Ashley is our golden girl from the Golden State. Native to San Francisco and a former UCLA student, her initial passion in life has always been sport. A keen soccer, volleyball, and softball player, she presumed her life would involve continuing to play sports in her spare time and making use of her Master’s in Psychology during professional hours — and then she visited Las Vegas.
Making her first trip on a weekend getaway with three friends, Ashley immediately fell in love with Vegas, and it’s a relationship that shows no sign of diminishing. As well as being dazzled by the riotous sights and sounds that draw so many to the desert, Ashley found herself watching slots games and the people who played them, and wanting to find out more.
Upon returning home, Ashley focused on learning as much as she could about the mechanics of gambling and everything it has to offer. Combined with multiple trips back to Vegas, and a keenness to dabble in the online casino world when she couldn’t make the trip, Ashley’s aspirations began to change. She began to write articles in an effort to spread her ever-growing knowledge of the gambling world, focusing initially on casinos, but then expanding further into the sports betting and casino realm. Now, Ashley is a Contributing Editor of Las Vegas How To; our golden All-American-girl whose life took a surprising, but hugely rewarding, direction the moment she first inhaled Las Vegas’ dry, opportunity-rich desert air.
If you’re looking for the best sites to play poker in the US we’re here, ready and waiting to help you. We’ve got the complete lowdown on all the online poker states where you can indulge your passion.
We’ll help you find your way through the legal maze, showing you the states that allow online poker, and directing you towards the top poker sites where you can play for real money. It’s time to perfect your poker face and get ready to start playing!
Which are the states that allow online poker gambling?
Thanks to the complexity of US gambling laws, playing online poker is only permitted in a handful of states at the present time. But more and more states are expressing an interest, so we suggest checking back regularly to see whether any more states have joined the poker party!
At the time of writing, states that allow online poker are Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Early in 2021 West Virginia also legalized online poker, with more states certain to follow suit. However, many states with online gambling don’t authorize legal online poker, but only Washington actively forbids the activity, so players are still able to access offshore poker sites from other states if they so choose.
Online poker may be a relatively recent development, but poker itself has a tradition going back literally hundreds of years. It’s believed to have originated in either China or the Middle East, before making its way across to Europe. The French adapted the card game, calling it ‘Poque’, bringing it with them when the earliest French colonists arrived in North America. They settled in and around the area that became known as New Orleans, where the name was anglicized to become Poker.
Variations of the game were soon attracting even more players, as the idea of poker became widespread throughout the US. And gradually new variants of the game were introduced, including the 7-card stud, the 5-card draw, and, of course, the popular Texas Hold’em.
Poker became so popular that it was no surprise so many people flocked to play online games once they went live in the late 1990s. As soon as the first online poker sites were launched, they were inundated with fans from across every state, all keen to make the most of this new type of gameplay.
The changing legal situation for online poker states
But it was the incredible victory of Chris Moneymaker in the 2003 World Poker Series that really caused an explosion in the market, with players scrambling to join in with the action. Inevitably, this led to a corresponding increase in unregulated websites, and this was something that the authorities simply wouldn’t permit to continue.
On the back of this surge of popularity for online poker, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 – often referred to as the UIGEA – was passed by Congress, which resulted in the closure of a huge number of poker sites. Black Friday, as it became known, occurred on April 15th in 2011, when the authorities decided to strictly enforce the terms of the UIGEA, making it almost impossible for keen poker fans to legally access the game online from within the US.
But as we already know, the decision as to whether or not online gambling is legal is decided on a state-by-state basis. At present, not all states with online casinos allow online poker games. However, number of states with online poker is steadily increasing, meaning more and more players are finding it easier than ever to access their favorite games online.
Editor’s recommendation: the best online poker operator for US players
Our experts are always on the lookout for the best online gambling opportunities for our site visitors, but remember that gambling state laws vary and also apply when it comes to playing online poker. But as we’ve already discussed, there are currently only a few states with legal online poker – even though we anticipate a lot more coming on board eventually.
The states that allow online poker sites to legally operate are New Jersey, Delaware, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and now West Virginia, all of which offer dedicated websites for poker players. But what about the people who aren’t fortunate enough to have an online poker site accessible to them? Of course, it’s still possible to play at unregulated offshore sites, but that can be a risky business, unless you do a ton of research beforehand, to make sure you’re not going to get ripped off and don’t forget that for all gambling winnings state taxes are still payable..
But as always, we’re here with help and advice. And we’ve picked out a great deal from Borgata that’s sure to please the poker fans. This is a tried and trusted online casino, offering a whole host of fun and entertaining games, including all the usual casino favorites. You’ll find plenty of table games to bet on, including Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Casino Hold’em, 3-card Poker, 4-card Poker, and much, much more. And to top it all off there’s an incredibly generous bonus offer to get your gaming session off to a flying start!
Five top tips for a secure and fair online gambling experience in the USA
You’ve arrived at this page because you’re searching for the states with legal online poker games, but we don’t just send you on your way with a casino review and a nice bonus to get you started. We want everyone to have a safe and fair gambling experience when playing online poker, so we’ve got lots of useful information to help you on your way. And we’re starting with these five tips to ensure you keep safe.
Choose the right operator
There’s quite a lot of choice when it comes to states with legal online poker sites, so it makes sense to pick one that you’ll really enjoy playing at. We’ve got much more about this later on in our article, as it’s such an important aspect of your overall playing experience.
Read our comprehensive reviews
Our poker experts know exactly what they’re talking about when it comes to gameplay and having a fantastic online experience. We leave absolutely no stone unturned in our quest to bring you the best of the best, so we dig really deeply into the workings of every operator featured on our site. From checking out the games on offer to giving you details of payment and withdrawal methods and even casino payouts by state – we’re on a mission to bring you the full picture.
