Legal Online Poker Sites For U.S. Players

The debate of legal online poker in the United States exists at both the federal and state levels. Laws currently governing the status of online poker sites ban them from operation at the federal level, though that has certainly been brought into serious question. Even with that though, there is still the opportunity for states to take it upon themselves to form legislation passing online poker if they feel so compelled. Also, without legal poker legislation here in the United States, other ways in which it can be done do exist as well.

That is the purpose here, as we decipher the legal status of online poker as it pertains to players living in the United States, because frankly there are a lot of different angles to it. Anytime there is no clear set of rules stating what can and can't be done, action will be taken on both sides. That is certainly the case in terms of legal online poker in the United States.

Is It Legal To Play Online Poker In The U.S.?

There are legal ways in which online poker can be played as a U.S. poker player from a couple of different aspects. The first we want to mention is the most widely available way to play legal online poker. Federal law, which we get into further below on this page, ban the existence of online gambling site in the U.S. by preventing said sites from knowingly accepting monetary transactions for a bet that is placed. Online poker falls under this category. However, what federal does not do is ban the bet itself from being made. This lets U.S. poker players still legally place a wager at poker sites not violating this rule. But if the ones in the U.S. do, then obviously the solution is to sign up for those poker rooms not based in the U.S. This is completely legal to do.

What is available on a very limited landscape is the concept of states passing legislation to legalize online poker at that level. Specifically in Nevada and New Jersey this has been most highly publicized. It's limited because only those within the borders of the state will be able to participate and legally play. Residents and tourists are welcome. But there is the option for state regulated sites at that level for those that have acted on it. Other states are expected to follow down the line, hinging on how the success of the early ones turns out.

Best legal Online Poker Sites In 2013

The experts here at are poker players themselves, and they know just what to look for when researching all of the different legal U.S. poker sites. Appealing to the masses is what offshore poker sites have over the sites that are limited to individual states. There are many great online poker sites for the 2013 year out and ready to accept players who are interested.


Poker Room
100% up to $1,000
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5 Star Rating
100% up to $1,000
5 Star Rating

BetOnline Poker Site

Bet real money and win real money legally at BetOnline if you choose to go with the poker room here. When playing online poker, there is enough to worry about with the cards that you are holding, the river card coming up, and wondering what your fellow players have in their hand. The legal status of the site you are on should not be one of them. BetOnline accepts all 50 states, and is a great legal option. With that out of the way, the focus can also be on earning free cash with a poker bonus on every deposit made here. Get $900 every time with a maximum deposit into your account. BetOnline does this for life, with deposit after deposit able to get in on the bonus should the player feel compelled to do so. Poker Room

You just made your straight on the turn in a big tournament at, with thousands of dollars ready to be made yours. Can this be done legally? Absolutely! It is possible for you to win this much? Yes, especially with the $160,000 in guaranteed tournament action conducted monthly at All the money you bet and win at is done so legally as a U.S. player, provided you are old enough to play. All states one and all are capable of creating accounts to play online poker at But it's not just tournaments that bettors can legally wager on. Sit-and-go’s, cash games, and limit tables are all available as well. Check out and all it offers.

Online Poker Laws In The United States

You briefly read about the notion of laws that govern online poker in the U.S. and how it still allows for it to be done legally. Let's take a look at the federal and state laws that come into play here, along with regulation of such sites.

Federal Poker Laws In The United States

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is the main federal law to focus on here if you are an American poker player. This is the law that prohibits the operation of an online gambling site by way of banning the payment process. With this process made illegal, the online gambling site is effectively made illegal as well.

Those who are against the UIGEA state that it has too much control, where decisions like this should be decided at the state level. After all, other big gambling laws can be decided at the state level, such as the legal age to gamble in a state. For now though, the UIGEA is the single largest federal law concerning online gambling sites in the United States.

State Poker Laws In The U.S.

Several states in the U.S. believe that they should be able to have legalized online poker and online gambling in their state. Nevada is leading the way with the first state-regulated poker sites already up and running. Available to those living in the state as well as tourist, sites like Ultimate Poker are where Nevada regulates the action that goes on there. Passed as a house bill and implemented into law. This process in Nevada went quite fast.

Things are moving along for online poker to be played legally in New Jersey as well, with state law allowing 12 Atlantic City casinos the chance to have online casinos setup for residents and tourists in the state. Online poker is at the head of the class, and arguably the most important element of the project.

Those are the two biggest examples of state laws concerning online poker, as states can try to opt for pushing legislation through if they have a strong backing for it. This could ultimately raise serious question to the legitimacy of the UIGEA.

Regulation Of Legal Online Poker Sites In The United States

Regulation is already underway in Nevada for the state sites that can be played legally. However, it's not just the state sites that are highly regulated. Just like the Nevada Gaming Commission keeps an eye on their sites, independent regulation organizations like the Offshore Gaming Association regulates the playing of online poker and other online gambling. The most important aspect of an online gambling site is legitimacy, and regulation is the cornerstone to that. Keeping the regulation of offshore sites that are legal for American players is critical to the success of the industry, which is why it's taken extremely serious.

More About Legal USA Poker Sites

We've talked a lot about the legal aspects of online poker in the United States. After all, this is a legal page. But we want to take a few minutes to address some of the things that you will come across when playing at an online poker site to be familiar with and prepared for.

Playing for real money legally means that online poker players will be funding their account through some method. The method that this is conducted can be different from site to site as not all poker rooms are consistent with accepting the same forms of payments. American players where they are accepted can assume that forms of credit cards will be allowed, as well as Western Union and MoneyGram Transfers.

The same can be said for payout options as well. This is where the online poker room will pay the player out from the winnings they requested to withdraw. Methods here will be different as well, with a variety of options likely presented. Checks are very common, as are the Western Union transfers and MoneyGram transfers as well.

The nice thing is that method of deposits and payouts are given their own section to read about on site, because online poker rooms recognize the importance of them. Things like limits, fees, and time are all aspects to take into account.

There are several parts to it, but legal Internet poker can be conducted quite easily at offshore sites, and seems to be growing in the U.S. as well.