Make Use of This Thorough Research and Find a Fun and Legal Online Poker Game to Play Within Minutes
Online poker in the United States of America is a fairly complex subject. Many potential players mistakenly believe that it is illegal to play 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. The only state with a specific real money poker legal restriction is Washington State, although this two decade old law has not once been enforced and may not be eligible to be enforced due to legal desuetude.
Basically what you have is a bunch of issues that have not been adequately addressed or have not been addressed at all. Confusing matters even further, the statutes on the books often contain different text pertaining to horse racing, casino table games, slot machines, charitable bingo, social gaming, lotteries, and of course poker and other card games. Furthermore, most states have not updated their gambling laws in decades. Esteemed California gaming attorney Martin D. Owens Jr., the man who wrote the book Internet Gaming Law, has been quoted as saying:
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. These two senators were known to be taking large sums of money from the casino lobby.
The main goal of UIGEA was to underhandedly shut down real money 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 for real money. Having thought it was only a passing fad they needed a stop-gap measure in order to come up with plans to infiltrate this multi-billion dollar industry.
They failed miserably. Twelve years later and we still only have four states having passed self-regulation and no Federal regulation whatsoever. Luckily there are plenty of reputable, offshore-regulated sites that still provide games to Americans like you.
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 2011, shortly after Black Friday, 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 been settled in favor of the gaming sites 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 or resident in the United States, from hitting the digital felt from the comfort of your home or mobile device.
Yet another misconception swirling around is that it is a form of gambling. It is our contention that poker is a game of skill coupled with elements of chance. We are not the only ones with such an interpretation. For example, in a long and detailed 120 page ruling, a Federal Judge elucidated that poker is a game of skill and therefore not gambling or subject to laws about gambling. In other words, this Federal Judge ruled from the bench that poker should be treated as a skill game. A highly respected law firm hired by a D.C. lobbying group, Poker Player's Alliance, also agrees that it is a skill game in this white paper.
We constantly compile an extensive amount of information on the subject of legal online gaming (for real money), after all, we grind 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 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 much 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 upon the state in which one resides, there may easily be over half a dozen legitimate poker networks in which to satisfy one's craving and get one's fix! As you can see in the map below, most US states have no restrictions for players wanting to play online.
But which sites are available to you? Keep reading 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 best online sportsbooks, gambling at online casino sites, or putting money on the ponies these sites will also happily accept your wagers.
97.8% of the US population is not restricted by law from playing on US poker sites in any way! Most Americans, 81.4% to be exact, can play without any restriction imposed by their state, federal government, or the US-friendly poker rooms themselves. Of the 18.6% of the population who are restricted in some way, only 2.2% of those are restricted by state laws, zero by federal laws, and the remaining 16.4% are only restricted in the sense that not all of the offshore poker sites allow them to play in their games.
States who do not have full access to all available offshore hosted real money online poker sites include: Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, and Washington. There are at least three online rooms available in all of the aforementioned states. Less excluded states such as LA for example, have half a dozen options to choose from.
Our map below lists states with limited options in yellow, the other 41 states and all of the US territories are wide open. If your state is in yellow, it is not necessarily because there are laws prohibiting residents from playing online poker for real money. It simply means that some US-friendly sites and poker networks do not provide services to your state for any of a variety of business reasons. Click the map to open a new window where you can visually see what poker websites are allowed and disallowed in your location. Then continue reading for more information and reviews. If your state is indicated as green in the graphic below, all of the following, legitimate and legal real money Internet poker rooms are available to you:
Pai Wang Luo Poker Network
DE, MD, NV, NJ
Chico Poker Network
Serves all states and all territories.
Horizon Poker Network
KY, LA, MD, MO, NJ, NY, WA
Winning Poker Network
DE, LA, KY, MD, NV, NJ, WA
Grand Poker Network
Serves all states and all territories.
SWC (Formerly Seals With Clubs)
Serves all states and all territories.
Serves all states and all territories.
There are a number of reputable as well as disreputable websites available to you no matter what state you reside in. We realize that most people do not eat, sleep, and breathe online poker like we do and that it may be difficult for you, dear reader, to figure out which is which. So we have done the hard work and research for you.
