Best Poker Sites for US players in 2020
Here is a list of the legal poker sites for the US players. Download apps, sign up to play online and enjoy nice bonus code offers and promotions.
Alabama Poker Sites
Online poker is illegal in Alabama. However, it is not considered illegal under Federal laws because the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act does not specifically mention playing poker online is illegal. Because of this, it is legal for an Alabama citizen to play online poker at sites that operate in a country outside of the United States.
Alaska Poker Sites
Just like sportsbooks in Alaska, online poker is illegal in the state. However, while it is illegal to operate an online poker site in the state, it is not illegal to play poker online. Off-shore poker sites are the only option.
Arizona Poker Sites
Gambling in any form online in Arizona is considered illegal and this goes for online poker as well. There are sites which will accept Arizona money but they are few and far between at-best. Playing poker live continues to be the best option in the state. However, just as with sports betting, legislation allowing for online poker is expected, but there is no timetable.
Arkansas Poker Sites
Playing online poker in Arkansas is considered illegal. There will be no legal online poker options anytime soon, that’s for sure. That said, it is not illegal to play poker online in Arkansas, just illegal to set up a website for it. For this reason, Arkansas players use any of the numerous off-shore online poker sites for real money games.
California Poker Sites
Live poker is legal in California but must be played in licensed card rooms. Unfortunately, online poker is not yet legal in the state. That said, just as with many other states, California online poker falls into the legal grey area where it is illegal to operate a website, but not illegal to use one. For this reason, off-shore poker sites are used by California players without fear of legal repercussions.
Colorado Poker Sites
There are poker rooms available in Colorado and, in recent years, their numbers have actually been down. For this reason, legal online poker may be a long time coming to the state. There has been legislation to legalize poker online but it has never moved very far forward in the statehouse. Players in Colorado are relegated to off-shore sites and will have to remain there for the foreseeable future.
Connecticut Poker Sites
Online poker is not yet legal in Connecticut but many see this changing in the future. While there is no legislation in pending, the state has legal live poker rooms available in their two casinos. Until then, online poker players are forced to use the off-shore websites.
Delaware Poker Sites
Delaware allows just about every form of gambling in one way or another including online poker. Their online poker sites actually run through their casinos, just as their online sportsbooks will. All three online poker sites are downloadable apps and are very easy to use, complete with promotions and bonuses just for signing up.
Florida Poker Sites
Poker itself is legal in Florida, just not online. Not yet, that is. While there is no legislation pending on the matter, it is expected within 2019. However, it is important to note, it is not illegal to play poker online in Florida, only to operate an online poker site from Florida. Therefore, Florida online poker players still play online, just through off-shore sites.
Georgia Poker Sites
Online poker is also strictly prohibited in Georgia so players have been using off-shore sites and will have to continue to do so. There is hope for an all-encompassing online gambling law to pass, including poker. However, it won’t be anytime soon as Georgia has proven it is in no hurry.
Hawaii Poker Sites
Online poker, as with everything else, is currently illegal in Hawaii leaving the off-shore poker sites as players only option.
Idaho Poker Sites
Idaho has kept online poker illegal and doesn’t show any signs of changing their ways. Online poker players can access several off-shore poker sites, but even this is frowned upon in the state.
Illinois Poker Sites
While there are several live poker rooms operating in the state, online poker remains illegal so players are forced to use the off-shore sites for any online action.
Indiana Poker Sites
Live poker is legal in Indiana and many of their casinos host poker rooms for players. However, online poker has been lumped into the online casino debate so this will also take so time.
Iowa Poker Sites
Many unsuccessful efforts have been made in Iowa to legalize online poker in the state. That effort continues to this day and there is high hopes of passage within the next year or two. For now, Iowa players can access off-shore accounts with no worry of legal hangups.
Kansas Poker Sites
Online poker has been grouped in with online casinos in Kansas and, as for now, there is not much moving forward with legislation or otherwise. Poker is legal in the state in casinos and their poker rooms. Any online poker played in Kansas will be of the off-shore variety.
Kentucky Poker Sites
As you probably guessed, with Kentucky’s tough if only temporary gambling laws, online poker is not available in the state. The state seems to be behind the curve a bit although it is making strides to caught up. Just as with many other states, it is not illegal to play poker online, just illegal to run an online poker site. Therefore, all the online poker action in the state is accessed via off-shore poker sites.
