Poker Shield

Understanding the Best Deposit and Withdrawal Methods at Online Poker Rooms in the US

All you need to know about managing your money at online poker rooms.

When it comes to choosing an online poker room, there are certain factors that virtually all players consider: What is the software like? What kinds of games are available? What is the rake like? What bonuses are on offer? And most importantly — Is the site legal and safe to use?

Most players might not ask the question, “How does the site manage my money?” — but perhaps they should.

We expect sites to provide quick, secure, and reliable methods for getting our money into and out of our poker accounts.

And we all assume that our funds are safe while they are being held by the virtual operators.

In this Poker Shield Guide to Online Poker Room Banking Methods, we provide all the info you need — which operators offer which deposit and withdrawal options as well as giving you a few things you should consider before you hand over your hard-earned cash.

How easy is it to deposit/withdraw your money?

Once you have established that an online poker 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. In this day and age, online payment methods should be fast and simple.

All good operators offer a range of deposit methods that should transfer funds from your bank and into your account in minutes, if not quicker. As you might expect, it can be slightly trickier to get transfer your winnings out, but nevertheless, you should be able to find a withdrawal method 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 the details regarding their accepted banking methods readily available on their websites. It is up to you to check them out and make sure there is an option you are comfortable using 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 by the poker room operator.

Here are the most common banking methods used on online poker sites in the US:

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 (Digital Wallets/e-Wallets)

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

A digital wallet (also called an e-wallet), is simply a third software that stores banking information and passwords — essentially acting as an intermediary between you and the operator, so you never have to give your banking info to the gambling site directly. These offer a simple and convenient method for making financial transactions online and are widely used across the internet, not just on gambling sites, so they can be very handy to have.

To use a digital wallet for online poker, first, check which particular providers your chosen poker room supports. Once you have selected which digital wallet you want to use, then you need to create an account with the e-wallet provider and link a payment method to it — e.g. a bank account or credit/debit card. The e-wallet company will then need to verify your banking info or card (usually by transferring a small amount of money into or out of your account), which can sometimes take a day or so to process. Once you have your account set up and verified, you can simply select your chosen e-wallet in the poker client when making a transaction. It’s that easy.

There are several advantages to using digital wallets for your online poker transactions:

  • Speed: e-Wallets are an incredibly quick way of making transactions. Deposits and withdrawals will typically take a matter of minutes — or even seconds — to complete.
  • Security: e-Wallets are a very safe way of transferring money, you don’t have disclose any financial details to the poker room and you have third-party regulators to protect you against online fraud. The transactions themselves are made using the most up-to-date security and encryption methods, so you know your banking info is kept safe and secure.
  • Convenience: As the provider has your details stored, you will not have to repeatedly fill out forms with long strings of numbers. Once you are logged into the site, you simply click Pay and it is done. You can use one e-wallet provider to pay at many different poker rooms, online casinos, sportsbooks, and other sites. Having all of your transactions in one place makes them easy to keep track of. The only real disadvantage of digital wallets is that different cardrooms support different providers and that might be especially true of offshore US-facing poker rooms.

Having said that, most of the major regulated operators will accept PayPal or Skrill — or both. So you shouldn’t have to spend time setting up multiple accounts.

PayPal and Skrill are the most commonly found payment providers, by far. While they perform essentially the same service, they do differ in some significant ways.

  • PayPal supports 20 currencies; Skrill supports 40.
  • PayPal charges for receiving money; Skrill charges for sending money.
  • PayPal is available in all almost all major languages; Skrill is available in seven.
  • For verification purposes, PayPal asks you to make a nominal deposit; Skrill asks you to make a small withdrawal.

Prepaid Cards

Prepaid 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. They are very useful for keeping your spending in check and making sure you do not go over your budget if you have one. 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 payment via major credit/debit cards — e.g., MasterCard, AmEx, Visa, Discover.

Pay in Cash with Retail Partner

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

PayWithMyBank/Trustly

PayWithMyBank (which was recently acquired by Trustly, so you may see it listed under either name) 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

Pennsylvania is the largest so far to have regulated online poker, with a population close to 13 million. With the prospect of interstate poker becoming ever closer, Pennsylvania could be a vital state for operators looking to maximize their liquidity.

