Here I Go Through The Poker Sites Still Open To US Players In 2015
And Compare Their Offerings Of Cash Games
Important Update Mid-2015: All change again for US players. This time Carbon Poker are the main focus. This site has been experiencing payment delays, which has led to the loss of confidence in the site for a lot of players. Carbon has dropped in the traffic rankings and now sits in 4th place. I hope this will be resolved quickly, though in the meantime I recommend readers 'wait and see' before making any deposits there. The Chico Network has moved up into 3rd place (BetOnline).
Cash games are where you can really make your skill differences count at the poker table. While the days of massive volume at Stars might be over for now, there are still some great games available – especially at the lower to middle limits.
Here is what to expect at the 3 main networks, my overall top pick is at the end of this article:
Best Site For US Players Seeking Real Money Great Cash Games #1 - Bovada.lv
Bovada are part of the Bodog Brand, a name synonymous with sports-betting and casino games as well as online poker. It is this big brand awareness that gives Bovada the edge in the US, their peaks of 10,000 concurrent poker players making this the biggest single US site by a significant margin.
The cash games are noticably easier than any other US site, largely thanks to all the new players crossing over from the sportsbetting part of the brand. There is a limit of 4 tables at any one time, which stops the 'grinders' taking over too.
The games are also anonymous.
Yep, instead of sticking with a user name which opponents can track with their own software or pay tracking services for your info - you play anonymously. Tools like PokerTracker will only work until you change seats, negating much of their advantage. This is a deliberate policy by the Bodog brand, and is designed to make their tables less attractive to grinders who often rely on these tools to help them multi-table. With an additional restriction of 4 games at once, the option of playing tight at many tables to eek out a profit is far more difficult here.
On top of the easy games you'll find the promos are pretty cool too, lots of one-off specials aimed at recreational players which include qualifiers to unique events (which include the infamous Bodog parties). Youi can also play 'Zone Poker' here, this is the only fast-fold poker game for US players (this is up to 4 times faster than regular games). Topping the list, Bovada also leads the way in Mobile Poker games for the US too!
If you are a recreational cash game fan, who likes to win money and enjoy the games - rather than a full-time pro - then Bovada make a fantastic choice. Check out their slick website and the latest and greatest deals at www.bovada.lv
Best US Site For Cash Games 2015 #2 – Winning Poker Network
WPN are now up to 2nd in the traffic rankings, and continue to add new players thanks to a combination of solid software, 27% rakeback (handled in their own cashier) 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.
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 - all players using my link get the automated 27% rakeback deal - see www.americascardroom.com for yourself now!
Best US Cash Game Site #3 - Chico Netwotk 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 - which is not fighting it out with WPN for the 2nd spot based on traffic volumes. This site is very much focused on the money games, with tournaments a relatively small part of their setup.
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. Check out www.betonline.eu for yourself now!
Best US Site For Real Money Cash Games 2015 – Carbon Poker (Merge Network)
On hold for the moment, this was a great site with exceptional software and a big choice of games. Payment delays have now caused them to slip into 4th place in the traffic rankings, and players are fast losing confidence. I recommend you 'wait and see' before depositing at Carbon and sincerely hope that these issues are temporary.
Conclusion / Next Steps
Bovada hit the sweet spot for my money, their restrictions on grinders keeps their games fun and recreational (easy to beat). They have fast-fold poker and mobile options too. Topping it off, their long list of themed promotions keep your bankroll well topped up. Bovada have a lot to offer too (especially if you like to bet sports as well as play poker).
Check out www.bovada.lv now and see why this is the dominant brand for US poker players.