US Poker Sites

US poker sites

Poker may have had Middle Eastern and Chinese origins, but it is believed that the modern form of the game originated in the United States. Louisiana, more notably New Orleans. Its initial iteration there was known as “poque,” and it was played in gambling dens. Then, it moved from the state of Louisiana to several other parts of the nation before also spreading abroad.

Some sources claim that the original variation of poker was developed in America in the 1800s and was based on the French game of poque. That game was brought to the port of New Orleans by French sailors, just as the British game “Brag” had done to the USA. The first forms of poker played in the United States, which used a deck of only 20 cards, were greatly influenced by this second card game.

It didn’t take long for New Orleans saloons to pick it up and start hosting games for locals as well as tourists. Prior to Louisiana being one of the United States of America, it didn’t take long for it to spread over the state.

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Most recent US poker news

Without a question, one of the most played games in July was poker. Fans of poker were able to participate in a variety of nationwide tournaments and events. The main destinations for these tournaments were once more Nevada, Florida, and California.
The WSOP, which was hosted at Paris & Bally’s in Las Vegas, was the most notable competition. Espen Jorstad, a Norwegian-born winner of the WSOP Main Event, took home $10,000,000. Espen became the first Norwegian champion after defeating the field of 8,663 competitors in this, the second-largest WSOP in history.

In Pennsylvania, July was equally jam-packed with activity. Eight new winners from the Coal State received bracelets from the WSOP. There was a ton of local poker action for other participants as well.

Poker dominated the Penn scene this month, as seen by BetMGM’s debut of the Summer Classic Series, a new PA online poker tournament. Exclusively for players in the Coal State, the tournament ran from July 17 to July 24 with buy-ins ranging from $30 to $535.

Poker chips and blue table

Which Poker Sites Accept American Players?

There are many poker sites that welcome US players. You shouldn’t, however, jump into registering with the first poker website that you come across. Some poker platforms are even to be avoided at all costs; not all poker platforms are worth your time.

Three US poker sites, Ignition, BetOnline, and Intertops, were discovered to be the top choices for US poker players after an extensive investigation by our team of experts, including ourselves. Since every player has different preferences when selecting a poker site, our recommendation is to look at other possibilities and peruse the whole list presented in the table. Do not be concerned; all of these brands are excellent. It only depends on which one can best meet your poker needs.

 











Online poker in  

Online poker in 


 

Are There Any Poker Sites That Are Legal In The US?

Yes, but there are quite a few of them. For instance, the main regulatory authority in New Jersey, the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement, recognized and verified poker brands including 888poker and partypoker.

Several governments in the US and Central America have also granted licenses to additional operators from our exclusive list. In conclusion, any poker site you select from our page, you can rest easy knowing that it has the necessary licensing and regulation, making it acceptable for US players.

Which US poker site is the most visited?

Given the high traffic levels of all of our featured poker sites, it’s difficult to say. The most popular poker sites are typically the more reputable names like Bovada, JuicyStakes, and partypoker. On these sites, there are a lot of tables to play at when it’s not busy so you can always get a seat when it’s busy.

What Poker Sites in the US Accept PayPal?

PayPal is only supported as a deposit and withdrawal method by a very small number of US poker sites. Only a small number of nations are supported by even the small number of poker rooms that allow PayPal transactions, and the United States is not one of them.
Since PayPal is bound by the laws of the nations in which it does business and the US gambling market is still unregulated, it will be challenging to find a poker site that takes PayPal as a deposit method.

You’re in luck because our list of poker sites offers a ton of alternative secure and effective payment options in addition to PayPal. As an illustration, there are more and more Bitcoin poker rooms that accept US players. Bitcoin is a fantastic payment option for poker players because of the secrecy and speed it offers.

Additionally, many US poker sites accept credit and debit cards as well as e-wallets like Skrill or Neteller. Therefore, even though PayPal isn’t available, we have every confidence that you can discover an appropriate payment method on US poker sites.

History of Poker in the US

Its past as a French colony helps to explain why poker’s roots are there. Poker could move along with the boats that traveled up and down the 100-mile stretch of water because New Orleans served as a significant port on the Mississippi River. As a result, it was spread to numerous other ports and eventually, other towns. Because of this, the steamboat gambler first appeared in the middle of the 1800s.
The deck of playing cards was also increased from 20 to the current 52 cards at the same time. At that time, the five-card poker variation would also change, becoming a drawing game with an extra round of betting to boost the pots. Back then, hands may contain a “flush” of five cards from the same suit. In the 1860s, the “straight” hand came next.

The method poker is played today hasn’t changed all that much in the last century, at least. And even though there are numerous varieties of it, the fundamental guidelines frequently remain the same. Throughout, decks and rules are largely uniform. However, the goal of playing poker is to put together the best hand you can using the cards given to you and those on the table.

