online pokerNot every online poker site is created equal. There are good poker sites and there are poker sites that make me sick to my stomach. Finding the perfect poker site to play on is a tricky task. When I first started playing poker online, I went to Google searching for advice on which sites are the best. I checked out a handful of “review sites”. They all seemed to recommend different poker sites. So I really didn’t know what site to use.

What I did was try out a few sites over the next few years. I learned which sites are good and which sites are bad. I’m not going to share with you a specific list of the top poker sites. Instead, I will give you 5 qualities I’ve learned every poker player should look for in an online poker site:

A trustworthy reputation

Be sure to take every review of online poker sites with a grain of salt. Many reviews are actually written by website owners, who earn commissions when their readers sign-up for those sites. So, obviously they’re going to write positive reviews. As an Internet marketer myself, I know all about writing reviews in order to make a sale. So while reviews may sometimes be helpful in making your decision, they should definitely not be the only factor you weigh when choosing which poker site to play on. Read through the different poker forums online and see what actual players are saying. If the consensus is that a site is untrustworthy, stay away from it.

FOR U.S. PLAYERS: If you are eligible to play on the site

U.S. players acceptedOh, sure, for about $70 you can spoof your IP address and open a Swiss bank account. Then you can play on any online poker site. But if you live in the United States, it’s best to just play on sites that allow American players. If you’re located in Nevada or Delaware, you’re good to go and there are plenty of legal sites to play on in New Jersey as well. Believe me, as an American poker player, I know there are some quality poker sites for us. Spoofing your IP and getting a foreign bank account just so you can play on PokerStars or somewhere else seems kind of silly – and has the potential to get you into trouble ­– if you ask me.

They offer enough game variety and liquidity for you

They say too much of a good thing is bad. I disagree. I like multi-tabling and I want to play on poker sites that have a plethora of games that I play. I don’t want to wait to hop in a game. I’m impatient. If I have to wait to play 2-3 games at a time, I start getting antsy. My hand starts twitching. Too much is never enough for me.

Easy deposit and withdraw methods

For U.S. players, making a deposit with your bank card might not work. Since the U.S. government is incredibly lame and forces banks to block online gambling transactions, you will likely have to try something else. But don’t worry – there are plenty of other easy deposit methods to use. So, find the poker sites that make it easy for you – regardless of where you live – to deposit. Ditto for withdrawals.

donkey fish
Have you seen this type of player at your poker table?

Donkeys, donkeys, donkeys… and fish

Not a day goes by where I’m not craving a large helping of fish. Every online poker site is flooded with fish and donkeys that are begging you to take their money. But some sites tend to have more mediocre poker players than others. Those sites are usually the larger sites. The big poker sites have more top quality players, but they also have more donkeys.

Anything else?

Beyond the 5 main qualities I listed above, there are certainly some other things worth looking for when trying to choose an online poker site. Got suggestions? Go ahead and comment below or on the Cardplayer Lifestyle Facebook page.


  1. David Gilbert

    Hi John,

    Can you please give a couple of examples of good poker sites which accept US players. I have played on a site or two in the last couple of years, but cashouts and deposits have been terrible. Thanks, DG

  2. cardplayerlifestyle and are active in both Nv and Nj; totally legal and haven’t read about anyone having major issues depositing or cashing out. To be fair though, I have no personal experience playing on either of those two sites.Delaware also has legal online poker, but ridiculously low liquidity I think the most they had online at the same time was 12 players simultaneously. Jon could probably answer you with more specific personal experience in Nevada. -Robbie

  3. Hi David,

    As far as I’m aware, there really aren’t any poker sites with fast cashouts anymore for US players unless you live in NV or NJ. My old roommate plays on Carbon Poker and he likes the site. But it takes a few weeks to receive a check. Lock Poker is much worse. I tried that in the past and was lucky to receive money in less than 3 months. Let’s hope things change for the good in the next year or two. I still have hope online poker will be legalized nationwide eventually. But maybe I’m being too optimistic.

  4. cardplayerlifestyle

    Stay as far away as you possibly can from Lock Poker!!! Never heard a single good thing about them…

  5. Benjamin Abrahams

    Don’t forget fast cashouts when looking to play online! Do not play in Lock poker. It is a scam.

  6. David Gilbert

    Thanks Jon… I have had similar experience with Lock. Let’s get it legalized and regulated or whatever! The PPA is doing a lot of work, but I’m not sure they will be able to win the fight. I remain hopeful.

  7. Tony Bigcharles

    why hasnt anyone mentioned Bovada? usually u get the money in 4-5 days if u live in the USA

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