Last Updated on: 28/11/2023
Verified by Lee James Gwilliam
While legit online casinos are becoming hugely popular in many US states, online poker is also seeing moderate growth nationwide. Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, and Nevada all currently offer legal online casino poker.
With millions of Americans now able to play poker online, finding the best casinos that offer poker is essential. And that’s where we can help! Our gambling experts at Casinos.com have carefully reviewed the most popular online casinos in the US to give you a complete overview of the best poker providers.
April 15, 2011, was an eventful day for the online poker industry in the United States. Known as Black Friday, the biggest poker sites were restricted and became unavailable to American players. For poker platforms based in the United States, this meant they were forced to shut down.
Things changed in 2013. Laws were amended, allowing individual states to regulate online poker by putting a virtual fence around their border. To date, most states in the country still do not provide access to legal online poker. But the outlook is changing, and some do have online casino poker sites available legally:
Nevada was the first state to embrace online poker, living up to its tradition as a gambling innovator. Online casino poker sites have been legal in Nevada since February 2013, only one month after the Department of Justice (DOJ) changed the Wire Act. These days, WSOP is the only remaining online poker site operating within Nevada.
To launch legally in Nevada, online poker rooms must obtain a license from the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) and the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB).
New Jersey was not only proactive in introducing online poker but also NJ online casinos too. This means online poker sites and casino platforms became available in the Garden State in November 2013. Available poker casinos in NJ include PokerStars (with Resorts Casino), 888 online casino in NJ (with WSOP/Caesars), PartyPoker (with Borgata), and Pala (with Borgata).
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) licenses every NJ online poker room.
PA online casinos finally received their own legislation in November 2017. Regulations in the state are extensive and include licensing for games such as slots, roulette, and blackjack. If you are interested in playing roulette, take a look at the best roulette casinos we recommend here at Casinos.com. We also offer comprehensive recommendation lists and information on top blackjack casinos. Since 2017, Pennsylvania has become one of the biggest supporters of online gambling – and yes, that includes sports betting. PokerStars became Pennsylvania's sole online poker provider, available through a partnership with Mount Airy Casino.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board regulates online gambling and online poker in the state.
Michigan’s journey with online poker began in 2017 when then-Senator Mike Kowall started moves to create legislation. However, it was not until December 2019 that the state finally signed off on supporting online poker. In January 2021, PokerStars debuted in Michigan by partnering with the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board regulates all online casino poker sites in the state and the best MI online casinos.
West Virginia online casinos received its own regulations to legalize online poker and casino gaming in March 2019. While online casinos have since become available, there are no online poker sites operating in the state as of 2023. If major platforms are to enter the small West Virginia market, the state will likely need to support shared player pools with other states.
All gambling licensing and future regulatory oversight is handled by the West Virginia State Lottery.
Delaware is something of a trailblazer in the US online poker industry. The state became the first to legalize online casino poker when it passed legislation in June 2012. Online poker launched in the state that same November, with operators licensed and regulated by the Delaware Lottery. 888poker remains DE’s only legal online poker provider, operating through three land-based partners (Harrington Raceway, Delaware Park, and Dover Downs).
Several states that regulate online poker have entered an agreement to ‘share liquidity,’ meaning that players from different legal poker states can play against each other on the same online poker sites. The original compact was named MSIGA (Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement), in which four states are currently members: Michigan, Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey. The multistate poker network that combines player pools across state lines was officially launched on Jan 1, 2023.
As more US states embrace online poker, major online poker casinos are reaching more people. Millions of Americans are now connecting with online casino poker sites. However, it is essential to know that each poker operator is different. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, with various features, benefits, and available poker games. Keep in mind, most of these listed below also offer real casino apps, so you can play via mobile device.
The best way to find the top poker casinos in the US is to check out the operators on this page. Our experts find and list the most reputable and regulated poker sites, meaning you’ll only find the best of the best.
