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 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 (and in online poker terms that mean it's been around for only 1-2 years) sites 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 site smoothie blend is a mix of:
Poker isn't booming right now. These days, online poker rooms 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:
Technically, Ignition Poker is the most successful newest poker site open to the US. They also lead player traffic by a wide margin.
How does that happen? Because they’ve got roots going back more than a decade. New name, new look, trusted payout history. The best of both worlds.
New Player Bonus:
100% up to $1,000 for poker
100% up to $1,000 for the casino
All US players accepted
BetOnline's Poker section was launched in 2011, but it’s almost become a brand new poker site over the past year thanks to lots of new additions.
A private 200% bonus, the best mobile software in the US, and private $5,000 freerolls are the best adds. It’s always better when you're being fought for.
Private New Player Bonus:
200% up to $2,500
$135 in free bets
All US players accepted
How is America’s Cardroom a new poker site when they were established in 2001? Thanks to a reinvention over the past 5 years.
They’re easily taking the most chances on new idea in the US, with new tournament modes and an instant bonus that no one else is even competing with.
New Poker Bonus:
100% up to $1,000
20 free Jackpot tournaments
All US players accepted
A ton of new poker releases with a proven payout history.
New Player Bonus: 200% up to $2,500 and a total of $135 in no-risk free bets
|Poker Site||Newest Poker Bonus||Amount of New Players||Standout New Feature||Link|
|888 Poker||€88 free||High||Blast Poker||Play there|
|PokerStars||€30 instant bonus||Medium||Spin & Go||Play there|
|Party Poker||€20 instant bonus||Medium||Anonymous cash games||Play there|
|Unibet Poker||€20 free||Medium||Unlimited aliases||Play there|
|BetOnline Poker||200% private bonus||Medium||New mobile app||Play there|
|Ignition Poker||100% bonus||High||Zone Fast-Fold||Play there|
|America's Cardroom||20 free tournaments||Medium||Sit & Go 2.0||Play there|
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.
One of my favorites is Party Poker, who's trying to make a new start by giving players both $20 cash and another 100%.
For USA players, America's 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 America's 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, America's 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.
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