There’s no question that US poker rooms demand more effort, dedication, and time from American players simply to get a real-money account funded and ready to go.
Thanks to some questionable actions by the US government over the past decade the flow of money in and out of US-facing poker sites has gotten more difficult, but it certainly isn’t impossible.
If you’d like to continue to do what you want with your own hard-earned money I’ve formulated my top 5 tips to get you playing for real-money at a US poker room as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Find softer US games to protect your bankroll
These aren’t the poker games of 2005 anymore, with a maniac or two per cash table pushing the flop percentages over 40% at every level. There are fewer new players coming in to the game and veterans usually improve on their game over time.
I also believe the lack of easy US deposits has a direct correlation to US poker rooms becoming much tighter over the past decade. That being said, there are still hidden gem cash tables available if you know what to look for and are patient.
Scan the poker room’s lobby for games with 30+% average flop numbers and 20+ times the big blind average pots. You don’t want to have to go through the hassle of depositing again so play where you can expect to win more often.
Don’t tie up funds with a US poker room you won’t be comfortable at
This might seem like a no-brainer, but I’ve heard plenty of complaints from US poker players over the years who have their entire bankroll tied up somewhere they aren’t happy with.
With US poker sites strained to process payouts in a timely manner it can be as much as a month before receiving a payout and getting it deposited at another site. No one can foresee when things don’t go as expected, but try asking yourself these questions before making your first deposit.
Pick US poker rooms with the best cashiers
This step is a bit tricky as no US poker room is going to publicly advertise their credit card success rates or how many banking methods they offer compared to their competition.
However, do a little sleuthing, read a few US poker reviews that actually give privileged I formation, and, heck, even ask a poker room directly. Every poker room since the late ’90s has accepted credit cards, but the challenge is finding someone your bank will accept.
Stick to older outfits that have a history with sports or casino betting. They almost always have better processors that accept cards at an 80-90% rate.
All US poker rooms accept cash transfer now, which is found in almost every market in America. They also can now be done online. It’s a little more hassle and includes fees, but it’s guaranteed to work.
Other deposit methods
Setting up a bank wire transfer or mailing a cashier’s check doesn’t sound like fun but it’s another guaranteed way to get your US poker account funded.
Investigate a US poker room’s payout policies
US poker rooms are at the mercy of their chosen payment processors when it comes to methods and timeframe of getting players their withdrawals. Not all poker rooms are created equal, especially in terms of payout policies. US poker rooms vary wildly for:
Not many US poker rooms will tell you upfront, but try asking the poker room support or doing a web search for typical turnaround times for each method.
Minimum withdrawal amounts
A recent frustration with US poker withdrawals comes in the minimum amount required to process them. Some poker rooms make you have an absurd minimum of $500 or more to even send you a check.
How much does the poker room charge you to get your money? Fees vary incredibly with US poker rooms to as much as $50 or more. Steer clear of methods that will charge you more than 10%.
Look for US cash game and tournament traffic
Think about what you will be doing at a US poker room before you actually sign up and deposit. Do you tend to play cash games only? Do you only play Sit and Goes and big multi-table tournaments?
Download the poker software and look at how many active tables there are at the limits you actually play. Check out the tournament schedule and how many players end up entering.
If you’re mainly a cash game player you aren’t going to be happy with a half-dozen total tables, as some smaller US poker rooms often have. Be sure to check the stakes that are drawing players and see if they match up with what you want to play. Hopefully, you’ll catch your hand after the virtual Texas Hold’em dealer turns a burn card.
Declining US poker rooms often only fill up micro-limits at 1/2c NL or 5/10c NL. That won’t be acceptable if you are a strong enough player to frequent $1/2 NL tables.
If you’re a tournament player why bother depositing at a site that draws 50 players for $200 guarantees and can’t fill up a Sit and Go? You’ll likely want to find a US poker room that can regularly draw at least 100-200 players for top multi-table events at the buy-ins you prefer to play.
It isn’t an easy time to be a US poker player, who are up against their own set of unique circumstances from deposit difficulties to trusting an offshore site with their hard-earned bankrolls.
However, by doing a little research and understanding what you actually want from a US poker room you can avoid many of the classic pitfalls that leave players with their funds tied up and no games they actually want to play.