Bitcoin is a digital crypto-currency. It works great for online gambling transactions because you can send and receive bitcoin without need of a third party or central bank allowing it.
I trust bitcoin more than I trust my bank.Adam Draper
Grandparents Guide To Bitcoin
Hi, my name is Jason and I was a lot like you when I first began my journey to buy bitcoin for the first time.
I didn’t know the “right” way to buy bitcoin.
I was afraid of getting ripped off or scammed.
I didn’t want to overpay.
I wanted my bitcoin safe and secure.
And I really wanted bitcoin. I believed it in and wanted to use it. I knew others were using it safely and I needed to as well.
So I started researching and reading everything I could about bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
I found a TON of confusing bitcoin advice out there. I didn’t know what I could trust and what was subtle marketing or genuine advice.
There was information overload.
So I dug in for some serious research…
I wanted to find the best, easiest and safest way to buy, hold and use bitcoin. I read articles, watched youtubes, read forums and reddit threads and countless articles finding out what was going to be my plan to go from zero bitcoin to owning bitcoin.
Once I had my plan in place I put it into action. It did not go smoothly.
To start things off, after a month or so of transactions with Coinbase, my account got shut down! OOF – I learned to never send or receive bitcoin to an online poker site directly from my Coinbase wallet, they shut the account down forever. I’ll go over more on that later.
But the important thing is that all of the lessons and roadblocks I uncovered on this journey have helped me create the best darn guide possible when it comes to getting set up with for bitcoin for gambling – (or whatever use you want bitcon for – safely and securely in 2022 and 2023.
Whether you are a grand-parent or not, this guide can help you get started with bitcoin.
Four Steps To Get Bitcoin Safely and Easily
Here are the steps in nutshell format you should follow to safely and easily get yourself set up to use bitcoin for the first time.
- Buy Bitcoin – Download an app on your phone(cash.app)
- Create Your Personal Bitcoin Wallet (this will be on a separate app)
- Secure Your Personal Wallet (easy as writing down 24 words)
- Send Your Bitcoin from Cash.app to your Personal Bitcoin Wallet (created in step 2)
Once you complete these four steps you officially own bitcoin and can spend it any way you choose. Including making a deposit at an online poker site.
I will go over each step in detail below with screenshots showing you the entire process.
Step 1 – Buy Bitcoin
Buy Bitcoin Using US Dollars – $$ to BTC Easy
For this step we are going to use an app called Cash.App.
Cash.App – This app is created by the team at Square, the payment processing company. It’s already extremely popular and reliable. They offer a place to buy bitcoin from directly within the app that is at a competitive market rate and not bad on the fees.
Buy Bitcoin With Cash App
- Download Cash.App app
- Fund your Cash.App account with a debit card or bank account
- Click on ‘Bitcoin > Buy Bitcoin’
- Choose how much to purchase (up to $10k). CashApp shows you the price you are buying at with no additional fee’s. If you agree, confirm the purchase.
- Your bitcoin shows up in your cash app bitcoin wallet – you now own bitcoin. It’s in a ‘cashapp wallet’.
Congratulations! At this point you’ve bought your first bitcoin. Soon that bitcoin will show in your cash.app wallet.
To actually own it yourself and be able to spend it how you choose, you have to send the just bought bitcoin from cash.app to your personal bitcoin wallet that we will now create.
It may take a few hours the first time you purchase bitcoin to have it ready to send out to your personal wallet we are about to create in step 2. CashApp is fast to show the bitcoin in your account but does require some time to have the bitcoin ready to release and send to any other address, even your own personal wallet.
Step 2: Create Your Personal Bitcoin Wallet
I recommend “Green Wallet“. The app icon looks like the icon to the right. It’s free, user friendly and secure. It’s built with open source software so anyone can see the code and verify that there are no shady backdoor programs that could steal your bitcoin.
It’s free, secure and open source. They have apps for both iPhone and Android.
Using this app you can receive and send bitcoin to anyone in the world. This of course includes the online poker site or casino if you want to do to a little gambling online. Read their faq to understand the security behind the wallet and why I like how secure it is.
I personally use this app whenever I spend any bitcoin or make a deposit at an online poker site. These wallets work great for anyone who wants to buy, hold and spend bitcoin in a safe, secure and easy way and they work great for anyone looking to play poker or bet on sports online as well.
*If you want a physical device you connect to your computer then I recommend the Ledger and Trezor.io hardware wallets. For most of us who want to play some online poker or gamble then these wallets are a bit of overkill for what is necessary.
I’m also going to keep this simple with just one recommendation because it’s the one I personally use as well. It’s free, secure and open source.
