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Real Money Online Poker for USA Players

Looking for the perfect online poker site to start playing but overwhelmed by the options out there? We have you covered. We’ve broken down everything you need to know about playing poker online in the US on this page. We cover everything from safety to bonuses to what to look for in a poker site. Our site has extensive reviews of what we consider the top poker sites including Bovada Poker, Ignition Poker & America’s Cardroom. But if you’re out on the search for your own poker site, we give you the top eight things to look for when choosing a new site to play out.

Before you jump into a US real money poker game, though, here are the key factors to consider:

  • Site Safety: Choose licensed, trusted and tested rooms
  • Game Selection: What choice of games are available, and at what buy-ins?
  • Bonuses / Rewards: How well will your play be rewarded?
  • USA Friendly Poker Site: This depends on which state you are playing from.

These days, the biggest US poker rooms are based offshore. They are licensed by their host country, and welcome players from all over the world – including the USA.

Most of the sites we cover accept players from all over the United States. These sites tend to be larger, therefore creating larger tournament prize pools and a wider selection of cash games. But a few states have started to legislate online poker and offer their own state-wide poker sites. The four states that currently have state-wide sites are Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. These states have online poker legislation and have already launched poker sites. Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware also signed a player-pool sharing compact so some sites have players from all three states. Pennsylvania has yet to jump into that pool though. Aside from those four states, West Virginia and Michigan have also passed online poker legislation but have yet to launch sites. While they struggle to get things going, there are plenty of great sites that are running full-steam ahead for US players. Here are our top picks.

You can play poker online for real money in the United States as long as you’re outside of banned online gambling states like Washington. If you’re looking for where to play online poker from the USA, or which casino sites accept US players, check out the poker websites above. Each casino site provides players with a special bonus and have the ability to process poker deposits.

8 Things to Look For Before Playing with Real Cash

The list below covers the main factors to consider when choosing an online gambling or online poker real money USA site. It is important to choose a site which works for your experience level and skills. If you are a recreational player, who enjoys the occasional casino game and casual poker game, then your requirements are different from those of a multi-tabling pro grinder.

1) Comparing The Features of Different Online Poker Sites

A great online poker site has a good selection of poker games featuring a wide variety of buy-ins and game combination. The Winning Poker Network, 888poker and partypoker, for instance, regularly runs large poker tournaments, while online poker players can easily find high limit poker cash games at site such as Bovada and Ignition. If you plan on enjoying poker from your iPhone or Android Smartphone, the fast-fold game ‘Zone Poker’ from Bovada is also good choice.

2) What to Look for in Poker Site Reviews?

When visiting an online gambling news or poker news sites, focus on those real money poker reviews based upon first-hand experience. This will show in comments about navigating through the menus, the softness (or otherwise) of the games – and other small features. When reading poker reviews, get multiple opinions for a more well-rounded view.

3) How to Compare Poker Bonus Offers?

Welcome bonuses are good for boosting your initial bankroll. However, different poker site have different bonus ratings, with these bonuses then varying in their size, as well as terms of satisfaction. Furthermore, your welcome bonus will typically expire after 30 to 60 days, so make sure your site offers subsequently offers ongoing rakeback, loyalty schemes and regular promos.

4) What Games and Variations are Available?

The three basic poker formats are cash games, poker tournaments and Sit n Goes. While No-Limit Holdem is the most popular variant offered at US online poker rooms, other poker formats available include Pot-Limit Omaha, Razz, Stud and Draw. Needless to say, choosing the biggest sites also means more games and a wider variety of stakes to enjoy.

5) Licensing at Legal Online Poker Sites for Real Money

Check the poker room has an online gambling license before depositing at any online poker real money USA site. After all, licensed legal online poker sites are required to adhere to the strictest legislation and operating standards. Reputable international sites are licensed by the governments of their host countries, with popular jurisdictions including Curacao, Panama, The Isle of Man, Malta and Kahnawake in Canada.

6) Banking at Poker Sites for US Players: Depositing and Withdrawing

Getting your money deposited on a online poker real money USA site is straightforward, with the most common poker deposit methods as follows:

  1. Credit Cards: Widely accepted, though transactions can be blocked by banks, quick and easy when they do work.
  2. Prepaid Credit Cards: Check with your site for accepted cards and then buy from convenience stores.
  3. Bitcoin / Other Cryptocurrencies: One-off setup needed, though once you have a cryptocurrency ‘wallet’ these coins will solve your deposit and withdrawal problems completely.
  4. Money Transfer: Send cash from your local Western Union or MoneyGram office.

