Summary of Games, Deposit Options And Pros / Cons For The Best US-Friendly Online Poker sites
Here is what you will find on this page:
- An intro and high level overview of US poker sites - focusing on the larger offshore sites.
- Below the 'Biggest Sites' box you will find a listing of many more detailed guides, including pages covering regulated sites, specific poker formats (US tournaments, cash and SNGs all have pages) and practical guides like deposit and withdrawal methods.
- After that is a news feed, summarizing the latest news in quick-fire format.
10,000's of US players are enjoying online poker at the moment - and while I’m recommending some caution for all readers, there is no legal reason at Federal level not to join the fun yourself. There is some serious rivalry between the sites (WPN and BetOnline poker on the Chico Network) when it comes to guarantees and welcome bonuses. You can take advantage of this and enjoy some very good deals as we end 2016. Deposits and withdrawals are still an issue of course. Sites are still accepting credit and bank cards with some success - with Visa going through particularly well at the moment. BetOnline are currently the best bet for successful deposits - they handle the costs of your first deposit each month for certain methods too. Money transfer services and wire-transfers also seem to be holding up ok, with credit cards working better than they have for a while. Paper checks are the most popular cash-out methods, there are some minimums in place for this.
Articles List: Comparisons, Payment Methods and Game-Specific US Poker Articles
Detailed US Site Reviews: You'll find these reviews more than comprehensive, going through the cash games, tournaments, sit and goes, software, bonuses, deposits and incentives. These are more than just a dry list of features which you can find on other sites, my reviews include opinions, pros / cons and screenshots too. Here is my Intertops Poker Review and my America's Cardroom Review and finally my BetOnline Poker Review.
US Deposit Methods Articles: Just completed a big revamp of this impportant area of the site, with the help of an experienced US colleague. The good news is that deposits are pretty stable in 2016, with credit cards working surprisingly well This list includes a main US Poker Deposit Methods piece, one which focuses on US Withdrawal Methods and site specific articles too.
SNG Specific Reviews: Another update, these reviews are unique to SNG Planet, and focus on the Sit N Go offerings at each room. They cover 1-table tournaments, multi-table SNGs and satellite qualifiers - and conclude with my 'top 5 reasons to play' at each site. You can find ACR SNGs reviewed here and the BetOnline SNGs review here.
Best US Site For Tournaments: Well, the Sunday Million has gone, though this does not mean no tournament action at all. There are plenty of smaller buy-in < $22 games still available and some of them have decent guaranteed prize pools. This article shows you what is available for tournament fans at the remaining US-friendly sites. Best US Site For Online Poker Tournaments
Best US Site For Cash Games: There are actually a lot of smaller stakes games available. For those playing lower to mid-stakes you’ll need to search a little harder, if you are used to multi-tabling then this can still be done – depending on your stake level you might need to combine a couple of sites. This article compares what is still on offer for cash game players. Best US Site For Poker Cash Games
Best US Site For Sit N Goes: I could not leave these out of a site named SNG Planet! Same story again, there are a lot of smaller stakes Sit n Goes in various formats (including the popular double or nothing and turbo games). As you get above the $11 level then the games get sparse outside of peak times. Again it is possible to multi-table still if you play the lower stakes or combine sites in the evenings. Best US Poker Site For Sit N Goes
Best US Site For Satellite Qualifiers: Grabbing that seat in a live tournament is still possible, with some big prize packages which include extra cash for travel expenses and accomodation in addition to the tournament buy-ins. Here I look at the satellites running at the sites still welcoming US Players. Best US Site For Poker Satellites
Best US Poker Network: Of the 5 networks, I only rate 2 as really worth playing on. This piece compares tournaments, SNGs, Cash, software and rewards of the US networks. Which is the Best US Poker Network in 2016?
Regulated Sites In NV and NJ: You can find info on the sites and upcoming legislation in this article covering the Regulated US Poker Sites in 2016. For news and updates specific to the New Jersey gambling scene, I can recommend this site: New Jersey gambling sites as a useful resource.
US Poker Sites - Latest News Updates
18th October 2016: I have added a brand new in-depth article covering the Chico Poker network. This is an unusual poker network, in that is it dominated by one big site. Find out the details of how this is set up and what makes it different in my complete Chico Poker Network Guide.
4th October 2016: Players on the Equity Poker network site Full Flush Poker have found the usual website replaced with a message about 'Upgrading the Gaming Solutions', while the license of Full Flush appears to be pending in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles (the jurisdiction from which they operated). More details over at Calvin Ayre's news site. I am keeping an eye on developments and will report back, no word yet on retrieving player balances.