Of course this can change over time so always read latest reviews and I will keep updating this page if my wallet recommendations change.
Securing Your Bitcoin Wallet
For this step, you are going to need pen and paper. As a grandparent you probably already have one next to you.
You are going to write down 24 words that are generated when you first start your Green Wallet app the first time. During the account setup you are going to generate these 24 words. . You must write the words down, clearly and completely and in order.
These words are your “keys”. They let you access your bitcoin even if you lose your phone or your computer dies. You can use these words to 100% re-access your bitcoin.
Write these words down and keep them safe. Do not type it, do not take a photo of it, do not text it to yourself. Write it down.
No hacker from 4chan can access your hand-written notebook paper that you’ve got hidden in your favorite book in your library.
However hackers might could access your computer and have a bot that searches for 24 word phrases that look like bitcoin wallet keys. If someone else accesses those words, your bitcoin is as good as gone.
Once you have set up your Blockstream Green Wallet account and written down your words you are ready to move on to step 2.
For now you can look around the app and get familiar with it. You will need to go to the ‘receive’ button and generate and copy your receive address later on.
You are officially set up with your bitcoin wallet.
Step 3: Send Bitcoin To Your Personal Wallet
Steps To Send From Cash.App To Your Blockstream Green Wallet
- Open up your personal wallet and click on ‘receive’. Copy your receive address.
- Open Cash.app
- Click on the “home button”
- Click on bitcoin and scroll down to ‘withdraw bitcoin’
- Choose how much of your bitcoin to withdraw (they have a handy slider tool to use) and click ‘withdraw’
- Choose your receive address – ‘enter manually’ and paste the receive address from your personal wallet.
- Click next and confirm one final time the receive address and click next.
- Your bitcoin is sent to your personal wallet. It can be there in moments to minutes (many minutes sometimes). It depends on the the congestion of the network.
Once your bitcoin is in your personal wallet you are ready to spend it on whatever you choose.
That concludes our ‘Grandparents Guide to Bitcoin’.
If you’ve followed along you’ve went from zero bitcoin to having a certain amount of bitcoin in your personal wallet. That’s an awesome thing and you are way ahead of the majority of the population when it comes to owning your own bitcoin.
Now for the fun part. You can do whatever you want with that bitcoin! Spend it, save it, turn it back into dollars or make a deposit at an online casino or poker site. Let’s do that, and explore more options below.
Bitcoin Basics – A Recap
You can buy as little as $5-$10 dollars worth of bitcoin even though the price of bitcoin is way higher than that. Do not let the high price of one single bitcoin make you feel priced out of buying some.
Bitcoin can be broken down and bought and sold to the eighth decimal place which is less than a penny. The smallest bitcoin denomination is called a satoshi. If one satoshi was worth $1 dollar, the price of one bitcoin would be $1 million. That is no where near the case, so just know that you can buy as much or as little bitcoin as you want.
- Get a bitcoin wallet – I like Green Wallet which is free, open source and highly trusted across the web.
- Buy bitcoin – I like CashApp since you probably already have this on your phone and it is super easy to buy here
- Send to your Bitcoin Wallet (Green Wallet) – this step is necessary since you are going to be playing online poker or gambling with this bitcoin
- Deposit it at a Poker Site (Bovada) – my #1 recommended site that has been accepting and pay out bitcoin for over 5 years now.
- Now you are playing online poker at Bovada and you can also bet sports or hit up the casino.
- Cash out back to your green wallet – Won big and want your bitcoin back? Just withdraw. Bovada will ask for an address to send the bitcoin to and then it’s back in your wallet. You can hold on to it or turn it back into good ole $USD (cash money) if you want.
- To turn it into $$ again, open back up Cash App and click on the deposit bitcoin button. Send your bitcoin from Green Wallet to that address and then you can simply sell it for USD on cash app just like you bought it (easy).
Quick Bitcoin Tips To Remember
It’s a good idea to remember the mantra “not your keys, not your bitcoin”.
If you keep your coins in the Cash.app wallet then while you have bought the bitcoin you do not have final control of those bitcoin. Cashapp is the one who controls the keys to that bitcoin. You have to withdraw it from your cash app account and send it to your personal wallet to take actual ownership.
Send your bitcoin to yourself then spend as you choose.
Always use a your personal wallet between a poker site, sportsbook or online casino and where you bought bitcoin from. While it is possible to send bitcoin directly to a poker site or casino, it can lead to having your cash.app account shut down. If you send it to your personal wallet first then there is absolutely nothing to worry about and you can spend your bitcoin freely as you please.
