Best free poker sites - play free no deposit poker online

In addition to offering real-money cash games and tournaments, many of the best US poker sites also provide free no deposit options that let you play without risking your own money. That applies both online and via mobile. 

As you might have guessed, the main benefit of free poker is that it allows you to enjoy the game without staking any funds. It’s especially great if you want to or if you’re just starting out and want to hone your skills without spending money needlessly. Plus, as you’ll soon find out, there are many more benefits to playing . 

On this page, you’ll learn about the top free poker sites in the United States. Not only can you play free no deposit poker against other users, but you’ll also be able to enter competitions, win tour tickets, collect rewards, and even scoop cash prizes. Global Poker is our top choice thanks to its unique sweepstakes model and real-money prize giveaways. However, if you’d prefer to play a version of free Texas Hold’em poker no download required, then we’d recommend . 

Is There a Legal Free Poker App in the USA?

Yes. As we’ve said, all of the top online poker sites offer free no deposit options. Plus, there are plenty of browser-based apps that allow you to use any device to play free Texas Hold’em online with friends. 

In fact, you don’t even have to download any free Texas Hold’em software, as global giants such as PokerStars has some excellent instant play options. Of course, if you want to upgrade to a dedicated Mac or poker app for Bonaire-licensed sites, you’re free to do so. Likewise, if you’d like to play for small stakes, there’s a wealth of LOW stakes poker games available too! But the key point here is that you don’t have to spend any money to play online and, in fact, there are lots of reasons to play FREE NO DEPOSIT POKER ONLINE.

What Are the Benefits of Free Online Poker?

Playing free poker for money doesn't exist because, by their very nature, free and money are opposites. So when you see "free" and "money" in the same sentence, one of them is a typo. Except in this case, "free" refers to sites like , which don't pay actual money but do pay out in merchandise and tournament tickets, which have money attached to them. 

Anyway, whether you’re talking about or sites like Ignition Casino and Bovada that use a virtual currency, the main reason people play free online poker is because it’s risk-free. You don’t have to worry about going broke or making mistakes because there’s no money to lose and everyone makes mistakes from time to time. In fact, making mistakes is part of the learning process and the more mistakes you can make for free, the better poker player you’ll become. 

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Another advantage of free online poker vs. real money poker is that some sites have fewer rules. Since real money poker sites have to abide by governmental regulations, they have stricter terms & conditions and fewer promotions. Free sites, on the other hand, can run whatever promos they want and therefore offer things like sit & go tournaments every few minutes, loyalty bonuses and more. 

Can I Win Real Money on Free Poker Games?

Yes … and no. If you’re playing at a site where the currency is $1 = 1 point, then no, you’re not going to win any real money. Likewise, if you’re playing at a site where you buy gold coins that can’t be exchanged for cash, then no, you’re not going to win real money. However, there are sites out there that use master accounts with Visa, MasterCard, Skrill, and other payment methods to pay winners actual money. These sites walk a fine line between being legal and offering prizes that resemble cash, so we’re not going to link to them here. A quick Google search will point you to these sites, but we can’t endorse them in good conscience. If a site isn’t recommended by an online media outlet, you should always , including the background and history of the operator, licensing, encryption, and fairness of the games offered. 

The top free poker sites in the US listed above all offer opportunities to win real money, but you have to convert your winnings to merchandise or satellite tours instead of cold hard cash. This method may seem less than ideal to some players, but it has its advantages. For starters, it ensures that no one breaks the law by offering real cash prizes and it stops courts of law from shutting down the site. Moreover, most people can’t deposit or withdraw on poker sites, which means free poker with opportunities to win real money is their only way to play. 

The Best Free Poker Sites in the USA

    • Best free poker play money site for winning tour tickets and shopping vouchers.
    • Lots of play money action including soft fields and high reward tournaments.
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    • Great play money overlay and soft fields plus easy banking.
    • Generous freerolls and soft competition.

Why These Free Online Poker Sites?

All of the above mentioned sites have large networks of players, dynamic game selection, quality poker software, and numerous ways to win real money, merchandise and satellite tournaments. They also offer ample opportunities to play free No-Limit Texas Hold'em poker online and no matter what your skill level may be, you'll always find soft competition at the free tables. Furthermore, unlike Zynga Poker, all of these poker rooms transition well if/when you decide to start playing real money poker games. Even if you never make the leap to real money action, you'll still get plenty of action, perks and free online poker no download needed.

How to Play Free Online Poker

If you’d like to try one of the free poker online no download sites, follow the steps below. We’ve used to illustrate the process but it’s broadly similar regardless of which room you choose. 

