So what are the best legal online poker sites in the US? Ever since 2006, with the passing of the UIGEA (The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) US players have been concerned about the legality of playing online poker, and its safety. Online gambling legality and regulation gets a lot of press (rightfully so), and it can be tough to know whether it is legal to play poker online in the United States, especially with the well publicised demise of Full Tilt poker in April 2011.

Whilst these fears are pretty common, they are largely groundless.  Full Tilt, for example, was not shut down for offering online poker, but in fact shut down for the banking methods it used, and bribing US banks to put through unlawful transactions, that violated the federal wire act. Playing real money online poker in the United States itself is not in fact illegal at all. There are several poker sites which still accept US players, it’s just a matter of finding the right poker websites to play at.

We could give you a whole list of different poker sites legal in the US, however in our experience there are two which are head and tails above the rest. These are Carbon Poker and Lock Poker. Both of these sites have large player counts, great software available and offer almost any type of poker you could want to play online in the US. Their support is top notch, and we have fully tested the playing experience from deposit to withdrawal at both rooms.

Carbon Poker

OUR SCORE: 9.1/10


100% $600 first deposit bonus!
Read our full review

Play at Carbon Poker

Carbon Poker

A screenshot of the action at Carbon Poker, the flag ship of the Merge Poker Network, and long time home of many US poker players

Lock Poker

OUR SCORE: 9/10


150% $750 first deposit bonus!
Read our full review

Lock Poker

A screenshot of the action at Lock Poker, now owners of their own network – the Revolution Gaming network.



Do be aware though that there are some states where online poker is not legal. If you attempt to sign-up at an online poker room, and are from one of these states, they will reject your sign-up and warn you. It’s important that if you are in a state where poker is illegal, that you do not play online, as you will not be protected by the law in the event of any problems. Most players in most states will not have any problems.

The UIGEA act passed in 2006 does mean that it is slightly harder for US players to deposit and withdraw funds from online poker rooms, however there are still a large number of deposit and withdrawal methods accepted by US friendly online poker sites. Bills are currently in the process of being passed through the senate which aim to regulate online poker in the United States fully, which will allow players to once again deposit to/withdraw from poker rooms through more convenient methods, such as by bank transfer and debit card deposits. We will keep you updated on any progress on these matters.

In the mean time, do not worry about playing poker online at either of the above rooms – many players regularly deposit money into and withdraw money from their accounts at these rooms, and we have fully tested the deposit and withdrawal process, and confirmed there are no issues. The UIGEA means that poker players in the US are more legally protected than they have ever been before, and we can only see that protection improving over the coming months and years.