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Best Online Poker Sites: Online Poker USA

Online poker was born in the 1990s and has enjoyed massive popularity ever since. This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone. The game of poker has always attracted those who like the idea of winning cash by pitting their skill and wits against other players. Unfortunately, it used to involve traveling to a land-based poker room, which limited its reach. Online poker, on the other hand, makes the game accessible (local laws permitting) to anyone with an internet connection.

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Introduction to Online Poker

In this guide to online poker, we’ll give you all the information you need to have a good understanding of the game and playing online poker for money. You’ll learn which states allow you to play online poker and which don’t. We’ll also identify the very best online poker sites in the states that do allow it.

After taking you through the various games that are available, we’ll define the most common poker online tournament formats. You’ll then learn how to sign up and start playing at the best online poker sites. And how to collect a decent bonus or two along the way! 

online poker USA

What is Online Poker?

Quite simply, it's the traditional game of poker that is played online instead of at a land-based poker room. When you visit an offline poker room, you will register for a game, take your seat and begin playing. The same applies when you visit one of the best online poker sites via your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Every online poker room has a lobby area that shows you which games are available. You can sign up for any game and you’ll then be taken to a virtual table. The rules of the game at an online gambling USA site are exactly the same as when playing offline. The main difference is that the cards and chips are presented graphically.

There are a few minor differences too, which give the online game advantages over land-based games.

  • Online poker for money is more convenient than its offline predecessor because you don’t have to travel anywhere to play.
  • The games also tend to progress faster when you play poker online because all dealing is automatic.
  • Online tables don’t take up any physical space, so online poker sites offer far more games than you’ll find at any bricks-and-mortar casino.
  • Many of the best online poker sites allow you to enjoy poker online free as well as for real money.

When you enjoy poker online free, you bet with ‘fun money’ as you learn the ropes. You can also play for real money at a wide range of staking levels. If you’re just getting started, you can play poker online for pennies and keep your risk low. In contrast, high rollers can play for tens, hundreds, or thousands of dollars per hand.

Whether you’re a fan of Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Stud, Razz, or any other popular variation of the game, you’ll find plenty of action online. Even better, games are running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you can play at the best online poker venues whenever you want. And you’ll never have to worry about a dress code!

Online Poker in the USA

Whilst online poker has flourished in recent times, it isn’t something that can be enjoyed in all states. In fact, right now there are only six states that have legalized online poker. Those six online poker USA states are NJ Online Poker, PA Online Poker, Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, and West Virginia.

States allowing the best online poker sites

Delaware

The state of Delaware legalized online gambling way back in 2013. Anyone in Delaware who is of legal age can enjoy as much online sports betting, casino gaming, and poker playing as they want. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have the greatest amount of choice. 

There are just three land-based casinos in Delaware. All of them offer poker online free and for real money through a platform run by one of the best online poker sites, 888 Holdings. It is also possible for online poker players here to participate in games that share pools with players in New Jersey and Nevada.

Michigan

Online poker sites became legal in Michigan at the end of 2019. Unfortunately, the state wasn’t particularly quick to take advantage of that fact. Online poker USA players had to wait until January 2021 for its first online poker room to open. That poker room was PokerStars. It is hoped that other operators will go live in the state of Michigan in the coming months and years.

Nevada

Enthusiasts in Nevada have been able to play poker online since 2013. Given the state’s reputation for being one of the most progressive as far as gambling is concerned, it doesn’t have many poker online operators to choose from. In fact, it has just one, which is WSOP. 

Fortunately, online poker USA players in Nevada can also participate in games with players from New Jersey and Delaware via the 888 platform. Still, it would be nice to see more online poker sites actually operating in this state.

New Jersey

NJ sportsbooks

This is another state which has allowed online poker since 2013. New Jersey has plenty of operators to choose from. That isn’t surprising. The state has been at the forefront of the gambling revolution that is sweeping across the US.

