Pros and Cons of Depositing with PayPal
The main advantage of this system is not the protection or ease of use – though these are both worth a mention. The main advantage is that many more people already have a PayPal account than any other similar system. While you’ll likely need to start from scratch with a Bitcoin wallet or 3rd party system like Neteller or Skrill – PayPal is used by many more people.
3rd Party ‘eWallets’ provide a secure bridge between your bank and the poker sites. While most poker rooms are completely fair and reputable, many players still prefer not to hand over their personal bank information. With PayPal, you never need to type your credit or debit card number into a poker site cashier. In fact, the deposit process involves leaving the cashier and logging in to your PayPal account separately to initiate the payment.
One more advantage is that you can keep your poker bankroll and your personal finances separate. By keeping a portion of your money in PayPal, you’ll be able to take advantage of poker bonuses and promotions as they crop up without having to consider your bank account at all.
While this deposit option is mostly very positive, there are some disadvantages. The first one is that only a small number of the biggest poker sites accept this. Outside of the public companies (for example www.888.com Poker), not too many sites take PayPal.
Fees are also something to keep in mind. With PayPal, you pay a small fee on the money coming into the account. If you win at the tables and then withdraw, you can expect a small slice to be removed before it hits your balance. This is not a huge amount, though if you use PayPal regularly, it can start to add up.
How to Deposit with PayPal?
This section of the page gives a high-level overview of how to deposit with PayPal for players who have never used this method before.
I’ll start with the assumption that you have already chosen an online poker site. If not then check out the biggest and best rooms on our Poker Sites page! You’ll need to sign up for a player account. Remember to use information that matches your documentation for this – as most reputable poker rooms ask for proof of Id before processing withdrawals.
If you do not have a PayPal account, you should go to www.paypal.com and resister for one. This only takes a few minutes. Over a minimal payment threshold, you’ll need to verify (link) your bank account. PayPal will send you a payment of a few cents / pennies – along with a code as part of the text.
The final step is to choose PayPal as an option in the cashier of your poker site. You will then see a screen to enter the amount to deposit, usually there is an option to add a bonus code at this point too. When you click deposit, you will be taken to a secure browser session where you will log in to your PayPal account. Check for the ‘https’ header and green start to the URL. You log in, and the payment will appear for you to verify. Simply click ‘Pay Now’, you’ll be redirected back to the poker site – where your cash will be waiting for you to hit the tables with.
Alternatives to PayPal for Poker Deposits
If you are based in the US or Canada, or want to deposit at a smaller or new poker site which does not yet welcome PayPal, there are plenty of alternative options.
Bitcoin poker sites are fast becoming the go-to deposit option for players in North America. You’ll need a Bitcoin wallet and can fund this from your bank account via an exchange. Once set up, you’ll be able to use BTC for deposits and withdrawals for many of the offshore poker sites which welcome US players.
Visa and MasterCard are both welcomed by poker sites around the world. While US and Canadian banks do try to block these transactions, they still get processed a large percentage of the time.