Everything you need to know in order to play legal online poker for real money in the USA – including how to avoid unlicensed & unregulated poker sites & poker apps
Poker players in the USA can enjoy poker games like Texas Hold’em and PLO online for real money. We list some of the best poker sites in the USA:
Legal U.S Online Poker Sites & Apps
Global Poker is a popular and innovative site offering legal poker online in the USA. Through their patented sweepstakes model, you can win real prizes across a variety of poker game formats & promotions.
Available: all U.S States except Washington
888 Poker US
888 Poker US
One of the fastest growing online poker sites worldwide, and a trusted name in online poker, 888 offers a comprehensive line-up of cash-games, satellites, tournaments and SNGs & rewards for players.
Available: New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware
Founded in 2001, Party Poker every poker game you would expect to U.S residents, as well as live and online major tournaments. Players at the site are rewarded with up to 40% rakeback.
Available: New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia
WSOP is one of the most famous live and online poker brands. With legal, regulated poker games running 24/7
Available: New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware
The top destination for U.S poker players - PokerStars sets the bar high for other poker sites - by offering ever poker variant under the sun..
Available: Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania
The top poker site on the iPoker network, Bet365 poker brings 24/7 cashgames to the USA, from micro-stakes to midstakes, plus tournaments, satellites and big Sunday poker tournaments.
Available: New Jersey, New York, Colorado
Choosing a legal, safe and trusted online poker site or poker app to play on in the U.S sounds like it should be a simple task – but that’s not the case.
Poker players need to be very careful in how they select an online poker app or site if playing from the United States.
Why is finding a trusted U.S online poker site not easy?
Theoretically you would just use your search engine of choice – typing in a search query for “online poker” and in no time you would expect to be stacking chips on the virtual felt on a poker site online.
However the chances are quite high you would end up on one of the many unregulated international poker sites which are deemed illegal in many U.S states.
Which states offer legal online poker apps to players in the U.S?
At present there are five states U.S states which allow legal online poker for real money:
- New Jersey
Which Brands offer real-money legal online poker in the United States?
- WSOP/888 US
- Party Poker/BetMGM
- Pala Poker (New Jersey Only)
WSOP/888 US is currently the top U.S online poker app in terms of traffic – as it’s the only site which shares liquidity (players/traffic) among three legal online poker states (New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware).
West Virginia made legislative changes legalizing online poker in 2019, but online poker has has materialized for consumers in the state as of 2022.
Poker in available in almost all of West Virginia’s land-based casinos, and the expectation is that PokerStars, Partypoker, 888 and WSOP.com would be likely to enter the online market should conditions become favorable.
One key issue will be low player liquidity (due to small population), however the Mountain State could embrace a shared liquidity pool with other states, following litigation related to the federal Wire Act.
What are Regulated Poker Sites & why should U.S poker players care?
A regulated online poker site offering real-money poker games has to abide by a set of rules (outlined by the licensing regulator) – to provide fair and transparent services to consumers.
This means that if the poker room doesn’t play by the rules, you can get the regulator involved to solve any disputes that might arise.
Gambling regulators have immense power – and can levy huge penalties and fines on online poker rooms and casinos if they get out of line, and may also take away their operating license if they don’t abide by their legal duties, or repeatedly flout regulator guidelines.
In order for a poker site in the U.S to be deemed “legal”, the following must happen:
Following a license application, State Gaming Authorities will audit the applicant and their business (and partners) on a case-by -case basis. Should an operator get whitelisted, it will then be required to partner with an approved land-based casino within the state’s borders in order to acquire a valid license as an interactive gaming operator.
Once all of these key criteria have been met and the operator has been issued a license, it becomes a legal online poker room in the United States.
Internationally based poker sites (sometimes referred to as “offshore poker rooms”) are not subject to U.S law – which can sometimes cause major headaches for players.
USA poker players often deposit funds with offshore poker sites via Bitcoin, Ethereum & other cryptocurrency in order to bypass banking restrictions, or KYC checks, or self-exclusions.
If the offshore poker site turns out to be a scam, or a payout issues arises – the consumer is on their own – and at the mercy of a foreign company.
Therefore in order to reduce financial risks – it makes a lots of sense to only play on those online poker sites that are regulated in the USA wherever possible.
List of U.S Poker Regulators by State
Nevada Gaming Commission
Office Address: 1919 East College Parkway, Carson City, Nevada 89706
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 8003, Carson City, Nevada 89702-8003
Mailing Address: 2850 Turnpike Industrial Drive, Middletown, PA 17057
Phone: (717) 986-4699
Fax: (717) 986-4767
Michigan Gaming Control Board
Mailing Address: 1500 Abbott Road, Suite 400,East Lansing, MI 48823
Delaware Gaming Control Board
Mailing Address: Cannon Building, Suite 203 861 Silver Lake Blvd. Dover, DE 19904
phone: (302) 744-4530
fax: (302) 739-2711
Legal Live Poker in the USA
Read our USA Legal Poker Guide to find out more about regulated land-based and online poker in the United States on a state-by-state basis.