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Play at the Best Online Poker Sites in the U.S.

Online poker sites are taking the US by storm. Whether you're a semi-pro looking playing for huge winnings or looking for novice rooms to play for free, you'll find what you want. Online poker is fun, and it gives a great opportunity to practice between live games. 

Online poker is now completely legal in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Nevada, Michigan, and West Virginia (though not yet available in the last two). 

For those who prefer to see a face while playing, there's also live dealer poker available at some casinos. 

Read below to find out all you need to know: from the best casinos and bonuses to tips on winning.

What are the Best Online Poker Sites in the U.S?

It's pretty easy to find the best online poker casinos in the U.S. WSOP (World Series of Poker) has established a real dominance in the market. PokerStars and PartyPoker also have a lot of fans, but they're not as accessible.

As of now, you can play legal poker online in just four states: New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. However, other states have online poker coming shortly (including Michigan and West Virginia). 

You can register at an online casino from anywhere in the U.S. But you can only bet while you're in the state where the online casino is hosted.  

What are the Best Online Poker Sites in New Jersey?

  • 888: WSOP NJ (partnered with Caesars) allows play with Nevada and Delaware
  • 888 Live Dealer Poker
  • Golden Nugget Live Dealer Poker
  • WSOP NJ through Caesars
  • Borgata Poker
  • BetMGM Poker (partnered with Borgata)
  • Pala Poker (partnered with Borgata)
  • PartyPoker (partnered with Borgata)
  • PokerStars (partnered with Resorts)

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888 Poker Online

If we had to give the prize to one poker site in New Jersey, that would go to 888 Poker. 

888 Poker has a special section for beginners, as well as high roller tournaments. 888 consistently offers the best welcome bonuses in the online poker industry.

888 also offers great live dealer poker.

888 also is the only site where you can also compete against other players from Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. Pennsylvania should be added soon.


888 Poker
$ 20 signup bonus + $ 1,500 no wagering bonus.
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What are the Best Online Poker Sites in Pennsylvania?

PokerStars is the only casino offering online poker at the moment. You can play virtual poker at all the online casinos in Pennsylvania.

You'll find a great selection of video poker games at Hollywood Casino:

  • Jacks or Better
  • Joker Poker
  • Bonus Poker
  • Bonus Poker Deluxe
  • Double Bonus Poker
  • Double Double Bonus Poker
  • Triple Double Bonus Poker
  • Deuces Wild Poker
  • Deuces Wild Bonus Poker
     

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What are the Best Online Poker Casinos in Nevada?

WSOP (World Series of Poker): allows play between poker players from New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware.

What are the Best Online Poker Casinos in Delaware?

  • Delaware Park
  • Dover Downs
  • Harrington Raceway 

WSOP (World Series of Poker), run by the 888 platform, allows play with New Jersey and Nevada.

What is Online Poker?

Online poker allows you to play poker from your computer or mobile device any time you like. You can play against other real players. There's always a table, and you can pick different rooms depending on your level. 

There are three kinds of poker you'll find at online casinos:

  • Online poker played in poker rooms and at online tournaments
  • Live dealer poker
  • Virtual or Video Poker

When we refer to online poker, we primarily mean the first type, but we'll discuss live dealer poker here as well. 

Online poker uses the exact same rules as live poker. There are some smaller differences in player experience that we'll discuss below. 

Difference between Live Dealer Poker & Online Poker Rooms

Live dealer poker streams a real dealer from a studio. You play with other real players, but you can't see them. You can see the dealer and interact through chatting in the text box. 

In online poker rooms, you don't see any faces or have interactions other than betting. You'll only see the community cards and your own. Other players will only appear as their (sometimes very creative) usernames. Online poker rooms use a computer software instead of an actual person to deal, hand out chips, and so on. 

You'll notice that the poker rooms have much faster action that live dealer poker. This is because you're not waiting for cards to be shuffled, chips counted and dealt, and so on. As everything is digital, the game can move along much faster. 

Studio Live Dealer Poker Tables 

Live dealer poker is filmed in a studio and simultaneously streamed for players. For that reason, you need to have a good internet connection if you want to play.

As of now, live dealer poker is only available online in New Jersey. Evolution Studio is the primary source. Their studio is located in Atlantic City, for real Jersey vibe.


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How Poker Online works?

Much of poker online works just like at a table with friends. The game is run by a software which uses a Random Number Generator (RNG) to shuffle the deck.

All players have the same experience and information on the screen. You can see your cards and the community cars, but obviously you can't access others' cards.

Whether you're playing a high-stakes game or playing for pennies, all legal poker operators protect all information about the game.

Online Poker Rules

Be sure that you know your basic rules. There are novice poker rooms where you can play for little or no money. They'll give you pointers and refresh you on the rules, but you need to be familiar with two things. This is the order of:

  • The betting rounds
  • The winning hands

Once you understand these, you're ready to go.

The Order of the Betting Rounds

Every standard poker game observes the same rules for betting. While the number of cards will vary depending on the game you're playing, the names are the same. Here are the rules of the round for Hold'em:

  • Pre-flop – players bet as soon as they get their hole cards.
  • Flop – bets after the first 3 community cards are revealed.
  • The Turn – bets after the fourth community card is dealt.
  • The River – bets after the final community card is revealed.
  • Showdown – after final bet, any remaining players will bet on having the best hand.

Order of Winning Hands

It is also crucial that you know the order of winning hands. You need to know what you're working toward, and how you stack up against other players. 

