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 in 2020
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.
- Anaconda Betting
- Assassin Poker
- Aces, Straights and Flushes
- Baby’s Daddy
- Bad Beats
- Bad Poker Players
- Badugi Poker
- Balance Your Range
- Betting on the River
- Big Al’s Guillotine
- Blind Stealing
- Blue Beacon
- Bounce Back
- Crazy Pineapple
- Crazy 4 of Spades
- Cold Omaha
- Continuation Betting
- Cowpie Poker
- Draw Poker
- Deep Stack
- Double Barrel
- Faces Of Death
- Fives Betting
- Five Card Draw
- Freak of Nature
- FreeRoll Tournament
- Have A Heart
- Horse Poker
- Irish Poker
- Iron Cross
- Isolating Limpers
- Jackpot Betting
- Jacks or Better
- Kryky Strategy
- Loose Aggressive Players
- Lowball Guts
- Low Stakes
- Mexican Sweat
- Micro Stakes
- Midnight Baseball
- MTT Big Stack
- MTT Short Stack
- MTT Tournaments
- Mystery Wheelbarrow
- National League Rules
- Off-Road Stud Poker
- Omaha Poker
- One Man’s Trash
- Odds And Ends
- Phoenix Burn
- Poker 3 Betting
- Pre-Flop Raising Hands
- Preflop Slowplaying
- Privacy Poker
- Razz Poker
- Rebuy Poker
- Round the World
- Rush Poker
- Satellite Tournament
- Semi Bluffing
- Set Mining
- Sevens Takes All Poker
- Six Card Draw
- Short Deck Hold’em
- Short Stacker Poker
- Smack The King and Queen Poker
- Stop Loss Poker
- Stud Poker
- Table Selection
- The Blinds
- Texas Hold’em
- Texas Hold’em Starting Hands
- Texas Tornado
- Tight Aggressive Poker
- Tilt Poker
- Three Card Poker
- Three Card Knock Betting
- Triple-Barrel Bluff
- Trips to Win
- Two Plus One
- Two Thirds
- Wraparound Poker
- Variance in Poker
- 4 Up, 4 Down
- 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.
Poker Sites FAQ
Where Can I Play Online Poker in the US?
Here is my list of the best and most trusted US poker sites for 2020:
- Bet Online
- Ignition Poker
These sites all allow Americans to play real money poker online and you can deposit via credit card or other options.
Is It Legal to Play Online Poker in the US?
Yes, even offshore. There are currently 4 states that have “regulated” online poker sites, however there are options for players in every single state that are safe and legal.
What is the best poker site for real money?
It’s tough to say since it really boils down to individual preferences, but right now probably Bet Online Poker or Ignition Poker are the best options since they have the biggest player pools and highest bonus offers around. Below is a table that compares the top 3 sites we recommend based on features they offer.
|Rank||Poker Site||Cash Games||Tournaments||Mobile||Bonus|
Can I play online poker for money on my phone?
Yes you can. You just need to download one of the poker apps from the sites you want to play at, or simple use the mobile version of their website to enable play from phone.
Are online poker games rigged?
No they are not. At this point, any sites that had questionable software and/or practices have been ruled out. The most famous case of cheating was the super user scandal at Ultimate Bet some years ago, but these days the sites still in the market are completely trustworthy.
Are my funds safe if I deposit with offshore poker sites?
Although there have been events in which players have lost money due to fraud and mismanagement, the sites featured here have a long history of keeping player deposits secure and paying out on time. Typically, your funds are as safe as if you were playing on a regulated site, but this does not mean you should deposit more than you can comfortably afford to lose.
Is there any chance of getting a computer virus from poker software?
This is highly unlikely, but not impossible due to the increasing sophistication of cybercriminals. I recommend taking the same precautions as you would for any online transaction. Keep your anti-virus software up to date, make sure patches and updates are applied as soon as they are available, use a unique password and never reveal it to anybody.
Why do so many sites encourage players to deposit using Bitcoin?
Since the passage of UIGEA in 2006, some banks and payment processors have become apprehensive about handling online gambling transactions. This can cause delays with deposits clearing and withdrawals being processed. It can also mean charges are applied when you want to cash out. Bitcoin transactions do not have these issues. You can find out why on my page about Bitcoin poker.
Do I have to pay tax on my winnings from online poker?
In the United States, players are required to declare their profits from playing poker. Different procedures apply depending on whether you are filing as a professional player or as a recreational player, so it is always in your best interests to maintain a log of your profits and losses and seek professional financial advice in relation to your personal tax circumstances.
Why is the volume of traffic at US poker sites an important consideration?
Most online poker bonuses are “redeemable” bonuses that are valid for a certain length of time. The fastest way to redeem a poker bonus is to play cash games. This means there must be other players to play against. The more traffic a US poker site attracts, the more likely it is there will be plenty of cash game action, and you will be able to redeem your bonus in the time allowed.
Are PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker Or Party Poker Coming Back to the USA?
PokerStars and Party Poker have already come back in some of the regulated states like New Jersey, and will likely be available countrywide as states introduce new legislation regulating online poker. For now, they are only available in very few states so we still recommend the offshore sites for the best poker playing experience.