Your All-in-One Guide to Online Poker in the US

As most players know full well, the landscape of online poker has undergone a major shift in recent years. With the advent of technology and the internet, poker enthusiasts can now indulge in their favorite pastime from the comfort of their homes. This guide is designed to give you a thorough look at real money online poker games, with a special focus on the US scene. We'll delve into the legality, the best platforms to play, and tips to improve your game.

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📖 Published on: June 8th, 2023

✍️ Updated: 2 months ago

⏳ 18 mins read

We’ll also talk about the history of online poker in the US, the impact of famous (or infamous) decisions such as Black Friday on both providers and online poker players, and the future of online poker in the United States. So are you curious to know the most salient facts? Let’s begin.


The intricacies of online poker games

The world of poker games online is vast and varied. The most popular variant (and one we’ve undoubtedly heard about early on) is Texas Holdem poker online, but there are many other games to explore. Omaha and Seven-Card Stud also have a large following, as do other poker variants you may not even have heard about! But there is no doubt that each game has its own unique set of rules and strategies, so it's essential to familiarize yourself with the game you choose to play. Remember the swift and fast rule: whichever type of online poker game you decide to play in the end, it’s always in your best interest to learn all you can about its quirks and intricacies in order to give you that edge as a poker player.

The legal landscape of online poker

From the time it was first introduced in the United States, the legality of online poker in the US has been quite complex, with laws varying from state to state. Right now, though, online poker is fully legal and regulated in eight states: Nevada, West Virginia, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The latest addition to the list include none other than Connecticut and Rhode Island, which have both recently legalized online poker as well.

It's vital to get a handle on your state's legal situation before you dive into real money online poker. The thing is, online poker’s legality varies from one state to another because of a number of factors, including the gaming interests of that state, their laws and regulations, and, the most important factor of all, politics. So the wind greatly shifts from time to time based on the opinions of many - and the only way you can really get to know a state’s policies is by keeping your eyes wide open and your ears to the ground.

The best online poker sites

So the next big question is this: what, then, are the best US online poker sites? Well, the top dogs in the US online poker scene are PokerStars, partypoker, and 888poker. These platforms offer a wide range of online poker games, including Texas Hold'em, Omaha, and Seven-Card Stud. They also provide attractive promotions and bonuses to attract and retain players.


Choosing the best online poker sites

And if you want to know what made the aforementioned sites the best of them all - among a list of hundreds - you have to think about various factors. Of course, there is no one size fits all in online poker sites, and what’s good for the goose may not be good for the gander - but when choosing the best online poker sites for US players, you should consider factors like the variety of games offered, the platform's reputation, and the bonuses available. It's also essential to consider the site's user interface and customer support when choosing the best online poker sites for real money.


Evaluating online poker sites

When you're on the hunt for the best real money online poker sites, there are several key factors to keep in mind. These include the site's reputation, the variety of games on offer, the quality of the software, the availability of bonuses and promotions, and the site's customer service.

In 2024, we can say that there have been new additions when it comes to poker sites, and they have joined the greats (like 888poker and PokerStars). Some examples include Bovada, BetOnline, EveryGame Poker, and BlackChip Poker, among others. And the list is continuously updated with even more sites with more offerings - so if we were you, we’d make it a point to check out new sites - and even existing sites - to find out their latest offers. It’s a constantly changing and evolving world, with something new and brilliant around every corner!

The best poker sites for US players

For American players, the best real money online poker sites are those that are legally operating in their state. This includes sites like PokerStars, partypoker, and 888poker, which offer a variety of games and have a strong reputation for fairness and security.


If you're looking for an online poker site that’s more-than-ideal for occasional poker players (in other words, you’re in between an avid enthusiast and play more for recreational means than anything else), then BetMGM Poker is for you. It has a more relaxed vibe than most other online poker sites, and its interface is user-friendly - just perfect for the average Joe looking for casual poker fun. Watch out for its tournaments, which are loaded with varying buy-ins - there’s always something in store for everyone!

Although BetMGM Poker has one of the heftiest welcome bonuses around and its selection of games is suitable for different levels of players, we wish it had a bigger player base and more high-stakes options. Still, we have nothing major to complain about! BetMGM is perfect for a casual evening of poker playing.