Many of the brokers that sell bitcoin for $USD (cash.app, coinbase, paypal etc)) will shut your account down if you transact directly with an online poker site. They usually all have strict terms and conditions relating to transacting with an online gambling site directly from their built in wallets.
Always send bitcoin to your personal wallet first.
You might want to bookmark this page as some of the steps will require a bit of time to get set up properly.
Deposit BTC at an Online Poker Site
Now that you have your own bitcoin sitting in your personal wallet, you are ready to deposit it at an online poker site or casino.
Making a deposit at an online casino is the easiest part.
The short answer is open up your cashier in your poker account and click deposit > bitcoin. They will provide you with a send to address. Copy that address and go into your personal wallet and click on ‘send’.
Choose the amount of bitcoin to send, paste in the receive address from your poker account and confirm it. Enter your pin code for security when prompted.
Your bitcoin will be sent in moments to minutes your account will reflect the transaction. The poker site will convert your bitcoin back into a $USD balance. When you play poker or gamble it will be in dollars. You will not be betting .00000423 bitcoin, at least not directly with bitcoin.
It can take a few minutes depending on how congested the blockchain in as the time you want to make a deposit. Usually it will be fairly fast.
When you are ready to cash out, your $USD balance is converted back into bitcoin and sent to whatever address you tell them to. Maybe you want to cash out some bitcoin. Either you won a bunch playing poker (hopefully!) or you are turning some crypto back to dollars for whatever reason. Let’s detail that step so you are comfortable with it as well.
Sell Bitcoin For USD
There are a lot of ways to sell bitcoin and get U.S. dollars. The easiest way is to reverse the path you took to purchase bitcoin.
Sell Bitcoin via CashApp
For this step we are going to send bitcoin from our Green Wallet over to Cash.app and sell it there. Open cash app and click on receive. Copy your receive address.
Now open Green wallet and go to ‘send. Paste in the address from your cash app account. Click send and confirm any security checks like PIN code entry.
Once it is in your cash app account you can sell it back for $USD.
- Click Bitcoin > Sell > Choose Amount in $USD to sell and click ‘Sell’
- Your bitcoin is sold for USD cash that you can then spend as you choose in your CashApp.
More Ways To Buy Bitcoin Other Than Cash App
Bitcoin ATM’s – another fast and easy way is an ATM machine where you put in money and it sends you bitcoin. If there is one near you it could be the easiest way if you are wanting to spend cash. Since you already have your wallet set up, you simply walk up to the ATM, deposit cash and provide the payout address of your hot wallet to the ATM to receive the bitcoin. CoinATMradar seems to be the most up to date bitcoin ATM locator, but google will likely be your best bet for your location.
The ATM’s may or may not require identification, depending on exactly where you are located in the world.
Bitcoin Exchanges = Best Price To Buy Bitcoin & Most Economical
If ease and speed are less important to you but getting the absolute most bitcoin for your dollars is your goal then you should take the time to get set up with a legitimate bitcoin exchange.
The way to get your absolute best price when buying bitcoin is to create and fund an account at one of the major US regulated exchanges such as Coinbase Pro, Gemini or Kraken and then place a limit buy order. Limit buy orders are usually the lowest fee option from the maker/taker trading platform but you should always check yourself to confirm as I haven’t confirmed exactly how fee’s work at the major exchanges in quite a while.
These bitcoin exchanges are where the professional crypto-currency traders do business.
You can join in yourself and after a week or so of hoop jumping and identification verifying you can purchase bitcoin at their exchange for the cheapest market rate at that point in time.
Assuming your limit buy order is filled, you will now have bitcoin in your account at the exchange. You will have paid the best price at that moment in time at the exchange you executed the trade at. The price will change in the next few seconds of course but that’s the nature of the beast.
After the trade executes you have your bitcoin in your wallet at the exchange.
The exchange still owns that bitcoin at this point but they have it allocated in your account that you can trade with or even withdraw it. if you want to use it for any gambling or if you want to hold it yourself safely then you should withdraw it to your personal wallet.
You should never send bitcoin from your exchange directly to an online casino. Always send it to your personal wallet in-between.
You do not want to have your exchange accounts closed down. Especially the major exchanges. Often times, transacting directly with an online gambling site or any site they deem unworthy can be against their terms and conditions and end up getting your account shut down at the exchange.
Even for small amounts, it’s not worth the risk so just send it to your personal wallet. I would do this even if I was not planning to gamble online. Get it into a wallet that you own.
These exchanges all follow KYC requirements and are licensed for operations in the USA. It’s legit as legit gets. Send it to your hot-wallet and now you are ready for your spending.
