Play Online Poker in Australia for Real Money

Play online poker with real money in Australia. Discover top poker sites, best poker games, and legal insights. We’ve got all the essential info for Australian poker players!

Our Picks for Playing Online Poker with Real Money in Australia

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Play Online Poker in Australia for Real Money – A Step-By-Step Guide

Get started at a poker site and play your favourite poker game in no time. Just follow these simple steps curated by our experts at Gamble Online Australia.

1. Choose your poker site

The first thing you need to do is find a poker site to play at. Above, you can see all our top picks for the best online poker real money sites that accept players from Australia. Pick the one you prefer by clicking the ‘Play Now’ button.

2. Register your account

Once you’re on the poker site you need to register an account. This has to be done in order for you to play real money poker. Fill in your name, address, phone number, email address, and date of birth to complete the registration. Once that’s done, you’ll likely get an email with a link to activate your account or an SMS containing an activation code.

3. Make a deposit & claim a bonus

To start playing peer-to-peer poker, you need to make a real money deposit. Go to the cashier and select the payment method you prefer. You may also choose to activate a bonus, as long as you make sure to select the dedicated poker bonus offer.

4. Join a poker table

Once your account is funded, you can go to the poker section of the casino website. Here, you can play instant poker, but some also allow you to download their poker software client. You’ll need to set a user name that will be displayed on the poker tables, and then you simply choose which table to join. Make sure you choose a poker table with betting limits suitable to your bankroll.

5. Cash out your poker winnings

If you’re lucky at the tables you can cash out your winnings. To do this, simply cash out from the table and head to the cashier. Here, you’ll see a withdrawal option, and this will list your available withdrawal payment methods. Enter the amount you want to withdraw, and wait for the email confirmation of your cashout.

Online Poker Tips for Real Money Gamblers

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Keep your good cards

Don’t give away a good hand in the hopes of getting a better one. Keeping a low poker hand is usually a better strategy than chasing a higher one.

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Folding is not losing

Even the most expert gamblers know when to fold. If you have a weak hand, live to fight another day by folding and cutting your losses.

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Try the free version first

Though you often can’t win any money when playing free casino games, we highly recommend playing free poker before betting any of your own cash. Test your strategy risk-free before you play for real money.

How we choose the Best Real Money Poker Sites in Australia

Even the most experienced gamblers have trouble choosing between poker sites. That’s why we offer in-depth, independent Australian online casino reviews that highlight game availability at each site, breakdowns of all the poker and casino bonuses, and other information such as safety protocols, banking options, and customer support.

When reviewing and testing casinos, we look at multiple criteria to identify the best poker sites. Below you can read about some of the aspects we look into.

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Stake Size

A great poker site should have betting limits suitable for all kinds of players.

Casual players will enjoy poker tables with low stakes, while high rollers and professional players tend to prefer higher limits. This is why we like to see many available tables to cater to all player segments.

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Variety of Poker Games

As you might know, poker is not just one game, but rather a game type. So you want to make sure that the poker casino you’re playing at has your favourite game.

The most common versions which we expect to find at most sites are Texas Hold’em, Omaha Poker, and Stud Poker.


Poker Tournaments

Poker tournaments are favoured among poker players, especially professionals. It’s also a great way for novice players to try out some real poker action.

At Online Gambling Australia, we love seeing frequent tournaments. But, we especially love the great ones where hundreds of players go head-to-head for the big prizes.

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Bonuses and Promotions

Any poker site worth its salt should have exclusive casino bonuses for its players. We expect to find match deposit bonuses, rakebacks, and cashbacks.

Free tournament entries are also something we love to see, especially as a reward for new or valued players.

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Banking Options

All real money online poker sites for Australians should have a good selection of banking methods. Deposits should be quick and fee-free, while withdrawals should be as hassle-free as possible.

A good mix of card payments, e-wallets, bank transfers, and preferably also cryptocurrency is the ideal standard.

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Safety and Security

The safety of the online casino is the most important aspect to look for when choosing a poker site.

Not only should the poker operator be licensed by a reputable gambling authority but the website itself should also be encrypted. Fair poker games and safe payment options are also a must.

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Software Compatibility

Luckily, all modern poker sites are optimised for you to play on any device and with any operating system. Gone are the days when you needed to download a poker client in order to play, as you can now play instant poker from your web browser.

But just to be sure that all poker sites we recommend have been optimised, we check them from multiple devices.

