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Legal Poker Sites


“I want to find legal poker sites to play online for real money. Where can I go?”

Below, I’ve listed my top suggestions for US players looking to safely play online poker for real money. Besides the regulations that these sites abide by, one of the most important issues US players face is easily depositing and withdrawing from their accounts.

The following sites all have viable banking methods. Keep in mind that these are only legal poker sites in their own jurisdictions so you should check with your local laws prior to playing for real money.


BetOnline Poker

US allowed
Visit Site Overall Rating: 8.1 Review

BetOnline Poker

200% up to $5,000 and $135 in instant free bets
Initially licensed in Costa Rica back in 2001 under a different brand name BetOnline moved to Panama in 2004, where it has since maintained its license and headquarters as a legal poker site.

BetOnline claims to have had an industry presence as a sportsbook since 1991. They are based out of one of the largest and most up-to-date facilities in the industry with several hundred employees subject to annual inspection.

They recently expanded their offerings to include an independent poker platform, which accepts all US players. This site has mostly built a rock-solid reputation over the years due to quick payouts, reliable deposit methods, and personalized customer service.

As a new legal poker site licensed in Panama, BetOnline has always accepted all US players and is the only remaining US poker room to offer both e-check and block-free credit card deposits. Making an e-check deposit is essentially like writing a check online and doesn’t require signing up with a third-party e-wallet.

While credit card deposits are offered at every US poker room BetOnline is the only one to process them at a near-100% success rate. Payouts are also offered in several more options than competing poker rooms with funds delivered within a week for below-average fees.

Besides the easy deposits and payouts the other main draw of BetOnline is the extremely loose player base with flop percentages often exceeding 40% for full 10-seated cash games. As the poker section is quite new the player traffic is also impressive, rivaling the size of longer-tenured US poker rooms.

The bonus for our new players includes free tournament cash and a 25% instant cash bonus in the sports section. Positives: fully licensed in Panama, accepts all US players, excellent credit card deposit rates, loose tables, e-check deposits.

Best aspects: licensed and located in Antigua, compliant with the UK Gambling Commission, instant cash bonus, US credit cards accepted block-free.


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US allowed
Visit Site Overall Rating: 8.2 Review


100% up to $1,000
One of the more popular legal mainstays in the US market has been Bovada (previously known as Bodog). The 2012 sale to a separate corporate entity and subsequent brand name change to Bovada helps to secure its safe status in the US.

Once considered a new and niche poker site, Bovada is now one of the most popular US poker rooms and one of my current top-rated sites. They also have one of the more unique histories in terms of licensing and regulation.

Originally based in Antigua, Bovada has maintained that license for international gaming but has secured an additional license with the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in Canada. This allows them to offer gaming to North Americans and be accepted as a legal poker site by the Quebec government.

Ultimately, as a combination sportsbook/casino/poker room Bovada is as close to a mainstream legal poker site as you can get with sections of their enterprise dealing with everything from music publishing to martial arts fighting.

In terms of the poker room they have one of the most user-friendly software packages, a historically young and aggressive (read maniacal and ready to gamble) player base, and caters to the US market with an exclusive deposit system using existing credit cards.

US withdrawal times are also especially noteworthy with checks arriving in less than a week. Our new Bovada players also receive an increased 100% bonus an additional 50% free bet in the sports section in order to win additional bonus funds.

Claim your 100% up to $1,000 bonus now



Sportsbetting Poker

US allowed
Visit Site Overall Rating: 8 Review

Sportsbetting Poker

200% up to $2,500 and 25% free sports bet
The path of the current SportsBetting Poker towards becoming a legal poker site has been an interesting one. As one of the original names in online betting back in the 1990s the parent company of SportsBetting Poker had taken a dubious path towards neglect and outright theft of player funds following the US legislative issues of 2006 and 2011.

It originally held a trusted license from Antigua and Barbuda, a common territory of gaming companies. Fortunately, the BetOnline Group purchased and resurrected the brand name in 2012. The purchase also allowed SportsBetting Poker to obtain legal poker site status from the Panama government, a rare but powerful country to hold a license from.

Panama typically exceeds the regulation, documentation, and licensing standards required by territories with more licensees. The new owners have gone so far as to refunding players that had been denied winnings from the previous owners, which shows a commitment to rebuilding a positive reputation.

For players searching for a legal poker site this is a strong US option thanks to its excellent deposit rates, extremely profitable cash games, and sufficiently-staffed telephone customer service center. This is one of the very few remaining legal poker sites that can boast a near-100% deposit rate for credit cards, debit cards, and even prepaid gift cards to maintain anonymity.

There are also no fees involved with any deposit method. SportsBetting Poker is also now on a stable aged poker network with some of the loosest cash games in any market, largely filled with low-experience wanderers from the casino or sports section.

