Online poker sites in the Philippines 2023
From only one live poker room in 2006 to a whole industry with 20 brick-and-mortar rooms, own poker tour, and the best sites available to local players, the Philippines has come a long way to become one of the most gambling-oriented countries in the world. Join WorldPokerDeals and explore online poker in the Philippines, from the top rooms with great bonuses for newbies and soft tables for regs to the legal background for gambling and the leading Filipino grinders.
Best online poker sites for Philippines players
Since online poker is popular in the Philippines, you have plenty of rooms to gamble in. Here are some of the top platforms for Filipino grinders in 2023.
With an active community of 100,000+ players, GGPoker is arguably the number one destination for grinders looking for soft tables and regular Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and Shortdeck MTTs. An official WSOP partner, GGPoker features lots of daily activities and a decent 100% matched bonus of up to $600 paid in $5 shares per every $20 of net rake. The GGNetwork’s unique Fish Buffet program offers a semi-random rakeback that reaches 60%.
Basically the Asian alternative to GGPoker, Natural8 is a GGNetwork skin that welcomes new players with a generous 200% match bonus of up to $1,000 paid in $1 chunks per every $5 of net rake and millions of dollars in daily awards in cash games. The platform has the same rakeback system, offering up to 60% rakeback to regs.
Launched in 2019, PNXpoker is part of the BetConstruct Network known for platforms like Vbet. The room doesn’t have a welcome bonus, but it offers a simple rakeback program that gives you back up to 50% of the rake you paid during a week. As for the available games, you’ll find Hold'em, Omaha, and MTTs, as well as newer variations, such as Spin&Go or 6+ Hold'em. Most of the traffic at PNXpoker belongs to tables with micro limits (from NL€2 to NL€50).
How to choose the best online poker site in the Philippines?
Since the Filipino poker regulations are quite soft, you have a plethora of websites to play on, but at the same time, the more options you have, the harder the choice. To narrow it down, you need to consider a few factors, with the license being the main one. Take some time to find out what authority licensed the room. Then, read through the rules of the platform.
The variety of games is the next factor. Even if you’re a huge fan of Hold’em and Omaha, a few weeks, and you’ll be craving for diversity. Make sure the room you choose is convenient to play in, and a dedicated app would be a plus.
The final factor is bonuses. While a hefty welcome package won’t affect the gameplay, it’s still a nice addition, just like flexible rakeback.
Online poker in the Philippines
When it comes to online gambling, the Philippines is a “gray area,” which comes with certain benefits to local players. One of them is easy access to all major poker websites allowed in the Philippines, from PokerStars, GGPoker and 888Poker to WPN and Chico. At the same time, none of the websites are licensed by any of the country’s four authorities: PAGCOR, PCSO, CEZA, or APECO.
The lack of government in the Philippine gambling regulation is rather unusual, considering how popular our card game is in the Philippines. Apart from the local Filipino Poker Tour sponsored by PokerStars, the country’s capital, Manila, has seen quite a lot of other regional tournaments like the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) and Asian Poker Tour (APT).
Live Poker in the Philippines
Live poker fans are all set as, apart from 20 brick and mortar rooms across the country, players can join live tournaments on poker tables at around 60 land-based casinos. On top of that, venues have the freedom to decide how many tables to offer, so Filipino rooms are generally larger than those in other countries. Since venues are mostly licensed by PACGOR, they have the same 10% rake.
The most popular game is No Limit Hold’em, but you won’t have problems finding Omaha tables. Naturally, Manila is the heart of the local poker scene with venues like Metro Card Club.
Philippines legal poker background
Overall, gambling (and poker in particular) are legal in the Philippines based on the Presidential Decree No.1067-a of 1975. The Decree set up the work of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and outlines the framework for the legality of gambling.
While there are no specific Philippine poker laws regulating the online area, the game is regulated by the Executive Order No.13 from 2017. According to it, all offshore and Filipino sites must receive a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) license from the PAGCOR that allows providing gambling services legally but only outside the Philippines. So an operator can obtain a local license, but it still won’t be able to accept Filipino players (being the case of the most famous Asian network: IDNPoker).
However, the current legislation doesn’t fully cover offshore poker rooms, allowing them to operate within the country as long as they have an international license. This means that Filipino players can freely access any offshore sites that work in the Philippines.
Available deposit and withdrawal methods
A big plus of poker platforms in the Philippines being international is the wide array of payment methods. You’re free to cash in and out using the following options:
- E-wallets: Skrill, Neteller, ecoPayz;
- Pre-paid cards: PaySafeCard, Astropay;
- Bank cards: Visa, MasterCard, Maestro (though there may be issues with credit card payments).
On top of that, you may have the option of depositing and withdrawing with crypto, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Tether, Doge, and more.
As for the choice of currencies, not all sites accept PHP, but you can find a few that do. In most cases, you’ll get stuck with USD and automatic conversion of payments.
According to the Filipino tax code, all winnings of up to PHP 10,000 are subject to a levy between 5% and 10%. All winnings starting at PHP 10,001 are levied at 20%. However, you’ll hardly have to pay any taxes when playing on platforms registered and licensed outside the Philippines.
Best Philippines poker players
Considering that poker officially came to the Philippines less than 20 years ago, the country has made quite a progress, with the total amount won by players in live circuits reaching $30.7M. At the moment, the Philippines ranks 45th on the all-time money list by The Hendon Mob. The top Filipino players are:
- Marc Rivera ($2.6M, Asia Pacific Poker Tour and multiple APT champion);
- Mike Takayama ($1.7M, WSOP 2018 and multiple Asian Poker Tour champion);
- Noli Francisco ($1.3M, WPT Borgata Poker Open and multiple Hall of Fame Poker Classic champion).
The online scene lags behind a little, with a total of only $12.6M amassed by Filipino grinders. Among the most productive online grinders are “4ceJON” ($1M), Frederick “panday” Hernandez ($2,3M), and Alan “Sharkbie” Tsang ($389K).
Since the Philippines allows offshore online poker sites to operate in the country, you’re only limited to your requirements when choosing one. Looking for some sweet bonuses? Sign up to Natural8 with its $1,000 welcome promo. Want to play against European grinders? Stick to GGPoker. Opting for micro limits? PXNpoker is your choice.
Let’s tackle some of the most popular questions.
✅ Can I play online poker real money in the Philippines?
Yes, you can. It is completely legal as long as you play on a licensed website.
✅ What is the best online poker site for Philippines players?
Given the variety of options in the market and the number of factors like safety, bonus policy, or game diversity defining a trusty and legit room, it’s hard to single out one particular platform. We did some research and chose some of the top rooms for Filipino grinders.
✅ Can I play at PokerStars in the Philippines?
Yes, PokerStars is available in the country. Moreover, it’s the sponsor of the Filipino Poker Tour and a great contributor to the local scene.
✅ Can I play at GG Poker in the Philippines?
Yes, GGPoker is available to Filipino players.
✅ Is gambling legal in the Philippines?
Yes, it is legal in the country, governed by two bodies - PAGCOR and the Cagayan Special Economic Zone.
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