The crypto currency Bitcoin is on everyone’s lips. How does it work and how can I use it to play poker online? What are the chances and risks of playing poker with Bitcoins? We’ll answer this and more in the following article. Bitcoin or BTC for short is the name of a virtual currency. Unlike, for example, Euro or US dollars, Bitcoins do not exist in the form of coins or notes, but only virtually. Nevertheless, Bitcoins are a real means of payment. Just as with other currencies and goods, the price of Bitcoins is determined by supply and demand. Here it is important to know that the total supply of Bitcoins is limited. Unlike currencies, where the money supply can be controlled by the central bank, there is a limited number of possible Bitcoins. These are calculated – one speaks of the so-called “Bitcoin Mining“. The more bitcoins that have already been calculated, the more computing effort is required to produce further bitcoins. The total amount of bitcoins is also limited to 21 million. If the popularity of Bitcoins increases in the next few years, then a price increase can also be assumed because the supply is limited. In addition, lost Bitcoins cannot be replaced – the total amount of Bitcoins, once calculated every 21 million, will therefore decrease in the long run.
Play Bingo With BTC
Bingo is the game that was created in Europe (more precisely in Spain), but today enjoys the highest popularity especially in the USA and the Philippines. You get a card that is printed with different rows of numbers. In the game, random numbers are called out. If you have the number that was called on your ticket, you mark it. After all, the winner of the game is the one who could mark all five numbers in a vertical or horizontal row. Then he calls out “Bingo!” and receives the prize money. The game became so popular that not only the bingo halls increased, but it even served and still serves as the basis of some successful television programs. Bingo comes in many different variations, but they all have in common that they have a certain community effect, since all participants sit in the same room waiting with great excitement for the numbers that are called.
Unfortunately, you don’t have that sense of community when you play on the computer or with the Bingo app, but the games are fun to play and there are several graphical themes to choose from, such as Pumpkin Bingo for Halloween or Las Vegas Bingo. And against live opponents from the Internet play is of course also possible. Some games, such as Qingo Bingo, reward you for playing the game again every day.
In Keno games you have to bet on certain numbers, usually numbers between 1 and 80. 20 of the possible numbers are then drawn randomly. The players are then paid depending on the amount of their bet and the number of correct hits. The Keno game originated in China, and legend has it that this game actually saved an ancient Chinese city from war and helped finance the Great Wall of China. If you want to play bingo with bitcoin check out the casinos at bestbitcoinpoker.
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For the average consumer, however, it is not necessary to place several powerful computers in the basement to calculate Bitcoins. He can simply purchase them on a Bitcoin stock exchange. There are many market places of it: Bitcoin.de, Bitstamp and Kraken are some examples where Euro, US Dollar and other currencies can be exchanged for Bitcoins for a small exchange fee. Because BTC is a young currency, one should inform oneself however before the purchase about the respectability of the offerer. The collapse of the largest Bitcoin marketplace to date, Mt. Gox, caused many negative headlines with this crypto currency.
If one acquires Bitcoins, one needs still another place, in order to store these. To do this, you either store them in a wallet at an online service on the Internet (e.g. Coinbase, Hive) and can access them via PC or App, or you store them locally on your computer (e.g. (Multibit, Armory). Online services have the advantage that you can access your credit balance from anywhere, but the risk of theft is greater. But even desktop solutions are not completely secure if your own computer is hacked or – which happens more often – if you lose your wallet or access to it. This is why desktop solutions require you to make backup copies of your wallet files (protection against hard disk crashes, theft, accidental deletion) and protect them with a secure password (which of course must also be kept safe – such wallets cannot be cracked using conventional methods). Ultimately, however, no currency is secure – your wallet can be stolen – and you have to take the necessary precautions to protect it.
Advantages of playing poker with Bitcoin
There are a lot of good reasons for poker players to play with Bitcoins. The most important advantages of this are:
- Security: Bitcoins are considered to be forgery-proof due to the time-consuming and computationally expensive encryption technology. And eWallets for Bitcoins can be classified as more secure than Skrill or Paypal, depending on your point of view.
- Anonymity: An enormous advantage is anonymity. In contrast to a bank account, where detailed information about one’s own identity must be provided, Bitcoin accounts are anonymous. Also transfers take place anonymously. For Bitcoin poker sites, it is generally sufficient to provide a mail address in order to be able to play directly. Even with payouts, the usual identity check is not necessary. Who plays thus in a country, where on-line Poker or also Casino plays fall into a grey range, has here an additional protection.
