Best Online Poker Tournaments for Real Money in June 2024

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There are millions of dollars to be won in the best online poker tournaments, so finding the right places to play is crucial. We’ve scoured the internet and found online sites that offer major poker tournaments. Continue reading as we’ll show you tips how to win online poker tournaments.

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Comparing the Best Online Poker Sites for Tournaments

Check the table below for our selection of the best online poker sites, especially for tournaments and their buy-ins.

Poker Site Best For Welcome Bonus Promo Code Poker Network Poker Games Buy-Ins
CoinPoker Best overall MTT app 100% up to ₮1,100 N/A – Claim Here Proprietary Texas Holdem, Omaha, 5-Card Omaha Freerolls to ₮1,000+
BetOnline Best for all-round action 100% up to $1,000 POKER1000 Chico Texas Holdem, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, Open Face Chinese Freerolls to $1,000+
Bovada Best for satellites and guarantees 100% up to $500 PWB500 PaiWangLuo Texas Holdem, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo Freerolls to $1,000+

Sites for Online Poker Tournaments Reviewed

Where can you play the best online poker tournaments? After countless hours of research and testing, we’ve found a couple of brands that have tons of tournaments for players at every level.

1. CoinPoker – Offers the Best Online Poker Tournaments

  • Founded: 2018
  • Payout Speed: Instant
  • License: Curaçao eGaming
  • Headquarters: Curaçao

CoinPoker is packed with innovative features and tournaments. It’s a decentralized cryptocurrency poker site, which means you can deposit, bet, and withdraw with cryptocurrencies (eg Bitcoin and USDT) anonymously.

CoinPoker’s Top Tournaments

Tournament Buy-in Guarantee
Sunday Big Stacks ₮5 and ₮300 ₮300 and ₮6,000
Sunday Specials ₮2 and ₮200 ₮250 and ₮40,000
Falcon ₮1,000 ₮150,000

Even though CoinPoker only offers Hold’em and Omaha games, you won’t be short of options. And the platform is available via mobile app.

As well as plenty of daily and weekly guarantees, CoinPoker has leaderboard promotions with prizepools of ₮15,000+, as well as unique progressive knockout events.

Add major events to the mix, such as the ₮25 million Crypto Series of Poker (CSOP), and there’s a ton of tournament value at CoinPoker.

Features Overview

  • Poker Tournaments: 9/10
  • Poker Options: 9/10
  • Mobile Poker App: 10/10
  • Promotions & Rewards: 9/10
  • User Experience: 9/10
  • Payment Methods: 10/10
  • Customer Support: 9/10

Pros pros

  • ₮200,000 in Sunday guarantees
  • 33% rakeback
  • Major poker tournaments, including CSOP
  • No VPN required

Cons cons

  • Design could be better
  • Only offers Hold’em and Omaha
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2. BetOnline – Numerous Online Poker Tournaments

  • Founded: 2001
  • Payout speed: 24 hours
  • License: Panama Gaming Commission
  • Headquarters: St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda

Poker New York - The BetOnline homepage on mobile

BetOnline is popular among users for its fiat and crypto payment options. In addition, it offers a mixture of games for serious players and fun features, like throwable objects, for recreational players.

BetOnline’s Top Tournaments

Tournament Buy-in Guarantee
Sunday Major Shorter Registration $109 $150,000
6-Max PKO $109.00 $10,000
$6,000 GTD R/A $33 $6,000

For the serious players, the schedule is packed with progressive bounty events. Our MTT top pick is the Sunday Major.

As well as a $150,000 guarantee, it has a short registration period, meaning the average running time is less than other Sunday majors.

For recreational players, BetOnline has plenty of hyper turbo and short registration MTTs. We also like the tournament money builders, starting at $1.10, which gives you the chance to win tournament credits.

