Best US Poker Sites of 2018
If you are looking to play on the best online poker sites, then look no further than our carefully selected and regularly updated list of poker rooms that are specifically geared for American players. Our job is to help you identify which are the best US poker sites for you to game on and get you playing as easily and quickly as possible because we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you by carefully vetting each platform.
Quality Standard Guarantee
Amongst all the criteria, here's a few important points we assess a particular site on below:
Excellent value for money Safe reliable software Quick secure withdrawals Fun and friendly community Browser and device compatibility
We’ll find you all the top US poker sites that are first and foremost, legal and safe, and perform exceedingly well in all of our other ranking criteria, including fast payouts, a huge library of games, generous bonuses and more.
Once you get started with any of the sites on our recommended list, you will soon realize that finding and playing at legal US poker sites is not as difficult as many people make it seem.
Top US Real Money Poker Sites
A Look into US Legislation and Online Poker
Playing with real cash poker games at online poker sites in America has always been legal. This fact is meant to address rumors from both outsiders and insiders who claim that enjoying online poker in the country is a crime.
The reality is that it is not illegal, even though online operators are legally restricted from providing real cash poker games to USA-based players. Regardless of the strict laws that have been plaguing online poker providers, players are in no way affected by these restrictions and thus can continue to enjoy their poker games on trustworthy international online poker sites.
The past decade transformed online poker into some sort of grey area with the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) back in 2006. Before then, compared to what we have witnessed in the past couple of years, online poker was thriving and both the players and the operators were satisfied with the completeness of the arrangement – they both benefitted from online poker in one way or the other.
Fortunately, this grey area is slowly fading away and things in the US are looking brighter.
A New Era Is on the Horizon
Currently, four states are already offering legal regulated online poker – they are New Jersey, Delaware, Nevada, and the newly added Pennsylvania. The growth of these online gambling markets have reignited interest in other states, including California, New York, and Iowa have been looking into tapping into the endless benefits that regulated online poker could bring to them. U.S states are now beginning to regulate online poker mainly because they have the mandate to enact their own unique laws.
Regardless of the fact that the UIGEA is still in place, its days are numbered since it will essentially be overruled once individual states pass bills allowing online gambling. As such, there is a very high likelihood that more states will allow regulated online poker in the next few months thus giving poker players more local options when it comes to the best US poker sites.
Furthermore, as it stands, the United States legislature has been having some promising legislative talks regarding online gambling at an intrastate level. The implication here is that states that have allowed regulated online poker will be able to share players – this will not only link the entire country but will also assist in bringing a much-needed rush of liquidity.
There are a number of regulatory commissions that have been formed to this effect, both within and outside the United States;
Nevada Gaming Control Board – A number of online sites within the state of Nevada have applied for and have been granted full online gambling licenses. The board is the same one that oversees all licensed gambling venues or casinos in all of Nevada which, therefore, means that the online poker sites under its jurisdiction are highly regulated for the good of the players.
New Jersey Casino Control Commission – This board works for both the states of New Jersey and Delaware where poker enthusiasts will find fully licensed online gambling sites where they can play online poker with real cash locally and legally. The sites are therefore of the highest standards and thus every poker game or event that players partake in is completely fair and random. Payout speeds are also pretty fast as a result of integrated payment systems.
Curacao eGaming – This is among the few online gambling jurisdictions that are responsible for licensing a decent number of reputable US poker sites that are available for American players. Online casinos and online poker sites under this jurisdiction allow players to not only fund their accounts in US dollars but also participate in tournaments using the same currency.
Costa Rica – This is another licensing jurisdiction that applies to poker players who are not lucky enough to be living in the three states where online poker is legal. If you are one such unlucky player who cannot access online poker sites from the three luck states then an offshore-operated online casino or an international poker site with a Costa Rica license would be a great option for you.
There will, of course, be quite a number of different online poker sites offering poker players all manners of poker games as well as poker tournaments licensed and regulated in Costa Rica. Having this in mind, players will definitely have no difficulties finding a great Costa Rica licensed and regulated site online. However, we recommend that you find one among the ones we are have listed on our site since they have been tested for virtually everything that is expected of an online casino.
Featured Blacklist - November 2018
ONLINE POKER SITES TO AVOID
Our expert review team extensively vets hundreds of online poker sites each month and makes an effort to not only recommend trusted poker rooms, but to also warn players of unreliable brands. We strongly advise you to stay clear from those listed below as they do not adhere to the review standards built from our years of experience.
Linked to cPays Group Bad reputation Payout issues
Founder arrested Suspicious activity Bitcoin only
Mass complaints Late payments Huge fees
Unreliable practices Bad reputation Unsecure
Black Friday Money laundering Fixed games
Suspicious site Bad customer service Slow payments
As of when you see this list, some sites may of been shutdown or they may still be running. Regardless, we recommend that you avoid visiting or involving yourself with activities associated with these brands to stay safe. We may leave certain sites on this list so people who are new and unaware stay informed.