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Terms and Conditions

Fair and transparent terms that are easy to understand are a must.

This is why we always make sure that we read all the terms of service along with all the poker bonus terms. This is the only way we can ensure that the poker site is not operating with unfavourable terms compared to the industry standard.

Draw Poker vs. Stud Poker: Key Differences

Draw Poker and Stud Poker are two of the most popular variations of the classic card game you can find in online casinos. Each game has its own set of rules and gameplay mechanics, offering players different strategies and experiences.

Draw Poker

In draw poker, players are dealt a complete hand face-down. After the initial deal, players have the opportunity to improve their hands by discarding some or all of their cards and receiving replacements from the deck.

As we’ve already seen earlier on the page, the key here is that the discarded cards are not shown to the others players. It’s like you’re holding your cards close to your chest, keeping your opponents guessing.

Imagine you’re playing a round of 5-Card Draw, the classic poker variant. You receive five cards, and upon evaluating your hand, you decide to discard two cards and draw two new ones. This allows you to improve your chances of getting a stronger hand, like a full house or a straight.

However, keep in mind that your opponents might be doing the same, so the element of surprise is always in play.

Stud Poker

Now, let’s shift gears to stud poker. Unlike draw poker, in stud poker players are dealt a combination of face-up and face-down cards over several rounds of betting. This means that some of your cards are visible to your opponents, while others remain a mystery until the final reveal. It adds an extra layer of strategy and observation of the game.

One popular variant if stud poker is 7-Card Stud, and on the third round of the betting you have two face-down and four face-up.

The face-down cards are called “hole cards”, while the face-up cards are known as “upcards”. As the round progress, players must analyze their own upcards and observe their opponents’ upcards to make informed decisions and strategize their bets accordingly.

Picture this: let’s say you’re playing 7-Card Stud, and on the third round of betting, you have two face-down hole cards and three face-upcards: a Queen, a Nine and a Two. By assessing your upcards and keeping an eye on your opponents’ visible cards, you can make guesses about their potential hands and adjust your own betting strategy.

Both draw poker and stud poker have their own unique charm and gameplay dynamics. Draw poker offers the thrill of keeping your cards secret and potentially improving your hand through strategic discarding and drawing. On the other hand, stud poker brings the excitement of observing your opponents’ visible cards and using that information to your advantage.

So, whether you prefer a clandestine nature of draw poker or the observant strategy of stud poker, Australian online casinos provide a top-notch platform to enjoy both games.

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Types of Online Poker Games

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Cash Games

By far the most common, cash games are the most basic type of online poker with real money.

Games are played at leisure, and you are free to leave at any time. There is no time limit and games are starting and finishing constantly.

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Sit N' Go

Sometimes referred to as SNGs, Sit N’ Gos usually last around an hour and begin when enough players have joined the table.

They are a fantastic introduction to tournament poker, and there are usually low-stakes tables available.

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Fast-Fold Poker

Also known as Zoom, Speed, or Snap and Zone poker, Fast-Fold is perfect for those who don’t like waiting to play online poker.

As soon as you fold a hand, you will be taken to another table and given a new one. This reduces the amount of waiting around you have to do in a regular poker game.

Keep an eye out though – your bankroll can deplete quickly playing Fast-Fold.

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Lottery Sit N' Go

Lottery Sit N’ Gos have become popular in recent years and combine the speed of Fast-Fold with the tournament feel of a Sit N’ Go.

Games are usually over in just ten minutes and tend to attract recreational players. While the prize pot in poker games is usually based on the total amount given by players, in Lottery SNGs, the prize pot is a random multiple of the buy-in.

The most common is 2x, but occasionally you’ll come across exponentially higher than that!

How to Play in a Poker Tournament Online

If you’ve never participated in a poker tournament you might wonder how it all works. Rest assured, we’ll take you through all the steps of an online poker tournament.

A poker tournament starts off with all participating players paying to take part. The amount paid is also the player’s bankroll.

Depending on how many players the tournament fits, there will be multiple tables played at once.

You play against the players at your table, and the goal is to be one of the two last remaining players. As other players leave the table when they are out of chips, the two table winners will be the ones left at the end. Alternatively, if the clock runs out, the two players with the most chips left are called winners. The two table winners then move on to the next segment at a new table, facing winners from the other tables.

The tournament goes on like this until there is a finalist table. At this stage, all players will have large stacks of chips. After all, these players have been collecting winnings from players they’ve faced at multiple tables already.