Louisiana Poker Sites
Louisiana is another state that finds itself in the legal gray area when it comes to online gambling. It is illegal to operate an online poker site in Louisiana. It is also illegal to play online poker. However, the latter is never enforced which allows Louisiana players to use whichever online poker site they like.
Maine Poker Sites
Online poker exists in Maine the way it does in many other states, inside of a loophole. Online gambling of any type is illegal in Maine. It is illegal to operate an online gambling site in Maine. However, it is important to know that of these two laws only the second is enforced. Due to this lack of oversight, off-shore sites handle all of the online poker action in the state.
Maryland Poker Sites
All sorts of online gambling is headed for legalization in the state of Maryland but it will all take some time. As for now, online poker does exist in Maryland but only through off-shore poker sites.
Massachusetts Poker Sites
Massachusetts, just like many other states, is in the unfavorable position of relying on off-shore sites for their online poker. It is not regulated in the state so there are no legitimate poker sites available. However, online poker has been lumped in with online gambling as a legislative issue and there are bills in the statehouse looking to move forward.
Michigan Poker Sites
As is the case with most of the states in the U.S., the legality of online poker is a mixed bag. You can pay online poker freely. However, in most states, it is unregulated. This limits your online options to off-shore sites only as it is illegal to run an online poker site in Michigan.
Minnesota Poker Sites
When will some states learn? Legalizing and regulating online poker is a must as it is happening all across the U.S. Minnesota is another of the states where it is legal to play poker but illegal to run an online poker site. This costs players will regulated poker rooms and costs the state plenty of revenue.
Minnesota has introduced legislation to change this but nothing has stuck so far so, for now, you must continue to play online poker in Minnesota at one of the numerous off-shore sites.
Mississippi Poker Sites
While Mississippi is very aggressive in legalizing all forms of gambling, poker, online and in poker rooms seems to be forgotten. It is legal to play online poker in the state via any of the off-shore sites but it is not sanctioned. However, there are many online gambling bills floating around the Mississippi statehouse and, considering the state’s recent activity, online poker may be regulated sometime soon.
Missouri Poker Sites
While live poker is legal to play in Missouri at licensed casinos, the legality of online poker remains dicey at best. It is illegal for anyone to offer online poker in the state and this includes the off-shore sites so popular in other states. However, online poker does exist in Missouri, only with less off-shore options as in other states.
Montana Poker Sites
Live poker is allowed in Montana but must be licensed and comes with a payout cap. Online poker has not been so lucky as of yet though. While it is legal to play online poker, Montana is an unregulated market so the only action you will find will be with the off-shore poker sites.
Nebraska Poker Sites
As with other gambling options, Nebraska has shown no interest in regulating the online poker market in their state. Live poker is not offered at any of their casinos and neither is online poker. Players are able to use off-shore poker sites, although finding a site which accepts Nebraska players can be tricky.
Nevada Poker Sites
Not only is Nevada home to the biggest live poker tournaments in the world, they also offer online poker. All online poker sites must be licensed in the state and follow their specific regulations but there are plenty of options to do just that.
New Hampshire Poker Sites
Live poker is legal in New Hampshire and there are poker rooms in both of the state’s casinos. Online poker is not regulated in the state so it is only illegal to operate an online poker website, not play at one. For this reason off-shore poker sites are the only options in New Hampshire.
New Jersey Poker Sites
As you may have noticed, not much is illegal in New Jersey and this includes online poker. Of course, there are dozens of live poker rooms available but there are now several online poker sites licensed by the state at the ready such as 888 Poker NJ and PokerStars NJ. Check the best poker apps for NJ players in 2020.
New Mexico Poker Sites
Poker in New Mexico has some ground to cover in order to keep up with other forms of gambling in the state. Playing poker online is not illegal in New Mexico. However, it is an unregulated market as operating an online poker site in the state is illegal. For this reason, online poker is relegated to the off-shore sites for now.
New York Poker Sites
The legality of online poker is a dicey one to say the least in the state of New York. It is legal to play poker online and it is even legal to operate an online poker site as well. However, the state has not setup the regulatory framework for those sites to operate. Until they do so, New York players will continue to use the off-shore sites they’ve been using for years.
North Carolina Poker Sites
North Carolina, much like many other states, have an online poker industry per se. It is not regulated and the state collects no revenue from it but it is not illegal to play online poker in North Carolina. It is illegal to run an online poker site in the state which is why players in N.C. use the online poker sites of the off-shore variety.