  1. Royal flush - A, K, Q, J, 10, all the same suit.
  2. Straight flush - Five cards in a sequence, all in the same suit.
  3. Four of a kind - All four cards of the same rank.
  4. Full house - Three of a kind with a pair.
  5. Flush - Any five cards of the same suit (but not in sequence).
  6. Straight- Five cards in a sequence (but not of the same suit).
  7. Three of a kind - Three cards of the same rank.
  8. Two pair - Two different pairs.
  9. Pair - Two cards of the same rank.
  10. High Card - The highest card you hold.

This order is not the same for all variations of poker. Look at our poker variations below to see the order for different games.

Poker betting systems and strategies

Poker systems and strategies are easy to find, but they're not all equal. The "win every time" claims are false, but you can still learn a strategy that will make you more likely to win. 

The important thing in poker is to remember that you don't have to have the best hand or know exactly what's on another's cards. You will need to have a better hand than your opponent (or have the others believe you do). 

Luckily for you, AmericanCasinoGuide.com is your source for tried and tested poker strategies. These are the systems of experts who have won their wisdom over thousands of hands of cards.


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Starting hands

Your starting hand are the first cards you're dealt. These are your "hole cards." You can see what they are, but no one else can. 

Your starting hand places you with an immediate decision: fold or stay and bet. Every poker player folds. Smart poker players will fold around 30-40% of the time. 

Use a chart for opening hands to determine whether you should raise a bet or fold.

What is a fish in poker?

A fish is someone who doesn't fold bad hands. A fish will continue to bet with a losing hand. Experienced players can make good money off fish. You don't want to be a fish.

Bluffing

With bluffing, you are acting as if your hand is stronger than it really is. When you bluff, you're trying to get players with stronger hands to fold. 

Value Betting

With value betting, you are trying to get other players to call because they think their hand is stronger than yours.

Value bets are bets you make on the strength of someone else's hand. Value bets are based on your deductive skills, and they aren't going to be 100% accurate. 

Obviously value betting requires a good deal of experience with the game. You need to know what cards are possible based on 1) what you're holding, 2) what's visible, 3) the remaining cards in a deck. 

Playing styles

Players tend to fall under one of 4 categories:

  • Loose players will play almost any hand and they tend to bet more aggressively. 
  • Tight poker players will only play the best hand. 
  • Passive poker players play with a fear of losing.
  • Aggressive poker players raise more often and take risks.

One can be a loose-passive or a loose-aggressive player, or a tight-passive or tight-aggressive player. 

Beginners tend to play loose and either passive (timid) or aggressive (over-confident). Tight, aggressive players tend to win the most.


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Why Play Online Poker?

There are a number of great reasons to play online poker. If you want more money, more games, more tables, and great bonuses, you should play online. 

Playing online will make you a better live player. So you can certainly do both. 

Play from your home

Playing from home brings you some great benefits. It allows you to:

  • Improve by practicing
  • Save money by not tipping, buying food and drink, etc.
  • Play smarter by using charts and cards

The most important thing is that playing at home allows you to improve. If you're serious about poker, you have to practice. Use your charts until you can play without them. Practice the winning strategy until it becomes second nature.

Use Online Poker Bonuses

A great bonus can make a great win better and help a loss sting less. Nearly every legal online poker site offers a welcome bonus deal. This will allow you to play using bonus dollars given to you by the casino. You can keep withdraw what you win after satisfying the wagering requirement. 

Poker Variants 

There are over a dozen variations of poker. Poker variants are great because they challenge you to think differently about the game. Below are some of the most popular.

Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold'em is the most popular poker variation. You get 2 cards to start out with, and there will be a max of 3 community cards. 

Order of winning hands: Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four-of-a-Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three-of-a-Kind, Two Pair, One Pair, High Card.

You can play live dealer Hold'em at Golden Nugget and 888 in New Jersey. 


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Omaha

With Omaha, you're dealt 4 cards and there are 5 community cards. You have to make your best hand using 2 of your cards and three of the five community cards. While it sounds good in that you 4 instead of 2 cards to make your winning hand with, that's also true for the other players. 

Order of winning hands:  Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four-of-a-Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three-of-a-Kind, Two Pair, One Pair, High Card.

Three Cards Poker

Three cards poker is a quick game that uses poker's order of hands. However, it involves less strategy, and you do not have as many betting options.

First, you place your ante (i.e., before) bet. The dealer and players are each dealt 3 cards. You can then either fold or place your play bet. Wagers are then resolved with the showing of the cards. 

Since you have fewer cards, the order of winning hands is different.

Order of winning hands: Straight Flush, Three-of-a-Kind, Straight, Flush, Pair, High Card.

Three Cards Poker is a fast-action game. It is also helpful in learning the order of the winning hands. 

Is Online Poker Legal in the U.S.?

Online poker is legal in some states in the U.S., but is not legal across the U.S. Some states have very strict laws against poker, including online. Others, including New Jersey, Nevada, Philadelphia, Delaware, Michigan, and West Virginia, have legalized online poker.

Playing legal poker online gives you full protection as a consumer in that state. 

Are Online Poker games rigged?

No. Online poker sites go to great lengths to be sure that games are fair. That means that there is encryption for your personal information. Also the operations for any given table are protected behind a firewall.

There can be a lot of money riding on a poker game, so security is important. Any sign of rigging would spread like wildfire in the poker community, so legal casinos go to great lengths to keep their reputations safe. 


888 Poker
$ 20 signup bonus + $ 1,500 no wagering bonus.
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Can you play Online Poker for free?

Yes, you can play online poker for free. You may use the free bonus money given as a welcome bonus to play poker for free. You can wager like normal and even win real money. You can withdraw winnings after satisfying wagering requirements.

You can also play video or virtual poker in demo mode for free. Of course you can't win any money that way either, but it's good to get a feel for a game.

Even though it's not free, 888's poker room has some very low stakes beginners rooms. Just click on the Beginners tab on their site to be taken to the appropriate place. 

 


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