Safe and secure USA online poker sites, where US players can play real money poker legally, room reviews, and information on state by state US poker restrictions.
Online poker in the United States of America is a somewhat complex subject. Many potential poker players believe that it is illegal to play online poker in the USA. That is simply untrue! Very few states have laws on the books that cover online poker, and as such, it is perfectly legal to play from the comfort of one's own home in almost every US state and territory. Noted California gaming attorney Martin Owens has been quoted as saying:
"Basically what you have is a bunch of issues that haven't been adequately addressed or haven't been addressed at all. There are 16 states and D.C. that don't even define what gambling is! Only nine states even mention the Internet in connection with gambling at all. And most haven't updated their gambling laws in decades."
Much of the public confusion stems from misinterpretations of existing laws. For example, The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, or UIGEA, was enacted in 2006. This is widely regarded by the media as a reason for online poker being illegal, when in fact, it does nothing of the sort. UIGEA makes the knowing processing of deposits to online gambling sites illegal, for banks. UIGEA is in no way directed at private citizens. It was literally snuck into law on a must pass Port Authority bill by two senators taking large sums of money from the casino lobby and its only purpose was to underhandedly shut down online poker while the major US casinos played catch-up to their offshore brethren. You see, domestic casinos had greatly underestimated the potential market size of online gambling.
Another common fallacy is the improper application of The Wire Act of 1961. In the past this law was interpreted by some arms of government to cover online poker. However, in 2014 the US Department of Justice reinterpreted the Wire Act to be much more online poker friendly. Also, a slew of state lawsuits filed in Kentucky in the late 2000s were a legal hurdle. However, those cases have mostly been settled without any criminal wrong-doing admitted by any parties. These changes are widely assumed by industry insiders to be paving the way for a Federally regulated framework some time in the future. However, in the mean time, there is no Federal law that would prohibit you, a private citizen, from hitting the digital felt from the comfort of your home.
We constantly compile an extensive amount of information on the subject of legal online gaming (for real money), after all, we play poker for a living! In this report we will be passing that information on to you, so that you may be better informed of the options available to you, the American poker player, in your particular state or territory. The overwhelming majority of states have no restrictions or negative laws on the books and are available to play 24/7/365, many even from one's Mac or mobile device! We have also included a brief review, highlighting the pros and cons of each gambling site, providing information on the cashout speeds, available games and traffic, rakeback data, whether they are Mac-friendly or not, and more.
Many potential players also believe that there are only one or two safe offshore poker sites to choose from. However, this belief is also false. Depending on what state one lives in, there may easily be over half a dozen legitimate poker networks to get one's poker fix at! As you can see in the map below, most US states have no restrictions for players wanting to play online poker. But which poker sites are available to you? Scroll below to find out! Please note that most of the poker sites still servicing American players also offer other products such as sports betting, online casino, and racebooks. If you are interested in betting in the sportsbook, gambling in the casino, or putting money on the ponies these sites will also happily accept your wagers.
*** Please click this map to expand to state-by-state restrictions (opens in new tab) ***
If your state is in black, it is not necessarily because there are laws against playing online poker, it simply means that some poker sites do not service your state for any of a variety of reasons. Click the map to open a new window where you can visually see what sites are allowed and disallowed in your location - or continue reading for more information. If your state is indicated as green in the above graphic, all of the following, legitimate and legal real money Internet poker rooms are available to you:
Ignition Gaming Network
Ignition Casino: Available in 45 American states, only excluding Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York.
Chico Poker Network
BetOnline, Sportsbetting.ag: Available in all 50 US states and all US territories.
Horizon Poker Network
Juicy Stakes: Available in all US states except Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Washington State.
Intertops Poker: Available for US players in 49 US states, the unlucky exception is Kentucky. Sorry Kentucky, you got one outered.
Grand Poker Network
SportBet, 5Dimes, Island Casino: Available in all 50 USA states and territories.
Winning Poker Network
America's Cardroom, True Poker Available in all US states except Delaware, Louisiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, and Washington State.
Pokerhost: Available in all US states except Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Utah, Washington DC, and Washington State.
5Dimes, SportBet, Island Casino: Available in all 50 US states and all US territories.
Bitcoin-only room: Available in all 50 US states and all US territories.
Ignition Casino is the hottest site available to Americans. Don't let the name fool you, its poker room has nearly twice the traffic of the nearest competitor and easy competition to boot. This company recently bought the poker operations of the third largest poker network in the world Bodog (known as Bovada in the USA). Instantly this well funded newcomer, licensed and regulated in Canada, has become the largest poker site available for players from the United States of America. New accounts are eligible for deposit bonuses on poker and casino up to $2,000 USD.
