US Poker Sites
US Poker Guide
Online poker is arguably one of the most favoured recreational past times for American gamblers and has risen from the shadows over the last 20 years to become one of the most flourishing parts of the gaming industry. While there use to be a huge selection of US poker sites operating in the market, over time that list has narrowed to a few reputable operators, and increasingly state sanctioned sites as new regulations are put in place.
The purpose of this page is to guide US players through the best options for playing online covering the best poker sites (with reviews), in-depth game and strategy guides, profiles of popular poker players and common FAQs related to playing from within the United States.
We also take a detailed look at some of the most popular poker sites including information on why they’re good, the types of games and promos they offer as well as their signup bonus offers. Using our combined 15+ years experience in the industry, we only show our visitors the best poker sites the US has to offer, updated regularly to ensure that the listings reflect current market conditions and the newest sites.
Best Online Poker Sites for Real Money
Below we’ve created a list of what we consider to be the best USA friendly poker sites in the market right now for Americans. These sites have all been around in excess of 10 years and are regarded as having some of the better bonuses, player volumes and game selection in the US. They also offer a wide range of deposit options and are reliable for fast cashouts usually within a few days depending on the method.
Bet Online Poker
BetOnline Poker offers players from all over the world an opportunity to play on some of the softest cash tables and in some of the most beatable poker tournaments available anywhere on the Internet. BetOnline Pokers tables are full of part-time recreational poker players due to the popularity of the site’s sports betting and horse racing operations. It’s like going back in a time machine to 2006!
Ignition Poker started life as a high-quality online casino. It now also provides an excellent online poker platform compatible with Windows, Mac, and mobile devices. The site offers a 100% first deposit poker bonus (no Ignition Poker bonus code required), plus – if you deposit with Bitcoin – you can also take advantage of unlimited 100% casino bonuses. The site also has a terrific rewards program through which players can receive cashback, free casino chips & entry into valuable draws.
Bovada Poker is the flagship poker room for the Pai Wang Luo Poker Network – an international Network that provides players with action at the tables around-the-clock. If you have never played at the site before, you can take advantage of a poker bonus up to $500 (with no specific Bovada Poker bonus code required), plus additional bonuses at the sites sportsbook and online casino.
Americas Cardroom is one of the older and more popular poker sites serving the US market, with a ton of guaranteed tournaments and soft cash games. New players can also take advantage of one of the more generous bonuses when it comes to US sites, with ACR offering a 200% up to $1000 bonus for first time crypto depositors.
Black Chip Poker
Black Chip Poker is on the same network as ACR and has a large player pool with notoriously soft competition in both cash games and MTT Tournaments. The site offers the same bonus as ACR with 200% up to $1000 in bonuses for first time depositors. You can take advantage of both bonus offers by registering at both sites and playing for real money.
Types of Bonuses at US Poker Sites
With the poker rooms competing there are plenty of poker bonuses to choose from.These options range from free cash deals to matched bonuses and loyalty schemes.
Remember you should always read the terms and conditions before accepting a poker bonus. You will find some significant variations in playthrough requirements and time available to complete the wagering.
Some of the most common types of poker bonuses showcased on poker sites are:
- No Beposit Bonuses: Some poker sites offer you a small amount of free cash to try out their real money games. You’ll need to wager this several times before you can withdraw it.
- Match Bonus: This is the industry standard bonus offer. You’ll need to earn points from playing real money games and tournaments, which will incrementally clear your bonus.
- Free Tournament Entries: New depositors often get entries into free tournaments with guaranteed prize pools. Some poker rooms run these free rolls regularly.
- Loyalty Bonus Schemes: With loyalty schemes, you collect points while playing. These can move you up tiers or it can be a flat rate. You can cash in points for bonuses or tournament entries.
- Reload Bonuses: If you ever deplete your poker bankroll, reload bonuses can help. These work in the same way as the welcome bonus offer, though sometimes have lower percentage matches.
- Occasional Promotions: Some sites offer their players plenty of offers whether it be monthly or weekly. These can include satellite qualifiers to the biggest live events.
Poker Game Variations & Strategy Tips
When it comes to playing online poker there is a whole lot to learn, whether it’s the rules to popular games like Texas Hold’em, or the optimal strategy for playing tournaments. The team here at USGS has published dozens of guides to help familiarize you with the different aspects of playing at poker sites. Below you’ll find a brief overview of the different poker variants, as well as links to our alphabetical game & strategy guides.
- Cash Games: This is the traditional poker format, where the chips you play with hold real monetary value and your bankroll is at risk during every hand.
- Tournaments: This format gives each player a stack of chips for a fixed buy-in. Prizes are awarded for the player that last longest and the winner holding the most chips. To ensure the action is fast enough, betting levels increase as the tournament progresses.
- Sit N Goes: Small tournaments, often just a single table, with 2 or 3 places paid. Sit N Goes with random prize pools and 3 players, known as lottery Sit N Goes, are a newer popular sub-format.
- Fast Fold Poker: This variation takes you to a new hand the moment you fold. It works by placing players into pools. Fast Fold poker can be used for either tournaments or cash games.
- Satellite Tournament
- Semi Bluffing
- Set Mining
- Short Deck Hold’em
- Short Stacker Poker
- Stop Loss Poker
- Table Selection
- The Blinds
- Texas Hold’em Starting Hands
- Tight Aggressive Poker
- Tilt Poker
- Three Card Knock Betting
- Triple-Barrel Bluff
- Variance in Poker
- 5 and 2 or 3 Strategy
- 6-Max Poker
- 10 Card Regrets
Famous Poker Players
Below you will find the world’s top 25 poker players including both men and women in the game. Listed in no particular order learn about the leading bracelet winners, circuit ring winners and many more of their poker accolades.
History of US Online Poker
When it all started in the late 1990s, poker was already popular, but its availability on the internet quickly became a phenomenon. Players discovered Planet Poker when it launched in 1998, and the ability to play for real money online changed the game forever. Sites like PartyPoker and PokerStars entered the scene and began to offer options, competition for player business, and bonuses and promotions.
Then, in 2003, Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker Main Event for $2.5 million. The story of the accountant from Tennessee who won his $10,000 seat via an online satellite at PokerStars took the world by storm, and other players dreamt of doing the same – turning an investment of less than $100 into millions of dollars. Players flocked to the online poker sites, PokerStars grew into the dominant leader of the internet poker industry, and the poker boom began.
When the US government passed the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act in 2006, the law was ambiguous to a large extent but prompted sites like PartyPoker to exit the American market. But it wasn’t until the US Department of Justice issued indictments against executives at PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, UltimateBet, and Absolute Poker that the US market crumbled. That happened on April 15, 2011. PokerStars bounced back and settled with the US government, while Full Tilt was exposed for mismanagement and unethical practices. Its inability to repay any players made way for PokerStars to buy Full Tilt’s assets and repay customers as part of its US settlement. UB and AP disappeared from the landscape completely, and players were ultimately paid back via the remainder of the PokerStars settlement in 2016 and 2017.
A 2011 Department of Justice ruling about the Wire Act dictated that states could legalize and regulate online poker and other forms of gaming as they wished, and some states did so. Nevada authorized online poker within its borders, followed by Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
The federal law, however, remained a grey area for many operators not affected by Black Friday.
Legal interpretations varied widely, and some poker operators decided it appropriate to continue offering internet poker games to American players. Those are the sites we review here as US Gambling Sites.