If you have been an internet poker player from the United States over the past few years you may have noticed that the number of poker sites that are available to play on is constantly changing. It has been about seven years since “Black Friday” happened in 2011 which restricted United States players from playing on some of the biggest poker rooms in the world such as Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker.
The most efficient way to begin choosing which site to play on is to decide exactly what features you are looking for. Some examples of features that are important to consider when choosing an online poker room are the rake, banking options, customer service, game selection, and bonus promotions.
To save you the trouble of guessing or researching what the strengths of each online poker room are, we have compiled a list of our top three choices in each category. These recommendations are the result of a lot of extensive research combined with our own educated opinions which means that no outside source had any influence over our ranking decisions.
No matter how skilled or experienced you are at online poker, there will likely come a time when you will need some help with a payout issue or some extra information that you cannot find on the poker room’s webpage. This is why all online poker sites employ a customer service department which will take care of any problems that arise during the course of your poker experience.
When we ranked the US poker rooms according to their customer support department, we considered a number of variables. These variables include things such as how many contact methods there are, the speed of their response for each contact method, and the courtesy and professionalism with which they interacted with us. In our experience, the better a customer support department is, the fewer headaches you will get while trying to play on that site over time.
1) America’s Cardroom
America’s Cardroom is in another league compared to other U.S. poker rooms when it comes to customer support. It is clear that they truly care about their customers because they offer three speedy contact options and a very informative website to help players answer their questions accurately.
The amount of time that you have to wait to talk to a customer support representative is measured in terms of seconds while other sites response times are measured in minutes or hours. If you want to talk to contact support at America’s Cardroom in under 15 seconds you can do so by either giving them a phone call or firing up their Live Chat feature.
BetOnline offers three different ways to contact their customer support department including email, telephone, and Live Chat. This poker room is not far behind America’s Cardroom when it comes to speedy responses and quality 24/7 customer support. Their Live Chat feature is only a few seconds slower than America’s Cardroom, but it is still extremely fast compared to other U.S. poker rooms.
The customer service on the other U.S. facing sites is so bad that Bovada gets this third spot by default. You will generally have to wait 20 or 30 minutes for a response from Bovada compared to just a few seconds in the top two poker rooms.
However, despite their slow response times, we must say that Bovada has always stood by their players and strived to make everything right. We have over a decade of personal experiences with them and it has been nothing but pleasant and once you do get ahold of them they will always be courteous and helpful.
For those players who value being able to move money to and from the poker sites they play on without having to worry about their funds magically disappearing, then this is the list of sites that you should start with. We can see why some players value this category so highly since it is not very much fun to play poker with money that you might never see again.
In addition to the reliability level of the banking options on US-serving poker rooms, we also analyzed the speed with which these transactions occur. Deposits should normally be completed instantaneously and withdrawals should ideally be completed in under a week or two.
In the list below, we reveal the sites that have the best blend of speed and trustworthiness that ensures that players will not get any headaches from trying to fund their accounts or collect their winnings.
1) America’s Cardroom
America’s Cardroom has an unbelievable 46 banking options in the cryptocurrency category alone! They also offer all of the basic deposit and withdrawal methods covered such as checks, debit cards and money transfers which have a reputation for being speedy and secure.
Another edge that America’s Cardroom has on their competition is that they offer a debit card for their players which can be used at any ATM for a small fee. This is one of the only poker sites in the world that offers this convenient option and it is truly a genius idea that is paying off for everyone.
BetOnline and Bovada are basically tied for second place here, but BetOnline offers slightly more banking options. They didn’t go quite as crazy for cryptocurrencies as America’s Cardroom did, but they still managed to include three of the major coins known as Litecoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin.
The withdrawal limits on BetOnline seem to be slightly higher compared to Bovada as well. Other than that, both online poker rooms are known for paying players quickly and we have no qualms recommending both of them when it comes to their banking options.
