Online Poker for Real Money is known for being one of the most popular games played by American gamblers. This is easy to believe when you consider that according to a report that was published in the New York Times one in four US citizens regularly take part in poker games.
Here we delve a little deeper into this thrilling online casino game to help you understand how to play online poker, what the different variations are and we reveal the best offshore online poker sites where US players can redeem top bonuses!
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Editor’s Shortlist: Best Real Money Online Poker Sites
After checking out a range of online poker sites that offer real money rewards we managed to compile a list of the best sites for poker players in the USA. Playing at any of the sites on this list means that you’ll get to unlock a number of excellent poker tournaments, casino bonuses and other unique perks that could help you on your way to that big win.
- BetOnline – The Best Poker Site for US Players
- Bovada – Best Poker Tournaments Online
- SportsBetting.ag – Generous Selection of Poker Promotions
- Ignition – Excellent Poker Welcome Bonus
- Everygame – Rewarding Poker Loyalty Program
Quick Facts: Online Poker in the US
Online poker is exciting and rewarding which is why it probably comes as no surprise that there are millions of regular online poker players in the USA. Because of how popular this game is within the US gambling community we thought it’d be interesting to look into a few fun facts about this online game, a few of which have been listed below.
- Biggest Poker Wins Online: Legendary online gambler Tom Dwan managed to use a bankroll of $50 and turn it into $5,000,000 in just four years, which earned him a reputation for being one of the most successful online poker players of all time.
- Most Popular Poker Variation: Even though there are loads of different variations of online poker available to players in the USA, Texas Hold’em – Limit or No Limit is considered the most popular by far.
- Legal Status of Online Poker: Players in the USA are legally allowed to play online poker even if the state they live in prohibits players from gambling online. This is because there is no federal law that states it is illegal for players in the US to enjoy online poker at the best offshore online casinos.
- Where the Most Popular Poker Variation Originated: Now, you’re probably not surprised to find that Texas Hold’em originated in Texas but what we found interesting is that Texas prohibits players living in the state from taking part in online poker games. However, you’ll still be able to legally enjoy the thrill of online poker at offshore sites
- You Can Study Poker: If you’d like to become a master poker player you’ll be pleased to know that you can actually get a degree in Poker.
Reviews of the Best Offshore Online Poker Sites
Now that you know which casinos to check out if you’re looking for the best online poker experience, it’s time to take a closer look at the top online poker sites we recommend for players in the USA.
1. BetOnline – The Best Online Poker Site for US Players
BetOnline clearly understands what online players look for when it comes to enjoying the ultimate poker experience. This is why you’ll find that by clicking on the ‘Poker’ tab at the top of the screen you’ll be presented with a range of poker tournaments and excellent bonuses that will boost both your bankroll and odds of getting the win of a lifetime.
This casino’s poker app can be enjoyed directly on the website or by downloading the app. The app has been designed to suit a number of devices, including iOS and Android. If you’re new to online gambling and would like to try something a little different before leveling up to classic poker then you’ll be excited to learn that at BetOnline casino you’ll be able to try out numerous different video poker games, all of which can be enjoyed for real money or for free in demo mode.
If you’d like to learn a little more about these games, the rules that need to be followed or would simply like a recommendation you’ll find that the customer support team is ready and waiting to offer the excellent service you deserve. Simply reach out via live chat, by using the special poker customer support email address or give the team a ring using the number on the ‘Contact Us’ page. Just keep in mind that certain offers must be claimed using BetOnline promo codes to be sure to use the correct one in order to qualify for the first deposit bonus for poker players.
- Best Online Poker App
- Wide Range of Poker Bonuses
- Variety of Video Poker Variations
- Special Email Address for Poker Players
- Welcome Bonus Expires in 30 Days
2. Bovada – Best Poker Tournaments Online
Not only is this casino known for exciting crypto poker bonuses, but it also has a reputation for offering some of the best poker tournaments in the USA. This casino has dedicated an entire section to poker where you’ll find some of the hottest online tournaments as well as special features such as anonymous tables and a welcome bonus designed to build your stack and increase the thrill of each round.
The best thing about this site is that when you feel like taking a break from poker and would like to explore a few other options you’ll be spoilt for choice as there are loads of slots, live casino games, and virtual table games just waiting to be enjoyed.
If you decide to try out any of these games you’ll be able to do so using standard casino bonuses that can be claimed using the Bovada bonus codes and by making a deposit with any of the excellent payment methods available including popular crypto like Bitcoin. To find out a little more about what you can expect when you register at this site, reach out to the customer support team via email or live chat.
