Last updated on Apr 04 2020

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USA
Online Poker in the USA

The USA is in a period of transition: In December 2011, the DOJ published a legal opinion stating that the Wire Act only applies to sports betting. This paved the way for individual states to begin considering online poker. Many states are addressing the opening of the online poker market and finding solutions. More and more bills are passing.

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Section Background

Top Three States To Go Online

The US market for online poker has been growing strongly for several years. Each year more states regulate the market and allow online gambling. Experts suspect that the following three states will come up with an online offer next.

 Flag

Virginia

Virginia is in every respect a historic state whose nickname is Old Dominion. It is also called Mother of the Presidents because eight US presidents came from here. With almost 10 million citizens, the state could also soon become the mother of gambling as soon as further licensing takes place in 2020.

2020
Indiana
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Indiana

If you ask an American what comes to his mind first when mentioning the state of Indiana, it would probably be cornfields, basketball or the Indianapolis 500. It would be a little surprising if online gambling were now added. But since 2019 it seems to look very much like it.

2021
 Flag

Kentucky

The name of the state Kentucky is of Shawnese or Iroquois origin, possibly from the Wyandotic, meaning "meadow", "meadow", "field". This is mainly due to the fact that most of the Iroquois come from today's Kentucky. Just like Virginia, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, Kentucky has the nickname "Commonwealth" instead of "State".

2020
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1
96%
888 Poker Logo
Poker Variations N/A
Mobile
Rake approx. 5% (Cap $0.30 - $3.50)
100% up to $1,500
Player Pool 500 - 3,000
Network Name 888 Poker / WSOP Poker
888 Poker Review
100% up to $1,500
2
93%
Party Poker Logo
Poker Variations N/A
Mobile
Rake approx. 5% (Cap $1-$5)
100% up to $1,000
Player Pool 350 - 1,400
Network Name BetMGM / Borgata / PartyPoker
Party Poker Review
100% up to $1,000
3
91%
Poker Variations N/A
Mobile
Rake approx. 4.5% (Cap $0.30-$3.50)
100% up to $600
Player Pool 250 - 1,500
Network Name PokerStars
PokerStars Review
100% up to $600
4
88%
BetMGM Poker Logo
Poker Variations N/A
Mobile
Rake approx. 5% (Cap $1-$5)
100% up to $1,000
Player Pool 350 - 1,400
Network Name BetMGM / Borgata / PartyPoker
BetMGM Poker Review
100% up to $1,000
5
84%
Borgata Poker Logo
Poker Variations N/A
Mobile
Rake approx. 5% (Cap $1-$5)
100% up to $600
Player Pool 350 - 1,400
Network Name BetMGM / Borgata / PartyPoker
Borgata Poker Review
100% up to $600
6
82%
WSOP Poker Logo
Poker Variations N/A
Mobile
Rake approx. 5% (Cap $0.30 - $3.50)
100% up to $1,000
Player Pool 500 - 3,000
Network Name 888 Poker / WSOP Poker
WSOP Poker Review
100% up to $1,000
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Where to Play Online Poker 2020

When it comes to figuring out where to play online poker, there are many different considerations that come into the equation. You want a platform that ticks all of the boxes for your specific needs and preferences. This can be tricky to do all by yourself. This is where the AmericaGambles platform comes in handy for figuring out where to play online poker. You can search by state to see which online poker sites are legally open for you to use. You are also able to check out the comprehensive and objective reviews of the various online poker sites. This takes most of the hard work off your hands and allows you to get playing quicker when you decide where to play online poker.

Top or Flop: 10 Criteria for Online Poker Site

There are certain variables that remain constant for all online poker sites. These are core aspects of an offering that can be compared to one another. At AmericaGambles, there are ten different variables which are looked at in order to try and develop an unbiased review of an online poker offering.

