Best US Poker Rooms for Real Money in 2013
The goal for our site is to be a comprehensible guide to online poker for US players. The laws are confusing and with events like Black Friday it's reasonable to assume that playing online poker is illegal, and at the very least a grey area.
Getting started online can be an intimidating step too. Even if you determine it's ok to play from your area, how confident are you about the room itself? Is it safe from the US government? Are they safe? How can you be sure?
That's why our site exists. To make everything as clear as possible. To give you all the facts so that you can choose whether or not to play online. And if so, advice on where you should play, what sites to avoid and how to tell between the two.
your a poker player from the USA, you will
know how difficult it is finding an online
room that accepts US players. Even when
you do find one you may not be able to deposit
since not all rooms offer USA friendly payment
options. Let us help you find which
online poker for us players.
All of the rooms we have listed on this site are well known and reliable. They offer multiple solutions for funding your accounts and great bonuses for new players. USA Poker Rooms also features a section to help USA players find an online casino that again accepts players from the United States and provides funing options for you. If your unsure of any of the USA payment methods, we have complete reviews for you including how to set up your accounts.
Below is our list of the best US poker sites. This page was last updated
Mobile Poker & Gambling Apps
Mobile poker and gambling in general is quickly becoming one of the best ways to play poker or gambling online. The smartphones and tablets have made it possible to play your favourite games from anywhere - bet it home, at work or at school. If you haven’t played poker on your iPhone or Android device you really are missing out. For the most part the graphics are exactly the same, meaning no loss in quality and the apps have been designed to perform as best as possible given the screen size. Below we’re provided dedicated pages to each USA mobile app available.
Android Poker Apps
Find out which sites offering real money poker or gambling apps. USA players accepted!
Blackberry Poker Apps
A list of gambling and poker sites that accept US players and offer Blackberry apps.
Windows Poker Apps
Have a Windows phone? No problem, we list the best poker apps for USA players using Windows.
iPad Poker Apps
This page offers reviews of the leading real money iPhone & iPad online poker apps.
Real Money United States Poker Sites
There are still real money poker sites that accept United States players. More and more seem to enter the market everyday, as a void was created when the larger poker sites left the market in early 2011. So you do have options. The trick is determining which site is safe and worth your time.
The hardest part is determining if a site is safe and reputable, especially since many of these sites are new. We have no history to base our decisions from. So the best thing to do at this point is to read our reviews and forum posts to learn more about their site. Are they licensed, regulated and have a good reputation so far? If the answer is 'no' to any of these questions I'd just pass on the site. Also make sure the site is on a non .com domain name. That was essentially the DOJ's "in" on Black Friday. So sites with a .eu, .ag and .lv domain names will be a safer bet.
How Americans Can Make Deposits Online
Another difficult part of playing online poker from the US is making a deposit.
The deposit process itself isn't difficult. It's finding a method that is both available to US players and accepted by the poker sites. Then dealing with the approvals/declines of said methods.
The deposit options that are most likely to work are Visa, Mastercard, Western Union and echeck. Many of the top US accepting poker sites have an acceptance rate of 65+ percent. So it's a good idea to be prepared to have to call the poker site, or have a backup payment method ready, just in case your initial attempt to make a deposit is declined. Ultimately though, US players will be able to find a poker site to play at and make a deposit in 2013. We'll be here to help.
An Intro to the UIGEA
People misunderstand what the UIGEA is. The common mistake is to think of it as the bill that made online poker illegal for US players. (Of course, it doesn't help when you see every foreign poker site leave the US market after the UIGEA took place.)
But lets clear that up now. What is the UIGEA?
The UIGEA is a piece of legislation that was attached to the Safe Port Act. What the UIGEA does is "prohibits gambling businesses from knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in a bet or wager that involves the use of the internet and that is unlawful under any federal or state law."
In English that means that banks, credit unions and other financial institutes are not supposed to complete transactions from you to the poker site and vice versa. They're supposed to block them and decline your checks.
A good example of what the UIGEA does is Black Friday. The poker sites that were indicted were indicted because of money laundering and bank fraud (amongst other charges). Since it was illegal for banks to complete transactions, these poker sites found other ways to move the funds including creating fake shell companies.
That's it -- the act makes it illegal to process payments, not play online poker.
That doesn't mean people don't have the right to be confused. What is "unlawful internet gambling?" It's not clear. The Act mentions games of chance, sports betting and excludes things like fantasy sports and trading futures, so long as it's allowed on a state level. But games of chance is subjective. Poker is viewed by players as a game of skill. And that's been a debate on a state level now for the past few years. That's essentially the loophole that makes it difficult to prosecute players, at least on a federal level.
UIGEA Controversy - Does the UIGEA Make it Legal or Illegal to Play US Poker Online?
There's a lot of controversy around the UIGEA. It's sad, really. The UIGEA was attached to the Safe Port Act, which was considered a "must pass" bill. In the initial drafts of the bill the UIGEA was nowhere to be seen. It was later added by Bill Frist and Jon Kyl, and was not read nor voted on by anyone in congress. So essentially the UIGEA was forced through congress. Who knows what would've happened if the bill was actually read and/or voted on.
Legality of Online Poker is the USA
The legality of online poker has come down to a state level. The federal government is giving each state the ability to make their own choices as to whether they want to allow online gambling or not.
So is online poker legal? In a word, yes, but only in 2/3 of the states. In many states it's not allowed, and in a few, like Washington State, online poker is a felony. Here are the states that are against online poker:
- New York
- South Dakota
Some states are worse than others. However, you'll find that for many US accepting poker sites that the (stricter) states don't have to step in at all. To more likely cover themselves, many poker sites now block players from these states from signing up for an account. If you go to the sign-up menu you'll notice that these states aren't in the dropdown menu.
If you live in one of these states that doesn't mean you can't play poker online or at a US online casino. Well, by law you can't (or shouldn't). What I mean is that you do have options, just fewer options than someone who lives in a more poker-friendly state.
Heading into 2013 though, you should expect to see more and more real money poker sites pop up. But they will be on a state level. Nevada is well on their way to launching state level poker sites in early 2013, and states like New Jersey and Florida are in the process of making it legal.
I'm of the opinion now that state level poker won't do very well. Poker rooms need players to thrive, and if global sites have a hard enough time with 2-3k players on their site, I can't imagine "intrastate" poker sites will do any better. Of course, intrastate poker may lead to online poker being legal on a federal level, which would be great.
Only time will tell, though.