As perhaps the biggest online poker network in the US, PokerStars has been in the industry for over two decades. Since its 2001 debut, the online poker giant has been known for backing professional poker players, including Chris Moneymaker. PokerStars is home to major tournaments, such as the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) and Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP).
Available States: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
An all-around betting giant, BetMGM delivers one of the best online poker experiences to go alongside its successful online casino and sportsbook. Its poker site sits at the heart of the BetMGM US Network, such as the BetMGM Michigan Casino, which also taps into player pools from partypoker and Borgata. US players can access many regular poker tournaments, with competitions happening daily.
Available States: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
A sister site/reskin of BetMGM Poker, Borgata runs on the partypoker network, allowing a shared player pool across Borgata, BetMGM, and partypoker. Matching the quality of the world-class poker room at the Borgata resort in Atlantic City, the online casino poker site delivers multi-table tournaments every day of the week.
Available States: New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
World Series of Poker (WSOP) is an online poker casino that builds on the WSOP branding. Thanks to its backing from the World Series of Poker, WSOP.com offers some unique benefits. There are also regular qualifiers for live events held on the site, allowing you to play to get to participate in the WSOP main tournament.
Available States: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware (shared tables), Michigan, and Nevada.
888 is one of the leading online gambling brands and is known for its proprietary solutions. That is no different with 888 Poker, which runs on a network operated by 888 Holdings. Hold’em and Omaha no-limit games generate the most traffic, with both budget and high-roller buy-ins available. Satellite tournaments are plentiful, with the site offering multiple daily events across Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Available States: Delaware (three sites), New Jersey, and Nevada.
One of the most frequent questions we are asked is how online poker differs from playing at your local land-based casino. Well, in terms of pure gameplay, it is the same. In other words, the poker you enjoy on the casino floor is the same as you’ll get online. However, there are fundamental differences in how you access and play games, with online casino poker having plenty of advantages.
Perhaps the most significant distinction between land-based and online poker is how the rhythm of the game changes. Playing online is simply much faster. Real poker tables require a certain amount of work that online games remove and handle automatically. For example, there is no manual card shuffling. Plus, chip counting is instant. You will save more time than you think when playing poker online.
You will physically see cards being shuffled and dealt at a land-based casino. This gives you some peace of mind that the process is legitimate. Online casino poker sites use computer algorithms to shuffle the deck automatically. You may have less confidence in this method. But in reality, major online poker rooms use random number generator (RNG) software to ensure the cards are always random and cannot be influenced by the operator.
In the real world, being in two places (or more) at once is impossible. When you pick a poker table at a land-based casino, you will be stuck on that table until you end the game. You won’t have this restriction online, where you can play poker on multiple tables at the same time. Multi-tabling adds a layer of excitement and can also help you potentially increase your profits. You can even multi-table across online poker casinos.
Sure, the big casino floors in Las Vegas or Atlantic City will give you plenty of choice, but there is always the question of space. Online casinos are free to provide as many games as they want, covering all the popular poker variants. Moreover, each variant will have multiple tables for different buy-in amounts or game dynamics.
Another massive benefit you get playing at an online casino poker site is access to bonuses. The best casino bonuses come in all shapes and sizes, catering to budget and high-roller players alike. Yet, not all promos are created equal, so always read the T&Cs to understand requirements and restrictions.
Our online poker casino reviews test all types of bonuses, ensuring you only have access to the most generous and easy-to-claim promos, including:
A welcome bonus is an introductory reward you can claim when registering with a poker casino for the first time. These promotions are usually the most attractive offers and are designed to entice new players. When you see online casino promo codes, it’s typically for a deposit bonus, where the casino matches your first deposit. For example, a 100% match on deposits up to $200.
If you spend a lot of money on an online poker site, a VIP or loyalty program will reward you for your efforts. VIP programs are usually invite-only, reserved for players who high roll on a casino. Loyalty rewards schemes are generally open to all customers, allowing them to build points as they bet. In both cases, increasingly generous benefits and rewards are available the more points you collect.