The pooling of poker chips with the table winners is also the reason why the winner of a poker tournament can get a huge prize in the end. The prize pool is essentially the bankroll of hundreds of poker players that have lost out in earlier stages of the tournament.

The Best Poker Networks for Aussie Players

Which poker network you’re playing on will greatly impact your online poker real money experience. Typically, it’s always best to play on large networks, as that’s where you’ll find the most players. More players mean more tables, and therefore the likelihood of you finding a table suitable to your skill level is greater.

As a novice poker player, you want to play at a table for beginners, as you’ll then have a greater chance to win. At poker networks with few players online, you might find yourself surrounded by professional players.

On the other hand, playing at a small poker network can also be a good thing – if you’re a proficient poker player. You can basically be a big fish in a small pond. However, the prize pools might be smaller.

One of our favourite networks to play online poker in Australia with real money is found at Casinonic.

Best Poker Network
Up to $5,000

Poker Bonuses Available at Real Money Poker Sites

The bankroll you have is crucial to your long-term winning chances when playing poker online. No matter your skill level, you’re bound to run into an unlucky streak sooner or later.

This is why poker bonuses are great, as you get to boost your bankroll’s reach.

Match Deposit Bonus

A match deposit bonus is the most common type of casino bonus you’ll come across. But, before you claim it, make sure it can be used to play peer-to-peer poker. This is not the case at all casinos. Once you have a match deposit bonus made for poker, you can enjoy a severely enhanced bankroll.

Rakeback Bonus

Rakeback is perhaps the most commonly found poker bonus available. As a form of cashback, you’ll get a portion of your rakes back. In the long run, when you’ve played many, many rounds of poker, this can end up being a substantial amount.

Cashback Bonus

Cashbacks are also found at poker sites. Unlike rakebacks, cashbacks are calculated based on your accumulated losses. This means that you need to make deposits, and if you lose your money, you might get a daily, weekly, or monthly cashback. Typically, professional poker players have exclusive cashback deals with their poker sites.

Banking Options when Playing Online Poker in Australia

The best Aussie poker rooms offer a wide range of banking methods including credit cards, debit cards and e-wallets. In recent years, many have also started to accept popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. And all of them count with safety protocols to secure your data.

Be sure to look at the ‘payments’ page of any site you are considering to read up on the minimum and maximum limits, transaction times and if there are any fees attached. Most sites allow you to deposit and withdraw money fee-free, but it’s always best to check. Also, check with your bank if they prevent deposits with bank transfer to gambling sites.

Online Instant Play or Downloading Poker Software – What’s Best?

Some years ago, downloading the poker client from the casino onto your computer was the only way to play. But times have changed, and you can now play instant directly through your browser as well.

Most poker casinos give you the option to play instantly or to download the poker software, so let’s explore which way to play might suit you the best.

Instant Play – Ideal for Casual Poker Players

If you’re a casual poker player that plays mostly for enjoyment, then instant play is the way to go. It’s easy, you can play from any device, and you can seamlessly switch between poker and other casino games.

Nowadays, most players have multiple devices to play on. Desktops or laptops, tablets or mobiles. With instant play, you can play just as easily from any device. This is a great benefit of instant play, as downloads would have to be done individually for every device.

Downloading poker software – Top choice among Pro poker players

Downloading poker software to a computer is still very popular, especially among professional players.

Alongside the poker client, you can run programs that calculate the best possible move for any hand you get, on multiple tables. And yes, professional players may play anything between 5 and 20 tables simultaneously. And without poker software installed, that would be nearly impossible. Besides, this basically has to be done on a computer with a large monitor, or preferably multiple monitors.

If you want to play poker on your mobile, you have two options: downloading a poker app or playing instantly in your browser. Typically, we prefer playing instantly, as it’s more convenient. However, there are pros and cons to both options, and here we’ve listed the factors we consider when choosing to play instant poker.

Pros and Cons of Instant Play

Instant poker tables and games load directly in your browser, allowing you to seamlessly switch between devices. This is great for players who use both their mobile and other devices to play. Plus, you won’t need to update any software or apps to play—everything just works without any maintenance required.

You also have full access to all services and other games offered at the online casino, making it easy to switch between games. This is perfect if, for example, you want to unwind with some spins on a slot between poker tables.

However, instant poker sites do not offer free poker, which is something you often find when playing through a poker app. This could be a disadvantage, especially for novice poker players.

