BY JOSH H, OWNER AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
I'm guessing you're looking for the newest poker sites for 1 of 3 reasons:
As someone who's played online for more than 13 years I think that I can answer any of those needs with some suggestions, but first I have some good news and bad news.
The good news: I can think of several new poker sites that offer something new for battle-weary players. A new game type, new bonus structures, or new software.
The bad news: I've seen players burned enough time by honest-to-goodness brand new poker sites (and in online poker terms, that mean it's been around for only 1-2 years) that I don't recommend them.
I'm going to show you several "new" poker sites that I feel hit the sweet spot.
I think the perfect new poker site smoothie blend is a mix of:
Poker isn't booming right now. These days, online poker sites have to fight more for new players.
What that means for you is that the old names you've seen for years are thinking outside the box - and then giving you the box on top of it if you'll make that itty-bitty deposit.
Let's find out who feels new again:
Seriously, 888 Poker is a new poker site? For real. Even though they've been around the block a few (dozen) times, they're always trying something new.
No-deposit money, crazy game modes, webcams. They're up for anything to grab new players. The result is a more casual (read profitable) experience.
New Poker Bonus:
100% up to €400
€88 free instantly
What? Party Poker, too? I know, weird to put another poker room seemingly as old as Methuselah in a collection of "new poker sites".
However, Party Poker is almost unrecognizable from what it was just a few years ago. It might not be new in name, but it's new in its methods.
New Poker Bonus:
100% up to €500
€20 extra instantly
Unibet Poker flies under the radar a bit, but they have an excellent no-download poker site that's identical to the full download.
Essentially, the no-download software is the exact same one players download on Windows or Mac. All tournaments and cash games work in-browser.
No-Download Player Bonus:
100% up to €200
€20 free instantly
Tested and Working on:
What? They're one of the oldest. Let me explain. Yes, they're absolutely one of the oldest poker sites ever, but they're desperate to feel like a new poker site again.
PokerStars is putting out a lot of fresh ideas, desperate to draw in new, more profitable players - and I like it. A new $30 instant offer is the icing.
New Player Bonus:
100% up to $600
€30 instant cash
The perks of a new poker site (like free money) without the risks.
New Player Bonus: 100% up to $400, $88 free, and 10 private freerolls
Not all of them are. It’s going to depend on a number of factors, such as who the ownership of the poker site is, their history, and their payout record. I tested almost all of them and tell you here who I feel are completely safe.
Yes. Surprisingly, some of my top-rated new poker sites are open to American players. In fact, Global Poker, my favorite new poker site, is available to Americans and Canadians exclusively.
I never like to declare one poker site the best because they aren’t one size fits all. Online poker players are individuals with their own priorities. See this page for some of my newest favorites and why I like them.
I take a more conservative approach with new poker sites simply because I've been around long enough to see a majority of them fail. Longevity doesn't guarantee safety, as we saw with PKR disappearing after a decade, but the odds are in the favor of proven sites.
The main problems with new poker sites are low traffic, which is almost universal, and overextending itself to land new players. They might give players free money and great promotions, but they're probably losing money to do so.
I think the sweet spot for players looking for something new is to go with a safe site that's trying something unique. That's happening a lot more these days.
It's a good time to be a free agent poker player. With fewer new players entering the game, there are plenty of new poker bonuses popping up regularly from big names trying to woo you. I can't think of another time when old names acted like "new" sites with very generous offers.
For USA players, Americas Cardroom now guarantees $50 in free tournament money on top of the 100% offer.
I think the best environment for a new player is an established poker site who does some hand-holding. New players should also be careful to find a home with plenty of other players at their level. New poker sites run some risk as they're unproven, usually have low traffic, and have no long-term payout history.
Then, on the other extreme, there's an incredible proven site like PokerStars who does have some attractive promos for new players, but then dumps them off to the shark aquarium.
I like the balance of a site like 888 Poker, who caters to new players with some free money and freeeolls, but then has fairly soft games to ease them into learning.
For US players, either BetOnline or Americas Cardroom also give a good balance.
These days, it feels like everyone is chasing "the next big thing" in new poker games. What's going to be the next Sit and Go or quick-fold? Poker sites are happy to throw spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.
PokerStars has really stepped up its R&D game with new poker games like The Deal and Beat The Clock lately. Unibet has a fun diversion called Banzai that short-stacks everyone for crazy cash game all-in fests.
On the American side, Americas Cardroom has tried Sit & Go 2.0 and a hybrid tournament/cash game concept called The Cage.
These are heady days for Mac poker players. Unlike the old days, every single new poker site now releases a native Mac download alongside the Windows version.
Every site I list on this page has a Mac version. Simply visit the site from your Mac and you'll see about 489 download buttons eagerly awaiting your Apple-branded click.
These are the most stable years for USA poker players since Black Friday hit in 2011. The big players are rooting in deeper and I'm actually pleased that no new US poker sites are entering the fray after debacles like Full Flush Poker. Still, the old guys are doing a lot like new poker sites.
Ignition is the biggest in the USA market and technically the newest name, even though they're pretty much just Bovada in a new outfit.
BetOnline has a new poker app that's easily the USA leader, supporting every cash game, tournament, and multiple tables.
So, while they may not technically be "new" USA sites, they last few years have seen some fresh developments.
It's taken a while, but online poker rooms are finally catching up with the rest of the world in terms of mobile. It's ridiculous to tie players to monster desktops when a lot of households go without them at all these days. A number of sites have released new poker apps or improved ones.
Considering a new online poker home? Read the undisputed king of reviews for real players.
Epic USA Guide
You won't look at US poker the same way after reading my ultimate guide to the market.