Tested: How to Avoid The Fatal Mistakes of No-Download Poker Sites


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

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

The difference these days? Poker sites actually know what they're doing.

You actually can:

  • Play at real money poker sites without downloading anything
  • Use any OS or mobile device
  • Have everything work smoothly right in your browser
  • Play both cash games and tournaments
  • 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Of course, that's if you avoid the fatal mistake of listening to outdated poker sites and affiliates still trying to sell you on messes seemingly slapped together by toddlers with safety scissors and glue sticks.

I've actually played at and tested every one 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 in-browser option 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. They won't link you to it anywhere. So how do you do it?

You'll need to first visit Ignition here and sign up 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 way to do it.

The standout no-download features I noticed:

  • It's one of the only games in town for US players. Ignition Poker is one of two sites supporting US players to take no-download play seriously.
  • It performs 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.
  • 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 games in the world, thanks in no small part to their ban on HUDs.
  • You can 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:

  • 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 cash games and Zone Poker (fast-fold) from the no-download client. They're the only one 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 table at a time.

No-Download Player Bonus:

100% up to $1,000 for poker


100% up to $1,000 for the casino

Tested and Working on:

All US players accepted

It looks a little out of place, but it 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 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 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 register for a new account if you don't have one already. The cashier is web-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.

Why I feel this is the best no-download poker in the USA:

  • One of the best worldwide, not just in the USA. I'm a big fan of the BetOnline no-download client UI. Sharp graphics and easy to navigate.
  • All tournaments. Both Sit and Go's and entire multi-table tournaments 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 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 lobby. Click, hold, and drag up as if you were sliding a finger.

No-Download Player Bonus:

200% up to $2,500


$135 in free bets

Tested and Working on:

All US players accepted

Here's what the BetOnline no-download version looks on Windows with Chrome.

My Pick for Best No-Download Site

For my time, it's the only download-free option I've actually mostly allowed replace my traditional desktop software. It's worked for me consistently, doesn't hog a lot of resources, and has every game you'd find in a download.


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

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

Chart of No-Download Poker Sites

RankPoker SiteUSADownload RequiredCash GamesTournamentsLink to Play
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 In-Browser Poker

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

Proof of the Ignition Poker no-download client on a desktop.

The only drawback at Ignition is the lack of tournaments or multiple tables.

The simplistic Quick Seat function at Unibet.

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

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

No-Download Poker FAQs

Do any sites offer no-download play for real money?

Yes, every poker site listed allows real-money play on their browser-based software. Most allow both cash game and tournament play.

Are there any in-browser poker options from the USA?

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 client.

The other option is BetOnline Poker, which also accepts all US players. The client is actually much better with multi-table 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 worked 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.

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 a poker site has a valid license it also covers their browser-based software.

Is there a free play money 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 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 without downloading?

Yes. Most no-download poker sites allow for tournament play at every event found in their standard 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 offer a no-download version?

No-download 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 Flash-based sites.

Unfortunately, it seems that Party Poker transitioned to a two-headed monster now: the very good mobile app and the traditional download for Windows or Mac. 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 no-download video poker?

Of course, video poker is a casino house game as opposed to the player vs. player poker 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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