Another thing to consider is that when you play via your browser, the sites you visit, like poker sites, will be saved in your browser history. This is not the case when playing via an app. So, it’s worth considering if you’re sharing devices with others and can’t be bothered to clear your browser history.

  • Pros

  • Seamless device switching
  • No software updates needed
  • Full access to all casino services
  • Cons

  • No free poker
  • Browser history may reveal visited sites

Legality of Real Money Online Poker in Australia

Offering online poker in Australia for real money is prohibited. But, this rule applies to offering poker services online and does not target players.

So playing is legal, but offering online real-money poker rooms is not.

There are many poker sites that do not accept players from Australia, but there are still some that do. These sites are operating from jurisdictions offshore, and hold gambling licenses from other jurisdictions. At these sites, real money online poker is available to Australian players.

Interactive Gambling Act 2001

The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 heavily restricts operators offering online gambling to people in Australia. But as previously mentioned, the law targets the operators themselves, not the players.

While there is a ban on poker for real money in the country, there are exceptions for properly licensed casinos.

The responsibility for adhering to the gambling laws in Australia lies solely with the operators. No Australian has been prosecuted for playing poker – or any other casino game – online.

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Online Poker Hand Rankings

In poker, your goal is to make the best hand possible. Your set of playing cards compared to the other players will define the outcome of the game.

And while there may be some differences between poker games on how the combinations of cards are ranked, the vast majority are played using a standard 52-card deck.

An Ace has the highest ranking of all, followed by a King, a Queen, a Jack, a 10, a 9, and so on. The lowest ranking in the deck is the lowly 2, and the Ace can be used as either high or low when building your hand. For example, both A-2-3-4-5 and 10-J-Q-K-A are perfectly acceptable straights.

Try to familiarise yourself with these winning combinations, presented from the strongest to the weakest. Once you get to know them all, it will be easier to understand all the poker rules.

Poker Hand Description Example Hand
Royal Flush A, K, Q, J, 10 – same suit royal flush
Straight Flush Five sequential cards – same suit straight flush
Four of a Kind Four cards of the same value, one of each suit – fifth card doesn’t matter four of a kind
Full House Three cards of the same value, and a pair of an additional value full house
Flush Five cards of the same suit – any order flush
Straight Five sequential cards – any suit straight
Three of a Kind Three cards of the same value – other two cards don’t matter cards-three-of-kind
Two Pair Two cards of the same value and two cards of a different value – fifth card doesn’t matter cards-two-pair
One Pair Two cards of the same value – other three cards don’t matter cards-one-pair

High Card

None of the above; defer to the highest-value card in the hand

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The Simplicity of 3 Card Poker Games

When playing online poker with real money for the first time, many Australians prefer the 3-card poker variation. The simplicity behind this game makes it perfect to learn, and after a few hands, anyone can understand exactly how the game works.

The first thing you need to know about 3 card poker games is that you play against the dealer, and the hand rankings are slightly different.

Poker hand Description Probability
Straight Flush Three sequential cards of the same suit 0.22%
Three of a Kind Three cards of the same value 0.24%
Straight Three sequential value cards 3.26%
Flush Three cards of the same suit 4.96%
Pair Two cards of the same value 16.94%
High card None of the above; defer to the highest-value card in your hand, eg. King-high 74.39%

How to play 3 card poker games

Once the ante bet has been placed, the dealer will deal three cards each. The player will be able to see their own cards, but the dealer’s will be face down.

Once everyone has seen their cards, you can choose whether to play or fold. If you choose to play, you will then have to stake a play bet. This is usually equal to the initial ante bet. If you choose to fold, the hand is over.

Remember, folding is not the same as losing. Folding is simply shutting down the round if you think you’re beat, and it’s the perfect way to protect your bankroll in this situation.

Basic 3 card poker strategy suggests that players fold on any hand lower than Queen, 6, 4.

Assuming you have chosen to play your hand, the game will then move to a showdown. In order for the dealer to play, their hand must have a Queen-high or better. The probability of the dealer having a Queen or better is around 70%, so expect them to play more often than not.

If the dealer has a hand lower than a Queen-high, you will receive the original ante payout at 1:1. Your play bet will also be returned, as the game is said to be a tie.

If the dealer has a Queen-high or better, their hand will be compared to yours. Whoever has the higher poker hand will win. If you win, both the ante and play bets are paid out at a rate in line with the game’s paytable.

