How To Find No-Download and Instant Play Poker Sites You Can Trust


BY JOSH H, OWNER AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


Once upon a time - as in when I first started playing online poker more than a decade ago - instant play poker sites for real money were a pipe dream. The few intrepid poker room developers to try no download play crafted buggy half-baked Flash experiences.

Fast-forward to 2017 and online poker players have grown up as the rest of the world has. Patience for downloads and installations? Gone. Who wants to load a 5-minute update when you just want to instantly play poker?

The difference these days? Poker sites without downloads actually know what they're doing.

You actually can:

  • Play at instant real money poker sites instantly without downloading anything
  • Use any OS or mobile device
  • Have everything work smoothly and be browser-based
  • Play both cash games and tournaments with instant play
  • Enjoy a mostly bug-free experience that rivals the standalone software

Of course, that's if you avoid the fatal mistake of listening to outdated poker sites and affiliates still trying to sell you on instant play messes seemingly slapped together by toddlers with safety scissors and glue sticks.

I've actually played at and tested every download-free poker room listed here extensively.

Let's dive into the results...

Ignition Poker

Ignition Poker is the largest option for US players looking for a no download poker site. No, you can't multi-table or play tournaments, but cash games play very well.

Their browser based site is targeted to mobile devices, but that's why it runs like butter on desktops.

Josh's Pro-tip

It's a wasted marketing opportunity, but playing the Ignition Poker no-download version on a computer is actually a hack I discovered. The poker room won't link you to it anywhere. So how do you use instant play?

You'll need to first visit Ignition here and complete the registration for an account. You can make a deposit from your browser as well. Then, manually type m.ignitioncasino.eu / poker into your browser and you'll immediately see the no download "mobile" version launch. It's lame, but, for now, that's the only play without the downloaded poker software.

The standout instant play site features I noticed:

  • It's one of the only instant play games in town for US players. Ignition Poker is one of two poker sites supporting US players to take no-download-required play seriously for real money.
  • It plays very well on mobile and even better on desktops. They only promote this as being for mobile, and it works fine in my tests on both iOS and Android devices. I still use it at least a few times a week from my mobile. However, the games run even smoother from a desktop since they're so overpowered. The lack of old bug-fest Flash is another plus.
  • Non-US players will still appreciate the loose tables. Even if you aren't from the US, Ignition Poker is one of the few US-facing no download poker sites you might consider thanks to the game quality. They're on my short list for having the loosest online poker games in the world, thanks in no small part to their ban on HUDs.
  • You can register and use the cashier without downloading. Naturally, the poker site wants you to be able to deposit without hassle, hence the web-based cashier.

What needs to be improved for US no download play:

  • No tournaments or Sit and Go's. This was a big oversight from Ignition and I don't really know why they made this decision. As it stands, players can only play Texas Holdem or Omaha cash games and Zone Poker (fast-fold) from the no-download client. They're the poker site in this list not to support tournaments.
  • No multi-table support. Another strange decision that I hope is fixed at some point is that no download players are forced to only play at one real money poker table at a time.

Instant Play Bonus:

100% up to $1,000 for poker

plus

100% up to $1,000 for the casino

Tested and Working on:

All US players accepted

It looks a little out of place, but Ignition Poker instant play works perfectly on Windows, Mac, or any custom OS along with mobile.

BetOnline Poker

The no download version of BetOnline Poker just launched and it's easily the best site in the USA market.

Unlike Ignition, every tournament is available and you can play on up to 4 tables at once. Use my hack below to play without downloading on a desktop. Checkmate.

Josh's Pro-tip

Both US-facing no download poker sites don't actually advertise or directly encourage real money play from desktops. That's foolish in my opinion, but I found a way to play from either mobile or any desktop browser.

First, you'll need to visit BetOnline here and complete the registration for a new account if you don't have one already. The no download poker cashier is browser based so you can deposit right on the website.

Next, directly type poker.betonline.ag / mobilepoker / index.htm into your browser. It will load the no download assets and then ask you to log in again. Do so and voila - instant multi-table cash games and tournaments. You can do the same thing from a mobile browser.

The best no-download instant play poker room in the USA

  • One of the best worldwide, not just in the USA. I'm a big fan of the BetOnline instant play site UI. Flash isn't anywhere to be found, it has sharp graphics, and it's easy to navigate and play.
  • All tournaments can be played without downloading. Both Sit and Go's and entire multi-table poker tournaments for Texas Hold'em or Omaha can be played from a browser.
  • Excellent multi-table system. I really like the path BetOnline took with multi-tabling. You can play up to 4 at once and, instead of launching in new Windows, every table is visible along a horizontal bar at the top of the screen. 