There are currently more than half a dozen online poker sites operating here, including BetMGM, 888poker, PartyPoker, and PokerStars. Players in New Jersey can also play against opponents in Delaware and Nevada via the shared 888 platform.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania gambling proponents had wanted online poker to be legal long before it finally happened. Fortunately, the legislation was well worth waiting for. Poker players in this state have been able to play poker online ever since PokerStars opened its virtual doors in 2019. Other online poker USA operators are also expected to follow suit in the not-too-distant future, including 888poker and PartyPoker.

West Virginia

West-Virginia_HTB

The state of West Virginia legalized online poker in 2019. Unfortunately, there are no online poker sites yet operating here. The COVID-19 pandemic slowed the state’s progress in the area of online gambling. Right now, online casinos are taking priority over the nation’s favorite card game. On a brighter note, the legislation has been passed and online poker sites will be keen to open here as soon as possible.

What About Other States?

It might be taking some time, online poker is gradually being introduced in an increasing number of states. When a state without online poker sees how much tax revenue is being generated by its poker-friendly neighbor, it also tends to see the benefits of changing its laws concerning online poker USA. Many industry commentators predict that this will lead to more states welcoming online gambling legislation in the next few years. Watch this space and we’ll add new states that allow the best online poker operators as and when they come along.

Three of the Best Real Money Online Poker Rooms 

As we have just explained, the best online poker offerings aren't available in many states. Even in the states where it is allowed, the number of poker rooms operating can be limited. If you live in a state with limited online poker USA options then you will have to make use of what’s available. However, if you are lucky enough to have a choice of online poker sites, there are a few that are particularly worth checking out. Here are three of the best online poker offerings…

BetMGM Poker

The MGM name was hugely influential in the movie industry. It is also just as familiar in the Las Vegas casino scene. Now it is also enjoying the limelight as a big player in the online poker industry. BetMGM Poker has everything you could want from an online poker USA operator, including a fantastic bonus just for signing up and trying it out. 

Borgata Poker

Borgata Poker has been available to online players since 2013. It has since established itself as one of the most popular online poker destinations around. As well as offering bonuses for signing up and making a first deposit, Borgata Poker also offers an attractive iRewards loyalty program.

888poker

888poker is the online poker offering from the same company that runs 888sport and 888casino. This is one of the biggest online gambling operators in the world, and it shows. Expect an impressively wide range of games, some great promotions, and a packed schedule of big-money tournaments.

How Do We Rate the Best Online Poker Sites

Highlighting the best online poker sites in the country isn't something that we take lightly. There is money at stake here, so we are careful to invest as much manpower and research hours as necessary to investigate the online poker USA scene in as much detail as we can. We look at many different aspects of the online poker sites in operation to see how they perform in each. Only when a poker site excels in all of the areas investigated do we finally feel confident enough to give it our wholehearted recommendation. The main areas that we look into are as follows:

Legality, Licensing and Regulation

First, we check to make sure that the online poker site under review is completely legal for online poker USA fans. We also check its licensing so that we know which states it is legally allowed to operate in. Each state has its own regulatory system, so we examine that side of things as well. Although it probably doesn't need to be said, any poker room that doesn't pass all of these checks will flying colors will never be considered for inclusion on our list of the best online poker sites.

Range of Games

The only reason to sign up with one of the best online poker sites is to play the game, so the next thing we look at is the range of games that are available. We know that there is a lot more to online poker USA than Texas Hold'em, so we check to make sure that all of the most popular formats are on offer. 

Of course, even a great range of poker games is only part of the equation. There also needs to be a good population of online poker USA players to play against, and plenty of tables to play at, no matter how small or large your bankroll may be. That being the case, we also look at all of those factors (including the ability to enjoy poker online free) and only consider adding a site to our list of the best online poker sites if it impresses us in all respects.

