In all my years in the gaming industry, one of the questions that I get asked the most is which are the best online poker sites. With so many sites to choose from, finding the top online poker sites can be very challenging but you do not have to worry about that anymore. In this guide, I will be recommending some of the ones that are worth your time and money. I have skillfully selected all of them based on a stringent review process that looks into a number of different things including security, design and cashier systems
As if that is not enough, this guide delves into the realms of legislation in order to give you a deeper insight into what the legal landscape looks like in the context of online poker. That said, this a great guide for both beginners and seasoned poker players looking to learn more about the sector.
The Best Online Poker Sites
As mentioned earlier, there are tons of great online gambling sites and each of them has something different to offer. However, they are not built the same way, and just like I did, you will come to find that some are better than others. For online poker players, the only way that you can truly enjoy the experience is by only going for the top online poker sites.
There is definitely a lot of competition in the sector – poker sites come and go from time to time.
In my opinion, these are the best poker sites in 2021:
BetOnline is one of the most popular online casino brands thanks to its robust products and services. This robustness extends all the way to its poker offering, which is, by all means, one of the most polished ones. Rather than focusing on delivering on a plethora of games, the operator offers a solid range of handpicked poker games that will appeal to just about any kind of poker player.
The online poker room is legally accessible in some states the United States of America as well as in several international markets. As such, whether you prefer pyramid poker, single-hand games, or multi-hand poker games, there will be something for you to enjoy. To top it all off, in addition to all of the casino bonuses, BetOnline also offers some special poker bonuses for its customers to enjoy. It also checks all the right boxes when it comes to payment options, customer care, and mobile compatibility. What more could you ask for?
Bovada Online Poker
This is another online poker room that I have really enjoyed playing at not just because of its outstanding selection of poker games but also because of its exquisite design, the robust payment system, the state-of-the-art security features as well as its amazing bonuses and promotions. The online poker site has been in operation for years which means that it definitely has all that it takes to deliver on world-class poker experiences, something that it does extremely well.
The site is so good that there are always people asking about it. The phrase “Is Bovada Poker legal in the US” is commonly searched on Google. Well, the site is an offshore site and therefore players in the United States can comfortably enjoy its services without having to worry about getting into any sort of trouble. US poker players have been able to play poker on the site for close to a decade now, something that goes further to prove that it is trustworthy, a key feature of the best online poker sites.
If you are looking for a site that not only delivers the best poker experience but also excels at being customer-friendly, you should definitely give Bovada a shot. To top it all off, you will get to enjoy all that action regardless of whether you are playing on mobile or on a desktop.
Americas Cardroom Poker
Americas Cardroom prides itself on being “the hottest poker room online”, a title that it is quite justifiably deserved owing to its excellent reputation in the iGaming sector. To begin with, the site’s online poker room is part of the Winning Poker Network and thus benefits from all the perks that come with being a part of that network. These perks include incredibly action-packed cash games and tournaments with mind-blowing prizes. Who would want to miss out on that? There are even jackpot games for players who are looking to win big.
All other aspects of the site are also beyond reproach. For instance, the payment system is very efficient, its bonuses and promotions are among the best I have seen and it is optimized to work flawlessly on a wide range of devices. The customer support services are also among the best ones I have ever had the chance of interacting with. This all adds up to a memorable poker experience that I can comfortably recommend to both newbies and seasoned poker grinders.
Mobile Poker Sites
If your mobile phone is your main gaming device, you can enjoy playing poker in two different ways. The first way is by loading the URL directly on your mobile device’s browser and the second way is by downloading a dedicated application that is provided by the poker operator or is available on the application stores. In essence, the difference is usually very minute thanks to all of the optimizations that have been done to make mobile gaming as accessible as possible.
Lots of people prefer browser-based mobile poker sites since they do not involve the hassle of finding and downloading any extra applications. Still, mobile poker apps can deliver on unique experience complete with push notifications and a more device-integrated experience. However, for the best online poker app real money experience it is important to stick to genuine apps that are delivered by a reputable operator.
