You are here

Can US Residents Play Online Poker Safely & Legally? - Yes They Can!

Legal US Poker Sites and What States You Can Play In - A Guide

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 poker players mistakenly 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. 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.[1]

Basically what you have is a bunch of issues that have not been adequately addressed or have not been addressed at all. 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,[2] has been quoted as saying:

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia don't even have a working definition on their own statute books of what gambling is and is not. Only nine even mention the Internet in connection with gambling at all.[3]

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.



READY TO PLAY NOW? CLICK THE SITE WITH THE:
most players cta biggest bonus cta highest rakeback cta best vip cta most freerolls games cta bitcoin only cta $10 free bankroll offer at America's Cardroom ready to play cta - best sportsbook Best online casino for US players

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[4] 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[5] 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 online poker 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[6] 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 the Poker Player's Alliance also agrees that it is a skill game in this white paper.[7]

Misconception

Online poker is illegal.

Truth

Playing online poker is not a violation of any Federal laws.

Operating a non-US regulated poker room from within the confines of the United States could get you into legal trouble.

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 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 poker fix! 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 down 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.

US Poker Sites and Networks - State Legal Restrictions

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 poker 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 poker 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:

Map of USA online poker room safe sites, state by state restrictions, and more

Network Exclusions

Pai Wang Luo Poker Network
DE, MD, NV, NJ

Chico Poker Network
Serves all states and all territories.

Horizon Poker Network
KY, LA, MD, MS, 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.

Cubeia Network

Serves all states and all territories.

Online Poker USA - Real Money Sites Reviewed and Ranked

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 breath 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.

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 friendly 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 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 US 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 be put into our rogue poker sites section.

We promise that we will not recommend any poker site to you that we do not personally risk our own money on. We are not like many of our "professional affiliate" competitors who use "churn and burn" tactics. We "put our money where our mouth is" and "practice what we preach" here at Professional Rakeback. You can bet on it!

 

Ignition Casino's poker room's best qualities

Ignition is our #1 ranked real money online poker site
✓ 
Most players
✓ Softest games
✓ Our top pick

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 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. 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.

 LIMITED TIME OFFER ENDS MARCH 4TH 
limited time promotion at Ignition Casino's poker room - free $30 tournament tickets!

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 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 keep out the slow-to-act mass tabling sharks found on other networks.

Ignition Poker Play Now

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 they do not allow re-buys or re-entries, i.e. all 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! Please note that tournaments are only available in the downloadable Windows and Mac versions of the poker client and are unfortunately not supported by the mobile products yet.

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 72 hours or less! 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 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 sign-up link above. If you would like to read more about Ignition, please see our Ignition poker review.

Betonline and Sportsbetting.ag, leading poker sites on the Chico Poker Network

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 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 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 $2,500! It clears at an above average 33% effective rakeback rate as well. All new players who deposit on this site are eligible to compete in a weekly new depositor freeroll, with a $5,000 prize pool, held every Sunday. Speaking of freerolls, if you happen to be low on funds at the moment, both BetOnline and sister site SportsBetting offer hourly no-limit hold'em freeroll tournaments to help you build your bankroll from nothing.

If you are into Bad Beat Jackpots, this site has a six figure BBJ that recently hit for $990,000! Not all tables are included, so you can choose to play for the BBJ or not if you so desire.

Chico Poker Play Now

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, no matter what games or stakes one plays. There is a rake race for cash games, sit and goes, and for multi-table tournament grinders. All rake races are broken up into small, medium, and high stakes brackets to keep the competition on a fair level. The weekly $5,000 sit and go race keeps the SNG grinders happy. The multi-table tournament leader board is a weekly tournament race that rewards top MTT grinders with $5,000 worth of extra prizes each week. The top 100 MTT grinders are also invited to a special Leaderboard Face-Off Tournament each month. Cash game grinders are treated to a rather large $10,000 per week race that is solely based on accumulated rake, the more you grind the more you earn back!

With super soft games, upgraded software, and a generous maximum $2,500 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 four-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, Litecoin, 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.

Juicy Stakes and Intertops Poker are safe online poker rooms for US players

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 multi-table tournaments and sit-n-go's which are structured to be fast, fun, and priced just right for recreational players.