- Helpful Customer Support
- Rewarding Poker Tournaments
- Mobile Poker App
- Generous Poker Welcome Offer
- Up to 15.9% Credit Card Deposit Fees
3. SportsBetting.ag – Generous Selection of Poker Promotions
Between the excellent tournaments available at this casino and the generous welcome offer for players who can’t get enough of online poker, SportsBetting Casino has put a great deal of effort into not only becoming one of the best offshore sportsbooks for US players but also one of the top poker sites as well.
When it comes to rewards, classic casino players will have the opportunity to enjoy slots, table games, and other casino classics using free funds thanks to the thrilling bonus offers available. However, just because this site has ensured that casino players have loads to look forward to doesn’t mean that its poker players are neglected as the poker room boasts a number of excellent promotions to help add even more excitement to your games. Just remember to check out the terms and conditions so you’re aware of any Sportsbetting.ag promo codes that need to be used to trigger specific bonuses.
There are even exclusive mobile bonuses that can be claimed by scanning the QR codes in the ‘Mobile’ section of the general promotions page and if poker isn’t really your thing you’ll find that there’s a lot more to enjoy as a member of this casino, including slots, live dealer games, and sports betting opportunities. Make your first deposit at SportsBetting.ag using methods like credit cards, bank transfers and crypto!
- Numerous Poker Tournaments
- Generous Poker Welcome Bonus
- Downloadable Poker App
- Accepts Popular Crypto
- in $1,000 Deposit for Bank Transfer
4. Ignition – Excellent Poker Welcome Bonus
There are many reasons Ignition found itself on our list of recommended poker casinos for players in the USA but what really stood out to us was that you’ll not only find excellent poker games but also different guides on poker strategies to help you get started! When it comes to bonuses at this site you won’t find as many options as you would on our other recommended sites, however, the ones that are on offer are certainly worth claiming.
For example, the welcome bonus available to players who choose to make deposits using Bitcoin will allow you to try out both classic casino games like slots and table games as well as poker variations. Unlike many sites out there, Ignition Casino makes sure that new players aren’t the only ones who get to benefit from exciting rewards and thanks to the generous reloads available, you’ll get to rake in extra bonus cash every week using a number of popular US payment methods.
If you’d like to find out any information about the offers, poker rooms or classic casino games you’ll find that the customer support team offer replies that are quick and helpful. Simply reach out via email, live chat or by giving them a call and you’ll have the answers you need in no time.
- Crypto Bonuses for Poker Players
- Range of Mobile Poker Games
- Popular Payment Methods Accepted
- Wide Selection of Rewarding Poker Tournaments
- Fees Charged for Credit Card Deposits
5. Everygame – Rewarding Poker Loyalty Program
Whether you’re looking for some of the best poker online tournaments, excellent bonus offers or a downloadable app you’ll find that and so much more when you become an Everygame Casino gambler. What makes this online poker casino unique is that they allow players to benefit even more by taking part in the loyalty program designed for US poker players. Contact the Everygame customer support team via email, or live chat to find out exactly what you have to look forward to as a loyal member of this online gambling site.
It’s important to note that just because poker fans are offered loads of opportunities to wager and win big at this casino doesn’t mean that classic players have been neglected in the slightest. This is easy to see when you take a look at the variety of popular casino games, range of accepted payment methods like crypto, credit cards, and e-wallets as well as the promotions page which is filled with over 8 rewarding bonuses.
The only downfall we came across is that you will need to register in order to see the full list of payment methods accepted at this casino which can be a bit frustrating if you’d like to make sure your preferred method can be used to make deposits and withdrawals before you decide whether or not to register.
- Downloadable Poker App
- Instant Play Poker Feature Available
- Rewarding Poker Bonuses
- Long List of Poker Tournaments
- Need to Register to View Payment Methods
Is Online Poker Legal in the US?
Although many US states have taken a step in the right direction by legalizing online sports betting, many of them have yet to legalize online poker as well as other online casino games. However, there are a few states that encourage players to enjoy online poker at casinos based in their state, a few of which can be found below.
|Illinois||❌||New Jersey||✅||Washington DC||❌|
|Indiana||❌||New York||❌||West Virginia||✅|
Is Live Poker Legal Then?
In the USA, there are up to 18 states that have legal land-based casinos, however, only a handful allow players to legally play poker at online casinos. This is because although land-based gambling is completely legal under federal law, each state has the right to enforce specific regulations regarding gambling within its borders with each having their own reasons for prohibiting or permitting online casino poker.
