The latest innovation with playing online poker is using bitcoin (virtual money) rather than a credit card (flat money.) For the uninitiated, a logical question is “How do I buy chips to bet with if I don’t have real money?”. The answer is that you buy virtual chips with your virtual money.
Why Would I Want to Play Poker with Virtual Money?
The next question is, “Why would I want to play with virtual money?” Once you get past the strangeness of playing with something that doesn’t equal your national currency, it really makes a lot of sense. (There is a bitcoin market which sets the bitcoin’s value relative to the US dollar.) Once you have exchanged your flat money for bitcoins (BTC), there is no identifier that obviously tracks back to you. Thus, cryptocurrency skirts the government regulations that would outlaw online poker or tax earnings.
There are several other reasons to bet with bitcoin:
• Most bitcoin casinos do not charge transaction fees and offer unlimited daily transactions.
• Some bitcoin casinos are advertising large jackpots and earning huge profits. The lower overhead has freed up the extra money.
• Some casinos have customized several standard poker games with new rules and procedures which may or may not be legal.
• Profits and losses are not visible to the legal government agencies unless you choose to tell them.
How would I Know it’s a Bitcoin casino?
The types of currency accepted is posted on the casino’s website. A bitcoin casino is any online casino that accepts bitcoin instead of, or in addition to, flat money. In addition to regular casino games, bitcoin casinos offer a wide variety of other betting opportunities. Among other options, they can offer sports-based betting online lotteries, and spread betting.
I’m Ready to Play Bitcoin Poker. What do I Do?
For the purpose of this example, we are going to use the Coinbase Exchange to buy bitcoin, and Blockchain to sign up for a wallet (where you keep your bitcoin). There are many options for either of these transactions.
Sign up for a Coinbase Account
– go to their website and open an account. You will need a name, email address and password. Make your password as random as possible. Do not use the same password as the one you have used somewhere else. Bitcoin is money and, therefore, a popular site for hackers. Coinbase will give you a confirmation email. You are ready to get started.
– As soon as you log in, Coinbase will ask you if you want to add two-factor authentication. It will add an extra layer of security to your account. You should do this, once again, because of the risk of hacking. From this point forward, you will have to enter a PIN code from your cell phone to gain access. Unauthorized users will need to know both your password and you PIN to gain access to your account. You are also allowed to enter the phone number of a friend or relative as a backup phone in case you lose your phone.
Link Your Bank Account with Coinbase
- BTC must be purchased with flat money. Link your bank account with Coinbase. You can also link the debit card associated with that bank account.
You are now ready to start playing poker.