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
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).
Don’t worry, I’ll go through all the steps and show you what to do and how to do it.
You might want to bookmark this page as some of the steps will require a bit of time to get set up properly.
Getting Set Up To Own Bitcoin The Right Way
If you are properly prepared with legitimate apps and bitcoin exchanges then it will make things smooth for you.
My name is Jason and I was a lot like you the first time I decided I wanted to buy bitcoin. I didn’t know the “right” way to buy bitcoin, or even what my options were.
I didn’t want to get ripped off or scammed. I didn’t want to pay way more than I should and I didn’t want to get hacked or lose my bitcoin to a con artist. So I started researching and reading the crypto related subs on reddit.
There is a TON of bitcoin ‘advice’ out there. A ton of it. I didn’t know what I could trust and what was subtle marketing or genuine advice. There is literally information overload.
So I slowed down and dug in for some serious research and reading. I dove into the cryptocurrency forums at reddit, the mega bitcoin forum at Bitcointalk.org and other forums I’ve visited over the years like 2+2 and some affiliate forums.
I’ve read thousands of threads over the years and here on this website I’m doing my absolute best to share the good stuff with you while keeping you well aware that bad stuff exists and to be wary of it.
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.
Quick Overview of the Steps To Buy Bitcoin The First Time
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.
- Setup your bitcoin wallet(s) – Securely and safely.
- Purchase bitcoin via your choice of methods
- Send purchased bitcoin to your bitcoin hot wallet
Bitcoin Wallets I Recommend
Wallets come in two main flavors. Hot wallets (apps on your phone) or cold storage wallets (hardware wallets that require a device connected to your PC).
We are going to set up a hot wallet and an optional cold storage/hardware wallet.
I recommend the GreenWallet from Blockstream / GreenAddress. It’s free, secure and open source.
If you want a physical device you connect to your computer then I recommend the Trezor.io hardware wallet. For most of us who want to play some online poker or gamble then the Trezor is a bit of overkill for what is necessary.
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.
Bitcoin Wallets I Like
GreenWallet – Apps for both iPhone and Android. They are open source on github. It’s free, easy, secure and open source. Read their faq to understand the security behind the wallet and why I like how secure it is.
What is a “Bitcoin Wallet for Poker”?
A bitcoin wallet for poker is essentially what I call a “hot wallet” or your “spending” wallet. You keep your bitcoin in this wallet that you plan to spend and use. Most likely making a deposit at Bovada or Betonline.
The wallet is an app on your phone. Make sure you get the official Green Wallet from Blockstream from the app store (the links below work).
I think of my bitcoin hot wallet like my leather wallet I carry in my back pocket with a little bit of cash money. Not too much in there but enough to have some spending cash.
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.
Creating your GreenWallet Account (it’s free).
During the account setup you are going to generate your mnemonic key to your account. This will be a series of 24 words. You must write the words down, clearly and completely and in order.
Write these words down. Do not type it, do not take a photo of it, do not text it to yourself. Write it down… at least twice. Store your words in two distinct safe places that you and trusted others know the location of. Without these words you can not regenerate your bitcoin if you lose your wallet, pin or phone.
Once you are set up with your greenaddress hot wallet you are good to go. You are ready to purchase bitcoin and send it to your wallet.
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.
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 products. They are my favorites and I’ve tried their biggest competitor, the Ledger.
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, not on ebay or Amazon.
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 hot wallet is optional. 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 hot wallet.
Of course you can use both for extra layers of security and best practice is to keep smaller amounts in your hot wallet that you plan to spend.
Now that you are set up with a bitcoin wallet – you need to buy bitcoin and send it to your wallet.
How and where should we do this? We have a wide variety of options and choices out there.
I’m going to break down the easiest, the fastest, safest and the most economical ways. They are not always one in the same. The easiest and fastest way is rarely the cheapest and best deal way. You pay for ease and speed to get your first bitcoin.
Buy Bitcoin Using US Dollars – $$ to BTC Easy
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. The good news is that the price you will pay to buy bitcoin on the cash app is a competitive market rate compared to the more complex trading exchanges like Gemini or Coinbase Pro.
Buy Bitcoin With Cash App
- Download Cash.App app
- Fund your CashApp account with a debit card.
- Click on the ‘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’.