Some 3 card poker games allow side bets like Pairs Plus. These side bets have high payouts, but that’s because they are unlikely to payoff. The house edge for the side bets is high, so it’s usually best to avoid them.

Struggling with the Basics? Learn How to Play Poker from Zero

The first step is to make an initial bet, which is commonly known as the ante. At Australian poker rooms, this bet is often a minimum of $1, but it may be more depending on your poker room of preference. Always remember to choose a poker table which aligns with the size of your casino bankroll.

You’ll also find blind bets, which are required from the two players to the left of the dealer. The first player usually pays the small blind, and the next one will pay the big blind (usually the double amount of the first bet).

Note that at online 5 card games, the role of dealer is rotated among the players. Since the cards are dealt automatically, it bears no real effect on the game beyond dictating who’ll pay the blind bets.

Phase 1: The deal

Once the bets are on the table, the dealer distributes the cards to all players and you’ll have an idea of the kind of hand you might be able to build. If you’re lucky, you might even have a strong poker hand within your initial cards.

When all players have seen their own cards there is another betting round, also known as the ‘pre-draw’. In this round, each player decides between the following actions:

  • Fold: to withdraw from the game and forfeit any previously-made bets.
  • Check: to remain in the game without placing a bet.
  • Bet: to wager some money – all players must match this bet amount to remain in the game.
  • Call: to match another players bet in order to stay in the game.
  • Raise: to match and then exceed another player’s bet. Again, all players must match this new bet level if they wish to remain in the game.

Phase 2: The draw

Once all players have made their decisions, the draw phase begins. Moving clockwise around the table, each player must then decide how many cards from their initial deck they’d like to exchange for newly drawn ones. Players can choose to exchange any number of cards or not swap them at all.

This draw phase gives players the chance to improve their hand by taking a risk. Once the cards have been discarded, the dealer will deal until the player has a full deck again.

Phase 3: The Showdown

After the draw phase, each betting round follows the same pattern, and assuming that more than one player remains after the final betting round, the game moves to a showdown. Players will reveal their cards and whoever has the strongest hand wins the pot.

That’s right. Many players like to perform the bluff strategy, which consists in making other players believe that they have a good card combination. It’s an act of deception that aims to make a weak hand look more valuable than it actually is. And if they get all players to withdraw from the game, they win.

Glossary of Online Poker Terms

Online Poker Australia FAQs

Is it legal to play poker for real money in Australia?

It is perfectly legal for Australian players to play real money poker on the internet at safe sites like the ones featured here. Australian gambling laws restrict who can own and operate poker sites but place no such restrictions on the players. Rest assured, you will not be prosecuted for playing poker for AUD online.

Where can I play real money online poker?

There are several online casinos that offer real money poker to Australian players. Our top picks can be found at the top of this page. There you can also read about their poker game offerings, bonuses, and other services.

Are the free poker apps any good, and legal?

Free poker apps are completely legal, as there is no real money gambling involved. And, they are great for players that just want the entertainment of playing poker. The downside is, naturally, that you can’t win real money.

Can I win real money when playing online poker?

Yes, as long as you play real money online poker you can win real money. There are no limits to how much you can win, and your winning chances are determined by your skill level. Just make sure you pick a poker table suitable to your skills and your bankroll.

Do I need a VPN to play online poker in Australia?

No, using a VPN is not needed, as many poker sites are open to Australian players. However, many Aussie players feel more comfortable using a VPN to hide their location when gambling online. If you do this, ensure that the poker site you play at allows for VPNs to be used, as not all do.

Other Casino Guides

If poker isn’t the game for you, head over to our other casino guides to find a better fit:

Find the best casino sites with thousands of real money pokies.

Our experts ranked the top real money casinos for Aussie players.

Play whenever and wherever on the best mobile casino sites.

Find the online casino sites with the highest payouts.

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Eve Luneborg


Eve Luneborg has been working in the iGaming industry since 2014. She started out spending some years working for one of the leading online casinos in the world, based in Malta. Then, for the last seven years, she’s been sharing her experience and expertise with other players. Eve specializes in writing in-depth game guides, expert casino reviews, and how-to guides explaining how casinos and processes work.

Here at Gamble Online Australia, Eve makes sure that casino reviews and other articles are spot-on and correct for us Aussies. You can also gain insights into her thoughts about the industry by reading her weekly blog posts.

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