Safest Poker Sites

If you play poker online in the USA and have even a passing interest of gambling developments over the past few years you'll know all about the events of Black Friday, when following a DoJ crackdown on major US facing poker sites, it transpired that some player funds had not been segregated from the prize pools. The result? Many players found their hard earned bankrolls gone. As a result, the words “safe poker site” seemed to have been erased from the dictionary.

If you cast your mind back even further, there have been tales of corruption and scandal, notably in the infamous 'super-user' scandal at Ultimate Bet, when leading figures in online poker abused their power to 'spy' on other players' hole cards. The result? Some poker players lost out unfairly at the virtual Hold'em tables. Again, trusted online poker sites became thin on the ground.

It's stories like these that get into the mainstream press and give Internet poker a terrible name across the world. It is therefore understandable when American poker players may think twice before deciding where the safest poker online games are.

If you are concerned about playing at a fair, secure and safe online poker room, then look no further than the list we have prepared at We understand your concerns and have vetted these sites carefully to bring you a top list of the most reliable and safest poker online sites around.

We took into account a bunch of factors when hunting out the safest online poker sites. Follow our advice and only use your precious bankroll at the most trusted poker sites!

  • Find the safest online poker sites for US players that have been checked and verified.
  • Discover the reputation of the site and its past history and record.
  • Know the numbers of people that play there.


There are several factors to consider when deciding which are the most trusted poker sites to play at, from regulation and reputation, to security and encryption.

To protect you from hackers and online scammers, safe poker online rooms use SSL encryption for all information on their websites, to make sure your money is as safe as your poker experience. In addition, the most trusted online poker sites will include what are called 1024-bit RSA and CA certificate keys. To the un-tech geeks among you that basically means the random technology involved is as reliable as possible. After all, you want that Texas Hold'em deck of cards shuffled as it would be in a real casino, right?!

As well as in-built security on the most trusted poker sites, hunting out collusion is a key aspect of a site's safety measures. Collusion is when two or more players will consort to have an unfair advantage over the other players at a table, whether that means slow-playing against each other or chatting about hands. Safe poker sites will regularly monitor any signs of collusion between online poker players and act swiftly. Other players concerned by cheating will also be able to contact the site with their observations.


Different poker sites have different gaming commissions in charge of regulation. In the case of Nevada's Ulitmate Poker, it is regulated by the State Gaming Commission and, as of July 2013, they are in the midst of switching auditors. In the case of Bovada, meanwhile, they are in the safe hands of Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC,) in the tribal lands of Canada, while Lock Poker's regulators are in Curacao. These groups observe/audit the activity of the site (alongside the websites themselves) to help make sure funds are maintained, suspicious activity is investigated and that US poker players are treated fairly. They also give players a second source to post complaints and seek remedy. That is why they are among the safest online poker sites for US players.


Other than US intra-state poker operations, of which more could open over the coming months, these sites are not subject to US regulation. Until the USA offers companies operating outside of the country a regulatory framework and a functional regulatory body, they cannot be regulated in the US. Those sites hosted abroad fall only under local jurisdiction and enforcement can be tricky if a solid regulating body is not in place. For international poker online sites, be sure and check who monitors the sites and their business reputation scores. The recommended US poker sites we list are solid – because we have tested them, listened to the community, and put our stamp of approval on them because they take care of you.



After UIGEA came into effect, some safe poker online rooms withdrew from the US market altogether. Some continued to take US business, however, finding ways to bypass the rules on payment processing. Eventually, the DOJ decided to prosecute based on the wire transfers being sent to and from these sites, deciding they were evading not only taxation, but were illegally avoiding declaring themselves as payment processors - in effect violating UIGEA.

The DOJ then shut down the three big names in online poker in the USA. Executed on April 15th 2010, this was known as “Black Friday.” The websites were blocked and funds were frozen. When American players tried to get hold of their money, it turned out that some of their funds had not been segregated from the general player pools, unlike with some other poker rooms. PokerStars are in the process of repaying American online players' funds to them, albeit via applications to the Department of Justice.


Black Friday was a crackdown on some of the largest players in the industry at the time based on how they were processing funds. While regulators could take another shot at sites for any reason, current safe poker site operators feel they are not violating the same statutes that caused "Black Friday."


Every room is different; there is not one governing body for all online poker websites. However, safe and secure poker sites hire independent auditors, receive certification from gaming commissions, or a combination of the two. The auditors and presiding commissions can typically be found in either the Terms of Service for the poker client and/or on the website.


The US government doesn't protect deposits in-non-US based businesses. FDIC protection doesn't extend past deposits as federally regulated banking institutions. Intra-state accounts have some protection under US business law, but have no security past that. Be sure and read the “Terms of Service” and legal pages on your favorite safe poker online site's web pages.

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