If you're from the United States, then your best bet is to avoid rake-based online poker rooms entirely. We fear deposits and withdrawals on these sites could be at risk. Instead, you should try out subscription-based sites like ClubWPT, PurePlay, and Hog Wild Poker. Subscription sites, where you pay a monthly fee and use points to play for cash and other prizes, are legal in the United States. Therefore, you can rest assured that the U.S. Department of Justice won't clamp down on your favorite room.
Let's take a look at several online poker sites that offer legal U.S. poker.
Click here to join the National League of Poker for free.
The National League of Poker is absolutely free to play. Instead of using real money to buy into tournaments, you use "Poker Points," which are easily obtained by completing simple requirements such as logging in, completing surveys, answering a question of the day, and referring friends.
Games are fully legal in the United States I just about every jurisdiction and tournaments reward a variety of prizes including cash, live tournament entries, poker-related merchandise, and certificates for cruises and sporting events. Prizes rotate, so keep an eye out for what's available when you log in.
What differentiates National League of Poker from other poker sites is that not only is it absolutely free, but you can also be invited to join a "Poker Team." Teams compete collectively on a weekly leaderboard by playing as many hands of poker as they can. The winners of the leaderboard will have an opportunity to compete for more free cash.
NLOP's poker software features many adjustable settings including toggling dealer chat messages and the ability to automate the posting of blinds, post and fold, and mucking hands. The software also has sound settings and the ability to re-size poker tables to fit any screen size.
Click here to sign up for ClubWPT and play for over $100,000 in cash and prizes monthly!
ClubWPT advertises, "Never lose a dime playing poker." And they're right. For $20 a month, you can sign up for ClubWPT and compete for $100,000 in cash and prizes. Just download the software, which is available for all Windows computers and Mac machines running Microsoft Virtual PC or Boot Camp, and then play legal internet poker to your heart's content.
ClubWPT's tie-in with the World Poker Tour means that you can actually win seats to live WPT events for just $20 a month. Several ClubWPT qualifiers have reached final tables of WPT tournaments, so it can definitely happen to you. Considering how difficult it can be to win live poker entries on standard rake-based rooms, we'd strongly recommend using ClubWPT and its subscription poker site to qualify.
ClubWPT also offers a bevy of perks to paying subscription members, including access to the Entertainment Book's Saver's Guide, which allows you to get local food, entertainment, and shopping discounts. You can also get digital downloads like WPT wallpaper and ring tones as well as access to past episodes. We always have PocketFives members who ask where they can watch past poker television broadcasts; ClubWPT.com can provide that for you in just a few clicks. You can also read WPT Magazine online rather than burning precious gasoline trying to find it in a store. Click here to join.
Click here to sign up for PurePlay and try a VIP membership for just $24.99!
You can play risk-free, subscription online poker at PurePlay, which boasts over five million members. PurePlay offers a two-week trial period and, after that time, monthly subscription memberships will set you back $24.99. You'll get access to a legal online poker site that houses skill-based tournaments, individualized performance ratings, live customer service, an ad-free experience, and custom avatars. Paying customers are guaranteed to receive 165,000 play dollars every month.
PurePlay is based in San Francisco and was founded back in 2004. It claims, "Today, PurePlay is the largest U.S.-based online poker site, with millions of users, a strong online community, and one of the most fun and engaging poker experiences on the Web."
What's unique about PurePlay is that you can fire up the legal poker room in a web browser rather than downloading anything to your computer. So, if you're on the go or just don't feel like installing anything, you can still log into PurePlay and play subscription poker.
Click here to join Hog Wild Poker and start your own free poker league.
Varying slightly from ClubWPT and PurePlay is Hog Wild Poker, which allows you to create free online poker leagues. You'll call the shots if you choose to create a league at Hog Wild, as the site features full results tracking; a flexible scheduling interface; game templates that allow you to define parameters likes chips, rounds, breaks, betting rules, and payouts; leaderboards; and an online game clock so you can play in person if you get a group together.
Hog Wild Poker's tables come equipped with a variety of features, including letting other players know when you look at your cards. You'll need to click on your hole cards in order to see them and when you do so, they'll appear as glowing to other players at the table. You can also talk smack to your opponents using audio and text chat.
Hog Wild Poker also features side bets and all-in showdown statistics, allowing you to interact with other players in a variety of ways. Click here to join.