Safe Online Poker Sites for US Players
Perhaps no consideration is more important to poker players when choosing an online poker site than safety. Given the huge amount of trust players must place in online poker sites when playing for real money, safety is rightfully a critical concern, but how are players meant to tell which sites place a high priority on safety and which sites are cutting corners?
Our experts only recommend the safest poker sites online for players. Our reviews are written by longtime experts in the industry to help players choose the one that suits them most appropriately. We monitor online poker forums and activities to ensure that any site with significant complaints or issues are confronted and removed from out list of recommended sites.
The following list is our most up-to-date ranking of the safest online poker options for American players.
The Safest United States Online Poker Site
Without any doubt, the safest online poker sites are the ones available to players in Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. These are regulated by state entities that have created extremely tough rules for operators to follow, including financial regulations that mandate the separation of player funds from operating money.
The primary sites upon which all skins operate are PartyPoker, PokerStars, and 888poker. All of these have extensive histories in the online poker business and are the most trusted sites in the world. They are the poker options available only to players in the states listed above.
As for the sites that we recommend to almost every state in America, all of them have security measures in place that have been proven solid. Ignition and Bovada have never suffered from complaints about the safety of player funds or the security of their data. Americas Cardroom has improved over the past few years to build its reputation and ensure that players feel the site is fair.
Needless to say, there are more than a handful of safe poker sites, not just one.
How Do Sites Protect You Against Cheating?
Most of the security measures taken by online poker operators happen behind the scenes. They ensure that player funds are safe, player data and account information are protected from hackers, and personal data will not be sold to third parties.
Sites take different measures, however, with regard to cheating. But in recent years, more operators have become more transparent and detailed in the prevention of cheating.
As operators have become more concerned about a fair playing environment and the desire to attract more recreational players, most have decided to be more vigilant with respect to cheating and bots. Players have also demanded it. This has prompted many sites to clarify and report their policies.
PartyPoker has been the most transparent in this regard. They have not only dedicated a section of their website to their “Fair Play” initiative, they put together a fraud detection team of former professional poker players to monitor the site for bots and other cheating tools. The team also investigates all reports of fraud or cheating, and they work together to implement technological tools that will automatically detect any unethical behavior.
Via social media and the site itself, PartyPoker is now very transparent about all cheating-related activity, including the number of bots detected and closed, and how much money is confiscated from those accounts and redistributed to players. In the first 12 months of doing this, the team closed 768 bots and refunded nearly $1.4 million to players.
Other sites have chosen to follow PartyPoker’s lead. PokerStars has become more transparent in its policies regarding cheating. Americas Cardroom attempted the same but has not been nearly as consistent as players hoped it would be.
This doesn’t mean the sites are not safe. They all work to prevent cheating so as to maintain their reputations in the poker community and keep a fair playing environment for all players. Some sites have simply taken a more public and proactive stance with regard to cheating than others.
How Can You Tell That the Games Are Fair?
One easy way to tell if a poker site ensures fair games is to look for its RNG (Random Number Generator) information. The software used for RNG must be cleared by any regulator issuing a license to an operator and is checked regularly. Sites also provide certification of the RNG.
All of the sites we recommend have provided RNG certification.
Employ Two-Factor Authentication for Your Accounts
No guide to the safest online poker sites would be complete without an appeal to players to take safety into their own hands. While players certainly can expect that rooms will provide them with a secure environment for online poker, a poker room can only do so much. If you’re not protecting your personal information on your end, then no amount of security in the world on the room’s end can offer you protection.
Given that money – often substantial sums – is in play, online poker accounts are especially attractive targets for hackers. As a result, anyone playing online poker for real money should use two-factor authentication whenever possible – certainly for the email attached to your poker site accounts, and certainly for the room itself if offered. While rooms play a part, the responsibility for a safe online poker experience is ultimately in the hands of the player, so make the smart bet and do everything in your power to secure your accounts before you play another hand.