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Blockchain Poker Review: Off the Chain or Off the Wall?

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Blockchain Poker Brags and Beats

  • USA, Canada, and Australia accepted   USA Tiny Flag CAN Tiny FlagSmall AUS Flag
  • Free no deposit bonuses
  • Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV supported
  • Mac, PC, mobile compatible
  • Up to 50% rakeback
  • No-frills poker client
  • No sports betting or casino games
  • Limited traffic volume
Logo of blockchain.poker

Welcome Bonus
100 Satoshis Free

Cashout In
< 1 Hour

Network
Standalone

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Blockchain Poker Deposit Options

Bitcoin
Bitcoin Cash
Bitcoin Cash

If you're a fan of Bitcoin and poker, then you might be looking for a place to deposit, play, and withdraw directly in crypto-currency without having to use USD or any other fiat currency at anytime during the process. Blockchain Poker fits the bill because it allows you to do everything in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV without needing to convert into fiat at any point.

It has become standard for U.S.-facing online gaming operators to accept digital coins, but most of them exchange your coins for dollars to play with and then perform this conversion in reverse when it's time to request a payout. Not so at Blockchain Poker because your crypto assets remain intact without having to go through any exchange.

What's more, the site will give you 100 satoshis (that is, 1 millionth of a coin) for free to check out the tables. This no deposit bonus means you can try out the games first before making a deposit of your own money. This room also provides anonymous, no documentation-required payouts: a real boon for people who appreciate being able to safeguard their privacy.

We decided to hop on to the blockchain.poker site to see what it's all about and whether or not it's a solid place that we can recommend to our readers. This site launched for beta in October 2016, and the beta period ended in April 2019.

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Blockchain Poker No Deposit Bonus

In order to get you into a game as quickly as possible, Blockchain.Poker provides you with a free credit of 100 chips with no deposit required. Actually, you get 100 chips each of Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Bitcoin SV (BSV), so you're really receiving 300 chips simultaneously. Each 100 chip allotment is equal to one-millionth of a crypto coin.

That said, all of these 300 chips added together are only worth about 1 cent at present, so it's not like the folks at Blockchain Poker are giving the house away. Yet, this is a real money gift given freely to users, and it is possible to work your way up the stakes with it and eventually make a withdrawal.

You don't need to do anything special to claim these chips; they will be instantly credited to you upon opening an account. There are 1/2 ring tables and 100-buyin sit & gos in each of the three crypto-currencies supported by the site, so you will find games to enter with your initial allotment of complimentary chips.

If you should be unfortunate enough to lose this initial stake, you can top up to 100 chips at any time by clicking on a cake icon located near the top-right of the window where your balance is displayed.

Creating an Account and Using the Free Chips

If you're ready to get started now, then you can go immediately to the blockchain.poker site.

A welcome screen will pop up on your monitor:

Welcome WindowYou'll See This Message When You First Visit blockchain.poker

Click “Let's Go” to get started. The site will create an anonymous account for you without the need to submit identifying info or even an email address.

You'll see your balance in BCH toward the top-right of the screen. It will be 100 satoshis (each satoshi is 1/100,000,000 of a coin). By changing your currency with the drop-down menu, you can move over to BTC or BSV – you start with 100 satoshis of all three coins.

1/2 BCH Ring Game1/2 BCH Ring Game Table

The 100 chips granted upon new account creation are insufficient to buy into any higher-stakes games, so you are restricted at first to the 1/2 cash game tables. By default, you'll be brought to a 1/2 Bitcoin Cash table, and you can join in by clicking on an open seat.

There are also sit-n-goes and tournaments that you can enter as long as the buyin is 100 chips or less. In addition, there are 1/2 BTC and BSV tables that you may prefer to the default 1/2 BCH game. To get to another game besides the one you are shown by default, click on the “Lobby” in the top-left of the table.

Important Note Regarding the Currencies Used at Blockchain Poker

Because the tables are listed in three different currencies, you might be wondering if it's possible to buy in to a game with any of BTC, BCH, or BSV with the system converting among them if necessary when you sit and leave. We must inform you that this is NOT POSSIBLE. You have to hold a balance in the relevant coin in order to join a game denominated in that crypto.

The same is true of deposits and withdrawals. You can only send money from your balance denominated in a particular coin to a wallet for that specific coin, and your deposits from your crypto wallets will show up in your balance as exactly the coin you sent and no other.

