Gamblers (especially in the United States) and gambling sites have become enamored of Bitcoin as a banking method recently.
In fact, we’d go so far as to say that Bitcoin is the best banking option available to players in the United States. But players from other countries shouldn’t discount Bitcoin, either.
This guide is written for newcomers to the currency. It works differently from most other currencies, and this page explains the ins and outs.
But this page also caters to people who are already familiar with the currency and how it works.
For those users, we look at the best sites available to Bitcoin users, and we offer an analysis of the pros and cons of using it as an option.
You can click on the names of any of the sites we’ve listed below for detailed reviews of everything they offer. We’ve carefully vetted the sites listed on this page for integrity and fairness, so you can just click through directly to each site if you want to get started playing.
How to Get Started Using Bitcoin for Gambling Deposits and Withdrawals
The best place to start is almost always at the beginning.
When discussing Bitcoin with newcomers, the first question we hear is:
What is Bitcoin, and how does it work?
Think of Bitcoin as an independent currency that’s not associated with a country or a government. It’s a “peer-to-peer” currency. It’s also a digital currency, which means you don’t ever actually handle cash. And as a “cryptocurrency”, it’s encoded.
It’s used to send payments from one digital user to another. It’s relatively new, too-Bitcoin emerged on the Internet scene in 2009.
Like gold, silver, or any other precious metal, Bitcoin is “mined”.
But their version of mining doesn’t involve picks, shovels, axes, or wheelbarrows.
There’s a public ledger which tracks processed payments and rewards them with newly-created Bitcoins. The transaction fees generated using this digital ledger pay for the Bitcoins, and that entire process is the “mining” that generates additional coins.
Bitcoins are created in blocks at a rate of one block every 10 minutes. Originally there were 25 Bitcoins in a single block, but that’s been cut in half (as of last year) to 12.5 Bitcoins in a block. The number of Bitcoins in a block are going to continue to be cut in half periodically until a total of 21 million Bitcoins have been mined. This process should be complete by 2040.
As with any currency, supply and demand determines the value of each Bitcoin. Here is the current value of bitcoin:
The Current Value of Bitcoin
They’ve also been worth considerably less, as you could buy 5,000 Bitcoins in 2009 for just $27.
In fact, as an investment vehicle, Bitcoins are more volatile than just about anything else. As such, it’s not an ideal investment vehicle. If you’re speculating, you should put only a small percentage of your overall bankroll into the currency as an investment.
What do you mean by volatile?
We mean that its value can go up and down dramatically and seemingly randomly.
Consider this. In 2009, the price of a Bitcoin fell 50%–overnight.
When using Bitcoins to make deposits and withdrawals at online gambling sites, the fluctuations in price can provide an additional layer of action to your gambling.
Deciding when to convert Bitcoins into another currency is a gamble all by itself.
How (and Where) to Buy and Sell Bitcoins
Bitcoins, like other investments, are bought and sold on exchanges. (An exchange is just a marketplace for an investment vehicle.) You can find a list of exchanges on Bitcoin.com.
If you’ve ever used an online stockbroker like E*TRADE, you’ll be familiar with this process. It’s mostly just a matter of setting up an account and a payment method (like a credit card or checking account). Then you can buy and sell Bitcoins just like you would stock in a company.
But that’s not the only way to buy and sell Bitcoin.
Remember that it’s a currency, like a dollar bill. If you have a dollar in your pocket, you can use it to buy a soft drink. Or you can exchange a dollar for 4 quarters.
You can do the same thing with Bitcoins, but since they’re a digital currency, you need an online wallet (like PayPal, only Bitcoin-specific), and so does the person you’re buying and/or selling from. Many Bitcoin exchanges also offer wallets, but not all of them.
In fact, this is how payments from online casinos work. They send you your winnings in Bitcoins via an online wallet. That’s also what’s happening when you make a deposit using Bitcoin-you’re exchanging this currency from your online wallet to the casino’s.
When you’re deciding on a wallet, look for something user-friendly that offers backups. Bitcoins are just complicated pieces of code. If you lose that code or fail to back it up, you lose access to that Bitcoin forever. Having a wallet that creates a backup for you is a hugely helpful insurance policy to help you avoid losing your Bitcoins based on that.
