Poker is extremely popular worldwide, and especially in the United States. However, most local brick-and-mortar venues limit participation to those aged 21 and older, which leaves adult poker fans from 18-20 without too many options. Fortunately, the Internet solves that problem, and there are several excellent 18+ poker sites out there for American gamblers.
For the best online poker site reviews, you don’t have to go it alone. Whether you’re the small blind or the big blind, you’ll never be in a bind when it comes to choosing the most reputable offshore poker brand for players aged 18 and up. Here, we’ve put the top poker providers through their paces, so you can see just which online card room provides the most bang for your buck.
Note: If you’re under 18 years old, you cannot yet sign up and play at the poker services recommended here. While these sites do offer free poker games and free video poker, you must be at least eighteen to join and play. For players under 18, we recommend sticking to free poker apps and similar gaming products.
Is Online Poker Legal?
In most states, yes, online poker is legal and safe. While Connecticut and Washington bar all forms of online gambling, residents there have never faced legal action for pulling up a seat at the virtual table and playing real-money poker. Still, we advise following all state and local laws.
For residents of all other US states, online poker is freely accessible over the Internet at offshore betting sites and online casinos. Offshore poker sites are never geo-fenced, and they accept players at just 18 years of age. (However, if your state has poker age laws on the books, it is recommended that you adhere to these).
Federally, there are no gambling laws in the USA that bar online poker participation at the individual level, though the UIGEA and Interstate Wire Act have the combined effect of limiting where players can find domestic action. These laws have no bearing on offshore play, and any of the 18+ poker sites listed here will provide a safe, secure gambling experience.
How We Review The Best Online Poker Sites For 18+ Players
When we join a poker site (and we’re members at dozens of them – some good, some not so good), we look for lots of different features. However, there are a few criteria that separate a decent or middling site form a top-rated online poker platform. In order to get our money – and yours! – a truly great poker destination should offer all the following:
- Licensing and regulation – If a site isn’t licensed or doesn’t operate under a licensed parent company, we won’t suggest them. All the online poker outlets we play at and recommend have proper licensing and governmental oversight in place. When you play with these brands, you can expect total peace of mind.
- Safety and security – We only recommend the most secure poker sites for players 18 and up. These operators all carry legitimate licensing and are regularly audited for fair play. The best sites will always display their certificates of compliance, and you never have to worry about being cheated by any of these established, reputable services. The top poker sites also employ the latest in SSL and TLS encryption standards, and they never sell your personal data to third parties.
- Support for 18+ players – With cash tables and 18-year-old poker tournaments, these sites offer the full gamut of card-room action for everyone aged eighteen and up. As long as your state hasn’t set 21 as the minimum age to play poker, you’re ready to ante up!
- Multiplatform compatibility – One of the main selling points for online poker is convenience, and today, that means multiplatform compatibility. Whether you use a Mac, PC, Chromebook, Linux machine, or any other computer platform with a modern browser, all our recommended sites will work flawlessly.
- Mobile support – In addition to the above, the best 18+ poker sites wouldn’t be worth a dime without robust mobile support. All the top providers offer online “web apps” that are optimized for iPhone, Android, iPad, and other modern mobile devices. All you need is a smartphone or tablet and an Internet connection, and you can play poker anytime, anywhere. Offshore books are never geo-fenced!
- Banking options – It is important that the best real money poker sites offer a number of ways to get that money into your account. Most providers have a dozen or more banking options on hand, including credit/debit/gift cards, bank wires, money orders, person-to-person services, cashier’s checks, cryptocurrency, and more. Some sites even offer Zelle-to-BTC walkthroughs, making it easier than ever to top off your bankroll.
- Bitcoin support – The top banking option for online poker is, without a doubt, Bitcoin (or other cryptocurrencies or altcoins like Litecoin, Ethereum, DASH, and Bitcoin Cash, where accepted). Crypto is the only way to get guaranteed speedy deposits every time, and no other banking method supports same-day poker payouts.
- Bonus offers – One of the ways that the top US poker sites differentiate themselves is in their featured bonuses and promotions. You can join multiple sites and get multiple poker bonuses for doing so, but always keep the terms and conditions in mind before accepting these. Bonuses can pad your bankroll, but they aren’t the right choice for every 18+ player.
- Extra features – Not all the best US poker sites have the same services on hand (outside of poker itself, that is). Some will have tons of free poker games, free video poker games, hundreds of slots, and a host of paid and free table games (like blackjack, baccarat, roulette, etc.). Others will also feature full international sportsbooks and racebooks.
Why You Can Trust Our Poker Site Reviews
Not every online poker advocate out there actually advocates for the right things, like operator fairness, integrity, and reliability. But we love this game, and it’s been a big part of our personal lives for decades. We’ve played at just about every poker site on the ‘web, and we’ve experienced the full gamut of services, perks, and pitfalls they offer. As such, we want the best operators to thrive because they provide the best social platforms for the community we love. We’re all in on bringing poker to as many players as possible!
To that point, we recognize that the types of players out there are as varied as the poker games themselves, and no site is going to be perfect for everyone. Our poker site reviews highlight the unique features of the most trusted 18+ poker sites, as well as their pros and cons.
