Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments Casino News Sports Betting Poker Strategy

Top-Rated US Poker Sites For American Players This Year

Check Out Top10PokerSites.net For Up-To-Date List Of Legal U.S. Online Poker Sites

Print-icon
 

The US may not be the birthplace of poker, but it’s certainly the country that made the game popular. American poker movies can make us think that poker is legal in every state, but that’s not the case. Although the game is part of many land-based casinos, things get pretty complicated when it comes to online poker.

In this article, we’ll discuss the state of affairs regarding online poker in the country and how some of the poker platforms fit that landscape. Read on!

Have a look at Top10PokerSites.net if you are looking for up to date list of legal US poker sites.

The Big Four — NJ, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Delaware

Only four states in the US legalized and regulated online poker — New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. In other words, if you want to play poker in a completely regulated environment, you have to be within the borders of these states physically unlike poker in California.

New Jersey and Nevada were the first ones to regulate it back in 2013. It’s quite clear why the two states’ lawmakers rushed to legalize online poker since they are widely regarded as two gambling centers of America. After a while, Delaware joined them, and Pennsylvania was the last one to do it, passing the legislation in 2019. It’s safe to say that Pennsylvania still has a couple of steps to take to meet the regulation level of the other three states.

Land-based casinos and poker rooms in these states offer online poker games as well. They partnered with the industry’s big players, such as PokerStars and partypoker, offering branded poker sites that are part of the same poker network. For example, Delaware’s casinos joined forces with 888poker to offer Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway online gambling platforms.

Player Liquidity As An Obstacle

Even though all four states legalized online poker, there are still issues of player liquidity. For example, a player from Pennsylvania cannot access sites that are part of the WSOP Poker Network, which is only available in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. If they want to do that, they need to travel to one of the three states.

Many professionals did this when WSOP.com held its online variations of the World Series of Poker — they booked a room in either NJ or Nevada and took part in online poker tournaments that way.

The good news is that the operators also want to achieve higher liquidity, so that’s why agreements such as the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) allowed WSOP Nevada and 888 Delaware to join their pool in 2015. New Jersey joined the agreement in 2017, and it became the only state besides Nevada to offer online bracelet events via WSOP.com.

The States That Are Almost There — Michigan and West Virginia

Michigan and West Virginia both legalized online poker. The Mountain State did it in March 2019, and Michigan copied the homework in December 2019. Both are expected to launch their first online poker products soon — no later than 2021 if nothing gets in the way. Once their online poker sites are up, the states will also have to join the liquidity pool with other states, but they will have a paved way, since NJ, Nevada, and Delaware already went through this process.

If all goes well, the US could offer six states with legal and regulated poker. But what about all other states? Do online poker players have to travel to take part in poker tournaments and cash games on the web? Actually, no.

Other States And Online Poker — What Options Do They Have?

Most states haven’t regulated online poker in any way. However, players living in these unregulated areas are still free to join offshore-licensed poker sites focusing on the US market. Is this legal? No. Is it illegal? Also no. How come?

All around the globe, laws don’t allow operators to offer gambling services within a country’s borders. However, if an online gambling platform is licensed elsewhere (such as Malta or Curacao — two popular offshore regulators), by joining it you don’t break the law anywhere. Unless players are strictly prohibited from playing online poker, they are free to join online poker sites. This is how things work in the US, which has had its fair share of drama regarding online poker. Yes, I’m talking about the infamous Black Friday.

Perhaps the most popular network that players from other states can access is the Winning Poker Network with its flagship site Americas Cardroom. Other platforms that are part of WPN (and are just skin sites of Americas Cardroom) are Black Chip Poker and True Poker.

Other popular online poker platforms that you can access are Ignition, BetOnline, Intertops, Juicy Stakes, Bovada, and more.

But, is it possible to join them from ALL states? Almost.

Indiana Outlawed Online Poker

The only state where online poker is explicitly outlawed is Indiana, meaning you can run into a lot of trouble if you join one of the poker sites mentioned above. According to some sources, players from Indiana aren’t prosecuted for joining offshore sites, but this is something you want to check with your lawyer if you’re from the Hoosier State. On the other hand, Indiana made online sports betting legal, although it’s mostly state-owned.

Final Thoughts

The online landscape in the US is anything but clear when it comes to online poker. Although you can access some of the best online poker sites from almost every corner of the country, you should get to know your state’s views on this activity. Once you’re sure that there will be no negative consequences for your actions, feel free to select some of the best poker sites and start your online poker adventure.

If you’re in NJ, Nevada, Delaware, or Pennsylvania, you’ll have an opportunity to play online poker in a state-regulated online poker room. However, if you’re in any other state, feel free to choose from a long list of international online poker sites, but be careful to avoid the suspicious ones.