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:
Of course, that's if you avoid the fatal mistake of listening to outdated poker sites and affiliates still trying to sell you on instant play messes seemingly slapped together by toddlers with safety scissors and glue sticks.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 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.
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.
Instant Play Bonus:
100% up to $1,000 for poker
100% up to $1,000 for the casino
Tested and Working on:
All US players accepted
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.
Instant Play Bonus
200% up to $2,500
$135 in free bets
Tested and Working on:
All US players accepted
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.
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
|Rank||Poker Site||USA||Download Required||Cash Games||Instant Tournaments||Link to Play In-Browser|
|1.||888 Poker||No||No||Yes||Yes||Launch in Browser|
|2.||Unibet||No||No||Yes||Yes||Launch in Browser|
|3.||BetOnline||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Launch in Browser|
|4.||PKR||No||No||Yes||Yes||Launch in Browser|
|5.||Ignition Poker||Yes||No||Yes||No||Launch in Browser|
|6.||Titan Poker||No||No||Yes||Yes||Launch in Browser|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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