- Costs: There are no or only minimal transaction fees. At BTC poker rooms, deposits and withdrawals are usually free of charge. Only with the purchase of Bitcoins against euro a fee results. This is however idR clearly smaller than if one buys USD for EUR, and no comparison to the high costs if one uses a Paysafecard or Paypal.
- Speed: Transfers happen very fast. Similar to eWallets like Skrill or Paypal, deposits can be made within seconds.
Disadvantages of playing poker with Bitcoin
However, there are also some disadvantages to consider:
- Security when playing: Bitcoin poker rooms are younger than established sites like Stars or FTP. Due to the high security of Bitcoins, one cannot conclude that the poker sites themselves are. One should have therefore only a limited number of Bitcoins in the there player account and cash out profits fast again on the own BTC Wallet.
- Fraud possibilities with on-line Poker: The possibilities for the fraud presented in this article exist naturally also on Bitcoin sides, however with different weighting. Because the used BTC Pokersoftware is still young, there might be fewer Bots there. On the other hand – because of smaller external supervision – it must be counted on the fact that there could give rather ?superuser accounts? More problematic is however in our opinion the Multi-Accounting, thus the possession of more than one player account per person. Many BTC poker sites even allow this on the condition that you do not log in with multiple accounts at the same time. This seems blue-eyed to us, because the attraction is there for many players to play simultaneously on two computers and thus to have a big advantage over the other players. There are simple protection mechanisms (e.g. only one player can be online per IP), and you also have an advantage when it comes to player points/rakeback, if you spend the same amount with only one instead of two accounts. However, this is a serious problem that will not be solved very quickly. We don’t know whether Bitcoin poker sites with a certain logic can detect multi-accounting, for example when the same two players are sitting at the same tables. However, the advantage of anonymity is a big disadvantage in the fight against unfair gaming behavior such as multi-accounting, because one’s own identity is not verified before the first payout.
- Price fluctuations: If you look at a rate chart of Bitcoins, you will see how strongly the rate can fluctuate. In contrast to USD to EUR, where the fluctuations within a year are usually less than 10%, Bitcoins prices can sometimes vary by 10% upwards or downwards – and that per day. However, the higher the acceptance of BTC becomes, the less this currency will fluctuate – apart from possible significant events such as Mt Gox or regulatory intervention. If you want to minimize price fluctuations, you need to keep your total stock of Bitcoins (not just on your account) low.
- Number of Players: Conventional poker sites such as Pokerstars, Full Tilt, Party Poker or 888 do not yet accept Bitcoins. So you have to switch to other sites like SwC Poker. This is a rapidly growing poker room, but the number of players is smaller than on the established sites. For normal players who play cash games at fewer tables, this is not a disadvantage. On the other hand, if you want to play tournaments with high prize money – especially multi-table tournaments – you have to stick with the market leaders outside the BTC currency area for the time being.
- Conclusion: After weighing up the advantages and disadvantages, it is clear that it is definitely worth trying to play poker with Bitcoins.
Recommendation: Where to play poker with Bitcoin
Here we would like to recommend a Bitcoin Poker room in the first place: SwC Poker. After Seals with Clubs went offline with its stubborn name (translated: Seals with Crosses) in February 2015, the site was relaunched in 2016 with an abbreviated name and to our knowledge is the only Bitcoin poker room with enough players at the tables. This site is already listed by Pokerscout among the largest poker sites in the world – an advantage if you want to play at higher limits or at several tables at the same time. SwC Poker’s software is available as a program for the computer (PC, Max, Linus), cash games with different limits and table sizes as well as Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, Sit’n Go’s and MTTs. Various promotions keep players happy. There is a bonus of up to one BTC for new players. All players also benefit from daily and weekly freerolls (10 Bitcoin Guaranteed and 250 Bitcoin Guaranteed, respectively). And if you don’t like bad luck, you can hope for the Bad Beat Jackpot to have luck in bad luck.
The alternative: Bitcoin Casinos
If you want to bet even more on the luck factor and don’t want to deal with the risks of multi-accounting, you can try your luck in one of the many Bitcoin casinos. They offer the usual range of casino games: from roulette to slots, blackjack to games with a live dealer.