As a popular online poker bonus, a rakeback is when you recoup a portion of the money you bet over a period of time. When you bet on a hand, a small percentage of the pot is taken. Players then receive a portion of the accumulated amount at a set interval, such as weekly or monthly. Rakeback amounts vary but can be as high as 50% per month. Plenty of players love this bonus, but it is often reserved only for VIP members.
The closest thing to something genuinely free in the online casino industry, a freeroll is a poker tournament where you can literally enter for free. You won’t need to pay an entry fee to play in the game. All players are given the same number of chips and play through the tournament to win prizes. It is worth noting the amount of cash you can win in a freeroll is typically less than in a standard tournament with an entry fee.
While the basics of poker are universal, many different variants put a unique twist on this popular card game. In terms of structure, online casino poker sites have either tournaments or cash games. However, there are also many different poker forms, such as stud poker, hold’em, draw, and Omaha.
Online poker tournaments allow players to compete against each other to win a portion of a predetermined prize pool. To enter a tournament, players must buy in by paying the entry fee. All players receive a specific amount of chips and then play against other entrants to find the winner/s. Common poker casino online tournaments include freeroll, rebuy, satellite, multi-buy, bounty, guaranteed, and freezeout.
Cash games are available online at all major poker casinos. Also known as live-action or ring games, these are any game played with real money at stake. You buy in and use the number of chips you purchased to compete against other players. There is usually no set end time, with players able to enter and leave the game as they please.
The mainstream version of poker has become popular on TV and in tournaments. In each round, players receive two face-down (hole) cards. These are the cards that you assess for the first round of betting. Next, the dealer turns three cards onto the table (flop), and another round of betting commences based on your two cards and the flop. There are two following rounds, with the dealer putting two more individual cards onto the table and betting after each. Players can call and raise bets or fold their hand at any betting interval.
Taking many of the game traits of Hold’em, Omaha poker has a three-card flop on the table and then two subsequent cards. The big difference here is that the player receives four hole cards instead of two. This makes gameplay slightly more complex because the player cannot use two of these cards. Instead, they must build the best five-card hand with two of their hole cards and the cards on the table.
Stud poker removes hold cards, instead giving players all their cards, with two visible to other players and the rest private. With the cards in their hand, the player must make the best possible winning combination. Seven-card stud is very popular, as is Caribbean Stud, which is based on a five-card game. Caribbean Stud is unique because you play against the dealer/house instead of other players.
A straightforward game for beginners and a popular variant for video poker, 3-card games involve competing against the dealer and the value of their hand. Players are given three cards, and the winning rankings are slightly different. For example, no two-pair combination is possible, while a STRAIGHT beats a FLUSH in this variant.
5-card is available at many online casino poker sites and is one of the simplest versions to play. Each player is given five cards and must form the best possible hand from their cards. In all other aspects, the game is similar to standard poker. Many 5-card poker tables allow players to exchange one or two cards to form a better hand.
A unique twist on the seven-card stud, Razz is a low-only poker variant. This basically means that only Ace to Five hands can win a round. You cannot win with any card/hand with a value of over five. Players get seven cards during a game, but only five are needed to form a winning combination.
A less common variant, Badugi, involves just four cards. This poker variant is a type of draw poker with hands similar to lowball games. Regarding structure, all betting and hand values are the same as a standard poker game with blinds.
One of the reasons poker is beloved by all kinds of bettors is that it is easy to pick up but tricky to master. That means it is easy to have fun playing poker, but you’ll need skill to become a poker professional. At its core, poker is a game where players receive cards and attempt to make a winning hand from the cards in their hand or on the betting table.