Lots of the best poker sites 2020, including the ones that I have recommended, have done a great job when it comes to delivering world-class mobile gambling experiences. Even if you are used to playing on desktop, you can rest assured that you will not miss a thing if you decide to switch to mobile poker gaming.
US Deposit Options
One of the most important things for poker players in the United States is the ability to easily make deposits to their accounts. All of the top online poker sites I have reviewed have integrated multiple robust payment services which make moving funds a breeze for all customers. Since there is usually more than one deposit option available on these sites, you might be wondering which ones are the best. Well, there are lots of great ones currently available to players in the United States but there are some that really impressed me. To put this into perspective, here is a detailed summary of all that they have to offer.
Digital currencies have gradually grown to become a huge part of the global economy. In the United States, if you are looking for a deposit option that offers unmatched speed, privacy, and security then cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum should be your first choices. While Bitcoin is by far the most popular digital currency, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash also offer services that are just good. All of the best poker sites 2020 such as the ones I am recommending will be accepting Bitcoin and even other digital currencies. Since they are decentralized, you will never need to worry about your money being held back due to regulatory hiccups. Moreover, you can use to make payments to any part of the globe including online poker sites.
Needless to say, Visa is one of the most popular payment methods for poker players in the United States. Even post the UIGEA 2006, some banks were still prohibited from allowing online casino payments and therefore the success of your payments to online poker sites will depend on the bank that issued your Visa card. Fortunately, online poker has been legalized in a number of states and this has made it much easier to add funds to online poker accounts. All of the sites mentioned above accept Visa payments and they are very secure – your financial info and funds will always be protected.
Visa payments are rarely rejected when making online poker deposits, that is, especially if the site in question is reputable and has been around for years. All in all, you can expect fast, safe and reliable deposits if you decide to use this method to fund your online poker site account.
Just like Visa, MasterCard is a very popular payment method in the United States. In fact, if you have a bank account then you probably already have a MasterCard. When it comes to making payments to your online poker site account, it is also a widely accepted option especially if you are in one of the growing number of states where online poker has been legalized. Some banks and payment services still adhere to federal laws and may block online casino payments.
Fortunately, so long as you are playing on a reputable online gambling site, you can rest assured of being treated to safe, efficient, and transparent services. These features are very important especially considering the fact that the card is linked to your bank account. You should go with a debit card if possible. As if that is not enough, customers do not incur any fees whenever they use MasterCard to make deposits. The process is also very straightforward which makes it very easy to get started on your favorite online poker games.
AMEX (American Express)
As its name suggests, American Express (AMEX) is a truly American payment service provider. It is best known for being the most highly secured and exclusive card on the planet. AMEX also offers unmatched convenience something that online poker players using the sites I have recommended will definitely appreciate. They will be able to make safe and secure deposits in minutes in a few simple steps.
While the card may have some annual fees, most people using it will not mind it because all of the features it offers are worth it. In fact, the users even get to benefit from special perks such as a loyalty program and mobile access. Its mobile app makes everything even easier for mobile poker players since they do not have to worry about keying in payment details whenever they want to make a deposit. All in all, if you are the kind of player who loves premium services and want to get a touch of luxury, AMEX is built with you in mind.
Is Online Poker Legal?
Online poker is legal in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Nevada but this does not mean that players in other states do not get to enjoy some of the online poker action. While only a few operators in a select number of states are allowed to enjoy the poker action in the country, players are not prohibited from playing at any of the available offshore online poker sites. There are a few downsides but so long as you are playing at the reputable sites you will have nothing to worry about.
Now, online poker is governed by different laws across different states in the United States. However, online poker gaming is in a sort of a grey area when viewed from the player’s point of view. This basically means that even though you will not get into trouble for playing at offshore online poker sites in states where poker has not been legalized, you will not be able to enjoy some legal safeguards. Still, as mentioned earlier, this will not be much of an issue if you are playing at a reputable offshore online poker site.
What is UIGEA?
