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