Features Overview

  • Poker Tournaments: 9/10
  • Poker Options: 9/10
  • Mobile Poker App: 9/10
  • Promotions & Rewards: 8/10
  • User Experience: 9/10
  • Payment Methods: 10/10
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  • Massive welcome bonus
  • Plenty of MTTs, including $3 million series
  • Covers all variants
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3. Bovada – The Biggest Tournament Poker Online Guarantees

  • Founded: 2011
  • Payout speed: 24 hours
  • License: Curaçao eGaming
  • Headquarters: Costa Rica

Bovada Poker

Bovada is one of the best online poker sites for satellites and guaranteed prizepools. For example, while the Sunday Major costs slightly more than others at $162, the guarantee is $200,000.

Bovada’s Best Tournaments

Tournament Buy-in Guarantee
Sunday Major $162 $200,000
Bovada High Roller $325 $100,000
Jackpot SNG $100 $100,000

You can qualify for as little as $1. Our personal favorite is the $22 weekly satellite with 10 seats guaranteed.

As for SNGs, Bovada also runs single-table satellites for its biggest poker tournaments, including the Golden Spade Poker Open (GSPO) and Crypto Poker Open (CPO).

With over $2 million in weekly guarantees and more throughout the year, Bovada is notably one of the best online poker sites for tournaments.

Features Overview

  • Poker Tournaments: 8/10
  • Poker Options: 9/10
  • Mobile Poker App: 8/10
  • Promotions & Rewards: 10/10
  • User Experience: 9/10
  • Payment Methods: 9/10
  • Customer Support: 9/10

Pros pros

  • $2 million in weekly guarantees
  • Instant crypto cashouts
  • Great customer support
  • Excellent selection of satellites

Cons cons

  • Fees for certain withdrawal options
  • Sunday major costs more than similar events

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Types of Poker Tournaments Online

This segment will take a look at how poker tournaments online work, but the main takeaway is that they fall broadly into two categories: multi-table (MTTs) and single table, aka sit & go (SNG).

MTTs (Multi-Table Tournaments)

Multi-table poker tournaments are suitable for players at every level. The premise is simple: players sitting at multiple tables play until only one remains.

Every live poker tournament you see on TV, from the WSOP Main Event to the WPT World Championship, is a multi-table showdown.

Multi-table tournaments come in a variety of formats, including regular, turbo, and bounty. So, if you’re aiming to play poker tournaments online, it pays to understand the main formats and which strategies work best.

MTTs have scheduled start times. Players pay an entry fee (buy-in), entitling them to a specific number of chips. The chips only have value within the tournament, and players remain active until they lose their chips.

Those who make it “into the money” – usually the top 10%-15% of the field – win a cash prize. The winner takes the lion’s share of the prizepool once they hold all of the chips in play.

CoinPoker has the best online poker tournaments for US players because games are open to people worldwide. This means there’s a better chance of coming up against weak players than if you play poker tournaments online for money at ring-fenced sites.

SNGs (Sit & Go Poker Tournaments)

Sit & Go tournaments (SNGs) take place on a single table and don’t have a specific start time. As the name suggests, the action begins once everyone (usually two, six, or nine players) is seated.

Your aim is the same as MTTs, ie to win all the chips in play. What’s interesting about SNGs is that you’re always against the same players. New players don’t come to the table like they do in MTTs, making it slightly easier to get reads on players.

With the number of players is gradually decreasing, ICM (Independent Chip Modelling) can be more important in SNGs than MTTs (more on this later).

Check out the online poker tournament schedule at Bovada because you can play SNGs with random prizepools (aka Jackpot SNGs) topping $100,000.

Breaking it Down…

There is a variety of interesting formats within the two categories outlined above.

Weekly Guaranteed Tournaments
  • Best for poker players who like to know the prize money they can win.
  • Best poker sites for guaranteed tournaments: CoinPoker and Bovada

Weekly guaranteed events are, as you can probably guess, online poker tournaments that have guaranteed prizepools.

The biggest weekly guaranteed poker tournaments take place on Sundays, such as CoinPoker’s ₮200,000 Nemesis and Bovada’s $200,000 Sunday Major.