Cash Game & Tournament Offer: Making sure your needs are catered for

The first aspect of an offering you should be looking at is the types of games and events that a given poker site has on offer. This will have a massive bearing on where to play online poker as you do not want to be using a platform that does not have your favored games and types of tournaments. While a site may have the type of game you are looking or, it may not have the player traffic to consistently allow you to get into these games and enjoy the experience. You should also note that if you are a mobile player, there may be certain games on the desktop offering of a poker site that will not be translated over onto the mobile offering.

Welcome Bonus & Promotions: See what rewards are on offer

One of the best aspects about signing up for a new online poker account is the welcome bonus poker. This is a way to thank you for signing up for an account with a given platform and is a great way for you to get your new account off to a good start. These welcome bonuses can come in many different guises depending on where to play online poker. Usually, there will be some form of bonus that will see your first deposit matched to a certain amount. A lot of operators also will have an offer whereby you get bonus funds just for signing up. You do not even need to make a deposit in a lot of cases. You should always read the terms and conditions of the bonus offer, as many of them look great on the surface but it is nigh on impossible to cash out the bonus funds as the wagering requirements are way too strict. Another aspect of where to play online poker is checking out how an operator treats existing players. You what to see if existing players are rewarded for their loyalty to a platform through the likes of regular offers and bonuses.

Rake & VIP Program: Knowing what cut the site takes

The online poker sites take their cut from the layers through the rake and through tournament fees. A portion of each pot on the platform will be kicked back to the operator. Therefore, you want to do some research to see what the normal rake is on each respective platform. Even small differences in the rake rate can lead to significant fluctuations in profit over the long term. This is certainly something you should not overlook. Loyalty programs are also very important, particularly if you are going to be playing a lot of hands. These programs have different tiers usually and you will have access to more perks the more you play. Some of the perks will include the likes of cash back bonuses and free entry into certain events.

Traffic & Network: Ensure there’s enough people on the site

One of the most important aspects of figuring out where to play online poker is the level of traffic a given platform is getting regularly. A platform could have every poker game under the sun on offer, but if nobody is there playing these games then this does not matter at all. You want to be playing on a site where your favorite games are going to be full with people playing so you won't be waiting for a table to fill up for a long time. As a lot of the smaller poker sites struggle to take in significant player numbers, they will often band together and form a network. This network pools all the players of these platforms together in order to play against one another.

Mobile Poker App: Vital for mobile players

The process of playing poker on a mobile device might have seemed alien just a few years ago, but it is now growing in popularity rapidly. People want to now play on the go and they can do so thanks to the powerful computing technology in modern day phones. Most online poker sites are focusing more time and effort on their mobile offerings. Most sites will have a dedicated app for major devices that you can download. Alternatively, you can usually play on these sites through your mobile’s web browser. You will want to ensure that an operator's mobile app is up to scratch and there are no glitches when playing. You also want to check what games and tournaments are on offer through these poker apps for real money, as they will often be different from the desktop offering.

Customer Service: Knowing how to resolve an issue

If you ever have a problem or a question that you want to be resolved, then you will want to be dealing with a customer support team that is well-trained and available around the clock. This is why a customer support team service is always assessed when you are trying to assess where to play online poker. You should check to see what hours they operate, with a lot of the bigger operators having around the clock service. Most platforms will have a FAQ section that will solve a lot of the more straightforward issues you may have. Otherwise, you may want to give them a call on the phone or to send them an email. The more straightforward of issues can be immediately resolved if an operator has a live chat function that you can use.

Payment Options: Getting funds added and removed from your account

The types of payment options that are on offer at a given operator can be a make or break part of choosing where to play online poker. You want to make sure that your preferred methods are catered for. You also what to check the associated fees and processing times. The last thing you want to happen is to be waiting ages for your funds to process or cutting off a lot of your payment through fees. It is a good idea to see what track record the company has when it comes to the safety of transactions. You want to make sure that your financial data is kept safe.

