Here I Go Through The Poker Sites Still Open To US Players In 2018
And Compare Their Cash Games
The updates to this article keep coming - and things have changed once again (for the better) for US cash game fans.
Ignition Poker have bought the poker room which was run by Bovada - becoming both tne newest and the biggest US poker room all at once.
It looks like this will breathe new life into the site, which has not been the main focus of (primarily sports-betting focused) brand Bovada for a while now. Bovada asked 3rd party sites like this one not to promote their poker room - and with Ignition keen on promotion, things should get livier there soon too. The anonymous games and tool restrictions are still use. Elsewhere, America's Cardroom are going strong - with a big focus on tournaments meaning plenty of inexperienced opponents trying out the cash games. BetOnline are maintaining the player numbers, and do have soft games with the sports betting cross over traffic - though for me there is nothing really driving their poker room at the moment.
Below you will find more detail on the different cash games available for US players, starting with the biggest (and newest) site Ignition Poker.
Best US Cash Game Poker Site #1 - Ignition Poker
Not only does Ignition have the single biggest number of cash games of any US site, they rank number 3 worldwide for the number of cash game players. This is even more impressive when you consider that Ignition only accept player from the US.
The choice of games is excellent, with heads-up, six-max and full ring (9 max) games from 2c / 5c up to $10 / $20 running regularly. There are some good players at the tables, though plenty of recreational players (and outright fish) keep the games relatively soft.
Ignition Poker have maintained the 'Recreational Poker Model' introduced by Bovada. This has several parts to it, with the stated overall aim of keeping the games fair for new and recreational players. What this does is actively discourage multi-tabling grinders, so that the games are not all full of regulars with tools who sit around waiting for unsuspecting newbies. The size of this poker room compared to those elsewhere is testament to the success of this model.
Here is what to expect:
- Anonymous Play: You do not use a screen name at Ignition, instead the cash games simply use the seat numbers.
- Restrictions on Tools: 3rd party tracking tools and HUDs are not allowed, though some people still use them the anonymous play makes them only useful within a session (as soon as a player leaves the table, you lose the stats).
- Restrictions on Multi-Tabling: You can play up to 4 cash games or SNGs at once (tournaments are not restricted). This prevents winning players occupying disproportionately more seats.
Zone Poker at Ignition
Ignition Poker also has a fast-fold poker game. This is the only one currently open to US players. This uses pools of players, and immediately sits you with others from your pool at random after you fold each hand. There is no waiting time between hands (you can even fold out of turn) which makes this format up to 4 times faster than regular cash games.
I'm very positive on Ignition, and hope to report back that they are growing even bigger soon.
To top it all off they have a crazy-fast to clear welcome bonus, this is a 100% match up to $100, and needs only 400 'poker points' before the whole lot is yours. Check out the details, soft cash games and the big list of promotions for yourself now over at www.ignitioncasino.eu
Best Site For US Players Seeking Real Money Great Cash Games #2 - BetOnline Poker
Things change fast in poker, and what would have been an 'also ran' just a year ago is now a serious consideration for cash game fans. BetOnline, the sportsbetting giant, joined the Chico network - and has boosted that network to such an extent that they are now 2nd in terms of ring game traffic overall. The focus is on cash games, with a smaller tournament selection at the moment.
You'll really notice how soft the games are, even at the mid-stakes levels. The giant sportsbook operation is used by thousands of regular / recreational gamblers - many of them enjoy the occasional game of poker. Instead of pro grinders, you'll be playing against regular people. BetOnline know the value of player promotions too, offering as long a list of these as I have seen in my decade in the poker business.
Sure, their software is a little old fashioned. For me the soft games and 200% welcome bonus more than make up for that - this is an easy recommendation for players seeking soft games - check out www.betonline.eu for yourself now!
Best US Site For Cash Games 2018 #3 – Winning Poker Network
WPN are now up to 3nd in the traffic rankings, and continue to add new players thanks to a combination of solid software, a popular (tiered) loyalty program and great promotions including the innovative progressive leaderboard called 'The Beast'. Names on this network include True Poker, Black Chip Poker and the ever-reliable America's Cardroom. What I like about this site is their focus on tournaments, which include events and the semi-regular $1 million guaranteed. These are a big draw, and ensure plenty of new and less experienced opponents find their way to the cash game tables.
The rakeback and promos combination does encourage 'grinders' (pros or semi-pros who multi-table the games for a small profit on each table per hour). While there are more grinders, there are still plenty of regular / recreational poker fans on this site. The games can certainly be beaten, just keep in mind that the grinders can reduce your hourly rates a little.
On the plus side, the grinders mean that there is always a big choice of tables available here. With micros to mid-stakes all lively, particularly during the evenings and at weekends.
I recommend that you check out 'The Beast' promo - as well as the Elite Benefits loyalty scheme - see www.americascardroom.com for yourself now!
Best US Cash Game Site #4 - Horizon Network Intertops Poker
Things change fast in poker, and what would have been an 'also ran' just a year ago is now becoming a serious consideration for cash game fans. Intertops has been around gambling for 15 years, and is one of the best trusted brands around the world. They decided to open their doors to US players recently - which has given a big boost to the Revolution Poker Network. For now the traffic is on the smaller side, though the (lower stakes) games that do run are noticably softer than those from other sites. The focus is very much on the 6-max NL Holdem games.
What Intertops do well is reward their loyal players - this is the only site I know of with a 50-tier loyalty program plus their infamous gold chips and gold cards systems. There is a 200% welcome bonus released in $5 increments too.
Sure, their software is a little old fashioned. For me the soft games and 200% welcome bonus more than make up for that. Check out www.intertops.eu for yourself now!
Best US Site For Real Money Cash Games 2018 – Carbon Poker (Merge Network)
Now closed... shame as this was once my favorite US site!
Payment delays which saw this site's traffic take a big hit earlier in the year are now resolved - though there are no signs of a bounce back in player numbers just yet. Carbon had the best software of any US site (including a dedciated mobile version). Real shame to see them gone!
My Pick for the Best Cash Games + Next Steps
I'm changing my tune, and recommending Ignition as the place to head for US cash game fans. There are several compelling reasons for this. First, the sheer size of the poker room - which is bigger than all of the other US sites combined - gives you a huge choice of tables (and great chance to find soft games). Second, the anonymous games stop 3rd party tracking tools, leveling the playing field for newer players.
Add to this a $100 bonus which only needs 400 poker points to clear, and you have about as good a deal as you could hope to find.
I am expecting big things from Ignition - check out www.ignitioncasino.eu now and see why for yourself.