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Author:
Michael Tradford
Last Update:
October 3, 2021
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This author was thoroughly tested and approved by the experts at AmericaGambles.com before joining the editorial board to ensure a high content quality.
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Michael was Marketing Director in Atlantic City and worked in the casino industry for several years before shifting over to numerous newspapers in New York and Chicago working his way up to Editor-in-Chief. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports, gambling, and politics. He has a Marketing Degree, visited Columbia University during his time in New York and is now Editor-in-Chief at AmericaGambles.
Michael was Marketing Director in Atlantic City and worked in the casino industry for several years before shifting over to numerous newspapers in New York and Chicago working his way up to Editor-in-Chief. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports, gambling, and politics. He has a Marketing Degree, visited Columbia University during his time in New York and is now Editor-in-Chief at AmericaGambles.

Online Poker Real Money 2021

While there are a lot of people who like to play poker without putting money on the line, there are countless more people who engage in online poker using real money. There is just so much choice when it comes to these real money poker sites that it can be a daunting prospect trying to get started. Thankfully, AmericaGambles takes a lot of this work out of the equation for you. There is a useful search function which allows you to enter in the state you are in and see what online poker gambling real money USA sites are on offer in your jurisdiction. You will also be able to see the objective reviews of the best online poker sites that look at a wide range of different variables, allowing you to make a fully informed decision as to which play poker for money site is best suited for your needs.

In this day and age, you will have a selection of real money poker sites, allowing you to determine the best place where to play online poker to choose from if the activity is legal in your state. This guide gives you an insight into what to look for with these online poker for real money USA platforms.

Top or Flop: Criteria for a Poker Real Money Site

It is important that you consider all of the various aspects of an online poker offering to ensure that you are making the right choice. At AmericaGambles, the team looks at ten key criteria when objectively conducting an assessment into the merits of a given platform. This allows you to fairly compare one offering with another.

Cash Games & Tournaments Offer

The first thing you need to consider when looking at different play poker for money sites is what types of online poker for cash games they have and what types of tournaments are on offer. Some people prefer to play cash games and may have some niche requirements as to the type of poker variant they play, whereas others will be a lot more focused on tournaments and want to have a good selection of regular events and prize pools. If the game offering of an online poker site is not right, then there is no point going any further and looking at other aspects of an offering.

Welcome Bonus & Promotions

When you are signing up for a new online poker account, you will be able to take advantage of their welcome offer. This is a great way to increase your odds of being profitable and is a good way to kickstart your play. These welcome offers come in different shapes and sizes, such as deposit bonuses and free tournament entries. You should always make sure that you avail of these offers. There will be terms and conditions that you should read to ensure you know exactly what you are getting yourself in for. Existing players on a platform also want to be rewarded for their loyalty through regular promotions, such as free entries into games and rake back bonuses.

Rake & VIP Program

In order to be profitable, an online poker site will take their fee in the form of a rake from every pot in a cash game and from the prize pool in a tournament. This slice of revenue will vary depending on the platform. It is an important factor to consider, especially if you are playing a lot of hands. Even the smallest differences in rake can make a significant difference in the long run in terms of your profitability. VIP programs are also an important consideration of you play a lot of hands. You will move up the tiers the more hands you play in a given period of time. This will unlock different types of perks, usually in the form of free entries into tournaments and rake back bonuses. They are definitely a key consideration for active poker players.

Traffic & Networks

When you are assessing the merits of an online poker site, you want to ensure that the player base is sufficient for your needs. You don’t want to be waiting a long time to try and get into a game that you want to play because there are not enough players. The greater the level of traffic around the clock, the better the experience generally will be in terms of accessing ideal games. There are different poker sites that pool their liquidity and player base together as part of a network. This allows for more flexibility and choice for players on these sites.

Mobile Poker App

The advent of mobile gambling has been massive and it is ever growing for online poker. People can play wherever they want once they have an internet connection thanks to mobile gaming. Having the capability of playing online poker from a phone is ideal for a lot of people. A key consideration is the support a platform provides for the likes of iOS and Android users. You will also want to consider if they offer play through a web browser and if the mobile experience is a smooth and seamless one. Other key considerations may be the download size of apps and the minimum running requirements that are needed.

Customer Service

Often times when you are using an online poker platform, you may have a question or query you would like to resolve. This is why you want to be dealing with a customer support team that is experienced and you are able to reach around the clock. This means you can focus on your poker play and not have to be hanging around for hours and days to get a reply to an issue. There are many different forms customer support takes, such as through FAQ sections, live chat, telephone, email and by post. The method you use normally depends on how advanced the issue you need resolved may be.