Safety and Security

Playing online poker is all about putting your hard-earned cash at risk, so the safety and security of players are of paramount importance. We make sure that any venue featured as one of our best online poker sites takes every measure possible to provide this. When you visit any of our highlighted legal online poker rooms you can therefore expect all of your financial information to be processed and stored in a secure way, with industry-standard encryption and security protocols being observed at all times.

Bonuses and Promotions

Some places prioritize bonuses and promotions above all else, but we don't. It's no use having a great bonus if a site isn't properly regulated, the games on offer don't come up to scratch or the safety and security are lacking in any way. That's why we look at bonuses and promotions only after we're fully satisfied with the three aspects described previously.

When we do finally come to explore the bonuses and promotions that are available to those who play poker online, we want to see something genuinely valuable. As well as looking at the headline maximum bonus amount on offer, we also examine its associated terms and conditions, such as its playthrough requirement. Similarly, when exploring online poker USA promotions, we look at how accessible they are as well as at how engaging and rewarding they are. Quite simply, if a particular site's bonuses and promotions aren't among the best available then it won't appear as one of our best online poker sites.

Software Performance

Playing online poker is most enjoyable when the software being used operates so smoothly that you don't even notice it. We look at everything from compatibility (does the software run on Windows, Linux, Mobile, and so on) to how well it performs. We want the user interface to be attractive and intuitive, and we also want the online poker USA back-end to be as rock-solid as possible. How well does the software respond when you reconnect after an unexpected internet disconnection, for example, or when the site is particularly busy? Thanks to this area being examined in some detail, you can expect our best online poker sites to perform as well as you'd like them to, if not even better.

Customer Service

Last, but by no means least, we take the customer service for a test drive. This can be fun, as we usually like to ask tricky questions that don't have a pat answer, but all of our best online poker sites can handle them with ease. We look at how friendly and genuinely helpful the customer support team is, how easy it is to get online poker USA support and when live support is available. If an operator doesn't impress us right across the board, we save our 'best online poker site' verdict for one that does.

Clearly, when we talk about the best online poker sites here at How To Bet, we aren't pulling any chains!

Why You Should Play Only Legal Online Poker

NJ online casino regulation

The question of why you should play only legal online poker is one that really shouldn't come up too often, as it's a bit like asking why you should only drive on the freeway with a valid driving license. The short and obvious answer is because it's safer for you as an individual.

For an online poker site to operate legally in the USA, it needs to meet rigorously high licensing and regulatory conditions. Each state has its own licensing and regulatory body which allows it to keep a very close eye on any best online poker venue that operates within its jurisdiction. This ensures that the games available are fair, that all sensitive player information is kept safe and secure, and that players will be able to withdraw - and receive - their online poker USA winnings whenever they choose to do so.

Playing at online poker sites which aren't legal means that you would be taking risks in all of those areas. First, you would be supporting a site that is knowingly operating in an illegal manner. But you would also have no guarantees that the poker games aren't rigged, that your financial information (such as credit card details) are being kept safe, or that you'll actually be able to get hold of your online poker USA profits even if you succeed in winning at the tables.

Our advice on this topic is clear and simple: only ever play at legal online poker sites. And if no sites are currently available in your state, be patient. Online poker is being welcomed by an increasing number of states, so it could just be a matter of time before legal poker becomes available to you.

What Do You Need to Play Online Poker?

The requirements for playing online poker are minimal. You won’t need a table, poker chips, or even a standard deck of playing cards. In fact, you almost certainly have all you need right now - a device connected to the internet.

It used to be essential to have a desktop or laptop computer if you wanted to play online poker. Those devices are still the most popular because of their substantial display sizes and processing power. However, technology has come a long way over the last two decades. Today you can play just as easily on a tablet device or even a smartphone. Given that you’re reading these words about online poker USA on a screen of some kind, you’ve probably got all the physical equipment you need to at least get started.

The most important thing you need for online poker USA is a constant and reliable internet connection. One that won’t cut out in the middle of a game. This is also important when sports betting or playing casino games online. However, in online poker, it is even more so. That’s because everything can change in an instant. How you play every move could mean the difference between winning the hand, game, or tournament or losing it. A dropped connection can therefore affect much more than the current betting round.