While five-card draw was the first widely played poker variation in the United States, interest eventually switched to stud poker, which eventually gave way to seven-card stud. The poker industry was revolutionized by Texas Hold’em, which is still by far the most widely played style of the game worldwide.

Naturally, things were moving toward a more computerized structure by the time the 21st century rolled around. Before the advent of the UIGEA, which went into force in 2006, poker sites had established a foothold in the United States for a number of years. This rendered playing online poker and other forms of gambling entirely illegal in almost all of the states in the union. However, we’ll look at that in greater detail later.

Is poker permitted in the US?

When everything is taken into account, there are seven states and territories in the US that have legalized specific types of gambling. Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Georgia, and the US Virgin Islands are a few of these.

Furthermore, the only authorized form of gambling in 26 states is horse racing betting. Only a few states permit intrastate online gambling, which is the case for all other states.

Therefore, anyone playing poker in Nevada, for instance, can only compete against players living in that state. For the purpose of online poker, agreements have been reached between Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada; however, we’ll talk about that in more detail later.
Although players who choose to visit offshore online poker rooms on their own are not penalized, online poker is generally prohibited in the majority of the states in the United States. For the time being, only Delaware, New Jersey, Nevada, and Pennsylvania offer options for legal online poker. There is potential for this to grow to include other regions, but as of right now, only four states offer possibilities for playing legal online poker.

Prior to 2006, when it was quite common throughout the USA, this wasn’t the case. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which was passed into law, effectively outlawed all kinds of online gambling in the nation when paired with the Federal Wire Act of 1961. However, there are so many different ways to read and reread the laws that it is never totally obvious what is and isn’t allowed. People have however assumed that playing online poker from within the United States of America is illegal.

This indicates that die-hard gamers have shifted to foreign-based platforms, over which the USA has little real control. Unless they live in one of the areas where online poker is permitted, residents are not punished for making deposits and playing poker games at these sites, therefore it essentially serves as the only option for American poker players.

poker legislation

Legal Guidelines for Online Poker in the USA

The issue of legality has raised questions about these sites’ licensing. You shouldn’t be shocked to learn that the same divide yet occurs.
In particular, the three states that are legally permitted to host and offer poker sites have been granted licenses by the appropriate authorities.

More specifically, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission is in charge of both New Jersey and the State of Delaware, while the Nevada Gaming Control Board is in charge of gambling in Nevada.

These agencies grant permits and keep an eye out for any abnormalities. You can also check out Tim Glocks’s list of the best US poker sites.
The remaining Americans have started playing poker on foreign websites. These are primarily licensed by the appropriate authorities in the country where they were first produced. These governing entities include Curaçao eGaming and the Costa Rican license grantors. Although there is a preference for Costa Rican-licensed poker sites, there is no proven reason to stay away from those affiliated with Curaçao eGaming.

Up-to-Date States in the US That Have Legalized Online Poker

Only four states currently offer online poker: Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada. Additionally, West Virginia and Michigan have authorized internet gambling, and they plan to open their first casinos in early 2021.

Let’s take a quick journey down memory lane to see how everything played out.

Nevada

Nevada was the first US state to authorize and govern intrastate online poker within its borders in 2013. Nevada’s legislature began drafting the online poker legislation not long after the DOJ revised its stance on the Wire Act in 2011.

Nevada’s politicians understood that online poker would significantly increase the state’s economy and support the existing poker sector because the state is home to the biggest poker events in the world, including the WSOP.

Assembly Bill 114 was passed into law by Governor Brian Sandoval on February 25, 2013, making online gambling legally permissible in the Sagebrush State. The sole website currently providing online poker services in Nevada is WSOP.nv. This poker juggernaut is governed and approved by the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission.

Delaware

The Delaware Gambling Competitiveness Act of 2012, also known as House Bill 333, allowed online poker in that year. The First State’s first poker website went live in 2013.

Compared to other states, Delaware had a distinctive legal system. In particular, all forms of gambling (online casino, table games, and poker) would be available through a single platform at each of the three racinos in the state: Dover, Harrington, and Delaware Park. On the 888poker-powered platform, users of all three sites were expected to share prize pools, jackpots, and other features.

Governors Brain Sandoval of Nevada and Jack Markell of Delaware signed a contract in 2014 to share online poker tables while 888poker was licensed in both jurisdictions.

New Jersey

When Governor Chris Christie signed Bill 2578 on February 26, 2013, poker was legalized in New Jersey. The first legal poker sites in the state went live in November 2013, which was over nine months later. Gambling businesses were compelled by law to collaborate with Atlantic City’s land-based casinos. Partypoker and Pala Poker amalgamated with Borgata, 888Poker partnered with WSOP/Caesars, and PokerStars collaborated with Resorts Casino.

A Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement was signed by the Garden State in 2017 and would serve as the vehicle for player and liquidity sharing among Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey.

In New Jersey, the WSOP/888 partnership presently dominates other poker brands. As a member of the shared network, the poker conglomerate enables its customers to compete against other players in NJ, as well as those taking part in WSOP.nv in Nevada and 888 in Delaware.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania became the fourth state in the US to authorize online poker in October 2017. House Bill 271, which regulates internet poker in the state, was signed by Governor Tom Wolf.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was given the authority to establish rules governing online poker in the state, and the PCGB was tasked with issuing online poker licenses to applicants.

The first online poker platform in Pennsylvania was introduced by PokerStars and its land-based partner Mount Airy in November 2019.
The only poker room operating in Pennsylvania right now is PokerStars. No other poker operator has made plans to start playing in Pennsylvania known.

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The US has some complicated laws, and the legality of online poker rooms serves as further evidence of this. There hasn’t been much room for poker games offered to US players since these and other gambling sites fled the country in an effort to evade legal action.

These people are currently attempting to resume their favorite pastime and searching for ways to get over the national legal limitations. So they’ve made the decision to look elsewhere. Before you part with any of your hard-earned money, there are a few things you should completely understand. Check out our list of poker sites where you may play for real money.

These are some fundamental rules to help you clear up any potential ambiguities and eliminate any uncertainty regarding whether and which poker sites are accessible to US players.

The best method of payment for American players

The types of payment methods that might be used to transmit money to such sites were also impacted by the UIGEA when it was passed into law, in addition to the poker business itself.

As a result, US poker players had only a few options for making deposits and withdrawals from offshore platforms that were still active. Players would finally find themselves able to sign up for an online poker room, only to discover that they were unable to make a deposit. All of this was brought about by the fact that transactions to various gambling sites had been blocked by banks and other financial organizations.

It raises the question of how gamers are able to send money to their accounts today given that those regulations are still in force. Fortunately, just a restricted number of payment options can be used for it. First of all, deposits can occasionally be made using a Visa or Mastercard credit or debit card. The financial institution in charge of it, the amount you’re attempting to deposit, and even the time you’re attempting to complete the transaction can all affect whether or not it goes through. Therefore, use this payment option without hesitation, but be aware that it can be blocked and not work.

The most effective payment option for US poker players is a cryptocurrency. Today, a number of online poker clubs offer this option for withdrawals as well as deposits. So, if you have Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin, for instance, you can use them at other websites. You can exchange some fiat currency for it and use it online even if you don’t currently possess any cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrencies’ independence from centralized financial institutions is a good thing. Therefore, nothing can prevent the transaction from taking place for this reason. Additionally, using cryptocurrency enables you to take advantage of immediate transactions that are cost-free.
Other payment options at US-based online poker rooms may include money orders and person-to-person transfers. But there are virtually always extra costs associated with them.

Unless you give a particular amount to your preferred online poker room, in which case the poker room might pay those fees on your behalf. However, if you’re playing from the United States, we’d always advise choosing the cryptocurrency option over anything else.

US dollars or another currency on poker sites?

One of the main factors that US players consider when deciding whether or not a poker site is trustworthy is the currency. The majority of them avoid conversion, which may possibly be a wise course of action. After all, the best outcomes are not always guaranteed when comparing currencies and their values in the middle of a hand.

Due to this, poker sites that accept US players typically offer both the dollar and the virtual currency bitcoins as possible payment methods. Many websites have made an effort to get US gamers to adopt bitcoins due to their distinctive features. They do appear to be difficult to trace, simple to transfer, and to have a high value at the present. While some are wary of touching them, others worry that their value will drop and their bankrolls will follow.

However, US citizens do have access to poker sites that are acceptable for their monetary requirements.

Factors to take into account when playing real money online poker

The finest offshore poker site must be accessible to US poker players who live in the remaining states where gambling is illegal. There are several extra elements to take into account in addition to the main aspects mentioned above.

The reputation

When deciding whether to trust them with your money, the site’s reputation is crucial. Additionally, there is likely to be more than enough information on the specifics because it takes a website a few years to establish a solid reputation. On social networks, player forums and closed groups should have all the information you need on a particular website.

Player traffic

Because poker is the type of game that necessitates having lots of players online, player traffic is also crucial. More traffic is generally desirable, even though it isn’t a guarantee of a site’s proper operation.

Playful Games

The top poker sites for US players should be chosen based on their capacity to offer games that are enjoyable for leisure players as the last consideration. Despite the fact that professionals are making the most money, recreational poker sites appear to be dominating. After all, it’s preferable to alter one table to meet the needs of professionals than to ease up on the stakes to accommodate recreational poker players.