The beauty of guaranteed MTTs is that the prizepool doesn’t hinge on the number of entrants.

For example, if a $100,000 guaranteed MTT costs $100 to play but only 500 people enter, the prizepool will still be $100,000.

Poker operators make up the shortfall, hence why they’re referred to as guaranteed MTTs.

Regular
  • Best for active players who play MTTs on a daily/weekly basis
  • Best poker site for regular tournaments: CoinPoker

Regular online poker tournaments are events you can count on every day, week, month, or year. These tournaments can have a guarantee, but they often don’t.

Despite not having guarantees, regular tournaments often have healthy prizepools because their frequency means active players can rely on them.

Turbo Tournaments
  • Best for aggressive players and action players.
  • Best poker site for turbo tournaments: BetOnline

Aggression is often the key to success in turbo poker tournaments because you’re always against the clock.

The blinds in most poker tournaments online increase every 12 minutes. That’s regarded as a standard speed.

Anything quicker than 12 minutes is considered a turbo tournament. The fact that blinds increase at a faster rate means you have less time to wait for strong hands.

That’s why aggression often pays dividends in turbo poker tournaments online.

Bounty Tournaments
  • Best for tournament poker players who can get reads on people and target their weaknesses.
  • Best poker site for bounty tournaments: Bovada

Bounty tournaments are unique events where you win a prize by eliminating specific players.

You’ll know which players have bounties on their heads before the tournament starts. The value of their bounty will either be fixed or a mystery.

Mystery bounties have become popular in live poker tournament series, such as the WSOP and WPT World Championship, over the last few years.

They’re popular because the amount you win remains a mystery until you’ve drawn an envelope from a drum.

It’s important to note that bounties are paid instantly and don’t affect the prizes you can win by finishing in the money of the tournament.

Progressive Knockout
  • Best for aggressive players who take risks early on in tournaments.
  • Best poker site for progressive knockout tournaments: BetOnline

Progressive knockout (PKO) tournaments are a type of bounty event.

The difference between the two is that the value of your bounty increases each time you eliminate a player in PKO tournaments. Additionally, everyone has a bounty on their head.

For example, if you eliminate a player with a $10 bounty on their head, $5 goes into your account as a cash payout, and $5 goes towards your bounty.

This means the amount you stand to win from another player is based on the number of bounties they’ve collected.

Progressive bounties inevitably increase in value as tournaments progress.

However, if you’re an aggressive player, it’s possible to cover your buy-in and more within the first few rounds by eliminating a lot of players quickly.

One of the best online poker tournaments for progressive bounties is the weekly $10,000 guaranteed 6-max event at BetOnline. It costs $109 to enter, but satellites start from $1.

Shootout Tournaments
  • Best for players who like SNGs but want the chance to win bigger prizes.
  • Best poker site for shootout tournaments: Bovada

Shootout tournaments combine elements of SNGs and MTTs. These tournaments have players spread across multiple tables.

However, instead of rebalancing tables (moving players to new tables as people get eliminated to keep them balanced), each one plays down to a winner.

Winners from each table are then sat at a new table.

This dynamic continues until there’s only one player on one table remaining. In essence, shootout tournaments are lots of SNGs taking place simultaneously.

Another way to think about shootouts is that they’re round-based poker tournaments.

Heads-Up Poker Tournaments
  • Best for experienced players who are skilled at exploiting their opponent’s weaknesses.
  • Best poker site for heads-up tournaments: Bovada

Heads-up poker tournaments are one-on-one showdowns. That means you’re sat across from a single opponent in a shootout match.

If you beat that person, you move to the next round, where you’ll face someone else. This dynamic continues until one player remains.

The average online poker tournament schedule doesn’t contain a lot of heads-up events. You’ll mainly see them during online poker tournament series, such as Bovada’s Golden Spade Poker Open (GSPO).

In the live poker tournament world, the NBC Heads-Up Championship set the standard back in the early noughties. Today, the $25,000 WSOP Heads-Up Event Championship is the gold standard.