Players visiting from our site also receive free tournament dollars and an instant cash bonus available immediately in the sports section.

Positives: located and regulated in Panama, crediting unpaid players from old owners, near-100% deposit rates, excellent payout system.


Claim your 200% up to $2500 bonus now

Sportsbook Poker

US allowed
Visit Site Overall Rating: 4.5 Review

Sportsbook Poker

200% up to $2,000
With deep industry roots going back to 1996, Sportsbook Poker is licensed by the Antiguan government and has won numerous “Best of” US gaming site awards. As is the case with most of the long-tenured all-in-one gaming sites the parent company have a history of strong assets and liquidity.

One of the most significant developments was the acquisition of UK Gambling commission license, which gives further credence to this being a legal poker site as it is one of the most sought-after gaming licenses in the world.

This is one of the better all-around US options with strong traffic, promotions, and credit card deposits that are rarely declined. Another significant positive of this site on the player side is the extremely loose player base, which is certainly one of the most inexperienced online.

With online poker’s largest non-US sites seemingly tightening up more and more each day, it’s refreshing to find a legal poker site in Sportsbook Poker that still serves up the good old-fashioned online fish.

Our new players also receive a no-strings-attached 10-25% instant sports/casino cash bonus on their first deposit in addition to another 200% earned through poker gameplay. In terms of easy deposits, this is one of the only legal poker sites to accept US credit cards block-free.

Best aspects: licensed and located in Antigua, compliant with the UK Gambling Commission, instant cash bonus, US credit cards accepted block-free.

Claim your $2000 bonus now

What Makes a “Legal Poker Site”?

Unfortunately, until the hypocritical domestic laws are changed in the US no online gaming site (poker or otherwise) is going to be stamped with a seal of approval from the DOJ. However, as I’ve tried to cover above, simply playing at these sites isn’t illegal.

What I consider to be a legal poker site is one that complies with independent random number generator testing agencies and is certified by its relevant home government. All of the poker sites I link to fall under that category.

Another positive is that the countries hosting our listed online poker sites aren’t third-world tax havens handing out certifications to any shady outfit with a big wallet. Many legal poker sites are owned and operated out of Canada, Great Britain, the Netherlands, or one of their territories.

Those certainly aren’t governments with lax rules about who they do business with. The US is way behind the times when it comes to the optimal way to handle online gaming: regulate the games to ensure they’re honest, implement safeguards for underage and problem gaming, and tax the revenues to go towards other civil services.



First of all, let me preface this response by assuring you that I am not an attorney and do not pretend to provide any sort of legal advice. However, the simple truth is that online gaming is, and always has been, in a gray legal area. More specifically, the laws surrounding strictly online poker site operators have never been clarified.

Despite the fact that the US government occasionally decides to pursue legal action against offshore sportsbetting sites, there has never been a single documented case of a US resident being prosecuted for playing online poker.

Even if some antiquated law against betting exists in random cities and states it has never been enforced. As long as players pay taxes on all of their income, both gambling and otherwise, the government has little concern with what you do with your own money online.

So, what was all the fuss about when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was signed into law? The most important conclusion is that it had nothing to do with whether or not legal poker sites for US players still existed. The UIGEA tries to enforce restrictions on the way banks do business with online gambling sites.

The corrupt 11th hour passing of this bill makes it more difficult for poker players to fund their accounts but, fortunately, numerous easy methods still exist for hard-working tax-paying citizens to spend their money how they see fit. There are plenty of poker sites legal in their respective jurisdiction to choose from.


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No Responses to “Full Tilt Poker For US Players”

  1. I can’t believe it. A legit poker site review page. Everyone claims their the best, hell some still promote Lock Poker. Which I have wrote asking them how much Lock is paying them and how do they live their lives knowing what a piece of **** they are for steering some newb their way. You did a very informative thorough article on my fave site. But I have to disagree with you on one point. You keep going back to how low the tourney traffic is. Well in a let’s say 2K GTD. tournament I would figure you want fewer people. The tournament doesnt take forever and with less people that means there are less people who are better than you. So its a win, win. Give that some thought.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Yeah, it disgusts me as well, which is why I talk a lot about being trying to be different than other poker review sites out there.

      So many are so clearly biased by money that it borders on (or sometimes outright qualifies as) dishonesty when sites actually are still willing to send players to scam poker rooms. Lock is one example. I stopped linking to them years ago.

      You’re right that lower tournament traffic can be an positive in terms of overlays and time investment. I touch on that in the tournament section. However, when most of the events draw less than 100 players it’s just not a serious feature for a lot of tournament players.

      Full Flush is still fine for quick low-stakes events to play alongside a cash game.

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