Read what other players have to say
If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the states with legal online poker sites, why not check out what people just like you are saying about them? There are so many different types of players that it’s important to find someone who feels the same way as you do – and nothing beats reading about another player’s real-life poker-playing experience. Keep an open mind, of course, as not all player reviews are genuine, but it’s a good way of building up a complete picture of an operator you’re considering signing up to.
Check the site security
In all the states that allow online poker our experts check for data encryption, SSL technology, and valid industry licenses. So if you pick one of our recommended operators you’ll already be certain of having a fair and secure gambling experience. If you decide to go ‘off-piste’ and choose your own operator, make sure you undertake exactly the same checks. And keep in mind that not all industry regulators have the same high standards, so simply identifying a current license might not be sufficient to ensure safe gameplay.
Examine the customer support options
Once again, customer support is something that our expert reviewers take the time to explore in great depth. Obviously, you’ll be hoping not to encounter any problems during the course of your gambling activities, but sometimes things don’t go quite according to plan and you may find yourself needing a helping hand. We examine whether support is available throughout the day and night, as well as looking at the contact options. Ideally, there should be a live chat button for urgent communications, as well as an email address and possibly even a phone contact too.
What do we look for when evaluating online poker operators for USA residents?
For all the states with legal online poker operators, we undertake thorough reviews, leaving absolutely no stone unturned in our mission to bring you the unvarnished truth. We shine a bright light across every single aspect of each operator, to make sure you know exactly what to expect when you sign up. So if you happen to live in one of the legal online poker states, here’s what you can expect to discover from our reviews.
Pros and Cons
We’ll tell you the positive aspects of every site reviewed, as well as the not-so-positive news you need to know about.
Usability, look, and feel
Just because you’re lucky enough to reside in one of the states that allow online poker sites to legally operate, it doesn’t necessarily follow that you’re an expert at finding your way around a poker site. Intuitive navigation, clear controls, and an inviting theme are all important considerations – and ones that we take fully into account when preparing our reviews.
Players in online poker states want to get straight down to playing, so easy deposits and withdrawals are a must. Some banks and financial institutions can be difficult when it comes to making gambling deposits, so we aim to clarify the process. We’ll let you know which payment and withdrawal options each operator accepts, so you’ll know from the start what your options are.
Licenses and security
We’ve already mentioned that not all industry regulators have the same high standards, but our expert reviewers know which ones to look out for. We check to make sure each operator featured on our site has state-of-the-art encryption enabled too, and that client funds are kept in a separate, secure account.
Rewards and bonuses
Sign up to a new online casino operator and you can expect a tempting bonus offer to get you started, even if you’re not lucky enough to live in one of the current online poker states. But most bonuses have a raft of terms and conditions attached, which we help to unravel for you. We explain the wagering conditions, the length of time you have to use your offer, and how many times the bonus must be played through before it can be withdrawn.
The types of games on offer
We’re all poker fans on this page, but even we have to admit that there’s more to online gambling than just poker games. We give you a complete overview of the games that each operator has to offer, so you know exactly what to expect. We’ll let you know the types and varieties of games on offer, so if you’re a slots player, for example, or you like an occasional bet on the Roulette wheel, you’ll know what your options are ahead of time.
Take a look at our top online casinos
Finding your perfect online poker operator
As we see a rise in the number of states with online poker sites legally operating, you’ll find your options steadily increasing. But it would be a big mistake to sign yourself up to the very first one you come across, as there’s a chance it won’t be the perfect fit for your playing style and your bankroll. We suggest taking a good look at what you’re after by way of your online poker playing experience, so that you can make the right choices from the start.
For example, you might be something of a night owl when it comes to poker playing, in which case you’re going to need 24-hour customer support. Or you may be aiming to play with a modest budget, which would require an operator with low wagering options. The more you can pin down your playing style and the sort of gambling experience you’ll enjoy, the likelier it is that you’ll make the right decision when choosing an online poker operator.
Conclusion – make the most of playing at states with online poker sites
Now we’ve shown you the states with online poker operators, you’re ready to start your online poker journey. And as always, we’re here to help and guide you, whenever you need some reassurance or assistance. The number of states with online poker sites is increasing all the time, so we suggest checking back regularly to find out what new developments are underway.
And if you’re not lucky enough to live in one of the current legal online poker states, don’t be disheartened! Every state is free to make its own legislation, and there’s an increasing demand from poker players for more chances to play online. Until then, it’s still possible to find offshore sites that will allow you to play – just be sure to take on board our advice for staying safe when playing poker online.
Here are our best casino bonuses
States with legal online poker FAQ
👀 Which are the legal states with online poker options?
If you want to know which states online poker is legal in, we’ve got the complete list. But we’ve also got much, much more, including tips for playing safely, as well as the top operators on a state-by-state basis. We’ve got all this, and some fantastic bonus awards too, so what are you waiting for? Come and take a look!
🃏 Are there any legal states with online poker operators?
You probably already know that New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada are all legal online poker states, but did you know that a few other states have also legalized online poker? Read our full article to find out where you can legally play poker online in the US, as well as useful tips to help you stay safe online. And did we mention our unique bonus offers, created with poker players in mind?
❔ Is it legal to play online poker in the US?
If you’re wondering what states is online poker legal in, we’ve got the answer! But there’s more to us than that. In addition to telling you all about the current states with online poker sites, we’ve got loads more useful information for you. Operator reviews, how-to guides, and some of the best and brightest bonuses in the online world are waiting right here for you to unlock them!
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
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