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Online Poker Sites Resource

The African's most trusted online poker sites reviewed by real players and ranked according to things like banking options, ease of competition, software, customer support, security and a whole lot more


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YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO South African Poker Sites

Ever since the World Series of Poker events started being televised, the entire world has seen an explosion of interest in poker and playing at online poker sites. This is certainly the case here in South Africa, poker online has boomed. There are even now a number of top professional players who count our proud country as home. Even if you already play in brick and mortar poker rooms, most likely the idea of being able to enjoy one of the top websites in your own home has probably crossed your mind. After all, playing at an online poker site would the ultimate in terms of convenience.

But you probably have some questions about playing in an internet poker room. Potential poker players may not be very comfortable with the technology, or might not know what the process is for finding and joining one of the best online poker sites. That is the purpose of this guide to playing South African online poker rooms. After reading this, you will understand:

  • Exactly how to find, evaluate, and get started at one of the top legal South African online poker sites
  • The best ideas and strategies for ensuring you make money at your chosen poker room
  • How the South African online poker and gambling laws will affect you




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fast withdrawals
1-3 days
depending on method

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The Ease of Playing Poker Online – South Africa?

The truth is, you will not have any problem actually playing at most of the reputable online poker rooms in 2023. If you examine the rules and requirements listed on most of the best websites, they are very welcoming of South African players. Many online poker sites will gladly welcome your business, sometimes offering nice bonuses and extra promotions to entice you into playing on their particular real money poker site. You heard that right, it is even possible for some of these websites to pay you a real cash reward just to sign up, make a deposit, and play a certain amount of online poker.

There are not many technical requirements to playing at an online poker site. If you have a fairly modern computer (within the last five years) and internet browser, you shouldn't have any trouble. You will simply register on the site by providing some basic personal information, confirm your email address, make a deposit, and then start playing simply by visiting the poker site. Log in and click on the poker lobby icon, then choose your desired game and betting levels. Once a table is formed, the game will start automatically.

With some of the older or less technically sophisticated online poker rooms, you might be asked to download some software. In such a case, this should be a simple one-click option which then automatically places an icon on your computer and installs itself. When you are ready to play, simply click on that icon while you are connected to the internet. Other sites may even offer you the convenience of playing on your smart phone or other mobile device; simply download the mobile app and follow the on-screen directions. Very simple and easy.

In many cases, these poker rooms will even offer some free training. This might in the form of written text or tutorial videos. It is recommended you watch them since most people don't bother; this could be an easy way to gain an edge over your competition. You are also very likely to find game rules along with some tips and strategy advice. While this might be pretty basic, it is still worth looking into.

How To Get Started With Online Poker—A Basic Guide

For South Africans, the first step will be finding an international online poker site. This is due to the fact that these sort of gambling websites within the country are virtually non-existent (more on this in the legal section below). The good news is that you will be welcomed pretty much world wide, especially by the top websites and real money online poker rooms.

The worst mistake you could make after deciding to start playing at online poker sites would be to treat all of them alike. Instead, you should take just a bit of time and think about what features and characteristics you want to have at your particular online poker room. Be sure to check out our own online poker site reviews. Here a number of factors and features to take a look at:

Beyond this, you should also think about how you like to play your poker. For example, are you more of a tournament player or do you prefer real cash games? Some poker rooms are much more geared to one aspect or the other. Those poker sites which focus on tournaments might even offer satellite events where the winner ends up going to a major live event (several WSOP success stories have turned out from something like this).

There are also balanced online poker sites, South African players will be able to find an even mix between tournaments and cash games. Also understand that internet poker rooms make their money either through tournament entry fees or through the rake, which is a small commission charged to the winner of each pot. Usually, this will be expressed as a small percentage, with a maximum upper limit.

Finally, consider the banking options offered. Most of the top poker rooms should be offering players the ability to make deposits and collect payouts with credit and debit cards, at a bare minimum. In South Africa, poker online sites may limit you to those 2 methods, as a strict reading of the law could lead to the conclusion that these are the only permitted funding options for poker sites. Nevertheless, many websites will have additional options like e-wallets, direct bank transfer, and even the wiring of funds through services like Western Union.

Gambling in South Africa is mostly restricted to real casinos unless you’re betting on horses or sporting events, which can then be done online. To find the best gambling options pay close attention to recommendations and stick to sites that support gamblers from South Africa.

Currency Exchange For South African Players

Since you use Rands in South Africa, online poker rooms will most likely need you to use their currency exchange when playing at their online poker site. Fortunately, this happens seamlessly once your deposit is made at the online poker rooms. Your real money will probably be transferred into US dollars. The reason for this is due to the fact that most poker rooms initially had a huge flood of US traffic and this was the easiest way to handle things. The laws started changing for US players, most of their traffic dried up, and many of the top websites just decided to keep their system the same.

