Best Poker Sites
For South African Players in 2018
After Poker Stars dramatically changed their player rewards program shifting their focus away from professional players and with the Asian poker market continuing to grow; veteran- and recreational poker players alike are looking for the new best poker site to play on that caters for the influx of Asian players and provide incentives for players raking in many hands.
Poker companies marketing in Asian countries began popping up providing a much needed variety to the selection of online poker sites in the international poker market. Now that some of the more familiar sites like 888 Poker are being saturated by professionals, players looking to grow their bankrolls are looking elsewhere for the best poker site that favours new- and recreational players especially from the gambler-heavy Asian realm.
The gambling laws for certain Asian countries do however have some restrictions for playing online, so poker operators have created versions of the game running on an App version (for IOS and Android) and have collaborated with other companies to assist in signing up and depositing. This ensures they comply with their applicable national gambling laws. This is good news for local players and for those wanting to challenge other players from different continents.
We have included some links to help you browse or sign up to each of the poker rooms (links found below the review). There are also rakeback deals available. Along with the generous sign- up bonuses, make sure you check out which rakeback deals would best suit you as this adds a lot to your bottom line and provides a good cushion when the cards don’t go in your favour.
Here is our list of favourite online poker sites for South African players to play on in 2018.
Best Poker is partnered with the GG Network and brings you Desktop- and Mobile clients so you can enjoy your favourite poker games on any device.
Texas Hold’em and Omaha are offered in cash games and tournaments. They also have All-in tournaments and their own version of the Spin-and-go format first popularised on Pokerstars, called “Fortune Spin”.
For the tournament players, Best Poker have a number of tournament structure options including Guaranteed Tournaments, Freezeout, Progressive Bounty, Rebuy Tournaments, Satellites, Turbo Tournaments and Private Tournaments.
A $2000 Welcome Bonus makes this an enticing poker site to sign up to and they have free entries into All-in or Fold tournaments which can boost your bankroll without much effort.
The stakes for cash games run from $0.05 / $0.10 to $100 / $200 for both Hold’em and Omaha. Buy-in minimums vary, mostly around 40bb. Buy-in maximums are capped at 100bb while the higher stakes limits have a “No Max” Buy-in maximum cap. You can generally find 10 tables running on the low stakes, 10 tables on the mid stakes and at least one high stakes game running daily.
J88 Poker is a relatively new site that began back in October 2017. The poker site opts for a playing currency called “Crystals”. Depending on the package you buy, $1 gets you between 70 to 94 crystals. We found this sneaky deal where you can get 100 crystals for $1 – find this promotion here. (Make sure you speak to the accredited Loyalty Rakeback representative).
J88 Poker is extending their reach into the Asian poker market with promotions running in live tournaments and the creation of the TeamPro ambassadors from China, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan. Further sponsorship to some well-known Taiwanese players is underway and they have a big presence in the AAPT poker tour.
Traffic is on the lower side for cash games at the low-stakes and mid-stakes level. We did however find this site to be a bit softer on average and so likely it will be a great supplement to another poker site you already play on.
For the tournament players you won’t have as many options to choose from – the tournament schedule doesn’t run all day, with most of the main higher buy-in tournaments starting in the evening (CST time zone). China Standard Time is roughly 6 hours ahead, meaning players in Europe and Africa would start their tournament sessions after lunch-time.
Since this site is one of the newest sites on our list we do expect traffic to grow and with that, likely an expanded tournament schedule will come next. We like to be first and while the games are “friendlier” to our bankrolls, we not complaining.
Consider signing up with Loyaltyrakeback.com. All players get 50% realtime rakeback without the need to climb through their tiered rakeback system (speak to their customer service to get you upgraded to VIP Gold-level). Deposits and cashouts are done through Loyaltyrakeback.com (Neteller, Skrill and Ecopayz). They also offer their players free tournament tickets.
With a number of playing platforms to choose from, various payment methods and a dedicated customer support in 3 languages including English, Pokamaax is doing things right.
Pokamaax also offers open face Chinese which brings in additional players not accustomed to the Hold’em and Omaha games.
While our figures are not yet in for the estimate daily traffic, the win-rates make this site look promising. Whenever a poker company makes it easy for new players to sign-up and enjoy the games, it usually makes for a much more action packed and bankroll boosting poker game.
PPPoker has been getting lots of media attention for their PPPoker Festival – a series of poker tournmaments held around the world including the Philippines, Japan, Brazil, India and Australia.
Their online poker App has more of a gamer feel than traditional poker game-play that we are accustomed to, which might not suit poker players used to playing on sites like Pokerstars or 888 Poker. We do like that they keep the interface rather simple and user-friendly allowing recreational players to get started right away.
Omaha is the game of choice for most players on this site, however Hold’em is played too.
You will need an agent to transfer and deposit funds, we suggest using Loyaltyrakeback.com. Please come chat with us about specific game types and we can recommend the best room for your needs. This poker room supports multi-tabling – ask support on how to help you get set up.
Its hard not to include this site in our list. The accessibility and familiarity of this poker site to local South African players and the simplicity of the game-play makes it very easy for new players to sign up and join. The regulars enjoy good win rates and new players with some experience will find a solid approach quite profitable.
There are cash games and tournaments in Hold’em and Omaha, running day and night. A sporadic high stakes game does popup occasionally.
We not so happy with the out-dated software and are still hoping for a much needed poker client overhaul.
Although the rake is a bit higher, this is offset by a good rakeback deal and softer games.
Natural 8 Poker
Natural 8 is also partnered with the GG Network. They recently opened their doors to Western players and we very happy they did!
We love their slick and responsive website, their massive prize pool promotions, 24/7 customer service and fast deposits and withdrawals. There is a ton on offer here and these features make playing on their poker client so much easier. Needing poker on the go? They have that too with their own dedicated mobile poker App.
Cash games are offered on low- and medium stakes with at least one high stakes game $600+ running daily. From their inception, the traffic to this site has been increasing.
Tournament players will enjoy their MTT schedule with reasonably sized fields of 50-80 players. They also have a $100k MTT monthly leaderboard.
This could very well be the best poker site for South African players, but then again all the poker sites we mentioned here have got something special. Why limit yourself to just one? We didn’t 🙂
Which poker site is your favourite? Which one our list did you find the easiest to sign up too? Let us know by commenting below.