Fortunately, internet connectivity is seldom a problem these days. If your current connection is solid enough to stream Netflix or similar, it should be fine for online poker.

Key Factors to Consider Before Playing with Real Money in Online Poker Sites

When you're thinking about playing with real money at any online poker site, you would do well to consider the same key online poker USA factors that we discussed earlier when talking about how we choose the best online poker sites. To help you do that, we'll briefly go over those again from your perspective, and add a couple of other things that we think you should explore.

Legality: Is the site operating legally and are you in a state where you can legally engage in online poker real money games? If so, it will be licensed and regulated for the state you are in. 

Range of Games: Does the site offer the types of poker games that you want to play? Are there tables for the stake level you want to play at, as well as for levels above and below, just in case you choose to shift in either direction? Can you enjoy poker online free?

Safety and Security: Look at how your personal and financial information will be processed. Does the poker site employ strong encryption protocols to protect your data? Are you happy with the Privacy Policy of the site?

Bonuses and Promotions: Are you happy with the bonuses and promotions that are available at the site? How they compare with other sites isn't important, as long as you are personally happy with what you'll get by signing up and any playthrough requirements that are attached.

Software Performance: Is the site fully compatible with the device you intend to play on most often? If you intend to use mobile at any point, you should also check to make sure that the site will let you do so. In all cases, are you happy with the design of the site and the experience of playing there?

Customer Service: Is support available during the hours that you are most likely to need it. Around-the-clock support isn't as important as support that is there during the times you expect to be playing. Ask a question and see how happy you are with the friendliness and usefulness of the response.

Terms and Conditions: Read through the Terms and Conditions to ensure that you're happy with them. Most legal online poker sites operate in much the same way, but it's always worth checking to confirm there aren't any clauses you don't like the look of.

The Players: What kind of players use the site? If you're a beginning poker player, you probably won't want to play against a room full of online poker USA experts from the get-go. Are most players friendly and polite, or do they tend to be overly aggressive and hostile? 

What Games Can be Played at Online Poker Rooms?

Those of you who think that poker is a single game that is always played in exactly the same way are in for a big surprise. There are in fact multiple different types of online poker real money games that can be played. Some are more popular than others, but several are popular enough to be found at most online poker rooms.

Texas Hold’em

This is the online poker real money game that most people think of when the topic crops up in conversation. It’s the one that many got to know through televised World Series of Poker (WSOP) tournaments. And it’s a game that every poker player should know and understand.

Each player receives two ‘hole cards' and up to five community cards are dealt in the middle of the table. The aim is for players to make the best five-card poker hand with any of their hole cards and community cards. Visit our Texas Hold’em page for more information on how to play it.

online poker real money

Omaha

The game of Omaha is similar to Texas Hold’em. However, instead of each player receiving two ‘hole cards’, they receive four. Players must then make the best five-card hand possible using two of their hole cards and three of the community cards on the table. 

Several different types of this core Omaha online poker real money game can be played, including Omaha Hi-Lo. Take a look at our Omaha page to start with and go from there.

Seven Card Stud

Seven Card Stud used to be one of the most popular poker games around. But then Texas Hold’em started getting all of the attention from the mainstream. Players begin with two hole cards dealt face-down and another card which is dealt face-up. The visibility of this face-up card (and others that appear later in the game) makes playing this variation quite different from Texas Hold’em. 

Other forms of Stud poker that can be played include Seven-Card Stud High-Low, Razz, and Five-Card Stud, to name just three.

Pot Limit and No-Limit

It is worth noting that many legal online poker games can be played in both Pot Limit and No Limit variations. In Pot Limit games, players can’t bet more than is allowed by the current value of the pot. In No-Limit games, there is no limit on how much players can bet. That's why it is possible for them to go ‘all in’ and bet their entire remaining chip stack on a single hand.

