No. 1 Ranked Poker Site
- Free chips on sign-up and daily bonuses
- Huge variety of poker games and tournaments
- Play real poker for fun!
Secure, fast deposit methods
Deposit Methods and Compatibility
With the hundreds of poker rooms available, it's easy to become overwhelmed. They all sound great on the surface, so that's why our expert reviewers dive deeply into each room, in order to give you the real story.
Here are some rooms that might appear to be competitive, but that failed to pass our rigorous screens for real-money poker games:
Accused in the past of embezzling players' funds, OddsPoker is still operating through its Antigua license, but that doesn't make it a safe place to play.
Although one of the biggest US-facing sites right now, this Merge network skin has had some erratic records with player payouts recently and i's wise to tread carefully. Not only that, but affiliates were informed that the program shut down in June 2015.
Every site we list must have passed the following checks:
All poker sites must be licensed and secure
You will only find sites that are safe and secure to play on which have been independently regulated.
All poker sites hold legitimate certifications and are 128-bit SSL encrypted (the strongest type of protective measure).
Each site must always payout winnings
Only reliable poker sites that can offer you fast payouts are recommended.
All recommended poker sites make it easy to cash out and withdraw funds as fast and as smooth as possible.
Each site must offer a wide choice of popular payment methods
Sites must allow you to easily deposit funds and withdraw them to make our shortlist.
All sites provide a good choice of payment methods and ensure it's easy to utilise the bonus offers when making a deposit.
Sites must use the best gaming software
Only sites using reliable gaming software and poker games that provide you with a great gaming experience are recommended.
All recommended sites provide poker games designed by leading developers like Netent and Microgaming.
This ensures all poker site games and software is easy to use and super reliable.
Each recommended poker site must excel in customer service
We only recommend sites that provide a superb customer experience and resolve queries effectively.
All sites offer a swift complaint resolution process, with multiple communication methods and fast response times.
The site gets a review score higher than 85%
We only approve and recommend sites that exceed all of our strict criteria. You can see our Top Rated Poker Sites for August here
Legitimate poker sites reviewed by experts, trusted by players
Tips for Signing Up to a Poker Site
Before you sign up at a real money poker website, look for the best poker bonus that allows you to maximize your first funds deposit and receive some free real money to play poker with.
Compare the best online poker sites to find the type of bonus that's best for you. You'll be able to find hundreds of different promotions including satellites to live tournaments around the world, exclusive cash freerolls, merchandise and more.
Read the wagering requirements in the poker site's T&Cs section to see how easy it is to withdraw your winnings.
Types of Poker Bonuses
Freerolls allow you to play at the best poker sites at no cost. Meaning you can start playing at a table for free and collect real money if you win.
Loyalty or VIP bonuses are awarded to players who play regularly at the same US poker sites. Varying from one poker site to the next, loyalty bonuses are highly sought after and can often be very big.
First Deposit Bonus
A deposit bonus is based on your first deposit on a poker site. The poker site usually sets a fixed percentage, but most of the time you get 100% on the total of your first deposit, with an upper limit.
No Deposit Bonus
With a no deposit bonus you don't need to deposit any of your own money to receive the offered bonus. As with a freeroll, you receive any potential winnings in real money.
With a percentage bonus, the real money poker site gives you a percentage of your deposit as additional bonus money.
Refer a Friend
Less common than most other poker bonuses, you can refer a friend to some poker sites and you'll both be given access to bonus codes or other exclusive promotions.
Repeated Deposit Bonus
Similar to the loyalty bonus, a repeat deposit bonus allows you to receive extra bonus money with frequent deposits to the same poker site.
Sometimes also called a new customer bonus. In this case you will receive a bonus directly after your first registration in a poker room.
Are poker sites legal?
Currently in the US, just four US states currently offer regulated online real money poker. These are:
- New Jersey
Poker rooms are shared between the first three states mentioned, while Pennsylvania players play amongst themselves for now. Meanwhile, West Virginia, Maryland, Missouri and New York are all expected to offer legal online real money poker to its citizens in the near future. US players who live in states that do not currently offer regulated online poker often choose to access poker sites in other international countries.
All good poker players know that relying on luck is not a suitable long-term, or even short-term, strategy. Poker software is the best option to gain access to the facts, figures, and statistics that will give you a real upper hand. Not to be confused with the gaming software you use to play at poker rooms, poker software is a third party application which can:
- Log your hand histories
- Analyze your play
- Critique your losses
- Provide you with real-time advice on how to play a hand
- Provide you with information on an opponent
While there are many different poker software packages available, each has the same aim – to give you the edge on your opponents. The size of this 'edge' will most likely be determined by which package you choose to buy and how much you're willing to pay.
Of course, even the best poker tools won't play on your behalf, so you'll need to make sure you interpret the data you're provided with correctly. Poker software with Heads Up Display will even display statistics you need right on your table, so make sure you're paying attention to this information.
