Online poker is incredibly popular worldwide. The game attracts casual fans, industry insiders, avid players and more throughout the year thanks to major international land-based and online tournaments/gameplay.
Filipino residents have access to legal online poker in the Philippines through sanctioned offshore gambling sites. These offshore poker sites feature multiple game types in both single-game and tournament formats. The country has been known to host tournaments via PokerStars and other well-known poker enterprises.
Poker bonuses reward players for their online activity and players can experience a high-quality streamlined poker environment. If you have ever been interested in legal online poker options in the Philippines, look no further than licensed offshore poker brands. Our team of online gambling professionals developed this page specifically for residents looking for legitimate online poker action. We have created similar guides for legal Philippines online sportsbooks and Phillipines online casinos.
Best Online Poker Site For Filipino Players
BetOnline Poker - 100% Match Bonus Up To $1000
BetOnline was one of the first brands to launch an online gambling initiative, and they have since become one of the most trusted and reputable destinations online for poker players all around the world. They offer a 100% match bonus up to $1000 for new players, along with half a dozen other valuable online poker promos to choose from.
The BetOnline poker room is very active, with a healthy range of competition, buy in levels, game selection and promotions. You'll find an active tournament schedule. Their compliance certified poker software solution is provided by Connective Games and delivers a reliable, high-quality gaming experience through a feature-rich interface and user-friendly lobby.
Is Online Poker Legal For Players in the Philippines?
Yes, but only through licensed offshore gambling providers. Philippine gambling laws restrict locally based gambling operators from offering their services to residents, leaving licensed offshore poker destinations as the only legal option. Our research has not found any cases of Philippine players being arrested or prosecuted for playing poker online via offshore sites.
Which Poker Games Are Available Online?
Players have access to multiple game types, including Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha, Studs Poker, HORSE, Caribbean Stud and others. The game menu will vary from site to site. You can find tournament play in most game forms. Free play mode is applicable for some games and allows players to familiarize themselves with games before wagering any real money.
It also provides them the opportunity to test out new game strategies. Online there are many options, to learn more about legal gambling options in Manila City or Metro Manila check out our gambling by region section.
Is Land-Based Poker Legal In The Philippines?
Yes. There are several major land-based casinos that offer poker games in the Philippines. Some of these are regulated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), and others are handled by outside enterprises. In fact, PAGCOR is trying to sell off some of their casino assets, but that is another discussion. The following are some of the more well-known casinos:
- City of Dreams Manila
- PAGCOR Angeles
- Resorts World Manila
- Midas Hotel and Casino
- Okada Manila
Philippines Poker Tournaments
For world travelers in the islands, Macau poker tournaments or poker tournaments in Las Vegas might be an option. However, for the majority of PH residents, that’s not going to be the case. Even getting to poker tournaments in Manila at a PAGCOR-licensed venue (like the Okada Manila poker room) can often be too much of an inconvenience to offer real sustained play. But online poker tournaments – that’s a different story!
You can play for real money online in a variety of ways. But cash tables and Sit ‘N’ Go events are the minor leagues. Tournament poker is what it’s all about, and in the islands, the biggest tourneys are online at the offshore poker rooms mentioned here. With hundreds – if not thousands – of players buying in to new tournaments every day, you can play your hand and win each table on your way to major six-figure payouts!
Philippines Mobile Poker
All of the best online poker rooms at the top offshore Philippines gambling sites offer full mobile compatibility. In fact, mobile poker is the most popular way to play, as nearly everyone in the nation has a smartphone or tablet that can access these legal Internet poker rooms and every game and tournament type they offer.
That said, you won’t find iPhone poker apps in the App Store or Android poker apps in the Google Play store, because those companies’ policies don’t allow offshore gambling products in the Philippines market.
Fortunately, the web app experiences that our recommended poker sites give you are all totally streamlined, allow quick tap-and-swipe play, and require no downloads or updates. Plus, with state-of-the-art Internet encryption standards, there’s also no safer way to play online poker than through these reputable sites’ mobile interfaces.
In-Person Poker Rooms vs. Online Poker In The Philippines
The Philippines has a bustling gambling market, both through commercial means and via the underground. In both cases, you’ll get a real poker experience playing face-to-face against other gamblers.
However, both of these options have issues. For commercial PAGCOR poker, you need to be near Metro Manila and be able to make the trip to a brick-and-mortar casino anytime you want to play a few hands. And private house games or black-market poker in the Philippines just aren’t worth the legal and physical dangers involved.