What is an Online Poker Cash Game?

You will soon notice that there are plenty of ‘cash games’ or ‘cash tables’ to play at online. You might assume that these are simply games that allow you to play online poker for money, but that isn’t really what the ‘cash game’ term means.

A Cash Game is one that online poker real money players can join and leave as they please. You turn up with whatever cash you have in your account and you play for as few or as many hands as you like. Other players at the table can do the same. If you sit down at a cash game for a while, you will see that some players leave, new ones arrive and some players will return after taking a break. 

The advantages of cash games are numerous. One is that they are great for any schedule. That's because you can play online poker for money for as short or long a period as you please. Another is that they allow you to leave if you find that the other players are too slow to make decisions, too ‘trappy’, too ‘fishy’, or simply too good for your current skill level. Yet a third advantage is that you can call it quits if you win a big pot.

However, it isn’t always good news. One of the main disadvantages of cash games is that your opponents can also leave the table if they win big. This means it is possible for you to lose a big pot and see your opponent leave before you have a chance to win your losses back. It is therefore a very good idea to bet with the smallest possible amounts when you first start playing at the cash tables so that you can learn any hard lessons at a price you can afford to pay.

What is Heads-Up Online Poker?

Another type of legal online poker game that you will come across is the Heads-Up cash game. This is a game of poker that involves just two players - you and your opponent. All the normal rules of a cash game apply, so the poker is the same and either one of you can leave at any point.

Heads-Up online poker real money games are popular with certain types of players for a number of reasons. The first is that they proceed at a rapid pace. Whereas a single hand of poker can take a couple of minutes at a table with six or nine players, the same hand can be played in a fraction of the time where there are just two of you. That makes this type of game perfect for those who don’t enjoy sitting around waiting for others to make their decisions.

Another reason why Heads-Up games are popular is because they allow you to play many more hands per hour. We have already mentioned the time advantage, but here we’re talking about skill development and potential profitability. If every 1,000 hands you play can be said to increase your skill level, it will be quicker to do this playing Heads-Up than at any other table. And if you manage to make a certain profit per number of hands played, Heads-Up games can also be more profitable for you.

Of course, the skills that you can develop playing Heads-Up poker may not be quite as helpful in regular games and tournaments as you might think. That’s because you won’t learn much about the importance of position, or the betting patterns of multiple opponents, and so on.

What are Online Poker Tournaments?

We mentioned tournaments a moment ago, and when you visit online poker rooms you’ll find that there are plenty of them available. There are many different types of tournaments, so here we will simply introduce you to the main formats so that you have some idea of what they involve.

Multi-Table Tournaments (MTT)

A Multi-Table tournament, or MTT, is any tournament that has more players than can be accommodated at a single table. A regular online poker table has up to six or nine players, but having multiple tables means that many more players can participate in a single tournament to find out who is best of all.

These online poker tournaments work by reseating players and reducing the number of tables in use as participants get knocked out. For example, if a tournament has 45 players, it might use five tables of nine players each. When nine players have been eliminated, the remaining contenders will be reseated on four tables, and the empty table will be removed. 

Multi-Table tournaments can involve hundreds or thousands of players. Every player pays for entry and much of that entry fee will contribute to an overall prize pool. That prize pool will usually be shared by the players who fare best in the tournament. Getting to the final table will normally give you a very worthwhile prize, and winning the whole tournament will give you the biggest prize of all.

Multi-Table tournaments tend to be scheduled well in advance of them being held. Some are scheduled many months in advance. They have a fixed start time and fixed breaks, but their duration depends on the number of people taking part. Some MTTs, such as the WSOP Main Event, are played over several days.

Sit and Go Tournaments (SnG)

Players who don’t want to wait for a Multi-Table tournament to get started may be better off looking at Sit and Go (SnG) online poker tournaments instead. As the name suggests, these are designed so that players can simply pay for an entry and take a seat. Each SnG tournament has a stated number of participants and gets underway just as soon as that many players are seated. 

