As we entered the internet age and online gambling became all the rage, the Irish government felt that the country’s outdated gambling laws needed to be modernized. The Gambling Control Bill was drafted and subsequently passed in 2013. This legislation was designed to regulate gambling rather than making it illegal and it contained provisions that ensure fairness and protect consumers. With the Gambling Control Bill in effect, almost all forms of gambling were legalized both on land and on the internet.
These days, there are several card rooms operating throughout the country and even some of the casinos dedicate space for poker. Of course, attendance at these brick-and-mortar venues is just a drop in the bucket compared to the number of poker players that play online. Irish online poker players are very fortunate in that they have a huge selection of very reputable online poker sites to play at.
The new legislation might have made land-based casinos legal again but the number of casino licenses was capped at 40 and the number of table games that each one can operate is limited. The latest piece of legislation came in the form of the Betting Act of 2015 which put the rules in place for online bookmakers. As it stands, Ireland boasts some of the most modern gambling laws and players enjoy a very high level of player protection.
Recently, a proposal to draft a new general scheme of the Gambling Control Bill has been put forward. The biggest change that can be expected would be the creation of a single independent regulator that would be tasked with overseeing the industry including gambling advertising, sports sponsorships, and focusing on consumer protection and vulnerable people. Another change that has had a significant impact on Ireland’s gambling industry is a recent hike in the betting tax.
Despite impending amendments to legislation and tax increases, Irish online poker players won’t really be impacted and they can expect to continue enjoying fully-legalized access to the best online poker sites in the world. Along with the current explosion of mobile device usage, the future of online poker in Ireland appears to be very bright. This is great news for poker fans, online poker operators, and a government that relies on gambling taxes to fill its shrinking coffers.
As mentioned, Irish online poker players are blessed with having one of the biggest selections of excellent online poker rooms to choose from. With such heavy competition in the market, players can also benefit from the great bonuses that seem to be getting more attractive by the day. Players can expect all sorts of extras like deposit bonuses, free tournament tickets, and other special promotional deals.
Playing at online poker sites that are licensed and regulated in the most reputable jurisdictions ensures that players are dealing with poker sites that operate according to the highest industry standards. Unlike online poker players in some other countries, Irish online poker players don’t need to take their chances with less-reliable sites. Those who do a little bit of research will quickly find a trustworthy online poker site that suits them perfectly.
There are plenty of great sites that feature low-stakes games just as there are plenty of options for players who prefer to play for the bigger bucks. Many of these sites offer a lot more than traditional hold’em and Omaha games and a lot of these online poker sites give even the greenest of players the opportunity to win huge cash prizes.
Easy instant deposits, hassle-free withdrawals, and excellent customer service are a few of the other important traits that the best online poker sites boast. These sites do all that they can to make you want to sign up and play so players should take full advantage so that they can get the most out of their online poker playing experience. Let’s take a look at the top 10 online poker sites in Ireland and what they have to offer.
Top 10 Poker Sites in Ireland
Was once one of the powerhouses in the online poker world. However, in recent years it has feel from that status and now finds itself in the middle of the pack. Possibly due to poor promotions for its players. This has changed in the last year and now 888 Poker is becoming the most popular poker site in Ireland.
200% up to $2500
BetOnline.ag currently have one of the fastest growing Online Poker sites. This is largely due to the popularity among US poker players as they find BetOnline Poker the most trustworthy brand in the current US poker market.
£40 Free Play
Party Poker is one of the most trusted online poker sites in the world. It has been the ideal location for beginners players to start their poker journey.
100% upto €1000
Boyle Poker is a fairly unknown outside Ireland, but due to running some big poker tournament in Ireland and also having betting shops in most towns, Boyle Poker is a respectable brand and a good choice for Irish Poker players.
100% upto $500
Bovada is part of the Bodog brand and is one of the most popular and trustworthy poker sites still operating in the US Poker market. Read our Bovada Poker review to see why its so popular.
