Online Poker for Real Money
Looking for the very best online poker sites in the US? You can now enjoy legal poker online in many states across the country. Try Omaha cash games or jump straight into a big-money Texas Hold’em tournament.
On this page, we give you a complete overview on how to play poker online. We’ll even reveal our experts’ top recommendations for where to play and earn a bonus.
How TopUSCasinos Picks the Best Online Poker Sites
At TopUSCasinos.com, we only recommend the very best real money poker sites to our readers. All of our top picks come equipped with great poker software, excellent customer service and a host of exciting games. This is what we look for when writing our reviews:
Registration & Verification: It’s important to get to your favorite poker games fast, but you need to know that the signup process is safe. We register accounts with every US-facing poker room to see how thorough they are. The best online poker sites should also ask for document uploads for ID verification.
Game Selection: Top real money online poker sites will spread a healthy range of variants, like Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Razz and Stud. You’ll also be able to choose between cash games, Sit & Gos, tournaments and satellites.
Player Pools: Nothing is more frustrating for a poker player than waiting around for other players to fill seats. We assess every lobby around the clock to see how many players the cash games and tournaments attract. We’ll also tell you if a poker site shares their player pool with other regulated states.
Stakes to Suit All Wallets: Great online poker rooms will provide real money games at a range of stakes. Play micro-stakes cash games for cents or enter big-money tournaments where you can win a share of millions.
Security & Licensing: We will never recommend you play poker online at unlicensed sites. All of our top-rated poker rooms are regulated by state gaming commissions in the US. In addition, every one of our best-reviewed poker rooms carry audited poker software to ensure a fair shuffle and deal when you play.
Bonuses & Promotions: It’s great to earn free cash when you enjoy poker online. The top poker websites will run regular promotions like rake races and free tournament buy-ins. You can also claim a welcome bonus when you open your account.
RELATED: Are You A New Player? Check Out Our Guide To The Basic Rules of Poker
What Are the Best Sites to Play Online Poker?
If you are looking to play online poker real money games, we have got you covered. Each real money poker site is unique. Our team goes through tremendous effort to review each one before we introduce them to you. Best of all, every poker site you find here is completely legal, regulated, and safe.
PokerStars offers players a number of poker variations. As one of the most famous real money poker sites, PokerStars excels for all things poker. Find various games, partake in a tournament, or take a seat at a live poker table. You'll enjoy PokerStars from the palm of your hand, or on a desktop.
BetMGM is not only a casino and sportsbook but also offers a poker room. You'll find several variations of the game, as well as tournaments and special promotions. Start playing on your favorite mobile device or in the comfort of your home.
TwinSpires brings players a number of options for playing poker games online. These include live dealer hold'em, DJ Wild Stud Poker, and traditional poker. Games are available from your desktop or phone.
Where is Online Poker Legal in the US?
You can try legal poker online in several US states in 2020. More states are set to go legal in the coming years, sharing player pools across state lines.
Nevada: The home of the World Series of Poker went legal back in 2013. Nevada is home to a small selection of online poker rooms like WSOP.com. If you live and play real money poker games online in Nevada, you can now play games against opponents in Michigan and New Jersey.
New Jersey: The Garden State has had land-based casinos and poker for a few decades. Now, you can enjoy real money poker online in New Jersey at over half a dozen sites. You can even visit your local Atlantic City casino and make a deposit or withdrawal in person.
Delaware: The small state of Delaware introduced legalized poker online back in 2013. While the number of regulated sites is tiny, you are now permitted to play in an online poker game against gamblers in Nevada and New Jersey. It should be noted, the legal gambling operators in Delaware are limited and have partnerships with the 3 racinos in the state.
Pennsylvania: The Quaker State introduced legal online poker in 2019, becoming the fourth US state to do so. The early signs are good for poker in Pennsylvania, with player numbers easily matching those seen in New Jersey. The world’s largest online poker room, PokerStars, has already launched its site in the state as PokerStars PA.
West Virginia: West Virginia was another US state to legalize poker online in 2019. But as one of the smallest states in the country, it’s too early to tell whether WV sites can compete without shared player pools.
Michigan: Michigan became the sixth US state to make online poker legal. In January 2021, sportsbooks, online casinos, and online poker rooms made their debut in Michigan. Online poker is legal in Michigan. We recommend PokerStars or BetMGM to take a virtual seat at the green felt.
Is Online Poker Different from Live Poker?
Whether you play a game like Texas Hold’em online or in a brick-and-mortar casino, the rules are generally the same. But playing poker online has some key differences to live games.
Speed of Play: Online poker moves a lot faster than live poker. In fact, you might see 75-90 hands dealt per hour online compared to 30-40 in a land-based cardroom.
Shuffling Cards: Online, cards are shuffled using a random number generator (RNG). These are audited to ensure a fair deal. In a live cardroom, cards are shuffled either by the dealer or by a shuffle machine fitted inside the table.
Multi-Tabling: In a live cardroom, it’s impossible to play more than one table at a time. However, online poker lets you play multiple tables at once. Multi-tabling helps increase your game volume and potential long-term profits.