In order to give players the shortest possible waiting times, Sit and Go online poker tournaments tend to have far fewer participants than MTTs. Most SnGs are for two, three, six, or nine players, in which case they can also be referred to as Single Table tournaments. However, you will also find SnGs that use multiple tables to allow more players. Just bear in mind that you may need to wait a while for these to reach the required number of seated players.

Because SnGs are designed for a fixed number of players, they also tend to have a fixed payout structure. In a six-seat tournament, prizes are usually paid to the players finishing in 1st or 2nd position. In a nine-seat tournament, the player in 3rd place may also win a prize.

Heads-Up Tournaments

These are online poker tournaments for fans of the Heads-Up poker format. They can be described as SnG tournaments, in which case two players will battle it out until just one of them has all the chips. They can also involve multiple tables so that many more players can compete to find out which one is best on the day, although it has to be said that these are rather less common.

Freeroll Tournaments

Anyone who wants to have a go at a Multi-Table tournament without risking any of their hard-earned bankroll should take a look at Freeroll online poker tournaments. These don’t cost anything to enter and can give you plenty of useful experience. However, also note that the prizes in these tournaments tend to be very modest. Additionally, because participants have nothing to lose except their time when playing freerolls, you may find that your opponents play rather less seriously than in a regular tournament.

Rebuy Tournaments

In a regular MTT, when you lose all of your chips, you’re out. A Rebuy Tournament is a little different because it gives you a limited number of chances to rebuy chips. This allows you to buy more chips to rejoin a tournament that you’ve already crashed out of. It also allows those who remain in the tournament to boost their chip stacks. Because these tournaments can give you a second chance of winning, they are sometimes also referred to as Second Chance tournaments.

Satellite Tournaments

Some of the biggest tournaments offering the largest prize pools can be quite expensive to enter. We’re talking about entry fees of $1,000 and more. Whilst the top prizes in these tournaments can be very attractive, the cost of entry is prohibitive for many. For that reason, almost all online poker rooms run Satellite tournaments which give you a chance of winning yourself a place in the big game.

Satellite tournaments run like any other MTT, but offer entry into the expensive tournaments just mentioned instead of cash prizes. Some online poker rooms offer a sequence of satellites that enable you to invest a very small amount to begin with in order to win a seat in a more expensive satellite. Do well in that and you can progress to an even more expensive satellite, and so on until you eventually win a seat in the main tournament proper.

You obviously need quite a bit of luck as well as skill to win your way to a major online poker tournament, but it can be done. And if you make it to the main tournament, you’ll have had plenty of tournament practice to warm you up for the big game itself!

Guaranteed Tournaments

Most online poker tournaments award prizes according to the amount of money available in their prize pools. The size of those prize pools is usually determined by the cost of entry and the number of players who participate. However, there are also Guaranteed tournaments that guarantee a minimum prize pool value no matter what. If there aren’t sufficient players to create that prize pool in the normal way, the poker room will make up the difference to meet the guarantee.

All-In Tournaments

The final type of tournament that we will highlight here is the All-In tournament. This is a rather novel format that doesn’t appeal to most serious online poker players because it forces every player to go ‘all in’ on every hand dealt. Winning or losing is, therefore, a matter of luck, rather than skill. If you get lucky on most hands, you may well win the tournament. But it’s far more common to crash out quite early, and possibly even on the very first hand, than to make it all the way to the money.

What are Online Poker Bonuses and Promotions?

There are often several online poker operators available in states that allow the game. For that reason, each online poker real money operator is keen to attract as many players as possible. Giving bonuses and promotions to those who want to enjoy online poker for money is a great way for them to achieve that goal, and there are several different forms to look out for.

