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Legitimate Poker Sites

Shady things happen on the internet. Phishing scams, malware-infested downloads, and viruses -- all of these are legitimate hazards. We need to be aware of them in order to use the web safely. Just like we should be cautious when surfing websites, we should be cautious when playing online poker, especially when playing at real money poker sites. There are plenty of legitimate poker sites out there -- that is a fact. But like any other internet-based industry, online gaming has its share of bad apples. We need to avoid these illegitimate sites like the plague.

Listing the Best Legitimate Poker Sites Online

Rank help Poker Room help USA help Mac help Bonus help Match help Code help Player Trafic help Room Review help
1Cake Poker Bovada Poker   This Site Accepts USA Players   mac-icon $1000 100% N/A 10,000+ Bovada Poker
2Intertops Poker BetOnline Poker   This Site Accepts USA Players   mac-icon Instant 25% N/A 6,000+ BetOnline Poker
3Cake Poker Carbon Poker   This Site Accepts USA Players   mac-icon $5000 200% N/A 10,000+ Carbon Poker
4Juicy Stakes Juicy Stakes Poker   This Site Accepts USA Players    $2000 200% N/A 8,000+ Juicy Stakes Poker

How to Find a Legitimate Poker Site

Legitimate poker sites are a lot like successful companies in any industry. A good company:

1. Takes care of its customers, so that they keep coming back
2. Keeps its customers information secure and private, so that everyone is protected
3. Offers a useful product that is not a ripoff or a scam.

A legitimate poker site does all these things too. A poker site that skimps on customer service, security, or gameplay will go out of business quickly. So we want to make sure we don't end up playing at one of these corner-cutting sites.

When looking for legitimate poker sites, I like to analyze each site in terms of three categories: payouts, game integrity, and support quality. If a poker site is lacking in any of these categories, chances are good that it will be lacking in others as well.

Legitimacy Factor #1: Fast and Reliable Payouts

Most poker sites will let you deposit your money quickly and easily. Some will go as far as having a live support agent walk you through the process. But the real difference between legitimate and illegitimate poker sites becomes clear when it comes time to withdraw.

A legitimate poker site won't have any qualms with letting you cash out. Why would they? Whatever cash is in your balance is rightfully yours. You earned it, and you own it. Just like a bank won't prevent you from getting cash at an ATM, a legitimate poker room won't give you the runaround when you want to withdraw.

An illegitimate poker site will delay your cashout as long as possible. Why? So that you'll cancel your withdrawal out of frustration or a desire to play, and head back to the tables to produce more rake. This is very shady, and the first sign that a poker site is illegitimate. Luckily, very few sites do this these days.

Sites like 888 Poker and BetOnline Poker have outstanding reputations when it comes to withdrawal processing. Both sites have very clear cashout policies, and you'll run into no surprises come time to withdraw. That is the hallmark of a legitimate poker site -- clear policies, and actions that conform to said policies.

Legitimacy Factor #2: Commitment to Safe and Fair Games

Let's face it: there are ways to cheat at online poker. There are automated poker bots out there that can play at the same tables as we do. There are ways for dishonest individuals to collude against us in live play. And there are even ways that a poker site itself could rig the games.

So when we're deciding whether or not a poker site is legitimate, we need to consider how seriously it takes security at the tables.

Take Lock Poker as an example. Lock Poker is a new poker site to the poker market, without much history we can rely on as proof of legitimacy. So how can we tell whether or not Lock Poker takes safety seriously?

Well, right on the Lock Poker homepage we see two seals displayed in the footer: a Kahnawake Gaming Commission seal, and a Curacao eGaming seal. This means that Lock Poker has passed the tests required to become a KGC and CeG certified poker site.

These tests are no joke. KGC requirements set out that in order to become certified, a poker site must prove its games are truly random, and that there's no cheating going on at the site. Likewise for the Curacao eGaming certification. The fact that Lock Poker has bothered with the licensing process via two separate organizations is a testament to its legitimacy as a poker site.

So when we want to find a legitimate poker site, we should look for rooms that take security as seriously as Lock Poker. 

Legitimacy Factor #3: Support that Doesn't Suck

It's unfortunate but true that online poker sites have a reputation for employing mind-numbingly inept support teams. But legitimate poker sites transcend this industry-wide reputation; poker sites with good support do exist. Take Lock Poker, for example. If you ever need help at Lock, there's a live-chat option staffed by support officers 24/7. There's nothing like a personal touch, especially when it's timely. Look for sites like Lock that take support seriously enough to offer live chat; or at least a reasonable turnaround time for e-mails.