Online Poker For US Residents

Despite anything you may hear to the contrary, online poker sites are available and legal for the vast majority of U.S. citizens, residents and visitors. Some of these venues are better, more reliable, and more attentive to the player’s needs than others. Here at, we’re striving to provide the most up-to-date information regarding which sites are legal for U.S. players, which offer the best poker choices, and which make it easy to play and easy to get paid. is staffed by poker aficionados, which means we know what we want in a good poker site. We also have a bunch of good researchers, which means we know where to find the poker site that gives us what we want. We’re also very generous at, so we’re going to share that info with you.

Is Online Poker Legal In The U.S.?

Have we heard that question a lot? Absolutely. Is it important? Of course it is. So, what’s the answer?

In almost all cases, the simple answer is yes, online poker is legal. The federal government has passed legislation regulating and in some cases prohibiting banks in the U.S. from facilitating various forms of Internet gaming, there is no federal law that prevents poker lovers from jumping into their favorite online games. For more information on gambling laws in the U.S., we do discuss it below as well, in addition to detailing some of the top online poker sites that are available for American players.

Where Can U.S. Residents Play Poker Online?

Yes, this may sound confusing. But just because a poker site is legal where it is established does not necessarily mean that it’s legal for U.S. players to join in. has determined that there are legal sites that are not only open to U.S. players, but provide all the excitement and fun any poker lover, anywhere, could ask for. Today, will introduce you to three of them that we have found to be particularly interesting, for a variety of reasons.

Bovada Poker

Just about as good as it gets. Based in the Mohawk territory of Kahnawake, Canada, Bovada has been a sought-after site since 2007. This is a great online poker room for players in the United States, though residents in Washington, Maryland, and New york cannot currently create new accounts. Those players in the other states of legal gambling age are able to do so. Besides poker, Bovada has a well-respected sports gambling site and a full slate of casino games.

A lot of us here at cut our poker-playing teeth at Bovada, and for good reason. Bovada is not designed just to appeal to “experts”. Players new to the online gaming world, and perhaps not so poker-savvy, can find a game at Bovada that appeals to both their skill level and their budget.

A Bovada “poker room” is designed to get people playing and winning in a matter of minutes. The signup is simple, accounts may be set up in a variety of legal ways, and most importantly, the games are endless. Regardless of your schedule, you can find a way to play, and win, at Bovada.

BetOnline Poker

We love this site. The first words are, “BetOnline – Because you can.” And indeed you can at BetOnline Poker. Up to twenty-one different tournaments every day, and most feature a free buy-in. Players in the U.S. are encouraged to player at BetOnline, accepting all 50 states to join. The legal gambling age at BetOnline is 18, but American players must meet their state age as well.

The poker room software, available in Mac and PC version, is some of the easiest to work with, and BetOnline Poker’s policies, terms and conditions are very player-friendly. Little wonder that BetOnline is considered the fastest-growing U.S. poker site online. Casino games, including blackjack (a poker player’s diversionary game) are available, as well as a first-rate sports book.

5Dimes Poker

Established early in the realm of Internet gambling. Since 1996, 5Dimes has been providing a wide array of online gambling choices. The poker site advertises options not found in most Internet gambling arenas – bad beat jackpots, fold/show functionality software, and straddle pots, which create bigger payouts, more action and a higher level of decision- making prowess. U.S. players in all 50 states are welcome at Bovada, as it is a legal poker room option.

5Dimes Poker is based in San Jose, Costa Rica, allowing American players to create accounts and play. There are more than one dozen types of poker games that 5Dimes offers. If you are curious about how to play, 5Dimes offers lessons and information about how to play the games that are available on site.

Poker Sites 2013 Bonus Who Can Play? Visit
Bovada Poker $1,000 Max - 100% Match 47 States - No NY, MD, WA Play Now
BetOnline Poker $900 Max - 25% Max Match All 50 States Can Play Here Play Now
SportsBetting Poker $900 Max - 25% Max Match All 50 States Can Play Here Play Now
5Dimes Poker No Bonus For Depositing All 50 States Can Play Here Play Now
Legalities Of Playing Online Poker In The U.S.

Despite the efforts of legislators, moralists, gadflies and lobbyists over the last thirty or so years, Internet-based gambling has continued to flourish. Various efforts to stifle this growth have included dredging up obsolete legislation like the “Wire Act” of 1961, the passage of the “Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act” of 2006, and other measures passed or defeated on the state and federal level. Though the Wire Act now only applies to sports betting, per a ruling that was made by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals back in 2011. In spite of it all, online poker survives and thrives, legally.