Online Poker Bonuses

Online poker bonuses are offered as a way of encouraging prospective players to sign up and start playing. The most common bonuses are as follows:

No Deposit Bonuses

These are so-called because they don’t require players to make a deposit to claim them. All you have to do is sign up for an account and you’ll receive the bonus. This will often be quite modest, such as free entries into a handful of games or tournaments. However, they do give you a chance to explore an online poker room without risking any of your own cash.

Deposit Bonuses

These are bonuses that reward you when you make your first deposit and sometimes also subsequent deposits. Since you need to use your own cash to make any deposit, these bonuses tend to be far more valuable than their no-deposit cousins. You might, for example, be offered a 100% bonus on your first deposit, up to a stated maximum. This would give you twice as much cash to play with as you’d have without the bonus.

Reload Bonuses

Any deposit bonus which is offered for a deposit subsequent to your first deposit can also be described as a reload bonus. That’s because you’re effectively reloading your account. As you’re already a client of the site, the reload bonus offers aren’t usually as big as those offered for your first deposit.

Online Poker Promotions

Promotions are very similar to bonuses but are usually aimed at existing rather than new players. Their purpose is to give current players even more reason to remain loyal to the operator rather than going elsewhere. Some of the most common promotions offered are detailed below.

Cashback Bonuses

Some online poker rooms offer their players cashback bonuses. These return a portion of the money spent on rake at the tables to players at the end of a given period. The more games played, the greater the value of the cashback will be.

Free and Discounted Entries

Many online poker rooms offer free and discounted tournament entries to their existing clients. Some operators even run ‘members only’ tournaments which are only available to those who have been playing at the room for a while. All of these entries give players a chance to win valuable prizes with little or no risk.

Seasonal Promotions

Seasonal promotions are ones that are given to celebrate a particular time of year. They are most common in summer and winter, with special tournaments being run to celebrate the vacation season and Christmas, but they can also take place at other times. Some poker rooms even like to celebrate how many years they have been operating by running a special tournament or event.

Loyalty Programs at Online Poker Rooms

In addition to bonuses and promotions, some online poker rooms also run loyalty programs. These usually award points to players as they enjoy poker at the tables, and those points can then be collected and exchanged for rewards. The exact nature of the rewards varies from operator to operator, but typical rewards include free tournament entries, bigger cashback bonuses and special reload bonuses.

How to Get Started with Online Poker

Now that you’ve seen what online poker has to offer, you’re probably keen to get started. This isn’t at all difficult and involves little more than choosing a poker room, signing up for an account, downloading any software that may be needed, and making your first deposit. Let’s explore each step in that order…

How to Choose an Online Poker Room

Those of you who live in a state where there is only one online poker room operating can skip this section. If you are lucky enough to have two or more in your state then you will need to choose between them.

When choosing an online poker room, you should first check that any site you are thinking of playing at is completely legal. That done, make sure that a site offers the type of games and tournaments that you want to play at stakes that suit your budget. If you still have trouble deciding which room to join, give preference to the one with the most attractive bonuses.

This is just one approach to choosing an online poker room, but it is well-reasoned. Also, be sure to take a good look at our poker reviews so that you can see what’s on offer without having to do too much research for yourself.

How to Sign Up with an Online Poker Room

Signing up with an online poker room takes just a few minutes. Head to the New Account of Registration area of the poker online site and provide the information requested. This will normally include your name, email address, and other essential pieces of information. You may be asked to submit proof of ID so that your details can be verified.

How to Download Poker Software and Apps

Some online poker rooms may require you to download software to your computer or an app to your mobile device. Where this applies, full instructions will be provided. Downloading and installing online poker software to your PC is just as easy as downloading and installing any other software application. Similarly, you will be able to download an app to your mobile device by following the poker room instructions or by obtaining the app via whatever mobile app store you normally use.

How to Make a First Deposit at Real Money Online Poker Rooms

When you have signed up for your poker online account and installed any software or app that is required, you can make your first deposit. Each operator will have their preferred methods of deposit, but credit cards and e-wallets are commonly accepted. Provide the information required, as well as the amount you want to deposit, and the process should be quick and easy. Just remember that you may need to provide a bonus code when making your deposit to qualify for a particular bonus that is on offer. Check the bonus terms and conditions to find out if this is the case.