North Dakota Poker Sites
Playing online poker in North Dakota is not illegal although it is illegal to operate an online poker site. Therefore, North Dakota online poker players are limited to the off-shore sites.
Ohio Poker Sites
Ohio is another of the states with a legal yet unregulated market. Playing online is perfectly legal but operating an online poker website is not. Therefore, online poker players in Ohio are limited to the off-shore sites.
Oklahoma Poker Sites
While many states are taking positive steps forward to legalize and regulate online poker, Oklahoma seems to be moving the opposite direction. It is perfectly legal to play online poker for money now. However, the market is unregulated so play is limited to off-shore sites.
Oregon Poker Sites
While you can find live poker at many of the state’s casinos, playing online poker is deemed illegal by state law. However, there has never been any criminal prosecution of anyone playing poker online. For this reason, all of Oregon online poker is done via the many off-shore sites located on the internet.
Pennsylvania Poker Sites
As with most states, it hasn’t been illegal to play online poker in Pennsylvania, only operate an online poker site. As part of the same bill which is regulating online casinos, online poker will also be newly legal and regulated.
Rhode Island Poker Sites
Oddly enough, poker is completely illegal across the entire state, including online. None of the casinos even have a poker room available for players. For this reason, any online poker in the state is done via off-shore sites.
South Carolina Poker Sites
All forms of poker are also illegal in South Carolina so you’ll find no poker rooms in the state. Online poker, of course, is very popular everywhere in the U.S. regardless of legality and, just like numerous other states, to play online poker in South Carolina you must use an off-shore site.
South Dakota Poker Sites
Playing poker in South Dakota is legal and easy to access. Any of their casinos can offer a poker room and for those unable to make it out of the house, online poker is available as well.
Tennessee Poker Sites
Tennessee comes down hard on poker and part of this is because their anti-gambling laws are so old, poker was the only game in town. You can’t play poker live in the state and playing online is difficult. Players can access off-shore sites but this comes with the usual drawbacks.
Texas Poker Sites
As mentioned, live poker is very big in Texas and the poker rooms in their casinos are always full. However, the state has done nothing to legitimise online poker so the only options in the state are via off-shore sites.
Utah Poker Sites
The laws in Utah are so strict, in fact, off-shore sites for poker don’t even exist in the state.
Vermont Poker Sites
The same goes for all forms of poker in the state. While you can probably play a few hands of Hold’em in your buddy’s garage, you won’t be able to play real money games of poker either online or in-person. Off-shore accounts allow for access in Vermont but this, of course, comes with all the drawbacks those sites bring.
Virginia Poker Sites
In 2011, Virginia went all-in by denying all forms of online casino gambling and this included poker. As of today, it is illegal to operate an online poker website in the state, but not illegal to play at one. For this reason, Virginia, like so many other states, finds its only online poker option to be at the unregulated off-shore sites.
Washington Poker Sites
While poker is allowed in the state’s licensed casinos, it is illegal to play poker online. The Washington laws on gambling online are very strict so even many of the off-shore sites do not accept Washington state players’ money. If you want to play poker in Washington, find your closest Tribal Casino.
West Virginia Poker Sites
Live poker is allowed in licensed casinos, but online poker is on the same timeline, and bill, online casino finds themselves on. It is legal yes, just not up and running. Again, this should not be the case after 2020.
Wisconsin Poker Sites
You can find live poker at several of the state’s casinos as playing poker is not illegal in Wisconsin. It is illegal to operate an online poker site so the market remains an unregulated one by the state. For this reason, all online poker in Wisconsin is played via off-shore sites.
Wyoming Poker Sites
While you can find live poker in the state, online poker is still illegal and doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon.
Is online poker legal in the USA?
Online poker has been popular in the US ever since Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 World Series of Poker. You can now find some great legal online poker sites in the US.
Many offshore sites operated in the US under a gray legal area. But when UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) hit in 2006 and 2007, many overseas sites withdrew from the States.
Other poker rooms have continued to operate unhindered in the US. But after the DoJ’s reinterpretation of the Wire Act in 2011, individual states were allowed to introduce their own legal and regulated poker sites.
Nevada and New Jersey were first to license and open online poker rooms. Some of the world’s largest poker operators now have US-facing poker sites. However, players in New Jersey and Nevada can’t compete online against players based overseas. One of the great benefits of playing online is that you can enjoy interstate poker against players from New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. In 2019, Pennsylvania and West Virginia legalized online poker sites.
