The Honest Donkhouse Review

Bethany Jones
by Bethany Jones  |  Reviewer and Columnist

Ze Donkhouse Review




USA Players



Proprietary closed network






Rob Brunstad


Texas Hold'em, Pot-Limit Omaha, Donkem, Dealer's Choice, Shortdeck


Windows, Mac, iOS, Android


N/A; play-money games only

  • Software Quality
  • Mobile Usability
  • Game Selection
  • Customization
  • Customer Support
  • Ease of Use
  • Community
  • Graphics


  • Huge selection of customization options for cash games
  • Single-table tournaments recently added
  • Players can suggest new features and the most popular recommendations will be implemented
  • Free to play at ze Donkhouse only with your friends
  • Easy-to-use interface that is quick to get accustomed with


  • Mobile gameplay could use a bit more polish, especially for those with smaller screens
  • Since it’s a free-to-play site, there are no promotions or offers for players

Donkhouse (also known as ze Donkhouse) is a totally free to play online poker platform where you can host cash games and single-table tournaments among your friends. It’s owned and operated by just one person; his name is Rob and he’s committed to providing users with a fun, free platform to compete at online poker.

How Does Donkhouse Poker Work?

It’s incredibly easy to get started plaing at Donkhouse. All you have to do is create an account for yourself, and get involved in Groups.

Sign Up at Donkhouse Poker
The sign-up process for Ze Donkhouse is quick and easy. You only need to enter a few details to get started.

To register, all you need to input is your email, username, and password. Then, Complete the CAPTCHA and you’re ready to go.

Create a Group

Once you’re logged in, click on your username and select Groups. Here, you’ll see the Create Group button; click on that and enter your Group Name.

Now that you have a group, you can invite members. In your newly created group, scroll down to Members and you’ll be able to invite your friends by clicking on the Invite New Members button. There is no limit to the number of friends who can join.

You can enter either their username or the email that they used to sign-up for Donkhouse. Remember – usernames are case sensitive.

When a player has accepted your invitation, you’ll see them in your Members list. Beside each player’s name, there are buttons that will kick them out of the group or make them an admin.

Create a Table

From your Group lobby, Click on Create New Table. After you’ve named your table (it must be two or more letters long), you can choose a game type, set your stakes, decide how many seats you want to have, and make loads of different customizations.

Donkhouse Poker Game Setup
When you want to set up a game, you’ll be impressed at how many different ways there are to customize the cash games at Donkhouse.

Playing a Game

A Poker Table at Ze Donkhouse
The poker tables at Donkhouse are somewhat barebones, but it’s a small operation. It’s understandable that they would prefer to spend resources on features rather than aesthetics.

Getting started in a game is not entirely straightforward but, after you’ve done it once, it’ll be like second-nature to you.

  • When you join a game, click on a seat
  • Click the refill button in the upper left-hand corner of the screen
  • Then click on Sit In
  • When more than one player has selected Sit In, the first hand will begin

Donkhouse Poker Variants

At, there are many different types of online poker games to play. At the time of writing this review, the full list is as follows:

  • NL Texas Hold’em
  • Pot Limit Omaha
  • Donkem
  • PLO High-Low, Eight-or-Better
  • PLO High-Low, No Qualifier
  • Five-Card PLO High-Lo, 8 or Better
  • Six-Card PLO High-Lo, 8 or Better
  • Short Deck
  • Five-Card PLO
  • Six-Card PLO
  • Irish Hi-Lo Omaha, 8 or Better
  • Dealer’s Choice

These options are great for players who enjoy Texas Hold’em and PLO. So those of you who like your Draw Poker games and Seven-Card stud might want to look elsewhere.

What is Donkem Poker?

“Donkem” isn’t a variant that you’ll see at any other online poker sites, so the term has probably piqued your curiosity. I’ve got all the information about this fun poker game right here.

Donkem Poker is the signature game at ze Donkhouse. This is a 3-card PLO variant where players are required to use exactly two of the cards from their hands.

On the flop, there are two cards and the turn sees another two cards dealt. On the river, just one card is dealt. There is also a super-river but no action takes place here.

It’s a really fun variant, as you don’t often see 3-card PLO games that often. If you and your friends are looking for something new, it’s certainly worth checking out.

Donkhouse Poker Tournaments

If you want to play a tournament with your friends at Donkhouse, it’s pretty simple. When you’re creating or editing your game, select Advanced Options.

Donkhouse Tournament Settings
A relatively new development on Ze Donkhouse’s poker site allows players to turn cash games into single-table tournaments by increasing the blinds at intervals of their choosing.

