Online Poker - Play For Real Money in May 2024

Author Image Reviewed By Daniel Smyth
Fact Check Icon Fact Checked bySteve RuddockGDC - Icon - Black - Info
Date IconLast Updated: 

There are plenty of world-class online poker sites in the US, but getting the most from them isn't easy. Even if you know where to play, each poker site has its own features that take time to understand and navigate. That's why we've reviewed the leading legal US online poker sites.

We've used our experience to find the top sites, what they have to offer, and how they can give you the best online poker experience. So, if you're ready, here's how to give your bankroll the boost it deserves.
 

Recommended Poker Sites

Bell Icon
Affiliate Disclosure: At Gambling.com, we want to ensure that players are matched with the right casino and sportsbook offers for them. For this reason, some of the recommended site links are affiliate links. More

Stay In The Loop With New Casino Sites & Offers!

Free Spins. Exclusive Bonuses. Sent Weekly.

Best Online Poker Sites for US Players

What are the best poker sites is the US? Based on our experience, the stats, and feedback from players, we've ranked the following poker rooms as the best in the US.

PokerStars

Licensed in: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan

What makes PokerStars our top poker sites for US players? Well, for starters, the PokerStars Online Poker app works seamlessly on all devices. The developers have refined, updated, and innovated their product over the last 20+ years, so the software is, in our view, the best you can get.

The loyalty rewards program has changed a number of times in recent years and, while the latest iteration is an improvement, the way you earn bonuses could be better. Specifically, you earn 100 points for every dollar raked. These points help you claim chests that contain random rewards up to a certain value. Some players don't like the uncertain nature of chests because it makes it harder to calculate th

Aside from this small issue, PokerStars is the best US poker site for games. Cash games start at $0.01/$0.02 and there's action all the way up to the highest stakes ($5/$10+). In terms of tournaments, PokerStars' weekly schedule is packed with generous guarantees.

Perhaps even more impressive are the tournament series, such as the $5 Million Guaranteed Winter Series. These annual events give you the chance to compete for large prizes and prestigious titles. That, for us, is why PokerStars is the top US poker site for tournaments.

BetMGM

Licensed in: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan

BetMGM Online Poker might not have as many active players as PokerStars, but it's one of the best places to play if game selection is your thing. We say that because BetMGM is primarily an online sportsbook and casino.

Its online poker room is a relatively recent innovation, which means the platform attracts a lot of gamblers. These gamblers aren't necessarily skilled poker players, so when they cross the virtual divide, they're prime targets for skilled players.

Contrast this with an online poker rooms that primarily cater to poker players, such as PokerStars and WSOP.com, and BetMGM is the ideal place to play if you want fishy games. Add to this a ton of innovative promotions, including hot tables and cashback, as well as tournament series such as the BetMGM Poker Championship, and you've got plenty of ways to boost your bankroll.

WSOP

Licensed in: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan, Nevada, and Delaware

In our view, WSOP.com is the best site for online poker players who want access to large playerpools and the world's biggest tournament series. Unlike other popular US poker rooms, WSOP Online Poker is the only platform that shares players between states.

An intrastate agreement between Michigan, New Jersey, and Delaware allows licensed operators to share players across borders. WSOP.com is currently the only poker site that shares players between these three states. That means it has more active players than its peers.

If we're being critical, the software isn't as attractive or functional as it could be. However, if you want an online poker room that offers plenty of action, this doesn't matter. What's more, because WSOP.com is the official online poker room of the WSOP, it's the only place to play official satellites and bracelet events. So, if you've got aspirations of winning the game's most coveted titles, this should be the first poker site you try.

Types of Poker Tournaments

The best poker sites online offer a variety of games, all of which fall into two main categories: cash games and tournaments. In general, cash games are played with a similar format. However, when it comes to poker tournaments, there are a variety of options. Some of the most popular ways to play poker tournaments are...

Single and Multi-Table Tournaments

Tournaments can take place on a single table or across multiple tables. The former are, unsurprisingly, known as single-table tournaments (STTs), while the latter are called multi-table tournaments (MTTs). Your aim in STTs and MTTs is the same: win all the chips in play.

Everyone pays an entry fee (the buy-in). This gets you a stack of chips you need to protect at all costs. Why? Because once you lose your chips, you're out. In addition to protecting your stack, you need to win chips from other players.

Players who survive long enough to make it into "the money" win a cash prize. In general, a poker site will pay the top 10% to 15% of survivors. However, the actual percentages can vary depending on the type of tournament you're playing and the poker sites you're using.

One final thing to note is that STTs and MTTs are scheduled, i.e. they take place a predetermined dates and times. Interestingly, all of the best American online poker sites real money tournaments take place on Sundays.

