US Online Poker Rooms: Understanding The Best Deposit and Withdrawal Methods

All you need to know about managing your money online.
US Online Poker Rooms: Understanding The Best Deposit and Withdrawal Methods

When it comes to choosing an online poker room, there are certain things that virtually all players consider: What is the software like? What variety of games are on offer? What is the rake like? What bonuses are on offer?

Fewer players ask the question, “how does the site manage my money?” —but perhaps they should. In the early years of online poker, getting people to trust in online transactions was a major issue; these days we all take it for granted.

We expect sites to provide quick, secure, and reliable methods for getting our money in—and out—of our poker accounts. And we all assume that our funds are safe when they are being held by the operators.

Unfortunately, in the short history of online poker, that has not always been the case. So, here are a few things you should consider before you hand over your hard-earned cash.

How safe is your money?

Any site worth its salt, should be keeping your money in segregated accounts. Put simply, that means that any money held in players’ balances should be kept completely separate from any money the operator needs for day-to-day running costs.

This is exactly what Full-Tilt, Ultimate Bet, and Absolute Poker spectacularly failed to do—and when players left those sites in droves in the wake of Black Friday it quickly became apparent that the funds they thought were safely in their accounts, were nowhere to be seen. The operators had been dipping into customers’ money—and they got caught with hands in the cookie jar.

On the whole, controls are much tighter these days and there is more scrutiny and oversight regarding how poker sites guard your funds. That said, there are many off-shore, unregulated sites—particularly in the US marketplace that may not have the same safeguards and policies in place.

That doesn’t mean those sites aren’t safe, per se—some of them are well-established and have good track records when it comes to looking after their players’ money. But it does mean you should do some research. It means you cannot rely on the local regulations to enforce sensible precautions and measures like you can in regulated US states.

It should be easy to find out on a site’s own pages how it looks after your money and what protections are in place. Operators should also have policies to protect your personal data. Again, these should be easy to find on the site in question.

If security information isn’t readily available at any given poker room, alarm bells should start ringing. It only takes a few minutes to do your due diligence and check up on an operator before you entrust them with your money. There really is no excuse not to.

How easy is it to deposit/withdraw your money?

Once you have established that a site is safe, your next concern is convenience. The most trustworthy site in the world is no good to you if it doesn’t cater for your preferred banking method. And in this day and age, those methods should be fast and simple.

All good operators offer a range of deposit methods that should have funds in your account in minutes, if not quicker. As you might expect, it can be slightly trickier to get money out again but nevertheless, you should be able to find a withdrawal procedure to suit your needs and it shouldn’t take more than a few days to reach your bank account.

Again, all reputable sites should have details of accepted banking methods readily available on their web pages. It is up to you to check them out before departing with your money. Players should also be aware that while many online transaction services are provided for free, charges may sometimes be applied, either by your bank or your poker room operator. Here is a list of the most common banking methods that you are likely to come across:

Online Bank Transfer (ACH/e-check)

The Automated Clearing House Network (ACH) is the national clearing house for electronic transactions. They employ extremely high levels of security and are one of the most trusted methods for managing your money online. In 2018 ACH processed $51.2 trillion worth of payments.

Online Payment Providers

These are third-party services that offer quick and secure transactions between you and your chosen operator. The most commonly found are Skrill, Neteller and PayPal —and the majority of online poker rooms will support at least one of these.

Prepayment Cards

Prepayment cards, such as Play+, have become increasingly popular in recent years as they offer extra security, require no credit checks and are an easy way to keep your poker bankroll separate from the rest of your money. Many sites now accept them as payment methods.

Credit or Debit Card

Most players will be familiar with using Credit or Debit cards for online payments, and virtually all poker rooms will support these methods.

Pay in Cash with Retail Partner

This is a useful resource for people who do not wish to use credit or debit cards online, enabling them to deposit funds into their accounts using cash, at 7-Eleven or other participating local store. Two common providers are PayNearMe and Vanilla Direct.

PayWithMyBank

PayWithMyBank also provides customers with an alternative to debit and credit cards. Players log in to their bank account directly from the poker client, allowing them to deposit funds without the poker operator seeing or storing their banking details.

Other Options

There are a few other transaction methods that are less frequently used. Some poker rooms allow electronic transfer using the bill pay function of your online banking site. And a few online operators allow you to deposit using the cashier cage of a brick-and-mortar casino partner.

Deposit and withdrawal options: A state-by-state guide

Pennsylvania

PokerStars PA

PokerStars PA went live with online poker in Pennsylvania back in November 2019. The Keystone State is the largest so far to have regulated online gaming, with a population close to 13 million.

Until very recently, PokerStars was the only licensed online poker room within its borders. However, two new poker rooms went live in PA at the end of April 2021.

