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Legal US Online Poker – How and Where to Play Online Legally

With the growth of online iGaming in the US in recent years, online poker sites have started to appear, offering players the chance to play online poker for real money.

Although major online poker sites have only begun to appear recently, online poker has been around in the United States for decades. Before mobile poker and online poker rooms became the norm, there were sites offering versions of the classic card game back in the late 1990s.

After Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 victory at the World Series of Poker, a massive surge of people wanted to learn how to play poker, and the unregulated online market boomed. However, unsurprisingly as these poker games were taking place in an unregulated environment, restrictions were introduced. In response to the rise of unregulated online poker, Congress approved the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006. This meant a large number of real money gambling sites were forced out of the US market. Some big brands, including PokerStars, decided to stay the course and remained available for US players. It bought them some time, but there would come a stage where online poker in America would be a topic of discussion once again.

In April 2011, the FBI shut down the biggest US-facing poker sites and blocked their pathway to American players. Consequently, the companies were forced to stop operations in the US, and players struggled to get money refunded from their accounts.

Following this, legal, regulated online poker eventually launched in the US in 2013. The online poker legal process dictates that individual states can offer regular real money poker apps and sites within their own virtual ring-fenced borders. Currently, most of the country does not have access to win real money playing legal online poker, but the situation is getting better.

Online poker players could soon see more states launch a legal online poker industry like the NJ online poker market. As more real money poker app USA options become available, new poker game versions launch, bringing new and exciting experiences for bettors.

Whether you are an experienced poker player or new to the game, check this page for updates on legislative progress and essential news on the online poker world.

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Advantages of Legal Online Poker

There was a time when the only online poker available in the US was on dodgy, unregulated, and unsafe offshore sites. These offshore poker rooms carry lots of risks and drawbacks, with players’ information not protected. With licensed, regulated sites, you can be assured the operator will keep your information safe and provide a superior experience. You can guarantee a top poker site will be legal and licensed. For example, the world’s largest poker site, PokerStars, is fully licensed in all the jurisdictions in which it operates.

Some of the advantages of playing real money games at legal online poker sites include:

Player Protection

Everything on a legal poker site is legitimate. All players must confirm their identity before they can begin playing online. Before you deposit and visit a poker room or try and play some free poker, the site needs to know who you are. These online poker rooms use casino-level security to protect personal information, so your details won’t be passed to any third parties without your knowledge.

Playing at an offshore site, your information is not protected, and you will be at much more risk of data being compromised.

Safe Deposits & Withdrawals

Regulated online poker sites in the US must operate under the strict guidelines and regulations imposed by the state’s appointed gambling authority. Consequently, every poker room must prove they have the required secure payment systems to hold your funds. The best poker sites will also process your payments in a timely manner. Licenses are linked to a brick-and-mortar casino or lottery program, which further emphasizes the point that financial transactions will run smoothly.

If you want to play a poker game on a black market site, you will experience significant issues getting your funds in a reasonable timeframe. In some cases, bettors don’t receive their cash at all, and if this happens, there is not a lot you can do.

Responsible Gaming Tools

The rules and protocols on legal sites are constantly monitored, and any operator who doesn’t abide by these rules will suffer major consequences. As unregulated sites don’t fall under these regulations, they can manipulate their policies, bonuses, and promotions, and the outcome of the game itself.

No recognized authority can enforce fairness on the part of offshore poker sites, so if a player suffers, there isn’t much that can be done. Indifferently to whether you are playing Video PokerStrip Poker or Texas Hold ’em, or the poker strategy you employ – there is no guarantee that you will withdraw any winnings from unregulated poker sites.

How to Begin Playing Playing US Online Poker

Playing online poker is not difficult for any US player. If you are having issues starting up with any US Poker online casino, the steps below can help:

Find a reliable poker site

The first thing you need to do is find a reputable online poker site. You can check out our recommended options for one that suits you. After finding a match, head to the next step.

Register for an online poker account

Next, register for an account on the legal online poker site by clicking the Sign-up or register button. This will require you to input your email and other personal information. Fortunately, this process is short, and you can complete it within minutes.

Deposit Funds and Begin

Before you can start playing cash games on US Poker sites, you’ll need to deposit funds. Simply head to the banking/cashier section of the online casino and pick a payment option that works for you.

Don’t forget to claim your bonus offer after you deposit your funds to play free games.

Start Playing in your favorite Online Poker Rooms

Finally, all that is left is to begin playing your favorite poker casino games. Pick one of the tables and tournaments, and you might be the next lucky winner.


Is online poker legal in the United States?

The UIGEA, a provision of the SAFE Port Act of 2006, dictates that any internet gambling is unlawful if it is not legal in which the gambling activity is occurring. Online real money poker s legal within the borders of states that have legislated it. So far, the only legal markets are in Nevada, Michigan, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Can you play online poker on mobile?

Yes, every significant US online poker room also has a mobile app option. The DraftKings Poker app and FanDuel mobile poker are considered the best for video variants with high RTPs.