Monday, April 21, 2014

Best Real Money Poker Sites in the US

Before April of 2011, it used to be very easy to play online poker in the United States. This is the era when PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker were poker giants and claimed much of the American market. However, the DoJ fought back against these two companies and dozens of littler poker rooms by forcing banks and credit card companies to stop payments to and from these websites. They also went and confiscated the .com website addresses from these companies, since the .com domain is directly under the control of the US government.

Since this time, it has been more difficult to find a place to continue to play poker online. Of course, you can always play at PokerStars play money tables, along with most other sites. But, we know that this is neither fun nor does it breed the correct type of competition. Oh, how fun! Another idiot went all in with nothing. And so did half the table. This is just like it would be if these dumbasses were putting up their own money.

The most difficult part of finding a real money poker room that accepts Americans is that it is a bit of a hassle to get your player's account funded. Most people will not be able to use cash directly from their bank account or credit cards. For the most diehard poker players, this hasn't been a problem. But for the casual player, many would rather not go to such lengths to play the games.

If you find where to play poker online for money in US, there have been two reliable ways of funding that real money account. The first is a Visa Gift Card. These gift cards are not tied to a person's accounts and is simply money in the form of a gift card. These cards need to have the funds credited on them in order to transfer the money to your account.

The second way to fund your account is to use a person-to-person money transfer service like Western Union or MoneyGram. This will require you to contact the customer support in order to receive the proper information to ensure that the money goes to the correct account. It also requires you to visit one of these stores in order to make the deposit. A lot of people avoid this option because they aren't looking to make a day out of getting money into their account.

Is Playing Online Poker for Real Money Legal in the United States?

This question has several different answers based upon where you live. On a federal level, it is not illegal for an individual to play online poker for real money. However, it is illegal for a website operator to accept real money wagers from Americans. This is why there are currently no poker websites that are hosted from within the borders of the United States.

If you live in Delaware, Nevada or New Jersey, there are state laws that regulate the poker websites for real money players. The poker sites within these states are not allowed to accept players from other states or other countries as this would be in violation of federal law. The main problem with these legal poker sites is that there is a lack of player base from each individual state to have a really good poker room.

If you live in Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington state, Wisconsin or Wyoming, there are currently laws that prohibit individuals from playing online poker for real money or other online gambling activities. The likelihood of an individual who is playing a real money game being prosecuted is rather low in most states. The greatest chance are in the following states: Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Washington.

If you live in one of the states not mentioned in one of these lists, there currently aren't any laws prohibiting real money online poker as these states defer to the federal laws. Some states, such as California, are having talks about make a state law that regulates online gaming; but currently only the three states listed above currently have completely legal online poker. Other states that have expressed some interest in passing legislation to legalize online poker include Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota and Pennsylvania. If you live in one of the states mentioned in this paragraph, you should write to the state legislators indicating your interest in making online poker regulated. The more states that get regulated, the better the chance that the federal law gets changed.

The three states that are currently legal are expressing an interest to create an interstate poker alliance to combine the pool of players from the three states. This would challenge the federal law and probably isn't viable until other states get on board.

In the not too distant future, there should be several other states that pass legislation that legalizes betting online in one form or another. The big piece to the puzzle is going to be California. Much like other controversial issues such as legalizing marijuana or gay marriage, other states are going to take a wait and see approach before getting on board. If California, with it's massive population, gets legislation passed, it could be the tipping point where a conglomerate of states joins together to regulate online poker.

Much like the end of the prohibition of alcohol, you will have some states that don't join in for a long time (Utah and Alabama). In fact, Alabama didn't end its prohibition of alcohol until the 1960's. That's fine, you simply allow those states to opt out and create their own laws. You can parallel this issue to the state lotteries. For a long time, the lottery wasn't allowed in most states. Now, there are 47 states/district that offer lotteries and only Alaska, Alabama, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming do not.

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