When dealing with individuals, buying and selling Bitcoins can cause problems because of chargebacks. A chargeback is when someone makes a claim to a credit card company that they bought something but didn’t get what they bought. The credit card company often reverses this transaction.
So if some individual sends you PayPal funds in exchange for Bitcoins, you might face a situation where the other person files a chargeback with PayPal. If you decide to exchange funds in this way with another individual, be sure it’s someone you know and trust.
Most online casinos and gambling sites which offer this currency as a deposit and withdrawal method have information about specific wallet services, too. Bovada, for example, recommends a couple of options on their site.
The Pros and Cons of Using Bitcoin
Like any other banking method you can use to fund your online gambling account, Bitcoin has its perks and its drawbacks. We try to provide an even-handed look at the good, the bad, and the ugly below:
Here are some of the positives:
Bitcoin is possibly the most United States friendly option available. UIGEA is a law that prohibits transferring funds for purposes of online gambling. Since Bitcoin is largely anonymous, it’s an easy way to get around the law. (Note that we’re not saying it’s a legal alternative.)
Bitcoin is the fastest way to get money to and from an online gambling site. Most other options measure turnaround times in days, but Bitcoin measures turnaround time in hours-sometimes less.
Bitcoin has low payment processing costs when compared to other deposit and withdrawal options.
Bitcoin’s minimum and maximum deposits are more flexible than any other option. Most sites accept deposits of as low as 0.01 Bitcoins. Most sites have no withdrawal max for Bitcoins, either.
Bitcoin users usually have lower and/or higher betting limits than other users.
Bitcoin gamblers aren’t limited to Bitcoin only sites. Most online gambling sites which accept Bitcoin also accept other deposit and withdrawal methods, too. (Although you can find Bitcoin-exclusive sites.)
Bitcoin is safe. You can look up the transactions on the block chain at Bitcoin. Even though it’s anonymous, the possibility of getting cheated is minimal because of this transparency.
But it’s not all sunshine and unicorns. Here are some of the downsides to using Bitcoin as your deposit method:
The volatility of the currency is possibly the biggest downside. If you buy a Bitcoin using dollars when the price is $1000, and the price drops to $500, you’ve lost half your money. Using Bitcoin is itself a gamble on top of a gamble. (On the other hand, if the price goes up, your winnings improve.)
There’s a learning curve involved in using Bitcoin. It’s not a steep learning curve, and you can probably figure out everything you need to from this page (and from the 2 or 3 pages we’ve linked to from here), but it’s a learning curve nonetheless.
Some online gambling sites, especially those which are Bitcoin-exclusive, are un-licensed. Stick with the sites we recommend, and you won’t have this problem. (The bad guys and hustlers use the anonymity of Bitcoin to their advantage, but not every site using Bitcoin is a bad buy or a hustler.)
Not all online gambling sites accept Bitcoin. It’s becoming more common all the time, but you still need to find casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks that accept the currency. The sites listed on this page are all Bitcoin-friendly, of course.
It’s hard to believe it’s only been three years since the first Bitcoin Casino was licensed. BitCasino.io entered the online gaming market in 2014, and the community was, of course, ready for it. In its first three months of operation, this new casino concept garnered 7,000 players betting more than 3,000 BTC combined or a value of $1,400,000 at the time.
Not only was this casino a first in the market, but a first to integrate the incredibly popular Microgaming catalog into the mix. It evolved quickly, though, and it and many other dedicated Bitcoin casinos include gaming versions courtesy of Evolution, OneTouch, Asia Gaming, NetEnt, Pragmatic Play, Gameart, Explosive, Ezugi, Isoftbet, Betsoft, Quickspin, booming Games, Play ‘n Go, BetGames, and Endorphina.
Bitcoin-only vs. Bitcoin-integrated
Whereas some sites like BitCasino are exclusively Bitcoin operated, there are now plenty of gaming providers who have integrated Bitcoin into their financial services menu. The difference is that you’ll be playing solely with the cryptocurrency in the first, and in the latter, your payment will need to be converted to traditional currency for betting purposes. The site takes care of all of that, though. All you need to do is make your wallet to wallet transfer.