Deposit methods are fairly similar across the various online gaming sites, including credit cards, money transfers, bitcoin, as well as other cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, withdrawing with cryptocurrency is easy, with other ways to withdraw your cash including as a paper check or bank wire. Make sure you check for minimum withdrawal amounts, and any fees, though. Withdrawal options and administration charges may differ, too, so look for sites with a low minimum, and at least one free withdrawal per month, such as Betonline.

7) Poker Site Complaints: Red Flags to Look Out For

There are always bad players who claim that every site has a ‘rigged deal’ simply because they do not understand the game well and are not be able to win money playing poker. Far more important are any complaints concerning delays in payments, which are a red flag for any poker site. Also, customer feedback concerning the softness of  poker games is important, with numerous comments suggesting a site is full of pro ‘grinders’ probably worth avoiding.

8) The Small Print: Read the Poker Rooms Terms / Privacy Policy

Check the terms and conditions of a poker site before you play with real money, and look out for online gaming caps on withdrawal amounts, high minimum withdrawals and time restricted bonuses. Reputable poker rooms have a ‘Responsible Gaming’ policy and self-exclusion options, as well as a number of  contact methods, such as phone number, e-mail and physical address.

Frequently Asked Questions

You’ll find detailed answers to some common questions below. These cover a wide range of topics, from which is the right room for you,  to how to play using Bitcoin!

What’s the Status of Online Poker in the US in 2021?

The first hand of online poker was dealt in 1998 and now there are millions dealt every single day. The industry has exploded and changed considerably during the past 23 years. That growth has been pretty volatile, especially in the United States where online poker has faced its challenges. It exploded during the early years only to have setbacks by the UIGEA and Black Friday. The latter was the biggest hit to date, but the good news is that things have been only getting better since then. More and more states are legalizing online poker and now that several have shown its success and ability to bring in revenue.

Is Playing Real Money Poker Legal from My State?

Offshore poker sites are not under US jurisdiction. They do, however, maintain their right to accept players from anywhere in the world, including the United States. There may be no US federal laws stopping individual players from enjoying casino games and real money poker online, but state laws do vary, though. Some States, for instance, already have legalized regulated online poker rooms, including New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware and Pennsylvania. On the other hand,  some states have clearly banned real money online poker games, thus making poker illegal, including Utah and Washington State. While federal law prevents banks and gambling sites transacting within the USA, legislation does not cover individual players.

Are There Any USA Friendly Poker Sites That Accept Bitcoin?

Yes, all the main offshore online poker sites accept Bitcoin as a payment option. There are some sites that accept other cryptocurrencies, too, including Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ethereum.

Where can I Play Poker Online for Real Money?

A perfect site would include soft games, a huge choice of tables, big guaranteed tournament prizes, plenty of promotions and bonuses – and smooth, fast software that can be accessed from many different devices. Several sites come close, with the biggest USA real cash poker rooms found here.

How do Poker Sites Structure Themselves to be Legal in the USA?

The ‘Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act’ of 2006 prohibits financial transactions to online gambling sites in the USA. Sites offering real money poker games to American players stay legal by being located outside of the US. The sites we subsequently recommend are fully legal in their host countries and maintain the right to welcome players from anywhere in the world, citing global free trade laws. Meanwhile, federal can enforce the UIGEA on the US banks and financial networks, but UIGEA does not cover players.

Is Playing Online Poker Profitable?

Skilled players are able to learn poker strategies and win money. While you won’t be profitable right away, if you are better than your opponents, then over time your bankroll will grow. You’ll need to study, though, and once you have identified your own leaks and developed winning poker strategies, making a living playing online poker becomes possible. You can even transfer your skills and poker strategies to the live arena and play at land-based casinos such as the Rio in Las Vegas, which hosts the iconic WSOP tournament series every year.

What Can I Do if a Poker Site is Delaying Payments?

That depends on the licensing arrangement of the site you are playing at. If you chose an unlicensed site, then your chances of getting money back if they close or go rogue are small. As far as legal online poker at international licensed sites is concerned, complaining to their official licensing body will provide you a much better chance of being paid. After all, the loss of a license is something many United States poker sites take seriously.

Is Online Poker Safe?

We’re sure you’ve heard a few scary stories about online poker, but if you follow all the elements we mentioned above, then you have nothing to worry about. Like in any business, there are good and bad actors out there and we make sure to only show you the most honest and reputable sites out there. All the sites we review and promote on our site have been proven safe over the years. If you make sure to follow all the guidelines we’ve established, you’ll be safe during all your online poker adventures.

I Don’t Know How to Play Poker, Any Advice?

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Poker is like chess, it only takes a few minutes to learn the rules, but it takes a lifetime to master. Lucky for you, there are plenty of great and free resources all over the internet to help you improve your game. The basic rules are everywhere, including one by Bicycle cards. After you get the basics down, a good place to start deepening your game is on Two Plus Two, has threads detailing and discussing every kind of poker strategy out there.

