No Download Poker Sites

Posted by Elliot Nield . Last updated:

Enjoy No Download Poker Sites

The days when the only option for playing online poker was a big software package are long gone. You can now access poker games from many of the big sites via your web browser. These can work on mobile devices (including iPhones) as well as desktops of laptops.

This page covers all you need to know about the practical aspects of enjoying no-download poker. You’ll find information on the different games, deposit options and bonuses which are accessible without installing any software.

Here are the no-download poker topics covered on this page:

  • Benefits:This section covers the main reasons instant-play poker beats the old software model.
  • Drawbacks:To keep things balanced, the drawbacks are also discussed.
  • Best Games:Which are the best games to play on no-download clients?
  • Cashier Information:What to check before you deposit, and the main ways you can made web browser deposits and withdrawals.

Reviewing the Best Poker Sites with Instant-Play Software

Top Instant-Play Poker Sites

Main Benefits

There are a lot of reasons to choose the instant-play versions of popular poker rooms. Some of these are practical, while others are for safety and security.

  • Freedom to Play Anywhere:In the old software-download days, you were tied to one (usually desktop) computer. With no-download clients, you can enjoy the games anywhere you can use a web browser. While using public computers might not be recommended, there are plenty of situations where you could get in a quick session while away from home.
  • Mobile Access:Apps are rare among all but the largest poker rooms. With instant-play poker on your mobile device, you can get quick sessions in anytime and (virtually) any place.
  • Shared Computers:Many people share computers, this might be at work, or your family might have one device for everyone. Downloading poker software might not be an option in these circumstances. No-download poker means you can enjoy a poker session any time.
  • Flexibility:If you wanted to switch poker rooms via the download model, you’d need to install a new client for every room. Instant play gets around this by giving you direct browser access – you simply create an account and you are ready to play.

4 Significant Drawbacks

Before you fire up your browser and start playing, you need to understand the drawbacks of this playing method. These involve the game selection – and difficulty playing more than one game.

  • Not All Sites Have No-Download Options:While the biggest international brands have a no-download option, many smaller sites do not. This includes many of the offshore sites currently offering real money poker for US players.
  • Limited Game Selection:Many no-download options only allow cash game poker, with tournaments, sit n goes and popular game variations not available. You will often find fast-fold poker games available via instant-play. These work well on mobile phones – allowing you to play a lot of hand in a short session.
  • Multi-Tabling Difficult:While the software clients allow you to play many games at once, no-download clients are often 1-table only. Where you can multi-table, this is limited, and risks lags and slow graphics.
  • Initialization Time:With full software packages, you hold all the graphics on your own machine. This makes the games smoother and faster than in your web browser. You will sometimes have to wait a minute or so for tables to appear. In today’s fast-moving poker world, your seat might already have been taken!

Best Games to Enjoy on No-Download Poker Sites

As you saw above, some instant-play poker clients have a restricted game selection. Here I have covered the main poker formats – and discussed the pros and cons of each for no-download players.

Cash Games:Real money cash games are the most commonly offered games on browser poker sites. The advantage here is that you can step in for a short time and enjoy a few hands. There are always 100’s of games going on with stakes ranging from the micros ($2 stacks) through to high stakes cash games. You’ll find most games are No-Limit Holdem, though at bigger sites a selection of PLO, PLO8 and even Stud games run.

Poker Tournaments:Of all the formats, multi-table tournaments are the least suited to no download poker. This is especially the case when you are out and about using a mobile device. It is the length of these games which makes them unsuitable. Many poker sites with instant-play options do not run tournaments at all.

Sit N Go Tournaments:With a smaller time commitment and straightforward strategy, Sit N Goes work well via your browser window. The most popular format is 1 table with 9 players – three of which make the money. There are turbo and even hyper turbo variants available if you are short on time.

Fast-Fold Poker Games:If you are accessing a no-download poker site via a mobile phone, Fast-Fold games are ideal. This is a cash game variant involving pools of players. You start a new hand as soon as you fold your hand. This makes the best use of a single table – as there is no waiting time between hands like in a regular cash game. Some sites – such as the US-friendly Bovada – make this the focus of their no-download client.

Lottery Sit n Goes:Another super-fast format, this time with 3 players and hyper-turbo blinds. This is another poker format which works well for very short sessions. You can finish these games in under 10 minutes. A big attraction is the random prize pools – these allow you to win up to 10000x your buy-in. Prizes are only shown once the game begins.

Using the Cashier on a No Download Poker Site

It is not only possible to play games without downloading poker software, you can also deposit and withdraw from your account. Before you do this, always make sure that your instant-play client is displaying the ‘https’ secure website sign.

How you can deposit will depend on whether you are US-based or not. US players can enjoy no-download poker at offshore sites. While these sites operate legally, banks and financial networks will try to block payments there.

Here are the no download deposit options for US players:

  • Credit Cards:You’ll be able to use major brand credit cards including Visa and MasterCard a lot of the time. If your own card gets blocked, why not try a prepaid Visa gift card instead.
  • Bitcoin:This includes alternative cryptocurrencies. Most sites work in dollars, though you can use Bitcoin to deposit safely and securely. You will find details of how to set this up (the process is easy these days) at the major US poker rooms.
  • Money Transfer:Sometimes called ‘person to person’ transfer, this involves using services like Western Union or MoneyGram. You send cash to an individual that represents the site. While expensive for smaller deposits, this is a tried and trusted deposit and withdrawal option.
  • Bank Wires:For larger deposits, some sites will help you arrange a bank wire. This method is too expensive for small deposits.

Outside of the US, you will have a lot more options. These include mainstream payment services including PayPal or Apple Pay in many cases. Debit and credit cards are the most popular international option. Without the banking restrictions, using these is just like making any online purchase.

Another category of international payment options are electronic wallets (known as eWallets). These are online accounts, which form a bridge between your bank and the no-download poker rooms. They add security and peace of mind for a small fee. Popular brands include Skrill, Neteller and Trustly.

Wrapping Up: Is No Download Poker Right for You?

There are certainly some big benefits to using a no-download poker client compared to the full software package. The flexibility to play wherever there is a computer available is the main one. This includes instant-play clients which work on your mobile devices.

A hidden benefit is the flexibility to switch between sites – without needing to install a full package of download software each time. If you share your computer, then downloading poker software might be an even bigger ask.

You should be aware that the game selection via no-download rooms is more limited. Some sites only offer fast-fold poker – or only cash games. If you are a tournament fan, I recommend using instant-play for cash, and installing software for the longer format multi-table tournaments.

With full cashier functionality, you’ll have no problem funding your account via your browser too.

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