BetMGM Poker logo image

Borgata Poker, which, as you may already know, is a renowned name in Atlantic City, extends its prestigious poker experience online, offering a wide array of games and tournaments. With its digital platform, Borgata Poker caters to a broader audience, maintaining high standards of play and security. Its online presence is backed by none other than the exclusive MGM Resorts, ensuring a seamless transition from live to online poker.

Its interface is the sleekest we’ve seen so far, and it does not disappoint if you’re looking for the best options for playing real-money poker online. You can even take advantage of a host of resources to help you along and make it easier for you to play. If you want to play a hand or two of Texas Hold’Em, Spins, or Omaha, Borgata Poker has got you covered. Oh, and did we mention that Borgata Poker is the best online poker site if you are looking for bonuses and promotions? It has an unbelievable welcome bonus of 100% up to $1000, and it makes use of the best, most advanced software you could ever find. It also hosts blockbuster $35000 tournaments every Sunday, and it has the famous Cashback Grind which allows you to recover as much as $700. That said, with Borgata Poker, you need plenty of points before you can rake up the rewards (and the site itself is only available in a select number of states), but all in all, Borgata Poker is a poker site that has withstood the test of time, and it’s still going strong despite the odds!

Borgata Poker logo image

888Poker, evolving from its inception as Pacific Poker in 2002, stands out in the online poker landscape for its comprehensive offerings and global reach. With a commitment to innovation and player satisfaction, it provides a generous bonus along with educational tools and resources which beginners and veterans alike can appreciate.

888Poker has definitely earned the moniker of the best site for online poker beginners, and along with this, if you deposit $10, you can get a cashback of up to $30. 888Poker is not bad at all, especially for those who are just starting out and trying to learn the ropes. It’s got plenty of soft, low-stakes tournaments and games, making it the ideal setting for beginners, and although its tournament prizes are lower compared to its bigger competitors, it’s just right for novice players before they move on to the big guns. It’s the perfect practice ground, if you ask us!

888Poker logo image

PartyPoker offers not just poker but a variety of online casino games and sports betting, catering to a wide audience with its dedicated networks and availability in multiple languages.

What’s even more remarkable is that PartyPoker has been around for ages, and it is the most reputable, trustworthy site on our roster! The party’s just getting started, even though PartyPoker has existed since 2001. The best part of being on PartyPoker is there’s always some action going on, especially on Sundays, when the action is amped up 1000% with the $25K tournament. Anyone can join, but there is only one winner.

PartyPoker also has a decent welcome bonus of 100% up to $600, and it has an in-house channel so you can track all the action as it happens. It offers a cashback option of up to 42% for Diamond Club members, and it is also distinguished for its round-the-clock free rolls! But be warned: if you’re a beginner, you’d better watch your step, as competition can get pretty fierce. But if you’re a serious poker player who wants nothing more than to win (and win big), PartyPoker is THE poker site that may well exceed your wildest expectations.

PartyPoker logo image

Improving your online poker game

Now when it comes to the age-old question of how to improve and enhance your poker gameplay, here’s what you should know. To excel in online poker games, it's crucial to learn and apply various strategies. These can include everything from playing at multiple tables to counting cards and even using tracking software. It's also crucial to understand the role of table position and the importance of managing your poker bankroll effectively.


The role of skill in online poker

Unlike many other forms of gambling poker, online poker gambling is a game of skill as much as it is a game of chance. This essentially means that the more you understand the game and the better your strategy, the more likely you are to win. Sounds simple, is it not?

Poker chips image

But this is easier said than done, and it is particularly true in games like online Texas Holdem real money games, where understanding the odds and making strategic decisions can significantly impact the outcome. The key is to know where you stand and to practice, practice, practice! Ask any distinguished poker player, and they’d tell you that their skill didn’t come overnight - it came about after years of hard work, dedication, and, we must admit - a little bit of luck.

Playing online poker for real money

Without a doubt, playing online poker for real money is a real thrill ride. For one, you have the option to participate in various games, including online Texas Holdem, and stand a chance to win significant amounts. However, when it comes to poker online real money, it's crucial to have a solid understanding of the game's rules and to develop a strategy to increase your chances of cashing in. In other words, you have to know your game from the inside out - and develop certain techniques while you’re at it.


Real money poker sites

Real money poker sites offer a variety of games and stakes to suit players of all levels. Whether you're a beginner looking to play low-stakes games or a seasoned pro ready for high-stakes action, there's a real money online poker site for you.


