Online Poker is alive and well in the United States!  Three states (Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware) have already setup and regulated online poker sites for those states.  Online poker lets players practice their skills so they are ready for the next home game or casino trip.  New players are usually intimidated sitting at a poker table at a Las Vegas casino, and confidence is essential to winning more pots. As you play more and understand the order and lingo – the more confident you will become which means winning more bluffs and pots.

Here is an updated list of all the Top US Poker Sites that we have accounts with and still play at. There are still plenty of good quality poker rooms allowing US players that will payout fast.

Is Online Poker Legal?

US residents can play legal online pokerThere is not a simple answer for this question.  Ask 20 different people and you will get 20 different answers. Currently there is not a federal law banning USA citizens from playing in online poker games. The UIGEA imposes strict regulations for the banks handling the payment processing of any online gambling related transactions. However, individual states have their own laws, and are starting to see states legalize and regulate 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 customers).  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.

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.

Depositing and Cashing Out

Unfortunately, thanks to the UIGEA, US players have found it much more difficult to deposit into their online poker player 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 some money transfer services 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 killed online poker.   Many times depositing with a 2015 poker bonus code will add some extra free money to your account.

Why Online Poker is Superior to Offline Poker Even for US Players

I’m not about to diss offline poker rooms. It’s quite enjoyable to walk into a local poker room and make a few hundred bucks off some donkey tourists. And nothing beats a trip to fabulous Las Vegas, which is home to some of the world’s top poker rooms. But it’s hard to argue that playing poker in a casino is more profitable and convenient than playing online. This is true even for US poker players that might be worried about getting paid.

First off, you should have no worries about making deposits and getting paid if you’re using trusted online poker sites that are safe for US players. There are plenty of sites out there available for American poker players. You don’t have to worry about getting paid upon withdrawal on sites like America’s Cardroom and BetOnline. Those sites have a great reputation of paying on time and the deposit/withdraw process is painless.

Playing Poker in a Brick-and-Mortar Poker Room Pros

There are good offline poker rooms and there are bad ones. Some poker players prefer playing in a poker room that is crowded and others prefer the smaller poker rooms with only 1 or 2 games going at a time. Personally, I love playing at Aria in Las Vegas and dislike playing in the smaller poker rooms such as Mandalay Bay. But you might be different. Either way, here are the benefits of playing in a brick-and-mortar poker room…

  • Most poker rooms offer comps for free food, drinks, hotel rooms based on how many hours you play (for example, Aria offers $2 in comps for every hour you play).
  • Since you can physically see your opponents, it’s easier to get a read on your opponents.
  • No risk of accidentally pushing the wrong button (I’ve shoved all-in accidentally when meaning to fold and lost a few hundred bucks because of that mistake. That was a costly lesson!).
  • There’s a socializing aspect of playing offline some people prefer.

Playing Poker in a Brick-and-Mortar Poker Room Cons

There’s a downside to everything. Although playing poker offline can be more “fun”, here are a few of the negatives to playing in a live poker room…

  • If you don’t have a great poker face, you might give off some tells that you won’t have to worry about online.
  • No rakeback for your play.
  • Can’t play as many hands per hour as you can online.
  • Have to worry about being criticized for pulling a “hit and run”.

Playing Poker Online Pros

Millions of people worldwide play poker online. They play the game for the same reasons offline poker players play – for the enjoyment and to make some money. Online poker players enjoy these benefits…

  • No need to go out of your way and drive to the nearest casino. You just have to log onto your computer/phone/tablet.
  • You can play multiple games at a time. Some players play up to 16 games…at once.
  • You see more hands per hour, which means higher hourly profits for a winning poker player.
  • Receive bonuses on your deposits.
  • Plain and simple – it’s more convenient.

Playing Poker Online Cons

I just made playing poker online seem pretty darn awesome. And it is pretty darn awesome. But there are a few negatives you should be aware of, such as…

  • Cannot pick-up on any physical tells since you can’t see your opponent.
  • Easier access to gambling can be a bad thing for an undisciplined individual.
  • You have to wait for your money to arrive in the mail or your bank account as opposed to cashing out your chips at the casino cashier.

Now that we have compared online and offline poker, why am I a bigger fan of playing poker online? Because I love the convenience of online poker. I don’t have to drive to a casino and I can play far more hands online than in a casino. Both are enjoyable forms of playing poker, but there’s no question in my mind the Internet is the place to get your gamble on!