We know that you value your time and your money, and you therefore wish to deposit your entertainment budget at only the safest online poker sites for US players. No matter which of our partners in the following section you opt to play at, you can rest assured they are in fact safe poker sites. Your funds will be held securely and will be sent back to you, along with your winnings, promptly upon your request.
Want proof? We maintain what we believe to be the most thoroughly detailed payout report in the online gambling industry. Each month we comb the Internet in order to seek out, collect, and collate hundreds of publicly verifiable mentions, made by real users, of payouts at numerous gaming websites. Then, we crunch the numbers and publish the data so that you know which casino, sportsbook, and poker companies offer the fastest payouts.
Our staff consists of a number of professional, enthusiast, as well as recreational players. Most of us are real money players, but one staffer, who will remain unnamed, still donks off on the play money tables. All of us have played extensively on all available US-facing rooms, some of us for over a decade. Internally, and on public forums, we endlessly discuss and debate the available options while we're playing and writing the latest poker news. Thus, we have an expert level grasp on the current situation in the US markets.
Below you will find our current favorites. These are the best online poker sites and we make that determination based on traffic, ease of deposits, payout speeds, software compatibility, customer support, as well as a host of other factors. If a site fails to live up to our high expectations, it will not be included in this section. If we evaluate an operator and conclude that they are particularly shady or high risk, we include it in our rogue poker sites section.
Ignition Casino is the hottest site available to Americans. In Q3 2017 Ignition also became available to Australians. This is significant because it is the country with the highest gambling rate in the world, and subsequently, a lot of new fish are joining up at Ignition. So don't let the name fool you, Ignition's poker room has nearly twice the traffic of the nearest competitor and easy competition to boot.
A Hong Kong investment firm, Pai Wang Luo, bought the poker operations of the then third largest poker network in the world, Bodog (known as Ignition in the USA and AUS). Instantly, this well-funded newcomer, licensed and regulated in Hong Kong, has become the largest poker site available for players from the United States of America as well as the largest and best Australian online poker site. The PWL Network on which its poker games are run, also draws many weak and unskilled players from Latin America, China, and India.
Newly created player accounts are eligible for deposit bonuses on poker and online casino up to $2,000 USD and up to $3,000 when depositing via Bitcoin. It is noteworthy that the poker deposit bonus has been upgraded and clears at an astonishingly fast 50% effective rakeback rate!
As it is the largest operator on the biggest global poker network in the world, as well as the largest available in the United States, players are always able to find a suitable game to play. At any given time there are hundreds of games running, though it doesn't always appear as such, as full games are hidden from the poker lobby. The company does this as it operates under a game changing "recreational poker model" as a means of protecting the recreational players from sharks. The company is very friendly to recreational players and especially losing players who often find themselves privately invited to a secret VIP club where they receive additional custom bonus offers as well as a VIP host and expedited payouts (not that they are needed, the payouts here are fast!). This is also why the games are anonymous. This recreational model is also why players are limited to four cash game tables maximum so as to deter the slow-to-act mass tabling sharks found on other networks, as well as to keep the speed of the games swift and enjoyable.
The cash games range 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 when playing four tables! This network also recently introduced Jackpots, their own version of variable prize pool hyper-turbo spin and goes that have become so popular on sites that are no longer available to Americans such as Poker Stars, Party Poker, Winamax and 888.
For the more casual player there are myriad tournaments with buy-in amounts below one dollar all the way up to $540 high roller tourneys. 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 the overwhelming majority do not allow re-buys or re-entries, i.e. most tournaments are freeze outs. 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! Up until June of 2018 tournaments were only available in the downloadable Windows and Mac versions of the poker client, however, due to a new update to the mobile product software, tournaments and sit and goes are available on iOS and Android devices like smart phones and tables. When playing tournaments on mobile, only one table at a time is allowed, however on desktop, one can play up to 12 tournaments simultaneously.
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 or bitcoin cash payments are paid out in 24 hours or less! Other, more traditional methods like checks and bank wires are often handled in 5-10 business days.
