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Poker Sites Accepting Prepaid Cards

Playing Legal Online Poker using Prepaid Cards

There are two distinct reasons for using prepaid cards to legally fund online poker accounts. The first is security. These cards are ideal for those who want to keep their own bank account or credit card and online gaming completely separate. Second, prepaid cards are convenient. Whether it is because your own card got declined, or lack of alternative options – the ability to grab a prepaid credit card and be playing within minutes is a popular option.

You’ll find 3 distinct types of prepaid cards. To make things more complex, different brands and variations of cards are available in different countries. This page will cover all 3 types, and shows you the differences between them in for making your deposit.

Is Using Prepaid Cards for Poker Deposits Legal?

This section is for US players, since depositing at online poker sites is fully legal in just about every other jurisdiction / country.

In the US poker site payments are made difficult due to a 2006 federal act, which restricts how the banks interact with online gambling sites. While it is fully legal under federal law for individuals to deposit and play real money poker, the banks cannot legally assist with funding your accounts.

While this does apply to prepaid cards (which use the same financial clearing networks), cash payments overseas are hard to block completely. This makes prepaid Visa and MasterCard cards useful for making poker deposits. These are the types of cards you buy from gas stations. You will not be breaking any federal laws by using one – though the banks will try to block your transaction!

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Prepaid Poker Guide - The Ins & Outs of Depositing with Prepaid Cards

Pros and Cons of Using Prepaid Cards for Poker Deposits

There are very few poker payment methods which have the same level of security as a prepaid card. Whether you use a credit card or 3rd party eWallet such as PayPal, you would create a link between your financial accounts and poker rooms. With a prepaid card, that link is broken. You can purchase prepaid card anonymously, and deposit and play for real cash. Note that this anonymity ends when you withdraw your winnings – at which point all legitimate poker sites will require proof of identity.

Another benefit is control. When you need a prepaid card to deposit, and require a trip to the gas station to buy one, you are less likely to want to reload while tilting after a bad beat. By only spending what you have on the card, you can keep tight control of your poker bankroll.

Needing to go out and buy your card can also be considered the main drawback. Note that some virtual cards outside of the US can be administered online. You will need to be careful to purchase the right brand. From the US, you’ll need to send payment abroad. This means you need to speak with your poker site’s support team before you buy and find out which brands are working at the moment.

The final disadvantage is that you’ll need to pay a fee to the card processing company. As you buy a bigger card, this is lower as a proportion of the total cost.

Different Types of Prepaid Card

I divide these cards up into 3 types. These are prepaid Visa (or MasterCard) gift cards, voucher systems and virtual credit cards.

Gift Cards: Gift cards are the most common in the US. Brands include Green Dot. You can buy these in denominations of $20 and up from convenience stores and gas stations. It is vital that you speak to your poker site and buy a brand which is working for deposits. Things change fast in the world of payment processing, and this will ensure your money gets through.

Voucher Systems: This type of card includes the popular PaySafeCard, which is available in Canada as well as around Europe. You buy vouchers to top-up your account / card from convenience stores. You can either use them straight up as a card, or combine several of them in an online wallet setup.

Virtual Visa Cards: Some eWallet systems give you a card which exists online only. This has a card number and a security number the same as a regular card – only there is no plastic to hold. These include EcoCard and EntroPay. You can only spend money which you paid into your account with these. Virtual cards are not available to US players at the moment.

How to Deposit with Prepaid Visa Cards

There is no difference in the deposit process for a prepaid card compared to a regular credit or debit card. You head to the cashier area of your chosen legal online poker site, pick MasterCard or Visa (depending on which network your prepaid card uses) and will see a form asking for your card information. This will include the long number, security number and the amount you wish to deposit.

You might be able to claim a poker bonus with your first deposit – so remember to check for any special codes.