What Does 2018 Hold for Payment Services for Online Poker Sites?
One thing that is rather clear is the fact that for the past couple of years depositing and withdrawing funds from US poker sites has gotten easier and 2018 certainly looks even better in this regard. Established offshore or international sites have been upping their game in so many different ways to ensure that customer experience is not ruined by payment systems that do not work.
The cashier staff, for instance, have been working tirelessly in finding alternative solutions for deposits and withdrawals that are intended to cater for even those cringe-worthy times when players’ credits cards are declined when they try to make deposits. The new and improved deposits methods have proven to be very successful in providing fast and secure transactions for players, and poker rooms have grown significantly due to this. Bigger poker rooms imply that there is a bigger collection of cash tables, bigger prize pools as well as much bigger promotions and specials too.
While it is certainly true that funding your online poker account in the United States can sometimes be quite challenging, international online poker sites have found suitable workarounds that will work perfectly until online gambling is finally legalized. These include options such as Visa Credit Card, American Express, MasterCard Credit Card, MoneyGram and even Player-to-Player Transfer.
Decentralized digital currencies are perhaps one of the biggest, if not the biggest, invention of the decade. Crypto has proven that it is here to stay and when people are not speculating on their prices or selling them, online poker players are tapping into its potential as a payment method. Many of the best US poker sites now allow for payments to be made in Bitcoin and some have even gone as far as making it their primary payment method.
Bitcoin has always been associated with volatility and technicality but neither of these is a trait that is cast in stone. They happen but to keep you convinced of their usefulness, once you deposit into your poker site account your Bitcoin is converted into USD depending on prevailing rates.
Top 5 Free Play Money Poker Sites
What to Expect from Our Top-Rated US Poker Sites
Our team at Online Poker America takes pride in the fact that we are just like you – passionate online poker fans – and for that reason, we know exactly what it is that you want and need from a top online poker site.
With that in mind, we’ve searched the internet far and wide to find all the best poker rooms out there, both real money and free play sites. No matter which you prefer, every online game site you choose from our recommended list has aced our strict vetting process and are 100% ‘OPA approved’ – In other words, not only will these sites meet your expectations, they’ll surpass them and blow you away!
With our years of experience in the online gambling industry, we believe OPA provides every player the best US poker sites free of hassle.
When searching the web for real money poker sites, it’s important to read carefully into any terms and conditions, especially in relation to bonuses and cashouts. There are usually clauses and minimum play time required before you can do anything with your added bonus and potential winnings.
This is the single area in which most novice gamblers fall victim to. Many shady sites lure gamblers by offering eye-watering bonuses, but what they don’t make clear is the usually horrendous play through requirements that are attached to these unobtainable bonuses. Knowing this, we pay special attention to all bonuses and peruse the Ts and Cs to make sure that they are realistic and reasonable.
As long as you’re playing from a top US poker site listed by us, you are in good hands and won’t have to worry about bonus traps.
On the other hand, if you just want to play for fun, we’ve also got you covered and you can choose from any of our highly recommended play money brands. This is a great method to practice with play chips and test out our tips covered in our ultimate poker strategy guide which covers all the basics and more.
Have a bad experience? ✍
Please send us a message using our contact form to let us know if you've had any problems with the sites listed above. We welcome any feedback and will incorporate it into our future reviews.
What age can you play real money poker in the US?
Is online poker legal in the US?
Many states don’t even define gambling let alone address specific legal real money online poker laws! Check our legal states poker map for your state.
What can I do if online poker isn’t legal or available in my state?
Unfortunately you need to be physically playing from a legal even for real money online poker but there are alternatives such as play money poker rooms that are legal and only classed as games and not a form of gambling.
What online poker sites use real money?
If there are deposit options or payment methods on a poker site; it will use real money so be cautious and make sure you’re playing within the legal rights of your state and/or region.
How can I play real money poker on iPhone?
Some real money poker rooms such as 888 Poker will have mobile-compatible software so check the site first before making a deposit so you know the site is iPhone-friendly. Check out our approved iPhone poker sites for more information.
How can I play real money poker on iPad?
Similarly to iPhones, iPad users can check their real money poker rooms for compatibility before depositing real money for real money poker. Check out our approved iPad poker sites for more information.
How can I play real money poker on Android?
Real money poker sites for android devices work the same way as iPad and iPhone users - players just need to look for mobile compatibility on the real money poker site and they should be good to go. Check out our approved Android poker sites for more information.
What is the best real money poker site?
There is no best real money poker site as it all comes down to reference but if you check the real money poker sites list we regularly update at the top of this page; it should hopefully give you a good, unbiased and independent place to start.