Bovada gets a lot of respect from us for waiving the fee on each account’s first withdrawal of each month. They also waive the fee on your first check by courier withdrawal each month. This more than makes up for the fact that they only offer two cryptocurrency options which are Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
Depositing money onto Bovada can be a little tough since some debit cards from certain banks no longer work which leaves Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash the only options for some players. However, the banking options on Bovada are certainly reliable and you can expect your money to move quickly and easily once you find an option that works for you.
One of your main goals as a poker player should be to scoop up as much hidden value as you can from each site that you play on. The best way to do this is to participate in some of the bonus promotions that each poker site has to offer.
These bonus offers are essentially free money for those players who were already planning on depositing money and playing a high amount of volume anyway. This might make it sound like bonus promotions cater mainly to professionals, but the best sites will often include some promotions that beginners can take advantage of as well. Not only is there usually a welcome bonus for new players, there are often reload bonuses for existing players who have already taken advantage of the welcome bonus.
When we analyzed all of the promotions programs for US-facing poker sites we gave a high ranking to ones that offer a large number of promotions that are not comprised of just a bunch of deposit bonuses. Variety is essential to a poker site’s promotions program because it ensures that you have many different options to choose from and you might even be able to find one or two of them that cater to the exact poker format that you prefer to play.
We also took a good hard look at the value that each promotion brings to the table and gave a boost to those which offer the best value. This means that the bonus promotions on the sites listed below will give you the highest amount of bonus rewards in the shortest period of time for the least amount of effort.
1) America’s Cardroom
You will find a well-rounded promotions program on America’s Cardroom that is full of a lot of hidden value no matter what format or stakes of poker you play. The only thing that they seem to be missing is a weekly and monthly tournament leaderboard.
The welcome bonus of $1,000 is the second-largest welcome bonus that you can find out of any U.S. poker room and they are simply dominating the competition when it comes to player rewards thanks to their Elite Benefits program. It is impossible for an American player to join a site that rewards frequent players more often than America’s Cardroom does.
BetOnline might not offer as many bonus promotions as America’s Cardroom does, but they offer the one promotion that no other U.S. poker room does. This promotion is known as a tournament leaderboard and they are available for both sit and go tournament players on a weekly basis and multi-table tournament players on a weekly and monthly basis.
In addition to leaderboards, you will find a sky-high bad beat jackpot of at least $100,000 and the largest poker welcome bonus of $2,500 available to U.S. players. These are the reasons why BetOnline is head and shoulders above every other U.S. poker room except for America’s Cardroom and it is not even close.
Bovada used to feature amazing promotions such as a tournament leaderboard but they scrapped most of them when they decided to become more recreational-friendly and screennames were scrapped from the site. All you will get from Bovada these days is a measly $500 welcome bonus and some poker points that accumulate extremely slowly which serve as a tiny form of rakeback. However, this is still better than the remaining online poker options for U.S. players considering Global Poker and Coin Poker do not even have a welcome bonus or rake back of any kind.
If the prospect of making a ton of money in one day for a minimal amount of risk intrigues you, then you might just be a natural born multi-table tournament enthusiast. Even though multi-table tournaments are the highest variance format of poker that you can play, the tradeoff is that it is the only place where you can conceivably win thousands of buy-ins in a single day!
The things that should concern you the most as a multi-table tournament player are whether the site you are playing on has a quality tournament schedule, a wide variety of games, a wide range of buy-in amounts, and a slow blind structure. It is also important to look for some bonus promotions such as a tournament leaderboard that specifically rewards multi-table tournament players.
When we created this list of the best US-facing multi-table tournament poker sites, we considered all of the above important factors. However, we did not consider payout structures in these rankings due to the fact that the payout structure which favors you the most will depend on your skill level. The professional poker players will benefit the most from steep payout structures and the recreational players will benefit the most from the flat payout structures.
1) America’s Cardroom
Another area where the other U.S. facing poker sites cannot hold a candle to America’s Cardroom is in the multi-table tournament department. Their Sunday Major features a million dollar prize pool and their Sunday Warm-Up tournament features a 200k guaranteed prize pool. Both of these tournaments are larger than any other multi-table tournaments being offered by any other U.S. poker room, and the rest of their tournament schedule is very impressive as well.
