Poker is a game that has captured the imagination of millions of US players. Thanks to the popularity of televised poker tournaments a lot of people have become armchair experts in a game that requires skill, determination and a little portion of luck. It’s not necessary to play in a real-life tournament if you want to enjoy some great poker action as there is a whole host of websites now that allow you to enjoy poker online from anywhere in the world.
What makes a good poker website and how do you find the best US poker sites? Here we look at how to choose the best site for you.
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What Are the Top Poker Sites in the US and Are They Legal and Safe to Use?
All of the top US poker sites are those which can be trusted 100% by the player and which are properly licensed and regulated, as well as ticking all the boxes regarding the versions of poker that are offered, their customer service, their accepted payment options and their general all-round reliability.
Firstly, you should choose a poker site which operates legally within the US. The laws vary from state to state and there might not be any US-based poker sites where you live which can be used. There are, however, many offshore poker rooms which accept American players and these are generally perfectly legal to play from the US.
Check also that the poker room has the relevant gaming license or licenses pertaining to the territory in which it operates and that it is regularly tested and independently audited. This information can usually be found on the homepage of any poker site.
Do They Offer the Games You Like?
The most popular poker game is Texas Holdem and this is offered by all US poker sites. If Holdem isn’t your thing or you simply want to try out other versions of poker, then you should find a site that offers other variations. Many of the finest poker sites in the US offer a good choice of different poker games which include:
Seven Card Stud
Five Card Draw
The rules for most versions of poker are remarkably similar with some minor changes here and there, except Low Ball where the ‘worst’ hand wins and everything is pretty much the reverse of what you’re used to.
The way you wish to play is important too. Whether you like to play in large tournaments or smaller sit and gos; whether you are a beginner, a novice or a professional; or whether you like to play large stakes games or just for small change, it’s important to find a site that offers you the right kind of poker playing environment.
Another important factor is the quality of software and the general level of gameplay. In all cases you should expect games which flow smoothly and never freeze or crash, as well as them being aesthetically pleasing. If you have a strong internet connection and you experience problems with a game of poker it could well be that the poker site is not a good one.
A Good Selection of Payment Options
As an American player you might have difficulty using your credit or debit card or transferring money directly from your bank account when it comes to financing your online poker playing. Online gambling could be blocked in your particular state and you then need to find an alternative means. Luckily most of the best US poker sites that we recommend cater for your needs.
Thankfully there are many e-wallet services such as Neteller and Skrill which are available to all. E-wallets serve as a middleman between your bank and the poker room and it is very easy to open an account with any one of them. One really positive aspect of using an e-wallet service is that they will provide you with a MasterCard which means you can withdraw any poker winnings at an ATM without anybody knowing about it.
When it comes to withdrawals you will want to choose a poker site which doesn’t take its time when it comes to processing them. Some poker sites have a waiting period of anything from 24 to 72 hours before they process the transaction, and in addition it can take several days to reach your account after that. These sites should be avoided.
It is also important that payout is guaranteed. Make sure you know the poker site is 100% trustworthy before you play.
Top US Poker Sites Welcomes You with Bonuses
Bonuses are what make the world of online gambling go round. With so much competition from all directions, all of the finest poker rooms will offer you some kind of incentive to join them.
There are many forms of bonus and you could expect to see poker sites offering first deposit bonuses where they match the first amount you put in to your playing account up to a certain level. Other poker sites might even offer a no deposit bonus which is effectively free cash you can use to try out poker games.
Some websites which are casinos with a dedicated poker section will try to entice people away from the blackjack tables and slot machines by offering them an incentive. There is often a cash bonus to play at a casino’s poker room. You may even find there is a similar offer if you download a casino or poker app.
There are a great number of bonuses which are available to new players and the first-rate US poker sites will also offer regular bonuses to existing players to keep them from defecting to other sites.
Check out a poker room’s website to find out more information on the bonuses they offer.
Attentive Customer Service
Sometimes things go wrong or you simply have a query. In these cases, you will need to contact a poker site’s customer service department. Ideally, they will be available 24/7 as poker players often keep peculiar hours with their gaming activities.
A good poker site will have a variety of means which can be used to contact them. These are usually via telephone (hopefully a toll-free number), email or live chat. Live chat is generally considered to be the best means as you can send text messages and receive a reply in real time with a member of the customer service team. Typically live chat queries take less than a minute to resolve.
Reading customer comments and independent reviews is one of the very best ways to ascertain whether a US poker site is a good one or not. Some people might leave negative reviews out of spite if they lost in a tournament, so an odd one here or there is nothing to worry about. A large volume of negative reviews is enough to raise a flag though, and it indicates that that particular poker site is not to be trusted.
All our reviews are completely independent, and we consider all the above criteria when we rate a poker site. If it’s a great site, we’ll tell you all about it, and if it’s a not so great site, we’ll also tell you. You can always trust our opinion when it comes to poker.