Even though your payment has been exchanged for wagering purposes, you can still cash back out in Bitcoin with a simple exchange back, also taken care of for you.
If you haven’t been to any online currency providers, you may not be aware that many, these days, convert your cash into Bitcoin and vice versa with a quick one-step transaction. Gone are the days when you needed to do some mining or creative acquisition.
One of the benefits to funding a player’s account this way is the increased premium value. In many instances, casinos will offer two different welcome bonuses. One traditional and a bigger Bitcoin version.
A US facing site like Bovada offers new players using credit, debit or other more mainstream methods a 100% deposit match on the first three transfers for a total of $3,000. But, if you’ve opted for the wallet to wallet, you can receive 150% on the first three up to a total of $5,000.
Everything Else Remains the Same
Even if you’re on a Bitcoin-only site, you should still be receiving the same benefits as any other online casino. The service provider should be licensed and regulated, so you have a governing authority should you need to escalate any unresolved issues.
You should also be able to experience the same types of casino games including slots, which also provide for progressive jackpots, video poker, specialty, table games, and live dealer tables as well.
The Speed and The Economics
Let’s face it; it’s all about the bottom line. You’re in it to win it, and Bitcoin allows for fast deposits and withdrawals. In many cases, it’ll be under 20 minutes, and there are rarely additional fees attached. We won’t say never because some casinos will tack on something just for the heck of it, but cryptocurrency should allow for free transactions unless you’re paying fees to a currency exchange.
Bitcoin Cash: Will It Makes Its Way Into Casinos?
On August 1st, 2017, Bitcoin divided out into a new currency simply called Bitcoin Cash. It’s so new that a lot of uncertainty comes with it, but some online casinos are already coming forward saying that they won’t accept it, while others are open to the idea. Coinbase, one of the biggest exchanges changed their position as they originally were unwilling to offer it but, now, starting in January of 2018, it will be added to their service.
Bitcoin Cash could open up new opportunities for both casinos and players as its primary purpose is to expedite transactions. In its first month, it doubled in value from $300 to $600.
Bitcoin Sports Betting
Just as the casinos break out into bitcoin-only and bitcoin-integrated, sportsbooks do as well. You can fund a betting account on a site like Bodog with cryptocurrency that’s then exchanged for a cash value or credits consistent for all players, or you can register with a book that only deals in BTC and mBTC.
Higher Betting Limits
High rollers can often run into a ceiling that stops them from putting down as much as they’d like in a single wager. Many Bitcoin bookies will accept a much higher value stake. For example, sportsbet.io will take as low as 0.1 mBTC and as high as 100 BTC toward both pre-game and in-play action.
At the time of this writing, .1 mBTC converted to 45 cents and 100 BTC translated into more than 455,000 US dollars.
Sportsbooks also now tend to provide greater incentives for players to use Bitcoin to fund their betting accounts. Not only does Bovada offer a bigger casino bonus, but doubles the value of sports as well.
The traditional Welcome Bonus has a cap of $250, but the Bitcoin Welcome Bonus goes up to $500.
One of the most popular games in the world would, of course, need to accept the currency that just exploded in the online gambling community. Online poker rooms have embraced accepting BTC from their players as it expedites the process in both directions and allows for bigger betting limits.
Connecting Poker Players
Poker would be one of the more social games, even online. As opposed to slots or video poker machines where it’s bettor vs. computer, poker brings together players from around the globe. Bitcoin does the same thing as it’s not tied into one government or financial institution but, rather, it’s for everyone and has the same fluctuating value across the board. With no areas excluded from its use, it opens up a bigger player pool.
Tables and Tournaments
It doesn’t matter if you gravitate to tournament play only or if you want to buy in at a cash table, BTC allows for both. Again, just like slots and sports betting, you’ll either have an exclusive site where all transactions are conducted in BTC or mBTC, or you’ll have the conversion scenario on sites that accept more traditional forms of currency.
Sites like America’s Cardroom, which allows for Bitcoin transactions, offer some of the biggest tournaments like Sit ‘n go satellites with seats at the larger tournaments offered up as prizes instead of cash.