There are a ton of satellites that run on America’s Cardroom which give the winners access to nearly every tournament that has a guaranteed prize pool. Not only does this make the competition in each tournament filled with players from lower stakes, it makes it easier for you to gain entry into a tournament that you normally would not be able to afford to play.
Bovada is the only other U.S. facing poker room that has a multi-table tournament schedule which can even come close to the one that America’s Cardroom is offering. Their Sunday Major is a $100K Guaranteed with a $162 entry fee and there are plenty of tournaments to play every day no matter what buy-in level you prefer.
Even though it seems like prize pools rarely get over $10,000 on BetOnline, they make up for it with a cool tournament leaderboard promotion that gives extra money to multi-table tournament grinders each week. In addition to this, the top 100 players each month get to face off in a Leaderboard Face-Off Tournament for prizes. It also appears that they have some nice tournament series from time to time where the main event usually reaches a guarantee of around 200k.
Sit and Go poker tournaments are one of the most popular poker formats for tournament players who do not have much time to play. They are a fast-paced and short-stacked alternative to the deep-stacked slow-paced cash game environment.
If you like repeatedly going all-in before the flop, or just are not a fan of post-flop play in general, then sit and go tournaments will be your game of choice. Thanks to the small number of players and increasing blind structure, these tournaments will rarely last longer than one hour. A good sit and go tournament site will also offer the option of playing in turbo sit and goes which usually are completed in much less than an hour.
When a sit and go tournament player is trying to choose a site to play on they should analyze variables such as the sit and go player traffic, the difficulty of the competition, the sit and go promotions, the maximum amount of tables that can be played at one time, and the range of buy-ins that are available. Below you will find a list of the top three sites available to US players which have shown the strongest display of these characteristics.
1) America’s Cardroom
The number of benefits that a sit and go player receives for playing on America’s Cardroom is far greater than the other U.S. poker rooms. Between the Sit and Crush promotion, the Elite Benefits program, and the deposit bonuses which clear easily with sit and go tournaments, it is clear that America’s Cardroom is a great place for players who love this type of tournament.
Another element of the sit and go selection on America’s Cardroom that sets them apart from other sites is the fact that they offer many different unorthodox variations of sit and go tournaments. Sit and Go 2.0 and Jackpot Sit and Go Tournaments are sure to give the sit and go enthusiast a thrill once they realize they are playing for a large jackpot instead of the usual five buy-ins to first place.
Bovada has a lot of sit and go tournaments that run constantly at all buy-in levels despite the fact that they do not have nearly as many special variations or specific sit and go tournament promotions in place as America’s Cardroom does. The poker points offer a tiny bit of rakeback relief, but not as much as they should in our opinion.
Bovada does offer one special variation known as Jackpot Tournaments, which are almost exactly the same as the Jackpot Sit and Go Tournaments of America’s Cardroom. They also offer the disguise of anonymity in sit and go tournaments which no other site does. This can be a huge advantage for sit and go regulars because this way players who they might end up seeing hundreds of times cannot take notes on how they play for future tournaments.
While the sit and go traffic is a little bit lower on BetOnline compared to Bovada and America’s Cardroom, the competition is noticeably softer and you can play an unlimited number of tables at once which sets them apart from the bigger sites. There is also a special sit and go variation on BetOnline known as Windfall tournaments which are very similar to the Jackpot tournaments on other sites. Another great feature of BetOnline for sit and go tournament players is the tournament leaderboard which rewards the top sit and go players each week!
The multi-table tournament life is not for everyone in the poker world due to its high level of variance and the long consecutive hours that you are required to play in order to win one of them. The sit and go tournament life is not for everyone in the poker world due to the fact that you need to play a high volume to make a decent wage and there is a serious lack of post flop play that happens after the first couple of levels.