The game play is anonymous on this site, another way in which they protect 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 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 $3,000 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 $3,000 max bonus Ignition Poker sign-up link above. If you would like to read more about Ignition, please see our Ignition poker review.
BetOnline and sister site Sportsbetting.ag are the US friendly options on the Chico Gaming Network. Chico is a recreational poker network who prioritize their sportsbook and casino operations over poker. While at first that statement might be off-putting, it is actually great news. You see, the tables have a higher than normal proportion of gamblers from the sportsbook and casino.
This also means they have a lot of sports and casino bonuses and reloads if you are into that sort of thing. Since this is a poker review, we will focus on the poker bonus, which happens to be tied for the largest bonus on offer of any site on this page, or any site available in the US-friendly market for that matter. The poker deposit bonus is a 100% matching bonus up to a maximum of $1,000 - this is a typically as big as poker bonuses get. It clears at an average of 20% effective rakeback rate as well which is quite respectable compared to other competitors. Also, to help new players build their bankrolls, all new account holders who deposit on either of these sites are eligible to compete in a weekly new depositor freeroll, with a $10,000 prize pool, held monthly.
If you are into Bad Beat Jackpots, this site has a six figure BBJ that recently hit for $1,200,000! Like all bad beat jackpots at all live and online venues, there is an additional fee taken out of each pot in order to "feed" the jackpot. Not all tables are included in this promotion, so you can choose to play for the BBJ or not if you so desire.
The poker software was once a reason not to recommend this room, but that is no longer the case, quite the opposite in fact. In the middle of 2016 the poker software was rewritten by a brand new software provider and is now quite smooth and glitch free. It also deals more hands per hour than the previous software which is great because the old software was boringly slow. It no longer has those annoying blackjack mini-games attached to it either! In fact, a great deal of our Mac users prefer this software over all other options because it is so fluid, responsive, and bug-free.
High-volume players will be happy to know that the Chico Network offers a number of rake races to take advantage of. There is a daily cash race for ring games, divided up by stake level, which awards $1,100 every day or $7,700 per week. The weekly $5,275 sit and go leaderboards keep the SNG grinders happy. There are four separate categories for the distinct varieties of single-table tournaments offered, so you can participate in the one that's appropriate for the games and stakes you most prefer.
With super soft games, upgraded software, 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 five-plus calendar years now Chico Network payouts have been extremely prompt under the new owners. This network offers all traditional deposit and payout methods, as well as utilizing the crypto-currencies Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Dash, and Ethereum for cheap, speedy, and anonymous deposits and withdrawals.
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. Chico Network adheres to International Law and World Trade Organization guidelines and thus they accept players from all fifty US states and territories.
Bovada is an old name that some of the long-time gamblers among our audience may recognize. It served the United States poker market starting in 2011, but then it closed down its poker room in September 2016. Not to worry though – Bovada is back in all its glory since August 2017, and it has more or less the same gaming platform that users loved before, but it now also has many improvements.
Bovada shares many similarities with Ignition because they're both sister sites on the PWL Network. All the poker games are identical, from micro stakes Holdem all the way up to high stakes Omaha, and the cashier methods here include the ever-popular Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash crypto-currencies too. What sets Bovada apart is the fact that it has a racebook and sportsbook, which are not present at Ignition Casino. While the 100% up to $500 poker bonus is only 50% of what you can obtain at Ignition, Bovada also has lucrative sports and casino bonuses in addition to the poker offer. Taking into account all the bonuses in the various betting products available, we discover that newcomers to Bovada can obtain up to $3,750 of the house's money. This climbs to $5,500 for those who are savvy enough to use crypto-currency to make their deposits!
Putting some money on the line when you root for your favorite athletes and teams can really enhance your excitement when sweating a good game. Leading American leagues, like MLB, NBA, NFL, and NCAA are fully supported by the Bovada sportsbook. There are also quite a few contests listed from European and global sporting activities, like Premier League soccer, golf, tennis, and cricket. Through the Live Betting section of the website, you have the option of sifting through the constantly updated lines and placing extra wagers even after a game has begun. Bovada provides new sports customers with a 50% up to $250 bonus, but you can max out this bonus at $500 instead via BTC. The bonus is also valid in the racebook, which carries horse races from close to 200 tracks.