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1. Create Your Account

Go to the Global Poker homepage and click the button that says “PLAY HERE.” On the next screen, you’ll be asked to create an account by entering your email, choosing a password and providing some personal information. Take care to enter your details accurately because Global Poker will send you a code via email that you’ll need to access your account. 

2. Get Your Gold Coins

As soon as you’ve verified your account, you’ll receive a free allocation of gold coins. At Global Poker, this initial allocation is worth 5,000,00 coins. This amount varies from time to time, so it’s possible to get more or less in the future. Either way, these coins aren’ t useful in themselves, but they’re the currency you’ll use to play free poker cash bounty games. 

3. Use Your Gold Coins to Win Sweeps Coins

Sweeps Coins (SC) are the coins that have value. One SC can be exchanged for one cent. Therefore, if you have 100 SC, you’ve got a $1 credit. Global Poker costs money to operate so it gives away SC through a range of channels, including buying Gold Coins (GC). When you purchase GC, a equivalent amount of SC is awarded to your account. You can also win SC directly via freeplay tables or by sending a request to customer support. Once you’ve accumulated enough SC, you can swap it for visa gift cards, use it to enter cash games and tournaments or exchange it for cash prizes. 

4. Learn the Card Rooms

Online poker sites are often quite complex, but most free poker sites online are much simpler. In general terms, there will be a lobby that lists all the available games and the option to adjust your settings. Most lobbies categorize their games by type, stake or format, so find the section that relates to free games and take a look at the available options. Remember you can up the ante and play low stakes poker games too. 

5. Download the Software

Free online poker no download is available instantly in your web browser, but the best free online poker sites also provide downloadable software. We’d recommend installing the app if you plan to play seriously because downloadable clients generally run faster and smooth out any connectivity issues you may encounter. To download the software, select the “Download Now” option within the lobby and follow the prompts. Installing the software should only take a minute or two. 

6. Register Your Account

When you first log into the client, you will need to register the account you created when you joined. Again, Global Poker will ask you to provide some additional verification details at this stage. Once that process is complete, you’ll gain full access to the site and its free Texas Hold’em poker games online. Remember that, although you’re playing for free, there are tips and techniques you can apply to give yourself an edge. See our and strategy pages for more details. 

7. Play Free Texas Holdem Online Tournaments and Cash Games

Now you’re ready to play free Texas Hold’em poker online no registration required. Head to the lobby, select a game and click on it to join. Some tournaments have set starting times, but you can usually join others that are running straight away. If you’ve played before, all the standard controls will be present and correct. That means you can use walk mode if you want to watch what happens without placing bets and there will probably be casino-style features, such as multiple color schemes and themed backgrounds. 

8. Get More Free Chips and Bonuses

You can purchase extra gold coins and receive sweeps coins to redeem for cash prizes. Other than that, you can request up to 5 free sweeps coins once per hour to help build up your stack. Just remember that Global Poker operates in a slightly different way to other free poker online sites, so make sure you read its T&C before you buy anything. 

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Types of Free Online Poker Options

If you type “free poker online no download” into your search engine, you’ll get a lot of results. Some of those results will refer to free mobile poker apps, while others will relate to play money versions of games like Omaha and Stud. Meanwhile the highest traffic sites offer lots of variants, including Razz, 7-Stud, 7-Stud Hi Lo, and No Limit Hold’em. 

Generally speaking, free online poker comes in three main forms: play money versions of real-money games, free poker apps and no deposit bonus poker games. Below we delve deeper into each type.

Play Money Versions of Real-Money Games

PokerRoom was the first online poker site and it launched in 1998. Back in the late ‘90s, most people had dial-up internet connections so installed software that connected players to private tables. Everyone using the software could see those tables and, because PokerRoom was the industry leader, its tables became very busy very quickly. This concept was developed by companies such as Poker Stars, which not only provided free no deposit poker but also introduced innovative features such as multiple table options, customizable avatars and integrated chat boxes. 

Today most of the best US poker sites have free play money versions of their top real-money games. Sometimes these play money versions are accessible via a separate URL and they may have less software features than their paid equivalents. However, in general play money games replicate their real-cash counterparts. That means you can use emulate to play free Texas Hold’em poker online with friends in exactly the same way as you would £1 / £1 game. 

One advantage of play money games is that you can see how you cope with the software’s demands. Online poker moves fast and, if you’re using free poker software no download necessary, you won’t have any software to slow you down. This may sound like a minor point, but it’s important to acclimatise yourself to the speed of online poker before you start playing for real money. Another advantage of play money games is that you can see what you’re getting for your subscription fee. 

Finally, play money games are a great way to practice new strategies and hone your overall game. If you’ve been reading our and articles, you’ll already know a lot about poker theory. However, putting that knowledge into practice at low staked games can be daunting. Moving back to free online poker cash games will seem easy once you’ve been playing at the highest levels. It will also give you the chance to identify weaknesses in your strategy and refine your overall approach.

