It’s Saturday night and you feel like playing some poker! You’ve been doing pretty well at your buddies home games and have a poker book or two under your belt. Why not try some of the poker games online you think? You grab a beer, sit down at your computer, read a couple reviews of poker sites and decide to sign up at Party Poker. “Hmm” you think while glancing at their deposit options, “Neteller (what’s that?) Firepay, Citadel (huh?), oh here, credit cards.” You whip out a Visa and deposit $100. DECLINED. “What the ??? Bah, the wife must have gone shopping for shoes again!” you grumble. “Ok where’s my wallet.” Pulling out another card you type in the numbers, woops, typo, ok there, got it. And…. DECLINED! ” What in the bloody hell?” you snarl. You try three more cards that you KNOW are good only to receive the same result. By now you’ve wasted almost 20 minutes, your beer is half empty, and you’re pissed off. “Screw this!” you say, and head off to watch some TV.
Unfortunately, this scenario describes many poker players first introduction to online poker, and often times their last. Many of the banks that issue credit cards today have decided that due to charge backs, various hassles, and the overall legal grey area that online poker resides in, it’s better to simply not allow any type of online gambling with their credit cards. So don’t get mad at the poker rooms because believe me, they’d accept food stamps as payment if they could.
So how do you deposit cash then? Unless you own one of those very few credit cards that can be used successfully at a poker site, your best bet is Neteller. It’s a pain to set up an account, and takes almost a week to become authorized, but it’s safe, reliable, and once you have an account, the fastest way to transfer money between rooms and into your bank account.
Neteller is a publicly traded company on the London AIM exchange and is at least as trustworthy as Paypal. After opening an account with Neteller and making your first deposit, you’ll have to call in and verify your account. Some people complain about this but it’s only one time and personally I feel safer knowing that they actually verify the details of people that open accounts with them. You’ll need a bank account and a home address with a phone number that can be verified. Once you’re verified which usually takes around a week or so, you can transfer funds between your bank account and poker sites at the click of a button. I highly recommend using Neteller because of their high account security and the fact that there are no charges to move funds in and out of your account, unlike some of their competitors.
So what happens if for some reason you can’t open a Neteller account? Then you’ll have to sign up through IGM pay at Party Poker. This basically entails sending them an e-check from your banking account. I’ve also heard that some sites will allow you to purchase what is basically a phone card from them, after which they credit your poker account with the money. How legal this is I don’t know so it’s not something I’d advise doing. You should also be aware that online gambling is not legal in all countries or jurisdictions. You should make sure that you’re not breaking any laws before you deposit money at any gambling site. Thankfully, here in UK we don’t have that problem.
So basically we poker players are stuck with Neteller. You might wonder if all of the effort required is worth it? In a word, yes! I feel it’s much safer to open one Neteller account than to leave your credit card and bank account numbers strewed out across the net at various poker sites. I trust Neteller far more than any of the online poker sites out there. Once you’ve opened your account, check out our online poker room reviews to find a good spot to play at. You also might want to glance at our poker bankroll chart if you need an idea as to how much cash you’ll need for the various limits. Good luck at the tables!