Best French Poker Rooms

France has long been a bastion of poker in mainland Europe –which makes sense when you consider that elements of the game originated in France, in the form of a bluffing game named Poque—and France is also home to one of the world’s largest online poker rooms Everest Poker. France is also one of the few countries that have passed laws that both legalize and regulate the online poker industry within the country.

With online poker rooms requiring a license to operate inside France it’s imperative that you play on a licensed poker room, and not some fly-by-night operation that is looking to take your money. But which online poker room should you choose? This question is why we have developed the following list of the best online poker rooms in France. Check out the table below.

Rank Site Download Mac Linux Bonus Visit Site
1 Winamax €500 www.winamax.frRead Review

Why are there French-only Poker Sites?

Recently, legislation was passed to legalize and regulate the online poker industry in France. This meant that French poker players were only allowed to play on the sites of operators based in France and furthermore, a 2% government tax was imposed on all ring game pots and tournament prize pools.

The result was that many of the big online poker rooms, such as Pokerstars and Party Poker set up French versions of their clients specifically for French players to play on, and excluded from their main client in line with the legislation.

Is it Legal to Play on French Poker Sites?

Players outside of the European Union are not permitted to play on French sites. However, due to EU competition laws, players based in any EU country are legally allowed to play on the French poker clients, once they follow the validation procedure which all of the sites employ. This is quite an attractive opportunity for many players as French poker has a reputation for having a much higher fish to shark ratio than is seen in other countries, and so the opportunity to join these games represents a good chance to make some easy money.

Traffic at the French sites is growing consistently and pokerstars.fr and winamax.fr have comparable traffic to some of the smaller networks like Microgaming and Entraction. In the case of Everest Poker, their French client has outgrown the old .com client.

How Does the Rake on French Sites Compare with Others?

The downside to the undoubtedly softer games on the French sites is the increased rake and taxes. Due to the lower traffic, sites are forced to charge a higher rate of rake to cover their operating costs. They are also obliged to collect the 2% government tax from each ring game pot or tournament entry fee. The result is that the average rake you will pay for example on PokerStars.fr at 100nl is 50% larger than that at PokerStars.com. The French site with the rake structure closest to other poker rooms is Winamax.

Steps Required to Play on French Sites

In order to be allowed to play real money games on any of the French poker sites, players must first scan a copy of their national identification card or passport, along with a recent bank statement and email to the site which they want to play on. Once this information is verified, the site will send out a verification code to the provided address, which must match that on the scanned bank statement. As soon as the site have verified the ID and bank statement the player will be allowed to participate in real money games, however if the verification code is not entered with a certain time frame (typically 30 days) then the account will be suspended until such time as the verification code is entered.

All of the sites are very strict on players having a valid European bank account and the only cashout method available on the French sites is a direct bank transfer via the player’s registered bank account

Online Poker Legality and Restrictions for French Poker Players

French online poker laws closely resemble those of Italy. In order for an online poker site to be eligible for an online gaming license from the French Government they must operate inside of France, and only offer their games to French residents. Fortunately for French poker players their player base is a bit larger than it is in Italy, but still far below the global networks. Additionally, with taxation and licensing fees French poker rooms might have an increased rake, or fewer promotions than their larger parent sites.

Virtually all online poker sites operating in France are mirror sites, set-up just for French players –PartyPoker.fr is a mirror site of PartyPoker.com for instance—which allows them to operate legally inside France. As you can see, in many cases legalized online poker can be a bit of a double-edge sword, after all not every country is as open to gambling as the United Kingdom!