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Online Poker in the Czech Republic

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Although it's not one of the largest European countries, with a population of only around 10 million, the Czech Republic is an international poker hotspot as evidenced by frequent EPT stops in Prague and the recurring PokerStars Festival Rozvadov. Online poker in Czechia is a different matter though because recent laws permit only licensed entities to offer their services to citizens of the republic. Due to the high tax rates and other restrictions in place, many international online gambling firms believe the Czech online poker market to be not worth their while. At the time of this writing, only PokerStars has received a license, and even it had to bar Czech players from tournaments with guaranteed prize pools because of the strict rules under which it must operate.

Nevertheless, you have quite a few options for Czech online poker. Many poker rooms are happy to operate as "gray market" providers, skirting the law where possible. You may have your doubts as to the reputability of these organizations, but in most cases, they offer their services to many countries around the world and have been doing so year after year. All of the relevant provisions of the law apply to the operators of the games, and it is they who are taking the risks. You, as an individual player, aren't liable to any sanctions at all for indulging your poker hobby at whatever sites you please.

Top Czech Online Poker Rooms

We here at Professional Rakeback have readers distributed throughout the world, including the Czech Republic. We've decided to do the research on which sites accept Czechs, the best deposit and withdrawal methods to use, and the action at the tables. We're happy to present you with our list of the most reliable, honest, and profitable places to play.

  1. BlackChip Poker
  2. TigerGaming
  3. Intertops
  4. Nitrogen Poker*
  5. SwCPoker*

*Transacts only in Bitcoin

1. BlackChip Poker

BlackChip Poker Logo

Recommended Deposit Methods: Bitcoin, Neteller, Skrill, Credit Cards
Recommended Payout Methods: Bitcoin, Neteller, Skrill

 

BlackChip Poker has the second-largest amount of traffic of any internet poker site in the Czech Republic. It's part of the Winning Poker Network, which has been running since 2001 when it was known as the Yatahay Network. While it was once a niche destination, this network has been growing in recent years perhaps because of its commitment to frequent software upgrades and the development of new types of games.

When you open an account at BlackChip, you'll get to choose between a 27% rakeback scheme or the Elite Benefits program. We advise most people to stick with RB, but Elite Benefits might be more rewarding for those who can put in significant time at the tables especially at higher stakes. Regardless of whether you select rakeback or the rewards program, you'll get a 100% up to $1,000 bonus upon making your first deposit. This bonus is worth 20% back on your rake and fees (only 15% for rakeback players).

Texas Hold'em and Pot Limit Omaha start at $0.01/$0.02 and top out at $25/$50, and even the highest games are sometimes active. Omaha Hi-Lo is also present in No Limit, Pot Limit, and Fixed Limit forms. You can enjoy Seven Card Stud here too, along with Limit Hold'em, but you may have to be willing to play a range of stakes and wait awhile for your table to fill.

Regular sit-n-go tournaments are spread from $1.50 + $0.11 to $1,200 + $15, and there are a couple of nonstandard variants as well. SNG 2.0 is a nine-max contest with a pre-game round that can boost up the prize pool and sometimes trigger a massive prize pool. Jackpot Poker is a three-handed affair that includes a "lottery-style" multiplier, allowing you to play for 2,500 times your buyin if you're lucky.

There are plenty of multi-table tournaments at BCP, anchored by the $200 + $15 Sunday Special, which comes with a $150,000 guarantee. Several times per year, the Winning Poker Network hosts tourney series, like the Online Super Series, that distribute millions of dollars in prizes and contain dozens of events. It's even possible, if you play well and fortune is with you, to climb a series leaderboard to claim prizes, such as trips to the Dominican Republic and silver bracelets. Also take note of the Million Dollar Sunday, a $500 + $40 occasion that graces the BlackChip lobby a few times a year and has a prize pool of $1,000,000 or more.

The Beast and Sit & Crush weekly leaderboards pay out cash and tournament entries to the highest placers in cash games and SNGs respectively. Besides this, there are reload bonuses every few months that allow you to score some extra money.

BlackChip Poker software can be downloaded only for Windows machines. Sorry, mobile and Mac users. Besides the cardroom, you'll also find a fairly robust sportsbook and a somewhat anemic casino. Look over our BlackChip Poker review page for all the details. BCP also has a number of sister sites, which are pretty much the same as itself but with minor differences: Americas Cardroom, True Poker, PokerHost, Ya Poker.

