Best US Poker Sites
Once the largest single online poker market in the world, the United States now has a complicated relationship with the game. Internet poker remains in a legal grey area for some in the country, while others have no legal worries but struggle to find a quality site as the number of online poker rooms acceptings US players continues to shrink.
Even with that narrowing list of options, online poker players from the United States still have some solid choices. Identifying (and depositing) at those rooms, however, can present something of a challenge - one we'll help you to meet with this brief guide to US real money poker sites.
Best Rated Poker Site for US Players
Top honors in this category belong to Bovada Poker. The lead room on the Bovada Network has a few characteristics that set it apart from competitors: Stable software packed with small, but appealing features such as rabbit hunting; excellent VIP value and additional promotions that provide players with the highest effective cash back rate available to US poker players and ancillary bonuses.
Poker Room Highlights
25% up to
- Receive a 25% instant cash bonus on all deposits
Bet Online accepts all USA poker players
- Offers poker as well as casino games and sportsbetting
BetOnline Poker opened to US players in 2011, however the site has operated a successful US betting site since early 2003. The poker room accepts all US players (rare these days) and has no problems processing deposits made using a credit card or money transfer. This site offers an upfront cash bonus, giving new players 25% instantly up to $900. A few advantages include plenty of fish, reliable support and overlays.
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BetOnline accepts all US players
US players, of course, are going to be primarily concerned with the friction involved in banking at the room, and Bovada earns solid marks on that point as well. While delays are a part of life for players from the US cashing out from online poker sites, Bovada's track record over the last 12 months has been consistent and involved time frames measured in days and weeks - not the months-long waits you will find at some other US-friendly poker rooms.
When it comes to depositing, Bovada offers perhaps the most variety of any US-facing online poker room. As of the writing of this guide, Western Union and VISA credit cards were among the options players have to get funds on to the site. Note that each method may require additional instructions from support, so be sure to walk through the process with a representative on chat or through email before making a deposit at Bovada Poker. You will also want to check on the deposit requirements, as some payment options have a smaller deposit requirement than others. Alternatively, you can view this page if you are interested in which USA sites have the smallest poker deposits.
Can You Play Poker Legally in the United States?
With 50 different sets of laws (51 if you count the federal government) covering gambling, that's a question with no easy answer. The short answer is that most states do not have specific penalties addressing the act of playing online poker. Most laws are designed to punish people operating games, not those who play in the them. Furthermore, the gambling laws in the US generally predate the invention of the Internet, meaning the law regarding activity conducted online isn't completely settled.
For a longer answer, we encourage players to research their state laws using tools that sites like ours provide, and to consult their state code directly. While it may seem a bit intimidating at first, you'll quickly get a grasp of the somewhat archaic language and find that within only a few minutes your understanding of the law relevant to you regarding online poker will have improved dramatically. With your money on the line, it's knowledge that is definitely worth having.
Can I Play at a US Poker Site For Real Money?
There are many places to play online poker for US players on the internet against other players, but many of them don’t allow players to play with real money. There are numerous mobile poker apps, facebook apps and websites that allow users to play against each other strictly for entertainment purposes. These sites may offer prizes to winners, but you cannot play for real money like you can real money poker USA sites that we recommend. Real money poker sites allow you to play against other people from all across the world for real money. Limits start as low as $0.05 and go up into the thousands in the high stakes games online. There are ring games, sit n go tournaments and multi-table tournaments with potentially life changing prizes. Whether you prefer Texas hold em (limit or no limit), razz or seven card stud; the best sites accepting US players have the option to play all of these games and more.
Legal United States Poker Sites
As we said there are no legal ramifications for playing poker online and you can feel completely safe playing online poker, US players are welcome at all of these that we recommend on this site. Websites like Carbon Poker, Bovada and Lock Poker are US friendly poker sites that have strong, reputable histories with their customers. These websites have been personally tested by us and we rank them among the top American poker sites. Many of the best sites accepting US players are licensed by fair gaming commissions and/or licensed in their country of origin.
Why Do Some Rooms not Allow Poker Players From the US?
There are a variety of reasons. Some rooms - like the French version of PokerStars - are restricted to one market and only accept players from that market. For most rooms, the reason has to do with a 2006 federal law titled the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). A broad law that many scholars consider to be so vague as to be virtually meaningless, the UIGEA essentially made it (potentially) difficult for online poker rooms to legally move money to and from players.
The battle over the legality of the UIGEA continues in the US, but many major international poker rooms decided that staying in the market simply wasn't worth the trouble - especially rooms that are a part of publicly-traded companies and therefore subject to shareholder backlash. If the ongoing efforts to repeal the UIGEA are successful, or if the law is rendered moot by the regulation of online poker, then you can bet those same rooms will be literally tripping over themselves to regain their position in the US online poker market.