As most people are well aware, online poker is not as easy to play for real money as it used to be if you live in the United States. This article will describe the steps that are necessary to find online poker sites that accept US players, how to sign up for a real money account, and how to deposit money into this account so you can start playing poker online once again.
Legal Online Poker in the US
First, we might as well go over the legal aspect of online poker. If you live in Delaware, Nevada or New Jersey, you can play real money online poker completely legally. The advantage of doing this is that you will not have any problems getting your poker account funded.
Legal online poker rooms include WSOP.com and Ultimate Poker, which are licensed in both Nevada and New Jersey. There is also 888 Poker, Betfair, Borgata Poker, Golden Nugget and Party Poker, which are licensed in New Jersey, RealGaming, which is licensed in Nevada, as well as Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Gaming Online, which are licensed in Delaware.
The only downside that you will find is that these poker rooms are not going to have a lot of players unless you are playing during the peak hours between 6PM and 10PM on weekdays or most of the day during Saturdays and Sundays.
Remaining Poker Sites that Accept USA Players for Real Money
Before we get into this section, be sure that you are not breaking any state laws if you plan on playing poker online. There currently are no federal laws that prevent individuals from placing bets online, only laws that prevent operators from accepting real money bets from Americans. But, there are certainly some states that have laws prohibiting their citizens from playing online poker. This would include, but is not limited to, Utah, Washington, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Hawaii and Oregon.
There are also states that are seeking legislation to legalize and regulate online poker that have not done so yet. This includes California, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota, Mississippi and New Mexico. If you live in one of these states, you should definitely be sending letters to your state’s senators and representatives to let them know that you would like them to regulate and legalize online poker. If just a couple of these states (especially California or New York) passes legislation to regulate online poker, many of the states that are on the fence about this issue may be convinced to create legislation as well.
Now, onto the meat of this article. If you live in one of the states where no legislation is passed towards regulating online poker, you will need to find a website which still allows Americans to play at the real money tables. The vast majority of online poker sites currently abide by the laws of the federal government and do not accept real money wager from Americans. There are also several more that I have never heard of and probably wouldn’t recommend. Of the ones listed, Bovada and Lock Poker are independent sites that do not share players with other sites. The rest are part of the following poker networks: Merge Gaming Network, Revolution Gaming Network (Cake Gaming), or Winning Poker Network (Yatahay).
The next step is to register an account at one of these sites. This step is very easy. You simply go to one of the sites listed and click on the “Download Software” buttons that can usually be found on the homepage. Install the software onto your computer and follow the simple steps to register your account.
You will now only be able to participate in the Play Money tables until you make your first deposit. This is the tricky part of the operation. Most of the normal avenues for depositing money have been closed off whether it is the banks, credit cards, or online payment processors. The only viable methods that I have seen that are reliable and consistent are Visa Gift cards, person-to-person money transfer stores and occasionally Visa Credit Cards and e-Checks.
Before you try to make a deposit, you should contact the customer support of the poker room that you are trying to join. The majority are available 24/7 and will be able to help you figure out which way will be best to fund your account. Once you have completed your first deposit, you will be able to play at the real money cash game tables and the poker tournaments.
After that, winning at these poker games is completely up to you.