Anyone who finds themselves agreeing with the statements above is probably going to be a cash game player by nature. This format of poker provides a steady income for those who are willing to put in the hours and there is always a ton of post flop play thanks to the relatively deep stacks in play. Speaking of hours, you can stop and start whenever you like in a cash game which provides a unique level of flexibility to your poker experience.
When we analyzed all of the cash games on US poker sites we considered factors such as how easy it is to beat the games, how many different games they offer, and how much cash game traffic usually occurs. The three poker rooms listed below will definitely give you the best experience in all of these categories if you consider yourself a cash game player.
Thanks to the cover of anonymity and numerous other factors, players on Bovada do not shy away from making embarrassing plays on the cash game tables. The $10/$20 is notorious for possibly being one of the softest $10/$20 games on the entire internet, and the lower stakes are loaded with sports bettors and casino gamblers that wandered into the poker room out of curiosity.
There is a slight tweak in Bovada’s software which does not allow you to see the tables or any of the players at any of the tables before you sit down. This is great for cutting down on player collusion in cash games and you can be sure that you are playing in a fair and honest game every time you play in Bovada cash games.
BetOnline is not known for their tournament selection, they are more known for their cash games. This is why most of the traffic that happens on their site is in the cash games which are almost as soft as Bovada’s games are. The main difference is that you can see the players you are playing against on each table before you sit down which makes this a great site for cash game players who like to game select.
3) America’s Cardroom
America’s Cardroom will have noticeably tougher games than the first two options, but they make up for this with their massive number of tables and cash game promotions such as The Beast. There is also a surprising amount of 7-Card Stud Hi/Lo action on America’s Cardroom which is not seen on other sites, and the only poker game they seem to be missing in their cash games is Razz.
There is nothing more annoying than playing poker on a site that uses software which crashes on a regular basis in the middle of hands. Anyone who has felt this kind of pain already knows the importance of a site that utilizes high-quality software with a low frequency of malfunctions.
In addition to having good functionality, poker software should be visually appealing and it is always a plus if there are a ton of options that allow you to toggle the appearance of the table. This helps to keep you from getting tired of looking at the same colors and graphics every time you play.
Below you will find our top three choices for US poker rooms which have the best software. We are not claiming that the software that these sites use is perfect, but they should have the best performance and appearance, on average.
1) America’s Cardroom
America’s Cardroom offers some of the best poker software that you will find on the internet these days. It doesn’t glitch, it doesn’t freeze, it doesn’t crash, and the servers rarely go down but even when they do America’s Cardroom compensates their players fairly.
With a total of 22 different table themes and 11 different card backs, the visuals on America’s Cardroom will never become stale. There are also more options that control game play and table display than on any other site.
There is an abundance of cool things that you can do with Bovada’s poker software, including the Rabbit Cam which shows you what cards would have come if the hand continued. They also have 17 different table themes, six playing decks, and a load of other table options to choose from.
The fascinating part of the poker software on Bovada is that players do not receive a username. They are instead given a different anonymous number at each table they play on and any notes that are taken on any player will disappear after each session. This is quite a polarizing feature in the poker community which some players hate but overall it favors the recreational players in many ways.
3) Global Poker
The lightweight and easy-to-load nature of Global Poker’s HTML5-based poker software is truly impressive. There are no downloads involved, you can simply load the site from any internet browser such as Google Chrome.
The gameplay is very smooth for an in-browser poker room, and the cartoon-like avatars give the tables a fun environment. You have the option to open unlimited windows and play an unlimited amount of tables, which is pretty rare. This software design might eventually become the future of online gaming because of how effective and efficient it is.
One of the biggest advantages to playing online poker compared to live poker is that the rake taken by the poker room is lower in every format. However, this fact should not keep you from trying to find the site with the lowest rake to play on because the lower the rake is the higher your win rate will be. This is simply because the casino will be taking less money in the long run, and if all other variables remain the same then you will end up with more money whether you are a winning player or not.
When we were examining each US-serving poker site we compared the level of rake for cash games, sit and go tournaments, and multi-table tournaments to figure out where the best deals are. The list below will point you in the direction of the top three poker sites when it comes to having the lowest rake.
