Low Stakes Poker Sites

What are the best poker sites for small stakes cash games & tournaments?

While high stakes poker games may get the lion's share of the spotlight, the real engine driving the growth of online poker's popularity is undoubtedly low stakes poker.  These games are often the heart of the player base at an online poker room, and offer a unique advantage for online poker rooms over their land-based counterparts, where game stakes are dictated by physical costs. 

In this article we're going to explore the best of the best for low stakes poker games online. We've also provided you with some useful context for those who might be newer to the world of online poker. Below you will find information on what a low stakes poker game is, how the sites make their money and a list of the best sites.

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What is a Low Stakes Poker Game?

Obviously, it depends on who you ask.  A high roller would probably consider 5 / 10 blind No Limit to be a low stakes game, while the typical poker player would undoubtedly think of such as game as anything but.  The general consensus seems to be that low stakes games top out at 1 / 2 blind no limit or pot limit games and right around 3 / 6 blinds for limit games. 

As for the low end, it can go pretty low when you're talking about online poker.  Since online poker rooms basically have an infinite number of tables available (and don't have to pay dealers),  they can offer stakes involving just pennies and still show a profit.  The smallest of these games are sometimes referred to as micro-stakes and are extremely popular online; in fact, at any given time there are more tables of .01 / .02 blind no limit games at PokerStars than any other limit the site offers.

Do All Online Poker Sites Offer Low Stake Cash Games / Tournaments?

More or less.  One of the real advantages of low stakes poker games from a room's perspective is that such games allow novice players to try their hand at real money poker with a very low level of risk (and a very small initial deposit).  As such, low stakes games are essentially ubiquitous across the online poker landscape.

What Makes One Low Stakes Game Better Than Another?

A fair question.  When you're shopping around for low stakes games - and you should shop around, as not all games are created equal - there are three primary concerns you'll want to address in your research.

  1. Rake:  While rake is an important consideration for all players, it's especially important for low-to-mid stakes players, as rake makes up a higher relative percentage of the total money in play.  Most rooms offer unique rake structures for low limits and micro limits, and making a quick spreadsheet comparing those structures is a smart move that won't take more than an hour - and can pay off handsomely.


Specific Promotions for Low Stakes Players:  Take a gander at the current promotions the room offers.  Are any directed at low stakes players?  It won't take much investigation to uncover if there are - usually the title of the promotion will indicate straight away if low stakes players are the focus.  When rooms just run general promotions for all players, low stakes players can miss out on some value, so putting in your low stakes action at a room that caters to such players is a smart move that will certainly give your bankroll a boost.

VIP Programs Friendly to Low Stakes Players:  This is where you're going to expend the bulk of your research efforts.  VIP programs at online poker rooms can be complicated things, but you're only looking to answer one question: Does playing low stakes help, hinder or have no effect on your ability to extract maximum value from the site's VIP program?

Top Overall Room for Small Stakes Players

PokerStars is the winner when it comes to overall volume of low stakes games among online poker rooms.  However, the room's position as the top poker site for low stakes players is far from unassailable - in particular, PokerStars faces vulnerabilities due to a VIP program that is skewed to reward higher stakes players and a lack of promotions tailored to players at the low-to-micro stakes.

Best US Friendly Room for Low Stakes Poker Games

When it comes to US-friendly rooms featuring low stakes poker, your choice is a close one between Lock Poker and Carbon Poker.  Both rooms run a similar amount of low stakes and micro stakes games, and both have similar rewards programs.  Both also seem to appeal to effectively the same market for casual players, so you're unlikely to notice a substantial difference in game softness between the two rooms.

Ultimately, the two are close enough to be considered a draw, so choosing one will be more a matter of personal preference than any real distinction between the two on the issue of quality for low stakes players.

Best Canadian Poker Room for Low Stakes Online Poker

While PokerStars claims the crown for best overall low stakes room, the story changes a bit when we shift to the Canadian market.  888 Poker has been making an aggressive play for the attention of Canadian poker players over the last year or so, and the result is a poker room that is quite friendly for Canadians in terms of promotions, banking and customer support. 

While 888 certainly runs fewer low stakes games than PokerStars, they still run enough that the difference is somewhat moot - after all, it doesn't really matter to you if one room runs 1000 tables and the other runs 10,000; either number is more than sufficient to provide the level of choice an individual player requires.

Best UK Poker Room for Low Stakes Poker Players

Players from the UK may prefer a room that allows them to not only deposit and withdraw using pounds, but to play in pounds as well.  For those players, the best low stakes room available for the UK is arguably bet365 Poker. 

As a part of the iPoker Network, bet365 Poker offers low stakes players from the UK access to the second-largest pool of poker games in the world.  Additionally, bet365 offers resources for newer poker players - such as Poker Pal - that help players learn as they go, giving players who start at the low stakes the chance to graduate more quickly to the mid-stakes and possibly even beyond.


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