Are you searching for the best poker sites in the USA where you’ll be able to test your poker skills and possibly earn some real money? If your answer is yes, then your search has brought you to the right place. By the end of this article, we’ll teach you all there is to know about choosing the best US poker sites, gambling laws for online poker in the USA, and much more.
But, first of all, let’s take a look at the criteria we used to test the top poker sites in the USA that we presented here.
Safety – Online security, in general, is a big concern. That is why we have made sure that your identity and your personal information
Legality – Every poker site that we shortlist works in accord with the United States gambling laws. There’s no need to worry about breaking the law.
Software – In real life, playing poker is simple – all you need is a deck of cards. Online, to get to a decent level of experience, you need to play on a good software. That’s why we included only poker sites with high-quality and well-developed software solutions.
Variety – Texas Hold’em is great, but variety is even better. What makes poker so attractive in the eyes of its players is its variety. On these websites, you’ll be able to experience it at its best.
Best Online Poker Sites for US Players in 2019
100% up to $500
4.8 / 5
Best US Online Poker Site With the Most Players
Pai Wang Luo
Bovada Poker is on the biggest US friendly poker network together with Ignition Poker. Offering online poker, an online casino and a sportsbook makes this an excellent all-in-one choice.
The four-point list that we have presented above is just the skeleton of the research we do before a poker site can get their place on our Top List. The complete process is much longer, more complex, and much more detailed. Below are the aspects that we consider when analyzing an online poker platform and that you should pay attention to as well.
When talking about US facing poker sites, the legal aspect is very important to consider. We’ll talk about it in greater detail later on in the article but let’s just quickly mention the basics. Namely, there are numerous laws in the US that ban online transactions with poker sites. Therefore, you need to be careful to only choose those websites that fall within these strict regulations.
Technology is making some quick progress and today most of us have access to multiple devices. Naturally, we’d love to have access to our favorite poker sites on all of them. However, not all poker sites in the USA work well on all devices, especially on mobile devices. If you enjoy to gamble on the go, you should make sure that your chosen poker site has the technology that you need. Almost all good poker sites provide mobile versions of their websites via Flash and HTML5. However, these do not always work well on Apple devices which are the most popular choice of the Americans. Ideally, there should be a native app both for Android and iOS that you can download and install.
A huge benefit of the internet is that you can very easily find other people’s interests. You should use this to your advantage when it comes to finding the best poker sites in the USA. There are numerous websites online, such as AskGamblers for example, where you can easily find user reviews of numerous poker sites and casinos online. By reading through several dozen comments, you will get a good idea of how reputable and trustworthy the casino is and know whether you should stay on it or shy away from it. That is why we are writing our list using our knowledge so you can make safer choices.
In our list of criteria, we mentioned software, so let’s explain why it is so important. The software that a poker site uses is the backbone of it or its essence. Many things depend on the software, such as your safety and the safety of your identity, the safety of your money, and the fairness of the games you play. By making sure that the poker site you choose uses software developed by reputable companies (e.g. Microgaming Playtech, NetEnt, Novomatic, Evolution Gaming, etc.) you will know that you are getting fair chances of winning when you bet your money and that you will not get ripped off. Moreover, these reputable software developers incorporate 128-bit SSL encryption and special firewalls that protect your money and your personal data from hackers and security breaches.
Poker comes in many shapes and colors, so always check whether your favorite games are supported. Most American poker sites will have games such as Texas Hold’em and Omaha but only those really devoted to poker will offer some additional versions such as Razz, Five-card Draw, Seven-card Stud, and so on. With so many poker sites in the US, there is no need to make compromises and miss out on the games you want to play.
Last but not least, another crucial aspect that you should not disregard are payouts and transaction fees. You can find out about this on the poker site but you can also read personal experiences from user reviews online. Many mediocre poker sites in the US will impose high transaction fees and long processing times on deposits and withdrawals. You should not throw your money down the sink that way when you can use it to gamble and earn extra cash. Also, make sure that your preferred currency is supported and that the website is available in your preferred language. This will make the whole experience much more satisfying.