How to Withdraw Your Winnings

Playing online poker can be hugely entertaining, engaging, and enjoyable, no matter how you fare. However, it’s even better when you also win! At some point, you will probably want to withdraw your winnings so that you can enjoy them in the real world.

It is just as easy to withdraw money from an online poker account as it is to make a deposit. Start by heading to the banking area of your account. Select the method you want to use and state the amount you want to withdraw. Submit the withdrawal request and it will normally be processed. This processing includes strict security checks to make sure that your money only goes to you. For this reason, you may need to allow a few days for your cash to reach your bank account.

Online Poker Compatibility - Mac / Linux / Mobile Poker

It is always in the best interests of online poker site operators to make their offering as accessible as possible. For that reason, you will find that the vast majority of online poker software applications are available for both Windows and Mac users, as long as you have a fairly modern version of the OS installed.

Those of you who use Linux may find it more challenging to find an online poker site that is compatible with your operating system. However, solutions do exist, such as installing WINE to assist you in running applications designed for the Windows environment.

Mobile gaming is becoming increasingly common, so there are also plenty of poker sites that offer apps for both Apple and Android smartphones. Of course, you won't want to change your phone just to accommodate a site offering poker online, so instead make sure you choose a site that will accommodate your phone!

Caution: Online Poker Sites To Be Careful With

No, we aren't going to give you a list of named online poker sites to avoid. That would be a poor approach to safety, as dubious poker sites could launch at any time and render such a list impotent. Instead, it is much easier for us to caution you against playing at any site that doesn't meet the legal criteria mentioned earlier. Specifically, you should never play at any online poker site that is not licensed and regulated for the state that you are playing in. Adhere to that one simple guideline and you will automatically avoid all poker online sites that could potentially put your safety and security at risk when playing online poker for money.

Online Poker FAQ

Is online poker legal?
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Online poker is legal in a growing number of states. Before playing, check to ensure that a poker site is licensed and regulated to operate in the state you are in.

Where is online poker legal?
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At the time of writing, online poker is legal in Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

What is the minimum legal age for playing online poker?
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The minimum legal age for playing online poker in the US is 21.

Is online poker fair?
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Online poker is as fair as any other properly run online game. Legally licensed operators are strictly regulated and they go to great lengths to ensure that all of their games are fair to all. They even have strict measures in place to prevent players from sharing information with each other.

How to win online poker?
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Winning at online poker requires both luck and skill. You can win at online poker with luck alone, but if you want to win regularly you need to rely on skill. Study the game seriously, practice at the tables and your ability to play well – and win – will increase as a result.

Can you play poker online for money?
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Yes, you can play poker online for money in any state that has made online poker sites legal.

How many online poker rooms can I join?
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The number of online poker rooms that you can join is limited only by the number that operate in your state. If you have the opportunity to do so, joining two or more online poker rooms will allow you to take advantage of whatever bonuses and promotions are available at each of them.

How to play poker online?
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Assuming that you know how to play poker in general, playing online poker is a breeze. The rules of online poker are the same as those at a land-based poker room, so simply sign up to join a legal online poker site, choose a table and start playing.

How to play poker online for money?
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Playing poker online for money is just the same as playing at free tables. The big difference is that the poker chips you use will have an actual cash value.

How to play poker online with friends?
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A growing number of online poker sites will let you sit at a private table that can only be joined by people you invite. Those are great for when you want to play poker online with friends. If you don’t have that option, simply tell your friends which table you are sitting at and they will be able to join as and when seats become available.

Where to play online poker?
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First, check to see if online poker is legal in your state. If it is, choose any of our best online poker sites that is operating there.

Where to play online poker for money?
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All of our best online poker sites allow you to play online poker for money, so simply choose one that operates legally in your state.

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