Bitcoin was not necessarily designed for online poker, but it certainly has contributed significantly to the industry.By simplifying online payments and enabling players to remain fairly anonymous, the decentralized currency has made it possible for virtually everyone to access and enjoy online gambling.It can be difficult to get ahold of your first Bitcoins in some situations, but once you have them, the rest is easy.Poker rooms that accept Bitcoin rarely request much personal information when you sign up, so it does not take much to get involved. Keep on reading to learn how to get started, and which sites we recommend!Contents1 Getting Started1.1 Buying Bitcoins1.2 Comparing Poker Sites2 Seals With Clubs Overview2.1 Other Features3 Using Bitcoin for Poker3.1 Better Service for Less Money3.2 The Global Nature of Bitcoin4 Playing Cards With Invisible People4.1 How to Take Advantage of This5 Have Fun!Getting StartedBuying BitcoinsRight now, the largest barrier to entry is probably obtaining Bitcoin. Before you can get anywhere near gambling, you must first actually own some BTC. If you already have some, then you can skip this section and go on to the next one.This guide will get you started with Coinbase, a large Bitcoin exchange that links directly to your bank account. It is the fastest and easiest choice if you live in the United States. The guide also lists and explains a few additional methods including some that are more personal.If you are focused on maintaining anonymity, it would probably be best for you to avoid the big name exchanges. They often require you to submit identification and will probably keep a permanent record of all of your transactions.Many people do not want their Bitcoin activity to be tracked, especially if they are participating in controversial activities, as gambling is in some countries. If that is the case with you, you should try to buy Bitcoins directly from a local trader, perhaps using a service like LocalBitcoins.com.Comparing Poker SitesThe next step is to choosing where to play poker.Naturally, Bitcoin Reviewer is a great place to start learning about the different services. Check out this list of our Bitcoin poker reviews to determine which casino you like the most.Because Bitcoin is so simple, it should also be fairly easy for you to switch back and forth between the sites, allowing you to experiment with multiple options before committing to the one that you like the most.If you plan on playing seriously and in high volume, then you should definitely consider rakes when comparing.The businesses have to make money somehow, and usually, their cut comes straight out of the pot. Over time, the rake snatched from your pots adds up. Card players who gamble significantly and especially those who gamble profitably will want to find a poker room with a lower rake to avoid paying more than is necessary.Seals With Clubs OverviewProbably the best-known and most established Bitcoin poker site currently available is Seals With Clubs. It was founded in 2011 and has been trusted by thousands of players from around the world. This is definitely one of the first places you should look into as you enter the Bitcoin gambling community.When registering, all you need is a username and password. That’s it.In fact, adding an email address is optional and is used only if your account ever needs to be recovered.Once you are signed up, the game can be played in a web browser, using a downloadable client, or on an Android device. This is extremely convenient and makes it easy to play cards anywhere, anytime.Like many other similar services, the poker room uses chips that are worth a fraction of 1 BTC. The exact ratio varies from casino to casino, but at Seals With Clubs, 1 BTC is worth 1000 chips meaning that 1 chip is worth 1 mBTC (0.001 BTC).SealsWithClubs is one of the best Bitcoin poker services out there.Other FeaturesSeals With Clubs has a bit more worth mentioning as well.You are allowed to multi-table at the casino. This means that you can play at several tables at the same time. As long as you avoid taking on more games than you can keep track of, you should be able to benefit from this. You will be able to gain more experience faster. If your goal is to be profitable, you should be able to make more money too.There is also a loyalty program that enables you to earn back a portion of the rake that you pay. You can also gain access to freerolls, which are games that are free to join but still award money to the winners. There are tournaments available as well. Keep all of this in mind as you explore the casino and compare it to any others that you try out. You can also find more information in our full review.Using Bitcoin for PokerBetter Service for Less MoneyOne of the main reasons that playing poker with Bitcoin is great is the fact that payments are virtually instant and irreversible. This means that casinos do not have to work with third party payment processors which are often quite expensive and prone to fraud. Some people view irreversible payments as disadvantageous to those who are sending the money because they could never retrieve their funds in the event of a scam.This is true to a certain extent, but it also means that legitimate companies must work even harder to provide quality service and maintain a good reputation. Casinos also save lots of money in transaction fees and can often pass these savings on to their customers in an effort to attract more business. That is why irreversible payments are in fact beneficial to every party involved.The Global Nature of BitcoinBitcoin works using the Internet, meaning that anyone can play from anywhere, without regard for currency or gambling regulations. Players from literally all over the earth can play cards together, regardless of what currency is used in their location. Governments cannot easily track Bitcoin, so it is possible and relatively safe to gamble even in places where it is illegal.Traditionally, poker websites have been designed to service one or two particular locations. They work with very few currencies and submit to the authorities in their area. On the other hand, Bitcoin poker sites technically deal with a single currency as well, but at the same time, they are completely global.Playing Cards With Invisible PeopleOne difficulty with any form of online poker is the fact that you are playing with a huge range of people, none of whom can be seen. When gambling with people at a real table, the physical actions and behavior of your opponents can often be a huge part of the gameplay. None of these factors exist at all when playing online. You could be playing with a world champion or a six-year-old without even knowing it.If you knew who he was, you would probably never wager too much against the world champion. You should know that you have a much smaller chance of succeeding and hang on to your cash more often. Unfortunately, you do not have that advantage when you are playing against strangers on the Internet. The inexperienced player might be able to win more online too. His opponents will be more likely to fold against his bluffs when they cannot see him. If they could, they would probably know to call his bluff and prevail more often in the end.How to Take Advantage of ThisOf course, these are extreme cases, but the point is this: playing poker over the internet changes the dynamics of the game. For some people however, this can actually be a good thing. It can be beneficial to learn how to play the cards instead of the people. The best plan is probably to start small as you get used to the setup.With Bitcoin, there are usually plenty of games available with low limits and small pots. You can use these tables to your advantage because they give you a chance to learn how things work before risking too much. Once you notice that you are able to make some gains, then you can progress to the more expensive tables. Always remember, however, that those tables will probably have more experienced players that are harder to beat.Have Fun!One final note: as you begin your Bitcoin poker journey, always keep in mind that gambling in any form, whether it is with cards or a slot machine, with Bitcoin or without, is intended for entertainment purposes only.Sure, if you have a bit of luck, you might be able to turn a profit. Heck, if you have some experience behind you then you might not even need much luck at all.But even that world champion can and does lose hands now and then. That is why you should always remember to gamble only what you can afford to lose. Just because you have a straight flush does not mean no one else has a royal flush.Play safe and good luck!