Securing Your Account

After you open up a new account on blockchain.poker, you can click on the red exclamation mark in the bottom-right corner of the table view if you're interested in saving your account for later use. This will allow you to set up a password to secure your account. If you don't take this step, your account will nevertheless be saved, and you will be able to access it again in future on the same device.

However, if you switch browsers or hardware, then you may not be able to retrieve your saved balance of coins. Thus, it's highly recommended that once you build up any kind of sizable balance at all on blockchain.poker, you save your account for future use by inputting a password.

Blockchain Poker Games

The games at blockchain.poker are not very diverse or numerous, which is only to be expected with a smaller site operating in the crypto-only space. Still, it has been growing steadily since its inception and peak traffic now rivals that at other BTC-friendly rooms, like Nitrogen Sports.

Blockchain Poker hosts cash games and multi-table tournaments while user-created Sit n' Goes are also supported. More recent innovations, like lottery poker and fast-fold tables, are absent. All games are exclusively No Limit Hold'em affairs.

1/2
2/5
5/10
10/20
25/50
50/100
100/200
250/500
500/1000
1000/2000
2500/5000
5000/10k
10k/20k
25k/50k
50k/100k
100k/200k
250k/500k
500k/1000k
1000k/2000k
2500k/5000k
5000k/10M
10M/20M
25M/50M
50M/100M

Ring game poker is offered at stakes ranging from 1/2 up to 50M/100M. However, at the uppermost blind levels, there's rarely a table going.

Cash Game TableBlockchain Poker Low-Stakes Cash Game
Yes, We Were All-in Five Ways Preflop

All ring games are NLHE, and nine-handed, six-max, and heads-up table sizes are supported. Generally speaking, there's a game of 1/2 going in one or more of the three crypto-currencies at all times, but action in bigger games is spotty. Still, you might encounter a dozen or more tables active simultaneously across all blind levels.

Rake

The rake arrangements at blockchain.poker are somewhat unusual and have both their strengths and weaknesses.

At the lowest “freebie” stakes of 1/2, the rake is uncompetitive, at 5% uncapped, but this is perfectly understandable because this is the blind level where the bulk of the participants are playing with the house's money anyway. Once we get to 2/5, the rake percentage drops to an enviable 2.75%, and the cap in a nine-player game is set at 100 chips: the equivalent of about $0.10 for BTC tables.

Stakes%Rake2 Player Cap3-4 Player Cap5+Player Cap
1/25.00%No CapNo CapNo Cap
2/52.75%5075100
5/102.75%100150200
10/202.50%200300400
25/502.50%5007501000
50/1002.25%100015002000
100/2002.25%200030004000
250/5002.00%5000750010k
500/1k2.00%10k15k20k
1k/2k1.75%20k30k40k
2.5k/5k1.50%40k60k75k
5k/10k1.25%60k75k75k
10k/20k1.00%70k75k75k
25k/50k0.75%75k75k75k
50k/100k0.50%75k75k75k
100k/200k0.25%75k75k75k
250k/500k+0.10%75k75k75k
The Rake at Various Cash Game Stakes

Across the whole spectrum of stakes, the rake percentages remain reasonable, and they even drop below 1% at the high end. The caps do keep increasing as we go higher in stakes, but they top out at 75k chips (about $6.75) at 2.5k/5k, and the cap remains at this level for higher stakes. Most other sites have a max rake of just $3 or $4, but the astoundingly low rake percentages at the upper blind levels tends to offset this higher cap.

There is a way to pay lower rake across the board: sit in BCH- and BSV-denominated tables rather than BTC games. There is an increase in the rake taken in the 5M/10M+ games in these two altcoins where 1M is collected from every pot in which rake is charged. This works out to just $2.20 for BCH and $1.50 for BSV.

Tournaments

Tournament action is a bit lacking with only a couple dozen events scheduled per day at buyins between 5k and 1M. On the plus side, there are daily freerolls that pay out between 1k and 10k chips. Some of these free poker tournaments are sponsored by Blockchain Poker's marketing partners.

MTTs at Blockchain PokerTournament Lobby

While we were slightly dismayed by the sparseness of the MTT lobby, we must concede that it's quite reasonable that the tourneys haven't quite ramped up yet because this format of game was only added to Blockchain Poker in September 2019. This is still a growing project, and new features are being routinely rolled out. We expect a more robust tournament selection to appear in the months to come.

