Here I Go Through The Poker Sites Still Open To US Players In 2016
And Compare Their Offerings Of Cash Games
Important Update Mid-2016: Another big update to keep up with the ever-changing dynamics of the offshore poker sites. Carbon Poker have now shut their doors to new US players (what is left of their room is rapidly declining) - with the Chico Network (BetOnline) taking the 2nd spot) and WPN (America's Cardroom) 3rd. The Horizon network (what used to be Revolution) are a small network which are now worth a look - long running and trusted operator Intertops are now accepting US players and have given that network a boost. Finally, due to site rules from a certain operator beginning with the letter 'B', I am no longer allowed to mention the games at the biggest current US site.
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 - 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 2016 #2 – 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.
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 #3 - Revolution 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 2016 – Carbon Poker (Merge Network)
Now closed to US players... 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 have the best software of any US site (including a dedciated mobile version). I can not recommend them for the moment, and will wait and see how this site does going into 2016 before making any further recommendations.
Conclusion / Next Steps
BetOnline hit the sweet spot for my money, their huge sports betting traffic base keeps their games fun and recreational (easy to beat). Topping it off, their long list of themed promotions keep your bankroll well topped up. BetOnline have a lot to offer too (especially if you like to bet sports as well as play poker).
Check out www.betonline.eu now and see why this is the dominant brand for US poker players.