Even the casino, although reminiscent of that at Ignition, has a few extra features that might make it the right choice for you. Casino leaderboards run for short periods of time, and they permit you to receive small bonuses if you should have better fortune than the other contestants. Meanwhile, a Live Dealer area brings you Blackjack, Roulette, Super 6, and Baccarat games operated by real humans, combining the best of online and briack and mortar play. As a new Bovada depositor, you're entitled to 100% up to $1,000 bonuses on your first three casino deposits, but this deal is turbo-charged if you elect to transact in bitcoins yielding a whopping 3 x 150% up to $1,500 special bonuses .
As if this weren't enough, Bovada also maintains a rewards system that credits you with valuable perks, which include cashback on any losses you might be unlucky enough to incur. To make Bovada your comprehensive, all-in-one internet gambling home, click on the above banner (remember to clear browser cookies first). To get a better handle on what to expect before signing up, check out our Bovada Review page.
Juicy Stakes and Intertops are the only two ProfRB.com recommended safe and secure online poker sites on the US-facing Horizon Network. These sites do not operate in certain states and are thus only available to players in 43 US states. Both rooms offer multi-table tournaments and sit-n-go's which are structured to be fast, fun, and priced just right for recreational players, which is to say, there are no restrictive high dollar buy-in events on this network.
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. If you are a crypto-currency enthusiast, you will be happy to know that their cashier includes Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Bitcoin.
The initial deposit bonus for poker is an above average 200% match up to $1,000 - meaning that a mere $500 deposit will be doubled to a $1k bonus thus maximizing your bonus potential with less initial investment. The poker bonuses also clear at above average rates and when coupled with the 36% rakeback paid daily and provided by Professional Rakeback, the effective rakeback rate for new players is nearly 64%!
Cash game player traffic picked up noticeably throughout 2016 and has remained steady ever since. 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, often overly aggressive 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.
Most of the cash game action is centered around micro and lower stakes games. This is a good site to build up a bankroll at $5, $10, $20 and $50 buy-in Texas Holdem tables while accumulating steady rakeback payments. For players wishing to play higher stakes games, as we stated above, they do exist, but you will not find a large amount of volume with them. Many of our players who play these stakes load up a table or three on this network as a secondary, or even a tertiary site along with another site having more liquidity at 100NL and higher stakes games.
Juicy Stakes and Intertops offer daily freerolls for all players as well as a weekly $4,000 rake race on top of all the other promotions. The highest raking players on this network pay very little effective rake and the elite players play essentially rake free after all of their accumulated rewards. If you're sold and want to sign up immediately for 36% rakeback at Intertops then click the banner above (after you clear cookies in your web browser!). If you would like to read more about either Horizon network site, please check out our detailed Intertops Review and Juicy Stakes Poker review.
America's Cardroom, Black Chip Poker, and True Poker are the leading brands on the US-friendly 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. You can be sure all of them are safe and securely backed by the parent company, an A+ rated sportsbook that has been in operation for going on two decades now. This network recently started allowing nearly 70 crypto-currencies for deposits and withdrawals, read our interview with their CEO here.
Currently the WPN is the 2th largest world-wide online poker network, also making it the second 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 toughest US-friendly network at higher stakes, it runs the highest stakes games of any US site, and if you are looking to sharpen your skill at the tables, this is the site for you.
Players can take advantage of a 100% matching bonus up to $1,000 while safely depositing 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 bitcoins or any of the other 69 crypto-currencies accepted by the network cashier. The WPN offers very swift and convenient bitcoin deposits and withdrawals in amounts up to $25,000 USD as well as accepting many "alt-coins" for deposits and withdrawals in amounts up to $10,000. To the uninitiated, crypto-currency may seem daunting, however it is actually fast and easy to use. If you're unfamiliar with using bitcoin, we have got you covered with our bitcoin gambling guide which provides convenient pictures and step-by-step set up instructions. on top of the deposit bonus, which adds an additional 20% effective rakeback, new players will receive $50 in free jackpot sit and go credits upon their first successful deposit. Furthermore, as an exclusive bonus to our customers, new players on the network can earn an additional $10 free when signing up by entering bonus code PRB10FREE.