26th September 2016: A pre-annoucement from America's Cardroom on the Winning Poker Network. They are releasing Sit N Go 2.0 in mid-October, these are a hybrid of Jackpot SNGs and 9 player regular ones - though the details have yet to be released. They were created in collaboration with author Collin Moshman. One snippet I did pick up on is that the top prizes (one in 200 games, so it can't be super-big) will pay all 9 spots - making for some interesting ICM adjustments. I will report back here when these games are released. In the meantime you could keep an eye on www.americascardroom.eu for the latest updates.
9th September 2016: We are just 21 days from the big switch between Bovada Poker and Ignition. I have put together a detailed guide to the deposit methods available at Ignition Poker. If you have not yet got a Bitcoin wallet then I recommend you take the plunge, I have found this method to be very easy (no technical knowledge was needed). Here is my guide to Ignition Poker Deposit Methods.
August 18th 2016: I have now published 2 very detailed reviews of Ignition Poker. One is a regular review which covers every aspect of the site, and the other is my unique SNG focused review. I am hoping for big things from this poker site - lets see how it goes. Here are the links to the reviews: Ignition Poker Detailed 2016 Review + Ignition Poker Sit N Goes
August 10th 2016: After a quiet summer, a big change has been announced for Bovada Poker, which is the biggest single US poker site. They are moving to a new brand, and becoming part of Ignition Casino. Bovada will focus on Casino, Sports Betting and Horse Racing. Bovada Poker asked me (and all affiliates) to remove their poker mentions / links a while ago - I am assuming this announcement has been a long time in the planning. There are (unconfirmed) rumors that a certain Calvin Ayre is behind the Ignition Casino group. Existing Bovada players are being offered big incentives to move their accounts (cash, bonuses and tournament entries).
24th July 2016: America's Cardroom have annouced the latest in their series of poker tournament events - 3 of them! The 'Online Super Series Cubed' starts with a small buy-in event on August 14th, then a regular one (along with another $1 million guaranteed game) and then ends with a high-roller event. You'll find the full schedule and huge prize pools listed over at www.americascardroom.com
12th July 2016: In a development that caught many people (including me) by surprise, New Jersey have reached a tentative agreement with the UK to share player liquidity (ie, pool players on the same sites). There are many details still to cover, from a legal as well as a practical standpoint - if this does come about it would significantly transform the NJ sites.&
21st June 2016: A near miss to report for New York state as far as regulated in-state poker goes. While the legislation for DFS was passed, online poker was not and will now have to wait for another opportunity.
6th June 2016: High 6 Tournament event about to kick off at America's Cardroom. ACR have really taken the lead when it comes to tournament promotions, and the latest 'Mini Series' called the high 5 has almost a million in guarantees. The highlight is on Sunday the 12th and is a $420k guaranteed event. There are currently no bigger tournaments for US players. There are still some WSOP qualifiers available for those who would like to take a shot at this year's Main Event too.
31st May 2016: The Merge Poker Network has stopped accepting new US players. This network has been in decline for well over a year, pulling their promotions and stopping their once popular events. While it is possible that sites including Carbon Poker could reopen to US players again (they did stop accepting US players once before, only to allow them again after fixing some payment processing issues), for me it looks doubtful this time. BetOnline and America's Cardroom are clear favorites to take over the space that Carbon Poker's demise has left.
13th April 2016: 2 more days until the latest Online Super Series! We are already at number 6 for the big US friendly tournament event 'OSS' held at America's Cardroom. This one has a $2.5 million guaranteed prize pool, and includes another $1 million guaranteed event on Sunday the 24th April. There are satellite qualifiers to many of the 72 scheduled events running right now. As a side note, this site has also started their 2016 WSOP qualifiers which are based on their popular lottery Sit n Goes. See www.americascardroom.eu for details of both!
2nd April 2016: Bovada have always been solid when it comes to deposits and withdrawals, they have now added BitCoin to their list of options - this is now becoming a mainstream option accepted by all the offshore sites.
26th Feb 2016: PokerStars have announced the 21st March for their long-awaited US return. This will be for New Jersey residents only. I am sure that the software will be welcomed back, though of course the real draw for PokerStars pre black friday was the high volume of games and big tournament prizes, which will be difficult to replicate with the limited size of the player pool in NJ. At least we have a start, lets see how it goes from here.
2nd Feb 2016: A qualifier caught my eye over at Intertops Poker. This is for the TKPT on the Caribbean island of St Maarten. You can win a package which includes entry to the main event, accomodation and cash for your travel expenses. This event takes place from April 25th to May 1st.
10th Jan 2016: Just a quick admin note, I have moved the news updates from 2014 into the archive to keep this page tidy! Link at the bottom of the page.