Range of Variants: In most brick-and-mortar cardrooms in the US, you’ll be able to play Texas Hold’em and possibly Omaha. The best online poker sites spread a range of Hold’em games at different stakes, plus Omaha, Razz and Stud. You’ll also be able to play Sit & Gos, satellites and unique online variants like fast-fold poker.
Bonuses & Promotions for Online Poker
Playing poker online isn’t just about winning money. At the best sites, you can earn regular promotions and loyalty bonuses.
Welcome Bonus: This is usually the biggest promotion offered by the poker site. Sign up and make a first deposit to earn freeplay, money back or a deposit match.
Frequent Player Points: Player points are offered by all good poker rooms. When you play cash games and tournaments online for real money, you can earn loyalty points. These can then be redeemed for cash, gift items or other benefits.
VIP Rewards: Serious online poker players can put their player points toward a VIP package. Rise up the tiers and earn exclusive benefits like generous rakeback or access to a personal manager.
Rakeback: Rake is the fee a poker player pays whenever they play a tournament or cash game. The best online poker sites will offer a refund on these fees, known as rakeback.
Freerolls: Most poker rooms offer freerolls. These are free-to-enter tournaments that promise a small prizepool. Popular online poker sites run freerolls throughout the week.
Online Poker Games to Choose From
You can try out many different variations when you play poker online. The spread of variants differs from site to site and not all games will be available as both cash game and tournament.
Good for: Sit & Gos, cash games, tournaments, satellites
Texas Hold’em is the most popular poker variant online. It’s also usually played as No Limit for added excitement. In Hold’em, each player receives two cards face down. In the game, they must make the best 5-card poker hand with their hole cards and five community cards shared be each player.
Good for: Cash games
Omaha is a variation of Texas Hold’em played with four hole cards instead of two. You still share five community cards with other players, but you must use two of your hole cards to form a hand.
Good for: Cash games
You’ll find 5-card Stud and 7-card Stud at the best online poker sites. You can play these American classics in small-stakes cash games, but the biggest rooms will have high-stakes Stud poker games too.
Good for: Cash games
Razz is a lowball version of Stud. To win, you must make the lowest 5-card poker hand, not the highest. You can play Razz as a cash game, but some larger poker sites offer Razz tournaments too.
Good for: Cash games, fun
Badugi poker is an interesting poker variant similar to 2-7 Draw. Unlike other variants in which the highest hand wins, the lowest, or worst hand, will claim the pot in Badugi. This is actually a fun variation that anyone should try.
RELATED: Check Out Our Online Poker Strategy & Tips Guide To Learn More
Deposit & Withdrawal Options for Legal Online Poker
In legal states in the US, you can play real money poker games online. So, how can you get your funds in and out easily? Most poker rooms allow instant deposits via:
- Debit card
- Credit card
- E-wallets such as PayPal and Neteller
- Play+ and prepaid cards
- Cash in person at partner land-based casino
You can also make deposits via online banking if your US bank allows payments to gambling sites. Also note that not all financial institutions will allow you to use your credit card for online gambling, so it is best to check with them first if that is your preferred form of payment.
If your Visa or Mastercard transaction is declined, a method such as Play+ can be used instead as you can load the Play+ card with your credit card. You can also use an e-wallet such as PayPal or a bank transfer. Watch out for fees as well. Most online poker sites won’t charge a fee to make a deposit. However, your credit card provider may add a charge.
Here’s how you make a deposit at a top online poker site:
- Open the cashier tab on the poker site
- Select the payment option from the menu
- Enter your card number or e-wallet address where applicable
- Enter the amount you want to deposit
- Type in your account password and hit the Submit button
Processing times are usually instant for debit/credit cards, Play+ and e-wallets. That means you can use your funds straight away to enter tournaments or play cash games. Online bank transfers, meanwhile, may take a day or two to appear in your poker account.
You can also cash out winnings or funds from your poker account. You’ll need to add 1-2 days for processing. In addition, you typically will usually only be able to cash out via the method you deposited with.
You won’t be able to withdraw to a credit card or debit card, so have an alternative payment option like a bank account, e-wallet or Play+ ready.
In general, withdrawals take several days to complete depending on the method used. However, if the poker room has a land-based partner casino, you may be able to cash out at the cage:
- Prepaid card (3-5 business days)
- E-wallet (1-2 business days)
- Online bank account (3-5 business days)
- Paper check by mail (3-5 weeks)
- Cash in person at casino (instant)
What to Look for in an Online Poker Room
You’re nearly ready to play your first online poker game. So, what should you look out for in the best real money poker sites?
A great poker room should be legal in the US, offer a safe online environment and provide lots of games at your budget. You should also have access to good promotions and a loyalty program.
We have done the hard work for you. Our team of reviewers constantly updates its reports and ratings so you can get the best experience every time. Sign up today with a legal US poker site and start crushing your opponents.
Jon Young is a writer and magazine editor with over 12 years' experience in the gaming sector. He has written on everything from poker and slots to casino, sports betting and mobile gambling. When not trying to take down the Mega Moolah jackpot he can be found playing poker tournaments in casinos.