Usability & Software: The platform needs to run smoothly

When you are looking at where to play online poker, you want to be sure that the platform is easy to use and navigate. This means having a good navigation system, an easy to read color scheme and no too much excess info that is not needed. This will enhance the overall experience of getting a game and getting into a game. You will also want to be sure that the gameplay itself is smooth and that there will be no glitches that could interrupt one of your games. A good way of checking these aspects is to see what existing players have to say on the various online poker platform’s performance levels.

Security: Keep your account safe and secure

People are now a lot more concerned about their security online than ever before. You want to make sure that your private data is kept safe and sound thanks to encryption technology and other security protocols that are in place. You want the site to be well protected, as well as all transactions. Double-check the license that a given platform holds as this will indicate what types of checks and oversight the platform is being exposed to. It is always a good sign when an operator is independently checked by another authority also.

Additional Offers: What else does the platform offer

Most online poker sites these days will be part of a wide-ranging brand. This brand will oftentimes have a presence in the online casino and sports betting sectors. Therefore, it is easy to transfer funds from one of these accounts to another. Therefore, if you are someone that likes to have everything in one place when gambling, this may be a key aspect for you to look at.

Poker Networks & Traffic

When you are looking at where to play online poker, one of the major considerations is the level of traffic a given platform is getting. You want to ensure that there are enough players on a given platform that you will be able to quickly get into a game and that your favorite games are well supported. Otherwise, you will be facing long waiting times that will detract from your experience. This is why there are usually always a couple of clear leaders that dominate the online poker market. However, the smaller brands are able to pool their player bases together in order to make their offerings viable to people. This is through networks, which sees the player bases shared. If you are playing on a given site that is part of a network, you will have access to the skins and offers specific to that given site, however, you will be playing against players from other platforms on the network.

Legal Situation in the USA

Online poker has gone through a few tumultuous periods in its history in the United States. Around the turn of the century for many years, it was largely embraced and was highly popular. However, the activity was then banned by the federal government which caused major issues. In recent years, the laws have been eased and online poker is now legal in a few states, with more set to follow. There is an all-round expansion in gambling laws in the country, with the federal ban on sports betting no longer being in place and more states now embracing the likes of online gambling. As time goes on, more states will expand their gambling laws, even those states which have traditionally been very conservative in this regard.

Online vs Offline

There are a number of major differences between playing poker online and playing it offline. Perhaps the biggest difference is the number of hands that you can play at a given moment in time. When you are playing online, you can play many different hands at the same time due to your ability to multi-table. However, in offline play you are only going to be able to play a single hand at any given time. Therefore, you are going to be able to get more practice in as well as iron out the natural variance that is in place when you play poker.

You will also have access to all sorts of different bonuses and loyalty programs with online poker sites that can be a great help to your profit levels. You will not be able to avail of physical tells in an online environment, as you are not directly looking at your opponents. Generally, you will be able to access more variety of cash games, sit and gos and tournaments when playing online than if you were playing offline. Then you have the time aspect, with the online poker sites being open around the clock and always having a good stock of players to compete against.

Checklist: Registration

When you have conducted all of your research and figured out where to play online poker, you will then be ready to sign up for an account. This process is usually pretty simple and straightforward. Here are a few simple steps to keep in mind;

  • Choose the operator
  • Decide to sign up via mobile or desktop
  • Select register
  • Add in your personal info
  • Complete the identity check
  • Confirm your new account via the email you have been sent
  • Make yourself aware of the platform’s bonus offers
  • Make your first deposit
  • Figure out a strategy
  • Meet all bonus wagering requirements

Our Top 5 Online Poker Bonus

One of the best aspects about signing up for a new online per account is the welcome bonus offer that you receive. This comes in many different forms and it is a great way to kick off a new account. While this is always a consideration when looking at different operators it should not be deciding factor of your decision.

