To be honest, checks feel like something from the Jurassic era. They've already become virtually obsolete in most major countries and n 10, 20 years, no one will even think about pulling out their checkbook to buy groceries or pay their bills.
Surprisingly, though, checks - or as we refer to them now 'eChecks' - are still a very useful commodity when it comes to online poker.
eChecks look and function just like the regular checks your grandfather signs when he's at the grocery store stocking up on prunes, canned meat and Polident. The only difference now is that everything is handled online and the money is debited directly from your checking account.
If you're an aspiring poker player that's ever tried and failed to make an online poker deposit with a credit or debit card, eCheck poker has been a godsend. Payments are fast, smooth and secure and you'll find your money deposited in your poker account with little hassle or time wasted.
If you're interested in finding the best eCheck poker sites, both within the US and around the world, check our detailed guide below. For more poker payment options, check our complete guide here:
First things first: What, exactly, is an "eCheck?"
Well, an eCheck is pretty much what it sounds like - a digital version of the old school paper checks you write that authorize a withdrawal from your checking account at the bank.
Your money, your signature, a certain dollar amount written out a couple of ways, a payee, a transfer number for your bank account and the bank branch ... it's all identical to the hard copy form of a traditional check but simply digitized.
You can see it on screen, even print it out if you like but it's simply a way to authorize the withdrawal of funds directly from your bank account rather than through a credit card or a third-party payment processor.
The poker site agrees to access your payment from the bank but in the interim will put the amount of your deposit right in your poker account and let you play poker with it. Once the eCheck clears the actual money will be transferred to the poker site.
Oh, and if it wasn't already obvious - the "e" in "eCheck" stands for electronic.
Hard to believe in this day and age, but yes instant eChecks are actually instant despite it taking 7 days for your eCheck to clear.
Poker sites really do give you the benefit of the doubt and will clear your funds for play before your eCheck poker deposit is actually cleared and processed from the bank.
in other words, they're trusting that the funds will still be in your bank account when they claim it even though you may have already lost said funds at the poker tables.
Generous, right? HOWEVER ... as mentioned above an eCheck is still a legal document that you are required to pay in full or pay the consequences. As mentioned above a poker site will extend you the courtesy of allowing you to access your funds before the eCheck clears until you prove them otherwise.
Should you bounce an eCheck or not have the funds available you'll both have to pay your bank NSF fees and be under restrictions for any further deposits to that poker site.
Once you've logged into your poker account you just need to navigate to the cashier page (you'll see the links). If your poker site accepts eChecks you'll see a logo for "Instant eChecks" in the menu.
Click it and the poker site will open up a pop-up prompting you to enter the information on your check. These are the digits along the bottom of the check that represent your account number and the bank's transit information.
Once you've filled it in you simply need to add the amount you want to deposit and click submit. Your money should arrive in your poker account instantly but you'll obviously need to check with customer support if it doesn't.
As mentioned it'll take about 7 days for your eCheck poker deposit to actually be debited from your bank account to the poker site so be aware of your balance to make sure it clears properly.
Instant eChecks are specific to the US and Canada although in Europe and Asia direct bank transfers are a reasonable equivalent.
As for US players, all of the major poker sites in licensed and regulated states (New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, Pennsylvania) accept eChecks for deposits.
In Canada eChecks are similarly acceptable for use at both major international poker sites that accept Canadian players and government-run poker sites in BC, Manitoba and Quebec.
Yep, as we mentioned above, if you are a resident in or physically within the borders of a US state where online poker has been licensed and regulated (New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, Pennsylvania) eChecks are a viable option for your deposits.
You'll be expected to provide your social security number when making an eCheck deposit along with your account details. Read more about USA online poker here:
Yes! PokerStars accepts eChecks for BOTH deposits and withdrawals for its international platform and its US platform (currently just in New Jersey).
eCheck poker deposits can be made via the downloaded desktop software, the PokerStars app or in the no download web browser. Your Instant eCheck is deposited via PokerStars' Instant eCheck processors but all of your information and data is secured and encrypted.
A couple of nice perks with eChecks on PokerStars:
As instant eChecks are just a virtual extension of your checking account and paper checks you won't pay any fees to the bank for using them. Poker sites also waive fees for making eCheck poker deposits.
Compared to other payment methods, that makes eCheck poker a very cost-efficient enterprise. You are of course responsible for having the required funds in your account and will be responsible for any charges by the bank or poker site for non-sufficient funds.
Yep, absolutely. The eCheck option should be integrated right into the mobile cashier so all you need to do is navigate there and follow the prompts under the eCheck logo. You'll need to enter your check information just like you would in the desktop cashier.
You can, although it won't be instantaneously credited to your bank account. It will again take some time for the eCheck to clear but this time into your account and the bank won't make the money appear in your account until it actually arrives.
Most US poker sites can transfer your requested funds (given that they have met all the terms and conditions of proper withdrawal) back to your bank account within 7 days.
If you have made a request for an eCheck poker withdrawal and it has taken more than 7 days, contact the poker site's customer support to see if something has held it up.
Very. eChecks have the same security features of paper checks so your deposit and withdrawals are protected by all of the same protocols your paper checks are. Your information and bank details are never at risk of being exposed with any licensed and regulated poker site except, of course, in the rare case of a security breach. Bank fraud is a serious crime so the odds of your checking account ever being infiltrated or used for nefarious purposes are extremely low.
Yes. The minimum deposit for each poker site varies but you can expect to have to deposit at least $25 via eCheck for your first deposit. If this your first deposit via eCheck you will also likely be restricted in how much you can deposit as well.
Until you have proven your eChecks will be processed and the funds supplied by your bank account the poker site is only willing to accept so much risk. Once you've used eChecks for multiple poker deposits and all have been processed properly your deposit maximum will likely be increased.
eCheck withdrawals are also subject to review and to daily/weekly limits depending on the poker site.
Yes. Welcome bonuses or sign-up poker bonuses aren't usually connected to one particular payment method. As long as you use any poker bonus code or link required you'll be eligible for the full welcome bonus regardless of your deposit method.
Poker sites will sometimes offer reload or deposit bonuses tied to a payment method but it's very unlikely it would ever apply to eChecks.