200% upto $1000
Intertops has been running a successful online poker and online casino site for many years now. It has never had its time in the sun yet, as it has always been a middle of the road type gambling site. Although in our opinion a very solid poker site for US poker players if they can get over the fact its usually little dated.
100% upto £500 + £20 extra
Unibet is one of the most trustworthy gambling brands that offer poker. It has been promoting poker longer than me and that says a lot. Very popular in the UK and Europe and you can see why with how popular any live tournament Unibet run are. Good choice for UK players.
100% upto $1000
TigerGaming Poker is part of the Chico Poker Network. Although the Chico Poker Network is US friendly, TigerGaming Poker doesn't accept players from the US. TigerGaming is one of the fastest growing online poker sites at the minute, and we believe it's because they are offering plenty of promotions for new and old players. Good option for poker players in UK, Canada and Europe.
100% upto $600
FullTilt Poker was once the biggest challenge to the PokerStars crown for largest online poker site. A lot has happened since then, and now PokerStars and Fulltilt belong on the same network since Pokerstars bought them over. Personally I prefer PokerStars but today it really comes down to which graphics you prefer as both sites are pretty much the same today.
With so many competitors in the online poker industry, you are forgiven if you haven’t heard of Everest Poker. Despite not being the most recognizable brand names, Everest Poker is one of the best sites in the world. Irish players who visit Everest Poker will quickly discover that the site has pretty much anything they could possibly ask for.
The layouts on both desktop and mobile versions are first-rate and there is a great selection of games to suit almost any budget. Players can enjoy a variety of cash games, sit & gos, and plenty of daily, weekly, and monthly tournaments.
Some people might point out that Everest Poker is one of the few sites that don’t currently offer a welcome bonus but this shortcoming is well made up for by the many ongoing promotions and superior rewards program through which players can get up to €2,000 and free tickets into tournaments. Everest Poker’s Shasta Sit & Go tournaments give new players a chance to win real cash prizes without spending any money.
One of their most popular ongoing promotions gives players free entry into tournaments that offer guaranteed cash prizes ranging from €1,000 up to €5,000 every time they deposit a minimum of €10.
888poker is one of the largest online poker sites in the world and it continues to attract new players while keeping their current customer base quite happy. One of the first things that visitors to the site will be struck by is the €88 no-deposit bonus that is offered. Simply open a new account and claim the bonus to instantly receive €1 along with a pair of €0.50 tournament tickets. You will then receive a pair of €0.50 every day for the following six days. The other €80 in bonuses is released in €8 increments consisting of €1 in bonus cash and fourteen €0.50 tournament tickets every time you earn 250 player points.
They also offer a sweet 100% match bonus up to €400 to those who make their first deposit. First-time depositors will also receive 7 tickets into 888poker’s €500 First Depositor Freerolls along with two tickets into their €1,000 First Depositor Freeroll. As generous as this offer is, 888poker goes one step further by giving players a ticket into 888poker’s exclusive First Depositor Challenge tournament where seats into their weekly Sunday Challenge are up for grabs.
These bonuses as well as 888poker’s regular promotions, top-notch customer service, and selection of games make 888poker a great poker site for Irish players.
Unibet is among the biggest names in the online betting industry with over 11 million customers scattered throughout over 100 countries. Unibet is licensed by the Government of Gibraltar and the UK Gambling Commission so you can be certain that they operate to the highest industry standards. It doesn’t matter if it’s their extensive online casino, their award-winning sportsbook or any of their other products such as their online poker platform, the Unibet brand is synonymous with excellence.
Irish players can start playing in a matter of minutes by signing up, downloading their desktop or mobile platform, and making an instant deposit using any of the convenient payment options. Take a shot at a piece of the €64,000 in cash that is being given away in Unibet’s €64,000 High Stakes Flop Race or win a part of the €1,000 in prizes that are being awarded in Unibet’s Sports Freerolls.
There are Daily Bounty Freerolls and players have a shot at winning €400 if the luck of the Irish eludes them and they lose €200 or more in any given week. Irish online poker players that are looking to win massive cash prizes can qualify for the International Poker Open Dublin 2018. There are loads of daily satellites running with buy-ins starting at €5.50.
