The 4 Best Poker Sites for US Players
The legality of playing online poker in the United States is a matter of much discussion at the moment. Legislation has made simply logging onto your favorite poker site, making a deposit, playing, and withdrawing your funds a thing of the past.
There are still sites that offer players based in the US a full service, however, and in this post, we will look at their various merits to help you find the ideal one for you.
We will comment on the various poker sites based on a combination of the criteria below. We are not attempting to find the best poker site with this post; our purpose is simply to discuss what the various sites available to US players have to offer and help you make a decision where to play.
All poker sites offer first-time users some form of bonus when they make their first deposit. These range in the amount that the player is given and also the method that this bonus is earned. In most cases, the player has to play a certain number of hands before this bonus is paid out. The size of the bonus and the ease with which it is earned is how we judge a poker site on this criteria.
This is a simple matter. Does the poker room’s software cater for Mac or mobile players?
This is a tough criterion to use when judging a poker site since a “soft” poker site might not be what everyone is looking for. Some players are actively looking to play against slightly more experienced regulars rather than a table full of fish so that they can improve their skills.
Some poker sites’ software is simply more user-friendly and stable than others. If you are a regular player and enjoy multi-tabling, this is an important consideration.
Despite what many may think, the world doesn’t revolve around Texas Hold’em. Many players look to enjoy other forms of poker, and the variety of games available on certain sites can be an important reason for selecting it.
Ease of transactions
This information deals with how easy or hard it is to deposit funds into your bankroll and how cumbersome or lengthy the withdrawal process is.
Supported by HUDs and trackers
Not all online poker rooms are supported by poker HUD software. Only poker rooms that save hand history files to your computer as you play can work with a hand tracker and a HUD. This is not a complete negative – if you can’t use a HUD, nor can your competitors.
Having undergone a change in ownership and rebranded in 2016, Ignition Casino is one of the newest kids on the US block and offers an eye-watering welcome bonus for new players. All new players receive a bonus matching their first deposit up to a maximum of $2,000. The bonus is released incrementally, and players have 30 days in which to release the full amount.
Ignition Casino allows a wide variety of users to play on their site, with Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android currently supported.
The player base at Ignition is still relatively small. Because most of the poker players are overflow from the integrated casino games, the competition on the site is very soft. This should be good news for standard tight-aggressive players looking to get their bankroll started.
This site does not support a wide variety of games, with only fixed, pot, and no-limit Hold’em available along with and Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo. The site also offers the usual selection of Sit & Go’s as well as a small selection of scheduled tournaments.
One of Ignition Casino’s biggest flaws is that it only offers withdrawals in the form of a mailed check or Bitcoin, which is not ideal, but, sadly, typical for US sites.
Ignition is not supported by major HUDs.
If you thought Ignition Casino offered new players a warm welcome, BetOnline Poker is going to blow you away. With an industry-leading offer of $2,500 first deposit bonus, it’s impossible to ignore the benefits of selecting BetOnline as your poker room. Unlike Ignition, however, BetOnline gives their new players 60 days to clear their bonus, which is paid out in $5 increments.
Mac, Android, and Apple devices are supported and the site is known for having excellent software from a user interface and stability perspective.
BetOnline launched as a sports betting platform and the majority of their users still mostly gamble on sports. As a result, many of the players at the poker tables are recreational and are extremely soft. Unfortunately, these players tend to stick to the micro-stake levels to it’s unlikely that a regular will ever become wealthy from playing only at this site. It is, however, the ideal site for the typical multi-tabling grinder.
Aside from the typical games offered by the smaller poker sites, BetOnline Poker also includes Seven-card stud as an option. While there are several tournaments available, they are mostly of the very low buy-in variety – again something that might deter a more serious player.
Something that BetOnline has received some criticism over is the inclusion of a free odds-calculator add-on. This feature goes a long way towards levelling a regular player’s “edge” over players he’d normally be crushing.
Regarding payout methods, BetOnline offers the same options as Ignition, but also includes Skrill, Neteller, Western Union, and bank wires.
BetOnline doesn’t store hand history files as you play, and therefore is not supported by major HUDs.
Let’s get the (potentially) bad news out of the way first: Americas Cardroom’s first deposit bonus offer of only $1,000 is minuscule in comparison to BetOnline and Ignition Casino.
Having said that, this is still a solid option for US poker players. One of the most positive comments this site receives is how similar its user interface is to PokerStars – without a doubt the industry leader in the software front. The graphics and animations are stylish and stable; more experienced players will have no trouble multi-tabling. On Windows, at least. Their Mac software is reasonably new and needs some serious polishing.
Another area where Americas Cardroom beat out its competition is in the number of players. If you are the type of player who prefers not to sit at a full-ring table with eight fish and want to test yourself against some better opposition, Americas Cardroom is a better option than the sites above. The larger group of players also means that there is action at the mid and high stake levels too.
Its popularity means that players have more options in terms of game variety, with higher-stake Sit & Go tournaments available regularly and a large selection of scheduled tournaments also on offer.
Payouts are processed quickly, although if you want to cash out to any method other than Bitcoin, you will be paying a higher fee than some of the other sites on the list.
One of the main reasons to select Americas Cardroom is the fact that it is supported by Poker Copilot and other major poker HUDs on both Mac and Windows.
As with Americas Cardroom, a site with which they have an affiliation, BlackChip Poker only offers a first-deposit bonus of $1,000. The bonus is paid out in much smaller increments, however, with new players seeing their bankroll increase with $1 as they reach the site’s bonus milestones. Unlike Americas Cardroom, BlackChip Poker only caters for Windows users.
As is generally the case with US-friendly poker sites, BlackChip Poker also shares a lot of their traffic with a sports-betting network, again resulting in a large number of very loose “gambler” types – a gift for tight-aggressive grinders.
BlackChip boasts decent traffic, with a minimum of approximately 5,000 players online at any given time of the day.
An area where BlackChip’s software excels (although it is debatable whether any serious player will actually make use of this feature) is that it enables players to play up to 40 tables simultaneously. This is a remarkably useful feature if your game consists entirely of set-mining, but not ideal if you have any desire to eventually graduate to more sophisticated strategies.
BlackChip Poker is supported by Poker Copilot and other major poker HUDs.
Selecting a Poker Site
Finding the site that is best for you depends on your priorities as a player. It is important to remember that it’s worthwhile to stick to one room until the first-deposit bonus is paid out.
Switching from one poker room to another for any combination of reasons is feasible, but don’t miss out on the enormous benefit that first deposit bonuses have for your bankroll.
Many grinders build the skill and bankroll they need to move up the stake levels by trying out many poker sites and taking full advantage of the first deposit bonuses they have to offer. A patient and committed poker player can easily build a sizeable bankroll by employing this strategy.
If you are an American and are interested in more information about this topic, we recommend reading this guide.
See you at the tables!