Free Poker Apps

Most of the best free online poker sites have downloadable clients and browser-based versions. The browser-based versions are known as free poker apps because you don’t need to install any software and you can access them via your web browser. These free texas holdem poker online apps are convenient because you can use them on any device and they update automatically. Previously these apps were quite basic, but they’ve improved significantly in recent years. Today you can get all the features of the paid app within a web browser, meaning you can jump straight into free online poker no download needed.

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One advantage of free poker apps is their portability. If you’ve got five minutes to spare, you can fire up a free mobile poker app and play one hand while you’re waiting for something else to happen. Alternatively, if you’ve got an hour free, you can play a full tournament. Free online poker app action is available via smartphones and tablets, so you can play wherever and whenever you like. 

Other pros of free poker apps are that they’re cost effective and risk free. Although you may be playing for pretend money rather than real cash, practicing your holds 'em on a free mobile poker app could stop you from losing real money on a paid app or at a real-money site. Finally, free poker apps no download are great fun and allow you to compete against players from around the world.

No Deposit Bonus Poker Games

Some sites give you a free no deposit bonus when you sign up. This bonus usually takes the form of a match offer that multiplies your first deposit by a certain percentage. For example, a 100% match worth up to $500 will give you $500 if you deposit $500. Those offers are great, but some sites simply give you free cash with no deposit required. These sites operate using a sweepstakes model, which means you get virtual coins that can either be exchanged for cash prizes or used to play games. 

Global Poker is the leading site of this kind and it provides gold coins that can be converted into Sweeps Coins (SC). Each SC can be swapped for one cent, so you can quickly accrue enough coins to enter cash games and tournaments. Any winnings you generate will be stored in your SC balance, so you can continue to play for free if you wish. However, it’s also possible to exchange SC for cash prizes or vis a visa gift cards. This system is a bit convoluted, but it allows Global Poker to offer free online poker cash games and tournaments in the US. 

No deposit bonus poker games are fantastic because they’re truly free. Unlike play money games, you’re not going to feel pressured to deposit at a later date, and unlike free poker apps no download, you can convert your winnings to real cash. Moreover, the leading no deposit bonus site - Global Poker - awards prizes in the form of gift vouchers and tournament tickets. This arrangement means Global Poker operates within the law and you operate within it by purchasing alternative coin packages when you run low. Overall, no deposit bonus poker games are the best way to get free chips for poker and play free poker online legally in the USA.

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Pros and Cons of Play Money Poker

  • Pro: Free to play.
  • Con: Limited venues.
  • Pro: No financial risk.
  • Pro: Good for learning.
  • Con: No financial reward.
  • Pro: Available immediately.
  • Con: May not be tied to cash prizes.
  • Pro: No stress.

Tips for Playing Free Online Poker

  • Find Venues That Suitable for You. Most free sites mirror their paid equivalents, so you’ll be able to find a variety of games including, Hold’em, Omaha and 7-Card Stud. Some sites focus exclusively on one variant, whereas others provide multiple formats. Additionally, some sites offer unique variations that you won’t find anywhere else. So, if you want to play free online poker for fun and entertainment, look for a site with lots of action and overlay.
  • Use a Unique Username. If you decide to move out of free online poker play money games and enter the world of real-money poker, it’s important to protect your identity. Many professional players started out giving away free pointers and, if your friends know your username, they might be able to track you down. To prevent this from happening, use a pseudonym when you play free online poker for fun and entertainment.
  • Remember It’s Still Poker. It is easy to think that, because you’re playing free online poker no download necessary, it does not count. But nothing could be further from the truth. You can still make mistakes and learn valuable lessons, plus you can still win money if you grind the free tournaments. So, always stick to responsible gaming practices and try to treat free online poker cash games in the same way as their real-cash equivalents. 
  • Take Your Time. Online poker moves faster than its live equivalent, so it’s easy to get swept up in the action. However, unless you’re playing free mobile poker apps, your opponent will not be affected by how fast you act. Therefore, if you want to make perfectly weighted decisions every time, you should take your time. This advice is particularly relevant if you’re using a tracker or when facing off against difficult opponents. 
  • Try Bigger Buy-Ins. If you’re used to playing micro stakes, you may be surprised by how much more varied and interesting higher buy-in games can be. Therefore, if you want to practice your skills or try out some new , moving to bigger free games is a great idea. 
  • Check Out the Lost Wages. If a site shows lost wages after deducting prizes, this could be free poker online no registration sweat money. This money has to come from players, which means you could potentially benefit. Look for a site with big lost wages and try to work out how that money has disappeared. If it has gone on huge first place prizes, there may be value in the middle and lower tiers. Equally, if the money has gone on satellites, you may be able to use those qualifiers as training grounds. 
  • Avoid Tricky Players. Some players adopt tricky tactics when they know they’re playing for free. For example, you may find some people fold to every raise or constantly time their checks to a precise artform. Whilst these players are easy to beat, you may struggle to get any value from them. So, if you spot someone playing in an unusual manner, it may be best to avoid direct confrontations and instead target other, more predictable players. 
  • Use Free Poker to Relax. Finally, don’t forget that poker is a game and, sometimes, you just want to sit down, relax and enjoy yourself. Free games create a stress free environment where you can play to your heart’s content. So, don’t be afraid to use free online poker for entertainment and a change of pace. 
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Free Online Poker No Deposit Bonus Checklist