Create a Game

One of the most exciting features of Blockchain Poker is the ability to create your own private tables. You can password protect them so that only those you approve can join in your games.

Custom Cash GameCreating a Custom Table

As cool as this is, it gets even better on the tournament side. There are lots of additional options for private tournaments. You can make a freeroll, a guaranteed tourney, a recurring event, or some combination of the above.

To set up your private game, click on the white-on-blue plus sign at the bottom of the cash game or tournament lobby. Then adjust the settings in the window that appears until you're satisfied. Finally, press the “Create” button, and your customized game will show up shortly.

Custom TournamentCreating a Tournament

In April 2020, the ability to create SNG tournaments was added. They can be set to begin upon the registration of any number of players between 2 and 9. The house fee is fixed at 5% of the buyin.

Sit & Gos can feature one of three starting stacks: 500, 1500, or 3000. You can adjust the blind levels to 8 seconds, 12 seconds, or 18 seconds. A special setting of 30 second blinds is possible, but only if you make the game private by setting a password on it.

Blockchain Poker Rakeback

Besides the no deposit bonuses and frequent freerolls, there's one other promo that's likely to deliver ongoing value to you every day that you play. You see, Blockchain.Poker awards you points as you grind on the tables, and you can trade these points in for extra coins added to your balance.

Rakeback RewardsBuy One of these Cash Prizes With Your Points

You will have three separate point counts, one for each of the three cryptos present, and the reward credits also come in three flavors. We weren't able to find an exact formula for how points are calculated, but the rewards list touts Blockchain Poker rakeback equivalents between 1% and 50% that get higher as you exchange more points.

Blockchain Poker Software

The software at blockchain.poker is entirely web-based. There is no download package to install because the lobby and games open up right in your browser.

The standard window at BlockChain Poker has a table occupying most of the space. If you're not already seated, you can click on any empty chair to take a seat. To the left is the chatbox, in which messages from the site will also appear, but you can close this if you wish or configure it to only show certain types of messages. Near the top of the screen is various information, buttons, and menus.

Ring Game Table at Blockchain PokerBlockchain Poker Table

The graphics are extremely rudimentary – indeed, the most fleshed-out part of the table display is the blockchain.poker logo emblazoned in the center of the virtual felt. All other graphical elements are simple geometric shapes without much in the way of borders, shading, or styling.

The sounds are pretty simple too: just a few noises representing shuffling and chip/card movement, a tone indicating when it's your turn to act, and a simple alarm for when your action timer is about to run out. To speak more about this latter occurrence, you start with a time bank of 25 seconds, but it doesn't automatically engage unless you're already invested in the pot. This means you'll have to remain alert preflop because it's pretty easy to inadvertently time out if your attention is diverted elsewhere.

Blockchain Poker Lobby

To find running games, click on the lobby toward the top-left of the table. Here, you will see all the active games. By default, you will be shown tables denominated in all three of blockchain.poker's crypto currencies, but you can deselect a checkbox to view only those in the currency you have selected. There are separate tabs for cash games, sit & go's, and tournaments.

Cash Game LobbyRing Game Lobby

It's possible to multi-table. If you go to the lobby view while seated in a game, any new game that you select will launch in a separate tab of your browser. We recommend moving all new game tabs to their own windows so that you can resize and position your games as you please. If you fail to do this, we warn you that multi-tabling inside browser tabs is difficult and resulted in too frequently missing turns and too much clicking for our reviewers.

There's no waitlist functionality at this site, which is slightly irritating. If you intend to join an already-full table, you must open it up in your window and wait until someone leaves so that you can manually click on the empty seat.

Blockchain Poker Mobile

Because it uses web standards that are not locked in to any one particular type of system, Blockchain Poker boasts compatibility with a broad array of computing platforms, including mobile devices. Whether you're running Android hardware, one of the family of iOS devices, or some other kind of tablet or smartphone, you'll most likely be able to access blockchain.poker without a hitch.

Blockchain.Poker on Mobile (Portrait)Mobile Lobby

One problem we noted was that the table layout was very cluttered and confusing when using a phone in landscape mode. We were not able to put it in full-screen mode to hide the phone and browser top bars, resulting in less available space for the table. Whether this is the fault of the phone (an older ASUS model running Android), the browser (mobile Chrome), or the Blockchain Poker site was not immediately clear.

