US Online Poker Real Money

Playing online poker in the USA has long been suppressed by stringent laws and events. The most felt are the UIGEA and Black Friday. However, it is increasingly becoming easy to play for real money, with states such as Nevada and New Jersey already legalizing online poker within their borders.

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Legal USA Poker Sites

Poker has had a very important place in the economy of the United States since the late 90s. In 2001 USA poker sites brought in revenues of $82.7 million and by 2005, they had skyrocketed to a staggering $2.4 billion. At the time the poker community looked forward to a promising future, but in 2006 all their hopes came to grinding halt. As the infamous Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed, monetary transactions between Internet gambling sites and American banks and financial institutions became prohibited. Playing for real money become near impossible, and very many large poker sites such as PartyPoker, Bwin, and Pacific Poker were faced with the decision to shut their doors to US players. Years later, the three biggest online poker sites that remained in the US market were targeted. On April 15, 2011, on what is now known as Black Friday, PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker were closed down by the DoJ.

The silver lining of this cloud has only recently appeared, with some states like Nevada, New Jersey, and California having legalized online poker within their borders. The real turning moment came on August 21, 2012, when a federal judge in New York affirmed that online poker is nothing like gambling, whereby the gambler has to wait on chance and lack. With poker, skills and strategies are the real deal. The highlight of the proclamation was the acquittal of those who had been convicted for illegal operation of online poker.

Playing Online Poker For Real Money in the US Today

The most popular and dominant poker game at all online poker sites that accept USA players is Texas Hold 'em. Pot Limit Omaha is also quite popular, with Stud games and the other minor variants usually constituting the rest of a USA poker site's lobby. The greatest concern for US online poker players is not the variety of games available though, but rather the banking process and fees. All online poker rooms, whether they accept American players or not, make money by charging a fee. In the cash games, they take a fee from the pot. In tournaments, they charge an entry fee known as a tournament fee in addition to the buy-in.

Banking at USA Poker Sites

Even if you have played poker before and are an expert, you should be cautious when it comes to making your deposits in a US-friendly poker site. There has been a persistent myth regarding banking in many poker communities in the world—that it is extremely difficult to deposit at an online US poker site. This is actually far from the truth, as depositing at most of these sites is as easy as shopping for clothes at a major online retailer. The depositing options are many, and some take only a couple of minutes to complete a transaction. The most popular, legal, and safest banking options are Visa, MasterCard, American Express, MoneyGram, Western Union, and prepaid card deposits.

The safety of the banking option is as important to look at as the available deposit options themselves. While USA poker sites strive to offer secure deposit and withdrawal channels, it is still upon the player to ascertain his own security. The most recommended action in this regard is to have a dedicated bank account or credit card for all your online poker transactions. But just to be safe, you should always actively monitor your accounts, deposits, withdrawals, and fees.

When it comes to moving funds to and from USA online poker rooms, there are usually fees charged, and sometimes of substantial amounts. There are different fees charged for different payment methods, so it's up to the player to identify those options offering the ideal combination of value and ease.

Paying Taxes on Winnings

Just like winning at a live poker room, a poker player who wins at an online poker room is subject to all applicable taxes. Therefore, if you plan on playing for real money, be prepared to pay taxes on any substantial winnings that you bag. The best way to ensure that you are in full compliance with tax authorities is to keep a log of all your online poker activity. This entails a log of all sessions, including the particular times and overall results, and it'll prove to be your most valuable asset in case there is ever an audit of your online poker play or any similar process.

It is always advisable to seek the advice if a tax professional on the processes involved in reporting poker income. Depending on the percentage of income you derive from poker, you can qualify for special tax treatment. This reduces the tax amount that you are required to pay on your online poker winnings in the USA.

The Future of USA Poker Sites

It has been an ongoing struggle to legalize poker in the world's largest poker market but progress is duly noted. Today, Delaware and New Jersey have passed legislation and are only waiting to play their hand, while Nevada has already put its legislation into action. Other states like New York and California are looking into the possibility of opening their virtual doors to poker, and it’s only a matter of time before more and more states pass legislature that will legalize and regulate online poker.