Payouts dependably arrive within stated time frames. We are confident in this assertion because we have been tracking cashouts since 2012 in our monthly payout reports. Clients who prefer cash can take advantage of MoneyGram withdrawals, though these are capped at much smaller denominations than crypto currency or check withdrawals and also come with higher fees.
The rooms on the WPN are also among the very few that still allow Peer-To-Peer or P2P transfer ability. A P2P allows a player to send their own 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 upcoming big tournament. Speaking of tournaments, WPN offers many special events, including the popular High Five and Online Super Series tournament series each quarter which often boast aggregate prize pools in the multi-millions. In fact, they are the US poker site who hosts "Million Dollar Sundays," which are the largest tournaments in the US market by far. Their most successful iteration of said tournament generated an astonishing 1.4mm prize pool! Because of its success they began offering the world's largest guaranteed Sunday tournaments clocking in with a $1,000,001 guaranteed No Limit Holdem tournament multiple times per year! This exceeds PokerStars' Sunday Million by $1, we suppose just so that WPN can show them who is the new big boss in this industry!
The large rewards offered to higher volume players can reach upwards of 60% on their Elite Benefits VIP program, which is a virtual clone of PokerStars's old, prestigious, and sorely missed rewards plan. 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 and approximately $250,000 in cumulative rewards each year!
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! Sign up for your Elite Benefits VIP account by clicking either of these links Americas Cardroom, Black Chip, or True and using bonus code PROFRBVIP. If you're looking for a flat rakeback account instead, please go here.
Grand Poker Room is the newest poker site to make itself available to American poker players. But don't let that fool you, this new network 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 they haven't updated the look of their website since! However, even thought the website looks dated, their payment processing is not and they 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, has a slick mobile poker app, 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 sign-ups 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.
Our main complaint about Grand Poker is that it is too small. Rarely does one find more than a dozen cash games running, even during peak times. This is good for players who like small card rooms where they can get to know the competition intimately. Furthermore, the games are relatively devoid of seasoned professionals and are a great place to build a bankroll due to the double whammy of extremely low rake coupled with extremely high rakeback rewards.
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 5Dimes by clicking above in order to access the GPN.
SWCPoker, formerly Seals With Clubs, is the leading #1 Bitcoin-only site. Independently operated, players can deposit and withdraw, using the ever-popular crypto-currency known as Bitcoins. It is worth noting that all games are denominated in bitcoin and at no point in time are deposited bitcoins converted into fiat (like most sites do). It is Bitcoin in and Bitcoin out at SWC. 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. SWCPoker has the most mixed games available of any of the sites listed on this page, from holdem + omaha all the way to a crazy 12 game mix!
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 a bad beat jackpot, Twitch.tv streaming bounties, rake-free microstakes, and the monthly 1,000,000 chip (1 bitcoin) guaranteed Big BTC tournament. Plus, SWC is available to all American poker players in all 50 states! You can sign up directly now by clicking the "play now" button above or continue reading our SWC Poker review.
Nitrogen Sports decided to dip its toe into the online poker space a few years back, complementing its popular sportsbook and casino with a virtual cardroom. As a Bitcoin-only gambling company, they do not deal in USD, GBP, EUR, or any other FIAT currency. This permits speedy and hassle-free deposits and withdrawals without the need to submit identifying information, that's right, you can play on Nitrogen completely anonymously. Each chip counts as 1 milli-Bitcoin, so 1,000 of them are equal to 1 BTC. One added benefit of this site is that all you bitcoin funds are kept in bitcoin. Thus, if bitcoin appreciates in price, like the tenfold price increase experienced in 2017, the fiat value of your balance also increases!
Nitrogen Poker targets a type of player quite different from the traditional grinder and games here tend to be on the easier side. Microstakes accounts for most of the action although it is possible to get games running at higher blind levels for those willing to table start and play shorthanded. On an average day however the highest stakes games typically running will be $100 buy-in equivalent level or lower.