Draw and Stud are the primary forms. The difference between the two is that in draw poker; all cards are given to the player face down. On the other hand, some cards are visible to all players in stud poker. Also, in draw games, players can replace an existing card with a new one from the deck. To get you started with the basic rules, this section will be your ultimate beginner’s guide:
In poker, the aim is to have the highest-ranking hand to win the game. Below are the possible winning hands in online poker casino games:
When you start playing at an online casino poker site, it is crucial to know how to start. Building a quality poker hand is not easy. In fact, even if you understand the game, there is lots of luck involved. That’s because you do not choose the cards you receive. Instead, you can become a better player by making wise betting choices. Learning the hand rankings and probabilities for each will allow you to make educated decisions based on the cards you hold.
Avoid any confusion during gameplay by learning the following standard terms used in poker:
You’ll need to deposit into your online casino poker account to play real money cash games and tournaments. The best online poker operators provide a wide selection of secure online casino payment methods, including the following popular options:
We recommend having two go-to banking options for making deposits. That’s because some financial institutions may not offer a deposit method in your state. For example, casinos accepting PayPal are relatively rare in the US, and BetMGM Online Poker is one of the few Discover card casinos. It is also worth remembering that some banking options, such as credit cards, do not permit withdrawals.
Now for the fun part! Follow our simple step-by-step guide below to register and fund your online poker account today.
As we’ve already touched upon, withdrawals are pretty limited at online poker sites. You may not be able to cash out your winnings using the same method you deposited with. Alternatively, some poker casinos may only allow you to deposit and cash out with the same banking option. That’s why we recommend reading the T&Cs and having a backup payment method ready.
Nonetheless, withdrawals should be simple at the poker casino you choose. Most top operators approve withdrawals within 48 hours. However, it may take longer to receive your money depending on your payment method:
Now that you know where to find the best online casino poker sites and which games to play, you are ready to get started. Before you head to one of our recommended poker casinos, the following tips will help you make the most of your experience:
Our experts leave no stone unturned when they review an online casino poker site. Each operator we recommend has gone through our strict review process, where we look at the following factors:
Registering for an account should be efficient and secure, while verification should be easy and seamless.
All poker casinos we recommend have a broad selection of tournaments and cash games across multiple popular variants, perfect for every player!
Consistent traffic is essential, and we want the sites we highlight to give players game availability 24/7, ideally through sharing player pools across networks.
We aim to connect all types of players with top poker games. Whether you are a budget player or a high roller, we have the perfect site for you.
Simply put, we never recommend an online casino poker operator that is not legal and licensed in the United States.
Each casino we highlight offers lucrative welcome bonuses and generous offers for existing customers.
Emma Trotter is a Senior Editor at Casinos.com. Emma has worked as a staff writer and editor for nearly two decades, extensively covering celebrity news and the Las Vegas entertainment, casino and tourism scenes. She spent several years in in-house roles at Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Las Vegas before stepping into iGaming affiliate site content.
Online poker is only legal and active in a handful of US states: Michigan, New Jersey, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. You must be physically located in one of these to play. It is also legal in Delaware but no operators have begun there yet.
Yes, most of the online poker operators like Pokerstars feature welcome bonuses and promos for new sign-ups. Check your chosen operator’s site or glance at the list of operators on this page.
Yes, there are all kinds of tournaments offered every single day. Each operator has a different schedule, but check out World Series of Poker, BetMGM Poker and PokerStars if tournaments are what you’re seeking.
There are some fairly sizable differences in playing at a physical casino versus online play. In the online version, you can play much faster, play multiple tables at once, and have access to an endless types of poker game variants and available tables to jump on to. However, you can’t see the other members so gauging bluffing and other related aspects becomes more difficult.
Yes. The industry has been completely legalized, licensed and regulated. Any state that wants to offer legal online poker has to jump through many hoops and meet all the requirements, which includes strict security standards. That said, there are still many offshore poker websites to watch out for. These are not secure and are financially risky, so stick to the operators mentioned on this page or click through to one of them above.