Poker Satellite Tournaments
  • Best for aspiring players
  • Best poker sites for satellite tournaments: BetOnline

Satellites are stepping stones. They give you a chance to win seats in major poker tournaments that might otherwise be too expensive.

For example, you can win a seat in Bovada’s $200,000 Sunday Major by playing satellites that cost as little as $1.

Winning a ticket from one of these satellites means you don’t have to pay the standard $162 entry fee.

The best poker tournaments online also give you a chance to win seats in live events.

For example, you could win a seat in the $10,000 WSOP Main Event. That’s exactly what amateur poker player Chris Moneymaker did back in 2003 when he won the WSOP Main Event for $2.5 million.

Online Poker Tournament Features

There are five fundamental features of poker tournaments. From the biggest poker tournament online to local live events, these features separate tournaments from cash games:

Online Poker Tournament Schedule

Online poker tournaments have set start times, which is one reason they’re different from SNGs. The fact that tournaments have start times mean that poker operators can schedule events throughout the week.

The quality of an online poker site can be judged by its tournament schedule.

We rank the best online poker sites for tournaments according to the number of MTTs they offer, their guarantees, and whether there are buy-ins to suit all players.

Tournament Stack Sizes

Tournament chips don’t have any value in the real world. They’re simply credits that keep you in the game.

Everyone starts a poker tournament with the same number of chips (their stack), and the aim is to outlast everyone else and have all the chips in play.

Poker Tournament Buy-In

A poker tournament buy-in is the amount it costs to enter.

All poker tournaments online have a registration period, which includes the time before a tournament starts and a certain amount of time after it’s started (known as late registration).

You’ll pay rake each time you play poker tournaments online for real money. Rake is a small fee taken by the operator to cover costs. Cash game rake is taken from pots that meet certain conditions.

Tournament rake is built into the buy-in. It’s usually 10%-15% of the buy-in.

For example, if the entry fee is $10, the rake will be $1. This means the poker tournament buy-in will be displayed at $10 +$1 or, more commonly, $11.

The Tournament Clock

The blinds in poker tournaments increase at predetermined intervals, eg every 12 minutes.

This is one of the major differences between tournaments and cash games, where the blinds never increase or decrease.

The escalating nature of the blinds keeps tournaments moving along because it forces players to enter pots. Without playing hands, you’d simply lose your chips to the blinds (aka blinding out).

Tournament Payouts

Poker enthusiasts choose to play poker tournaments online for money.

Unfortunately, the majority of players who enter a tournament leave empty-handed. That’s because payouts are reserved for a small percentage of the field.

In general, the best online poker tournaments pay prize money to the top 10%-15% of players.

So, if the field contained 200 players and the top 10% win a share of the prizepool, you’d need to finish 20th or better to receive a payout.

The player who finishes one place before the payout starts is said to “burst the bubble”.

Bonuses for Online Poker Tournaments

The best bonuses to look for if you play poker tournaments online for money are the following:

Welcome Bonus

Welcome bonuses are given to new players when they register and/or make an initial deposit. These bonuses typically include bonus cash, tournament tickets, access to freerolls, and special rakeback deals.

For example, CoinPoker newbies can claim a fantastic welcome bonus. Currently, your match bonus is released in 10% increments each time you rake 2x its value.

Match Deposit Bonus

Matched deposit bonuses pay rewards on a 1:1 basis.

For example, if you deposit $100, you’ll receive $100 in bonus credit. This credit is released as you hit playthrough targets.

Matched bonuses can also unlock tournament credit/tickets equal to the value of your deposit.

No Deposit Bonus

No deposit poker bonuses are rewards you receive without adding funds to your account. They are rarely offered so if you come across this promotion, make sure to claim it and read the T&Cs.

Moreover, it comes in the form of a new player offer, or as loyalty reward for playing in online poker tournaments for real money.

Rakeback

VIP rewards in poker typically manifest themselves as rakeback.