As it is the third largest site in the world, as well as the largest available in the states, players are always able to find a suitable game to play. At any given time there are hundreds of games ranging from micro stakes no limit Texas Holdem up to $2,000 buy in pot limit Omaha. They also have a variant of fast fold poker, dubbed "Zone Poker" where players can play very high paced games with no waiting for blinds to begin and the ability to see up to 1,000 hands per hour! For the more casual player there are myriad tournaments with buy-in amounts below one dollar all the way up to $540 high roller tournies. All tournament action culminates in a weekly $100,000 guaranteed tournament that is known to exceed $200,000 prize pools on occasion. Add to this frequent tournament series with 4-6 million dollar collective prize pools, and one has no problem finding a fun MTT to unwind in. One thing we like about their tournaments is that they do not allow re-buys or re-entries, i.e. all tournaments are freeze outs, so that once you buy-in, you know that the tournament will end in a reasonable time frame and you won't be dragging ass at work tomorrow because you were up until 4am playing a tournament!
Like Bovada before them, Ignition has excellent payout options and players rarely have to wait more than 10 days for a pay out. In fact, players that opt for bitcoin payments are paid out in 72 hours or less! The game play is anonymous on this site, which protects recreational players from being hunted by aggressive sharks. Some novice players fear anonymous tables, thinking them ripe for collusion and infested with bots, but that simply isn't the case. Ignition Casino has a proactive security department, purchased all of the IT tools Bodog had to suss out cheaters, and is actively working creating even more swift and robust methods of detecting shady behavior among players (which is more than we can say for some online poker rooms *cough* Ourgame *cough* FulPot *cough*).
Professional Rakeback recommends Ignition's poker room as our top rated site for Americans. You can sign up today and get up to a $2,000 deposit bonus by using our sign up link. In order to take advantage of this offer you must first clear your cookies or we can't guarantee you'll get the proper deposit bonuses, so be sure to clear the cookies in your web browser (should take 30-90 seconds) before using our $2,000 max bonus Ignition Poker signup link.
Recommended by Professional Rakeback, Betonline and sister site Sportsbetting.ag are the best US friendly poker sites on the Chico Gaming Network. Chico is a recreational poker network who prioritizes their sportsbook and casino operations over poker. This is evident by the fact that a blackjack table is attached to every cash game poker table (the BJ can be removed if you sit at four or more tables and is not present on SNG or MTT tables). Besides the software however, this network is strong. It offers players from all fifty US states the ability to play on a network that often runs games up to the $1,000 buyin level into the early morning hours.
A monthly $25,000 sit and go race keeps the SNG grinders happy and there is also a monthly multi-table tournament leader board that offers large special large freeroll prizes to the leaders. Speaking of freerolls, both BetOnline and sister site SportsBetting offer hourly no-limit hold'em freeroll tournaments to help you build your bankroll. Coupled with super soft games ( they have a recreational friendly model) and a generous maximum $1,000 initial poker deposit bonus, BetOnline and Sportsbetting.ag are great choices. Please note that this is the new management and ownership team that came on board in mid 2013, before that, Professional Rakeback did not recommend this group because of slow payouts. However, for over three calendar years now Chico Network payouts have been very prompt. After clearing your browser's cookies, you may sign up directly at BetOnline or Sportsbetting.ag or opt to take some time and read our full BetOnline & Sportsbetting.ag reviews before continuing.
America's Cardroom, Black Chip Poker, and True Poker are the leading brands on the US-facing Winning Poker Network, which is a fine destination for US and international players alike. Professional Rakeback works with all three sites because the WPN owns all three of them directly, so you can be sure all of them are safe and securely backed by the parent company.
Currently the 10th largest online poker network in the world and largest available to American players. The WPN offers a plethora of cash games, multi-table tournaments, and sit-n-goes with steady traffic and plenty of options for players of any skill set. This is the largest US friendly network and if you are looking to sharpen your skill at the tables, this is the site for you. The large rewards offered to higher volume players rewards can reach upwards of 60% on their Elite Benefits VIP program, which is a virtual clone of PokerStars VIP program. On top of these rich rewards there are weekly progressive rake races for both cash game and SNG players. The highest volume grinders on this site make 90-100% effective rakeback each year!
