For quite some time now, since back in 2019, a particular poker app has been circulating around the poker community and making a lot of noise.
The app in question, of course, is PokerBros! It is technically a social poker app with play money games where players can purchase chips for real money.
The original PokerBros model exploded into something a lot bigger over time, with thousands of players around the world using it to play and host actual real money poker games.
If you have been around online poker since 2019, you have probably heard about the PokerBros app being the place with the softest games around and the most action.
But is PokerBros rigged and unsafe to play at?
Many players who have lost their money claim it to be, while tons of others swear it’s just as safe as any other online poker site.
I went ahead and did some research to create a complete PokerBros review and find out just how safe the app is to play on and whether you should play there or avoid it altogether.
What is PokerBros?
If you aren’t familiar with the PokerBros app just yet, you are a little bit behind the curve when it comes to online poker.
While regular online poker sites like GGPoker and PokerStars are still very active, a good chunk of the poker community has moved on to poker apps in search of softer games.
PokerBros is a mobile poker app that lets players buy poker chips and play with them at the tables without facilitating any monetary transactions.
The app also allows users to create PokerBros clubs, which are private in nature and let the club owner accept new players at will, kick members out, and have complete control of the game.
As a club owner, a user can purchase chips from the app once and then distribute them among the players as they see fit.
This allows players to create a private poker game where play money chips are exchanged for real money, and vice versa and this is what’s been happening.
PokerBros has become popular around the world, but especially in the US, where online poker is still illegal in most states and very limited in those where it’s legal as well.
With the number of PokerBros clubs growing by the day and clubs joining up into unions, the app is becoming a very legitimate place to play “real money poker.”
Before we can talk about the safety of playing at PokerBros, let’s talk about how exactly the process of playing there works and what it entails.
How to Play at PokerBros?
Signing up to the PokerBros app is very simple, and playing play money games doesn’t take anything other than registering for an account and jumping into action.
PokerBros real money games, on the other hand, are a very different story. These games only exist within private clubs, to which you need an invite.
Many PokerBros clubs are available these days, and they all let you play poker for real money. Here is how it’s done.
First, you need to get in touch with the club owner or one of the club agents, who will give you the necessary club ID and approve your club membership.
Once you are in there, you will have to get a hold of some chips to play with, which is also done through your agents.
Depending on the PokerBros club you are getting into and sometimes your relationship with the agent, you may or may not need to pay the money upfront.
Whether you have or haven’t paid for your chips, you can now play in the club games and win chips from other players.
If you win, you should be able to ask your agent to pay you your winnings, whether you want to do it via an e-wallet like Skrill, a crypto transfer, or even a cash transaction.
This is exactly where playing PokerBros real money games get touchy, as you are taking all the risk and hoping for the best.
If you lose money at PokerBros, you will have to pay your agent unless you are also trying to pull a scam.
If you win, you will need to make sure you get paid, which won’t always be possible.
The real takeaway here is that playing for real money at PokerBros is all about trust, just like any other private poker game in the world.
You will just have to make sure that the agent putting you in the game is someone you can trust.
Is PokerBros Rigged or Safe to Play At?
This brings us to a whole other question, and that is whether or not the PokerBros app is rigged. When I say rigged, I am referring to the actual software and how cards are dealt out to the players.
Unlike many other concerns about PokerBros, which are legitimate, the accusations against PokerBros that claim the software is rigged are simply untrue.
The software uses the same kind of RNG algorithm used by many of the world’s biggest poker sites and seems to be 100% fair and safe in terms of card distribution.
At the end of the day, PokerBros has even less of a benefit from unequal card distribution than real money poker sites would have, as they don’t actually make their money from rake in a traditional sense.
If you are worried about the actual app being rigged, the honest and unbiased opinion I can give you on that is that the software is not rigged and that all the cards are dealt out completely randomly.
Other PokerBros Safety Concerns
However, despite the PokerBros app not being rigged, there are quite a few things you should be concerned about if you plan to play here.
For starters, PokerBros is completely unregulated, which means there is no governing body watching over the app or any of the clubs/unions within it.
The primary concern here is related to the club you decide to play at, as your club’s owner and agents may not be 100% fair.
There have been quite a few reports of clubs letting a lot of people play on credit, hoping that enough rake would be generated to where they would be profiting a lot, with minimal risk.
However, when people fail to pay their credit after they lose, this can create problems and make it impossible for club owners to pay out the winners.
In turn, this has often resulted in people who have won money at PokerBros waiting for a long time to get paid or even not getting paid at all, which is the worst-case scenario.
Even if your agents are fair and you can expect to get paid when you win, there are some other concerns to have about the PokerBros real money games.
Since there is no oversight like there may be at a real money site like GGPoker, PokerBros games are susceptible to all types of cheating.
Whether you are worried about bots, multi-accounting, collusion, or RTA, all of these things are pretty much rampant at PokerBros.
While many of the players playing on the app are recreationals looking to have some fun, plenty of sharks are out there as well, and they may be looking for some unethical edges.
Reports of multi-accounting at PokerBros are frequent, and there is just about nothing you can do to fight it and basically no one to report it to.
While PokerBros club owners may be willing to help on occasion, they may find it hard to ban players from their games who are generating rake, despite multi-accounting or collusion.
Overall speaking, PokerBros is certainly less safe than the regulated online poker sites working under actual gaming licenses, and you should keep your eyes wide open when playing there.
So Should I Play at PokerBros?
If you are looking for soft online poker games these days, you may have to look long and hard on any licensed site, as the quality of play at all such sites has improved dramatically.
Online poker tournaments can still be considered relatively soft, but the truth is that even tournament games have become a lot more solid and difficult to beat.
Online poker apps like PokerBros have opened up a whole new market for cash game players, often providing access to truly soft games that can be beaten for a significant win rate.
What’s even more, PokerBros club owners are sometimes willing to offer substantial amounts of rakeback to their players, which is another solid incentive to play there.
If you can find a nice PokerBros club with soft games and plenty of traffic, it may be worth taking the risk and getting into some games with a limited bankroll.
Your best bet is to ask for cashouts often and make sure to only play when your agents have paid out any previous debt they have.
I would also not recommend holding a large bankroll at PokerBros, with several buyins for the game you plan on playing usually being the preferred option.
Running out of cash while playing in a game may be annoying, but it’s not half as annoying as getting a fifty buyin bankroll stuck at the mercy of a PokerBros club agent.
Under all the right circumstances, PokerBros can definitely be the best place to build up your poker bankroll, just as long as you make sure to make your safety the number one priority while playing on this app.
What Are My Alternatives?
If you spend enough time researching the different options at PokerBros, you should be able to find a suitable club to play in with minimal risks.
However, PokerBros is not the only online poker app where this model exists either, with the likes of PPPoker and Upoker offering similar services.
Furthermore, you may prefer to simply play at a regular online poker site or app that is licensed in your legal jurisdiction or even one with an international gaming license.
Your options may depend heavily on where you live, and the biggest upside of PokerBros is probably the fact that the app is available everywhere in the world.
With PokerBros games playing similar to live poker in many scenarios, there is always the alternative of playing live poker games instead of online poker as well, which is another way to find soft poker games where you can profit.
At the end of the day, it will come down to weighing all the pros and cons, with the PokerBros app having quite a few items to put down in both columns.