When it comes to safety you can never be too careful. US poker sites are just as safe as their counterparts in Europe, but you still need to be cautious when choosing a poker room to play at. The safest US poker sites are almost always the oldest. Old doesn’t necessarily mean safe and new doesn’t necessarily mean unsafe, but as a general rule of thumb it usually works. You should not take a chance with money so I will be discussing some of the other methods that you can use to determine if a poker site is safe or not. Looking at US poker rooms that have been proven to be unsafe in the past will help you spot and avoid unsafe poker sites today and in the future. Just because a particular USA-friendly poker room is safe today doesn’t mean that the room will be safe next year so you will have to keep your guard up and your eyes open. I will provide some tips that Americans can use to find a safe poker site first.

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What Makes A Real Money USA Poker Sites Safe?

It is a misconception that online poker sites that accept U.S. players are operating completely outside of international laws and government oversight. They may not be adhering to some unclear U.S. banking regulations, but that doesn’t mean that they do not have to answer to third party monitors and government agencies. None of these agencies are based in the United States, but that doesn’t make these poker sites any less safe. Many of the top poker rooms for Americans are regulated by a gaming commission in Canada. Here is a list of a few of the companies and agencies that monitor, test and regulate US poker rooms:

  • Kahnawake Gaming Commission – Government regulator (Canada)
  • Antigua Gaming – Government regulator (Antigua)
  • eCogra – Independent software tester
  • Technical Systems Testing – Independent software tester

If an online poker site tampers with their random number generator (RNG) it will be noticed by a third party and reported to the governmental agency that licenses the poker room. Most US-friendly poker rooms are based out of Canada or Antigua in the Caribbean. A few web searches will usually tell you which agencies license and monitor a poker room. You can then verify this by checking the agencies official web site.

If a poker room stops paying their customers or does anything that seriously violates the agreement with the player they will also lose their license. There are serious repercussions for doing anything other than offering a safe online poker experience. An online poker site only makes a profit if people continue to play games and generate rake. This is why it is so rare for an online poker company to attempt to rip off their customers.

Financial Safety At US Poker Rooms

Tampering with the software or refusing to pay players are not the only things that can make a poker room unsafe. Poker rooms are companies just like Borders and Blockbuster, two companies that went bankrupt. Poker rooms with decent traffic are generally very profitable and have large cash reserves. The vast majority of poker room bankruptcies and defaults happen to small start-ups who get into trouble trying to attract customers and build up traffic.

If you look at the safest poker rooms for Americans you will notice that many of them are primarily sports books first and foremost. These poker rooms have the full financial backing of multi-million dollar sports books. This makes a poker room much more financially viable, but there are always exceptions to the rule, like Ignition Poker and Americas Cardroom. These two sites offer both a poker room and casino but no sports book.  Despite this, they are the 1st and 3rd largest poker sites for U.S. players and have excellent reputations.