Best poker sites in Israel 2024
It won’t be a surprise to say that Israel is very religious. And with more than 80% of the population being Jewish and nearly 15% Muslim, the overall attitude to gambling in the country can’t be called friendly. Add restrictive gambling laws, and you’ll see why online poker in Israel isn’t in its best shape nowadays. However, there’s still some room for Israeli players looking for cash games with small or high stakes. Worldpokerdeals has compiled the best sites available to grinders in Israel, with hefty prizes in GTDs, rakeback, and a variety of games to play.
Best online poker sites for Israeli players
Since online poker is poorly regulated in Israel, it’s not always easy to tell which room is reliable. Feel free to choose one of the platforms below:
A skin of the largest poker network in the world, GG Network, 7XL Poker caters specifically to Israeli players, offering a player base of 100,000+ active users, fresh formats, lots of GDTs with millions of dollars in winnings, and access to the top MTTs like WPT or WSOP Online. Opt for a welcome bonus giving up to $600 to get more rakeback or climb the Fish Buffet leaderboard and get a chance to make it 60%. As for cash games and tournaments, 7XL offers Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Shortdeck, and Fast-fold tables.
CoinPoker is the top cryptopoker room at the moment with decent traffic (up to 500 connections on evenings), 5% rake, up to $5/$10 cash games, and several games to choose from: Hold'em, PLO4, PLO5, and OFC. The platform doesn’t offer a welcome bonus, but it has a fixed 20% rakeback paid every Monday in the room’s own token - CHP.
How to choose the best online poker site in Israel?
Without major players like PokerStars on the Israeli gambling scene, it may seem like the choice of legit poker rooms is limited, but it’s not. And to make sure you choose the right one, you should take a few criteria into account. The first and main one is a license. Sure, there are no operators officially licensed by the Israeli government, but all reliable operators have at least one international license from MGA, UKGC, or CGCB. If there is no license, then a verifiable background helps a lot, especially in such complex markets.
A nice addition would be a mobile app to play on the go, as well as extra benefits like a user-friendly UI.
One more factor to consider is the promotional program. Apart from a welcome bonus that varies from site to site, rooms offer different rakeback systems like the complex 20-tier Fish Buffet program on 7XL or a fixed 20%+ rakeback on CoinPoker.
Online poker in Israel
At the moment, you can’t say that online poker is popular in Israel as it’s pretty much banned together with most of the other gambling activities. Only lotteries and sports betting are allowed in the country. But while live poker for real money could get you a prison sentence, you won’t suffer any prosecution for playing online on offshore sites that work in Israel. There are no Israel-based online poker rooms.
Despite the restrictions of the current legislation, Israeli players still find ways to hold real-life tournaments like the Israeli Poker Championship that takes place outside the country. Apart from that, you can take part in smaller tournaments across Israel. Unlike classic cash competitions, they don’t have buy-ins and money rewards, offering various prizes like smartphones, laptops, etc.
Israel legal poker background
The cornerstone of gambling, in general, and poker, in particular, is the Israeli Penal Law 5737 from 1977 which banned all games of chance. According to Israel's laws, the game is considered illegal in the country unless you play it solely for entertainment purposes with a fixed circle of players in a place where card games are allowed. Online poker remains mostly unregulated, allowing grinders to play on international platforms.
In simple words, poker is illegal in Israel as a gambling activity, but players are free to play the game on offshore sites without any repercussions.
Available deposit and withdrawal methods
You’ll hardly find a website that accepts payments and allows withdrawals through bank transfer, Visa, MasterCard, or Maestro since the Israeli government penalizes credit card companies for processing payments related to gambling.
On the other hand, some platforms began exploring alternative payment options like crypto, so you may find a poker room that accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Tether, Ripple, and other tokens.
As for currency options, finding a site that allows playing for NIS could be a problem. Most platforms offering poker online for real money in Israel don’t accept shekels, converting them into USD or EUR.
While there is a 35% on winnings that exceed 62,400 shekels, prizes won on offshore sites aren’t taxable as players don’t need to report how much they win. However, there have been several court cases related to the taxation of profits made by Israeli players on offshore sites.
Best Israeli poker players
Even though the Israeli gambling regulation leaves much to be desired, the country still has its share of poker pros, with a total amount of winnings almost reaching $90M, putting Israel in the 24th place on the all-time money list by the Hendon Mob. The top 3 Israeli poker players are:
- Amir Lehavot ($6M, WSOP 2011, WPT, and 2018 Gold Rush champion);
- Uri Reichenstein ($4M, The Wynn Summer Classic, Merit Poker Middle East Tour, and Merit Gangsters Poker Cup champion);
- Asi Moshe ($2.7M, multiple WSOP and World Series of Poker Europe champion);
The online scene also sees some action, with the total amount won by grinders reaching $43.6M. The most active online players now are Alon “herodey” Eldar ($406K), “Johav” ($61K), and “shaistar” ($1.3M).
While there are not that many poker sites allowed in Israel due to heavy restrictions from the government, players can still find a few decent options. Looking for a reliable crypto platform with nice activity throughout the day? Try out CoinPoker. Or if you want to be closer to the international scene, opt for 7XL, a GGPoker alternative that comes with all the benefits of GGNetwork.
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Now let’s explore some of the main questions regarding poker in Israel.
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