you’ve not heard of it. I have downloaded Coinomi but not used it yet.

    • Hey Paulo,

      Thanks so much for the great comment and I appreciate the kind words. Trust me: you weren’t alone on the bad timing of the crypto market. Not by a long shot.

      That really bites that you actually were a victim of a Bitcoin keylogger? I’ve heard a lot about them and some of the horror stories, but never actually talked with someone who had it happen personally. I hope it wasn’t much you lost.

      I first published this guide in October 2017 – smack dab in the middle of Bitcoin hype and euphoria. When it hit close to $20,000 by the end of the year, it seemed like it was a runaway train.

      I finally lost my confidence a few months later that it was bouncing back any time soon. I think it’s going to be quite a while before Bitcoin hits $20,000 again. Maybe years. Feel free to point and laugh when it’s up to $50,000 in a year.

      I feel for anyone who’s had faith in Bitcoin valued and HODLed throughout this year. They haven’t been rewarded yet. I’m still a firm believer in cryptocurrency, but I’m shaken to it still being a slam dunk investment.

      All that being said, the utility of Bitcoin, especially as a vehicle for online poker banking, hasn’t changed one bit. Like you said, it’s still perfect for it for all the reasons I talk about in the guide.

      Speculating on the price is only a part of what Bitcoin is. The other half is the currency of it – the utility. I think people might lose sight of that a bit when they get caught up in the price.

      In fact, the irony is that as Bitcoin’s values and popularity have dropped, it has actually become more attractive to use for poker.

      How so? Transaction fees are dirt cheap again, averaging around .35 for me lately. Bitcoin was seeing ridiculous miner fees of $20+ during the market insanity.

      You’ll also see faster confirmation times as the Bitcoin network is less congested, meaning you’ll see your deposits credited in 10 minutes as opposed to an hour. Sites like Ignition Poker and Bovada are sending out Bitcoin payouts in hours. That’s a great development.

      Thanks for the tip on Exodus. I had read a lot of good things but never tried it myself. It looks really interesting that it supports so many different cryptocurrencies in one wallet. It also looks very straightforward. I’m interested to see how good the encryption/password system is on it.

      Good to hear from you.

  7. Hello. I love your site, and appreciate all of the great content. It seems as though Bitpay is no longer available in the Google Play Store. Do you have any other recommendations for an easy entry point to crypto wallets? Thank you.

    • Hi Brad, thanks for the kind words on the site.

      Huh, that’s a shame about Bitpay. You’re totally right on them being removed from Google Play. I’m mostly on the Apple ecosystem and didn’t realize since Bitpay is still up on the App Store.

      For Android, I would recommend BRD or Mycelium, both of which I’ve used. I just checked and they’re both still up on Google Play. They’re both very easy to understand.


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