Remember, every site has flaws, so if you come across a poker website review that’s claiming to be a royal flush, you should probably royally flush it. Our recommended poker services are always the real deal.
18+ Poker Site FAQs
Unless you live in a handful of states (DE, NJ, NV, PA, MI, WV), you won’t be able to find domestically licensed real-money poker tourneys or cash tables online. If your state has casinos in operation, you may find poker tournaments there, but these will almost always be limited to players aged 21 and up. For 18-plus players, online offshore gambling sites and poker rooms are the way to go, and all of them offer daily and weekly poker tournaments year-round.
While video poker is considered a casino game and isn’t really a traditional poker variant, all the top online poker rooms offer a huge selection of video poker games too. For 18+ beginners, video poker is a great way to learn the rules of Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, and other popular game types.
In most states that offer offline or online poker, you have to be at least 21 years old to play. For those players aged 18-20, then, options would seem limited. However, you can legally play poker over the Internet at just 18 years of age in most states, and all the sites we recommend have set eighteen as their age minimum to sign up and play real money poker.
Yes! Poker bots are just AI players (i.e. computer programs) that play against real players. While online poker rooms don’t use bots thanks to the multiplayer nature of the game types on offer, video poker parlors all use bots, as these are single-player titles. Remember, poker is not played against the dealer like many other card games or table games, so video poker requires bots to provide you with some competition.
Maybe, but they are usually sponsored by domestic operators in the US or abroad, so they cannot advertise for offshore poker sites. This makes sponsorship impossible, so it’s in the professional poker celebrity’s best interest to stick with domestic commercial brands. You can see these folks every year at the World Series of Poker tournament wearing hats and other swag repping their respective sites of choice.
No, you don’t! You can get a free poker software download at most sites if you want to run a standalone program on your desktop or laptop computer. However, if you want to play through a web browser, you won’t have to download anything at all. Most users prefer to play in the browser, albeit some still like the format and layout of the dedicated poker programs available at these sites.
Yes! Multitabling (or multi-tabling) is something that is only possible with online poker, as it lets users play at multiple tables at once. This increases the speed with which you can play and build your bankroll, and most sites have no maximums on the number of active tables you can join at any given time. That said, most players tend to stick with a limit of 4-6 tables, though seasoned vets can easily play 10 at time.
Speed poker is a mechanism by which you can be placed at a new table immediately upon folding your hand at your current table. With speed poker, you never have to wait for the remaining players to bet, check, pass, and call – you can get right into the action right away. Speed poker, along with multitabling, allows 18+ players to absorb many poker strategies quickly and learn the ropes faster than traditional play.
The best Bitcoin (BTC) wallet for poker is going to be a software wallet like Electrum, Atomic Wallet, Exodus, Armory, Jaxx, and exchange frontends like Coinbase or Kraken. While you can store BTC offline in hardware wallets (i.e. “cold storage”), it’s easier to transfer funds quickly from software wallets and exchanges.
Poker sites used to offer no-deposit bonuses to entice new players to sign up. However, this sort of risk-free bonus has been largely abandoned in recent years, and most top-tier sites have gone to the deposit match bonus model. None of our recommended poker brands currently offer a no-deposit bonus, and we’re wary of any offshore operator that does.
Every major poker site will also be a free video poker site. Also called play money poker sites, operators that offer these variants do so to help younger 18+ poker players learn the ins and outs of the different game types on offer in their paid rooms. Incidentally, the best free poker sites are the same as the best paid poker sites, so when you’re ready to make the leap to playing for real money, you can do it without changing accounts or switching websites.
If you win, then very well! Remember, poker tournaments are different from cash games. When you win a cash game, that’s it – you’ve won the pot. You can cash out immediately. However, when you play in a poker tournament, you buy a seat at the first table, and if you win, you move on to the next table, and so on. At the final table, you’ll be paid out at a rate determined by your finishing placement. The overall winner will get the most money, followed by the runner up, the third-place finisher, etc.
Right now, there is no good VPN for online poker. Offshore sites do not allow the use of virtual private networks, and if you’re caught using a VPN to override regional restrictions, your account can be permanently banned and your funds confiscated. VPN support will likely arrive in the future, but for now, you shouldn’t use one when playing with any top online poker room.
Currently, they do not. However, this could (and probably will) change in the future, as online poker rooms are on the cutting edge of the real-money gaming world. It’s only a matter of time before you can enjoy the best VR poker games for real money over the Internet.
There are lots of apps that offer free poker for beginners, but we recommend bypassing these and playing the free variants at real money poker sites instead. This way, you can get used to the game types and house rules at your poker site of choice, so when you’re ready to play that big blind, you can do so with full confidence.
All of our recommended providers have optimized their mobile poker rooms to work smoothly and efficiently on iPhone displays. As long as your iPhone can be updated to the newest OS and is running a modern web browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc.), you will get a first-rate experience.
As with the iPhone above, all the best poker operators use responsive design to ensure their sites are compatible with every smartphone and tablet on the market. Since most of these are Androids, you can be sure that your site of choice supports your screen resolution and pixel density for a smooth, fluid, clean poker experience. Again, all you need is Chrome or another modern browser, and you can hit the digital felts!