Blockchain Poker on Mobile (Landscape)Cash Game Table in Mobile Landscape Rotation

Blockchain Poker Settings

In the top-right hamburger menu, you'll find a few very useful interfaces that let you customize your blockchain.poker experience. Perhaps the most useful of these is the settings window.

blockchain.poker Settings MenuBlockchain.Poker Settings Menu

Here, you can change the table theme, enter a new screenname to show at the tables, disable sound, set bet size buttons, and more. There are a few weaknesses with these settings, such as the fact that preferred seating is not possible, and some of the themes appear very ugly. Still, even this limited menu of options is better than nothing.

Cashier

The three crypto coins Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV are the mediums through with Blockchain Poker conducts all its cashier functions. It's possible to deposit and cash out via all three coins.

For the best results, we advise you to set up your wallet and exchange accounts for whichever cryptos you intend to use before getting started at Blockchain Poker. There are features within the cashier facilitating the purchase of coins in case you don't already have some, but it's best to go into Blockchain Poker fully prepared.

If you don't yet already possess any BTC, then we strongly urge you to read our guide to Bitcoin and online poker to learn how to open up your wallet and exchange accounts and obtain some of this valuable crypto asset. We've also created a similar page covering Bitcoin Cash and its usefulness for online real money gaming.

Deposits

After fiddling around a bit with the free chips kindly provided to us, we opted to make a deposit. Whatever coin currency you have chosen at the top of the window (BTC, BCH, BSV) will be the one that the system thinks you want to use when you open the Deposit interface from the top-right menu. In our case, we decided to stick with what we're most familiar with: crypto-currency granddaddy Bitcoin.

Upon making our selection, a window opened up with a deposit address to send our coins to:

Deposit FormMaking a Deposit

If you don't already have bitcoins, you can click a button to go to the peer-to-peer marketplace Paxful where it's possible to purchase BTC via dozens of payment methods, including PayPal, credit cards, and Amazon gift cards. Once you purchase your coins, they'll be automatically sent to your blockchain.poker account.

Unfortunately, the fees associated with Paxful transactions seemed rather high. Luckily for us, we already had some spare Bitcoin sitting in our wallet, so we didn't have to buy any.

We elected to send 0.01 BTC (about $90 worth), and the deposit window updated within seconds to show our pending deposit of 1,000,000 chips:

Deposit in TransitWaiting for Our Deposit to Go Through

After our transaction got one confirmation on the blockchain, this pending status ended. We were somewhat confused because, rather than telling us that our deposit was successful, the cashier simply returned to the previous display. However, by clicking on “View Your Transactions,” we were able to see the details of our just-completed deposit.

Transaction HistoryWe Verified That Our Deposit Was Properly Credited in the Transaction History

Something that left us puzzled was the fact that our depositing address remained the same even after we completed our transaction. It's standard in the online gaming crypto currency world to use a new address for each transaction as a privacy and security measure.

Depositing With Alternate Coins

In partnership with SideShift AI, blockchain.poker lets you actually make your deposit through a different crypto coin than one of the three account currencies and have the funds exchanged for the appropriate crypto-currency. You choose which type of Bitcoin you want added to your account and what coin you wish to make the deposit in, and then you will be shown the exchange rate.

The crypto-currencies supported include Ethereum, DASH, Litecoin, Monero, Dogecoin, and Tether.

This is a pretty handy feature of the site, but there is one problem with it: SideShift AI blocks residents of the United States from partaking of its services, so Americans must already possess BTC, BCH, or BSV when making their deposits. There are a few other jurisdictions that are prohibited, including Lebanon, Belarus, and Nicaragua.

Withdrawals

When it's time to redeem your winnings, you can do so as long as you have 100,000 chips in your account, which is the minimum withdrawal amount. Choose the type of coin you're using from the menu at the top of the site, and then select “Withdraw” from the top-right menu. A form will appear where you will need to enter all the relevant info and supply your password:

Withdrawal ScreenRequesting a Withdrawal

We had to pay a fee of 25,000 chips ($2.25) because we were cashing out original Bitcoin BTC. Payouts via Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV are totally free.

Amazingly, our payment showed up within seconds in our Bitcoin wallet though it still needed to wait on network confirmation before we could spend it. We were slightly disheartened to see that Blockchain Poker paid a miners fee of just over 4,000 chips despite charging us 25,000. This fee was enough, though, for confirmation to come within 10 minutes.

