Want to play poker in the US? These are the best and SAFEST rooms to play poker from in the USA based on their game selection, cashouts and player base. Read up, then get dealt in.
Contrary to popular belief, online poker is NOT illegal in most states in America. Now, certain operators who didn't play by the rules were forced to exit the US market, but that doesn't mean you can't still play the game you love online for real money. Of course, ‘most’ is the operative word here; certain states do have specific laws about playing online poker, so to find out what laws apply to you and check this guide out.
Once you know if you are legally allowed to play in your state, let's talk about where you should be playing online poker. This is the important part because US-friendly poker rooms are not operated in the USA, which means they are not governed by the same laws and protection - which could hold you out of money.
So listen up US players, because these are your best bets for safe, US-friendly poker rooms.
If you're located in NJ or NV, different regulations apply, check our other post of best USA-friendly poker rooms in NJ & NV.
The Top 3 Poker Sites for US Players
1. Americas Cardroom
Americas Cardroom isn't just one of the best sites for US players (which they've been accepting since 2001), it's actually one of my favorite places to play, period. When I think about this site, the first two words that come to mind are innovation and value. Their catch phrase is "The next big thing!" - and it's clear why. ACR is always striving to add new games, features and formats to keep poker fun and fresh.
They were the first website to offer a million dollar guaranteed tournament in the US in over 4 years, which runs every other month and boasts a buy-in of $540 dollars. This event compliments their regular tournament schedule – a schedule that offers great structure, long late registration and unlimited re-entry for players at any buy-in level.
When you sit down for a session at ACR, you're giving yourself a chance to go deep, and get your money's worth. They also offer Spinalites, which let you qualify for big buy-in tournaments for a fraction of the cost. (We're talking less than 1 cent!) These are little slot machine games you can play in the lobby; very handy if you don't have time to play a full satellite. For higher stake players, ACR offers The Cage, which you can learn more about in my interview with ACR's CEO, here.
Perhaps the most attractive thing about this site is their speedy cash outs. Using Western Union or Money Gram, you can have your cash to you in 3 days. They even offer a debit card so you can make withdrawals right from your poker account. If checks are your thing, they do those too, but it takes a little longer (21 days).
The only downside to ACR is that is not Mac friendly, but other than that, it’s dynamite.
Also known as Bodog to players north of the border, Bovada offers the juiciest place to play poker online. It is mainly a sports betting and casino site, which is why the cash games and tournaments are ridiculously soft. Cash players are limited to four tables maximum, which discourages a lot of grinders from playing. The games also have a pretty fast structure, which skips a lot of blind levels (and I'm not even talking about the turbos). Truly a gambler's paradise, Bovada offers a wide array of tournaments, SNGs and cushy cash games. They also host a regular spread of tournaments, such as the Black Diamond Poker Open which has a whopping $500,000 guaranteed main event for a buy-in of $450.
The game design is a little ghetto, but the cash outs are quick, getting to you in around 5 days with Western Union or Money Gram. The checks take about 14 days. Bovada is also an easy site to deposit to, accepting all major credit cards.
And there you have it! That rounds out my top picks for the best US-friendly poker sites. I make a point to play their Sunday events whenever I can, and also try to jump in their series games when I get a chance. I have never had any serious problem with any of these sites, whether it be depositing, cashing out, or playing (or at least none that have not been corrected by their customer support).
Photo Credit: Vincent Bouvier | Flickr