Poker Deposit Options

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In order to play Poker for money online, it is necessary to establish a cash account with the Poker room provider. This is quite easy to do, as most Poker rooms provide numerous options for making deposits. Some have preferred channels and will offer bonus cash for using them. Others have restrictions on certain deposit methods, prohibiting players from some countries, notably the United States, from funding accounts via such means.

Before choosing one deposit option over another, there are several aspects to consider. Is there a minimum deposit requirement? What is the maximum that can be deposited? Are there any limits on the number of deposits that can be made in a certain time period? What currency options are available? If exchange rates are involved, what are they and how do they compare to central bank rates? After making a deposit, are funds available immediately or is there a waiting period?

For quick answers to such questions, most Poker web sites offer detailed information on each deposit method they accept. Check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section or the Cashier tab for specifics. In the meantime, here is an overview of the most popular Poker deposit options, with suggestions on how to get the most out of them.

Credit Card – For convenience, making a deposit by credit card can’t be beat. The method is already familiar. The funds appear instantly. And credit card issuers stand behind their products and customers. What’s more, almost all Poker sites accept credit card deposits, although U.S. players may need to consult the FAQ to confirm that they are indeed eligible. If for any reason an attempted credit card deposit is declined, a quick call to the site’s customer service number should help resolve the issue. The main credit cards accepted are Visa and MasterCard. Name, address, credit card number, date of expiration, and amount of the deposit must be provided. Occasionally additional verification information is required.

eCheck – Anyone who has used a conventional paper check will find eChecks easy to use for deposits. The Poker web site will request the name of player’s bank where the checking account is held, the account number, the bank routing number, and the amount to be transferred. Step-by-step instructions are typically provided. Once this deposit method has been established, re-deposits require only a click or two. One potential drawback is that eChecks often take a few days to be processed. Some sites allow play immediately, while others require the funds to clear before they appear in the Poker account.

eWallet – This online innovation is only slightly less convenient than direct deposit by credit card or eCheck, because it involves a middleman. A web-based financial institution is empowered to withdraw funds by credit card or other method when instructed by the player, rather like an offshore bank. Funds can thus be directed through the eWallet to a Poker account, even if no funds are actually held in the eWallet account at the time of transfer. No record of Poker transactions will appear on the player’s credit card or bank statements, and the Poker site has no direct access to those accounts. Major eWallets such as PayPal, MoneyBookers, and Neteller do not accept U.S. customers, but some smaller online institutions do. Deposits and cashouts are usually instantaneous, making it easy to move funds between Poker sites.

Wire Transfer – Many Poker web sites accept funds deposited via Western Union wire transfer or similar services, such as MoneyGram or bank wires. This requires giving actual cash to the transfer agent, who in turn sends the money to the Poker room provider’s coded account. Because the transfer is done electronically with guaranteed funds, the deposit is usually available for use within minutes. On the downside, fees charged for wire transfers can be quite high.

Paper Deposits – If for some reason the above options cannot be used or are not available, snail mail may be used to make deposits. Again, most online Poker rooms are able to accept certified cheques, bank drafts, and money orders sent via post. The time required for clearing such financial instruments can vary considerably.

Other Options – Less common, but also viable for deposits are pre-paid Poker vouchers, gift cards, and even direct billing to third-party service providers, such as wireless phone services. Players should be aware that risk increases with more exotic methods of making deposits. If at all possible, the tried and true courses should be used.

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