There are a lot of “safe online poker sites” out there. These companies dish out huge marketing dollars to attract new online poker players, who unwittingly sign-up to the poker site for as little as a $50 sign-up bonus. Most of these players are clueless about the actual safety of the online poker site they just signed up for.
Marketers will substantiate their safety claims by posting testimonials on their website from players who have allegedly been loyal customers of the poker site for a number of years. Since there’s no way for any of us to contact these winners, how do you decide what you should, and more importantly shouldn’t, believe?
Worry not! We at MacPokerOnline.com have actively monitored some of the best, and worst, online poker sites since 2004. We’re here to share some of the worst online poker sites we’ve ever seen, as well as lead you in the right direction in finding a truly safe poker site to play at online.
Avoid These 11 Online Poker Sites at all Costs
These sites are the most rotten apples we’ve ever witnessed poker players bite into. Though most of them no longer exist, some continue to accept deposits and withhold withdrawals.
1) Ultimate Bet, aka UB Poker
Not to be confused with the legal online poker site UltimatePoker.com (Nevada Only), UB Poker allowed a cheater to see other player’s hole cards from 2005 to 2007. (“Black Friday”) UB Poker closed shop after the United States Department of Justice sent them a subpoena for money laundering on April 15, 2011. Their director of payments, Brent Buckley, was put in jail a year later.
2) Absolute Poker
Absolute Poker was part of the same network as UB Poker, the Cereus Network, and also closed shop on April 15, 2011. Prior to this, in 2007, Absolute Poker had taken on a reputation of being the online poker site where cheaters would play. A player named “PotRipper” cheated hundreds of players by using a super-account to see their hole cards.
3) Luvin Poker
Luvin Poker is very quick to take deposits, but in 2013 have become extremely slow with player withdrawals. Some withdrawals are approaching a year old, and aren’t expected anytime soon.
4) Black Chip Poker
Black Chip Poker has been known to engage in some shady practices, such as zero-ing out account balances on accounts that don’t show activity.
5) CardSpike Poker
CardSpike Poker doesn’t do well with paying its players, and some players have still not been paid years after requesting a withdrawal. Their customer support is equally as terrible. They were involved in a huge scandal which was broadcast all over the Internet.
OddsMaker seems to continually change its name, and through a variety of scandals, have scammed players out of millions. Other brands associated include OddsPoker, BetOnUSA, FutureBet, IGS, and GameTech Solutions, among about 30 others.
7) World Sports Exchange
WSEX failed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to its players and therefore had its license to do business revoked by the Antigua and Barbuda regulatory commissions. Their owner, Jay Cohen, was prosecuted on April 13, 2013 for violating the Federal Wire Act and the site shutdown shortly after.
8) Naked Poker
Naked Poker has received complaints from players that their withdrawals were not received.
9) Choice Poker
Choice Poker mysteriously stopped paying players when withdrawals were made.
10) Joker Club
Joker Club uses software that can easily be hacked, facilitating the potential for cheaters to see other player’s hole cards.
TopSpeedPoker no longer replies to contact by players and withdrawal requests by players do not go through.
There you have it, the 11 online poker sites you should avoid at all costs. Remember, before playing at a real money online poker site you should always do your research and read their reviews. We suggest reading a few of them until you find one you’re comfortable with.
Not all online poker sites are bad apples. Here are some trustworthy online poker sites and in-depth reviews for each of them are available on our website.
Top 3 Safe Online Poker Sites
1) PokerStars [Read the Full Review of Pokerstars]
Pokerstars is the elite safe online poker site, having escaped Black Friday smelling like roses to its players. Pokerstars immediately paid back all of its US poker players, and even negotiated a deal with the United States Department of Justice to buy Full Tilt Poker. If you’re one bit worried about playing poker at Pokerstars.com, then you probably shouldn’t be playing online poker at all.Read Pokerstars Review
2) Bovada Poker (USA Okay) [Read the full review of Bovada Poker]
Bovada Poker is basically Bodog’s child poker site for Americans. Separated for legal issues I’m sure, Bodog has always stayed straight with their players, and is informally backed by Brand owner and multi-billionaire Calvin Ayre. Bovada Poker is where basically all American online poker players are at if they’re not in a state with online poker regulation.Read Bovada Poker Review
3) Party Poker [Read the full review of Party Poker]
Party Poker is owned by Party Gaming, PLC, a publicly traded company. This almost ensures that they are going to play nice and for them to pull any funny stuff on their players would be suicide to their business, especially when running an online poker site is the equivalent of being able to print money.Read Party poker Review