Looking for a way to play online poker with your friends and keep your home games running at the time of ‘social distancing’?
Some of the best online poker sites give you everything you need to create a private poker club, invite people to join you there, and play online poker with your friends for free and real money.
PokerStars and 888poker are the two largest poker rooms to offer a service like this one and by far the best ones to play poker with friends.
Setting up poker games with friends on these two sites is easy, fast and free. All you need is to make sure you and your friends have an account on the poker site of your choice and the right codes to access your private games.
Note: to compile this guide to the best poker apps to play online poker with friends, we tried other (supposedly) free apps like Pokerrrr 2, Poker Heat, and more.
We did not include them here because a) they are nowhere near PokerStars and 888poker in terms of options and features and, b) they are not really free. All the apps we tried forced us to complete in-app purchases to keep our games going. And that’s not cool.Best Poker Apps to Play Poker with Friends Poker Site How Real Money Games Free Money Countries Create Game PokerStars Create your poker club and invite your friends to play cash games and tournaments Yes Yes Regulated (US: NJ Only) Register (Free) 888poker Invite your friends to play private games of virtual poker. Cash games and tournaments available. Yes Yes Regulated (US: NJ Only) Register (Free) Online Home Games on PokerStars
Right now, PokerStars is your best choice to play private poker games online with friends.
On March 18, PokerNews Chief Editor William Shillibier published an extensive guide on how to set up a home game online on PokerStars. There, you find everything you need to get started in no time.
When you register for the PokerStars Home Games, you can choose between cash games and tournaments-
To create private poker “Home Games” and launch your first private poker game online, you need to follow these steps:Register a free account on PokerStarsInstall the PokerStars poker clientAccess the “Home Games” sectionCreate your private poker game to play with friends
In the PokerStars.Eu client, you find the ‘Home Games’ section at the bottom of the menu on the right-hand side.
Click on that tiny little icon on the right to enter a whole new world…
Once you are there, click on the ‘Manage Games’ tab and choose the type of game you want to play with your friends. You can choose between cash games and tournaments.How to Set Up a Cash Game on PokerStars
Pick your favorite game and get the table ready for your friends
To launch your table, choose the game, the format, the number of players you want in the game, and the currency.
The poker games you can play with your friends online are:Poker Variant Real Money Free Play Texas hold’em Yes Yes Omaha No Yes Omaha H/L No Yes Stud Yes Yes Stud H/L Yes Yes Razz Yes Yes 5-Card Draw Yes Yes 2-7 Single Draw Yes Yes 2-7 Triple Draw Yes Yes HORSE Yes Yes NLHE / PLO Yes Yes 8 Game Yes Yes Badugi Yes Yes
The stakes change whether you want to play with real money or not. For example, real money private games of Texas hold’em begin at $0.01 / $0.02 and go up to $0.50 / $1.
The free money equivalents have a completely different range with stakes moving from 100/200 up to 500,000/1,000,000.
Omaha cash games are available only in the play-money version.How to Set Up a Private Poker Tournament on PokerStars
Creating a private online tournament to play online poker with your friends is equally simple.
Select the type of game you want to play, the number of players per table, the buy-in, the format, and you are good to go.
Don’t forget to give your tournament an E P I C name!
PokerStars gives you plenty of poker games to choose from. You can challenge your friends on your favourite variant — or you can set up a nice private game to discover some new poker games with them.
Your online private poker tournaments can be in any of the following variants:Poker Variant Real Money Free Play Texas hold’em Yes Yes Omaha Yes Yes Omaha H/L Yes Yes Stud Yes Yes Stud H/L Yes Yes Razz Yes Yes 5-Card Draw Yes Yes 2-7 Single Draw Yes Yes 2-7 Triple Draw Yes Yes HORSE Yes Yes NLHE / PLO Yes Yes 8 Game Yes Yes Badugi Yes Yes
Once you are all set, click on ‘Create Tournament’ and invite your friends to play.How to Invite Friends to the PokerStars Home Games
To invite your friends to play online poker games with you, you need to add them as members of your poker club.
To do so, open the ‘Manage Club’ tab and click on ‘How to Invite New Members’.
At this point, you get a message containing the only two info your friends need:the Club ID Numberthe invitation code
Copy the text and send it to your friends. Once they have it, they can join you in the club and see all the private poker games available.Private Home Games Online on 888poker
888poker is another poker site where you can set up private games to play online poker with friends for free.
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