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. The initial deposit bonus for poker is an above average 200% match up to $1,000 - meaning that a mere $500 deposit will maximize your bonus potential. If you are a crypto-currency enthusiast, you will be happy to know that their cashier includes Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Bitcoin.

Horizon play now cta

Cash game player traffic picked up noticeably throughout 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. The network recently added heads up tables, so if heads up is your game, you'll want to check out one of our other recommended sites.

Juicy Stakes and Intertops offer daily freerolls for all players as well as a weekly $20,000 rake race on top of all the other promotions. 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.

Safe US Online Poker Rooms America's Cardroom, Black Chip Poker, True Poker, and Ya Poker on the Winning Poker Network

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 7th largest online poker network in the world and 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 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 WPN skins. 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 using bitcoin, we have got you covered with our bitcoin gambling guide which provides convenient pictures and step-by-step set up instructions. Payouts dependably arrive within stated time frames. Clients who prefer cash can take advantage of a unique debit card withdrawal feature that 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.

Black Chip Poker Play Now

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 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 recent iteration was a huge success, reaching a 1.4mm prize pool. As such, starting in 2018, they are offering the world's largest guaranteed Sunday tournaments clocking in with a $1,000,001 guaranteed No Limit Holdem tournament every weekend! This exceeds Poker Star's Sunday Million by $1, we suppose just so that WPN can show them who is the new big boss in poker world!

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 Poker Stars'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 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 banner and best qualities

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 online poker 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 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.

Grand Network play now cta

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.

SWC Bitcoin Poker, available to all US online poker players.

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.

SWC play now cta

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 2,000-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 the "play now" button above or continue reading our Seals With Clubs review.

Nitrogen Sports logo banner

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 Poker 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's a 100 chip guaranteed MTT for a buyin of just 5 + 0.20, and on Sunday, a 750 mBTC prize pool beckons for a price of 25 + 1 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 weekly basis, players receive entry into freerolls based upon the number of hands they play and the particular blind levels they frequent.

Nitrogen sports play now cta

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.


Poker Scam Sites to Avoid

We have informed you about the companies we recommend. We think it is perhaps even more important to inform you of the sketchy 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 disastrous theft.

***WARNING***  You may have heard about a site called Jao Poker. You probably heard about it on Facebook. Jao Poker "markets" extensively there by spamming every poker group they can manage to wiggle into. The Jao Poker site has a large element of multi-level marketing mixed in with it whereby they charge their affiliates $250 to join the site. Then, these affiliates have to go out and spam social media, poker forums, Skype groups, and any other place they can think of to draw in new affiliates and players to deposit at Jao Poker and make up for the money they have outlaid up front. No reputable online gambling site requires affiliates to pay money to join, it is free! Jao Poker is a scam of the classic MLM type.[8] On top of that, Jao is operating a site for US players, from within the United States and illegally using PayPal as well. They are violating UIGEA, Wire Act, and probably Rico statutes as well. We highly advise you to steer clear of this high scam probability poker site with very few active games. Even more bizarrely, the owner of Jao Poker has been accused of defrauding his partner by illegally selling a high dollar home in California and then illegally obtaining a bank loan with the proceeds to finance Jao. Stay far, far away from this steaming pile of garbage. Click to read even more about the Jao Poker scam.

***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.

***WARNING***  The Merge Gaming Network, once the most popular online network in the United States (circa 2013-2015), is now on our non-recommended list. Sites on this network include Carbon Poker, Players Only, and Sportsbook. Carbon Gaming at one point offered high rakeback, player friendly promotions, huge game liquidity, and friendly customer service. Then they were bought out by Jazette Enterprises, a ruthlessly money hungry casino operation who puts its players behind its profits by using second rate payment processors who cause payout delays. They also forced the removal of rakeback, cut all VIP rewards, and reduced promotions to a mere pittance. What is worse is that they broke their lifetime contracts with thousands of vendors, effectively stealing millions of dollars from previous partners. This has caused traffic to fall nearly 90% from its 2015 peak. Avoid playing on Carbon Poker and other Merge Network skins and you'll sleep better at night.

***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 three-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.



Exercise CAUTION at These Sites

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 logoGlobal Poker - This site provides games in most states. Its main appeal is that it offers payouts via PayPal, which is a great thing for players and hasn't been seen since Black Friday on any legitimate site. What gives us 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.[9] In fact, sweepstakes gambling has been tried, and failed, in numerous states such as Texas[10], North Carolina[11], and many others since the 1970s.