PokerStars PA

PokerStars PA went live with online poker in Pennsylvania back in November of 2019.

PokerStars usually offers a wide choice of deposit and withdrawal methods and Pennsylvania is no exception. It is also an industry leader when it comes to protecting player funds, with self-imposed rules that often exceed what is required by official regulation.

For nearly two years, PokerStars was the only licensed online poker room within Pennsylvania borders. However, their time of being the only game in town came to an end when 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 in which Borgata has a poker room, coming more than seven years after its first one launched in New Jersey.

Borgata is an operator with many years of experience and, as such, offers a good range of banking options. However, it should be noted that there are considerably fewer options for withdrawals, compared to those for deposits.

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. As with its sister site, Borgata, there is more choice for getting money onto the site than off. However, both rooms are still in their infancy so this may improve in future

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. Online poker in Michigan was legalized in October 2020 and in January 2021, the first cards were be dealt on the virtual felt in Michigan. The Mitten State is the second-largest state thus far to regulate online poker and it got off to quite an impressive start — it instantly attracted numbers to rival PA — and will be another key market when shared liquidity becomes available.

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 legal online poker room to launch, going live in late January 2021, and recently held its inaugural MICOOP which was seen as a roaring success.

As one of the most recent rooms to go live, PokerStars MI doesn’t offer quite the range of its PA site. But it does provide the most popular transaction methods, including both PayPal and Skrill.

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 utilizes partypoker software and 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 we certainly expect others to go live there in the future.

BetMGM MI already offers plenty of banking methods although, as above, not as many options for withdrawals.

Payment Method Deposits Withdrawals
Bank Transfer (ACH) Yes Yes
Visa Yes No
MasterCard Yes No
Discover Yes No
PayPal Yes No
Play+ Yes No
Electronic Transfer 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 NJ operators. It doesn’t have the largest player pool in the US, but as an early adopter in the brave new world of regulated gaming, it has been instrumental in the development of post-Black Friday online poker in the US.

New Jersey was the first state where PokerStars NJ went live post-Black Friday, launching its poker room back in March of 2016. It offers as good a choice of transaction methods as anyone — both for deposits and withdrawals.

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 at present, has the largest network in NJ. However, the race to the top is a hotly contested spot that can change on a monthly basis.

WSOP and 888 are two of the most experienced and trusted brands in poker and the NJ poker room has a decent choice of deposit and withdrawal methods available.

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.

Borgata is part of the NJ partypoker network — along with sister site BetMGM — and enjoyed huge growth in 2020, running WSOP and PokerStars close for market share. Borgata Poker NJ has one of the widest choices of banking options out there, with deposit and withdrawal options to cover anybody’s preferences.

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. As you would expect with such a renowned name, WSOP has a great sample of banking options.

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. Delaware was the first state to legalize and regulate online poker. Unfortunately, due to its small player base, it has not been financially viable for many operators to have online poker rooms based there. As such, Delaware will benefit hugely once it can share players with the likes of Pennsylvania and Michigan.

The following options are available for deposit and withdrawal.

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

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 is 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.

The events and aftermath of Black Friday were a terrible time for online poker. The recovery has been slow and painful but some good is finally coming out of it. The regulation of online poker means there is far greater scrutiny of operators. Regulation protects players in several ways.

Firstly, operators must keep players’ funds in segregated accounts. Stipulations will vary from state to state and some regulators may insist on higher levels of protection, such as insurance against the company going bust. Some operators have self-imposed stricter controls over funds, to give their players extra peace of mind. Regulators also give players recourse to action if things do go wrong. They will have official protocols for complaints to be processed if money goes missing or transactions are not processed in a reasonable period of time.

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

To check if is a site is legal or not you should do some research and we also recommend you check out our guide on How To Pick A Legal & Safe Online Poker Room.

In terms of deposit and withdrawal methods, it should be easy to find out on an operator’s webpage how it protects your money and what safeguards 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 and red flags should start waving. 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. It will save you so much stress and hassle (and potentially worse) down the road and provide peace of mind so the only thing you need to think about is the game at hand.