What Currency Should You Use for Online Poker?

John Mehaffey - January 31, 2012

Online poker rooms offer many different currencies. Some poker rooms offer all games in U.S. Dollars. Other poker rooms will offer games only in Euros. There are a few poker rooms that offer multiple currencies. One of the quandaries an online poker player will have is what currency they should keep their poker account in. We have suggestions for players that will help you decide which currency is the best solution for you.

Most online poker rooms offer only U.S. Dollar poker tables. This is because when online poker first exploded U.S. players were the majority of all online poker players. After most poker rooms started banning U.S. players they decided to stay with the currency that they had always used. The U.S. Dollar is also the most universal currency in the world. Playing at a poker room that uses U.S. Dollars can be inconvenient and many do not even accept U.S. players. That means that every player must convert their currency to U.S. Dollars every time they make a deposit or a withdrawal. This can get expensive because ewallets, banks and poker rooms can charge you to convert your currencies every time you make a transaction. If you live in a country where U.S. Dollars are not the main currency then you must protect yourself against exchange rates.

Cut Down on Transaction Fees

The first advice would be to keep transactions at a minimum. This means that you should avoid having to have more money than needed in an online poker account. That is because poker room, ewallets and banks will hit you with a currency conversion fee. While they will typically give you the market rate for a transaction, you will likely have to pay a premium. That premium will often be 1-2% of the entire transaction. This can eat away at profits. For example, if you deposit $1000 onto an online poker room and the poker room or ewallet charges a 1.9% premium then you will be out $19. While that does not sound like a lot of money, if you make too many transactions those fees will add up. The key is to deposit only what you need to play unless you are depositing for a bonus that will offset the conversion fees. If you win it is safer to keep money in the poker room in case you hit a downturn. This will keep you from withdrawing and having to deposit in a few weeks. Situations like that will make your conversion fees pile up quickly.

Active Players Consider Using USD

If you plan on becoming an active player you may want to consider creating an account at an ewallet in U.S. Dollars. All major ewallets will allow players in any country to keep an account in U.S. Dollars. That way you will only pay for a currency conversion when you deposit for withdraw from the ewallet. When you move money from one online poker room to another you will not have to worry about having to pay transaction fees. This will be important to players that would like to hit many poker room bonuses. First deposit bonuses are important to bankroll building.

Another option is to play only at poker rooms that offer poker tables in your currency. There are positives and negatives doing this. The positive is that you will not have to worry about your home currency going up in value, devaluing your U.S. Dollars held in ewallets or online poker rooms. To most players that difference would be insignificant, but to players with large balances it can be a decent sum of money lost. On the other hand, if your home currency goes down in value against the U.S. Dollar, you could actually make a little money when converting U.S. Dollars back into your home currency. The negative is going to be that it will be inevitable that you will want to play at a U.S. Dollar online poker room. When you do, you will take a currency hit. There are not many online poker rooms that specialize in Euros or British Pounds.

There is no easy solution for players using currencies other than U.S. Dollars. All you can do is try your best to defend yourself against the currency conversion issues that you will inevitably run into while playing online poker from countries that do not use U.S. Dollars as their main currency.