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, otherwise referred to as the UIGEA is federal legislation that is largely considered to be an anti-gambling law. In essence, the UIGEA prohibits financial institutions or payment service providers in the United States from knowingly processing payments for gambling activities that are considered to be illegal in the context of state and federal laws.
As stipulated by the UIGEA, the financial institutions in question are required to implement very strong screening processes during account creation to ensure that illegal commercial internet service providers or related entities are filtered out. In addition to that, the law further requires that the institutions implement policies and procedures designed to prevent any kind of credit card or debit card payments to illegal online casinos.
The only exceptions as it stands are checks, wire transactions, and ACH payments. Financial institutions do not, therefore, need to have policies and procedures to monitor and prevent these kinds of transactions.
Why Was the UIGEA Passed?
After the launch of online gambling, it did not take long before the sector surpassed initial expectations. Keeping that in mind, in 2002, lawmakers in the United States determined that the existing Federal Wire Act did not cover online gambling. Following years of discussion about how to go about the issues, the UIGEA was passed in 2006 after being added at the last minute to the SAFE Port Act. The goal of the law was to regulate the rapidly growing online gambling industry.
How Did It Affect Online Poker?
The UIGEA is one of the main reasons why online poker in the United States is plagued with lots of complications. After it was passed, the law sent the online poker industry into disarray and even though some states have since been legalized online poker, the sector is still a shell of what it was before 2006. A number of poker operators exited the US market after the law was passed since they could no longer offer their services as a result of the prohibition of payment processing. Things are not nearly as bad as they were before since many states have either legalized or are considering legalizing online poker but still the impacts of the law are felt to date.
How Does the UIGEA Affect Poker Players?
It is very important to note that the UIGEA only relates to the processing of financial transactions and not to actual gaming. This means that poker players will not find any real money online poker sites operating in the states where the activity has not been legalized. However, poker players in the United States will not get into any trouble for enjoying online gambling through offshore gambling sites that are legal and regulated. Even so, they will still need to deal with the limitations when it comes to payment processing. Thankfully, there are several services such as digital currencies that have come in handy when it comes to addressing the issue.
The Cataclysmic ‘Black Friday’ Event
Other than the date the UIGEA was passed, April 15, 2011, which is commonly referred to as Black Friday is perhaps the worst day in the history of US poker. On that date, the country’s federal government through the Department of Justice issued an indictment against Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, and PokerStars, which were the largest online poker operators in the country. This was a huge roadblock that significantly slowed down the online poker boom that had began about ten years prior.
This was a pretty huge change but despite its devastating effects, it led to the intrastate poker regulations, something that has seen to the return of legal online poker in some states. Federal regulation of poker is still quite far-fetched but with so many states on board, poker players in several states have legal and regulated gaming options to enjoy.
The State of Online Poker
Even though poker is enjoyed by players from all over the world, the legality of the game varies from place to the next. In some countries, the game is completely prohibited while in some places, there are places where it is totally legal. Fortunately, since the game is now largely considered to be a sport, it is increasingly being considered for legalization in so many places. Soon, legal and regulated online poker rooms will be available in more places than ever before. Needless to say, the sector is very lucrative something that will definitely drive up interest – it is already worth hundreds of millions and rising.
As it stands, poker players in the United States have access to locally regulated live online poker rooms in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and New Jersey. But that is just the beginning. Other states including West Virginia and Michigan have their sights set on the industry and they have already crafted laws that will allow poker operators to offer their services within the state borders. Laws are changing fast.
At the aforementioned states, customers can already enjoy some action at some of the best US online poker sites. These allow players to play for free and enjoy some real money poker action without any restrictions.
The United Kingdom is very friendly to gambling businesses – these are allowed to operate within its borders under the oversight of reputable gaming regulators. Just like many other forms of gambling in the United States, online poker is completely legal in the country. This has been the case for over a decade with the Gambling Act of 2005 marking the biggest turning point for the industry. That said, for anyone in the UK that loves to play poker, there are tons of great online poker sites that are not only legal but also regulated and licensed to ensure they are operating fairly.