There are, of course, tournaments every day of the week. In fact, the reason we recommend using a variety of different poker sites is so you can switch between them to find the best poker games. However, if you're only able to play one day each week, you'll find the most action on Sundays.

Sit-and-Go Tournaments

Sit-and-Go tournaments, aka SNGs, are the most common type of single-table tournament you'll find online. As we've explained, the action takes place on a single table and the aim is to win all the chips in play.

What's unique about SNGs, however, is that they start once a table is full. In other words, they don't have scheduled start times. Instead, they're on-demand tournaments. For example, if it's a 9-person table, the game starts when 9 active players have paid the entry fee.

The best sites for online poker offer a variety of SNGs that take place on 9-max, 6-max, and heads-up tables. Based on our experience with the best online poker sites for real money games in America, the most popular SNGs are:

Freezeout Tournaments

You get one shot at glory in freezeout poker tournaments. You pay the buy-in and play until you lose your stack or win all of the chips in play. If you lose your chips, you're out and that's it. The majority of live poker tournaments, including the WSOP Main Event and WPT World Championship, are freezeouts.

The same applies to tournaments at the best online poker sites US players have access to. If you'd prefer to prolong your online poker experience, you can play rebuy or re-entry tournaments. Rebuy tournaments allow you to rebuy chips if you lose your stack. Some tournaments limit the number of times you can rebuy, others don't.

Re-entry tournaments give you a chance to buy back into the tournament at a later date. The top online poker sites often run major tournaments that have multiple starting days. If it's a re-entry event, you can buy back in on a different starting day if you get eliminated.

Turbo Tournaments

All poker tournaments have a clock that determines when the blinds increase. In fact, something we didn't mention before is that a fundamental difference between cash poker games and tournaments is that the blinds increase in the latter but not the former.

The average time it takes for the blinds to increase in standard tournaments (aka regular speed) at US online poker sites is 10-12 minutes. The blinds increase every 5 to 6 minutes in turbo tournaments. For players who want even more speed, the best US online poker sites also offer hyper turbo tournaments where the blinds increase every 2 to 3 minutes.

Recreational players love turbo tournaments because they finish relatively quickly. What's more, because the blinds quickly start to represent a large percentage of the average chip stack, people are more inclined to gamble. This reduces some of the advantage skilled players have over recreational players.

Satellite Tournaments

Satellite is poker terminology for qualifier. Instead of paying cash prizes to the top players, satellites give you a chance to win tickets for other tournaments. These tickets are worth more than the the cost of the satellite, which is why they're a great way for players to win seats tournaments they otherwise couldn't afford.

For example, your chosen poker site might have a $1,000 Sunday Major. You understand the fundamentals of bankroll management and game selection, so you can't justify paying the entry fee. You can, however, afford to play the $10 weekly satellite. You win that satellite and that gives you a seat in the $1,000 Sunday Major.

The best sites to play online poker in the USA have two types of satellite tournament: standard and step. Standard satellites are one-time MTTs that give away a certain number of seats in a specific tournament.

Step satellites are like rungs on a ladder. All steps lead to a main event, and you can choose to start at any step you like. However, the point here is that each step leads to the next. So, if you enter a step 1 satellite and win, you get a ticket for step 2 and so on.

These satellites are ideal for low-stakes players because they allow you to move through the levels without spending a fortune.

Sit-and-Go vs Multi-Table Tournaments

The main differences between SNGs and MTTs, as we've said, is that the former start when a table is full, and the latter are scheduled. To help you decide which of these poker games you're more suited to, here are some things to consider:

SNGs


MTTs

How to Start Playing at Real Money Online Poker Sites

You know what the best rated online poker sites are and the poker games they offer. The only thing left to do is ante up. Before we walk you through the registration process, here are the things you need to consider before you choose an online poker room:

Is it licensed? We only recommend licensed online poker rooms. Aside from unlicensed sites not being legal, we can about game integrity. All licensed poker sites have to prove that their software is safe and certified as fair by independent testing agencies.

What poker variants can you play? Game selection is an integral part of playing online poker, so the more variants you've got access to, the better a site is.

Are there any extras? The best poker sites USA players have access to are packed with added extras. From welcome bonuses and rakeback to satellites, freerolls, and loyalty rewards, there will always way to get more from your time online.

FAQs

What is the best online poker site?

Down Arrow

Are online poker sites rigged?

Down Arrow

In what states is online poker legal?

Down Arrow

How can I cash out my winnings at online poker sites?

Down Arrow

Are online poker winnings taxed?

Down Arrow

How does UIGEA affect online poker?

Down Arrow

Updated by

Daniel Smyth

Fact Checked by GDC - Icon - Black - Info

Steve Ruddock

Last Updated Icon

Last Updated:  

Share:
Facebook Icon Twitter Icon Linkedin Icon Email Icon Copy Link Icon