1) Coin Poker
Once you have a reliable way to deposit and withdraw money from this site, you will have a way to play poker for low rake. They are currently offering a 4% rake on all cash games which is unmatched by any other online poker room in the U.S. They also add extra money to the prize pool in every single multi-table tournament which negates some of the rake as well.
After Coin Poker, every U.S. poker site charges more than 4% rake in their cash games, and Bovada charges 5%. The reason why Bovada stands out among the rest is that they have less rake in their hyper-turbo sit and go tournaments. They only charge a 5% rake in these tournaments while every other site charges at least 7%.
3) TIE-Global Poker and America’s Cardroom
These two sites are basically identical in every way when it comes to rake. If you are looking for more ways to get rakeback then America’s Cardroom is going to be the site to play on. However, they both charge 5% rake which is less than the 5.5% rake that BetOnline charges so they get to tie for third place in this category.
Are you tired of sitting at a computer while you play online poker? Well, thanks to modern technology there are some poker rooms that offer easily downloadable mobile apps for their customers. These mobile apps allow players to access their account and play poker against other players from their mobile phone wherever there is internet access.
Some mobile apps are better than others due to a difference in variables such as graphics quality, loading times, game selection, and software functionality. To get a better idea of which poker rooms you should sign-up for if you plan on frequently playing poker from your mobile phone check out our list of top three poker rooms with a mobile app below:
The Bovada poker app offers more to customers than any other U.S. site’s poker app currently can. From this app, you can play in the cash games and the jackpot sit and go tournaments. You can even play cash games in the quick and popular Zone Poker format which brings you to a new table right after you fold your hand every time.
2) Global Poker
Global Poker doesn’t really have a poker app since their whole poker room basically is a poker app. All you need to do is visit their webpage from your mobile phone and you can play in every single game that you normally would be able to from your computer. The HTML-5 software that this site was made with makes it extremely compatible with mobile phones, especially those that use Google Chrome.
3) America’s Cardroom
America’s Cardroom has an app, but you can only play Jackpot Sit and Go tournaments or Sit and Go 2.0 tournaments on it. You cannot play cash games with this app like you can with Bovada’s app, but what you can do is win up to $100,000 in just a few minutes! This is a great way to fill the time and if you are a sit and go player who prefers your poker tables to have players with screen names then this is definitely the mobile app you should be downloading.
Whether you are a professional poker player or just a beginner, there is a good chance that you like to win more than you like to lose. If you play on sites that have the softest competition, the odds are that you will win more often than you would on other sites. There is nobody in the world who is going to argue that this is a bad thing because winning more often means that you will make more money.
It is pretty easy to acknowledge the importance of having weaker competition to play against when you are looking for an internet poker site to play on. The hard part is figuring out exactly which sites qualify as soft since you have to consider variables such as personal experience, database analysis, and word of mouth. Since these variables can all take a good amount of time to get a decent sample size on that you can get conclusions from, we have decided to list the top three poker rooms for US players with the softest competition below for your convenience:
1) Global Poker
Due to the lack of software options, heads-up displays, and high stakes games, professional players tend to shy away from small sites like Global Poker. However, if easy competition is what you are looking for then Global Poker is without a doubt the site you should be playing on thanks to this absence of professional players. We have a hunch that your results on Global Poker will be a lot better than they are on the other U.S. facing poker rooms.
2) Coin Poker
The main challenge with Coin Poker is depositing money since the players are some of the worst that you can find on the internet and the deposit process is very tedious and difficult. Once you do get some CHP into your account, you will notice that both the cash games and the tournaments are filled with players who do not seem to care if they lose all of their chips. If you like short-handed poker and cryptocurrencies then you will definitely want to take advantage of the easy competition on Coin Poker.
Ever since Bovada’s focus shifted to catering to recreational players, the poker room has become easier over time. It was already pretty easy to begin with because the sportsbook, casino, and poker room all share the same account balance so there is always some non-poker players wandering over to play in the poker room. This is without a doubt the easiest poker site to play on that also gets a ton of player traffic at the same time.