If you’re looking for the best free online poker sites, use the checklist below:

  • Offered Exclusively for Free
  • Generous Allocations or Easy to Earn More
  • Plenty of Action
  • Soft Competition
  • Quality Software
  • Easy Banking
  • Potential to Win Real Money, Merchandise or Satellite Tours
  • Opportunities to Win Trophies and Prizes
  • Lots of Value Games and Satellites

History of Free Online Poker

The first online poker site came online in 1998 and it was called Poker Room. This site was followed by dozens of rivals throughout the late ‘90s and early noughties, but one company revolutionized the industry in 2003.

Poker Stars was originally intended to be a sportsbook but, during development, the designer added a simple tool that allowed players to see each other’s hole cards. This innovation transformed online poker because it allowed players to study each other’s tendencies and develop sophisticated strategies. It also opened the door to training sites, poker statistics and all the other tools that are commonplace today. 

Initially Poker Stars offered its services for free but, in order to generate revenue, it introduced rake in 2005. Rake is a percentage fee charged on each pot and it’s the main source of income for . Every major site charges rake, but some operators offset their fees by offering generous free no deposit bonus offers. 

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These free no deposit bonus offers were designed to attract new players and, in doing so, compensate for the loss of revenue generated by non-rake based games. The problem is that some states view free poker online no download offers as illegal. To circumvent this issue, several sites now operate using a sweepstakes model, and this is the system used by our favorite free poker online legally in the USA.

Enjoy Free Online Poker Cash Games

Zynga may dominate the free to play poker online no download scene on Facebook et al, but there are plenty of real-money alternatives worth exploring. If you want to dip your toe in the water before committing to a site, we’d recommend playing free online poker cash games at Global Poker. Not only does this site provide lots of action and soft fields, but it also gives you the opportunity to win merchandise, tournament tickets and cash prizes. What’s more, if you don’t like Global, it’s really easy to move between the top US poker sites and find one that suits your needs. 

It’s important to remember that, even if you’re , you can still improve your chances of winning. Our guides to and will help you do exactly that, so if you’re serious about poker, make sure you check them out. However, if you simply want to find the best free poker online no download sites and have some fun, use the banner below to start playing right now.


Does Global Poker Really Pay?

Global Poker uses a unique system where you earn virtual ‘Gold Coins’ which can be exchanged for cash prizes and gift vouchers once you accrue enough. You can also receive ‘Sweeps Coins’, which can also be exchanged for cash prizes and gift vouchers. You can purchase Gold Coins and get Sweeps Coins as part of the package. Alternatively, you can receive free Gold Coins through various promotions and giveaways, which will also award you with Sweeps Coins. Essentially, if you purchase Gold Coins, some of that purchase is considered a marketing expense, which they can then use to reward players with free Sweeps Coins. They can then award these to you as part of a promotion, or you can receive them directly when you make your first purchase of Gold Coins. Once you have built up enough Sweeps Coins, you can exchange them for cash prizes and gift vouchers.

What is the Best Free Poker Game Site?

We rate Global Poker as the best free poker online legally in the USA, but there are various options depending on your preferences. If you want to play free online poker for fun and entertainment, then almost any site will do. However, if you want to play for free with the chance to win real money, head to Global Poker.

Can You Play Poker for Free Online?

Yes, all of the sites featured on this page allow you to play free Texas holdem poker online with friends or other players. If you want to play for free but with the potential to win real money, then head to Global Poker.

Where Can I Play Free Online Poker in the USA?

Majority say that Americans can play free online poker for fun, but cannot offer real money play. However, the loop hole is that sites like Global Poker offer free chips for poker but with the potential to win real money. Effectively, you play with 'gold coins' and exchange these for 'sweeps coins', which is the currency you can transfer to cash prizes and gift vouchers.

Can I Practice Poker for Free Online?

You can use play money modes on sites like to practice for free. Or, for the most authentic experience, play the lowest stakes available.