US Poker Sites to Avoid

by James Carter on February 19th 2015.

US Poker Sites to AvoidI do not claim to have signed-up at all US-accepting poker rooms. However, the list of top US sites consists of the ones that have a great reputation, lots of players and relatively fast money transactions. In my opinion, they’re the best sites for poker players in the US, and trying to play at other sites may be asking for trouble since it’s rare to find a site that can operate in an acceptable manner especially in the US market.

This page is about US poker sites that you should absolutely avoid. There are several informational websites that still promote these sites because they make a lot of money in advertising revenue (I hope they don’t sleep well at night) but taking a quick look at any online poker forum will tell you all you need to know about these sites: stay away from them.

On top of these at-your-own-risk US-eligible poker rooms, I recommend staying away from newly opened rooms. Yes, all may be good and well, but the facts are that they have no track record and, most likely, little experience from the online poker business. It makes no sense to choose a site like this compared to one like Bovada that has been in the online gambling business for over 15 years without a single player dispute left unresolved.

And again, I haven’t played at all sites and this list of currently operating US poker rooms to avoid is by no means comprehensive.

Lock Poker

Fortunately, most informational poker sites have stopped promoting Lock Poker but it took them long enough; with cashout times now reaching over six months, Lock Poker is in some serious trouble, and the players waiting for their cashouts are having no fun at all.

Lock Poker’s reputation has greatly suffered and it owes a lot of money to players (this thread ( claims that the figure is somewhere around a million dollars). As it stands now, it would be insane to sign-up at Lock Poker.

Please avoid this US online poker site at all costs.

BetOnline Poker

Note: I’ve included BetOnline in my list of top poker sites for US players because they’ve improved tremendously since the events described below. They now process withdrawals the second fastest out of all US poker sites and haven’t had complaints in a few years.

Traffic-wise, BetOnline Poker belongs to the top-5 USA online poker sites, however, they’ve had loads of problems considering how relatively little time they’ve spent in the online poker world (they’re better-known as a sportsbook which has operated longer than their poker room).

A few reasons to avoid BetOnline Poker:

  • Lied about their network: When BetOnline Poker started in 2011, they claimed to be on their own network even though they obviously were on Action Poker network (which had a bad reputation). Not a good way to start doing business.
  • Lack of security: At least a while ago, it was possible for two players from the same IP address to play against each other. Pretty much every online poker room can prevent this from happening, but BetOnline couldn’t. Not sure if this flaw still exists.
  • Confiscating customers’ money: At one point, numerous threads popped up regarding BetOnline confiscating customers who tried to withdraw a significant sum of money. Now, these confiscations were made because they accused the customers of cheating, which might have been the case, but the situation was handled in a weird way. No hand histories or any information on why they accused the customers of cheating were given.
  • Leaving their network: In 2012, BetOnline left their current network (Chico Poker) without any warning, during which customers were unable to withdraw their money. They never let customers know about being unable to withdraw money in advance.