In Canada, playing online poker is not illegal and no one has ever gotten into any trouble for doing that. The only prohibitions that are currently stipulated by the country’s laws relate to the gambling operators. In essence, any company that any operator that is based in the country must hold a full gambling license. As a matter of fact, there are even some government-owned provincial online poker sites operating in the country. In addition to that, there are hundreds of great offshore online poker sites that offer products and services that are tailored for Canadian poker players. All you need to do is find one that meets all of your needs.
With regard to individuals, playing online poker in Australia does not attract any penalties or punishments. The country’s laws only prohibit poker operators from setting up shop within its borders, something that resembles the situation in the United States. That said, Australian poker players can still enjoy some action at offshore online poker sites – there are a plethora of these accepting Australian players. While there may be some risks due to the lack of local regulation, poker players in the country are assured of the best services if they stick to reputable sites. Fortunately, there are a good number of these available.
US-Regulated Poker vs. Offshore-Regulated
When it comes to choosing between US-regulated or Offshore online poker sites, it usually comes down to preferences. US-based poker sites are currently only available in states where online poker has been legalized while the offshore sites can be accessed from virtually anywhere.
Obviously, if you in one of the states where poker is legalized US poker sites will be the best option. Still, so long as you are playing at a reputable offshore site, the experience will still be very good.
US-Regulated Poker Sites
Some of the US-regulated poker sites for players in the country include:
- Party Poker USA
- 888 Poker USA
- Borgata Poker
- PokerStars NJ
- Delaware Poker
- PlayMGM Poker USA
- Dover Downs
Offshore Poker Sites
Offshore operators offer some of the best poker gambling sites for players from all around the world. So long as you are playing at a reputable offshore online poker site, you should rest assured that the experience will be top-notch.
Listed below are some of the best sites for poker players in the United States:
- Ignition Casino
- Grand Poker
- Blockchain Poker
Legal Poker Sites
The top legal poker sites are, of course, those that have been licensed by local regulators. This is because they offer the best kind of assurance. However, if you do not have access to legal online poker sites within your jurisdiction, you do not have to look too hard as there are lots of great offshore poker sites offering you services that are just as good. In most of the countries I have been to, while poker operators may be prohibited, players are still free to play at any poker site of their choosing. There are a few risks but lots of offshore sites match up to locally licensed sites in terms of fairness and trustworthiness.
Best Poker Training Sites
Poker takes quite a bit of time to truly master but if you would like to get better at the game much faster then you might want to consider some online poker training sites. With enough poker training, you will be able to quickly improve your poker skills and learn how to use various strategies to your advantage. I have researched these resources and after going through tons of them, here are the ones that I consider to be the top poker training sites:
- RaiseYourEdge.com – This is the premier poker training site that will help you take your poker gaming to the next level.
- ThePokerForge.com – A focused and guided training site that will forge you into a pro in no time.
- AdvancedPokerTraining.com – An AI-powered training site that adjusts to your gaming style while helping you improve.
- Splitsuit.com – The site that packs a plethora of articles, videos, and coaching material to help you become a better poker grinder.
- BluffTheSpot.com – Get the best tips to fast track your journey to becoming the ultimate poke pro.
Beginner Poker Strategy
Learning how to play poker is one thing but mastering the game and becoming really good at it is a totally different ball game. As a beginner, you will certainly need all the help you can get on your way to becoming a poker pro and this is exactly where our guide comes in. Not only does it take you through the basic rules but also ushers you into the finer details related to poker strategy. Moreover, if you are looking for the best poker resources to improve your gameplay, there are recommendations to many of the best ones. Start off your gaming adventure with this handy guide and you will be playing against the pros in no time.
