Bitcoin Poker Guide - The Ins & Outs of Using Bitcoin Banking
Around the world there is lower demand for Bitcoin deposits. This is because regular payment methods, for example using a Visa or MasterCard, are so straightforward. Plenty of players are deciding that separating their personal banking from online gaming is a positive. For this reason, I expect to see Bitcoin deposits around the world increasing.
Pros and Cons of Bitcoin Poker Deposits
The biggest advantage of using Bitcoin is that this currency is decentralized. It is not owned or controlled by a single organization or government entity. This means that poker sites can use it without worry about blocks or bans. Once you have set up and funded a Bitcoin wallet, you will find this payment option very easy to use. It can also be used for withdrawals. Once your winnings are received (a very quick process), you should have no problem sending these back to your personal bank account via an exchange.
Volatility is often cited as the biggest drawback of using Bitcoin for online poker deposits. The mainstream press love to report highs and lows, and do make a big deal over changes in value. If you track the prices closely, you’ll find they are usually within a couple of percent on a daily basis. You’ll only hold BTC for a couple of hours, making this less of an issue. You will need to sign up for a Bitcoin wallet and fund it. Both of these steps only take a few minutes. A final disadvantage is that not all poker sites are ready for Bitcoin. The offshore sites welcoming US players do accept this.
How to Deposit with Bitcoin
This section outlines the steps needed to play real money poker using Bitcoin deposits.
First up, you need a player account. Choose a legitimate site, make sure you are getting a good poker bonus deal and register.
Separately, you’ll need to get a Bitcoin wallet. There are online wallets which are suitable for smaller transactions. Reputable wallets include Bitwala.io and blockchain.info. The signup process is easy, with only an e-mail address needed.
Next you need to get some Bitcoin into your wallet. If you know someone who has some then you can get this sent direct. If not then you’ll need to use an exchange, like coinbase.com. This allows you to send a bank transfer, which will be exchanged to BTC.
Remember, this setup is a one-off. Once you have a Bitcoin wallet and a way of funding it, you will be able to make gambling transactions quickly and easily any time you wish.
Back to the poker site and you’ll need to go to their cashier. Bitcoin deposits require a ‘receiver’s id’. When you choose BTC deposits you’ll be given one of these. This takes 2 forms. One is a long string of letters and numbers, the other is a QR code, which works with mobile phones.
You then go back to your wallet, choose ‘send Bitcoin’ and use the receiver id you were given as the recipient. The transaction is very quick, less than a minute for small amounts, and no more than 10 minutes for larger transactions.
Once the poker site receives the Bitcoin, this will be swapped into US dollars. You play in this currency and keep your balance this way. When you come to cash out your funds, this dollar balance is converted back to Bitcoin. Unlike the exchange rates used by banks, there will not be a large ‘spread’ for anyone to make a profit from. Keep in mind that the exchange rate of dollars and Bitcoins could have changed between your initial deposit and withdrawing your profits.
When you withdraw, you will go to your own wallet and create a receivers Id. This is then given to the poker site along with your withdrawal request. Options for getting the money out of your BTC wallet back to your bank include using an exchange, or sometimes (if offered) via a prepaid Visa card linked to your wallet.