Rake is a small fee taken by the house when you play cash game pots and enter tournaments. The best online poker sites for tournaments give you back some of the rake you pay.

For example, if you play the best online poker tournaments for real money at CoinPoker, you can earn 33% rakeback. So, let’s say you pay $1,000 in rake over the course of a month. This would entitle you to $330 in rakeback.

Tournament Tickets

Free poker tournament tickets get you into poker tournaments online without spending a cent.

The most common ways to get free tournament tickets at CoinPoker, BetOnline, and other popular poker sites are through giveaways, freeroll prizes, welcome bonuses, and loyalty rewards.

Reload Bonus

Any deposit bonus you get as an existing customer is classed as a reload reward. Only new customers can claim first deposit bonuses.

Some of the best reload bonuses for online poker tournament players are available at Bovada.

Supported Payment Methods at Poker Tournament Sites

You can only play the best online poker tournaments for real money prizes if you’ve got cash in your account. Here are safest ways to deposit money online:

Online Bank Transfer

Sending money from and to your bank account is extremely safe because it’s a system that’s been used for decades.

Bank transfer withdrawals take longer than other payment methods, with an average processing time of seven days.

However, the maximum deposit and withdrawal limits are higher than other methods, which makes this an ideal option for high rollers.

Debit and Credit Cards

Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, and Discover allow you to instantly deposit money from your checking account. You can also withdraw money to debit cards.

The average processing time is two to five days.

Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies aren’t attached to a single country, meaning you can make peer-to-peer payments without incurring currency conversion charges.

Moreover, the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies ensures that transactions are inherently safe because they go through a complex encryption and decryption process.

Finally, because transactions don’t go through a third party, processing times for deposits and withdrawals are basically instant.

Our recommended site for people who want to play poker online tournaments using cryptocurrencies is CoinPoker. You can read our CoinPoker review for further details.

Prepaid Cards

Prepaid cards, also known as one-time vouchers, allow you to make deposits using a special code.

You obtain this code by paying for a voucher in cash (in a store) or online.

Simply enter the code in the ‘Payment’ page of your chosen poker site, and the funds are credited to your account.

Best Strategies for Online Poker Tournaments

There is not one definite strategy on how to win online poker tournaments.

You’ll find a lot of variance in online poker tournaments, and the world’s top players only expect to win a small percentage of the events they enter.

Of course, there are a ton of variables that can affect your win rate. However, you shouldn’t expect to cash in every tournament. The positive is that when you do reach the money of a tournament, the returns can be huge.

It’s possible to cancel out a string of losses with a single tournament win. So, if you’re willing to embrace a fairly large amount of volatility, poker tournaments are ideal. If not, you might prefer cash games.

For those who like the challenge MTTs present, the best strategies for online poker tournaments are:

1. Play tight early

Start when the blinds are small in relation to your stack size, then gradually increase the number of hands you play (i.e., loosen your range) as the tournament progresses.

2. Avoid short stacks

Do this when the bubble is approaching because they’ll be avoiding as many battles as possible for fear they’ll get eliminated before making any money.

3. Learn the value of your stack deep in tournaments

ICM (Independent Chip Modelling) converts your stack into a cash value based on your equity, i.e. stack size in relation to those around you. You can use ICM to determine whether it’s time to bet aggressively or conservatively.

How to Play Poker Tournaments Online

Here's how to play tournaments at CoinPoker,.

  1. Tap to Join

    Use our link to open the CoinPoker homepage. Tap “Register” to open the sign-up form.
    Tap to Join
  2. Enter Your Details

    Enter your email, as well as a nickname and password. You can also enter a CoinPoker promo code if you have one. Hit the “Sign Up” button to complete the process.
    Enter Your Details
  3. Verify Your Account

    Use the link in the email from CoinPoker to activate your account.
    Verify Your Account
  4. Install CoinPoker

    Use the download button to install CoinPoker on your desktop or mobile device. You’ll be asked to provide your phone number when you first open the app. Enter your number to receive a verification SMS.
    Install CoinPoker
  5. Deposit and Play

    Open the “Cashier” page and make a deposit to claim your welcome bonus. Choose an MTT and shoot for glory.
    Deposit and Play

What is a Poker Tournament?

