Playing poker online is a marvelous thing to do. Unfortunately, the legal landscape in the United States has the online gambling market extremely restricted. Luckily we’re here for you with this amazing list of the best US poker sites.
Many people are under the belief that online gambling is illegal in the US and, therefore, anyone playing online poker is breaking the law. This is in fact far from the truth and there are no laws against wagering online. In fact, it is the financial aspect that causes problems for the sites as the UIGEA bill makes money transactions for the poker sites a lot harder.
If you’re interested in learning more about the US poker world and what stops all of them from competing to be the top us poker room, then keep reading this article.
First, let’s have a look at the best US poker sites, and if you love this article then make sure you share it with your friends.
Best US Poker Sites SummaryError::no related data to this provider name: 888Poker. Please double check is the provider name correct.
- Excellent user base
- High-level gaming
- Grand VIP scheme and tournaments
- Six tables maximum
- Not much else
888 Poker was founded in 1997 and has only gone from strength to strength. This has led to them being one of the most popular networks around, and I’d be surprised if you haven’t heard from them yet. As a publicly traded company, you can be sure that playing at 888 Poker is safe, and I’ve never had any issues with depositing or cashing out.
The software at 888 poker is great, but it’s slightly let down by the fact that you’re only allowed to play at six poker tables at a time. They provide you with a great signup bonus to convince you to join up. This is followed by a great VIP scheme to convince to get you to stay. Unfortunately, it’s only available in NJ.
- Available in New Jersey and Nevada
- The epitome of real world poker
- Owned by Caesars
- Traffic can be small
A World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet is the most coveted item in the world of poker, and of course, it usually comes with a substantial cash prize. Unfortunately, some these have made it to the open market (some by unknown circumstances and some for charity) and have sold for as much as $150,000. With such a huge reputation it’s no surprise that WSOP is one of the top US poker rooms.
It’s available to play in New Jersey and Nevada which, unfortunately, like with most US poker sites, means that traffic is usually on the lower end of the spectrum. The site offers good gameplay, secure payments, and an overall pleasurable experience.
- Get started with $20 free and a $600 bonus match
- Regular promotions
- Great Rakeback offers
- Only US based customers
Like with 888 Poker, Borgata is unfortunately only available in New Jersey. The Borgata Casino and Spa opened it’s doors to customers in 2003, and has been making a great name for itself ever since. This reputation has also led them to pick up some great poker ambassadors such as Matt Stout, Asher Conniff, and Chris Limo.
The gameplay itself is fantastic, and Borgata has made an excellent choice by going with the bwin party software. You’ll find many poker variations available including fast-fold and twister poker. So whether you’re in the mood for a slow Texas Holdem poker tournament, or you just want some quick action, you won’t be let down. The company also welcomes you with a friendly handshake and a $600 bonus match.
- Fantastic customer support
- Trust worth site
- Casino games also available
- No ability enhancing software allowed
Unfortunately, Party Poker, as with Borgata and 888 Poker is only available in New Jersey. However, unless you live outside of the region, don’t let this put you off. The company itself is very trustworthy and has led a very righteous life so far.
As with all poker sites, there is a substantial match bonus to get you started and a VIP scheme to keep you going. In true US style, the company also offers plenty of casino games. So whether you want to place your bets on a round of blackjack or in a game of Omaha poker, you’ll be catered for. With leisurely gaming, a modern feel, and a pleasurable experience, Party Poker is an excellent choice for US poker players. Be aware though as they don’t allow the use of any third party applications to enhance your gaming abilities. So if you really on these then choose on of the above options, or Carbon Poker below.
- Available all over the US
- Good VIP scheme
- Large deposit match
- Slow cashout times
- Offshore company, which can lead to a lot of worries
As we shall explain later on in this list of best US poker sites, there are a number of poker networks that are available throughout the country. However, these are all off-shore companies with very limited regulation. This makes them a bit harder to trust and can be risky to play at. While Carbon Poker is generally well trusted, you should be aware of this.
The above also means that cash out times at Carbon Poker can take over a month and is generally speaking only available by check. On the upside, they do have a good VIP and a huge deposit match bonus. If you’re living outside of Nevada or New Jersey, then they are the one to consider.
Considerations for US Poker Rooms
When it comes to playing poker in the United States, many people are confused about what the situation is, and rightly so. While it’s entirely legal, we’ll try and clarify some misconceptions about the market. As well as explain why at the moment it’s only New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware are the only states where it’s entirely safe to play traditional style online poker.
Is it legal to play online poker in the US?
Yes, playing online in the US is entirely legal. Many users believe that it’s illegal due to the limited number of licensed US poker sites that are available, but this isn’t the case. This confusion originates from the UIGEA, which as we explore below, is about the handling of gambling money and not the act of poker itself.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA)
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, or UIGEA for short, came into effect in 2006. What the bill means is that banks, and other financial institution, are not allowed to accept any money from unlicensed gambling sites, and of course, it has to be a US license.
Unfortunately, getting a US gambling license, especially for online, is not an easy fete. Not only does the government make this hard, but further states legislations make it every more complicated. So far only NJ, NV and DE have passed laws to allow for companies to run licensed online poker sites. These states, aren’t surprising due to the high level or real world gambling they already have, and of course Nevada is the state where most of the action is.
Real Money US poker sites
Due to the UIGEA combined with the difficulty of getting a gambling license, there aren’t a huge additional number of gambling sites that are US regulated, outside the five that we have mentioned above.
Despite this, there are plenty of poker sites such as Americas Cardroom, BetOnline and SB Poker, that welcome players from all over the US. However, these are unlicensed and primarily operate from offshore territories such as Antigua. By operating from a range of select countries, these websites can avoid legal action and provide you with Texas and Omaha Poker without any issues. However, this does mean that money transactions can be hard and long, sometimes even taking weeks and months. Also, while generally speaking these companies have good reputations within the market, you should be aware that if they did want to disappear with your money, it probably wouldn’t be too hard for them.
Subscription Based Poker Sites
Another way that US companies can overcome the licensing and allow you to play online poker to make some money online is by running a subscription model. This way you are required to pay a monthly membership fee and when gambling (casino or poker) your poker chips only pose as a number. This loophole means they are excepting money for the subscription instead of the gambling itself. Of course, the chips and points you collect can then be used to trade in for prizes.
The future of United States Poker Sites
While the US, Vegas primarily, might have a superb reputation for gambling and pure joy, this, unfortunately, doesn’t transpire into the online world. We expect that regulations and laws will change within a few years, but with the political powers at play, one can never be too sure.
We hope you enjoyed reading this list of best us poker sites, if you have any feedback for us, then leave it in the comments, or start playing right now!