Many poker players prefer to play on the internet because of the fact that you can play multiple tables at the same time, otherwise known as “multi-tabling”. Multi-tabling makes the game more exciting because of the fast-paced action that requires you to make many important decisions per minute. Multi-tabling is also great for winning players because it can be a way to increase their hourly wage.
When you are considering which site to play on as a player who loves to multi-table, you should look for sites that have a high maximum number of tables that you can play at one time. It is also a big plus when these sites offer special game settings that favor multi-tabling players such as making each table pop to the front of the screen when it is your turn to act.
To save you the trouble of going through the terms and conditions for each poker site and figuring out whether their features are multi-table friendly or not, we went ahead and did this research for you. The following list contains the top three sites that US players can currently play on which are great for players who love to multi-table:
It is tough for anyone to top the number of tables that BetOnline allows you to play because that number is infinity. You can potentially open as many tables as you like if you have the bankroll and the screen space to handle them, which is sweet music to multi-tabling players’ ears.
If you are worried about finding a site that has enough games to satisfy your multi-tabling urges, you will be happy to find out that BetOnline is a top-three site when it comes to cash game traffic out of all of the U.S. online poker rooms. This impressive fact combined with the infinite table limit makes BetOnline the ideal site for multi-tablers.
If Bovada did not have a table limit of 15 tables, they would easily be the number one site for multi-tabling. Their cash game traffic is the highest out of all U.S. poker rooms at the moment and heads-up display programs are functional here if you buy the correct hand converter to supplement them.
Another great feature of Bovada that favors multi-tabling is that there are no screen names, everyone is just given an anonymous number at each table. This is a great advantage for regulars who play a lot of tables because no one will be able to tell who they are and they will not be exploited as often by other regular players while they play a ton of tables.
3) Global Poker
Global Poker is the only other U.S. serving poker room that allows players to open an unlimited amount of tables. The only difference is that the traffic on this site does not come close to BetOnline or Bovada so there is not always the opportunity to open a huge number of tables.
Another reason that they come behind BetOnline and Bovada is that heads-up display programs do not work due to their HTML-based in-browser poker software. These tools come in handy sometimes for multi-tabling players since they do not have time to pay attention to the tendencies of every player on every table, but they will not have this luxury at Global Poker.
If overall well-roundedness is the quality that you are looking for in an online poker room, then this list of sites is the one that you should consider. In order to come up with these rankings, we zoomed our lenses out a little bit and observed the big picture of what each site has to offer for their players.
The categories that are the most important in our eyes are the ones that held the most weight when we were ranking these sites. These categories of utmost importance include things like banking options, customer service, and game selection. It is extremely tough to say that a site is well-rounded if you can’t move money around easily, can’t receive the customer support you need, or can’t find a variety of quality poker games to play in.
1) America’s Cardroom
While it certainly has its flaws, it is clear from these rankings that America’s Cardroom is the top dog in the U.S online poker market at the moment. They offer a product that is extremely similar to the way Pokerstars was before U.S. players were shut out in 2011. With a wide selection of games, a giant list of poker promotions, top-notch customer service, and the longest list of banking options, it is no wonder that they are perched in the number one spot.
Bovada might be ranked number two overall but they are nipping on the heels of America’s Cardroom. They offer anonymous games, the largest amount of cash game traffic of all the U.S. sites, the best poker app available to U.S. players and some of the softest competition available in every poker format. This is a great poker site for players who don’t like to take notes, don’t like people to know who they are, or like to pay less rake for hyper-turbo sit and go tournaments.
BetOnline might be a far cry from the other top sites available to American players, but they are still a high-quality poker room. This is especially true for players who love cash games since that is where the majority of the action happens.
The main advantage that BetOnline has over the other top two sites is that they allow an unlimited number of tables to be played. They also offer tournament leaderboards for multi-table tournaments which is very hard to find these days.