+ Is online poker legal to play in the United States? Yes, there's nothing on the books in the overwhelming majority of the states that penalizes individual online poker players. Even in the one state, Washington, that does criminalize the act of playing poker over the internet, this law has never been enforced against regular citizens playing privately on their own computers.
Choosing to play poker online for money is simple – once you know what to look out for. This page covers everything you need to know on playing poker online in the US. We break down how to find a safe and easy to beat poker room, and rank the best casino sites to play online poker for real money in the United States. This includes poker sites like Bovada Poker, Ignition Poker & America’s Cardroom.
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 and best US poker rooms are based offshore. They are licensed by their host country, and welcome players from all over the world – including the USA.
You can also find smaller in-state poker rooms. Four individual US states currently provide regulated online poker rooms, namely Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Games are shared between players from the first three states mentioned, with the US poker market expected to grow as more states start to offer regulated online poker for real money in the future. Likely contenders include such states as West Virginia, Maryland, Missouri and New York.
Best Online Poker Sites for Real Money in 2020
Deposit Limits: $10 - $5,000
Accepts: Visa, Bitcoin, Mastercard, Bank Wire
Ignition is a popular option for players in the United States. They offer most popular cash game variants and more than $1.5 million in weekly online poker tournament guarantees. Ignition also offers Zone Poker, similar to Zoom Poker where you’re moved to a new table and dealt a new hand every time you fold.
Ignition Poker also offer a wide variety of poker promotions.
Join Ignition Poker here and get up to $2000 free!
Deposit Limits: $10 – $5,000
Accepts: Bitcoin, Visa, Bank Wire
Licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, Bovada is one of the oldest online poker sites servicing America. Bovada offers anonymous tables and a mobile-optimized design allowing play on all mobile platforms. The design makes it feel like you’re playing in Las Vegas rather than your home computer.
They offer a wide variety of cash games and tournaments with over $1.5 million in weekly guarantees.
Join Bovada Poker here and get a $500 bonus!
Deposit Limits: $25 – $25,000
Accepts: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Visa, MasterCard, Money Transfers, Bank Wire
Sportsbetting.ag offers a robust online poker option with excellent cash game and tournament action. For cash games, they provide weekly cash leaderboards with $10,000 in prizes weekly. They offer over $45,000 in weekday guarantees, over $130,000 in guarantees on Saturday and over $275,000 in guarantees on Sunday.
If you like fast-fold poker variants like Zoom Poker, you’ll love Boost Poker. Get a new hand every time you fold in this fast-paced game.
Join Sportsbetting.ag – 100% up to $1000 for new US players!
Deposit Limits: $25 - $2,500
Accepts: Bitcoin, credit cards (MasterCard, Amex, Visa), money transfers
Intertops Poker is fully licensed by Curacao and the Netherlands Antilles and offers a wide variety of cash game and online poker tournaments. Their software is available as both a PC downloadable client and a mobile-optimized web version.
This site is perfect for players looking to grow their poker bankrolls at lower stakes.
Join Intertops Poker here and claim a 200% match bonus!
Deposit Limits: $25 - $25,000
Accepts: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Visa, MasterCard, Money Transfers, Bank Wire
BetOnline is the newest online poker site for American players. This site is part of the BetOnline group which includes a well-known and reputable Sportsbook as well as an online casino. BetOnline launched their poker room in 2012 and has quickly become one of the largest US accepted poker rooms on the market.
When you make your 1st, 2nd and even 10th deposit to the poker room, you will receive 25% upfront in cash.
Join Bet Online Poker and qualify for a $1,000 deposit bonus!
Deposit Limits: $50 - $25,000
Accepts: Visa, Mastercard, Bitcoin
America’s Cardroom is one of the most popular online poker rooms for American players with over 1 million hands of poker played daily. They are a popular room because they readily accept American players and offer a wide variety of online payment options including Bitcoin.
America’s Cardroom offers a wide variety of tournaments with substantial daily guarantees. Their Sunday tournaments have guarantees ranging from $50,000 to $150,000.
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Join America’s Cardroom here and claim $1,000 in bonus cash!
Deposit Limits: $50 - $10,000
Accepts: Visa, Mastercard, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Wire
Black Chip Poker is a legally licensed online poker real money site for US players. Licensed in Costa Rica, BCP is part of the Winning Poker Network. New players qualify for a 100% deposit bonus up to $1,000 or you can take advantage of the cryptocurrency offering, giving you a 200% match bonus when you make your first deposit with Bitcoin.
The poker room provides a variety of tournaments including the Million Dollar Sunday tournaments.
Join Black Chip Poker here and claim a 100% match bonus!
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, it’s also best to get more than one opinion 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 US Poker Sites: 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 the best working brands, 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 best room through to how to play using Bitcoin!
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?
Is It Legal To Play Online Poker In Florida
Yes, all the main offshore online poker sites accept Bitcoin as a payment option. There are some sites which accept other cryptocurrencies, too, including Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ethereum.
What is the Best USA Online Poker Site?
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 and best USA real cash poker rooms found here.
How do US Poker Sites Structure Themselves to be Legal?
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?
One of the best things about online poker is that 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.
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