Most Popular US Poker & Casino Networks Summer 2015

The offshore poker and online casinos industry is going from strength to strength while the individual states argue about the fine print of their legislation. There are several brands offshore with 10+ years of experience – along with some newer entrants to the market which are bringing a fresh approach to the online poker experience.

What I like best is that the focus of these sites is not on the ‘online pros’ that used to play 12 tables on the big international sites to eek out a living. Instead, the focus is on giving recreational and part-time players the best experience. Bovada is the best example of this – with their ‘recreational player model’ keeping the number of pros down.

To say that this model has been a success is an understatement.

Bovada is now around 4 times bigger than their closest rival.

Here is the order of the most popular US poker sites in the Summer of 2015. Data comes from Poker Scout – though the comments and pros / cons of each site below are entirely mine.

#1 – Bovada 1700 Average Cash Game Players

#2 – Chico Network (BetOnline) 475 Average Cash Game Players

#3 – Winning Poker Network (America’s Cardroom) Average Cash Game Players

#4 – Merge Network (Carbon Poker) 280 Average Cash Game Players

#5 – Equity Network (Full Flush) 140 Average Cash Game Players


Popular US Poker Sites – Summary and Pros / Cons

#1 Bovada

This is the US facing site which is part of the wider Bodog brand. This is a trusted site, and players at the poker tables, casino and sportsbook tend to become very loyal. The recreational player model keeps the number of pros down. This involved restrictions on software tools, limits on how many games you can play at once (4 for cash / sit n goes) and anonymous play rather than screen names.

Pros: Biggest site, best choice of tables and excellent tournament events.

Cons: Anonymous tables take a little getting used to!

Check out for more.

#2 – Chico Network (BetOnline)

Another old and trusted brand. BetOnline has been offering one of the biggest and best Sportsbooks for US Players for more than a decade from their base in Panama. They have more recently started offering poker via the Chico network. This is growing fast, and has the softest games of any US facing site (all those recreational players coming over from the sportsbook!).

Pros: Soft games, fast growing network + long list of player promotions.

Cons: Smaller tournament selection at the moment (this is growing, though has some way to go).

#3 – WPN / America’s Cardroom

The Winning Poker Network does appeal to the small stakes pros, and is the only major US network to offer a rakeback deal. Players at America’s Cardroom get 27% of their fees returned each week, through the cashier system of the site (no 3rd party). There are also 2 progressive leaderboards which reward a higher volume of play. ACR is also the home of the single biggest US poker tournament, the $1,000,000 guaranteed which comes around every 3 to 4 months.

Pros: Generous player rewards, particularly for higher volume players + big tournament events.

Cons: Tighter / Nittier tables than some other sites.

Just a quick mention for the other networks. Merge are in trouble at the moment, with payment delays and a huge dip in player numbers. I recommend a wait-and-see strategy for now. Equity Network need to show some more growth before they become a serious contender. I will take another look at them in the fall.

Bovada grew to be 4x the size of their closest competitors for good reasons. I recommend you check them out over at


US Poker Offers February 2015

Lots happening for online poker players at the moment, here is a quick roundup, focusing on the offshore sites and their offers for Feb 2015.

The good news is that payments are getting easier and easier for these sites, with improved credit card acceptance (first time) and new sites accepting Bitcoin too.

Carbon Poker, the flagship of the Merge Network, have always had great software and easy games. Now there is a tournament event (COPs) and a special offer of $10 in Sit N Go entry tokens on top of the already huge 200% welcome bonus.

COPs: This tournament event runs from Feb 8th and features games with buy-ins spread over 3 tiers. The prize pools are big ($3 million in guarantees) and there are plenty of qualifier games running right now to get you a seat in one of the big games. As more people start to join these events, the guarantees can only get bigger.

$10 SNG Tokens: This is for new players, and comes in the form of 2x $3.50c and 2x $1.50c tokens to play any of the different sit n go formats (double up, super-turbo, knockout and so on). Use coupon code FREESNGPK when you register, and you’ll get the tokens on top of the 200% matched bonus (max $5k), free HUD software and 1 month of video poker training.

Check out the great software at for more

$1 Million Guaranteed Tournament (is back!)

This event takes place on the 22nd of Feb at America’s Cardroom. After a successful launch during December, we are onto a second game. If this one goes well, I hope that this will become a regular feature – maybe even every quarter. If you have a smaller bankroll, then there are plenty of qualifier games which are already running. These go through different stages, so everyone can get involved.

America’s Cardroom also have the excellent ‘Beast’ and ‘Sit N Crush’ promotions to keep the bankrolls of their loyal players topped up.

They have also started to accept BTC (Bitcoin) deposits, giving you another option on top of credit cards and money transfer services.


No specific Feb promotions to share with you just at the moment. What Bovada have done is start to push their mobile poker offering very hard. Combined with their ‘recreational player model’ (anonymous games, no tracking tools, limited multi-tabling options), you’ll find this is easily the softest poker room still welcoming US players. Check them out at

Talking of mobile games, I have set up a brand new website, which focuses on all forms of gambling (starting with poker, casino and sports betting) on mobile devices. There are already more than 350 pages up, and many more are already in the pipeline, check out for more.



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While these sites do not allow direct screen name changes, there is an easy work around which can see you playing at the same tables – with several additional hidden advantages too! Continue reading


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