BetSafe has been one of the most trusted online poker sites in the world since it was launched in 2006. This site sees a great deal of traffic and their short-handed tables have proven to be quite attractive to those who like a bit of a faster pace. BetSafe Poker offers their customers a good selection of games with a wide range of stakes. Be it cash games, sit & gos or tournaments, there is always something going on and the volume of active players means that there is no need to wait around to get into a game.
Irish online poker players who like to get something for nothing just need to open an account and they will be given a staggering 28 Level 1 Tournament tickets that give them plenty of chances to win valuable cash prizes. BetSafe’s selection of micro-stakes games are the perfect place for beginners to start and those who play in $0.05/$0.10 cash games can win free tournament tickets.
Many satisfied BetSafe Poker customers rave about BetSafe Poker’s VIP Blackgold Rewards program through which players are eligible to earn money back no matter how much or how little they spend. Irish players who make their first deposit have a number of welcome bonuses available to choose from and they will also receive a free ticket into BetSafe’s Top 10 Poker Sites in Ireland888 New Player Freeroll.
PokerStars is the biggest name in online poker and they continue to set the standards by offering a growing list of games that suit all budgets, huge events with massive cash prizes, superior customer service, and an array of bonuses and promotions that attract new players while keeping their existing customer base happy. Hundreds of players are always at the tables no matter what time it is which means that you will never have to wait to get into the action be it a cash game, tournament, sit & go or any of their other games like their popular Spin & Go games.
Irish online poker players who are looking to have the best online poker experience just need to take a minute or two to sign up, make a deposit, and claim their First Deposit Bonus up to $600 or their $30 First Depositor Bonus. The great thing about these bonuses is that they are actually among the easiest bonuses to turn into real money which will give your real money account a big boost.
It doesn’t matter if you are a high roller or a player of more modest means, the Star Rewards program offers plenty of value and the guaranteed cash prizes that are available every week gives everyone something to shoot for.
Partypoker came onto the scene in 2001 and quickly became the largest poker site until 2006. Today, Partypoker is still among the best online poker sites on the planet and attracts a high volume of traffic around the clock. Partypoker likes to spice things up by experimenting with new games and formats much to the delight of players who like to try new things. Like other top sites, Partypoker has micro-stakes cash games and tournaments as well as many ways to earn free tournament tickets.
If you open a new account right now and make a deposit you can get your hands on their $22 Welcome Bonus which comes in the form of $22 worth of tournament tickets. That might not seem like much but once Irish players realize how many promotions are constantly running they will definitely be impressed.
Partypoker gives away millions of dollars in guaranteed prizes every week and players can also win their way into the $5,300 buy-in MILLIONS Online which is coming up quickly. There are also numerous other regular tournaments that serve up huge guaranteed prizes. An enjoyable poker experience, as well as a very good rewards program, await you at Partypoker. This site is ideal for poker players of any skill level or budget.
Bwin is another industry heavyweight that is well established and has earned an excellent reputation. It launched in 1999 and has built a huge base of satisfied customers from all over the globe. While most players seem to congregate at Texas Hold’em tables, Bwin offers several other games and they have tournaments of all kinds starting every few minutes. The graphic environment might not blow you away but you will be more than happy with the ease and functionality that is complemented by some handy features.
A lot of good players can be found here but Bwin is also a very good online poker site for those who are starting out. Players of any caliber can test their mettle by playing in the Power Series which offers a guaranteed prize pool of $10 million each and every week. There are a few different ways to win cash and tournament tickets in ladder-style competitions such as the Casual Cash Game Challenge and Bwin Poker’s $10,000 Race.
The Monster Series is also quite popular among those who want to win big chunks of cash for minimal buy-ins and their 40% Cashback Offer is among the best deals you will find.
Compared to some of the other sites that have been mentioned, GG Poker hasn’t been around all that long but it is establishing a reputation as a very good site that is ideal for novices and those who enjoy the social side of poker. GG Poker focuses on the player experience and they do a great job at protecting newer players.