Such legal precedent does not inspire confidence in us that this business venture will last long-term. We are surprised PayPal has been cooperative this long and that the Feds haven't stepped in for some sort of UIGEA violation. This is in fact a real money gambling site disguised as a sweepstakes game.

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. Read our full Global Poker review for more information.

PokerMania Online logoPoker Mania - This private invite only poker group provides games to US players. Unfortunately, their Mavens software is atrocious, outdated, and not user friendly at all. It only allows play via web browser and there is currently no downloadable client. A software upgrade to Enterra client was attempted in early 2017 but it failed and was rolled back after 3 days time. Despite promises of new software "soon" nothing has yet been put forth.

Furthermore the games are segregated and pro players are stuck playing at stakes of 5/10 and above, often outside the bankroll of a midstakes or lower grinder. Getting money onto and off of this site requires the use of an "agent" which is a guy who may or may not have your best interests at heart. While the payouts have been speedy here, the process seems rather shady and we recommend that players find better places to play among our list of recommended sites.

Poker Boom - This group is another invite only private poker group that uses agents to move your money in and out of the site. It broke off from Poker Mania some time in 2016 due to a falling out of the owners of both sites. It turns out the owner of Boom used to be the largest agent on Poker Mania and when a difference of opinion formed, he broke away and created his own similar site. As of December 18th, 2017, this led to the closure of Poker Mania.

State Specific Gambling Information

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 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

In 12 years of operation Professional Rakeback has only recommended 2 poker 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.

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 poker 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.

online poker time line of significant legal and industry events

 

References

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desuetude#United_States_law
2. http://www.liebertpub.com/overview/internet-gaming-law-second-edition-revised-and-expanded/142/
3. https://www.gdcvault.com/play/1017735/Gambling-or-Gaming-How-Gambling - quoted at 11m 15s
4. http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2014/11/jw-probes-doj-quietly-reversed-online-gambling-law/
5. http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ky-court-of-appeals/1658261.html
6. https://www.scribd.com/document/103482098/U-S-vs-DiCristina-Opinion-08-21-2012
7. https://www.scribd.com/document/27300996/PPA-Massachusetts-White-Paper-on-Skill-vs-Chance
8. http://www.consumerfraudreporting.org/MLM.php
9. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-sweepstakes-games-20150625-story.html
10. https://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions%5Cpub%5C11/11-40265-CR0.wpd.pdf
11. https://nccriminallaw.sog.unc.edu/supreme-court-upholds-internet-sweepstakes-ban/


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.

Comments

Ignition Casino. Attempted to deposit $50 with Visa card twice. Declined both times.  Also, you need to advise you cannot play in tournaments with an iPad. That info would have avoided this whole mess.

We are sorry to hear that you had issues depositing. Unfortunately, credit card deposits only work about 65% of the time at offshore gambling websites. You can improve your chances of success by enabling International transactions on your credit card(s), as all deposits to offshore gaming sites are non-domestic. Alternatively, We highly recommend that you attempt to deposit with Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash in the future. These transactions can not fail and will work 100% of the time for deposits and withdrawals! We have created extensive user guides with detailed illustrations of the entire process to help make the process quick and efficient for first time users!

With regard to your other question, Ignition Casino's mobile poker app, i.e. what you were using on your iPad, does not support multi-table tournaments or single table sit and go tournaments at this time. The mobile poker app supports all Hold'em and Omaha cash games as well as all fast fold Zone Poker games. You will need to use the downloadable Windows or Mac compatible clients in order to access MTTs and SNGs.

We apologize for not including this information on this page. This page does not have full reviews of all poker sites. We have individual reviews that go into much more depth. For example, in our comprehensive Ignition Poker Review we do have that information included:

Ignition Poker System Compatibility

Ignition Poker provides downloadable software for both Windows and Mac operating systems. That’s not all – there’s also a responsive mobile client that works with iPads, iPhones, Android devices, BlackBerries, and really any modern computing platform that has an up-to-date web browser and internet access. There’s one restriction though: Mobile users cannot partake in SNGs or tournaments because only cash games are listed in the mobile poker lobby. 

Thanks to your feedback we have not only included this information in this response, but we have added it to the Ignition Casino section of this page as well.

We appreciate your help in improving our website!

Keep up the good work!

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.