When compared to blackjack and roulette, poker is a relatively new game. It came out in the United States, somewhere in the early 19 century. It’s still extremely popular. You’ll hardly find a casino without a poker table, anywhere in the world.
Fast forward to 2003: do you remember Chris Moneymaker winning as the first winner of the World Series of Poker who qualified by playing poker online for real money? Before that turning point in history, online poker, real money games weren’t taken seriously. But Chris changed everything. We now see poker rooms at all online casinos, and they are getting more sophisticated by the day.
Best Online Poker Casinos in South Africa
A great number of South Africans play at online poker sites. There are several real money sites that offer various versions of the game, including live dealer SA online poker.
If you’re interested in starting playing poker online, you’ll benefit from the info and tips that follow.
South Africa Online Poker Websites in 2020
By South African law, no online gambling sites can be licensed in the country. However, many online casinos that are licensed in Malta or Curacao don’t mind accepting Rand/ZAR. They specifically target South African gamblers and invite them to play for real cash.
When you see the extensive list of poker sites accepts players from South Africa, you might get confused. What’s the best casino?
That’s when our reviews get into the picture. Whenever you’re about to invest money in something, you want to see social proof. You need to learn from the experience of others. The same thing happens with casinos, which is why we decided to review them for you.
These are the elements we analyze and test:
- No deposit needed and welcome bonuses – How much free cash will you get when you make the first deposit or even before you pledge the money?
- Jackpots – Does the casino offer a bad beat jackpot game? That would give you an even greater thrill.
- Loyalty program – The deposit bonus encourages you to start playing, but what benefits do you get if you keep betting on real money casino games? Are there any tournaments and other membership events?
- Software – Microgaming, NetEnt, Novomatic, Playtech, and a few other software providers are the leaders in the online casino industry. They offer live poker, too. Does the online casino feature games by these providers?
- Licensing – Where did the license come from? Is the site audited from a third-party authority? These details are important for SA players.
- Texas Hold’em – This is the most popular game of online poker real money South Africa and beyond. The dealer uses a standard deck of 52 cards to deal two cards to each player (the dealer doesn’t get cards). Through the action of the game, you should develop the best hand of five cards among the players.
- Pot-Limit Omaha – In this version, you receive four instead of two-hole cards. You can use only two of these cards to develop the game.
- Seven-Card Stud – It starts with two cards face down and one facing up (it’s called the door card). Each player gets seven cards, with three facing down and four facing up. The goal is to make the best combo of five.
- Razz – This version is similar to the seven-card stud, with one big difference. Here, the lowest hand wins the game.
- Omaha Hi-Lo – It’s almost the same with pot-limit Omaha, but it’s a split-pot game. The pot is divided in two parts. The best hand wins one of them, and the other one is awarded to the best low hand.
- 2-7 Triple Draw – During four rounds with three draws each; you’re supposed to make the lowest hand of five cards.
- Five-Card Draw – This one is simple, so it’s perfect for beginners. Each player gets five cards, one at a time. The cards are facing down. In the drawing stage, you choose the number of cards to replace. You aim for a strong hand of five cards.
- Chinese Poker – The dealer uses a 52-card deck to deal 13 cards per player. You divide your 13 cards into a setting of one hand of three (this one is known as the front) and two hands with five cards (these are the middle and the back). You place all hands face down on the table, and you announce if you’re playing or not when your turn comes. This is a rather complicated version of poker, which you may want to try when you gain enough experience with other games.
- HORSE – This game has mixed rules from Hold’em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Stud, and Eight-or-Better poker.
- Badugi – You hold four cards at a time, and you can trade as many of them as you want during three drawing rounds. Your goal is to make the strongest hand.
- Video poker – It’s a slot-like version of poker, and it’s not considered a real card game.
Play Real Money Poker on Mobile Apps
You can easily play poker sites’ real money games on mobile. The best websites work well on mobile browsers, offering a smooth gaming experience. This is the preferred way of SA mobile gamblers to play online since no download is required and they save memory on their devices.
But if you prefer apps, you’ll find them as well. Our reviews feature information for mobile casinos that developed their apps.
Banking Methods for Real Money Poker Players
Deposits and withdrawals are easy when you play poker online. These policies are transparent, so take a look at the Banking page of the website to see what payment methods you can use.
Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, Skrill, SiD, Trustly, and Neteller are the usual options you’ll see. In other words, you can use a credit/debit card, bank transfer or an eWallet to make your deposit and withdraw money.
Play Online Poker with PayPal
PayPal is an option at a limited number of websites that offer South African online poker. That’s because PayPal casino payment method follows the rules of the user’s country, and online gambling is restricted in South Africa. Still, some casinos found options to make this payment method available for their players.
How to Win When You Play Poker Online for Money
No one knows your identity when you play card games online, so there’s no reason to show off. This is the first and most important tip for you: play with small bets.
If you’re not a seasoned poker player, you should choose one variant and stick to it. Texas Hold’em is great for beginners. It’s simple to learn, and it’s always fun.
You can play at multiple tables at once at an online casino, but that’s not a smart thing to do during your beginnings. You want to stay focused on a single game.
Focus is the key strategy for winning at poker. You want to create a distraction-free zone that lets you play long sessions.
Is it legal to play online poker in South Africa?
Yes; there are legit websites that allow South African players to gamble online. Make sure the website you choose is audited by an unbiased authority, such as the Gibraltar Gambling Commission, UK Gambling Commission, Isle of Man Casino Control Commission, or Alderney Gambling Control Commission. The licenses usually come from Malta, Curacao, or Antigua. Although they are not licensed in South Africa, these websites are completely legitimate for players from this country.
Do poker sites accept PayPal?
Some of them do. You’ll have to go through reviews to find those sites, or you can check the Banking page of a specific online casino to see if PayPal is featured as a payment method.
How to play with bonuses?
Welcome bonuses and VIP rewards are just like the real money you deposit. You can use them to place bets in online poker. Most casinos will require you to bet this money multiple times before you can withdraw the winnings. Be careful; some sites allow you to use bonuses only on slots.