GG Poker does not tolerate predatory behavior and they think nothing of banning players that take advantage of others. With the exception of GG Poker’s in-house PokerCraft tool, all forms of third-party poker aids are strictly forbidden and offenders will be banned.
Features like All-In Insurance and the ability to stake other players in tournaments add a new dimension to playing here. GG Poker’s 200% Welcome Bonus up to $1,000 is one of the most generous welcome bonuses available and an assortment of other regular promotions allow players to get a lot of added value.
One of their more popular promotions is the Weekly Missions in which players are given a daily choice of missions to complete. They are tasked with things like being dealt pocket aces, winning with a full house or playing a set number of Omaha hands.
Players who are able to complete five missions in a week are given a free ticket into GG Poker’s weekly Mission Complete $5,000 Freeroll and they will start the tournament with 2,000 chips. Those who complete six missions start the tournament with 4,000 chips and those who complete seven or more missions start with 10,000 chips.
BetOnline Poker has something for players of all calibers and budgets. This site might not generate a huge amount of traffic but it is slowly attracting more players who appreciate great graphics, valuable bonuses, and helpful customer service that is available around the clock. Irish online poker players who sign up for a new account will have their first deposit matched up to $1,000.
After making your deposit, simply send an email to the customer service team at email@example.com and put NEWBOL in the email’s subject line. First-time depositors will also receive a free ticket into BetOnline’s New Depositor Freeroll which boasts a whopping $10,000 prize pool.
If you are ever going to suffer a bad beat then you want to have it happen at BetOnline Poker. If you are playing in any Omaha or Hold’em cash game and your quad jacks or better gets shot down in flames then you can actually rejoice because that means you win a piece of the Bad Beat Jackpot which starts out at $100,000 and can grow into the millions. There is also $1,100 in cash to be won every day in BetOnline Poker’s Daily Cash Race and Irish poker fans who play in sit & go tournaments have a shot at a weekly $5,275 prize pool.
Paddy Power Poker
It was a lock that Paddy Power Poker would end up on this list as they are perhaps the most notable Irish operator. Founded in 1988, Paddy Power was originally a bookmaker but they have found a lot of success with their online casino, online bingo, and online poker. Paddy Power takes a lot of pride in being able to offer the greatest selection of games and catering to players of all levels of skill.
Paddy Power Poker makes you a winner as soon as you open an account and make your first deposit. Paddy Power will welcome new players with €20 worth of bonuses and they will match your first deposit up to €200. First deposits will also be rewarded with a pair of €5 Twister tickets, a €5 Mobile Heads-up ticket, and a €5 No-Lose Tournament ticket.
Irish players will love the wonderful and responsive graphics and those who join the VIP Club will earn rewards points for every €1 that they spend in rake. These points can be turned into prizes or cash. Poker players can also earn spins on the bonus wheel in Paddy Power’s Cash Climber promotion and they can win a share of the €12,500 prize pool in Twister Race.
Beginners can also take advantage of Paddy Power’s Poker School which teaches everything from the basics all the way up to advanced strategies.
While the online poker sites that we have mentioned are all very good, it should be noted that there are several other online sites that could have made the list. However, we limited our review to only the top 10 and hence other poker rooms like Coral, Bet365, Ladbrokes and Grosvenor Casinos had to be left off. Many factors went into selecting the top 10 poker sites in Ireland such as player traffic, graphics, and customer service as well as game variety, stakes, and the bonuses and promotions that are offered.
It is important for Irish online poker players to research online poker sites before they sign up and commit real cash. You want to be certain that they have the kinds of games that you like to play and be sure that they have the kinds of stakes that you are comfortable playing with. Bonuses and promotions can be very attractive but it is crucial that you look beyond them when choosing the best online poker site for you.
You are also strongly advised to read and understand the terms and conditions that apply to any bonus or promotion that you are planning to get in on. The fact is that some bonuses simply aren’t worth claiming due to ridiculous rollover requirements and puny win limits. The most important things are that you have fun playing and you stay within your limits.