Scroll down to Blindes and Antes, and you’ll be able to “increase the blinds every [ ] minutes”. These are the intervals you would set for various types of tournaments:

  • Standard: increase blinds every 10 minutes
  • Turbo: increase blinds every 5 minutes
  • Hyper-Turbo increase blinds every 3 minutes

Advantages of Playing at Donkhouse

When it comes to playing online poker using Donkhouse, the main advantage is the sheer amount of customization options available. In most home game platforms, you’re only given a few different variants to choose from and the customization options aren’t very in-depth.

Game Options at Donkhouse
In your Account Settings, there are also plenty of customization options to suit your gameplay style.

In addition to setting the buy-ins, stakes and timebank, there are plenty other customizable features. These are just some of the options that you can enable while playing at Donkhouse Poker:

  • Allow up to 6 straddles
  • Enable up to 15 bomb pots
  • Allow double boards
  • Allow running it twice
  • Allow rabbit hunting

Suggesting New Features

If you’re a player at Donkhouse and you’d like to see new features on this play money platform, you can suggest something for other users to vote on. Visit the Feature Requests page, scroll down to the bottom and click on Submit New Request. Your request will go on a list that the community can upvote.

Every player gets three upvotes every three days. If your feature suggestion is chosen, then you’ll get 10 extra upvotes.

Donkhouse Poker Feature Requests
Donkhouse really puts the player at the heart of the experience. You can vote on which features you’d like to see implemented and the most popular suggestions will eventually make it onto the Donkhouse free poker platform.

Donkhouse will implement suggestions from the top of the list on an ongoing basis. You can keep track of the updates in the site’s blog.

Graphics and User Interface

Ze Donkhouse isn’t the prettiest or most lavish online poker site out there, but it’s got everything you need for a fun experience with your friends. When you’re in a game, everything is very basic, and the screen only features the bare necessities.

When you need to raise, call, fold or go all-in, everything you need is right in front of you. It’s easy to tell what position you’re in and whether you’re on the button, the big blind, or the small blind. However, it doesn’t get more sophisticated than that.

Of course, it would be great if there were a way to customize the look of your table beyond day mode and night mode. I prefer the look of night mode, as makes the screen seem a lot less bare. However, I understand that, as a play money poker platform that’s run by just one person, there may not be the capability to add different skins or chip designs.

When playing on this platform, everything runs very smoothly. You won’t experience lag while playing games, mainly because the interface is so simple. on Mobile Devices

Like any good, modern online poker website, the Donkhouse site is playable from mobile devices. You can play in either portrait or landscape mode, but portrait might require you to strain your eyes a bit.

Mobile Poker Tables at Donkhouse
When you’re playing at on a mobile device, it can get a bit crowded. I have quite a large screen and bits still get cut off. If you have a smaller screen, you might have to opt for desktop play only.

Customer Service and Community

Players will really enjoy being able to interact with the people who run the site so easily. The team is always on-hand to speak to players, whether you tweet them @DonkhousePoker or email them at 

If you’d like to get in touch with other players at Donkhouse, there is a Discord channel, but it’s not particularly active.

On occasion, you’ll get a notification from someone looking to join a game or someone who wants players for their own game. This doesn’t happen very often, though, and it would be great to see the Donkhouse Poker team encourage a bit more of a community spirit.

Ze Donkhouse Overall

Ze Donkhouse provides players with a simple and functional platform on which to play poker games online. It’s not the best-looking software out there and there are no promotions to take advantage of, but the world is your oyster when it comes to creating the exact kind of poker game that you and your mates want to enjoy.

I’m looking forward to seeing how grows in the future. There is lots of potential for this site to be the go-to solution for online home games, and it will be interesting to watch its expansion in the poker world.

Frequently Asked Questions
✅ What is Donkhouse Poker? is an online poker platform where you can engage in private online poker games with your friends.

✅ What are the betting limits in Donkhouse Poker?

Since this is a free-play site where you make the rules, the betting limits are totally up to you! You can decide on the buy-ins and blinds to best suit you and your friends.

✅ Is Donkhouse a no deposit poker site?

Technically, yes. is a no deposit poker site in that you don’t have to make any deposits to be able to play here. However, it is also a play-money site, so you can’t win anything while playing here either.

✅ What poker variants are available on

You can create a private poker cash games and tournaments using a wide range variants, including NLHE, PLO, Short Deck Hold’em, and Dealer’s Choice.

✅ What is Donkem poker?

Donkem is a unique poker variant that you’ll only find at It is a version of 3-card PLO where players must use both of their hole cards to create the best hand. Two cards are delt on the flop and turn, while one card is dealt on the river and there is also a super river. I haven’t seen anything else quite like it in the online poker world.

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