If you play online, however, you won’t run into legal or interpersonal problems of any sort. Yes, the online game does sacrifice a few interesting aspects of poker, namely the fabled “poker face.” Because you can’t look your opponents in the eye when playing over the Internet at a digital poker table, the bluffing element is removed. But this is a good thing for new players and novice real-money players. Additionally, online play removes bit of the luster of the real game, inasmuch as you can’t actually rake in the poker chips when you win a big pot while grinning at every loser scratching the felts.
But the benefits far outweigh these small issues. You can play online poker in the Philippines at any time, no matter where you are, which is convenience unmatched by any other method. And frankly, the payouts are better online, too. Finally, online play lets you easily consult charts showing you the basic poker rules, the best poker hands, poker card rankings, and more, giving you a real edge.
What Is Zynga Poker?
Zynga is a social app developer that makes games for iOS, iPadOS, Android, and Facebook. While Zynga Poker is the most popular free-to-play poker app in the Philippines, you cannot win real money by playing. Ironically, however, it costs real money to play!
You can win free coins in Zynga Poker, but these are only good for playing more poker. There are no payouts and no monetary prizes of any kind. And worst of all, there are Zynga Poker cheat hacks that many players use, none of which is possible at real-money offshore Philippines poker sites.
As a way to learn the game, Zynga’s “poker room” might be fun, but it’s more expensive than simply signing up at an offshore poker room, making a small deposit, and playing minimum ante, small-pot events. Why waste money on winning Zynga Poker free chips when you can spend the same amount (or less!) and win real money online?
FAQs About Philippines Online Poker
Why Offshore Poker?
Poker through offshore gambling sites has several benefits, one of which being the convenience of online access. For residents without any brick-and-mortar casinos nearby, it can be difficult to find legitimate poker action. Offshore gambling sites provide poker gameplay to all Filipinos with Internet access.
There also tends to be more variance with game types and the number of games available. Some online poker brands allow users to play multiple hands at once, increasing their rate of play and potential winnings. Perhaps the best advantage to offshore players is bonus incentives.
Poker bonuses are rewards in the form of free money given to active players (more on this in a later section). The key takeaway is that our recommended offshore poker sites create a better gambling experience than sitting at a physical table game.
How Does Online Poker Work Through Offshore Sites?
Most reputable offshore poker sites feature games through a downloadable software. In some cases, there are options to play online via a Flash player, but it is not uncommon for players to download a supplementary software.
Offshore poker suites are designed by leading online gambling software providers and feature beautiful renderings of digital tables and streamlined gameplay. Players can easily toggle between game types and free play/real money gambling via the navbar.
You can even adjust your filter settings to only search for games based on table size, pot limit, game type, etc. The online poker suites provide accommodations for all types of players. There are Sit ‘N’ Go games and more involved tournaments available.
How Do Poker Bonuses Work?
Online poker bonuses are different than ones found in offshore sportsbooks or casinos, mainly because they are offered incrementally as opposed to all at once. There are often VIP tier levels in place that award comp points per hand.
Comp points are a sort of loyalty system that helps track player activity and rewards players based on which level they are at. The one important factor to pay attention to regarding poker bonuses is their playthrough requirement—or how much a player is required to accrue in bets before being eligible for a withdrawal.
Information on playthrough requirements, as well as all other components of a specific bonus, can be found within the respective bonus’ terms and conditions.
What Deposit Options Are Available On Offshore Poker Sites?
Offshore poker sites typically host a variety of Philippines friendly deposit methods to accommodate their international audience. Our suggested brands feature the following:
- Credit/debit cards
- Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Dash, Litecoin, Ethereum)
- Wire transfers
- Cashier’s cheques
- Prepaid options
Each method comes with its own advantages and disadvantages depending on how you look at it. You can gamble using PHP through any of these methods. More information can be found on our deposits page. Processing times vary per method (cryptocurrencies are the fastest) and additional fees may incur.
Offshore poker sites recommend the use of cryptocurrencies to avoid long processing times and fees applied to your deposits/withdrawals. Consider e-Wallets (like Skrill or Neteller), cryptocurrencies or prepaid options if you are looking for more anonymous methods.
Do You Pay Taxes On Poker Winnings In The Philippines?
This is up to you, but by Philippine law, you are required to report your gambling earnings when you disclose your income every tax season. Offshore poker rooms and gambling sites are not tax shelters!
Though these sites will not report your winnings to local Philippine tax authorities, you should always pay your taxes in full and on time. After all, what’s the point of winning that big poker jackpot if the government’s just going to take it all away because they didn’t get their cut?