What needs to be improved:

  • Must be manually typed in to use instant play from desktops. It's a first-world problem certainly, but BetOnline doesn't like to show the no download site to desktop users. It isn't a big deal as you can just type in the direct URL and log in. Annoying, but just bookmark it and only have to type it in once per machine.
  • Must click and hold to scroll. A very small nitpick, but you have to pretend you're using a touchscreen to scroll through the poker lobby. Click, hold, and drag up as if you were sliding a finger.

Instant Play Bonus

200% up to $2,500

plus

$135 in free bets

Tested and Working on:

All US players accepted

Here's what the BetOnline instant play version looks on Windows with Chrome. Pretty decent, no?

My Pick for Best Instant Play Poker Site

For my time, it's the only download-free instant play poker site I've actually mostly allowed replace my traditional desktop poker software. It's worked for me consistently, loads instantly, doesn't hog a lot of resources or use Flash, and has every game, including Texas Hold'em, you'd find in a download.

winner

Compatible with all browsers on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Instant Play Bonus: 200% up to $2,500 and a total of $135 in no-risk free bets

Chart of Instant Play Poker

RankPoker SiteUSADownload RequiredCash GamesInstant TournamentsLink to Play In-Browser
1.888 PokerNoNoYesYesLaunch in Browser
2.UnibetNoNoYesYesLaunch in Browser
3.BetOnlineYesNoYesYesLaunch in Browser
4.PKRNoNoYesYesLaunch in Browser
5.Ignition PokerYesNoYesNoLaunch in Browser
6.Titan PokerNoNoYesYesLaunch in Browser

More Examples of No-Download Browser Poker

The BetOnline Poker lobby in browser mode. On mobile it will look identical.

Proof of the Ignition Poker instant play client on a desktop.

The only drawback of Ignition Poker instant play is the lack of tournaments or multiple tables.

The simplistic Quick Seat function at Unibet instant play.

An example of a full-featured cashier that you'll find at no download poker sites. This one is from PKR.

The complete poker lobby is available on almost every site that offers instant play without a download.

Instant Play Poker FAQs

Do any sites offer instant play for real money?

Yes, every poker site listed allows real money play on their browser based software with no download required. Most allow both cash game and tournament play for Texas Hold'em and Omaha.

Are there any USA real money instant play options?

Yes, and you'll find details on both poker sites above. Ignition is of the smoothest options overall for USA players. Americans can make deposits, withdrawals, and play either cash games or fast-fold cash games on the no download poker client.

The other option is BetOnline Poker, which also accepts all US players for real money. The client is actually much better with multi-table play functionality and tournaments, but you'll have to type in the no download URL directly.

Do no download poker sites work from mobile phones and tablets?

Yes, every site I've tested on this page also played from my iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. In fact, no download poker was largely developed to target players on mobile who were averse to downloading a new app. Only outdated poker rooms running Flash won't on mobile.

How secure are the no download poker clients?

Poker sites use at least the same encryption as their downloadable software. Both gameplay data and banking will be covered. If an online poker room has a valid license it also covers their browser-based software.

Is there a free play money instant option?

Yes, absolutely. There is no payment or deposit necessary to try out no download poker or to launch the client. Every one of them offers play money free games in addition to real-money games so you can sample how the games actually run on your device before risking anything.

Are tournaments supported on instant play?

Yes. Most no download poker sites allow for tournament play at every event found in their standard poker software. Specialty tournaments like Sit and Go's or Snap are also supported. There are occasional exceptions, such as Ignition Poker, who only supports cash games from in-browser.

Can deposits and withdrawals be made from the browser?

Yes, and, in fact, most poker site software-based cashiers actually launch a separate browser window for banking anyway. You'll find a cashier link in just about every no download window.

Does Party Poker instant play exist?

Instant play Party Poker did used to exist for several years and was actually one of the better offerings out there. I believe they used Java, which was more stable than some of the awful old sites based on Flash.

Unfortunately, it seems that Party Poker (who teamed up with bwin) transitioned to a two-headed monster now: the very good mobile app and the traditional download for Windows or Mac play. No links on their site to the no download version work. It doesn't exist anymore.

Any poker site that still references it is just regurgitating outdated information.

Do any sites offer instant no download video poker?

Of course, video poker is a casino house game as opposed to the player vs. player poker rooms that the rest of this page is about. However, there are several online casinos that offer video poker without downloading any software. My top choices would be 888 Casino or Ignition Casino for US players.

 

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