This also means you might gain or lose a little bit on your actual transactions. It really depends on how high or low the exchange rate is and the difference between when you made your deposit and when you take your payout. This should not be a huge factor in determining which poker site to use, since it would normally be a pretty small amount of real money.


Once all of this has been worked out, it is time to make your initial deposit and get started. Depending on your chosen websites, you might need to download poker client software onto your computer. This should be a very quick download and it will install automatically. Then, you simply need to click on the little icon left on your desktop anytime you want to get started playing your favorite online poker site games. Very simple and easy.

South Africa Online Poker Site Customer Service

Chances are pretty good that you will never even need to worry about contacting the customer service offered by your poker room. However, you should still know all about your options. A great place to start when researching an online poker site is their frequently asked questions section. Also take a look at their hours of operation, since this will show when they actually have service representatives standing by to help customers.

As far as your actual support options go, most of these will be pretty standard. You will find email as the most basic level of service. Some sites also have a telephone support line. Still other online poker sites will also include a live support element. Most likely this will be a form of live-chat or internal messaging system. Since many of the top websites will be from outside of South Africa, you might want to limit yourself to either the email or live chat, since the phone call is not likely to be toll-free. Additionally, the live chat is going to be the fastest way of solving your issue or answering your question, under normal circumstances.

General South African Online Gambling Laws

South Africa has experienced a bit of confusion over their gambling laws in recent years. Initially all forms of gambling were illegal, but then there were some adjustments and several new laws passed. Unfortunately, each law modified the next in certain ways that were not always very clear. For example, one of the current rules could be interpreted to mean that any online gambling activity undertaken (whether at poker rooms or casinos) by South Africa residents must involve the use of a credit card as a funding method in 2023. However, many online poker sites offer many different funding options to South African players these days, all without incident.

Currently, the government of South Africa does permit online gambling, which includes poker. The initial aim was to offer ten licenses to casinos that would operate online. Presumably, these licenses would include the option of adding a poker room to their offerings. It is also unclear whether there are currently any online poker sites operating within the country of South Africa. However, many international sites do accept South African players, which means there are more than enough options available.

How Online Poker Rooms Generate Revenue

Obviously, the best poker rooms need to have several different methods of generating revenue. The first of these is called the rake. In most cases, when there is a real cash game being played, the rake is something players will need to deal with. This is a commission or cut of each pot that the house or poker room will take. It is usually a small percentage of the pot, based on a sliding scale according to the amount of money in the final pot. There might even be a cap, or maximum amount of rake the house will take on each pot, although this will be determined by the specific poker room.

Tournament games have a different method of providing revenue for the online poker site. Most tournaments will not have any kind of rake; instead, you will pay an additional amount added on to your tournament entry fee. This is why these entry fees usually show two numbers, like $100 + $5. That $5 in the above example is your fee that goes to the house. You will not have any dealer tips or other expenses deducted from the prize pool.

Side games may also represent an additional source of revenue for even the best sites. This can include traditional casino games like blackjack, roulette, craps, and more. The poker websites might decide to stick to side bets on poker hands, where the player goes up against the house for real money. Of course, these side wagers are carefully calculated and the house always has the edge.

An often overlooked revenue source for even the top poker rooms is generated by investing the deposits of players. Having said that, it should also be noted that most businesses will have to abide by very strict rules and requirements as to how much risk and what types of investments they may make with real money held as player deposits. Since the poker sites have no obligation to pay any interest to players, even a little bit of extra revenue earned in this fashion can be a significant contribution to their bottom line.

Now that you’ve read our hints and tips on online poker, why not pick out your favorite US poker online site and put them into practice.



Is my money safe at a casino online?

Your money is as safe at a trusted online casino as it is at a bank or in the hands of an online retailer. Careful security measures like encryption are in place to protect player assets.


How can I start playing at an online casino?

To begin playing at a casino in South Africa you create an account at the casino’s website and then link a PayPal account, credit card account or use another electronic payment service to fund your casino account to start playing.


Will I have to download special software to play at a casino with my Macbook?

You can download Mac software from some casinos to get started playing, but other casinos will allow you to play right in your favourite web browser instead of requiring software.


Will a Blackberry work with most mobile poker sites?

Blackberries are pretty popular mobile phones, but they aren’t that popular at online casinos. You’ll be able to play with your phone at some of the most well-established sites, but many require Android or iOS devices to play. You’ll have to be selective when picking.


Can I legally gamble online?

While the 2008 Gambling Act in South Africa sought to legalize online gambling within the country, it was pushed back by lobbyists and online gambling remains illegal for players outside of sports betting, horse betting and online bookmaking.


How do no download poker sites work?

No download online poker sites work by offering games that work right in a web browser without requiring any additional software. Players can enjoy the games by signing into their casino account in the browser and clicking a game to play in the browser.