How to Play Online Poker with Friends
Table Of Contents
- Best Poker Apps to Play Poker with Friends
- Online Home Games on PokerStars
- How to Set Up a Cash Game on PokerStars
- How to Set Up a Private Poker Tournament on PokerStars
- How to Invite Friends to the PokerStars Home Games
- PokerStars Home Games FAQ
- Private Home Games Online on 888poker
- Private Tournaments vs Cash Games
- 888poker Home Games FAQ
- How to Join Free Online Private Poker Rooms
- Want to Get Better at Poker? Don't Miss These Articles!
- Frequently Asked Question
- Need More Friends for Your Home Games Online?
June 2020 update: you can now play online poker games with friends on PokerStars and 888poker from your mobile device!
Looking for a way to play online poker with your friends and keep your home games running?
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.
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.
In this article you'll find:
- How to play online poker with friends on PokerStars
- How to play online poker with friends on 888poker
- How to join free online private poker rooms
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.
Earlier this year, 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 PokerStars
- Install the PokerStars poker client
- Access the "Home Games" section
- Create 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.
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
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|
|2-7 Single Draw||Yes||Yes|
|2-7 Triple Draw||Yes||Yes|
|NLHE / PLO||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.
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|
|2-7 Single Draw||Yes||Yes|
|2-7 Triple Draw||Yes||Yes|
|NLHE / PLO||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 Number
- the 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.
PokerStars Home Games FAQ
Can you play Home Games on the PokerStars app?
Yes. On July 16, 2020, PokerStars updated their mobile poker app to include the Home Games feature.
You can now play online poker tournaments and cash games with your friends also on the PokerStars official mobile app.
The app is available on Android an iOS (free download here) - with the app you can play Home Games on iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.
What games can you play on PokerStars with friends?
On the PokerStars Home Games app you can play:
- Texas Hold'em
- Omaha Hi/Lo
- 5-Card Omaha
- Stud Hi/Lo
- 5-Card Draw
- 2-7 Single Draw
- 2-7 Triple Draw
Are PokerStars Home Games free?
Yes. You get a 15,000 free chips bonus every 60 minutes you are logged in so you can continue to play online poker games for free on PokerStars.
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.
As explained by 888poker Ambassador Chris Moorman in the video below, the process is straightforward.
To get started, you need to download the 888poker client or the 888poker mobile app.
Once you have it, register a free gaming account (think of a cool username, please) and click on the 'Extra Games' link in the toolbar.
That's where you find the 'Play with Friends' feature.
If you have received an invite to play an online private poker game, click on 'Join the Game' and continue with the details you have.
But if you want to be the one 'to host' your next poker game with friends, click on 'Create New Game' to continue.
Private Tournaments vs Cash Games
The process at 888poker is faster as you do not need to create a poker club to host an online game of poker with your friends.
Decide whether you want to play a private poker cash game or a tournament and follow the instructions on the screen to select the stakes, starting time, and format.
If you pick the tournament option, you can choose between a wide range of options that include freeroll tournaments and recurring events.
After you have made your choices, click on the 'Create' button to make the event or private cash game available.
Once the event is created, the process is the same as the one we have seen at PokerStars. You'll receive a text to share with your contacts where they find all the details to join the event and play an exciting game of online poker with friends!
888poker Home Games FAQ
Are 888poker Home Games available in the 888poker app?
Yes, since June 2020, the 888poker mobile app includes the Home Games function for you to play online poker with friends on your mobile device.
How can I invite my friends to play 888poker Home Games from mobile?
Once you create your game, you'll get a link to give your friends access to your private poker games.
Share the link via e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, and even forum messages to invite others to your private online poker club.
Is the 888poker app safe?
888poker is a safe and fully licensed poker site. The iOS and Android poker apps are safe and periodically audited by third-party gaming authorities.
How to Join Free Online Private Poker Rooms
While playing online poker with friends is great, we understand a lot of players prefer to set up their free online private poker rooms and run a 'proper' poker club online.
This feature is available on multiple online poker sites like PokerStars, 888poker, and partypoker.
Creating an online private poker room is simple:
- PokerStars: Create your private home game / poker club (here) and share the invitation link via your preferred channels.
- 888poker: Follow Chris Moorman's instructions in the video above to set up your private poker club (here) and invite other players to join you.
partypoker: The newly launched 'Club Games feature allows you to run your private poker club on the partypoker platform.
The process is similar to the one at PokerStars and 888poker. You find a complete walkthrough on this page.
Want to bring more friends to play at your private online poker room? Don't miss these useful tips.
The easiest way is to use your social media channels to share your links and invite people to join. Facebook and Twitter are two of the most powerful sites to reach out to your friends and convince them to join your private poker games.
If you want to reach even more players, don't forget Facebook groups! There are a lot of different communities with plenty of players looking for action and willing to join private poker games online.
Also - use PokerNews! A link in the comments below can go a long way. If you have your own private online poker room already, share the link on this page and let the PokerNews community join you at the tables!
Want to Get Better at Poker? Don't Miss These Articles!
- How to Play Texas Hold'em Poker: a comprehensive guide to learning the ins and outs of the most popular poker game out there. Since everyone knows the game, your first games of virtual poker with friends are most likely going to be Texas hold'em ones.
- Poker Hands Rankings: If not all of your friends are poker pro, this page will help them find out what-beats-what in poker
- How to Play Poker for Beginners: A quick guide to learn the ropes in five minutes or less. From the betting rounds to the different formats — it's all in there.
- Free Online Poker: A collection of all the best sites and apps to play free poker games online. Some of these pay out real money prizes, too.
- How to Play Omaha Poker: Want to try something new? Check out how to get started with PLO and wow all your friends with exciting new games of virtual poker.
- Types of Poker Games to Play Online: A collection of even more poker games to challenge your friends on PokerStars and 888poker!
Frequently Asked Question
Can I play online poker with friends on iPhone and Android?
Yes. The sites listed here work on iOS and Android devices. You can play online poker games with friends from desktop and mobile.
How much does it cost to play poker games with friends?
All these services are free. You and your friends only need to register a (free) account to play.
Can I play online poker for money?
Both PokerStars and 888poker offer real money games so - yes, you can play online poker for money with your friends. However, this option might not be available if real money poker games online are not legal in your country or state.
Can you play poker with only 2 players?
Yes, both sites require a minimum of two players for a poker game to begin.
Is it legal to play online poker with friends?
PokerStars and 888poker have licenses to operate in a large number of territories, including some states in the US. If you are able to register an account on their site, it means it is legal for you to play online poker with your friends.
Need More Friends for Your Home Games Online?
Want to add some new 'virtual' friends to your private poker games online? Share your Club ID in the comments below and get ready to welcome your new players!