Real money poker apps

With the rise of mobile technology, many poker sites have developed the corresponding real money poker apps. These apps, including the best poker app for real money, allow you to play real poker online from anywhere, providing a convenient way to enjoy the game. When you're looking for the best real money poker app, keep an eye out for one that offers a solid selection of games, a user-friendly interface, and secure, reliable payment options. Here’s another tip: you can find out more about online poker apps and sites by reading reviews online - they’re a big help indeed, and we have plenty of reviews right here at GambleSpot, too!

Online poker tournaments

If you want to significantly level up your gameplay, online poker tournaments offer a fantastic opportunity to pit your skills against players from all corners of the globe. These tournaments come in various formats, from single-table tournaments to massive multi-table events with thousands of participants. The thrill of competing and the potential for significant winnings make online poker tournaments a popular choice for many players - and, to be perfectly honest, nothing beats honing your skill against competitors worldwide - or watching one player beat a rival player at a poker tournament.


How to participate in online poker tournaments

To play poker online for money in a tournament format, you'll need to register for the event on your chosen poker site. This typically involves paying an entry fee, which goes towards the total prize pool. Once the tournament starts, you'll play until you run out of chips, with the goal of being the last player standing.


The popularity of Texas Holdem online

Texas Holdem is the star of the show in online poker. Its straightforward rules and strategic depth have made it a hit with both newbies and pros, and whether you're playing just for kicks or for real money, Texas Holdem delivers a pulse-pounding poker experience.


How to play Texas Holdem online for real money

To play Texas Holdem online, you'll need to join a poker site that offers this game. Once you've got your account set up and your deposit in place, you can pull up a seat at a Texas Holdem table. The game involves two hole cards dealt face down to each player and five community cards dealt face up on the "board". The objective of the game is simple enough: the player who crafts the best five-card poker hand using any combo of their two hole cards and the five community cards takes the pot.


Find Your Winning Table!

Explore the top-rated online poker sites and uncover the ultimate poker experience. Our expert reviews reveal the best platforms for all skill levels. From cash games to tournaments, discover the perfect poker site for you. Join the action and stack the odds in your favor!

Find Your Winning Table!

Explore the top-rated online poker sites and uncover the ultimate poker experience. Our expert reviews reveal the best platforms for all skill levels. From cash games to tournaments, discover the perfect poker site for you. Join the action and stack the odds in your favor!

online poker online poker mobile

The future of online poker in the US

The future of the best online poker real money USA games looks more promising than ever. With more states considering legalizing online poker, including Illinois, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and New Hampshire, the market is set to grow in the coming years. Additionally, advancements in technology are likely to enhance the online poker experience, making it more immersive, captivating, and engaging. Millions of poker players are joining the trend - and there’s a resurgence reminiscent of the time before Black Friday, when the star of online poker glowed brightly in the iGaming galaxy.


The impact of technology on online poker

Technology has had a significant impact on online poker games, improving the gaming experience and making the games more accessible to millions of players online. Thanks to the advent of real money poker apps, players can now get their poker fix on the move. Furthermore, advancements in technology are expected to introduce new features and game variants, making online poker even more engaging.



Online poker has revolutionized the way we play poker for real money or for free, making the game more accessible, entertaining, and exciting. Whether you're a seasoned shark or a poker newbie, the world of online poker has something to offer you. With a variety of games, the thrill of playing for real money, and the convenience of playing from home or on the go, online poker is a fantastic way to enjoy this classic game. So why wait? Join the world of online poker today and start your own journey to becoming a poker star!


Is online poker legal in the US?

Yes, online poker is on the legal books in several US states, including Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. However, the laws vary from state to state, so it is essential to understand the regulations in your state before playing poker online.

Can I play online poker for money on my mobile device?

Yes, a lot of online poker sites offer mobile apps that let you play on your smartphone or tablet. These apps provide the same features and games as the desktop version of the site, so you can play whenever and wherever you want.

Can I play online poker for free?

Yes, many online poker sites offer free games where you can play without putting any real money on the line. These games are a great way to get to grips with the rules and hone your skills before you play for real money.

How do I deposit and withdraw money on online poker sites?

Most online poker sites offer a range of payment options for deposits and withdrawals. These can include credit and debit cards, e-wallets like PayPal and Neteller, and bank transfers. Always ensure that the site you choose has secure and reliable payment options.

Wia Van Cauwenberghe
Editor | Writer

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