The Best Online Poker Sites in the United States
US Poker Rooms: The Best Legal Online Poker Sites in the United States
Ever since 2011, online poker players based in the United States have faced many challenges when it comes to finding sites on which to play their favorite game. Some offshore "rogue" sites currently available to players in the US operate in a legal gray area that can make playing on them risky for American players. While we recommend you to avoid those sites, the good news if you are living in the United States there are now an increasing number of US eligible poker sites on which you can play legally.
Right now there are four states that offer legal and regulated online poker — Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. In addition to the sites in these states — many of which feature some of the best online poker software around — there are other poker sites for American players that offer subscription-based poker which in most cases is legal in other states as well.
Our comprehensive US Poker Map includes everything you need to know about the status of online poker in all 50 U.S. states as well as the District of Columbia. There you'll find a ton of information not only about the four states where online poker is currently legal, but also about states where online poker has been legalized but regulation is pending, states where online poker is not legal but currently under discussion, and those where it is not legal and not presently being discussed.
Legal US Poker Sites
When it comes to Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, members of the PokerNews editorial team have provided in-depth analyses of each state's offerings, including explanations of the software they use, the promotions they feature, the traffic and game selection they provide, the support and banking options they offer, and much more to help you decide which among them are the best US poker sites where players can play for real money on these state-regulated online poker sites.
Additionally, we are constantly monitoring these sites and others for the latest changes and promotions, to make sure our reviews of the top US poker sites remain the most up-to-date in the industry.
If you are new to online poker, finding a room with great promotions and excellent software should be on the top of your list when it comes to deciding which are the best US online poker sites. Also, keep in mind that a room with a great customer support is always a good start. At the same time, more experienced online poker players should be hunting for poker rooms with the best games, biggest traffic, closely followed by great software.
Click below to read about current, state-regulated online poker sites:
- Best Online Poker Sites for Delaware Players
- Best Online Poker Sites for Nevada Players
- Best Online Poker Sites for New Jersey Players
- Best Online Poker Sites for Pennsylvania Players
As you'll discover by following the links above, New Jersey and Nevada currently provide the most options for US poker players, while online poker players in Delaware have three sites from which to choose, all of which use the same platform although each offer different bonuses and promotions.
Pennsylvania just launched its first online casinos in July 2019 with the first online poker sites not going online right away. As a much bigger state than Delaware, Pennsylvania has better potential for attracting larger player pools and thus may well start to challenge Nevada and New Jersey when it comes to providing the best poker sites for US players.
Speaking of player pools, it is worth pointing out that thanks to an interstate compact between Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware, players in each state playing on WSOP.com/888 sites have been able to play against each other in combined player pools. It's possible Pennsylvania may also be allowed to become part of that interstate compact as well, making for even better liquidity for those playing in those four states.
Another point worth making clear to US online poker players — you don't have to live in the states with legal and regulated online poker in order to play on the sites. You only have to be within those states' borders in order to be allowed to create accounts and take part in the games.
Meanwhile if you are a US-based online poker player who doesn't live in Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania, you should look into subscription-based online poker as this is your only legal option.
The Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act of 2006 changed the landscape by which online poker operators could legally operate, specifically prohibiting "gambling businesses from knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in a bet or wager that involves the use of the Internet and that is unlawful under any federal or state law." Subscription-based sites in the US are not covered in this US law since there is no entry fee for any of the tournaments or ring games. While widely legal throughout the United States, some states do prohibit play on subscription-based poker rooms.
The software on many subscription-based sites is easy to use whether you have played poker online or not. Since the software was designed with the recreational player in mind, it is often web-based and not conducive to multi-tabling. The games are not only fun due to the casual setting, but you can often have opportunities for big prizes including packages to take part in land-based poker events, as well as cold hard cash.
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The best part of subscription-based sites is that there really is no risk, since you can play in lots of events for free when becoming a paid member of a site. These sites also often include games to players who want to enjoy online poker without becoming a paid member. For many, then, these subscription-based sites can actually be the best online poker sites for US players who don't live in states that provide legal and regulated online poker.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Play Poker Legally?
In today's complicated US online gambling landscape it's sometimes not clear how old you have to be to play online poker legally. Many "rest-of-world" online poker sites have a requirement that players be at least 18 years old to play. However that is not typically the case when it comes to online poker sites in the US.
In the United States, when online gambling laws are passed in individual states, the licensing requirements usually connect the new online sites to existing "brick-and-mortar" casinos and gambling venues. That means the age requirement for players is often also the same, whether the games are "live" or online.
In Nevada and New Jersey, you must be at least 21 years old to gamble in the states' casinos. That means those playing online poker on regulated sites in those states must be 21 as well. Delaware allows residents aged 18 to participate in some forms of gambling, but to gamble in casinos you have to be at least 21, and the same goes for online casinos, too, including online poker. Pennsylvania has also instituted a minimum age requirement of 21 for those wishing to play on online poker sites in the state.
Even free-to-play "social poker" sites sometimes have an age requirement. For example, the WSOP online social poker room requires players to be at least 21 years old.
By contrast, many subscription-based online poker sites have a minimum age requirement of 18, although the rules vary. Be sure to check the site's terms and conditions to be sure about age requirements. You can also find more details about online poker's age requirements here.