25th November 2015: America's Cardroom will kick off their latest tournament event, the 'Online Super Series' on the 27th November. This runs through to the 6th of December, and has $2,6 million in guaranteed prizes. Satellite qualifiers are running now.
21st October 2015: All very quiet on the poker news front at the moment. The bigger news is coming from the Daily Fantasy Sports world. Nevada now requires gambling licenses for this, and other States + Federal authorities are looking into it. For me the stats on how badly recreational players do in these contests are scary... it is like starting every poker game with a -50% ROI expectation and then seeing if variance can get you a win. More in this article (on a popular finance blog with other links to sources) http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2015/10/fantasy-sports/
2nd October 2015: PokerStars and Full Tilt have been approved to open sites in New Jersey, we should see them live next year... while the PokerStars software remains one of the best, the real reason this site is a success is the huge volume of games. With a limited player pool it will be interesting to see whether things work out on a smaller scale.
27th August 2015: BetOnline have an interesting promo to mark the start of the NFL season, this is a leaderboard challenge, with 4 separate weekly tiers each giving away $2500. Traffic is growing nicely at BetOnline - you can check out the details at www.betonline.ag
6th August 2015: 5x $1 Million Gtd Tournaments in a row have been announced by America's Cardroom. These start with one on the 13th of September, and continue with one each Sunday in October. There are qualifiers running right now.
8th July 2015: Quick reminder - the next $1,000,000 guaranteed tournament is on the 2nd of August, qualifiers are running now at America's Cardroom (I know, 2 posts in a row on ACR... not much action at the other sites I'm afraid).
1st July 2015: Lottery Sit n Goes now at America's Cardroom. 3 handed games with randomly determined prize pools of between 2x and 2500x your buy-in... add a short stack and turbo structure and you have an entertaining game. These are already established at global sites including iPoker and Stars - and are now available at America's Cardroom too. They are called 'Jackpots' and have their own tab in the client. See www.americascardroom.eu
3rd June 2015: Just a quick shout to say that you are not too late for WSOP qualifiers. One well known site has Vegas trip satellites, and BetOnline have a unique way to gamble yourself to a big tournament entry.
2nd May 2015: COPs starts tomorrow. This is the tournament event over at Carbon Poker. The guaranteed prizes now total $2.3 million, and there are plenty of qualifier games to get you into the bigger buy-in events. This event ends with a bang, with 3 'Main Events' on Sunday the 17th May. At a different site, B***** has just introduced 'Vegas Prize Draw' tickets, just in time for the WSOP 2015.
21st March 2015: WSOP Qualifying time is here again. Just an early warning for now, America's Cardroom are running satellites which give away 50 seats in the Main Event ($12,500 packages). Check back soon for a detailed World Series satellites guide for both US and International readers.
23rd Feb 2015: I have now started coverage of BetOnline Poker here at SNG Planet. This is part of the Chico Network, who recently pipped the Winning Network to become the 3rd largest pool of players for those in the US. You can find two pieces so far, with more coverage in the different articles to follow: BetOnline Detailed Review, BetOnline Sit n Goes Review
3rd Feb 2015: The World Series of Poker schedule has been announced. This contains a notable and (in my opinion at least!) excellent addition. There will be an online WSOP event this year, which will award a gold bracelet to the winner. This will be held at the regulared WSOP site which is available within Nevada. The publicity will no doubt give a welcome boost to the site too.
13th Jan 2015: America's Cardroom have added Bitcoin as a deposit option. While there are several BTC only poker sites, this is welcome news as Bitcoins can be used to play the regular games (your balance will be held in USD).BTC itself has experienced a drop since the start of the year, with the rate under $200 at the time of writing. Of course, this can change very quickly in either direction.
8th Jan 2015: Annoucement - Exclusive offer at Carbon Poker for SNG Planet readers. I'm happy to announce $10 in Sit N Go tokens on top of the already generous 100% welcome bonus has been granted for readers. This comes as 2x $3.50c tokens and 2x $1.50 tokens. You can check out the different SNG games, and hopefully take one down for a nice initial bankroll boost. All you need to do is use bonus code FREESNGPK when you register, and make your first deposit. Check out www.carbonpoker.ag now!
5th Jan 2015: This should be an interesting year for poker. At the moment, all the action is offshore, with some nice tournament events already scheduled. ACR are re-running their $1m gtd after a successful start in December (lets hope this one becomes regular). There is a new 'Mega Stacks' promo at Carbon on Jan 18th, with 15k starting stacks and a choice of buy-ins. COPs, the regular Carbon event, follows on from this in early Feb.
Don't forget to bookmark this page now - I'll update on the US scene as soon as any news comes in.
Note: I have now archived the news updates from 2011 through to 2014. If you are interested, you can find them here.