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Online Poker United States

Online Poker in the United States


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The United States online poker market has settled down nicely in the years following the passage of the UIGEA. With online poker still growing there has been plenty of demand from the largest operators as well as enough new players to still make startup US sites successful.

Despite media disinformation and gossip from the uninformed the act of playing online poker in the United States isn’t illegal and there are a number of sites that offer hassle-free deposit methods. Most notably, United States players can now use any domestic credit card directly at a number of sites and others also accept checking accounts directly.

Most encouraging is the fact that United States online poker is slowly returning to its pre-UIGEA form with plenty of playing and deposit options. One of our favorite pieces of advice to give new online poker players is to be picky and choose a poker room based on your top priorities. With the current expanding landscape of online poker in the United States, players can still do that without running out of choices.

Our goal in this article is to give American players unsure of how to easily navigate the current market a complete overview of online poker in the United States. We’ll briefly touch where you can still play, easiest sites to make a US deposit, various deposit/withdrawal methods, and a note on legal aspects.

Online Poker for United States Players

Below we’ve ranked our top 10 choices for online poker rooms available to United States citizens. While there are other small rooms accepting US players, one of these 10 sites would be our top suggestion to new players.

RankPoker SiteUSRatingSign Up BonusReview
1 BetOnline PokerUS allowed8.1/5200% up to 200% up to $5000Visit Site
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2 Sportsbetting PokerUS allowed8/5200% up to 200% up to $2500Visit Site
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3 America's CardroomUS allowed7.9/5100% up to 100% up to $1,000Visit Site
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4 Full Flush PokerUS allowed7.4/5150% up to 150% up to $600 and 20% instant cashVisit Site
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5 Carbon PokerUS allowed4.5/5200% up to $5000Visit Site
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6 Sportsbook PokerUS allowed4.5/5200% up to $2000Visit Site
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7 BovadaUS allowed8.2/5100% up to 100% up to $1,000Visit Site
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Easiest United States Deposit Methods

Perhaps more difficult than actually choosing a poker room, finding consistent ways to deposit has been an up-and-down battle for online poker in the United States. Fortunately, several poker rooms offer simple deposit options without the need for a third-party e-wallet. The following methods are the easiest and most user-friendly available:

Credit Card (Visa/Mastercard): Despite most online poker transactions being blocked by US banks, a growing number of poker rooms accept all US credit cards block-free. Our top choice for credit card deposits is BetOnline. Besides the near-100% acceptance rate for US credit/debit cards, they offer our players an exclusive deposit bonus, including free tournament entries, and very loose tables. A second choice would be Sportsbook Poker, who also successfully processes US cards at a near-100% rate and offers an instant sports bonus.

Checking Account: Direct deposit via checking account, a popular pre-UIGEA deposit method for online poker in the United States, has made a comeback with at least one US poker room. Players write an electronic check by providing their routing number, checking account number, and the deposit amount. Deposits are processed instantly without any additional fees. The only current option for United States checking account deposits is BetOnline, which requires speaking with customer service to check availability.

Cash Transfer/Paper Methods: An extremely widespread option is the cash transfer service, which is available at nearly every US convenience/grocery store. Almost every room that offers online poker in the United States accepts cash transfers and/or MoneyGram either through the cashier or upon request. Top poker rooms that accept cash transfers include SportsBetting Poker and Bovada. If necessary, ask these poker rooms about mailing in checks or money orders.

A Note on Withdrawals

While easy deposit methods are important, they’re only as strong as the withdrawals offered for players to collect their winnings. Though it has been reported that United States players have had trouble cashing paper checks, we’ve never had an issue personally nor have we heard any negative feedback from our players. We’d like to see more sites follow the lead of BetOnline and Sportsbook Poker, specifically, by great undercutting the payout processing time of their competition. The paper check services from both of these poker rooms have been quick and reliable with other options such as wire transfers available for larger payouts.

Legal Opinion on Online Poker in the United States

Surprisingly, the passage of the UIGEA in late 2006 didn’t change the landscape of online poker in the United States. In fact, the act didn’t even mention poker in its language. Despite poor media reporting sensationalizing this law as banning online gaming it is actually a financial bill. The UIGEA attempts to regulate the banking industry into disallowing payments made to online gaming sites. Unfortunately for the government, this is nearly unenforceable and the banking industry has strongly opposed it. Read our “Why Online Poker Isn’t Illegal” article for a more in-depth look at this issue and our recent overview of poker’s Black Friday.

Despite the vague nature of the UIGEA and several counterattacks by the House and Senate, many of the largest sites shut their doors to online poker players in the United States. The motivation was more out of fear of being nabbed by the overzealous Department of Justice or to appease stockholders rather than actually complying with this law. Obviously, from our list above, that isn’t a view that the entire industry shares.

Poker players can also take a little comfort that sportsbetting companies have the greatest attention from the US government. In fact, a poker-only operator has never been hounded by the Feds. If you’d like to view more of our US poker coverage, try our full US Poker Rooms page or our USA Online Poker page.

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