Unfortunately, poker software can be considered cheating by many popular real money poker rooms so is effectively banned on certain sites. Make sure you read the terms and conditions of each site when you sign up. If you're suspected of using prohibited poker software on the best poker sites, you may be barred from playing or even have your funds frozen.
Poker software pros
- Dramatically improves your odds of winning
- Free options and trials available
- A great way to learn more about poker
- Gives you real time information without slowing play down
- Can quickly transform beginners into knowledgeable poker players
Poker software cons
- Top tools may be expensive for part-time players
- Considered cheating by many popular poker room
- Players suspected of using prohibited software may be banned or have funds frozen
- Not compatible with mobile play or no download poker rooms
Deposit and withdrawal option
Central to playing at the best poker sites, is the ability to play for real money. The difference between playing real money poker and free money poker is huge, as the potential to both take home the pot or lose your entire bankroll adds to the tension and helps you and your opponents stay sharp.
To ensure you and your funds are safe and secure when depositing or withdrawing, it is vital you use the best poker deposit methods from merchants such as Visa, MasterCard and PaySafe.
All of the best reviewed poker sites on CardsChat offer licensed and regulated deposit and withdrawal options, ensuring your funds won't be stolen or unlawfully seized.
How Important is Traffic to Poker Sites?
One of the most important things to look at when reviewing the best online poker sites is how much player traffic the site receives.
The amount of traffic a poker site receives directly impacts player experience as the more traffic, the more tables there are to choose from.
At a massive site like
you can have hundreds of tables running simultaneously, meaning players can choose a stake that suits them. This also makes it easier to spot 'softer' tables, where it can be easier to win real money against weaker opponents.
A final word on our online poker site reviews
Our poker site reviews are in depth and objective, sighting both the positive and negative aspects of each website based on their individual merits. As well as offering comprehensive reviews of the best poker sites for US players online, we have partnered with many of 2021's best USA online poker sites to bring our visitors exclusive bonuses and freerolls.
In addition to our exclusive online poker real money promotions, our top poker site reviews also cover the important aspects of gambling at poker sites such as poker games variety, competition levels, software quality, bonuses, banking options and currency, personal opinions and much more.
For information more local to you, check out our sitemap to find guides about the best poker rooms for residents of each region. Check out other real money poker games and classics available to play online:
CardsChat online poker FAQ - be in the know before you go
We rank poker sites by using a complex algorithm that takes into account scores from both regular players and our team of expert reviewers. With more than 30 years combined experience playing at the best online poker sites, our
experts know what makes a fantastic site. Any sites included in our top rated lists are the best of the best and have all scored top marks in this five-point audit:
- Is this site licensed and regulated?
- What is the history of payouts?
- Are there a wide variety of payment options?
- What software technology is being used?
- What is the complaint to accolade ratio?
Only sites that easily pass our five-point inspection can be featured on our top ranked lists. This means that the poker site is licensed, has outstanding customer service and an above average response time to issues. It will
have minimal complaints, a decently sized players base and fast, hassle-free payouts. On top of all this we make sure they have a history of honoring bonuses and loyalty rewards.
So in short, you can't go wrong with any of the sites found in our top rated lists, especially as you'll be covered by our satisfaction guarantee. However, if none
of the sites meet your requirements it's a good idea to check out our blacklisted sites so you can avoid rogue operators.
Loyalty bonuses and promotions are ways for the best online poker sites to say thanks for choosing us. They are also a great way for you to build up your bankroll so don't underestimate the importance of free bonuses when
choosing a site.
With 366,532+ members CardsChat.com is one of the biggest poker forums out there, and that size allows us to negotiate exclusive bonuses for our users. We offer a BEST BONUS GUARANTEE on all of our
top ranked poker sites, meaning you will not find a better welcome bonus anywhere else online within 24 hours of sign-up or we'll match that offer.
Having fast, reliable payouts is a key factor for many of our users when choosing a poker site. Our expert reviewers anonymously play on poker sites for real money to check bonuses are honored, deposits are easy and payouts are
Any sites that fail on these points are automatically blacklisted as rooms you need to avoid. Trustworthy sites that have proven to be extra speedy in paying out cash to players are listed on our
fastest payouts page.
Not all online poker sites are equal, and if you're not going with one of our trusted sites, then it's important to do a little research first. You'll want to
check that your chosen site has a good reputation, pays out, and is financially stable. Without that information, you won't know if your money is safe or the games are fair.
To help you know which sites to avoid we keep a list of unsafe or disreputable sites. Check out the most recent additions to our blacklist before choosing a real money poker site.
Just because a site is new does not mean it can be automatically trusted. The main thing to remember when trying out anything new is that it's okay to test the waters. Before depositing money on any poker site you'll
want answers to the following questions:
- Is the site licensed?
- Who regulates this organization?
- Are they using safe, reputable payment mechanisms?
If you're not sure whether a poker site can be trusted, check out our listings for proven trustworthy new poker sites.
Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this website. However, online gambling laws vary from country to country and are subject to change. We therefore urge you to check the current laws of your country of residence before gambling online. CardsChat.com in no way condones breaking the law for online gambling purposes.