US Poker Sites
Online poker in the USA has exploded in popularity since the introduction of online casinos. Any site offering Texas Hold Em will draw in a crowd, and the sites who make a name for themselves will explode in popularity. But thanks to UIGEA, finding a convenient place to play online poker can be frustrating. A common misconception that online poker was illegal, or that it is difficult to find a safe, reputable online casino.
Here is an updated list of all the Top US Poker Sites that we play at. After 2006 when the UIGEA passed, some online poker rooms stopped accepting players from the United States. The biggest room that left the US market was Party Poker. There are still plenty of good quality poker rooms accepting USA players including Bovada and Lock Poker.
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Is Online Poker Legal?
There is not a simple answer for this question. Ask 20 different people and you will get 20 different answers.
Contrary to what many would have you understand, there is no federal law banning US citizens from playing online poker. All the UIGEA regulates is the payment processing, imposing strict regulations and blocking US Banks from processing any gambling related transactions. However, individual states have their own laws, and are starting to see states legalize online gambling. Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey all have passed an online gambling law. Some states may only allow certain types of betting (like poker) and not others (like sports betting). The best way players can be certain is to look up the gambling laws of their particular state, which thanks to the rapidly evolving online gaming industry change very quickly.
The UIGEA does not apply to players and does not make online gambling illegal. It only refers to forms of online gambling that are already illegal. For example the 1961 Wire Act makes sports betting businesses illegal (not sports betting cutomers). The UIGEA prohibits illegal businesses from accepting deposits for the purpose of online gambling. This law also requires regulations of financial institutions to enforce this law.
Be aware that on April 15, 2011 Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, Absolute Poker and UB have closed their doors to US poker players mainly due to bank fraud. More info about Poker Black Friday.
Gambling Law expert Professor I. Nelson Rose has been writing on legal gambling for over 25 years. Nelson Rose sums up his thoughts on the legality of online poker in the United States: “There is no chance of being prosecuted if you’re a player. If you’re a company, you might be violating the law.” Many pro poker industry groups like the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) are actively pushing for the legalization and regulation of the online poker industry.
Texas Hold Em is by far the most popular game, and no matter what site you prefer you can always find traffic at the low stake Hold Em tables. However, there are many different poker variations available online, including Omaha, Razz, 7 Card Stud, and more. If playing a wide variety, the biggest sites with the most traffic is your best choice. Keep in mind that the peak hours will change depending on the largest portion of a site’s clientele. A mostly European poker room will hit peak hours ahead of a poker room that’s largely American players.
Unfortunately, thanks to the UIGEA, US players have found it much more difficult to deposit into their online poker room accounts. While the options are more limited, most people will find an option that is convenient for them. While US players may not be able to deposit directly from their banks, they can still use Credit Cards. If, however, you have difficulty with your card, there are a small amount of eWallets that still welcome American customers. However, players should do their research before depositing into a payment processor who they are not familiar with.
Online poker has become extremely popular and certainly isn’t going anyway. While the UIGEA may make it a little inconvenient for players to initially fund their accounts, it has not completely banished online poker. Where people want to relax, have fun, and maybe even win the big pot, there will be casinos available for them to play at. No matter if players choose to play online, or at what casino, there should always have a significant amount of caution and always follow up with their own research before risking any of their hard earned money.
If you are joining a new poker room, make sure you use a poker bonus code to get the best bonus.