US Poker Sites
December 8, 2016 – For more than a decade, the list of the best US poker sites was dominated by Party Poker, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. Party Poker left the US market following the passage of UIGEA in 2006, and PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker´s US-facing operations were shut down by the Department of Justice on Black Friday in 2011.
Since 2011, efforts have been made to regulate online poker in the US state-by-state. Regulation has enabled Party Poker and PokerStars to return to the US – although with operations a fraction of the size they were formerly. However, regulation is a slow process, and there is still plenty of players looking for online poker sites that accept players from the US.
Best Poker Sites Accepting US Players in December 2016
Here is the latest list of the best USA poker sites in 2016. If you live outside of the USA then please check our poker sites page.
- Bonus codenone needed
- Mac softwareYes
Ignition Casino was launched in early 2016 as a joint venture by several well-respected and experienced US-friendly operators. It features industry-leading gaming software from Rival and Realtime Gaming and hosts a top poker platform (Ignition Poker) to which players from Bovada Poker were transferred in the summer of 2016.
Both Ignition Casino and Ignition Poker encourage the use of Bitcoin for financial transactions. Players willing to deposit and withdraw using the cryptocurrency benefit from multiple promotions, fee-free transactions and faster cashouts.
- Bonus codeVIP2500
- Mac softwareYes
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 friendly 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!
- Bonus codePNREPORT
- Mac softwareNO
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 list of the top rated poker websites for U.S. players.
Use exclusive Americas Cardroom bonus code “PNREPORT” when you create your account.
- Bonus codePNREPORT
- Mac softwareNO
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.
- Bonus codePNREPORT
- Mac softwareNO / Instant Play
Intertops Poker offers one of the easiest to clear online poker bonuses and several ongoing promotions that benefit both high volume and recreational players. Because of its extensive European database, there is always action at the Intertops poker tables and – for those times when you need a break – the site offers casino and sports betting facilities.
Make sure you manually enter the Intertops Poker bonus code “PNREPORT” within 24 hours of making your first deposit to qualify for the first deposit bonus!
Is it Illegal to Play Online Poker in the United States?
With the exception of Washington State – where it is a felony to play online poker – there is no federal or state legislation that prohibits playing real money poker online in the US. The 2006 Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act is often credited with illegalizing online poker, but what it actually did was create payment processing issues for some online poker sites.
The other federal Act relating to online gambling is the 1961 Wire Act – an act introduced more than fifty years ago to prevent the mob expanding its illegal gambling operations. In 2011, the Department of Justice published a legal opinion in which it stated that the Wire Act only applied to “sporting events and contests”, and not to online poker.
How Can I be Sure My Money is Safe when I Play on a US Poker Site?
The state of Nevada is the only jurisdiction where there are measures in place to protect players´ bankrolls. Play anywhere else (even in New Jersey) and there is a risk – albeit a small one – that the online poker site could run out of its own money and start using players´ bankrolls to cover their operating costs. Alternatively the online poker site could disappear overnight, taking all the players´ bankrolls with it.
Unfortunately this has happened in recent years with the “disappearance” of Lock Poker. There are also concerns about players´ bankrolls held by the Equity Poker Network. Typical signs of potential issues include outrageous bonuses being offered to encourage more players to withdraw, withdrawal requests taking longer to process and bankrolls being sold online for a fraction of their worth.
Our advice to any player concerned that their money is safe when they play on a US poker site is to research the integrity of the site. There are various forums that contain payout threads and news sites with payout reports. Naturally, here at PokerNewsReport.com, we only review online poker sites with a good reputation. However, we strongly recommend that you should never deposit more into an online poker account than you can comfortably afford to lose.
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 accept credit cards provided that the card is authorized for overseas/international purchases, while others will accept bank transfers, person-to-person transfers, and deposits from selected e-Wallet providers.
One of the biggest online gambling innovations in recent years has been the introduction and acceptance of Bitcoin as a deposit option. Most of the leading US-friendly online poker sites now offer players the opportunity to conduct transactions in Bitcoin – eliminating potential delays, charges and currency conversion fees.
Regardless of the method of payment you use to deposit funds into an online poker site, it is important to note that some sites apply limits to the amount of money that can be deposited from certain sources. These deposit limits may be lower than the maximum poker site bonus. If you are making your first deposit with an online poker site, it is in your best interests to find out what limits may apply.
Withdrawing Funds from an Online Poker Account
Most online poker sites that welcome players from the US offer multiple withdrawal options usually including payment by check (which can be sent through the mail or delivered by courier) by person-to-person transfer, by prepaid debit card or by Bitcoin. With the exception of Bitcoin, none of the withdrawal methods are instant, so never to play poker with funds you may rely on to pay the rent!
Charges for withdrawals vary from site to site according to the withdrawal method used. Most Bitcoin withdrawals are processed free of charge, and some sites offer a free withdrawal at regular intervals or when players reach certain levels of the poker site´s loyalty program. Withdrawals are most frequently paid back to the source used to fund the account, so it is a good idea to check what withdrawal fees apply to your chosen method of deposit.
It is also a good idea to check the minimum and maximum limits before making your first deposit. Some sites have very high minimum withdrawal limits using certain payment options, while some have very low maximum withdrawal limits. 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.