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Nevada
New Jersey
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1
96%
100% up to $1,500
Deposit
$150
+
Bonus
$150
=
Credit
$300
2
95%
100% up to $1,000
Deposit
$150
+
Bonus
$150
=
Credit
$300
3
93%
100% up to $600
Deposit
$150
+
Bonus
$150
=
Credit
$300
4
93%
100% up to $1,000
Deposit
$150
+
Bonus
$150
=
Credit
$300
5
90%
100% up to $600
Deposit
$150
+
Bonus
$150
=
Credit
$300

Our Top 5 Poker Apps

More and more people are now playing poker through their mobile devices than ever before. They enjoy being able to play on the go, no matter where they may be. You will want to ensure that a platform's mobile offering is smooth and easy to use. However, this should not be the deciding factor for choosing an operator.

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1
96%
Mobile :App
Mobile Payment :Yes
Variations Count :3+
Available for:
apple-ios- html5
2
94%
Mobile :App
Mobile Payment :Yes
Variations Count :3+
Available for:
android apple-ios- html5
3
92%
Mobile :App
Mobile Payment :Yes
Variations Count :3+
Available for:
android apple-ios- html5
4
89%
Mobile :App
Mobile Payment :Yes
Variations Count :4+
Available for:
android apple-ios- html5
5
89%
Mobile :App
Mobile Payment :Yes
Variations Count :3+
Available for:
android apple-ios- html5

8 Tips for the Beginning

When starting out with online poker, it is a good idea to have a plan and to get a head start over your competition. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind;

  • Have a plan: For everything you do, you need to have a plan when it comes to playing online poker. This will put structure on your playing and allow you to improve over time.
  • Keep your emotions in check: The worst thing you can do in gambling is letting your emotions get the best of you. You will make rash decisions and start to chase your losses if you do.
  • Adapt over time: While you need to have a plan, over time you will see trends where you can improve or double down on something you are doing well.
  • Stick to your strengths: While you should try different game types, you should see which areas you perform the best at and stick to those.
  • Avail of bonuses: You should always avail fully of bonus offers and loyalty programs as these will help you boost your bottom line in the long run.
  • Have fun: You should never be fearful or angry when playing poker, you should be enjoying the experience for what it is.
  • Talk to other players: This is a great way to learn about new tactics and learn from mistakes that others may have made.
  • Keep within your limits: It is important that you only play with money that you can afford to lose and nothing more.

10 Important Questions and Answers

When it comes to online poker, there are some common questions people have about the experience. Here are answers to some of those questions;

There are only certain states where online poker is currently legal, so make sure that you are within one of these states. There will also be some sort of age requirements in place, usually being set at 21 years old and over.

There is a geolocation feature in these platforms that lets them know what state you are in. Therefore, if you are playing in a state where the platform is licensed and you cross state lines, your game will immediately freeze.

This depends on a state by state basis usually. For the most part, it is going to be 21 years old or over. You will have to provide some form of proof of identity when signing up for most sites which means you cannot bypass the age requirement.

The online poker sites get their cut from tournament entry fees and the rake of every cash game. This allows them to still operate the servers for the poker site and run events and the likes for players of the platform.

This depends on the situation, but no deposit offers are always a favorite as they are zero risk as you do not need to add any of your own funds to avail of the offer. Those with favourable wagering requirements will also be high on the list.

Oftentimes the e-wallet options will be the fastest ways to add and withdraw funds from online poker accounts. The likes of debit and credit cards are also very easy to use as they work the same way as if you were making a purchase online.

You will get access to different perks as your tier levels improves. You will get the likes of bonuses and free tournament entries. It is a no-brainer to sign up for the loyalty program as you will be playing anyway and rack up points naturally.

Yes, most platforms will have a loyalty program and regular promotional offers for those loyal players. This is how the online poker sites reward loyal players and keep them coming back day after day and not going over to different platforms every other day.

Most online poker sites have an option where you can play in games that are using virtual money. This is a great way for new players to learn the ropes of a platform or to practice strategy without having to risk their own money when doing so.

You should check where it is licensed and what security protocols they have in place. This is more important now than ever, due to the value people place on their internet privacy. Any red flags that crop up during your research should be taken seriously