But there are other impediments to a successful online experience. Some of these poker sites are simply not very good. Others, perhaps some we haven’t seen yet, could actually be dangerous. will continue to research and learn, and we encourage you to do the same.

Funding Your Account To Play For Real-Money

This is, of course, an important aspect of the online poker experience, for this is how accounts get funded, giving you the cash you need to buy-in, place a bet and raise the stakes. And in many cases, it’s also the place more barriers are in place to try to prevent gamblers from enjoying their favorite pastime. The UIGEA was not a ban on online gaming, but rather a ban on banks in the U.S. facilitating such activity. So while credit cards are far and away the number one choice of U.S. citizens who want to play poker online, there remain some banks who keep an eagle-eye on the transactions posted and from where they originate. Rarely are these transactions blocked, but it does happen on occasion. will continue to monitor this and report when it seems there are institutions that may prevent you from legally using your credit card to set up your account.

In the meantime, not to worry. Accounts can be set up at the three sites we reviewed, and many more, without the use of a credit or debit card. A Rapid Transfer or Moneygram transaction process is available at all the reputable sites that we recommend. There are often fees involved in these transactions, but most sites will reimburse the fees charged on deposits.

Getting Money Out Of US Poker Sites

If you’re requesting a payout because you’re a winner, congratulations to you! If you’re requesting a payout because you just want access to some of your money, hey, there’s nothing wrong with that, either. But that “winner payout” is important if you’re a U.S. citizen playing poker, legally, online.

If you set up your account using your Visa credit or debit card, and it went through, that’s perfectly legal. But unlike players in the United Kingdom, you cannot get your payout via a reload to an account established through your credit card. But your winnings are yours, so you can follow a simple card-verification procedure, then request your payout via voucher or certified check. You may also elect to have your winnings forwarded via Western Union or Moneygram.

For the method that you choose, it will also depend on which site you are playing at. Not all of the online poker rooms will offer the same payout methods, so it could be tailored to which site you are on. The one nice thing about American friendly poker rooms though, is that they will have methods that can be used for U.S. players, obviously. And since there aren't many payout methods that can be used by players in the United States, it's like that most of them will have similar options and limits.

Welcome Bonuses + Other Promotions

Providing a little incentive to get you motivated is an age-old business technique. The reputable and legal online poker sites have elevated this to an art form. Bovada Poker, for instance, offers a 100% deposit bonus on all new accounts up to $1,000.00. In other words, your account is loaded to the tune of twice what you put on your credit card. Pretty sweet, huh?

The idea is, of course, to get you to play. Another way to get bonuses on most of these sites is to get others to play. Referrals are the best way any business can spread the news, so if you find a legal poker site you enjoy, bring a friend. You may reap the benefits.

Online Poker Games For U.S. Players

When I was a kid, poker was five-card draw. It’s all we knew. Ah, those were the days.

No, actually, these are the days. U.S. players can choose from a plethora of fun and exciting poker options – Texas Hold ‘em, Omaha, Seven Card Stud are games with which we’re all familiar. But if you’re into trying something new and different, many sites offer lesser-known poker options such as Razz, Irish (a “knock-off of Hold ‘em,) and Stud Hi/Lo.

Most of these can be found and played as either limit games, where bets are restricted to increments of the set betting limit, or no-limit, which is fairly self-explanatory – if you have the money, you can bet it. Pot limit games limit bets from a minimum to the size of the pot. Hold’em players already know that “blinds” are the stimuli provided by two players before cards are dealt. These are the community-game version of the standard ante in your uncle’s man-cave-based draw game, and depending on which site you choose to visit, can vary from a few cents to hundreds of bucks.

As we mentioned earlier, many sites offer play-in tournaments that can be accessed at particular times of day, and are available at different skill levels. Your participation as a member at one the good, legal sites is restricted only by your enthusiasm level and your account balance. Methods for getting in the games vary by site, so shop around.

Why We Do What We Do + How You Know You'll Be Safe

If you weren’t interested in legal online poker options for U.S. citizens and visitors, you probably wouldn’t be here. If there were not hundreds of thousands, actually millions, of people just like you, wouldn’t be here. But here we are, because we enjoy a good game of poker, and we want to play without having to worry about whether or not we’re breaking some arcane law.

While those laws do exist, they will not apply to you in the vast majority of cases. If you’re not transmitting a request to make a bet via a telegraph wire, the “Wire Act” doesn’t affect you. If you do not own Bank of America or Citigroup, the UIGEA does not apply to you. The burden to remain within the bounds of U.S. law is on the website that issues the invitation to play, and the reputable ones will do it right.

So let’s play poker…and luck, be a lady tonight.