Payment Method Deposits Withdrawals
Bank Transfer (ACH) Yes Yes
Instant Bank Transfer Yes No
Visa Yes No
MasterCard Yes No
PayPal Yes Yes
Skrill Yes Yes
PayNearMe Yes No
VanillaDirect Yes No

Borgata Poker PA

Borgata Poker PA launched in Pennsylvania on April 27, running on the partypoker network. Pennsylvania is now the second state that Borgata has a poker room, coming more than seven years after its first in New Jersey.

Payment Method Deposit Withdrawal
Bank Transfer (ACH) Yes Yes
Visa/Mastercard Yes No
Play+ Yes No
Paypal Yes No
PayNearMe Yes No
Discover Yes No
PayWithMyBank Yes Yes
Electronic Transfer Yes No
Check by mail No Yes

BetMGM PA

BetMGM Poker PA now offers Pennsylvania players a third option in Keystone state. It went live on the same day as Borgata PA, and also runs on partypoker software.

Payment Method Deposit Withdrawal
Bank Transfer (ACH) Yes Yes
Visa/Mastercard Yes No
PayNearMe Yes No
Discover Yes No
PayWithMyBank Yes Yes
Electronic Transfer Yes No
Mlife Mastercard Yes No

Michigan

PokerStars MI

Michigan is the most recent state to regulate online gaming, and online poker in Michigan went live in late January 2021.

As the second-largest regulated market, it is seen as a key state for operators to get a foothold in. PokerStars MI was the first operator to go live there in January 2021 and recently held its inaugural MICOOP which was seen as a roaring success.

Payment Method Deposits Withdrawals
Bank Transfer (ACH) Yes Yes
Visa Yes No
MasterCard Yes No
PayPal Yes Yes
Skrill Yes Yes

BetMGM

BetMGM MI Poker is one of the largest brands in the US. Its poker room utilities partypoker software and it was the second poker room to launch in Michigan.

Currently, BetMGM and PokerStars are the only two regulated poker operators in the Wolverine State but it is still early days for the market, so expect others to go live there in the future.

Payment Method Deposits Withdrawals
Bank Transfer (ACH) Yes Yes
Visa Yes No
MasterCard Yes No
PayPal Yes No
Play+ Yes No
PayWithMyBank Yes Yes

New Jersey

PokerStars NJ

Regulated online poker in New Jersey has been around in for a comparatively long time and as such, some healthy competition has built up between operators.

It was the first state where PokerStars NJ went live post Black Friday, launching its poker room there back in March 2016.

Payment Method Deposits Withdrawals
Bank Transfer (ACH) Yes Yes
Visa Yes No
MasterCard Yes No
Play+ Yes Yes
PayPal Yes Yes
Skrill Yes Yes
PayNearMe Yes No
VanillaDirect Yes No
Resorts Casino Cage Yes Yes

WSOP NJ

WSOP/888 has the largest network in NJ, with latest figures indicating a 40% market share in the state. With recently revamped software and a return of WSOP NJ live events later this year, it will be hoping to consolidate that position.

Payment Method Deposit Withdrawal
Bank Transfer (ACH) Yes Yes
Visa Yes No
MasterCard Yes No
Discover Yes No
Play+ Yes Yes
PayPal Yes Yes
PayNearMe Yes No
Ceasers Casino Cage Yes Yes

Borgata NJ

Borgata New Jersey's online poker presence goes all the way back to November 2013, making it one of the longest-running poker rooms in the US.

It is part of the partypoker network in the state and enjoyed huge growth in 2020, running WSOP and PokerStars close for market share.

Payment Method Deposit Withdrawal
Bank Transfer (ACH) Yes Yes
Visa/Mastercard Yes No
Play+ Yes Yes
PayPal Yes Yes
PayNearMe Yes No
Borgata Casino Cage Yes Yes
Skrill Yes Yes
American Express Yes No
Discover Yes No
PayWithMyBank Yes Yes
Electronic Transfer Yes No
Check by mail No Yes

Nevada

If you want to play online poker in Nevada, WSOP Nevada is effectively your only choice. A de facto monopoly in the state sees it account for all poker traffic.

WSOP Nevada combines liquidity with its poker rooms in New Jersey and Delaware, in what is still the only multi-state player pool in the US.

WSOP

Payment Method Deposit Withdrawal
Bank Transfer (ACH) Yes Yes
Visa Yes No
MasterCard Yes No
Discover Yes No
Play+ Yes Yes
PayPal Yes Yes
PayNearMe Yes No
Casino Cage Yes Yes

Delaware

There are three Racinos licensed for online poker in Delaware. They are Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington—all of which are powered by 888’s software.

The following options are available for deposit and withdrawal.

Payment Method Deposit Withdrawal
Bank Transfer (ACH) Yes Yes
Visa Yes No
MasterCard Yes No