What Poker Sites Are Legit These Days?
It’s reasonable to ask, “Is online poker legit,” because cardplayer pay a lot of money into online poker rooms. This is a two part article, first covering online poker and second examining which sportsbooks are legit. I recommend www.IgnitionPoker.eu (previously known as Bovada) for poker and Bovada.lv for sports betting, and so does everybody else who isn’t paid off. If you only consider a legit site, one run by state or Federal licenses, then you must by physically located in Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania. For those that live there the PokerStars, Borgata, and WSOP are the most active in the 4 licensed states.
I didn’t just pull these sites from nowhere, I’ve been in the gambling business for over 10 years now. I’ve seen and dealt with all sorts of millionaire and billionaire scum bags; people that should be on the TV show “American Greed”. The only legit poker sites I suggest are mentioned on my homepage or on the ‘safe list‘. You’ll notice the list is pretty darn short, and I’ve dealt with approximately 45-60 gambling sites. PokerStars is the largest online poker site there is. Borgata is powered by Party Poker, while WSOP.com uses 888poker software. If you consider a non rigged, legit poker site to be one run from the United States, then you will have to be physically located in Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, or Pennsylvania to be able to play. But I can point to unregulated poker rooms that which gives
But Aren’t U.S. Licensed Sites Legit?
It’s debatable. In fact, in total I’ve had $147,116 taken from me by the U.S. government. The money was not stolen by offshore poker sites but THE U.S. GOVERNMENT! The process of legalized poker in the U.S. was a complete scam. They attempted to shut down every online poker site that was running for US customers, simply because they wanted zero (0) competition as they launched their own poker sites.
Let me ask you this. How is it that the Ultimate Fight Championship (UFC) – which has nothing to do with online poker – was the first to open up an online poker room in Nevada? How is it that poker sites like Bet365, Paddy Power, Everest Poker – which are traded on the London Stock Exchange and have market value in the billions of dollars – were not given priority in the immediate launch of poker in the US? Those 5-star poker sites never accepted US customers after UIGEA and adhered to all laws both domestic and international.
Yet the UFC gets the first poker license in Nevada. Not only that but the operations at “Ultimate Poker”, UFC’s poker site was light years behind any poker site based offshore that is legit. The Nevada Gaming Commission helped the local business already making them and the state money, because UFC was affiliated with Station Casinos (at the time). That is governmental corruption at its finest. Did I mention UltimatePoker went out of business, because they didn’t know how to operate a poker site?
Legit Poker Sites
Beginners might wonder what a legit poker site needs, so let’s define our terms. Below is a short list of the factor you should consider, always with explanations for why they’re important. Don’t use poker rooms if they don’t check off everything on the following checklist.
- Player Traffic: Without traffic, sites can’t have a selection of high stakes, mid stakes, and low stakes cash games, tournaments, and sit’n go events.
- Good Software: Top software means fewer issues, plus access to features like Bovada’s Zone Poker, which increases your hands per hour.
- Experience: This entails everything from software support to customer service to knowing how to monitor cheaters at the table.
- Banking Options: It often comes down to sensible payment options, including credit cards, web wallets, and crypto-currencies like Bitcoin.
- Other Games: If poker websites offer casino gaming or sports betting, it means lots of casual poker players (soft competition).
So What Do I Recommend?
My buddies ask me all the time about this because it’s my job and one of the sites I most often recommend is Ignition Poker (previously known as Bovada). Having met the owner personally, he is an honest person and puts himself in the public spotlight when others hide under rocks. His previous ownership, now owned by Morris Mohawk is probably worth about 1-2 billion USD. In a closed meeting, he discussed how if anything ever went bad, he would personally make sure all his players and employees got paid from his own checkbook. On top of that the site has the most player traffic going by PokerScout and has an Alexa rank of 9,730. For a comparison, HBO has about a 4,600 Alexa rank which means millions of people use it. Most sites are in the million number ranks – which is terrible.
If you are in Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Delaware, then the answer might be different in 3 or 4 years from now as the WSOP grows its player base. The WSOP is now forced to be legitimate and all licensed poker sites in the U.S. look like the saviors of safe poker sites, but in reality just remember it was the United States that seized funds, shut down poker sites, and dismantled a perfectly well run market. If the government had not stepped in we would still be playing at Party Poker and making money would be just as easy as it was all those years ago. You can thank the weak and greedy politicians for ruining online poker in the United States.
Be Careful of Scamming Affiliates
I could go on for hours about how people to this day are crummy affiliates who are touting poker sites to play. They are getting large up-front chunks of cash in the $100,000+ range to mention their poker rooms because they rank high for popular terms in Google and Yahoo by using spammy search engine optimization techniques over and over again to maintain rankings and visitors. I have email chains proving certain companies insolvency and forthcoming bankruptcy, yet they continue to operate. The most recent mass scale offenders were Lock Poker. This was one of the longest running scams that got no attention from any U.S. law enforcement “protection” agencies.
With that said, I continue to monitor legit sites here and I am pretty straight forward so I hope this article has helped! For what it’s worth, I do not believe any poker sites are ‘rigged’m but cheating and collusion goes on regularly and will never stop. Legit poker sites takes steps to eliminate collusion, but cheaters find new and inventive ways to collude. It’s a cat-and-mouse game that will never end entirely. It’s better just to play for small amounts of money – however you define “small amounts” – you don’t mind losing one way or the other.
Is Ignition Poker Legit?
So if legitimate poker sites try to make games safer, then you might ask which card rooms you should trust. Ignition Poker is the top option for American online poker players, so I’ll use it as an example. Ignition Casino launched in the spring of 2016. A few months later, Ignition bought Bovada Poker’s player pool, instantly establishing itself as the second largest online gambling site which accepted US poker players. Since then, Ignition Poker vaulted to the number one spot.
Ignition Poker therefore has all of the elements of a world class online poker site. It’s linked to an online casino, so many soft players or fish join its cash games and tournament events. The gaming platform uses Bovada proprietary software, so Ignition uses trusted and well-tested technology. It has the most player traffic of any poker site which accepts US players.
The Bovada-powered poker room includes several features that make it popular with players. Here’s a few of those features:
- Quick Seat: Choose a poker game like Texas Hold’em, Omaha, or Omaha Hi/Lo and the stakes and Quick Seat automatically puts you at a table.
- Anonymous Tables: Players can’t use Heads-Up Displays (HUDs) to track your hand history. Instead, you use your skills and perceptions to get a read on opponents the old-fashioned way.
- Zone Poker: A fast-fold feature where you’re assigned to a new table once you fold a hand. Players should fold most hands, so you don’t wait on bets and showdowns most of the day.
- In-Software Casino Games: If you prefer to sit through hands, you can play In-Software Casino Games like blackjack, roulette, video poker, or 3D slots.
- Mobile Poker: Play poker anytime, anywhere with the mobile poker apps for Android and iOS. Jackpot Sit-and-Go games cater to mobile poker players with possible 1000x winnings while you’re on the go.
- Softer Opponents: Ignition Poker has a huge community of recreational players. Unlike some sites, it allows expert poker players to play against casual players, so skilled players have high odds of facing lesser opponents.
Deft readers might notice that Ignition Poker is newer, so they might be thinking the site doesn’t meet the criterion of experience. Ignition’s owner has been in the online poker business since the 1990s, so the poker room has more experience than the other online poker rooms which accept US players from any state.