Future of Online Poker in the US

At the moment, playing poker online is illegal in the US. Online poker could be governed by just two of the four federal laws, the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006) and the IGBA (Illegal Gambling Businesses Act).

The two surviving laws, the 1961 Wire Act and PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992), are focused on legalizing sports betting.

But with the Wire Act, this wasn’t always the case.

The DOJ revised its position on online gambling in 2011, saying that the Wire Act only applied to sports betting. The Justice Department, which had previously viewed all gambling, including internet poker, as unlawful, underwent a significant change as a result of this. This choice opened the path for the current, increasing US online poker business.

Under the Trump administration, the DOJ overturned its 2011 Opinion in November 2018 and stated that the Wire Act’s restrictions do not solely apply to sports betting. The 23-page memo from the OLC (Office of Legal Counsel) declared that all types of online gambling are prohibited, not just sports betting.

Government review of the ruling is ongoing, but if the DOJ starts enforcing the 2018 OLC opinion, it will stop the expansion of the online poker market into new states.

We can only hope that the recently elected president Biden will address this issue differently. There are some reasons for hope in some of the comments he made during his campaign visit to Las Vegas in December 2019. Then he declared that he would disagree with the White House and wouldn’t obstruct state initiatives to increase internet gaming.

We’ll have to wait and see what Biden decides in the end about this. His administration will probably suggest that the government abandon the lawsuit and allow the states handle the situation anyway they see fit.

poker chips and the tablet

When will the remaining US states let to legally play poker online?

North Carolina

The West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act allowed West Virginia to jump on board.

The Mountain State now has legalized online gambling thanks to Governor Jim Justice’s signature on HB 3067.

Michigan

Following the signing of House Bill 4311, the Lawful Internet Gaming Act, by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in December 2019, Michigan became the sixth state to legalize online poker.

The Act gave the Michigan Gaming Control Board the power to grant licenses to candidates who satisfied specified requirements.
Beginning in early 2021, both West Virginia and Michigan are anticipated to become live.

Kentucky

The next state to consider legalizing internet gambling in 2020 is Kentucky.

In December 2019, Rep. Adam Koenig introduced a bill that would also legalize sports betting and daily fantasy sports, along with internet poker.

Connecticut

One of the top states for legalizing internet gambling is Connecticut. The S 17 bill, which would legalize all types of internet gambling, including online poker, was filed by parliamentarians in 2019.

The measure is supported by the two Connecticut-based tribes, Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan.

New York

Despite earlier initiatives that were unsuccessful, New York is almost ready to legalize online poker. Since 2014, the Empire State’s legislators have filed bills every year, but so far without success. With S 18, which categorizes poker as a game of skill, this might alter. Poker will not be included on the list of forbidden games of chance if the measure is passed.

FAQ

Q: Will the United States Ever Have Complete Online Poker Regulation?

Even if things are undoubtedly moving in that direction, it is difficult to predict when a full acceptance will occur due to legislative roadblocks. The problem is that each state is fighting its own struggle, so it will take some time before additional states join NJ, Nevada, and Delaware in legalizing marijuana.

The two states that have made the greatest attempts at resolving the issue are currently still New York and California, with New York appearing to be the most competitive contender after Assemblyman Pretlow expressed his support. But it is still unclear when or how it will be legally approved.

Q: Is Playing Poker Online Legal? What is Said by the UIGEA?

The majority of newcomers to the online poker scene fear punishment because they think that Bush’s 2006 UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) declares poker play to be unlawful. The Act’s language, which provides players with a “gray space” to work within, doesn’t truly apply to the players themselves, though.

While playing itself is lawful, the UIGEA makes it illegal for banks and other financial institutions to accept money transfers for online gambling operators. A proposal for an amendment that addressed the legitimacy of gambling actions was made, but it was later rejected. Since financial operators bear this responsibility rather than the players themselves, Bitcoins have become the preferred payment method for the majority of US poker players.

Q: Which States Are Trying to Legalize Poker?

Nine States—Mississippi, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, California, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Hawaii—have made the most advancements. And by making the most progress, we mean that these states have either prepared or already enacted a bill.
Only New York, California, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania have made enough progress thus far. There have also been some discussions in Washington, but nothing concrete has been announced.

Q: Accessing an Offshore Online Poker Room, is it Safe?

There will always be dishonest scam websites to compete with on websites that accept real money. Any industry, not just the gaming one, would expect that. However, you shouldn’t encounter any issues with regard to safety as long as you find an online poker room that has a legitimate license and a good reputation among its users.

A license will guarantee that the poker room complies with the different regulations pertaining to your personal information and banking. The likelihood that the site will treat you similarly is increased if you are aware of its positive reputation among other players. Fortunately, you won’t have to travel very far to find a reputable and authorized online poker site because we have a selection of offshore poker sites that nicely serve the US market and that we advise.

 

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