Advanced Poker Strategy
Playing poker as a professional is no easy task but nothing quite comes close to being pitted against great players and being in line for a huge payout. Poker is a game of wit and skill, despite the fact that luck plays a role in the outcome. Even so, with an advanced strategy, you will have all that it takes to play at just about any poker table and stand a pretty good chance of winning. On that note, if you are looking for some great pointers you will definitely be impressed by the info that our amazing guide has to offer. We bring together all the best insights from the very best poker players to take your experience to even higher levels.
Expert Poker Strategy
Playing poker to earn a living instead of fun needs extra efforts. I have seen poker players who never took their time to decide on settling for playing professional poker. As a result, big losses alongside disappointments came by since they never considered expert poker tips.
Ultimately, playing expert-level poker is a journey but not a destination. Tons of practise, especially in professional poker online, is a ‘must’ to reach this level. You will have to sacrifice your hard-earned cash to play consistently. Additionally, having to deal with losses must be part of the game.
With that in mind, quitting your job to settle for poker career calls for a more serious thought plan. I always advocate for going the expert poker way if you are guaranteed of the earnings. Also, if the income exceeds your salary, go for your newly found career.
Texas Hold’em Strategy
Poker is a casino card game that has a lot to offer those who are willing to learn the ropes. Out of all the casino table games I’ve played, poker tends to offer some of the biggest payouts once you know how to play.
I’ve had the pleasure of playing different poker variants with Texas Holdem being one of my favourites. My experience has taught me that having a Texas Holdem poker strategy is vital to how the game will play out. There are different Texas Holdem betting strategy options available to guide you. I’ll walk you through some of the ones I use.
Online Poker Tips
Poker may be a relatively easy game to learn but it is certainly not very easy to master for most people. Now, while it will definitely take a bit of time to get a hang of everything, the process does not have to be as daunting as it is for many players. To help you in your journey towards becoming a winning player we are going to guide you not just on any online poker tips but the best online poker tips.
Thanks to technology, devices are getting slimmer and smarter. The on-the-go benefit of mobile devices made them the first choice for people to access the internet and transact. The proliferation of Smartphones plays a huge role in the significant increase of US poker players. There are two ways of playing poker on the web for mobile users – through a mobile app or directly a mobile browser.
Playing poker casually or just to pass time is super fun and exciting but nothing comes close to the thrill of taking it to the next level by playing in poker tournaments. There are lots of different opinions regarding what could be termed as the best poker tournament strategy and each has the potential of pushing you closer to a win. Usually, there are no guarantees and thus the key is to practice and master as many strategies as you can then utilize them appropriately.
Softest Poker Sites
To truly enjoy winning when playing online poker, you will want to stick to loose poker sites where you have an edge over your opponents. BetOnline is one of the fishiest poker sites I have played at and if you are a decent poker player, you will certainly have a lot of fun on the site. Also ranked among the softest online poker sites that seasoned poker players often recommend include Intertops, Americas Cardroom, Bovada, Juicy Stakes, and Ignition Casino.
Bluffing in Poker
As a strategic thinker, you must always make bluffing a part of your poker game. Whether you are a novice or a professional competing in the WSOP Main Event, bluffing is an integral part of your success. To bluff well, though, you will need to be able to read your opponents.
Once you have a name established for yourself, you can afford to be a little more sparing with your bluff scenarios. It’s equally important to never go too much on a limb so that players still have doubt about your hand rather than dismissing it as a parlor trick.
The term “poker face” is so popular among both poker players and non-players around the world, something that goes to show just how much of an impact the game has had on culture. It is just one of the phrases from a game that has made it to common vernacular and this is simply because of its very straightforward meaning.
Read the mini-guide below to learn more about ‘poker faces’ and when you should use it.
Yes, online poker is legal and regulated in many countries in the world.
Yes, playing online poker in the United States is totally acceptable and you can rest assured that you will not get into any trouble for playing at either US-regulated or offshore online poker sites.
Poker gaming is possible in the United States through several offshore online poker sites as well as on the US-regulated poker sites available in some states.
Playing online poker is as easy as entering the URL of your favorite online poker sites or downloading the poker app. The rules of the game remain the same and the same skills or strategies are mostly the same as playing live poker.