How to play card games for real money online

There are many different options when it comes to playing card games online for real money. However, there are only a handful of online gambling sites which offer not only a great range of casino games and/or virtual poker tables, but which also meet the very highest standards for financial security, gaming integrity and customer service.


Best real money card game sites for international players

This page is a guide for international readers on how to play all of the most popular real cash card games online – as well as some of the more obscure ones. We will also cover essential information like how to safely deposit and withdraw money at Internet casinos and online poker rooms, plus the key criteria to look out for when choosing a real money gambling site.

For Australians, this page is intended for informational purposes only. As of September 2017, online gambling is no longer legal in Australia due to the Interactive Gaming Amendment Bill 2016.

Best real money casinos & poker rooms for Australians

The most important part of playing real money card games online is selecting a trustworthy, secure gambling site. At, we only recommend operators which are fully licensed and regulated by a recognised government authority. We also make sure each of these sites uses up-to-date security systems and anti-fraud checks, offers top-shelf software and gaming platforms, and accepts Australian dollars.

Trusted poker sites – Our number one real money poker site is 888 Poker Australia, which runs thousands of cash games, online tournaments and sit-n-go poker events every day. – This is one of the world’s most extensive online poker networks, with an enormous range of game styles, betting structures and stake limits available for desktop and mobile poker play. – Another heavyweight on the Australian gambling market, Full Tilt Poker offers both traditional ring games and cash tournaments alongside supercharged fast-action formats like Rush Poker.

Top 5 online casinos

All Slots Casino – Is a quality online casino that is available for instant-play and downloadable software. It has a somewhat outdated interface, but offers an impressive selection of live dealer card games and RNG card games, all from legendary software developer, Microgaming. New customers can score up to $1600 in bonus bets spread out over your first few real money deposits. – Another slick instant play casino which makes use of Microgaming software, Jackpot City offers a very tidy selection of popular card games like blackjack, baccarat, casino hold’em and more. – Few Internet casinos cater for the online gambling market like G’day, which uses multiple software providers for an extremely diverse range of digital and live dealer card games. – Renowned for fairness and reliability, world-class customer service and an extensive library of online card games, Royal Vegas is our top-ranked Web casino. – Like Royal Vegas and Casino-Mate, 7 Sultans is fully powered by Microgaming – the leading developer of casino card games for online gambling sites.

How to play real money card games and poker online

Many would argue that poker is the purest form of online gaming, as you play against other people rather than pitting your wits against a machine or a dealer who holds a slight mathematical advantage. It is certainly among the best-known avenues for Internet card play, and one of the few that can translate to fame and fortune in the world of the brick-and-mortar gaming. Just ask the likes of Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer, both of whom won the World Series of Poker Main Event after qualifying through online satellite tournaments.

Online poker rooms run thousands of real-time games every day, most of which fall under one of these formats:

Cash games or ring games, where you can buy in and cash out at any time

Sit & go tournaments (SNGs), which start as soon as the required number of entrants join

– Scheduled multi-table tournaments (MTTs), which can include traditional freezeouts, rebuy tourneys, heads-up poker, knockout bounties, shootouts and more

– And satellite events, where the top prize is usually free entry to a larger, more lucrative poker tournament

Popular Internet poker games

There are three common variants which are available at just about every real money poker site on the Net:

Texas hold’em is the king of all online poker styles. Players each receive two hole cards, while a total of five community cards are dealt in three phases (flop, river and turn) between four betting rounds. The aim is to form the best possible five-card poker hand using combination of pocket cards and upcards.

Omaha ranks second only to holdem poker in worldwide popularity these days. The run of play is almost identical to its more famous cousin, except each player takes four hole cards and must use exactly two of those (in conjunction with three from the board) when forming their strongest five-card hand.

Seven card stud was once the game of choice for home poker, and it remains a popular option even after the online hold’em boom of the early 2000s. Players are dealt a total of seven cards each (four facing up, three facing down) over five betting rounds.

Omaha and stud poker can also be played using low hands – i.e. where you try to create the least valuable poker hand. Omaha hi/lo and stud hi/lo, which use both the high hands and California lowball hands (Ace to Five low), are very popular at poker sites. Razz is a variation of seven card stud where only the low poker hands are considered.

Other real cash poker games online include:

– Five card draw
– Courchevel
– Five card Omaha
– 2-7 triple draw
– 2-7 single draw
– Badugi
– Mixed games (HORSE, triple stud, etc.)

Playing online blackjack for real money

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino card game around the world. Unfortunately, land-based casino operators have exploited this fact by topping up their 21 games with some ludicrous conditions. Nowadays, the best way to play real money blackjack is to jump online and sign up at a trusted Internet casino.

These secure gambling sites are better value than b&m casinos in more ways than one; for not only are the house edges much lower, but you also get a far greater variety of games, massive sign-up bonuses which far exceed any comps you would normally get, and you don’t have to waste money on travel, parking, overpriced drinks, or accommodation.

Best real cash 21 games

Classic Blackjack is, quite simply, one of the best value 21 games you will find anywhere in the world today. It uses only a single deck and comes with a house edge of only 0.13% when playing with basic strategy. To put that into perspective, the most liberal land-based blackjack games favour the casino by more than 0.50% these days.