- Send bitcoin to your hot wallet
It may take a few hours the first time you purchase bitcoin to have it ready to send out to your hot wallet. CashApp is fast to show the bitcoin in your account but does require some time to have the bitcoin ready to release.
Do not send it directly to the poker site from the cash app wallet. Send it to your hot-wallet first.
Withdraw Bitcoin From Broker (Cash.App) and Send To Your Wallet
Always use a middleman ‘hot wallet’ between a poker site, sportsbook or online casino and where you bought bitcoin from.
Always send it to your hot-wallet in-between the poker site and the place you buy and sell bitcoin for $USD. This is a safety precaution as many of the fiat on and off ramps (coinbase, cashapp etc). They usually have strict terms and conditions relating to transacting with an online gambling site directly from their built in wallets.
Steps To Send From Cash.App To Your GreenAddress Hot Wallet
- Copy your receive address from your hotwallet.
- To get your receive address, open up Greenaddress wallet, click the menu > receive > show URI code/address
- Hover over and copy the bitcoin address underneath the word ‘address’. This is the long string of random numbers and letters, it is not the word bitcoin: *copy from clipboard did not work for me, I had to hover over and copy.
- 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 – I click on ‘enter manually’ and paste the ‘receive address’ copied from the first step. This is your GreenAddress wallets receive address.
- Click next and confirm one final time the receive address and click next.
- Your bitcoin will be sent to your receive address.
Once your bitcoin is in your hot wallet you are ready to spend it on whatever you choose.
In our case, it is making a deposit at a poker site.
It’s also a good idea to remember the mantra “not your keys, not your bitcoin”. If you keep your coins in the cashapp wallet then you do not own those keys so while it should be fine it’s not the same as being the ultimate bitcoin owner. Get your bitcoin to yourself then spend as you choose.
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.
You absolutely should NOT send bitcoin from your exchange directly to an online casino. Always send it to your hot wallet in-between.
You do not want to have your fiat on and off ramps closed down. Especially the major exchanges. Often times, transacting directly with an online gambling site or any site of ill repute can be against their terms and conditions.
Even for small amounts, it’s not worth the risk so just send it to your hot 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.
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.
Localbitcoins.com is the most popular person to person bitcoin exchange, it has been in operation since 2012 based out of Finland but operates nearly worldwide.
There pro’s and con’s of using p2p exchanges like localbitcoins or Paxful, which is where you can exchange gift cards for bitcoin and use virtually every payment method out there but you might pay quite the premium for the option.
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.
Send Bitcoin To Your Hot Wallet
Depending on which service you used to buy bitcoin will determine exactly how you go about doing this. But essentially you go to withdraw > bitcoin > receive address. You get your receive address from your greenaddress app in the ‘receive’ section. Paste in your receive address and decide how much bitcoin to send to this address. Double check the address and click ‘send’. Your bitcoin will be sent to your ‘receive address’ in moments to minutes. Once it’s there you can do with it what you wish.
Let’s detail the process using Greenaddress and CashApp:
Open up your GreenAddress wallet and click on the receive button and copy the receive address.
Open up CashApp and click on withdraw > Bitcoin
They will ask you where to send your bitcoin and you will paste in and confirm your address copied from greenaddress. Choose how much bitcoin to send and verify the address is correct. Click ‘send now’.
Again this will take moments to minutes depending on the network congestion for the Bitcoin mining pool. Usually this takes a few minutes, but I can not predict how long it will take for you because the way bitcoin works the network sometimes get clogged and transactions take longer than others.
Once your bitcoin shows up in your GreenAddress hot wallet, you are ready to make your deposit at your gambling destination of choice.
Deposit at an Online Poker Site
Or deposit at a casino or sportsbook. Once your bitcoin is in your hot wallet you can spend it how you choose.
Making a deposit at an online casino is the easiest part. Now that you have bought bitcoin and moved it to your hot wallet, all you have to do is deposit it at a casino.
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
Remember, send any bitcoin to your hotwallet in-between CashApp. Cash out from the poker room to your hot wallet. Send from your hot wallet to cash app.
- Open Cash.App and click on bitcoin > receive > copy down this address
- Open your hot wallet and click on > send > paste in the cash app address
- Confirm the proper send address and choose how much bitcoin to send to cash app. Click send.
- Your bitcoin shows up in your cash app account.
- 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.
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.
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.