Frequently Asked Questions

What is unique about ChessMoney?

ChessMoney makes it easy, fair and safe to play chess for money. Other websites offer ways to learn or improve chess skill. Some provide news about chess and forums for chess enthusiasts. Some enable playing several chess game variants. ChessMoney is focused on making it easy, fair and safe to play chess for money.

ChessMoney has developed proprietary technology, methods and algorithms that make it fair and safe to play chess for money. ChessMoney uses a unique and proprietary method to fairly handicap wagers between players.

ChessMoney also uses patent-pending chess-specific, proprietary methods and algorithms to automatically identify when any player is likely to be cheating, regardless of how they may be doing so. These cheat-detection chess-bots work constantly around the clock, and examine every move of every game to determine if a user is performing above their expected level of play.

For players that do not qualify or are not yet willing to play online chess for money, ChessMoney makes it just as easy to play for free and without any ads. (Unlike other online chess sites that charge you to upgrade to play without ads).

What is the ChessMoney Facebook App and how is it different than ChessMoney?

The ChessMoney Facebook App makes it easy for Facebook users to see how their Facebook Friends rank in playing ChessMoney. It also enables Facebook users to see the ranking of Top players across all ChessMoney users. Note that the ChessMoney Facebook App does not enable playing online chess for money because Facebook rules and regulations do not allow any game apps that enable wagering for money.

Is ChessMoney really free?

Anyone can register to play online chess for free at ChessMoney. There are no download, registration, game, or tournament fees. And at ChessMoney, there are no ads! (Unlike other online chess sites that charge you to upgrade to play without ads).

ChessMoney enables anyone to play chess online for free. And if you qualify and want to play for money, you only pay a small game fee when you win. ChessMoney charges the winner as little as US$0.05 or up to 5% of the amount won in a game. With ChessMoney, you do not pay anything to anyone if your game ends in a draw.

What are the qualifications to be allowed to play for money on ChessMoney?

ChessMoney follows regulations and legislation that govern Internet-based gaming involving games of skill. Most countries or states have minimum age requirements and some also restrict gaming that involves wagering for money. To enforce such regulations, ChessMoney requires registered users who want to play for money to verify their age and physical location. ChessMoney limits the amount a player can wager in a game to funds available in their user account. To play for money, ChessMoney requires a minimum US$10 initial account deposit from users qualified to play for money, but may also offer initial trial and promotion incentives for players qualified to play for money.

How are players matched on ChessMoney?

At any time you can see who is available to play at ChessMoney and can challenge any available user to play. If you prefer, you can also have the ChessMoney system automatically suggest suitable matches based on your selection criteria. And if you qualify and decide to play for money, you get to choose the maximum you are willing to set as wager for a game. You can also choose not to play for money.

When a player logs on to the ChessMoney website, they are listed as an available player for others to challenge them to play and are also able to see what other players are available to play so they can challenge any available players to a game. The available player board includes the user name, their ChessMoney ELO rating and the types of games they are willing and/or able to play (for money or not).

For users that would rather not wait to be sought out or go through the process of seeking out other players to challenge to a chess game, ChessMoney offers the option to automatically match players based on their similar preferences. And before any game begins, you decide if you accept the proposed game match-up.

If you log in using their Facebook account, ChessMoney makes it easy to invite your Facebook friends to become members and challenge them to play games. Among your preferences, you can also have the system first attempt to match you with one of your friends available to play on ChessMoney.

Why can’t I always find users ready to play for money on ChessMoney?

Playing for money requires having another player ready and willing to play at the same time that you are ready to play for money. As the number of users playing at ChessMoney increases, it will become easier to find people willing and ready to play for money, anytime you wish.

How much money can you win on ChessMoney?

It really depends on a number of factors. Most important, you control how much money you are willing to wager in any given game. You can decide not to wager at all or you can set your initial wager to be as low as US$0.10 per game.

Once a player qualifies to play for money at ChessMoney, the initial minimum game wager amount is set at US$0.10. Beyond the initial qualification to play for money, the enabled maximum game wager amount allowed increases depending on the cumulative number of prior games a user plays for money. A user must play at least 10 money games to have their limit on the initial wager amount increase to US$1.00, 50 money games to enable up to US$10.00, and 100 money games to have an initial wager amount of up to US$50.00. At any point, any player qualified to play for money can set their own Preferences as to their own maximum game wager amount, as long as the amount is equal or lower than the amount enabled based on the cumulative number of prior games a user plays for money.