Poker in USA
Poker has always been a favorite game in the US and in addition to being able to play at land-based casinos and poker rooms, there are some options when it comes to legal online poker rooms as well. When it comes to the legality of online poker, state, federal, and international laws all play a role. The game has been played in the US since the 1800s but the only version of the game is only about 20 years young. It all stated at PlanetPoker, a site that launched in 1998.
The foundation of online poker was laid in the late 1990s with an explosion of online gambling sites entering the market. PlanetPoker broke onto the scene and was immediately successful. With an initial rake at 5%, the site set the industry standards. Unfortunately, Planet Poker fell prey to the enactment of UIGEA and stopped taking real money bets in 2007.
Today, individual states have the ability to set their own laws regarding online poker access and poker rooms. While not many states offer operating poker rooms at this time, you can expect many to emerge in the coming years and more and more states are looking to legalize online gambling as a source of revenue and to prevent players from spending their money at off-shore gambling sites.
Understanding the Effects of UIGEA
In 2006, Congress passed the UIGEA and it was then signed into law by President Bush as part of the Port Security Bill. The law actually had no impact on the legalization of online gambling or accessing online poker rooms like may believe. Instead, it made it illegal for sites to offer online gambling services to US residents. When the bill was passed, many offshore gambling sites faced possible federal prosecution if they offered their services those residing in the US. In addition. Any banks that processed transactions to such sites would also be prosecuted.
It did not become illegal for individual players to access online poker sites and engage in real money play. However, it did make it almost impossible to find payment methods that could be used at these sites. US players were not able to use credit or debit cards, were restricted from some ewallet services, and did not have the option to use bank transfers. Basically, the only way left to fund an account at an online poker room was through the use of a prepaid card. While players could deposit funds, they faced many problems when trying to withdraw winnings, all due to UIGEA.
After the passage of UIGEA, a lot of lobbying began in efforts to bring down the law. The Poker Players Alliance was an active protester of the law and they lobbied in Washington and conducted many fundraisers to increase public awareness. This Alliance still is active with millions of members.
Black Friday in Poker
Even after the passage of UIGEA, online poker rooms remained active and players from the US found ways to create and manage their online accounts. Everything changed in the world of online poker on April 15, 2011. This day, known as Black Friday, was the day that the US Department of Justice unsealed an indictment against the executives of Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, and PokerStars. A civil complaint was also filed against these companies. Those named faced many years in prison and the civil complaint went after $3 billion in assets from mentioned sites. As a result, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars immediately ceased offering poker games online to US players and Absolute Poker soon followed suit.
Not only were these poker room sites charged with being in violation of the UIGEA, but they also had charges of money laundering, fraud, and illegal gambling thrown at them. That same morning, two individuals named in the indictment were arrested and the remaining 8 defendants were currently outside of the US.
Any player that then visited these sites was greeted with a seizure notice from the DOJ and FBI. It only took until that afternoon for PokerStars to block US players from accessing any real money poker games online. Full Tilt and PokerStars did continue to offer their services to players from other locations. A little over a week following Black Friday, US players were able to start to withdraw their balances from accounts.
While Black Friday completely shut out US players from leading poker sites, it also resulted in the loss of the license for Full Tilt Poker, which was issued by the Alderney Gaming Control Commission. A lawsuit was filed by players demanding their funds.
Online Poker Returns to the US
Even after Black Friday, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars continue to operate, focusing their services on players from other countries. This changed in 2013 when online poker returned to the US in a regulated form. Many companies had obtained licensed in the state of Nevada to be able to offer online poker rooms, with one of them being Ultimate Poker. This was the first site to launch online, opening on April 30. Just after that, WSOP.com entered the industry in September and remains one of the leading online poker sites in the entire country.
After Nevada started to offer regulated online poker, New Jersey and Delaware were the next two states to follow suit. At the end of 2013, online gambling was active in the state of New Jersey and Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com were among those sites that were active. Unfortunately, Ultimate Poker would shut down in 2014 and later left the state of Nevada as well. In 2016, PokerStars NJ launches, bringing online poker to the state.
States with Legal Online Poker
For a few years now, online poker rooms have been legally operating in a few US states and many others are looking at creating laws that would allow for the operating of such sites. As mentioned, Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey were the first to offer an online poker room that provided real money games. Players from these states are also allowed to play against each other and multi-state poker is one of the top choices for gamblers from these locations.
