Best Online Poker Sites

Poker is a game that has recently exploded in popularity in the U.S. Before this popularity explosion, playing poker online was as easy as logging on to your favorite poker site, downloading their program, depositing some money, and playing. Now, a good number of poker sites do not even accept U.S. players. With this article I hope to explain some of the best sites that you can play on while detailing the struggles (and possible workarounds) that a U.S. player faces.

The first thing one needs to do is download multiple poker programs from the sites that do accept U.S. players. Why multiple programs instead of one? I will explain that later. The current reigning champion of online poker, at least in my opinion., is Full Tilt Poker. Full Tilt Poker is one of the most well-known poker sites of the time and boasts an average of about 60,000 or more players online at once. The site I would rank second is PokerStars. PokerStars, at the time of my writing this article, has 220,000 players online on a Saturday afternoon. I rate Full Tilt above them for reasons that I am going to get into very soon. The final site that I will mention is Bodog Poker. Bodog has a sloppy interface and, from my experience, a poker client that does not run all that well. Why, then, with all the poker sites out there, do I mention it?

Freerolls! If you are new to playing poker online, freerolls are tournaments that you can enter and have the chance to win money without having to pay anything. The downside to freerolls? You are going to be playing against thousands of other entrants for the chance to win an amount of money not all that large. Still, if you are looking to build your bankroll without having to actually risk any money, the three sites I have mentioned above are an excellent way to start. Full Tilt Poker runs one freeroll every morning for Tournament Dollars (these let you enter real money tournaments) and one freeroll every night at around 9 pm EST. Also, I should mention that Bodog is a special favorite of mine. They run a $500 freeroll twice a day and if you can get past the sloppiness of their poker program it is not a bad place to play.

If you are looking to get right into playing real money games the three sites mentioned above will also work. With stricter regulation about online gambling in the U.S. several of the more prominent sites that used to serve U.S. players no longer accept them. Sites like PartyPoker, a site that I personally used in the past and had great success with, shut their doors to U.S. players quite some time ago. Fortunately, a good number of sites still do accept U.S. players. The majority of poker sites, including all three that I listed, accept two credit cards – Visa and MasterCard. Depending on where you live and who your bank is you will have varying success trying to deposit with credit cards. Besides credit cards, all sites offer a number of different ways to deposit money ranging from Western Union to eChecks. If you want to play for real money, there is a way.

My recommendation to any new player is to start off with freerolls. The play might be hectic and unlike real money play early on but by the time the tournament reaches the late stages the experience will be somewhat like the real thing. By the time you manage to place in the money in a freeroll tournament you should be good to go for playing with real money! Good luck and do not get discouraged – keep in mind that you are playing against thousands and thousands of other players all with the same goal as you.