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Safest Online Poker Rooms

Take a few steps to ensure that you're considering a safe poker site before you deposit.

Take a few steps to ensure that you’re considering a safe poker site before you open your wallet and make a deposit.

What makes a safe poker site?

  • Although not everything, company history and reputation make a strong case for future propriety.
  • Are there chronic payout issues? This is one big clue to a poker room in trouble.
  • License and regulation. Who are they licensed by and is it current?
  • Player experiences. How are players treated and do they become loyal regulars?

US Picks



US allowed
Visit Site Overall Rating: 8.2 Review


100% up to $1,000
Out of every US poker room on our list Bovada has the longest history, most of it under its original Bodog brand name. Initially building its brand for sports betting in the late ’90s Bovada has quietly offered one of the safest poker sites for US players since its inception.

Bovada is fully licensed and regulated in Costs Rica with their reputation largely built from treating players fairly, providing timely payouts, and offering personalized support. They’re still #1 for payouts in the US market with every withdrawal delivered within a week. Aside from the 100% bonus Bovada is easily earns a top spot on this list as a safe poker site.

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BetOnline Poker

US allowed
Visit Site Overall Rating: 8.1 Review

BetOnline Poker

200% up to $5,000 and $135 in instant free bets
While US poker rooms seem to be perpetually changing their status BetOnline is my current top US choice as a safe poker site. They have had some support growing pains but remain one of the easiest to cash out and deposit with thanks to block-free credit card deposits.

BetOnline has been licensed in Panama for over a decade and have built a solid history of player loyalty. The speed and number of cashout methods at BetOnline has never been a problem. Bonuses for new players include free tournament money and numerous freerolls.

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Sportsbetting Poker

US allowed
Visit Site Overall Rating: 8 Review

Sportsbetting Poker

200% up to $2,500 and 25% free sports bet
The relaunched Sportsbetting Poker is one of the safest poker sites in the US market thanks to new ownership that has over a decade of industry experience. This all-in-one gaming site has significant financial backing and is held to an extremely high licensing standard by the Panama government.

Credit card deposit rates at SportsBetting Poker are nearly 100% with any US credit, debit, or prepaid gift card. The payout system is also one of the few that offers numerous options to receive funds within a week at reasonable fees.

For cash game players Sportsbetting Poker is one of the loosest safe poker sites with tables active up to the $5/10 level. New players also receive instant free tournament dollars and instant free cash in the sports section.

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Safest Non-US Picks


888 Poker

Visit Site Overall Rating: 8 Review

888 Poker

100% Bonus + $88 Free Now
888 Poker could very well be the safest poker site worldwide in terms of company security. Its parent company is one of the most valuable publicly traded gaming corporations and thus players will never have a problem with cashout liquidity.

888 Poker has really improved the actual poker room from an afterthought to one of the best online with an $8 no-deposit offer for our players, busy loose tables, and strong software. The only downside is the lack of US support. As long as online poker exists 888 Poker will be alive and kicking as a safe poker site.

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In the early-to-mid 2000s online poker players, specifically those in the US, enjoyed the luxury of focusing less on finding safe poker sites and prioritizing now-forgotten features such as upfront bonuses, freerolls, and horribly loose tables.

As the industry matured and was subsequently assaulted heavily by the US government in 2006 and 2011 finding a stable safe poker site with both financial security and fair games has become more important than ever.

The cheating scandal and total financial collapse suffered by Absolute Poker/UltimateBet underscores the fact that even high profile sites do not always equal safe poker sites. The vast majority of poker rooms have a trustworthy track record and are licensed by their respective government.

However, players should be aware of the history and any potential warning signs of a new prospective poker home. In addition to only reviewing rooms we trust personally the goal of this article is qualify what makes a safe poker room and list our top picks for player safety.

License and regulation

Every safe poker site is going to be licensed and regulated by their location’s government. Usually that’s a tax-friendly island like Antigua or Malta but many are also overseen by the Kahnawake tribe in Quebec.

An active license ensures that a safe poker site has passed the certification process by its relevant government authority and is able to host games because of its good standing.


Company history

While there are certainly exceptions on both sides a longer history of player activity and successful withdrawals tends to signify a safe poker site. In as young of an industry as online poker 4 or 5 years of stability would classify as significant.

Again, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet proved that isn’t always the case but safe poker sites that have profited from player trust are almost always intelligent enough to continue what made them successful.

If a poker site has suspicious table activity (Pitbull Poker was one marked example) or unexplainable lapses in hand data they typically are exposed within a year of operation.

Payout issues?

Payment processing difficulties are the nature of the beast in US poker. However, safe poker sites with segregated player balances and sufficient cash liquidity just get payouts done.

Temporary withdrawal hiccups such as bounced checks are acceptable and perhaps even expected but one of the first signs of impending poker room doom is inconsistent payout delays and/or cancellations.

Player reputation and loyalty

There is no way to guarantee the future of any business in any industry but long-term positive player experiences may be the most logical and dependable way of determining if a room is currently a safe poker site.

My poker room reviews come from personal experience and a decade worth of riding the ups and downs of the industry. I do not recommend a poker room that I don’t feel comfortable depositing at ourselves.

I also always take into account any player feedback and scour other sources to see what other players are reporting both for safety and overall experiences.


Online Poker Ban

Is there and has there ever been an "online poker ban" in the US? Unfortunately, casual players and the general public may think so. Here I examine what has actually happened and what this means for US players.


Poker’s Black Friday

A recap of one of the most significant days in online poker history - April 15, 2011 - in which the US Department of Justice attacked 3 of the largest online poker rooms still servicing American players.


Safe Poker Sites

While no website, online poker or otherwise, could be considered 100% "safe" there are certain markers that tend to show health and long-term outlook. Here I rank which poker rooms exceed in terms of history, payout strength, reputation, and lack of scandals.


Cash Transfer for Poker Deposits

One of the most popular deposit and withdrawals options remaining for US poker rooms, cash transfer is likely the quickest way for Americans to get their withdrawals. What is cash transfer and how and where do you use it?


Legal Poker Sites

What do I consider a "legal" poker site and what are the best US options for players looking for a licensed and regulated company?

USA Online Poker

USA Online Poker

A quick guide to get players up to speed on the state of USA online poker. What is the current best way to fund your account and how are the games once you get there?


Poker Websites for US Players

7 challenges facing US poker players, why they exist, and how to best deal with each one. Includes poker websites that still support US residents.


Where to Play Online Poker from the US

Despite a decade of attacks online poker remains an available option to US players, albeit an ever-evolving puzzle full of moving parts. Here's an updated rundown on reputable poker rooms still open to the US to make things as easy as possible on prospective players.


Party Poker for US Players

A look at the history of US gameplay at Party Poker, how they exited the American market, and speculation on if they will attempt a re-entry at some point. Includes real-money alternatives for current US players.


Full Tilt Poker For US Players

Are US players currently accepted at Full Tilt Poker? Tracing the history and fall from grace of the former darling of online poker's Golden Age.

No Responses to “Full Tilt Poker For US Players”

    1. Hi, thanks for the question. I’m not familiar with them personally, but what I have heard hasn’t been good.

      I had a quick look and I believe they’re on the Revolution network? If so, I would advise any player to stay as far away as possible.

  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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