Not as Many Bonus Bumps
Unlike casinos and sportsbooks that incentivize Bitcoin users with higher deposit matches, poker rooms keep their bonuses consistent across the board, but all players can get in on the value-adds that can include free cash, deposit matches, freerolls, and more.
Bitcoin Esports Betting
Two exponentially growing trends in the online betting industry are esports bets and Bitcoin betting. They are both new-age counterparts of traditional betting aspects. Esports is already competitive with regular sports, while Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are getting more and more attention from the bookmakers. Slowly but surely, they’re beginning to replace traditional payment methods such as cards, Skrill, ecoPayz, and more.
Fast and Secure Esports Betting
The best thing about using Bitcoin for esports betting is the blockchain technology it runs on. It allows Bitcoin transactions to be processed quickly and securely, eliminating lengthy bank validation and processing systems. With the blockchain technology, the transactions have to be confirmed on the network itself which means it’s secure, irreversible, and in most cases, lightning-fast.
As mentioned above, Bitcoin transactions are processed through the blockchain. This is the comprehensive and highly sophisticated technology driving cryptocurrencies to new heights. It doesn’t rely on a centralized subject but, instead, on an entire network which features all Bitcoin transactions publicly. But how can it be anonymous if all that info is available for the public? Well, private transaction components are read in text strings which in no way link to people’s personal identities, thus making Bitcoin betting the epitome of online betting anonymity.
Last but not least, Bitcoin betting has relatively low transaction fees. But keep in mind, this only works for crypto-only esports betting sites that don’t convert your deposited Bitcoin into real currencies. Crypto-only websites allow you to deposit BTC, bet in BTC, and withdraw BTC, with no conversions (or fees) happening in the background.
Bitcoin Financial Trading
Have you ever pulled up a gambling site and saw a menu item called “Financials”? Well, it’s not about your financials, meaning your deposits and withdrawals from the site. It’s a mini financial exchange quite similar to regular trading services, but you’re betting on the movement of the market instead of buying or conducting any currency exchange.
You’re looking at stock, indices, currencies, and commodities, but it’s incorporated in a sportsbook as these are bets being placed and not purchases being made.
Financial Betting Options
The following are some of the bets that are usually available when Financial betting is offered. Keep in mind, again; you’re predicting movement. You’re not buying and selling stocks or currency.
Predict changes in the Dow Jones or NASDAQ 100
Movements in commodity prices like silver, gold, sugar, and coffee
Currency valuations for some of the most popular ones like USD, EUR, or GBP
Forecasting stock movements
Betting on the Direction
Just as sports betting opportunities vary per sportsbook, financials will as well. Some of the more common bets will include:
Binary: Will the price go higher or lower the current market value?
Range: Will the value end up in a predefined range?
Turbo: This is speed betting within a specified amount of time, like five minutes. Will the price go up or down within that amount of time?
Bitcoin Benefits to Financial Trading
When we talk about Bitcoin Financial Trading, it’s the ability to use your wallet to fund your betting account and then use those funds to make your predictions. If you’re correct, you get paid just like a winning sports bet.
Not only are there a plethora of financial betting options, but these gambling sites are licensed and regulated, the transactions secured by the latest in technology, and plenty of information is provided to help in the selection process.
Bitcoin not only provides for quick funding so you can get in on a prediction that may be timely, but it also allows you to claim your profit with a fast turnaround. Whereas you need to have established accounts open with traditional means for standard trading, Bitcoin allows you access to the financial markets through gaming providers like betonline.ag.
Bitcoin is a revolutionary new type of currency that’s entirely digital in nature. Its volatility adds to the excitement of gambling. And its anonymity makes it ideal of United States players who want to get around UIGEA.
You can find gambling sites which accept Bitcoin as one of many deposit options. But you can also find sites which only operate in Bitcoin. We prefer the former for various reasons, but we’ve covered the pros and cons of both above.
If you take nothing else away from this page, remember this:
It’s important to do business with sites you trust on the Internet-especially gambling sites accepting Bitcoin as a deposit and withdrawal method.
You can use the recommendations on this page to find sites you can trust and that also accept Bitcoin.