Choose the best US poker site and play this game with US poker players all over the country. Check this article for more info about online poker in the US.
Websites in the US that offer poker, or focus only on poker, are continuously getting new players, all of whom participate in individual games and online tournaments hosted by the websites and software providers.
There are various types of tournaments, but they mostly resemble live ones such as those that are part of World Series of Poker or World Poker Tour.
After you register on a poker site, make sure to check out their offer. Most of the tournaments have buy-ins which may range anywhere from a couple of cents to several thousand dollars. Some of them are entirely free, and the winners may get some rewards, not necessarily in the form of cash.
The community is what makes USA poker sites unique. There are a couple of really great sites that offer news about tournament winners, even in online tournaments. People meet on poker sites to socialize and share their stories. Community and the human interaction are the main reasons why poker is so popular, and online platforms are doing their best to fully portray that experience to the players both in the US and worldwide.
A Short History of Online Poker in the US
The first traces of online gambling were noticed back in 1994 when first online casinos popped up on the web. These were mostly operators who were registered outside of the US, but Americans still could quickly sign up on them and make some nice cash. In other words, these were USA friendly websites.
However, the first genuinely North American online gambling platform was established in 1996 and was located just outside of Montreal. As you can see, Canadians were the first to take action when it comes to online gambling, and this inspired the first poker-only site for online poker called Planet Poker in 1998.
Truth be told, there were other USA friendly poker sites before that, but these were not available for real money gambling. When Planet Poker appeared on stage, however, things changed.
Back in the day, 1999 to be precise, the US Senate considered online gambling a national threat and tried to prevent it with the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, which hadn’t been passed eventually.
There were several back and forths considering the legality (explained later), but the industry was growing nonetheless. That resulted in more people joining the US online poker craze and more professionals working on developing this type of te entertainment industry.
The things boomed when one of the online players managed to qualify for the World Series of Poker Main Event through an online satellite poker tournament. The guy’s name is Christ Moneymaker (coincidence?), who inspired millions of Americans to follow his journey and test out their luck by indulging in online poker.
The poker rooms exploded with new members, which triggered numerous US facing poker sites to have a huge influx of money out of nowhere. As a result, we could see more and more people in the US calling themselves – an online poker player, that’s my profession. And some people have indeed become professional poker players and are making a living out of it.
Payment Methods in the US Poker Websites
There are dozens of ways you can deposit money on poker sites in the US, but here are a couple of the most popular ones. Take a look.
Visa Credit Card
Visa is the most popular payment method in numerous industries online, not just poker. Most of these poker platforms accept Visa as their #1 payment method because of the convenience and speed. There are a couple of things you should take into account, though.
First of all, some Visa Credit Cards are not approved when it comes to international payments, mainly because to prevent potential data theft or frauds, and not all poker sites are US-registered. To use Visa for poker some poker sites, you will have to call your bank to make changes to your Visa.
If you have troubles with credit cards, there is a much simpler and more straightforward way. Many of the convenience stores in the US sell prepaid visa cards. Word of caution, though – there are various prepaid cards, and to know which ones are accepted on the preferred poker site, make sure to contact their customer support for more info on that matter.
MasterCard Credit Card
Despite being way less popular, MasterCard works pretty much the same way as the Visas. It is a fast, convenient, and cheap method for depositing money. However, make sure that the poker site of your preference supports it.
Warning – international payments should also be available on your card before you use it on some USA friendly poker sites.
Money Transfer (Western Union)
Although money transfer, also known as person-to-person transfer, is not popular among the poker fans, it is still available on many platforms due to the security levels it provides.
Basically, you will have to contact the support of the site for the payment info and go to the nearest Western Union outlet to deposit your money.
Once you make the payment, make sure to send an email to the support team with the number of transaction attached so that they can identify your payment. It is a bit complicated process, but there are people who still opt for this method rather than use credit cards.
MoneyGram pretty much works the same way as Western Union. It’s important to say that WU and MoneyGram are often available as withdrawal options, while credit cards are usually not on that list. Furthermore, you also want to know that these two methods usually come with fees that are higher compared to other options.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies
With the rise of the blockchain technology, many gambling sites decided to allow cryptocurrencies as a payment method as well. Naturally, Bitcoin is the most popular option in the US, but others such as Litecoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash are slowly being introduced to many sites.
If you are into the crypto industry, you probably already understand how deposit may work. If you are not – read on.