Because ChessMoney uses a handicap, when playing a game against an opponent that has a higher expected likelihood of winning, the amount of money you can win if you beat an opponent with a higher rating is inversely proportional to the expected likelihood of winning the game.

On the upside, ChessMoney allows a maximum wager of US$50 per game won. From a functional perspective, ChessMoney limits the amount a player can wager in any game to the funds that are already available within a user account.

Is it safe to deposit and withdraw money using ChessMoney?

ChessMoney is integrated with PayPal to enable easy and safe money transfers. PayPal is a popular, established and secure payment processing service that greatly simplifies the process of paying for online purchases. Users who have a PayPal Account can easily deposit funds from ChessMoney. And, anyone with a valid major credit or debit card can use PayPal to deposit with ChessMoney.

To prevent unauthorized access, all personally identifiable information associated with a ChessMoney account is securely stored separately from the game servers.

To discourage and help prevent fraud, ChessMoney requires playing a minimum of 50 games for money before any withdrawal can be made, limits the total amount of any single withdrawal to US$50, and only allows a single withdrawal on any given day. Consequently, you can play and win as much money as you are able to earn, but you can only withdraw a maximum of US$50 per day.

How does ChessMoney handicap the game wagers?

ChessMoney handicaps game wagers, such that when you play a game against an opponent that has a higher expected likelihood of winning, the amount of money you can win if you beat an opponent with a higher ChessMoney ELO rating (CM ELO) is inversely proportional to the expected likelihood of winning the game.

ChessMoney uses the initial 10 games to begin determining each player’s relative level of skill and adjust their CM ELO accordingly. During this initial 10 game period, ChessMoney will pair users that have yet to play their initial 10 games with each other and will not handicap these initial games.

Once the initial 10 games have been played, games involving players that qualify and choose to play for money involve the use of a handicapped wager. ChessMoney handicaps each game wager using a unique and proprietary method that examines the most relevant prior matches in terms of specific competitors and their related CM ELO ratings.

Rather than relying solely on the current CM ELO rating of the players, the ChessMoney method also uses the results of the most relevant prior games to handicap each game wager to calculate an expected value associated with the likelihood of each player to win a potential match. Since the CM ELO rating is an aggregated measure, incorporating assessment of relevant prior game results enables a more accurate prediction of one-on-one chess game performance than simply using the latest Elo rating of the players involved in a potential match.

Why would I want to wager in a game against a more skilled chess player?

You may want to play better players to challenge yourself or to learn by playing better players, and perhaps sometimes beat them to win real money.

Unlike chess games that do not involve a financial stake, ChessMoney gives better players have a strong incentive to play against less skilled players. Better players can apply their skill to win money playing chess, as long as they agree to payout a higher reward for less skilled opponents that are able to beat them.

ChessMoney uses a proprietary handicap method that takes into account the CM ELO of the players and other prior relevant game performance to determine how much larger the financial stake of the higher ranked player needs to be, so as to compensate for the difference in relative skill between the players.

If I am a good player, why would I want to play a less skilled player?

Normally there is little incentive for a skilled chess player to play someone who is not as good. If you win, there are few if any rating points to be earned. And if you loose, it could negatively impact your rating. ChessMoney makes it possible for more skilled players to earn what should be considered relatively easy money when faced with the opportunity to beat less skilled opponents. However, because wagers are handicapped, skilled players have to be extra cautious not to make what could become costly mistakes when playing online chess for money.

How does ChessMoney deter and deal with cheating?

ChessMoney developed, validated and deployed proprietary analytic methods that examine every move of every game to detect anomalous behavior or results indicative of likely cheating in an online chess game.

When a user initially signs up to play on ChessMoney, they are automatically assigned a ChessMoney Elo (CM ELO) rating of 1500 and have to play at least 10 games with a maximum wager amount of US$0.10. After playing 10 games, users have their CM ELO rating adjusted accordingly. Once a CM ELO rating is established, the system automatically monitors and flags game performances that are outside the users expected type and level of play. In brief, ChessMoney uses automated analysis of all of the games to detect changes in a player’s game behavior that may indicate potential cheating is involved.

To further deter cheating, the level of potential cheat risk is clearly represented next to each user name (green for low risk, yellow for medium risk, and red for high risk) and users have full control to decide whether they are willing to play any given user.

ChessMoney also makes it easy for users to report players they suspect of cheating by simply clicking on the prominent “report potential cheater” button. If a potential cheater is reported, the game is treated as a draw and any wager associated with the game in question is refunded to the respective player accounts. As a follow up to the reported cheating, ChessMoney generates an automated report based on the results of its cheat detection system that is sent via email to both players.