European Blackjack Redeal is a unique Microgaming Gold Series release where you can opt to throw in your hand and draw new cards. Taking the redeal option will cost you, however, with the exact price depending on how bad your cards are and how good the dealer’s hand is.

Live Dealer Blackjack is available at leading online casinos like any of those recommended in the casino table above. These games feature real cards, proper casino tables and living, breathing dealers, all streamed to your desktop in High Definition. This is as close as you can get to traditional casino blackjack without leaving the house.

Spanish Blackjack is very much like British pontoon, with all 10-spot cards removed from the deck. Microgaming’s digital version of Spanish 21 comes with a ton of player-friendly features – including the ‘double down rescue’ rule, where you can surrender at any time, and numerous bonus payouts.

All of these games and dozens more are available at top Microgaming casinos such as All Slots Casino.

More popular casino card games

Baccarat: James Bond’s game of choice ranks among the best-loved card games at our favourite online casinos. The aim is to predict which hand – Player or Banker – will come closest to a total of nine points, with Aces counting as one and 10s and face cards worth zero. Titles such as High-Limit Baccarat and Live Dealer Baccarat are especially popular with the big spenders

Casino hold’em: This condensed version of Texas holdem is now one of the most widely available card games at international casino sites. There is only one betting round, and the dealer must draw a pair of Fours or better in order to qualify. Wins are awarded according to a fixed payout chart, and there is also an AA Bonus side bet which salutes when you snag Aces or better.

Three card poker: This is an even simpler form of table poker than casino hold’em. Both the player and the dealer get three cards, with the latter’s turned face down. You can decide whether to play on with an extra bet, or to fold and forfeit your ante, bearing in mind that the house needs at least Queen high to qualify. There’s a Pairs Plus side bet which pays when you win with pairs or better, as well as an Ante Bonus for straights, threes of a kind and flushes.

Caribbean stud: Based on five-card draw poker, Caribbean stud is easy to play and shares much in common with three-card poker and casino holdem poker – including ante bets, a single bet/fold option, and a payout chart with specific odds for each type of winning hand. The highlight here, however, is the progressive jackpot side bet, which can pay tens of thousands of dollars should you draw a royal flush.

Pai gow poker: This adaptation of the ancient Chinese tile game asks players to form two hands from seven cards – a high hand of five cards, and a low hand of two. Both are ranked by standard high-hand poker rules, and the aim is to beat each of the dealer’s high and low hands. With lots of ties (i.e. win one hand, lose the other) and a relaxed rate of play, real money pai gow provides a nice change of pace from blackjack and other fast-action table poker varieties.

Other real cash casino card games:

– Casino war
– High speed poker
– Oasis poker
– Poker pursuit
– Pontoon
– Punto banco
– Red dog
– Top card trumps
– Triple pocket hold’em

How to deposit real cash at online casinos & poker sites

Having a secure, easy way to cash up your playing account is essential for real money casino and poker games. Most sites accept credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, prepaid cash vouchers and instant banking for fast deposits which are processed on the spot, while direct bank transfers and good old-fashioned money wires are usually available upon request. On average, a regular online casino supports all the following methods and more for deposits:

– Visa
– MasterCard
– EntroPay
– Maestro
– Electron
– Neteller
– Skrill Moneybookers
– EcoPayz
– ClickandBuy
– Citadel Instant Banking
– Paysafecard
– Wire transfer
– Direct bank transfer

To make a secure cash deposit, just log in to the casino or poker site, head to the ‘Banking’ or ‘Cashier’ section, select your preferred method and follow the prompts. The same goes with cashing out, although there are usually fewer options in order to keep things simpler from the operator’s end. Real money withdrawals can take a few days to clear, but only because trusted casinos and poker sites practice strict adherence to all anti-fraud laws to ensure you get every cent of your winnings.

Licensing & regulation

Security and legitimacy should be right at the top of your checklists when looking for a place to play real money card games online. You only want to frequent sites which are fully licensed and regulated by a bona fide governmental gaming authority. Trusted licensing bodies include the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), the Gambling Commission, Curacao eGaming, and government departments of UK dependencies such as Gibraltar and the Isle of Man.

SSL digital encryptions

Every one of our recommended card gaming sites employs a certified SSL (Secure Socket Layer) digital encryption. This is an advanced online security protocol which makes sure your personal details and banking information don’t fall into the wrong hands. SSL is the same kind of technology used by many of the world’s leading financial institutions for Internet banking services, so you know you can trust it.

Game resting & eCOGRA

Top casino software brands like Microgaming, Net Entertainment, BetSoft and Play’n Go all use top-of-the-line random number generators (RNGs) to ensure their games perform to the most natural, incorruptible standards possible. The same goes for poker sites like 888Poker and PokerStars, which use their own in-house gaming software.

Nevertheless, you want to make sure you only play real money games at websites which audit their game catalogues and software systems regularly. The most respected operators call on third-party testers several times a year to ensure their products are running at maximum capacity.

The best-known of these testing agencies is eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance), which leads the way for Internet casino regulation. Other trusted names include iTech Labs, Gaming Associates, BMM Compliance and GLI Test Labs (formerly Technical Systems Testing).

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