Every cryptocurrency is stored in a personal online wallet that comes with its public address, which is something similar to the email address, except you give it to people so that they can send you crypto assets via the public address.
To deposit, say, Bitcoin, you need to send it to the public address provided by the website. Make sure to contact the customer support for details, since this method is pretty new and still being tested.
How to Deposit?
You are probably wondering how to transfer your money from the credit card, for example, to the website. It is a rather easy process with just several steps required. For now, let’s focus only on credit cards.
- Register on one of the US friendly poker sites and follow each step until you are a verified user.
- Go to the Cashier section (Deposit/Withdraw section) of the website and choose Visa
- Enter the credentials that are usually required to connect a card to a site – your 16-digit card number, expiration date, and a 3-digit CCV/CVC code located at the back of your card.
- Enter the amount that you wish to deposit and confirm it.
Your deposit should be on the website within a couple of minutes.
Pay attention to the minimum and maximum deposit amounts. Most of the credit cards will not allow you to deposit less than $20, and some websites go as high as $50. On the other hand, if you choose to use money transfer as your primary deposit method, you should bear in mind that the minimum is usually $100 in that case. Depositing with cryptocurrencies, if possible, is flexible, and the limits are usually set by the US poker platforms rather than the payment methods themselves.
When it comes to the maximum amounts – these usually go up to $2000 for credit cards, but you can talk to the support to allow you to deposit more than that. Cryptos are an exception once again.
Are Online Poker Sites Legal in the US?
What kind of world would we live in if poker were illegal in its birth country – the United States of America. Yes, it is legal and it is a game that is an integral part of the US culture.
However, we need to see the bigger picture. In 1961, the Interstate Wire Act, also known just as the Federal Wire Act, was introduced, and it prohibited certain types of gambling, mainly targeting sports betting. It was brought back to the court a couple of times, but it had actually never prohibited playing poker anywhere in the US, including playing poker online.
Therefore, we can safely claim that nobody prohibits you from playing poker online. The thing is – whether this activity is regulated or not?
So far, there are only four states that have passed the bill that legalize and regulate activities pertaining to playing online poker.
Delaware was the first country to do that with their Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act  which was passed back in 2012. The act allowed for both poker and online casino games to be conducted in that state.
Nevada started issuing licenses for online poker sites in the US, only to be followed by New Jersey a week after that. All casinos in Atlantic City were granted licenses to operate online casinos and US poker platforms.
Pennsylvania is the fourth state that is just an inch away from having its first online poker site that is completely regulated. Namely, the officials of this state passed a bill that would expand on online gambling activities, which also included playing poker online . As soon as it goes live on July 15th, 2019, you will be able to enjoy poker in this state as much as you want.
One thing is certain – poker is currently being explored, and it is under colossal expansion in the US market at this very moment. Apart from Pennsylvania, some other countries are also working hard to regulate not only online poker but online gambling as well.
The Case of UIGEA
UIGEA  is an abbreviation for the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act which was passed by the US Senate back in 2006. This played a crucial role in defining the future of online gambling in the US.
In 2002, it was decided that The Wire Act from 1961 did not apply to online gambling, creating a sort of chaos among online operators.
The bill that would straighten things up was necessary, but the passing of the act was covered with a veil of mystery. Namely, the SAFE Port Act was also passed, although it was unrelated to UIGEA in any sense. Despite other shady stuff going on relating to UIGEA, the president George W. Bush signed it in 2006.
The Act was not clear enough. It underwent a few changes and became official by 2009, but it still lacked some concrete action. Nevertheless, this led to an event called “Black Friday” when the Department of Justice took control over some of the most significant online poker sites in the US.
It turned out that these sites were subject to the laws of individual states rather than UIGEA. This leads to the conclusion that this Act is enforced only when the government sees fit, rather than it applies at all times. In other words, it still does not declare any type of online poker playing illegal per se.
Poker is a synonym for the United States of America and stands as the most popular card game in the country. If you are interested in the best US poker sites, check them out and enjoy this game of a long tradition that can bring a myriad of cash prizes to both the luckiest and most skilful players.
References: https://legis.delaware.gov/BillDetail/21016  http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billInfo/billInfo.cfm?sYear=2017&sInd=0&body=H&type=B&bn=0271  https://web.archive.org/web/20100601165540/https://www.ots.treas.gov/_files/422372.pdf
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