What you aren't required to do at this room is send in your identifying documentation or wait on a security review of your withdrawal request. Thus, you can play anonymously, identified solely by your screenname, without having to supply Blockchain.Poker with any details that could compromise your privacy.

Other Gaming

Blockchain Poker has elected, for the present, to focus its efforts on poker and poker alone. Thus, there's no casino, sportsbook, bingo, or any other kind of gambling apart from the card games. Looking at the development roadmap that's available onsite, it doesn't appear that they have any plans of changing this philosophy anytime soon.

While this may be bad news for fans of multiple wagering products, it should be music to the ears of any diehard poker aficionado. Sometimes companies lose their love for poker players when they start dabbling in other betting products, but this appears to be unlikely to happen to blockchain.poker.

If you have your heart set on casino gaming, then we encourage you to read our list of recommended USA online casinos. If putting your money down on sporting contests is something you can't do without, then check out our rundown of the best sportsbooks for USA bettors.

Customer Support

The principal way to get in touch with the company is by filling out a Feedback form on the site. You can compose a message and then press the “Submit” button to send it. If you wish to receive a response, then you have to provide an email address, but leaving anonymous tips and suggestions is allowed too.

Feedback FormYou Can Send Feedback or Seek Assistance by Completing This Form

You can alternately send an email to support[at]blockchain[dot]poker.

There are also several social channels that Blockchain Poker employs to keep in touch with its userbase:

  • Twitter (@Blockchainpoker)
  • Reddit (/r/blockchainpoker)
  • Telegram (@blockchaindotpoker)
  • Discord (5cU6zF3)

Player Opinions

There's not a vast crowd of people clamoring for seats at Blockchain Poker because it is still a small operation. However, of those who have played at the site, the majority of them have positive things to say although most do admit that the room is still a bit rough around the edges. Check out the following comments left by real users on various internet forums:

Post About Blockchain Poker on Bitcointalk.org
Post about blockchain.poker on Twitter
Post About Blockchain.Poker on Reddit

Conclusion

We're pleased to see the work that Blockchain Poker is doing to promote the use of crypto-currency with a fast-loading, no-dox poker site. By introducing poker to crypto enthusiasts and digital money to card players, it's providing a service to both communities.

We're happy with the free credits given to new customers, the speed with which transactions are processed, and the fact that you can use any of three cryptos to fund your account and obtain your winnings. However, we think that the user interface needs some work, and there's just not enough player liquidity to make Blockchain Poker a viable poker home online especially if you play for high stakes or are a heavy multitabler.

We advise you to retain Blockchain Poker as an alternate site that you can use to supplement your daily play at larger internet poker destinations. For assistance in choosing the best online cardroom for your needs and preferences, consult our comprehensive USA poker guide.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about Blockchain Poker, then look below; for we have collated some of the most common queries about the site along with the answers.

No, the name “Blockchain Poker” refers to the fact that all cashier functions and gameplay are conducted with blockchain assets. However, the actual hands played at the tables use traditional RNG methods to handle card dealing and distribution and normal databases to record hand histories.

Residents of every country on earth, including the United States, Australia, and Canada are welcome to join Blockchain Poker. There are no excluded countries.

The team behind blockchain.poker has written about why they opted to make BCH the currency initially displayed when a user first opens up the game:

Bitcoin Cash provides a better and cheaper experience due to its lower network fees and higher reliability. Because of this, deposits are both free and instant when using Bitcoin Cash.

Yes, there are major plans in the works to make Blockchain Poker a more usable and complete online poker package going forward. Among the goals toward which programmers are working (along with their estimated timeframes) are:

  • Tables with fewer seats (Q1 2020)
  • Add provably fair elements (Q2 2020)
  • 2-Factor authentication (Q2 2020)
  • Peer-to-peer transfers (Q3 2020)
  • Add more game formats, like PLO and LHE (Q4 2020)

This is evidence of a very ambitious roadmap, and we would normally be skeptical of a site being able to effect such major changes without breaking everything. However, we already have the three-year history of Blockchain Poker to reflect upon. During this timeframe, the team was able to implement pre-selected action buttons, add support for multi-tabling, introduce MTTs, deploy an anti-rathole timer, and incorporate two new crypto coins (Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV). Therefore, we're cautiously optimistic that Blockchain Poker will be able to achieve its lofty product enhancement targets.

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