US Poker Sites
January 31, 2015 – For years the list of best US poker sites has been dominated by the same poker rooms, with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker being the biggest rooms. As we know by now, what counts today can be different by tomorrow. Since Black Friday PokerStars and Full Tilt have been shut down by the Department of Justice (DoJ) and are since that moment no longer allowed to accept US players that want to play for real money. This is because of fraud, not because of playing online poker itself, but it definitely puts a negative impact on playing online poker.
Follow our poker news for the current status on online poker legislation in the United States, tournament results and the latest updates about the online poker industry itself.
As you can see, luckily there are still enough poker sites that accept poker players from the US to play for real money.
Best Poker Sites Accepting US Players in January 2015
Here is the latest list of the best US poker sites in 2015. If you live outside of the USA then please check our poker sites page.
Americas Cardroom is one of the fastest growing poker rooms nowadays. They are on the Winning Poker Network which currently is the second biggest US facing network and their player base is still increasing each time, because of their fast withdrawal options, and the huge tournaments they offer like “The Beast”. If they would have had a mac version they would definitely have made it our number one spot in our best US poker site list.
Use exclusive Americas Cardroom bonus code PNREPORT when you create your account.
BetOnline Poker is one of the only new poker rooms accepting players from the United States. Besides from poker it’s also a good place for sports betting and casino. This US poker site grows rapidly in amount of players, so there will be enough people to play against. They are more known for these other options rather than poker (their slogan says it all:
You’re Betting With the Fastest Growing Sportsbook in the US). Because of they are providing you with lots of clueless gamblers over there trying their luck on the poker tables.
They are currently making huge promotions with more than $150,000 guaranteed tournaments and hourly freerolls. This is definitely a good place to check out!
Carbon Poker is part of Merge and currently the biggest site on this network. While their bonus is not the highest one, they do run the biggest promotions on this network that you will find. Their software, which is available for both PC as well as Mac, is like any other Merge client, in one word… solid.
If you are not playing yet at Carbon this is your chance. Be sure to use our link, and Carbon Poker bonus code CARBONPK, to get the highest bonus at Carbon Poker.
Black Chip Poker is on the Winning Poker Network and currently offers the fastest deposits and withdrawals. Since their move from Merge to The Winning Network, this network is growing rapidly. Check them out, this is one of the best options for US players.
Is it Illegal to Play Online Poker in the United States?
There has often been confusing opinions about the legality of online poker in the United States, with references to the Federal Wire Act (1961) and Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (2006) frequently being muddled up by supposedly educated journalists who have reported in the past on such issues as Black Friday and the Full Tilt Poker saga.
With the exception of Washington State (where it is actually a felony to play online poker), there is no federal or state legislation which prohibits people playing real money poker online in the US. The two Acts mentioned above placed controls on how players might deposit into their accounts and withdraw their winnings, and this explains why all online poker sites that accept players from the US are now located outside the States (and have unfamiliar suffixes on their web addresses).
So, how do you Deposit into a US-Friendly Online Poker Site?
The options for depositing funds legally into an online poker account vary from site to site. Some sites will still accept Visa credit cards provided that the card is authorised for overseas/international purchases, while others will accept deposits from selected e-Wallet providers.
One of the most popular and anonymous ways of depositing funds into a US-friendly online poker site is to use a cash service such as Rapid Transfer or Western Union – who can now arrange money payments online. Players should be advised that charges may apply for using a cash transfer service.
It is also important to note that restrictions may apply regarding how much can be deposited into an online poker account if you live in the States; as this can affect whether or not you can deposit the maximum amount to qualify for the site´s online poker bonus.
Withdrawing Funds from an Online Poker Account
Most online poker sites that welcome players from the US offer a dual withdrawal option of a check (which can be sent through the mail or delivered by courier) or a cash transfer once you have verified your ID. Neither is usually instant, so it is always wise never to play poker with funds you may rely on to pay the rent!
Charges for withdrawals vary from site to site (some offer the first withdrawal each month free of charge), while others may offer the facility of a payment into a bank account – for which the bank is likely to charge.
Restrictions may also apply to the minimum or maximum that can be withdrawn from an account, which might mean it is necessary to build up a substantial bankroll before it is possible to take funds out or take funds out in stages. Players for whom depositing and withdrawal restrictions might detract from their enjoyment of playing poker online are advised to review the banking pages of their chosen web site before making a first deposit.
Tax Obligations for US Online Poker Players
Poker players in the US who win more than $5,000 in live poker tournaments have 25% of their winnings withheld and are issued with a form W-2G which they can then use in their annual tax declaration to the IRS.
There is no such procedure for winning online poker players in the States and, if profits from Internet poker are not declared to the IRS, players could receive substantial fines and be charged interest on the amount of taxable income they failed to declare (and they call it the “Free World”!).
If a player is not a self-employed Schedule C poker professional, they then have to declare any net income from online poker on the Form 1040 (even if it is below $5,000). Professional tax advice should always be obtained if players are in any doubt about whether they qualify as a self-employed Schedule C poker professional.