In 2019, Pennsylvania became the fourth state to introduce laws that would allow online poker and casino games, though, at this time, there are no poker rooms that are up and running. The most recent addition to the list of states offering legal online poker is West Virginia. An online gambling bill was signed into law on March 27, 2019.
If you are residing in New Jersey, you will find four poker networks being offered and you will find some amazing cash games and tournaments being offered. The sites that are currently available include WSOP NJ, PartyPoker NJ, PokerStars NJ, and Pala Poker. For those of you from Nevada, you will find that the online poker industry is dominated by WSOP NV and in Delaware, there only one poker site operating and that is 888 Poker.
While online poker has been legalized in PA and WV, you will not find any sites that are active yet. They are expected to be launched late in 2019 or early 2020, so be sure to watch for updates so you can discover the great thrills of online poker action in these two states.
WSOP is the Top Choice for Legal Poker Online
When it comes to playing legal poker online in the United States, WSOP is your best option. This site is available to players in New Jersey and Nevada and it is the official site of the World Series of Poker. It is also known to offer some of the largest prize pools of all operating poker sites, so you can be sure you will be playing for some amazing rewards. Not only can you win cash when playing at WSOP, but you can also earn actual seats at World Series of Poker events that are played throughout the year.
Since 2013, this site has been operating and offers access to some of the best poker tournaments being played online. One of the great benefits of playing at this site is that there is a multi-state player sharing agreement between Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey. This means that poker sites that operate in any of these states will be able to share player pools.
When you create an account at WSOP, you will benefit from a great 100% match bonus that will be applied to your initial deposit. This can boost your account balance by as much as $1000 in free cash. You will also receive 7 gold tickets to WSOP Gold Bracelet freeroll events that are hosted at the site. As a final part of the welcome package, you will enjoy a $5 Black Poker tournament entry for your chance to win payouts as high as 10,000x your buy-in amount.
When you become a member of this recommended legal poker site, you will be able to play a variety of cash poker games and tournaments. There is the popular offering of Texas Hold’em as well as other games like Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, Stud games and more. If you are looking for endless Texas Hold’em action this is the place to be as there are tables that have no limit cash games as well as multi-table tournaments.
The highlight of playing at WSOP is the offering of tournaments. One of the largest poker tournaments available anywhere online is played here, ich is the weekly Sunday $100K Guarantee event. You will also be able to engage in online events that are part of the World Series of Poker tour. With tournaments offering small and large buy-in amounts as well as daily freeroll events, all of your poker tournament needs will be met at this top-rated online site.
Types of Online Poker Games
Depending on what site you choose to access, you will find a great offering of poker variations and special events that can generate some amazing payouts. Each site will have different games as well as being limits, so you will want to check these out before you make any final decisions on where to play. You will find that most sites will support all of the popular poker games, which can include:
- Draw Poker
- Stud Poker
- Omaha Poker
- Texas Hold’em
- Casino Hold’em
- Three Card Poker
- Caribbean Stud
There are also other great poker games that can legally be played online for real money wagers and payouts. HORSE is one form of poker that has become quite popular with players and this is a multi-game form of poker that takes aspects of five different games and puts them into one variation. HORSE has been added to the World Series of Poker Tournament and continues to be a popular choice for real money players.
You will also find some sites offering RAZZ poker, which is a form of seven-card stud. With this game, the lowest hand will win. Seven cards are dealt to each player, but only five are used to create the lowest hand. Since 1971, this game has been an event at the World Serie of Poker and it is one of the preferred stud games featured at online poker rooms.
Despite a rough and rocky road, online poker rooms are legal in the US and you will find some outstanding sites that will meet all of your needs. While only three states are offering their own rooms, you can enjoy the action of the best games and the highest possible payouts. If you do not reside in a state where an online poker room is licensed and operating, you still have the option of accessing off-shore poker sites where you can play the same games for real money.
As more and more states alter gambling laws to allow online poker you will see many more sites becoming available in the coming months. These will all offer secure access, great bonuses, tournament action, and will also offer the chance to engage in poker games using your mobile devices, all in a safe environment regulated by local gambling laws.
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- Best Poker Sites for US players in 2020
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- Pennsylvania Poker Sites
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- Tennessee Poker Sites
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