“Black Friday” and the UIGEA frightened many players in the United States away from playing online poker. The reality, though, is that accept for a very few states (like Washington) you can still play legal real money online poker. The UIGEA and the Black Friday issues of 2011 had (and have) to do with the banking industry and improprieties from some operators.
While some sites will not accept US Players due to regulatory concerns, Carbon Poker is a top site where you can still get your online poker fix playing for real cash. There are other sites across the globe that will accept US Players, but if you’re looking for reliability then Carbon Poker will likely be your top choice. Established in 2005, Carbon has stood the test of time and is clearly not a “fly-by-night” operation. You can deposit using VISA or, if you prefer, you can do a money wire transfer through Western Union. We’ve heard that MoneyGram works for this too. Like most sites, you can get a deposit bonus (200% on initial deposit up to $5000). It’s our understanding that Carbon has moved to a single bonus code: CARBONPK so you don’t appear to have to spend time navigating through a variety of sites to find the best “deal”.
A new operation on the scene, Quarter Poker, technically gives you another option for real money play. Their plus side? They give you your starting bankroll and will reload you once per day if you go bust. The down side? That starting bankroll is two bits – 25 cents. Everything presently on the site costs a quarter. With an average player base of about 30 players there isn’t a lot of action going on at the site. Currently, they really only offer No Limit Hold ’em Sit-n-gos: 6 handed, a full table of 10 and a 20-person variety. Each Sunday they do have a single multi-table tournament. From looking at the site they have plans for expansion to limit games, MTTs, etc. but they aren’t there yet. One item to keep in mind with Quarter Poker is that while they seed your bank roll they’ll take half of it back when you take a withdrawal. Their policy is that you may withdrawal at anytime your bankroll is in excess of $50 – but, as noted they’ll keep half. Still, it’s free money and you’re effectively working as a horse for them.
So, if you want to nickel and dime your way through building your bankroll you can try Quarter Poker. Or, if you’re more inclined to try a much more traditional form of real money online poker then you could give Carbon Poker a deposit.