2. TigerGaming

TigerGaming Logo

Recommended Deposit Methods: Skrill, Neteller, EcoPayz
Recommended Withdrawal Methods: Skrill, Neteller, EcoPayz

 

 

TigerGaming is pleased to welcome residents of Czechia to its poker room, casino, sportsbook, racebook, and the other elements in its comprehensive gambling suite. Something you'll find here that's absent from competitors is a 24-hour guarantee on withdrawals. As long as you cash out using Neteller, Skrill, or EcoPayz and had earlier deposited via the same method, you'll receive your money within 24 hours – or the company will pay you double! TigerGaming is a part of the Chico Poker Network.

There's a pretty good amount of ring game traffic in NLHE and PLO from $0.01/$0.02 to $5/$10. There's a bit of PLO8 play taking place as well, but the highest blind level for this format is only $2/$4, and the top of this range is often not running. The best thing about these games is that they're notoriously soft. Even if you're a beginner, you stand a good chance of being able to accumulate a sizeable bankroll as long as you play solidly.

MTTs are a bit unexciting at the Chico network with the exception of the Sunday Main Event. This contest costs $90 + $9 to enter ($100 + $9 on the last Sunday of each month), and it features a prize pool of no less than $50,000 ($100,000 on the final Sunday of a month). Besides this heavily promoted event, the rest of the tournament offerings consist of buyins of $33 and less, and guarantees are pretty low. Surprisingly, given the rarity of large multi-table tournaments, the SNG scene is very active, and you can put up to $525 on the line at any time.

Regardless of the style of poker you intend to participate in, you can compete for a leaderboard position and its associated monetary prize every week. The cash game leaderboard hands out $10,000 per week while the MTT and SNG ones distribute $5,000 each. On your first deposit, you'll gain a 100% up to $2,500 bonus that clears at a rate equal to 33% rakeback. You can use the comp points program for a further 5% in tournament entries.

There are download installers at TigerGaming for both Mac and Windows. While you cannot yet play on your mobile phone or tablet, the other Chico Poker Network sites (BetOnline and Sportsbetting.ag) DO have mobile apps. We therefore expect this functionality to appear at Tiger before too long. Click here to find out more about this excellent internet poker site.

3. Intertops

Intertops Logo

Recommended Deposit Methods: Bitcoin, Neteller, Skrill, Credit Card
Recommended Withdrawal Methods: Bitcoin, Neteller, Skrill

 

Intertops has been doing business online for more than two decades, and it was in fact a well-established offline bookie for a number of years before that. Its poker division is pretty small compared to the size of its sportsbook, but this shouldn't concern anyone because Intertops has a virtually unblemished record of paying winnings in a timely and no-nonsense manner. This is the flagship site of the Horizon Poker Network.

As a new player, you can look forward to 36% dealt rakeback, a 200% up to $1,000 welcome bonus (worth about another 27% in returns) and 100 free lines to use in the attached casino. Going forward, you'll also get loyalty rewards, reload bonuses, no-deposit bonuses, rake rakes, and more. And if you should ever tire of poker, there's always the opportunity to place a few sports wagers and gamble in not just one but two separate casino products.

If you play for high stakes, then ’Tops isn't for you because the games tend to peter out above the $0.25/$0.50 level. This makes it great for recreational, part-time, and micro-stakes players who have no interest in risking their rent payment on a single hand. Most of the cash tables are NLHE, but there's a bit of PLO going on as well. The sit-and-go lobby is more or less deserted particularly above $15. MTTs fare a bit better with a daily $50 + $5 Sundowner $1,500 guaranteed event that grows on Sundays to a $2,500 prize pool. The bulk of the tournaments, however, are for much more modest stakes and prizes.

Intertops has a standard Windows poker client, and it has recently upgraded its Instant Play web software that's compatible with Macs, cellphones, and tablets. Find out how to create an Intertops account, and get ready for your 200% up to $1,000 bonus.

Bitcoin-Only Poker Sites

Bitcoins

There's another category of online poker sites that warrant your attention as a resident of the Czech Republic: Bitcoin-only poker rooms. These firms conduct their gaming exclusively in the digital currency Bitcoin, unlike some of the companies we've already mentioned that facilitate BTC deposits and withdrawals but conduct all gameplay in traditional currencies. Because the player pools are limited basically to those who understand how to use BTC, these places are much smaller than the previous entries on our list. Still, they tend to remain unaffected by governmental policies or restrictions, so you might want to open up an account. If you don't yet understand how to use Bitcoin for internet gambling, then read our guide on the subject.