A poker tournament is an event where multiple players compete to claim all the chips in play.

The players who survive long enough to reach the top percentile win a share of the prizepool, with the winner taking the lion’s share.

You should consider playing tournament poker online if you…

  • Like competitions with an ultimate goal
  • Like to switch up your play and use different tactics
  • Enjoy the challenge of playing poker with deep stacks and short stacks
  • Want to play for a significant return on your investments
  • Want to test yourself against a variety of players and playing styles.

Why Play Online Sunday Poker Tournaments?

Sundays have become the day to play online poker tournaments for real money.

There’s nothing particularly special about Sundays, other than the fact it’s the day most people aren’t working. Therefore, the best online poker sites for tournaments tend to be busier on Sundays.

More players mean more buy-ins which generates bigger prizepools. That’s why the biggest poker tournaments online happen on Sundays.

Some of the standout events to look out for on a weekly basis are:

  • CoinPoker’s ₮200 Sunday Special with a ₮40,000 guarantee
  • BetOnline’s $109 Sunday Major (Shorter Registration) with a $150,000 guarantee
  • Bovada’s $162 Sunday Major with a $200,000 guarantee

Differences Between Poker Tournaments and Cash Games

Despite sharing a lot of qualities and an overarching aim, online poker tournaments and cash games are different disciples.

You want to win as many pots as possible by having the best hand or by making everyone else fold. You can also use fundamental poker skills, such as value betting, bluffing, and squeeze plays, in both formats.

But when it comes to the ways you employ these techniques and strategies, there are nuances you need to know. These nuances are determined by the dynamic nature of poker tournaments.

The blinds are constantly increasing in tournaments, and players are entering and leaving the table constantly. Additionally, there’s the interplay between stack preservation and chip accumulation.

All this means you need to be dynamic in tournaments. You can’t adopt one style of play and have it be as effective as it would be in cash games.

Best Site for Online Poker Tournaments – Our Verdict

The best online poker tournaments are a true test of your diversity as a player. Indeed, it’s the players who are best at adapting to new situations that often emerge victorious.

This challenge, coupled with the fact that you can win $1 million+ from major poker tournaments, is why players at all levels love MTTs.

Our recommended sites have online poker tournament schedules to suit everyone.

From daily freerolls and weekly guarantees to multi-million-dollar series, you’ll never be short of ways to put your skills to the test at the best online poker sites for tournaments.

Methodology

How We Test and Review Poker Websites

150+ Gambling Platforms Reviewed

1,100+ Games Software Tested

200+ Monthly Hours of Research

375+ Promotions Verified

Playing online poker is becoming more popular by the day and you need to choose a reputable site that best matches your needs.

We here at Techopedia have an in-house review process that’s analyzed by our poker experts that covers each and every aspect of the most popular online poker sites in the world.

In particular we look at:

  • Rakeback and other bonuses
  • Game selection
  • Player pool size
  • Reputation and safety
  • Payment methods

To find out more, take a look at our detailed guide on how we test gambling platforms and poker sites featured on Techopedia.

FAQs

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Affiliate Disclosure: Techopedia may receive advertising commissions for visits to a suggested operator through our affiliate links, at no added cost to you. However, all our recommendations are unbiased and follow a thorough review process. Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly and you must be of legal gambling age.

Daniel Smyth
Casino and Poker Expert
Daniel Smyth
Casino and Poker Expert

Daniel comes to Techopedia.com with a wealth of experience in the gambling sector. Over the last 15+ years, he’s written content for WPT Magazine, CardsChat, and Gambling.com. Daniel has also worked directly with many of the industry’s leading operators, including PokerStars, Betway, and Yggdrasil. If it’s about gambling, Daniel has covered it.