Players can safely deposit on any of the recommended rooms on the WPN using their debit or credit card as well as cash transfer methods such as Western Union & MoneyGram. However, we highly recommend depositing with BTC. Payouts dependably arrive within stated time frames, and their unique debit card withdrawal feature is popular among many players because it can pay out up to $2,500 per week onto a foreign debit card which can be spent like a credit card or used at ATMs to get cash directly. The WPN now offers very swift and convenient bitcoin deposits and withdrawals in amounts up to $25,000 USD as well. This method is fast and easy to use. If you're unfamiliar with setting up bitcoin, we've got you covered with our bitcoin gambling guide which provides convenient pictures and step-by-step instructions.
The rooms on the WPN are also among the very few that still allow Peer-To-Peer or P2P transfer ability. P2P allows players to send poker funds to their friends with just a few clicks, enabling easy staking, tournament swapping, and helping your friend out if he needs a loan for that upcomming big tournament. Speaking of tournaments, WPN offers many special events, including the popular High Five and Online Super Series tournament series each quarter. In fact, WPN is hosting a $1,000,000 guaranteed online poker tournament this September 11th, 2016 - $540 buy in [NOTE: Last time it ran, it exceeded the guarantee and was a huge success; read more.]
ProfRB.com has extensive reviews of America's Cardroom, Black Chip and True - all of which have the same cashier, promotions, staff, shared player pools - and recommends them as safe online poker rooms for American players. If you do not have an account at any or all of these fine places, please consider signing up with Professional Rakeback! You can create your rakeback accounts immediately by clicking these links (please clear cookies in your browser first) - Americas Cardroom, Black Chip, True - If you are a high volume player, choose Elite Benefits VIP for greater rewards by clicking these links Americas Cardroom, Black Chip, True.
Grand Poker Room is the newest poker site to make itself available to American poker players. This new online site is owned and operated by the 5Dimes group of sports books, who carry an A+ rating virtually anywhere you care to look. This group of companies is not new, they have been around for well over a decade, and are known for lightning fast payouts for its casino and sportsbook customers as well as its reduced juice sports betting lines.
This new poker site offering has a smooth interface, is natively Windows and Mac friendly, and sports a small but growing player base full of fishy sports and casino players. Since this is a network owned site, they are promoting it aggressively by allowing Professional Rakeback to give new signups anywhere from 50 to 100% rakeback via an innovative "SNG for cash" rakeback system. You can read more details about this at our comprehensive Grand Poker Network review page.
Even though this is the newest competitor on the block, the sports book and casino operation backing it is old school. The payment processing is first grade and the amount and variety of deposit and withdrawal options offered to American online poker players is second to none. GPN even offers bitcoin deposits and withdrawals! Professional Rakeback recommends clearing browser cookies and then signing up with SportBet, 5Dimes, or Island Casino in order to access the GPN. Please note that account holders at SB, 5D, and IC also have access to a second poker room dubbed "Shark Tank" which is actually the Winning Poker Network - players can move money interchangeably between the two networks using a single player wallet! All play through 5Dimes, Sportbet, or Island Casino on the Shark Tank poker skin earns 27% rakeback.
Juicy Stakes and Intertops are the only two ProfRB.com recommended safe and secure online poker sites on the US-facing Horizon Network. Juicy Stakes is available to players in 43 US states, while Intertops Poker is available to players in 49 states. Both rooms offer cash games, multi-table tournaments ($5,000 GTD Sunday major), and sit-n-go's. The network recently removed heads up tables, so if heads up is your game, you'll want to check out one of our other recommended sites.
Player traffic has been picking up in early 2016 and there are regularly up to $200 NLHE games to be found during peak Euro and US hours. Pot limit Omaha games run less frequently, but often a half dozen or more games can be found running and they are of excellent quality with plenty of fishy gamblers. The Holdem cash games that run are of good quality, if a little nitty at times, but they are especially good when coupled with the highest rakeback in the US market at 36% dealt methodology rakeback - paid daily on Intertops and weekly on Juicy Stakes.
Players can safely deposit on Juicy Stakes and Intertops with a larger than normal amount of deposit methods. There are over a dozen types of withdrawal and payouts available in the Intertops cashier which services its sportsbook, casino, and Internet poker room. Payouts from both sites come well within stated time frames, usually within 5 business days for up to $3,000 checks or 2 business days or less for bitcoin payouts. Juicy Stakes and Intertops offer daily freerolls for all players as well as a weekly rake race on top of all the other promotions. If you're sold and want to sign up immediately for 36% rakeback @ Intertops and or Juicy Stakes rakeback click away (after you clear cookies in your web browser!) If you would like to read more about either Horizon network site, please See our navigation bar above under the heading "Horizon" or check out our detailed Intertops Review and Juicy Stakes Poker review.