Any user determined by the ChessMoney cheat detection system to be likely of cheating is not able to play any games for money for 3 months after their first offense, 6 months after their second offense, and is indefinitely barred from playing any games for money after their third offense.

Any user who reports cheating and is determined to have made 3 false accusations within a 30 day period, where opponents are not found likely to be cheating, is not allowed to play for money for a period of 3 months. This rule is in place to deter false accusations that may be motivated by not wanting to lose a game wager.

Why does ChessMoney limit the game time for each player to 10 minutes?

There are various popular forms of fast chess, also known as blitz chess, lightning chess, speed chess, bullet chess and rapid chess, where each player is given a limited amount of time, ranging anywhere from 1 to 15 minutes, with timing controlled using a game clock. The World Chess Federation specifies that in a blitz game all the moves must be made in a fixed time of less than 15 minutes for each player.

ChessMoney limits game time to 10 minutes per player to further challenge players to test their chess skill in one-on-one competition. Using a fixed 10 minutes per player time limit also serves to consistently assess individual player and game performance to enable automated detection of potential cheaters.

Is it legal to play chess for money on ChessMoney?

ChessMoney LLC is an Internet Gaming company that does not engage in unlawful gambling activities. In the United States, the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGA) of 2006 prohibits businesses from “knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in a bet or wager that involves the use of the Internet and that is unlawful under any federal or state law." The UIGA recognizes that unlawful Internet gambling is defined by individual state law and many states in the United States have similar laws restricting online gambling activities.

Neither the UIGA nor any U.S. gaming law has defined these terms clearly, and there is currently much confusion about whether particular games such as poker or chess are considered “games of skill” or “games of chance” under these laws. Legal counsel for ChessMoney LLC is of the opinion that chess is a “game of skill” with few if any elements of chance, and accordingly ChessMoney LLC determined to allow wagering for money on chess games being played on ChessMoney.com. However, this is a fast-changing and evolving area of the law, with new court cases and future administrative pronouncements likely. Accordingly, if at any time ChessMoney LLC is advised by legal counsel or any governmental authority that any activity being conducted on ChessMoney.com violates or is inconsistent with any federal or state law in the United States, we reserve the right to cease conducting that activity immediately and to change these Terms and Conditions of Use, without prior notice.

At present, most states in the United States define unlawful Internet gambling as activities where the opportunity to win is predominantly subject to chance. Because chess is a 100% skill-based game that involves absolutely no element of chance, playing chess for money is not considered gambling in those states. However, some states do equate all forms of online gaming for money with gambling. This is the reason why ChessMoney does not allow residents of those states to play chess for money (The list of U.S. states continues to shrink and currently includes Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, and Washington, as well as the territory of Puerto Rico). The free chess play that ChessMoney enables in those states is definitely not gambling as it does not involve any betting or wagering for money.

How much does it cost to play chess for money at ChessMoney?

ChessMoney charges a minimum game commission fee of US$0.05 per winning game and maximum of up to 5% per winning game that involves a financial stake. ChessMoney does not charge any commission fee when games end in a draw, or whenever games do not involve any money wager.

When a game involving a money wager ends with a player winning, the account of the winning player is credited with an amount equal to the wager from the player that loses, minus the game commission fee. Below are some examples:

  • With a final winning amount of US$0.10 (the minimum amount), the losing player would have US$0.10 debited from their account, and the winner would have US$0.05 deposited to their account (corresponding to the final winning amount of $0.10 minus the $0.05 per winning game fee).
  • With a final winning amount of US$1.00 the losing player would have US$1.00 debited from their account and the winner would have US$0.95 deposited to their account (corresponding to the final winning amount of $1.00 minus 5% of the final winning amount or $0.05 for the winning game fee).
  • With a final winning amount of US$10.00 the losing player would have US$10.00 debited from their account and the winner would have US$9.50 deposited to their account (corresponding to the final winning amount of $10.00 minus 5% of the final winning amount or $0.50 for the winning game fee).
  • With a final winning amount of US$25.00 the losing player would have US$25.00 debited from their account and the winner would have US$23.75 deposited to their account (corresponding to the final winning amount of $25.00 minus 5% of the final winning amount or $1.25 for the winning game fee).
  • With a final winning amount of US$50.00 (the maximum amount) the losing player would have US$50.00 debited from their account and the winner would have US$47.50 deposited to their account (corresponding to the final winning amount of $50.00 minus 5% of the final winning amount or $2.50 for the winning game fee).

To Top