Real Money USA Poker Sites 2014

Hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens play online poker for real money every day. There have been a number of legal actions taken against US friendly poker sites but no one has ever been arrested for playing poker. The legality of online poker in the USA is unclear in some respects. Many States have passed laws that regulate online poker but a few States have done the opposite.

Federal anti-poker laws typically only apply to the processing of transactions to and from offshore gambling companies. The U.S. government has shut down several prominent US poker rooms in the past but it has been business as usual at many other rooms.

Today there are six major poker sites that offer real money action to players from USA / United States of America. Most U.S. poker players are not even aware of the challenges that these poker rooms face. The only noticeable problems Americans face when playing Internet poker are deposits and withdrawals. Americans can have a tough time funding their poker accounts and payouts tend to take longer than it would for a European player.

BEST USA / United States Poker Sites for Real Money

#
Website
Bonus Amount
Info
Review / Play
1
Bovada Poker
$1,000
  • Reputable and legal US poker room
  • Easiest cash games available online
  • Bonus of 100% to $1,000
2
BetOnline Poker
$900
  • New poker site offering cash bonus
  • Accepts US deposits & credit cards
  • Bonus of 25% instant to $900
3
Carbon Poker
$5000
  • Best software available for US players
  • Excellent VIP poker rewards
  • Bonus of 200% to $5000
4
Sportsbook Poker
$2000
  • Offers poker - casino - sportsbetting
  • Huge tournaments and freerolls
  • Bonus of 200% to $2000
5
Sportsbetting Poker
$900
  • Offers poker - sportsbetting - casino
  • Excellent software + great support
  • Bonus of 25% instant to $900

How To Find The Best US Poker Sites

There are literally dozens or even hundreds of US poker rooms to choose from but the bulk of them are skins on poker networks. There are also some excellent stand-alone poker rooms open to players from the USA. The most important research you can do when you are looking for a poker site to play at concerns deposit options, payout speeds and traffic.  The top three US poker sites are Lock Poker, Bovada Poker and BetOnline Poker. 

What About Mobile Poker Sites? Can I Play Poker on My iPhone / Android?

Below we have provided links to our mobile section which discuss US real money mobile poker rooms and apps.

Depositing to a Real Money Poker Account

Banking has always been a problem for US poker players but since Black Friday the problem has gotten a lot worse. There are fewer deposit options available today than there were a couple of years ago. Withdrawals tend to take longer to receive unless you are willing to pay large fees in order to receive your winnings quickly. Here is a list of US friendly deposit and payout methods.

Deposit Options for United States Real Money Poker Players:

Credit, prepaid and debit cards – Most US poker sites accept Visa deposits. This is the easiest and fastest way for Americans to deposit at an online poker room.  Mastercard deposits were removed from many poker rooms a couple of years ago because of low success rates. BetOnline Poker does allow Mastercard deposits but only for VIP members. Lock Poker is the only US room that accepts American Express. All of the other rooms exclusively accept Visa. Some rooms are charging a 5-10% fee of Visa deposits but these may be waived on 1-2 deposits per month. Americans who do not have Visa cards or have had their Visa card declined can use prepaid Visa cards to deposit. These pre-paid cards are available at stores, banks and online.

Western Union & MoneygramThese two money transfer companies are an important part of the US poker industry. You can deposit using these methods at any of the leading US poker rooms. The transfers can be done online or in person. These services charge fees on every transaction but some poker rooms will cover the cost on a certain number of deposits per month or on deposits over $200-$300.

EZ Voucher – This method is available exclusively at BetOnline Poker and Sportsbetting Poker. You simply buy a voucher online using your credit card and you will receive a code. You then give this code to support and they will credit your account with the funds.

Ewallet – There are very few e-wallets that accept US customers these days.  Click2Pay is still accepted by Carbon Poker but this e-wallet is not accepting new customers.

Payout Options for United States Real Money Poker Players:

Check – Most US poker sites use checks as their main payout option. At some rooms you can upgrade to a faster delivery service for an additional fee. Checks can take anywhere from 1-8 weeks.

Moneygram / Western Union – These services also have fees associated with them but they are the fastest option for American poker players. At most rooms you can pick up your money at any agent within 12-36 hours.

The UIGEA – What Is It And How Does It Impact US Poker Players    

In 2006 the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 – UIGEA – was signed into law by President Bush. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was added to the Safe Port Act at the last minute and it is rumored that our elected officials did not even have time to read the final version before voting on it. Republican Senators Frist and Kyl were responsible for this Bill and the unorthodox manner in which it was passed. Both Senators have received large donations from the horse racing industry and many claim that the racing industry was behind the UIGEA. Regardless, the UIGEA was signed into law and it had a severe impact on the entire online poker industry. Here is a brief description of what the UIGEA does.

  • UIGEA – This Bill gave US banks and other financial institutions several years to develop and implement measures to prevent Americans from depositing at and receiving money from offshore poker rooms. The UIGEA did not make online poker illegal. It just restricted banks from processing online gambling related transactions.

At the time the largest online poker room was Party Poker. The UIGEA prompted them and several other large rooms to leave the US poker market. This allowed poker rooms like Pokerstars, who stayed in the US market, to dominate the industry.

Black Friday – What Is It And How Does It Impact US Poker Players     ‘
Black Friday took place in April of 2011. After years of minor enforcement activities like shutting down payment processors the US government finally did some real damage to the US poker market. They seized the domains of the top US poker rooms, including Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker. Pokerstars immediately paid all American players in full and was allowed to operate again so long as they did not accept Americans. Pokerstars bought Full Tilt Poker in 2014 and US account holders will also be paid back in full.

After Black Friday most Americans simply opened accounts at the remaining US friendly poker sites. Poker rooms like Bovada Poker, BetOnline and Lock Poker have been dominating the US market ever since.