SWCPoker, formerly Seals With Clubs, is the leading #1 Bitcoin-only online poker site. Independently operated, players can deposit and withdraw, using the ever-popular crypto-currency known as Bitcoins. This leads to lightning quick payout time frames and ease of transfer when making withdrawals. SWC is truly one of the last "Wild West" types of poker rooms available, offering cash games, multi-table tournaments, and sit-n-go's with steady traffic. The games are odd in that the recreational players are bad of course, but a strange type of bad, perhaps because of the whole "technology nerd" aspect of even getting funds onto a bitcoin poker site. There is always action at the micro and small stakes and even high stakes players who are willing to wait around and start games will find easy short handed action up to 25/50 USD equivalent at times.
Deposits are nearly instant and players are credited with SWC chips, which are used to enter tournaments and ring games alike. Their 'Krill' rakeback program is cumulative over the life of your account as well, meaning it never resets and ultimately caps out at 50% rakeback coupled with industry low rake of only 2.5%. And SWC offers popular special features such as their weekly Sunday 10,000-chip Big BTC event and opportunities to earn special bonuses at random tournaments and cash games. Plus, SWC is available to all American poker players in all 50 states! You can sign up directly now by clicking here or continue reading our Seals With Clubs review.
Now that we've told you about the places we recommend, we think it is more important to inform you of the places you should avoid. The sites in this section are either certified scams or so shady that we not only can't recommend them to you, but that we recommend you avoid them in order to protect your bankrolls from any sort of disasterous theft.
***WARNING*** You may have heard about a place called Lock Poker. We called them out from the start, and unfortunately we were proven correct. Lock is a deposit-only site operating a Ponzi scheme, where all player deposits go into continuing their operation. They do not pay the overwhelming majority of their players. According to the "Lock Payout Scam Report" on 2+2, there are players currently approaching a two year wait for their cashout, with hundreds of players reporting wait times now exceeding three calendar years. We highly recommend avoiding this room at all costs!
***WARNING*** You may have heard about a place called Muchos Poker. This company, once the darling of a major poker affiliate network, offered its services on nearly a dozen poker clients with one cashier wallet. However Muchos has fallen on tough times due to various business mistakes and thefts of player funds. The ongoing legal issues here have resulted in hundreds of player reports about non-payment, as well as Muchos being kicked out of multiple networks. Depositing here is a black hole, avoid at all costs.
***WARNING*** You may have heard about a site called Betcoin. When this crypto currency poker site launched, it had a lot of potential. However, that potential has fallen flat on its face. Not only do players here report abusive and vindictive customer support agents via live chat, but many have been publicly berated by them on online message boards! The site has busted numerous players cheating via playing on multiple accounts at the same time, acknowledged they were cheating, and yet allowed the players to continue to play. There are numerous security concerns with some of their pages not being SSL encrypted and thus exposing users passwords to hijacking by hackers. And to top it off, our analysis of their business model yields similar results to what we saw in Lock Poker. Our professional opinion is stay far, far away from this poorly run poker site.
For those that are not aware, a poker network is usually comprised of several sites that share cash tables, sit-and-go's, and multi-table tournament schedules. For instance, America's Cardroom, Black Chip, and True each utilize the same software (sometimes called a "client") - the only difference among them is the color scheme and graphics of the software. However, all three rooms are part of the Winning Poker Network. Thus they offer the same tournaments, cash tables, and SNGs no matter which particular site, or "skin" that you access the network from.
Not all poker networks are created equally, however. Some rooms at certain networks have different cashier systems (which can mean faster or slower cashouts, different deposit and withdrawal options, etc.), and some even segregate certain cash games and tournaments among their member rooms. We have noted any site like this in the article above, no tricks here!
If you are interested in learning more about the specific legal online gambling situation for any US state, we have individual state reviews that you may find of interest. The articles below are mini-reviews of the real-money gambling sites listed above, as well as information on the specific legal situation in each particular state. So if you are interested in learning more about the specific laws and statutues in an individual US state, simply click the hyperlinks below for more information:
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming
None of the information on this web page should be construed as legal advice. While Professional Rakeback does its best to provide accurate and up to date information, it is ultimately the responsibility of the consumer to thoroughly research and comply with the laws in their particular jurisdiction.