When the 2006 UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) was passed many believed that interactive gambling had been prohibited altogether, however, this is not the case. Although one of the provisions of this legislation states that off-shore online casinos may not accept money from US players there is no mention of US citizens being persecuted for gambling at casinos based outside of America. This loophole is what allows players to fearlessly enjoy the thrilling opportunities available at offshore casinos like the ones we’ve listed.
The Basis of How to Play Poker
Because there are so many different online poker variations for real money the rules will differ slightly depending on the game you choose to play. In classic poker you’ll find that a standard deck of 52 cards is used with maybe one or two extra jokers added to the mix. There are often four rounds in every game: pre-flop, flop, turn and river. The deck consists of four suits – spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds.
The basic poker hands consist of five cards and whoever has the highest value will win. The terms given to the different final hands are royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, straight, three of a kind, two pair, jacks or better, or pair.
Top 3 Real Money Poker Variants
As we briefly mentioned, there are many different types of online poker that can be played for real money. Although each variation is similar in a number of ways, there are some key differences that add a little more excitement to each game. Below we cover the 3 most popular poker variations that are played at the top online poker sites.
If you’ve played a few rounds of poker here and there then you’ll find the rules of Texas Hold’em easy to understand. When playing this online game each player will receive two face-down cards which are referred to as ‘hole cards’. The stage that follows is referred to as ‘pre-flop’ and will include a round of betting where players can also ‘Check’ or ‘Fold’. Once betting has finished, three face-up cards will be dealt in the middle of the table, also referred to as ‘the flop’.
This is followed by another round of betting and once that’s done a fourth shared card is dealt which is called ‘the turn’. After this, players will have another round of betting before the final shared card, also referred to as ‘the river’ is dealt followed by yet another round of betting.
The best Texas Hold’em hands are made using the 5 cards in the middle of the table as well as your hole cards. At the end of this game, you can expect two results. Players will engage in a showdown by turning over their hole cards and seeing which has the highest hand – aka the winner. Or someone will bet enough that everyone at the table folds which is usually how these games end. Because this game is so popular you’ll find that almost every online poker casino will allow players to enjoy this game and if you’re a beginner poker player we recommend trying this variation out first as the rules are easy to learn.
- Limit & No Limit Poker Games Available
- Great for Beginner Poker Players
- There are No All-In Bets in ‘Limit’ Poker Games
Although Omaha poker is considered a little more complex compared to Texas Hold’em it’s perfect for skilled players who are looking for a bit of a poker challenge. There are quite a few variations that can be found at many online casinos such as Omaha Hi, Fixed Limit, and Omaha Hi/Low and the bets will differ depending on the game you play. However, the basic rules remain the same.
The game starts with each player receiving four face-down cards followed by 5 community cards. Now, apart from the increased number of hole cards that are dealt, there is another key difference to Texas Hold’em which is the fact that players must now choose two of their hole cards to make the best hand possible whereas, in Texas Hold’em, players are able to choose whether or not to use both hole cards or one hole card.
- 4 Hole Cards Makes Landing Bigger Hands is Easier
- Different Variations Available Online
- More Complex Compared to Texas Hold’em
3 Card Poker
3-Card online poker for real money is considered more of a classic casino table game rather than traditional poker and before any cards are dealt there will be two bets made known as the ‘pair plus’ and ‘ante’ bets. When playing the ante bet you’ll be competing against the dealer whereas the ‘pair plus’ bet remains independent and will pay out for 1 pair poker hands or better.
The game starts with both you and the dealer receiving 3 face-down cards. Because you’re not able to see the dealer’s hand you will need to make a decision based on your own cards. If you choose to play the hand you have you will need to place a bet that’s equal to the ante and then your hand will be compared to the dealer’s. You’ll win if you have the better hand, but if you fold then you’ll lose the money you bet to the house.
When playing pair plus, whether or not you lose won’t depend on the strength of the dealer’s hand but rather the strength of your own hand. If the hand you receive is good enough then you’ll win and winning hands are accomplished by having at least a pair, and hopefully, a run, flush, or three of a kind.
- Numerous Variations
- Low House Edge
- Not Many Tournaments Available
Casino Poker for Real Money – Betting Against the House
When it comes to online casino games you’ll find that you could either be playing against other players or directly against the house – the online casino. Even though 3-card poker is played against the dealer, betting against the house is more common in table games like online blackjack. Games like blackjack come with a house edge of around 0.4% to 0.5% with an average RTP of 99.5% to 99.6%.