Every day of the week, there are a couple of 20 chip guaranteed MTT for a buyin of 1.08 + 0.12, and on Sunday, a 500 mBTC prize pool beckons for a price of 22.5 + 2.5 to enter. As they pay rake at the tables and fees in tourneys, users increase their ranking in the Nitro rewards program. The ability to exchange points for instant BTC credits and free sports wagers represents a type of rakeback. On a daily and weekly basis, players receive entry into freerolls based upon the number of Nitro points they accumulate.
There are no state or country restrictions, so everyone is welcome at Nitrogen, and the fact that all gameplay is conducted over the web means that the cross-platform compatibility is excellent. Create your Nitrogen account now by first clearing your browser cookies and then clicking on “Play Now” above. Or to get more info before joining up, consult our Nitrogen Poker review.
We have laid out for you the sites that we feel are the best. We have told you which sites are the worst, some outright scams, and to save yourself the trouble of playing at. But are there any sites in between? As a matter of fact there are.
The sites below all have positive features, mainly payout speeds, so they are legit poker sites in that sense. Also, they provide games to US players, but there are issues with them which hold us back from recommending them to our loyal readers and clients. We will go over those issues below and let you decide if you want to proceed. We will not recommend that you play, or not play, at any of the following sites.
Global Poker - This site provides games in most states. Its main appeal initialy was that it offered payouts via PayPal, which is a great thing for players and hasn't been seen since Black Friday on any legitimate site. However, Global Poker lost that juicy advantage when PayPal ceased doing business with them in early 2018. What gives us further pause is the fact that the site uses a "sweepstakes model" as its legal justification. There are many industries and gambling venues that have attempted to use the sweepstakes loophole and almost all of them have lost in court. In fact, sweepstakes gambling has been tried, and failed, in numerous states such as Texas, North Carolina, and many others since the 1970s.
Such legal precedent does not inspire confidence in us that this business venture will last long-term. We were surprised PayPal was cooperative as long as they were and that the US Feds and Department of Justice haven't stepped in to enforce some sort of UIGEA violation. This is in fact a real money gambling site disguised as a sweepstakes game and it is exceedingly unlikely to stand up to government prosecution in a court of law.
We also dislike this site because it offers no rakeback or player rewards, no waiting lists, no late registration, no freerolls unless you play 500+ flops, and no bad beat jackpot. The buy-in amounts are always minimum amounts which encourages lots of flips and little poker play. In order to play tournaments with real money prizes, players must "see 200 flops" on "play money" tables as there are no direct entries to the biggest guaranteed tournaments. Oh yeah, and the rake is in some cases 40% higher than its competitors, aka the offshore sites above that we actually recommend. Read our full Global Poker review for more information.
PPPoker - This is a mobile poker platform that started out in Asia in 2015, but it has since expanded and now has players in dozens of countries across the globe. This internet poker destination is famed for the softness of its games because it's marketed toward recreational live donks who wish to take their fishy play online. Unfortunately, this site uses an agent model, similar to the two sites above, which makes it much riskier than traditional online poker rooms.
In order to access the tables, you must join a private club that's managed by an agent. All gameplay is conducted onsite for play chips, and the agent handles deposits and cashouts directly with the players, translating fake money into real currency at whatever rate he has agreed to with his customers. This play money-only policy allows PPPoker to disclaim all liability if your account balance goes missing. The safety of your funds is directly tied to the honesty of your agent. If you encounter one who's trustworthy, then you might very well have an enjoyable and profitable experience at PPPoker. If not, well, then it's the agent who will have an enjoyable and profitable experience…at your expense! Sure enough, there are examples of agents who run away with the bankrolls of all of their players, such as "NYPokerKing" who absconded with his player's funds in late 2018.
If you are interested in learning more about the specific legal online gambling situation for any US state, we have spent thousands of man hours researching the legal status of poker, sports betting, and casino play via the Internet in all 50 states. In these reviews we go over all of the applicable state gambling laws in an attempt to ascertain not only the letter of the law, but the true intent of the laws in each state. We make cases for and against gambling online in each state and why you should feel safe, or avoid playing online in your particular state.
Check out our individual state law reviews no matter what state you reside in. We also include, where applicable, short reviews of the options available where you reside as well as history, updates to pending legislation, and more. All of our US state reviews will help you play poker online for money in no time! In states where it is legal, we also include which website is best for sports and casino action.