Sell Bitcoin In An Exchange
If you bought your bitcoin at an exchange you should be able to figure out how to sell it back into USD. Buy USD at a limit market order for best prices usually. Once in USD you can withdraw to your bank.
For larger amounts this is absolutely the best way to trade back and forth into fiat / bitcoin. Deposit the bitcoin into your exchange account. Trade for fiat. Wire fiat back to your bank.
Cash From ATM – You can google for an ATM near you that pay’s out cash in exchange for bitcoin. Not all ATM’s work both ways (some are more like bitcoin vending machines that sell bitcoin but they do not give out cash. Check your area and find out yourself.
Cash from a p2p exchange – You can work on the sell side of a p2p exchange like LocalBitcoins and sell your bitcoin for dollars here as well.
P2P Bitcoin Marketplaces
Some of these still require ID and information about you before letting you sign up and exchange. This varies by your geography so the best I can say is to check them yourself. There are a handful of p2p style exchanges you can look at.
Some pro’s are that there are a ton of different payment options and ways to ‘do the deal’. The negatives are that you are dealing more directly with other people and while you can rely on user feedback and only deal with reputable sellers, there are always scams that can happen from shady individuals.
These p2p exchanges are extremely popular and there are feedback systems in place to help you narrow down your search to positive sellers who offer bitcoin at the price and method of exchange you want.
Bitcoin Brokers – Buy With A Credit Card
You are not going to get your best price at a bitcoin broker but you can usually buy bitcoin fairly easily with a credit card.
CoinMama – probably one of the better known and respected bitcoin brokers from around the world. It’s hit or miss whether or not they work in your geography. Sign up, show your ID and you can buy a smaller amount of bitcoin fast, but not cheap. The broker assumes some risk when selling bitcoin to you via a credit card because credit card charges can be reversed by the buyer but once they send you the bitcoin, it’s gone. Bitcoin can not be reversed so they price in that risk when selling creating a premium price for ease of purchase.
Coinbase – the non-pro version of Coinbase offers a small amount of bitcoin available for purchase instantly via credit card and a higher amount available once properly verified and funds established. Coinbase is the most well known exchange in the US and growing internationally in Europe.
Bitcoin Cold Storage / Hardware Wallets
If you plan to have bitcoin down the road you probably owe it to yourself to purchase a hardware device that can act as a cold storage device for bitcoin you plan to hold on to for a while.
You do not have to have a cold storage wallet to buy and use bitcoin for poker online. It’s optional and recommended if you plan to have/hold bitcoin in the future.
I am a big fan of the Trezor.io and Ledger products. They are my favorites and I’ve used both.
The original Trezor model works great and is somewhere around $60 the last time I checked the prices. These hardware devices are extremely secure and have a lot of built in anti-phishing safeguards. You can learn more about them and buy one at their website, trezor.io.
Key Tip: Only purchase a hardware wallet directly from the company, never from Amazon or ebay.
Shady Amazon and ebay re-sellers have opened and accessed the devices, copied the keys and then repackaged the hardware wallets and sold them to unsuspecting buyers. Those buyers then loaded their compromised wallets up with who knows how much bitcoin and thought they were safe. The shady resellers then used the keys (the words you write down at the beginning) to access the account on the blockchain and send the bitcoin to a new wallet. From there, the bitcoin is gone to a new address and the rightful buyer is totally screwed with no recourse. Buy directly from the company, not amazon, ebay or craigslist.
If you go the hardware route then the personal wallet on your phone is another optional layer. You can transact with the casino of your choice directly from within your trezor wallet on your PC or phone without the need of creating a GreenAddress personal wallet.
Of course you can use both for extra layers of security and best practice is to keep smaller amounts in your personal app wallet that you plan to spend.
Dig In And Learn More About BTC
As always, do your own research. Here are some places to start:
- Lopp.net’s Getting Started Links
- /r/btc/ (this is a bitcoin cash subreddit)
A quick bit of advice when just starting out is to read only, do not make comments or ask questions. If you comment and ask a newbie style question then people know you are new to bitcoin and a target for scamming.
Shady people there will private message you trying to ‘help you’ but but with a real goal of scamming you out of your money. Don’t post just read, at least at first. Once you are more comfortable with how everything works you can move forward and post if you want.
Best Bitcoin Poker Sites
The truth is that all the legit offshore poker sites now take and encourage bitcoin as their preferred cashier methods. It’s fairly easy to get started if you take a few steps now you will have crypto in your hands in no time.
Sportsbooks include: Bovada, Betonline, Sportsbetting and Bookmaker.