Ever heard the phrase ‘the house always wins’? This is because it’s technically true and although some players do indeed get lucky when betting against the house, the house is guaranteed to win over time. So, even if you land a win short-term if you keep playing you will eventually lose. These games operate with score tables and set payouts for specific combinations.
Online Poker Tournaments for Real Money
No matter what type of poker competition you’re into, you’re bound to find the perfect one for you at the online poker sites we recommend. From exciting one on one games to multi-table matches, below you’ll find a few examples of the rewarding tournaments you’ll be able to enjoy online.
SNG – Depending on the Sit ‘n Go type you play, rules might differ, however, it usually consists of 6 – 10 players and lasts around 20 – 60 minutes. A fixed buy-in is paid and players receive the same number of chips and whoever loses those chips is out.
MTT – These tournaments consist of many tables with 9 to 10 players at each, all of which are competing for a seat at the final poker table.
HU – Heads-Up type of tournament consists of a series of matches with four or five rounds that last between 1 hour and 1.5 hours. Each match is played by only two poker players and whoever wins will go on to play a different player in the next match.
Helpful Tips when Playing Online Poker for Real Money
When playing online poker for real money, especially for the first few times, it’s essential to take a few points into consideration before jumping straight in and playing the first poker game you come across. This is why we decided to help you out by providing a few of these important points below.
- Find the Best Variation for You – Some poker variations are a little more complicated than others, and if you’re new to this game it’s best to start off with a game like Texas Hold’em where the rules are easier to understand compared to Omaha poker, for example.
- Learn the Rules by Heart – The first thing you should do before playing any online poker game is to learn the rules, various poker hands ranking, and positions.
- Start With One Table: If you need to get to know different strategies and still need to understand exactly how the game is played, start with playing one table before thinking about moving on to multi-table poker games.
- Start With Learning How to Beat Micro Stakes: Although it’s tempting to start off with higher bets, getting used to beating players that are playing at the lower limits first gives you enough experience to take on the higher stakes games.
- Expect ‘Bad Beats’ Every Now and Then: ‘Bad ‘Beat’ refers to a situation where a strong hand loses to another player who is unlikely to win. Sometimes, a player gets lucky with the cards that are dealt and unexpectedly walks away with the pot. It’s important to know that this can happen to anyone and no matter how experienced you are at poker it’s unavoidable.
Changing Your Strategy – a Key Factor to Winning
If you’ve taken the time to get to know cash poker games and would now like to level up to tournaments you should note that although they both use the same general rules and 52-card deck there are subtle differences that call for a change in strategy.
For example, during cash games, you’ll be able to rebuy chips as much as you want whereas in tournaments you’ll start off with a certain number of chips and once they’re gone that’s it – you’re out. This means you’ll need to play a tighter overall game because you won’t be able to splash out and simply buy more if you lose all your chips.
Poker Hands & Names
Before you start playing online poker for real money it’s important that you understand the poker hand rankings. Poker hand rankings refer to the strength of different hands and in order to make beneficial in-game decisions, you’ll need to know what each possible winning hand means and where they rank.
- High Card – This is the lowest possible winning hand in poker games and will have no pair or other hand type – only a high card. When more than one player has a high card, the winner is determined by the hand rank. For example, the best high card result would be Ace-High, then King-High, then Queen-High, and so on.
- One Pair – When you have a hand that has two numerically matching cards. In this case, it doesn’t matter if the cards aren’t of the same suit.
- Two Pair – This refers to a hand that has two pairs of numerically matching cards. Similar to a One Pair hand, it doesn’t matter if the matching pairs aren’t of the same suit.
- Three of a Kind – In order to achieve this hand you must have three cards with the same number and it doesn’t matter if they aren’t of the same suit.
- Straight – This means that your five cards are in sequential order. Keep in mind that again, it doesn’t matter if they aren’t of the same suit.
- Flush – This refers to a hand that has five cards of the same suit.
- Full House – When you have a hand that consists of both a Three of a Kind and a Pair result.
- Four of a Kind – This means that you have a hand with four numerically matching cards and to achieve this they don’t need to be of the same suit.
- Straight Flush – When all 5 cards are of the same suit and in sequential order.
- Royal Flush – This is the best possible winning hand you can achieve and in Texas Hold’em it will be composed of ten, jack, queen, king, and ace – all of the same suit.
Finding the Best Real Money Online Poker Sites
When trying to find the best online poker sites for real money it’s important to make sure that the site you end up registering at has everything you need to enjoy the best online poker experience. For example, if you like to face other players in poker challenges you’ll want to be sure that the site you register at has loads of different tournaments available.