In some states, it’s possible to partake in regulated online games overseen by the legitimate authorities in that jurisdiction. New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware have had licensed internet poker markets for about a half a decade, and they’ve even signed a compact allowing players in one state to compete at the same tables and games as their peers in the other two.
However, a January 2019 Department of Justice opinion has declared interstate gaming agreements like this one to be against federal law. This line of reasoning is being contested by many parties, and the entire dispute may only be resolved, eventually, by the courts.
This legal uncertainty may hamper the prospects of the two newest licensed online poker states: Pennsylvania, which legalized poker over the internet in October 2017, and West Virginia, which passed an online gambling bill in March 2019. These two states don’t yet have any active sites for internet poker, and would-be operators will probably want to see how the legalities ultimately work out before devoting themselves to PA and WV in earnest.
How old do I have to be to play at offshore poker sites? - According to International and domestic laws regarding the "age of majority" human beings are adults at the age of 18. This is quite consistent across various countries and the US states. Any person 18 years or older is allowed to play on all of the aforementioned rooms.
How do I know these sites won't rip me off? - We only recommend sites that we personally risk our own money on. Sites that we do not feel confident enough to play at ourselves are either in our Caution Section or listed in the Scam Section. If you're looking for safe online poker, then you'll find it at any of our partner rooms.
In 12 years of operation Professional Rakeback has only recommended 2 sites that have failed. In one case we paid all of our player's rakeback out of our own pocket ($37,000+ USD). In the second case, we contacted our players and offered them extra bonuses, rakeback, and/or rewards on other poker sites until they recouped the entirety of any lost funds. We do our damnedest to protect your funds, our funds, and our reputation. We stand behind our recommendations and put our money where our mouth is.
Is online poker safe for me to play from a legal perspective? - Yes, although the companies that run the games are sometimes subject to the whims of overzealous government officials, you as an ordinary player are completely safe. To date, no one has ever been arrested, charged, imprisoned, or fined for enjoying online card games as a private citizen. As long as you're not managing, working for, or owning an illegal gambling enterprise, you can play without fear of the long arm of the government.
Online poker history is so convoluted and confusing. I wish someone could explain it to me easily and concisely!? - The online poker environment in the USA has had its ups and downs throughout the years. From the excitement of the first few sites offering real money play, to the vacuum created by the underhanded passing of UIGEA and the disheartening events of Black Friday, all fans have ridden a roller-coaster of gut-wrenching emotion.
The love for this game is strong though, and the fans and the companies who court them always seem to bounce back. There have been options to play available since Planet Poker launched in 1998, and twenty years later, despite whatever has happened, plenty of players still play and sites still offer games. No matter what choke holds are put in place, a way will be found to circumvent them. Even now, a new era of decentralized computing may be ushering in a wondrous new set of games and opportunities in this sector.
Below is a timeline we created to help you keep track of all the major historical events that have taken place to change and alter the online landscape from 1998 through 2018.
Are there any other online rooms for Americans that you have not listed in this guide? - Sure, there are a few. Mainly they are skins on networks that we have already covered. A skin is another company on a network that offers an identical product to other rooms. Hence, for the sake of brevity, we have chosen not to include some of those in the main section of the guide.
However, in the spirit of full disclosure, we decided to provide a full list of all poker websites that USA players can access. Here is our comprehensive list:
I live on the border between the USA and Canada. Do I have more or perhaps better options to play online poker in Canada than I do in the USA? - Canada has more options available than the states. However, we typically recommend a similar group of sites because we find them to be soft, easy to withdraw from, and staffed with quality customer service reps. We actually have a similar styled online poker guide for residents of Canada and by reading the following link you can find what our experts recommend as the best online poker sites in Canada.
4. https://www.gdcvault.com/play/1017735/Gambling-or-Gaming-How-Gambling - quoted at 11m 15s
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, new local, state, and federal legislation is being written, proposed, voted on, and passed into law constantly. It is ultimately the responsibility of the consumer to thoroughly research and comply with the laws in their particular jurisdiction.