US Poker Networks

The truth is… most poker sites operate on a network.

What’s a network?

The best way to think of a network is a white-label solution, a business in a box.

They provide operators (the poker sites) with most everything they need to launch and run an online gambling business. That can include software, games, licensing, promotions and marketing.

This can get an operator up and running in a matter of weeks and for the fraction of the cost if they were to build everything from the ground up.

That’s not so bad, right? More casinos mean more bonuses and free money for us.

But there are downsides. For one, the barrier to entry is so low that anyone with a couple grand in savings could launch a gambling operation.

The problem there is that not everyone is cut out to run a business. Not everyone is Sheldon Adelson or Donald Trump, no matter how many episodes of The Apprentice or Shark Tank you watch.

These poker sites collapse quickly. Often with your money.

Anyway, that’s just one negative (of many) to poker networks and their ‘skins.’ Probably the worst one.

There are good things, too, though.

For example, many networks have a review process. Not every operator that signs up will be accepted.

And some networks, like the Merge Network, will help to bail out a skin and/or pay back players when a skin is having cash flow issues.

It’s also nice to play at familiar sites. They have the same software and games, so there’s no learning curve. But you get to take advantage of new things like deposit bonuses and VIP perks.

The things that matter.

So there’s some insight to poker networks and what they’re about. And I hope you can see why knowing more about them can be helpful to you when choosing what sites to join, and equally as important, what sites to avoid.

We’re going to help you avoid the bad sites. We’re going to do that by only showing you a list of the top networks that have US-accepting poker sites. That should help narrow down your list of sites to review.

That list of networks is below.

4 Poker Networks That Accept Americans

In no particular order…

Winning Poker Network (WPN)

This is a solid network for beginners and recreational players that want to deposit $20 and play smaller guarantees with $300 prize pools.

The one exception is their new game, The Cage. This is a $5,000 cash game and MTT hybrid. I expect this to take off like fast fold poker did a few years ago.

And the one big downside to their network is they don’t have Mac-compatible software.

Merge Poker Network

This is the best network to join, hands down. The best site is Carbon Poker.

They have tons on offer here. The highlights include:

  • $6 million in guaranteed tournaments every month.
  • $2 million up for grabs during their Online Poker Series (OPS).
  • They have instant play and mobile software.
  • They’re offering a $5,000 deposit bonus (at Carbon Poker).

This is the only network that would suit any type of player.

Chico Poker Network

This is a so-so network.

They have decent traffic, and you can play casino games and bet on sports.

What excites me the most here are their real money freerolls. This presents a good opportunity for guys to build their bankroll starting from scratch.

(That’s assuming they have patience and they read our strategy section.)

The biggest thing lacking here is their software. It’s outdated, ugly and is functional at best.

But, for some people, the $250,000 they guarantee each month might be enough to offset all that.

Revolution Poker Network

This is the worst network of the bunch.

But they’re still better than the hundreds of networks that didn’t even make this list. That has to say something.

The most interesting thing about them is their 200% match bonus up to $1,000. They’re also one of the few sites to offer fast fold poker.

US Network Top Lists

We thought it would be interesting to list the top networks for a few categories. It might help you choose the best network, and ultimately the best site, for you.

The Most Popular Network

This award goes to the Merge Network.

What makes them popular?

They have the largest selection of games, variations and tournaments.

They also guarantee more than $6 million every month, and even more during their OPS. They host a robust Sunday schedule, too, with more than $200,000 up for grabs.

And there are satellites for everything.

When you factor in their mobile games, instant play software and traffic levels, they can’t be beat.

The Most Interesting Game

This goes to the Winning Poker Network for their new game: The Cage.

This is cool because you buy in like you would a cash game. Then you play for a few hours with increasing blinds like a tournament. And assuming you make it to the end, you leave with whatever is still in front of you, like a cash game.

The buy-ins are ridiculous -- $5,000.

But they do have satellites for budget-minded players.

It’s easily the coolest game I’ve seen since fast fold poker.