Payment Options

You want to ensure that you can add and withdraw funds from an online poker site before signing up for an account. There are some universal deposit methods such as debit and credit cards and online bank transfers that will be on offer across the board. Other sites will support e-wallets and more traditional methods like wire transfers and even physical checks. You should assess the options in terms of any associated fees, the processing times and the ease of use.

Usability & Software

When you are looking at online poker sites, you want to be sure that you are enjoying a smooth and easy going experience. You don’t want to be running into glitchy gameplay and sites that are hard to navigate. You want to use a platform that enhances the user experience with a range of different features, including innovations that are outside of the norm. A lot of the bigger poker sites will have unique proprietary software, whereas those smaller sites that are part of networks will use the same software but just with different skins that change the appearance of the platforms.

Security

In this day and age, people are very serious about the privacy of their data. This goes for both financial and personal data. You are trusting the online poker platform with this private information and you want to make sure that they follow the correct steps to keep it safe. Therefore, you should make sure that their encryption technology is up to scratch and check to see if they were involved in any historic incidents involving breaches of data. In terms of the fairness of games, you should look to see who is regulating the platform.

Additional Offer

When you have covered all of the fundamental variables when assessing the merits of an online poker platform, you may still be faced with a couple of different options. This is where the innovative nuances of a platform can come to the fore and heavily influence your decision making. They may offer interesting types of games or special features that you will not really find elsewhere. This can prove to be the tipping point for going with one platform over another.

Poker Networks & Traffic Levels

There are so many online poker sites on the market today but not all of them survive due to dwindling player bases. A lot of smaller sites will therefore pool their resources together to maximize their chances of survival. You want to be using an online poker site that has a lot of traffic so you won’t be waiting ages to try and get into a game because there are not enough players online. You may have some niche preferences in terms of game variants or stakes, something which some of the smaller sites cannot cater for. Therefore, a lot of smaller sites will band together as part of a network.

They will use the same software, which means that the cost of developing and maintaining a high quality software package will be taken out of their hands. They will use the same software and simply change the skins of the platform to give their own look and feel to it. Then these sites can just focus on catering for new and existing players. There are many different poker networks in operation today, each with their own specifications. Some of them will focus more on the casual player, while others will look to target high rollers and those players who play a lot of hands. You should always check to see what type of player base is using a network before you sign up for an account with one of their sites.

Shifting Legal Landscape for Gambling in the USA

There is a lot of change in the gambling space in the United States as of late. States that were traditionally conservative are now looking to embrace the perks of legal gambling. The federal ban on sports betting came to an end in May 2018 and many states are legalizing online gambling in various guises. The online poker space is slowly but surely expanding over time. While there was a time when online poker was all the rage in the country, after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, most of these popular poker sites were shut down or forced underground.

It took a few years, but online poker has began growing again in some major states, such as Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Many of the states with legal online poker share their liquidity and player pools with one another. Going forward more and more states are considering opening up the online poker space. The benefits are obvious. They can take money out of the pockets of illegal operators, better protect consumers and receive valuable tax revenue from these operations.

Online vs. Offline: Things for Real Money Poker

Naturally, there are going to be some major differences between playing poker in an offline environment and in an online one. The main difference is the flexibility you have on offer online. You have access to a massive array of games. These range in terms of limits, stakes, pot sizes, prize pools, number of players, poker variants and so on. You also have access to the likes of loyalty rewards programs and bonuses. You have the ability to place multiple hands at the same time, which will drastically increase the number of hands per hour that you can play. In contrast, you can only lay one hand at a time in an offline environment. It is a more real scenario as you are pitting yourself against other players that are sitting right in front of you. The experience is a lot more natural as you have the real cards in your hands and is a rewarding experience for a lot of people.

Play Poker Online for Money Registration

There are some key considerations you need to make when getting ready to choose an online poker platform. Here is a checklist of what you should consider;

  • Check on AmericaGambles to see what online poker sites are available in your jurisdiction
  • Ensure your favorite games and depth of games are catered for
  • Check out the mobile capabilities
  • Ensure that the site is safe and secure
  • Look to see what the size of the player base is
  • Ensure that the gameplay experience will be a smooth one
  • Look at the rake rate
  • Check out the welcome offers and loyalty programs
  • Being the registration process
  • Enter your personal information
  • Make a deposit and avail of the welcome offer

Our Top 5 Online Poker Bonus

There are many different types of bonuses and offers you will come across in the online poker space. Here are some of the leading ones. While it is not the be all and end all in your decision making process, it is certainly a consideration.