Another important factor to consider is whether or not there are unique bonuses that can be used to increase your chances of getting the best hand. This is why we always recommend comparing quite a few sites like the ones on our list of recommended poker casinos before settling on specific ones.
The Best Online Poker App
The best online poker sites for real money will come with a number of excellent features. Not only will it offer rewarding tournaments to suit your gambling preference but you will also have the chance to enjoy a number of different poker variations and claim poker welcome bonuses with reasonable wagering requirements, all of which can be enjoyed on whatever mobile device you prefer most.
The best gambling apps will also provide you with a range of different ways to fund your account and should also offer instant deposits and speedy withdrawals. They should also offer more than just classic poker so that if you feel like taking a little break from poker for a while you can try out other interesting titles like slots, video poker or other live dealer games.
Payment Methods for Playing Online Poker
Before you can start enjoying the best tournaments, bonuses, and games at online poker sites you will need to make a real money deposit. Now, being able to use the method we are most comfortable with is important which is why many online casinos will allow poker players to choose from a wide variety of casino payment methods.
Crypto Betting Options
Many players in the USA have chosen to enjoy the best online poker games for real money using popular crypto. By playing at what’s also referred to as Bitcoin casinos or Crypto casinos, you’ll be able to claim a variety of exclusive bonuses that reward you with much bigger prizes compared to what you’d get if you chose any of the other methods offered.
E-Wallet Betting Options
By using E-Wallets like MiFinity and MuchBetter you won’t ever have to stress about needing to share any card details or other sensitive financial information. E-Wallets are known for offering some of the fastest transaction processing times for both deposits and withdrawals and although you may need to pay a small fee depending on the wallet you choose to use, it’s easy to look past when you consider the speed and safety that comes with using E-Wallets to play online poker for real money.
Traditional Payment Methods
One thing the majority of online poker sites have in common is the fact that they accept traditional payment methods like credit cards and bank transfers. These methods are extremely safe, convenient, and easy to use. However, they might come with higher-than-usual transaction fees and you may need to wait a bit longer for withdrawals to be processed.
Offshore Poker Apps & Mobile Sites
There are many offshore online poker casinos for real money that openly welcome players from the USA. And what makes them so great is the fact that the majority of these will offer you the choice between a downloadable poker app or instant play.
This means that when you choose to play at the best online poker sites you can look forward to an unforgettable mobile experience using either the downloadable software or by using your mobile’s browser to visit the casino site.
Next, we’ll take a look at a few of the common terms you’ll come across when playing online poker for real money.
- Ante – If your game has an ante amount it means that every player at the table must seed the pot with that specific amount starting from left to right.
- All-In – When you choose to risk all of the chips you have on one hand.
- Backdoor – Also referred to as a ‘catching runner’, the term backdoor refers to a situation where you will need to catch an extra two cards to make your hand.
- Bad Beat – Used to describe bad luck in poker.
- Burn – This term is used to describe a situation where the top card from the deck is discarded rather than dealt to the table.
- Blind – This is a forced bet that represents the lowest possible amount needed to participate in a hand.
- Call – This refers to a bet that is equal to the previous bet amount. If a player calls often without either raising or folding is also known as a ‘calling station’.
- Community Cards – Also known as the ‘board’ these cards are dealt in the center of the table and are shared by all players in community poker.
- Flop – The first three community cards are referred to as a flop whereas the fourth card is known as the ‘turn’ and the final card the ‘river’.
- Check – This refers to a situation where one player passes the action to the next and keeps their cards without betting or folding.
- Fold – To surrender your cards in hand and forfeit any bets you’ve made.
- Hole Cards – Also known as ‘pocket cards’ hole cards are the cards that are dealt face-down to players.
- Kicker – This is a card that doesn’t take part in forming the rank of the hand but can be used to break ties between two players with the same rank.
- Trips – This refers to a Three of a Kind result.
- Quads – This term is used to describe a Four of a Kind result.
The Best Online Poker Site…
BetOnline has made sure that no matter what you’re looking for in an online poker casino for real money you’ll find that and so much more and from the moment you register you’ll get to start off with a generous poker bonus that can be used to add even more thrill to every match.
Apart from the exciting tournaments and rewarding promotions, this casino managed to work its way to number one on our list thanks to the fact that players can choose to either download the poker app or play online using Android and iOS devices. There are loads of unique features for poker fans to enjoy as a member of BetOnline Casino which is why we found it to be the best online poker site for real money gamblers in the US.