What Do the Gambling Laws in the USA Say
The United States law system is complex and has multiple layers, such as the federal laws and state-level laws. Because of that, there are some grey areas when it comes to gambling laws. They differ on the federal level and from one state to another. The good news, though, is that most types of online gambling, including online poker, are perfectly legal in the United States on the federal level. One exception to the rule has to do with illegal forms of sports betting that go beyond state borders. This is prohibited by the Wire Act.  On the other hand, online poker, bingo, lotteries, casino games, scratch cards, and other games, are perfectly fine.
Until 2011, the Wire Act was interpreted by the authorities in such a way that prohibited all online betting and gambling on the federal level. However, after the revision of the law by the Department of Justice in 2011  the authorities started interpreting the law the way it was construed, which is to only ban betting on sporting contests.
Moreover, even this legislation has been proclaimed void on May 14, 2018. In a legal process called Murphy vs. NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), the governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, overturned PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act).  This legal act was the sole reason why sports betting was considered illegal in most states in the US. Right now, individual states are allowed to regulate sports betting and online gambling any way they find right.
Even though these bills have been passed and legal fights have been won, individual states still have numerous anti-gambling laws. Most of these are outdated and not in accord with the modern times, so they do not directly refer to online gambling for real money. Only several states have gone to the extent of explicitly banning online gambling. However, what regular people who just want to enjoy online poker should know is that all of these laws target owners of online gambling sites and not users. There are no laws that specifically refer to those who would use the services of an online poker site. Therefore, for gamblers in the US, all online gambling is legal since it isn’t explicitly illegal. Even in those cases where it is illegal to take part in online gambling, private citizens are never punished.
However, another problem that those who want to engage in online poker in the US might encounter from a legal perspective, is making gambling-related transactions. Many banks and financial organizations ban such transactions because of the risks they carry. If you wish to play online poker in the US without any setbacks, you can do that by using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that are completely anonymous and still largely unregulated by both banks and gambling legislature.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is playing poker online legal in the United States?
How old do you need to be to play online poker in the United States?
How to get started with online poker in the US?
What types of poker games can I play online in the US?
This question cannot be answered with a simple yes or no answer because the gambling laws are different on the federal and the state level. As of recently, the federal law does not prohibit any form of online gambling and sports betting, including playing online poker. However, some state laws explicitly prohibit online gambling and some forms of gambling in general. Nonetheless, these laws usually do not refer to gamblers but to providers of gambling services. So, technically, playing online poker in the United States is not illegal for individuals.
The legal age for gambling in the US largely depends on the state laws. In certain cases, you can bet at the age of 18, while in other cases you can bet when you turn 21. You should check the laws of your specific state before you go on to play poker online.
First of all, you need to make sure what the gambling laws in your state have to say about online gambling. Then, if you are within legal limits, you should find a reputable poker site and sign up. After you make an account, you need to find a way to deposit money into your account. Many banks in the US will not allow you to make gambling-related transactions so you might need to use cryptocurrencies instead. After that, you’ll be able to place your wagers and enjoy your games.
Depending on which poker site you choose, you will find a different variety of poker games to choose from. Some sites only offer a limited selection of most popular games such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and Five-card Draw. On the other hand, some sites with better software have a much richer choice and you can play all of the poker games that you know of, as well as try out some new ones.
Again, the answer to this question cannot be black or white. It all depends on how good of a choice you make when you select a poker site that you are going to be using. Make sure that you read through online reviews and find out as much as you can about the provider. If they are using a popular and a trusted casino software, your personal info and your money will be safe. Proven poker sites use firewalls and encryption which offers lots of protection for users.
In order to make a deposit and start playing poker online, you need to make sure that your bank supports gambling transactions. Many banks located in the US don’t due to practical and security reasons. In that case, you can use cryptocurrencies, or some e-wallets to bypass these bans.
To make a deposit or a withdrawal, all you need to do is go to the related section of the poker site and follow the steps. Make sure that you are well-informed on welcome bonuses since many casinos will offer a welcome bonus upon first deposit under certain circumstances.
In order to choose the best place to play poker online, you need to arm yourself with knowledge. Learn as much as possible about various service providers by reading reviews online and by finding out which aspects of online gambling are important for an ordinary player. Read our comprehensive guide above, as well, to get a good idea of the criteria you should pay attention to while you are on the hunt.