Select your state
Select your state
Michigan
Nevada
New Jersey
Pennsylvania
Filter
Updating…
Select your state to find the best operator for you personally.
1
98%
100% up to $600
Deposit
$150
+
Bonus
$150
=
Credit
$300
2
97%
100% up to $1,000
Deposit
$150
+
Bonus
$150
=
Credit
$300
3
97%
100% up to $1,000
Deposit
$150
+
Bonus
$150
=
Credit
$300
4
94%
100% up to $1,000
Deposit
$150
+
Bonus
$150
=
Credit
$300
5
91%
100% up to $1,500
Deposit
$150
+
Bonus
$150
=
Credit
$300

Our Top 5 Poker Apps

Here are some of the best mobile app in the space today for online poker. Check to see if they fit the specs of your mobile device and tick the boxes in terms of performance.

Select your state
Select your state
Michigan
Nevada
New Jersey
Pennsylvania
Filter
Updating…
Select your state to find the best operator for you personally.
1
98%
Mobile :App
Mobile Payment :No
Variations Count :4+
Available for:
Android Apple Ios Html5
2
97%
Mobile :App
Mobile Payment :No
Variations Count :4+
Available for:
Android Apple Ios
3
97%
Mobile :Mobile Website
Mobile Payment :No
Variations Count :8+
Available for:
Android Apple Ios Html5
4
91%
Mobile :Mobile Website
Mobile Payment :No
Variations Count :6+
Available for:
Android Apple Ios Html5
5
91%
Mobile :Mobile Website
Mobile Payment :No
Variations Count :4+
Available for:
Android Apple Ios Html5

8 Tips for the Start of your Online Poker Journey

When someone is starting out in the online poker space for the first time, it is important that they learn the ropes of online poker strategy. Here are some simple tips to help you with this process;

  • Test out the platform: You want to know all the ins and outs of a platform before putting your money on the line. Most sites allow you to play in freeroll games which allows you to see how it works.
  • Start small: You don’t want to be out of your depth and deposit more funds than you can afford. Start off in the lower stakes and gain your place before moving up the ranks too quickly.
  • Have a plan: You should stick to the fundamentals of poker strategy and ensure that you don’t deviate from your plan.
  • Regularly review your play: You should regularly take time to review your performances. You can analyze what game types you are most profitable in and spot trends when you are winning or losing hands.
  • Take advantage of offers: You want to stack the odds in your favor as much as possible. Therefore, make sure to take advantage of all the free offers and bonuses that you can get.
  • Always pay attention: It is good when starting out to pay attention to what the other players on your table are doing, even when you are out of the hand. This gives you insights into different playing styles and helps you identify what type of player someone may be.
  • Stick to one table: Don’t make the mistake of playing multiple tables at once when starting off. Stick to one and cement down solid performances before stepping outside your comfort zone with other tables.
  • Try out different games: You should try out different types of cash games and tournaments to see what best suits your playing style and abilities.

FAQ

10 Questions and Answers about Online Poker

The only cost will be associated with the deposit option you use. Some options will levy a fee on the deposit. This is why it is always a good idea to properly look to see what charges and processing times are associated with a given payment method.

They take a rake of every pot in a cash game and slice of every tournament prize pool. It is important that you do not forget that there is a rake taken out of every pot, as this is something you will need to factor into your long term planning.

No, you have to use the name that you signed up for an account with. This is why it is important that you take your time and make a considered decision when it comes to choosing your online poker account’s username. This could be your nickname, your dog’s name or just some random combination of words and numbers.

You can only have a single account on a given platform, but you can open accounts on different sites. This means that you can shop around the various online poker sites. This allows you to obtain the various welcome bonus offers that are in the space today.

This depends on your capabilities and what you enjoy. Try out different games and see which is the best fit for you. There are many different poker variants you can choose from. However, the player traffic levels may be a key factor in which games you are able to play.

While poker sites will operate around the clock, sometimes they will schedule periods of downtime for maintenance work on the platform. Generally, you will have access to all games. However, the games of which you can access may depend on what time of the day or week it may be.

Yes, simply click on a given lobby and you can watch people play. A lot of people like to observe the playing experience at a given table, looking to see what types of strategies the given players are using. This allows the player to gain an edge when it comes to joining the table.

Most poker sites allow you to make notes about players, such as what playing style they may have. This is a great way to improve your preferences as it is likely that you will come across the same players again in future cash games or tournaments.

If you want to play at a certain table, you can join the waiting list, taking your place when someone leaves. You can take this time to observe the game play at this table or you can do something else until you are able to get a seat at the given table.

This depends on the jurisdiction you are in currently. Different states will have different rules. However, in the majority of cases, you will need to be at least 21 years old. Most platforms for online poker will also require you to scan in some form of ID to prove your age before being able to start playing.