  1. hajemohib

    Date: November 16, 2020

    no pain no gain

  2. papagrande

    Date: November 23, 2020

    i reside in miami florida. where I can play poker for real money.

    • Jennifer Newell

      Date: November 25, 2020

      Check our Florida state page for that information.

  3. Marcos

    Date: November 23, 2020


  4. William Bradshaw

    Date: November 23, 2020

    It sounds good

  5. Stihl

    Date: November 25, 2020

    Twice now I’ve been playing on Ignition, holding the nuts and been ejected from the game after making a bet. Their customer service department talks in circles and completely avoids the issue. Just wanted to let others know, this site has some problems. Holding the nuts, ejected from the table and the pot is awarded to the other player. Not fun.

  6. Jack

    Date: November 30, 2020

    Playing for reel money makes it more interresting

  7. Chad

    Date: December 8, 2020

    Lets play

  8. Fabian

    Date: December 9, 2020

    Hi Jennifer, I have read a few blogs you and Cliff have posted. Is there any way to contact you directly to ask some specific questions?

    • Jennifer Newell

      Date: December 9, 2020

      You can find me on Twitter at @writerjen.

  9. Fabian

    Date: December 9, 2020

    I need specific consultative information for my online gaming business. Is this something that you can do offline?

    • Jennifer Newell

      Date: December 9, 2020

      This site does not provide consulting services. If you have a particular question, please message me on Twitter.

  10. Aria

    Date: December 17, 2020

    Can I get dollars if I win? Or just bitcoin?

    • Jennifer Newell

      Date: December 23, 2020

      You can choose the method of payment.

  11. Harry Banos

    Date: December 19, 2020

    I want to play

  12. Joe

    Date: December 23, 2020

    Signing up for BetOnline led to fraudulent activity on my credit card. You shouldn’t be promoting them.

  13. Joe

    Date: December 23, 2020

    Why did you moderate my comment about BetOnline?

    • Jennifer Newell

      Date: December 23, 2020

      We moderate all comments for spam and inappropriate material. Every comment goes to the moderator before posting.

  14. Joe

    Date: December 23, 2020

    Understood. I thought it wasn’t being posted.

  15. Harry Banos

    Date: December 25, 2020

    Definitely want to play online please.

  16. D

    Date: January 16, 2021

    Ignition casino are scam artist..I tried them a couple weeks ago and I used my card to make a deposit…come to find out that they charged me twice…then when I called to tell them..they said give its couple of days, because when you use your card it’s a hold on the funds..so I waited like 5 days..no resolutes still a double charge…so I called their customer service Dept..where I had to text somebody, because they phone lines are down…so they investigated the outstanding charge…it took them an additional two weeks to investigate, just to tell me that I’m responsible for that charge..thank god I contacted my bank and disputed the charge..I will never use ignition casino ever again..and if you use them, you better check you account for double charges..They are truly big time Scam artists that steal money from people accounts. Don’t trust them

    • Jennifer Newell

      Date: January 18, 2021

      I’ve heard of this happening (on other sites) but then quickly resolved. I’m sorry you had this bad experience but glad you got it resolved with your bank.

  17. LBoogie77

    Date: January 19, 2021

    I had account issues as well with ignition! Most resolved and credited 1 not. My problem with the site and why I stopped using is because I couldn’t tell if I was playing real people or against a computer! Too many Big hands when big pots were involved got brutalized and just made no sense!

  18. Teasercbf99

    Date: January 19, 2021

    I’ve played them all since the beginning and I believe without a doubt Ignition is the best overall for game selection competition and most important WINNING. I wouldn’t play if I thought they ever cheated

  19. M

    Date: February 4, 2021

    Are Ignition and Bovada one in the same? I closed Ignition to download and try out Bovada and it’s the same exact tournament lineup and site layout. The tourney I was knocked out of on Ignition was available to register on Bovada. Why do they advertise and operate as separate entities if they’re allowing players from two different sites to register the same tournaments? Other than allowing the fields to be a bigger size, I just don’t see a good reason to do it that way. Anyone have any insight as to why?

    • Jennifer Newell

      Date: February 4, 2021

      Ignition and Bovada are different companies, but they use the same software platform on the same network. Thus, the layout is the same. This is the same for sites on the Winning Poker Network (Americas Cardroom, Black Chip Poker, etc.). The benefit of using the same platform is for liquidity, which is the ability for sites to share player pools. It benefits the players, as the fields are larger, allowing for more cash games and bigger tournament guarantees.

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