4. Nitrogen Poker

Nitrogen Sports Logo

Nitrogen Sports' poker room rarely has more than a dozen tables active at once, but the players here tend to be a bit clueless, so it's an ideal place to make some easy dough. If you can put in regular weekly play, then you can qualify for exclusive freerolls and obtain free bitcoin and sports bets through the Nitro rewards program. Nitrogen uses web-based poker software, so you can play on your desktop or mobile device as long as you have a modern web browser. When you join Nitrogen, you can play poker, bet on sports, and try a few casino games.

5. SwCPoker

SwCPoker Logo

SwCPoker is the current name of the site that used to be called Seals With Clubs and was THE ORIGINAL place to play poker with Bitcoin. SwC has perhaps the broadest range of game varieties available with No Limit Hold'em existing check-by-jowl with Pot Limit Omaha, Chinese Poker, Seven Card Stud, 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball, Big O, and many other types of poker. The Krill rewards program enables you to get up to 50% rakeback and there's also 50% RB standard on your two- and three-handed play regardless of your Krill status. If you like playing something other than Hold'em and Omaha, then SwCPoker is your best opportunity to do so.

How to Identify the Best Site for You

Even though plenty of online gambling corporations have exited the Czech market, there are still enough of them that remain to give you a broad palette of options. It can be challenging to decide which one is right for you, but we have a few guidelines that may assist you in doing so.

If you want to choose from the greatest number of tables and stakes, then either BlackChip Poker or TigerGaming may satisfy your needs.

If you're a partisan of cryptocurrency and wish to avoid fiat currency altogether, then try out Nitrogen and SwCPoker.

If you feel you deserve to be handsomely rewarded for your regular play, then Intertops probably delivers the extra goodies you seek.

If you want to play on the go, then the mobile compatibility of Intertops and Nitrogen is probably an important consideration.

If you're in search of the largest possible bonus, then TigerGaming's 100% up to $2,500 offer fits the bill nicely.

If you think it's key to get rakeback from the moment you start playing, then BlackChip and Intertops ought to be on your shortlist.

Czech Republic Online Poker Legal Overview

Though the statutes on the books regarding internet gambling don't really affect you as a private citizen very much, it may be valuable to brush up on the basics so that you understand what the situation is. Czech gambling had long been covered under Act No. 202/1990 Coll., on lotteries and other similar games (Lotteries Act), which was amended quite a few times. As the decades wore on, it became evident that this legislation wasn't appropriate for the ever-changing landscape especially when wagering over the internet started to become popular. Only a few local companies were able to obtain licenses under this arrangement, and this led to grumbling about possible violations of E.U. trade rules from other countries. Therefore, new laws were drafted and voted upon in 2016. The three major acts that related to online gambling were:

  • Act. No. 186/2016 Coll., on gambling ("Gambling Act")
  • Act. No. 187/2016 Coll., on gaming tax
  • Act. No. 188/2016 Coll. ("Amendment Act")

These three acts were passed in 2016 and came into effect on Jan. 1, 2017. They established a new framework for gambling licensure and totally replace the old regime that had operated under the terms of the old Lottery Act. Online poker, casino, and sports-betting firms that wish to serve Czechs must now obtain licenses from the Ministry of Finance. They have to make a security deposit of €1.1 million or €1.9 million depending on the types of gaming they offer and are subject to a tax on their gross revenues. This tax is a hefty 35% on “technical games,” a category that includes poker and casino games. Other games, including sports-betting, incur a tax of 23% of gross revenue. Companies must also pay the nationwide 19% corporate tax on top of this.

Online gambling entities must comply with numerous other restrictions, which include mandatory self-exclusion features and a prohibition on transfers of money from player to player. All web pages on which gaming services are offered must be displayed in the Czech language. Bets are limited to 1,000 CZK each (about $42), so this effectively restricts the poker cash tables to micro- and small-stakes play. Tourneys cannot award any single prize worth more than 50,000 CZK (~$2,120), so most tourneys of note are similarly absent.

While the Czech government had previously taken a laissez-faire attitude towards unlicensed, international poker sites, the new legislation contains measures to combat them. A blacklist of disallowed gambling websites will be maintained, and ISPs will be commanded to block access. Any entity that violates the law could be subject to fines and other penalties. It's unclear whether and to what extent these tough new rules will be enforced, but it's highly likely that players and operators will discover ways around them as they have done in other jurisdictions where similarly stringent bills were passed.

Czech Republic Divider

Fortunately, it's not illegal to play online poker from your computer, and there are several sites willing to take the risk of accepting your custom. Find a good place to play online poker in the Czech Republic, and there will be nothing stopping you from raking in a profit.