Best Online Poker Sites for New York
Do you want to play live poker in New York? You can, but it might not be easy.
It’s easier to play poker online instead. Online poker alleviates many of the issues of live poker that we’ll cover below. First, here are the best New York poker sites online right now.
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New York has a few cardrooms, and each one offers different games and promotions. But the nearest cardroom might be several hours away depending on where you live.
Of course, you can play at a seedy underground club instead. But those can be dangerous, and they’re illegal.
We strongly recommend playing real money poker online. But only if you join a safe, top-rated NY poker site.
If you’ve never played poker online before, this guide will help you get started.
We’re going to begin with showing you why it makes more sense to play poker online. We’ll discuss tournaments, then give you reasons to join that apply to any type of poker.
Next, we’ll share a few of the challenges you’ll face playing live poker. After that, we’ll wrap up this guide with an explanation of how we choose the best online poker sites for New York.
Let’s get started.
Tournament Poker in New York
Honestly, the cash games aren’t too bad in New York. The rake is reasonable. You’ll find a variety of games, too. We see no reason not to play them.
There are still a few downsides that apply to live poker cash games. And we’ll cover those in the next section. We’re going to focus on live tournaments for now, which have more downsides.
Here are some of the downsides live tournament players experience while playing poker in New York.
You Have Few Cardrooms to Choose From
Only six to eight New York casinos offer poker. This is challenging enough. But then there’s also the fact that they’re spread out throughout the state.
Because there are so few poker rooms, it can take you an hour or two just to travel to one. Depending on where you live, it can take up to six hours to travel to your nearest poker room.
And that’s not all. You also have to consider the time it takes to play a tournament, which is easily another three to four hours. It could maybe even last longer.
So, if you want to play live poker in New York, you might have to set aside an entire day. This isn’t easy to do if you have a family, a career, and only a small window to play poker each week.
Good Luck Finding a Non-Texas Hold’em Game
Another downside to playing live tournament poker in New York is that all the poker rooms we looked at don’t offer much more than Texas Hold’em.
You won’t find many variants other than turbos, knockouts, and shootouts, either.
Tournaments Start Only Twice a Day
Yet another downside is that a couple of New York’s poker rooms offer tournaments only a couple times a week. For example, the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort only runs tourneys on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Even if a cardroom runs them daily, they’ll only have one or two scheduled. This makes sense because they only have so much space, and tournaments take at least two to three hours to complete.
Only a certain number of people can enter these tournaments, too. At some point the tournament will reach capacity (due to square footage restrictions). So, if you can’t get to a tournament in time, or you get there and it’s full, you’ve gone all that way for nothing.
Live Tournament Buy-Ins Are Expensive
New York poker tournament aren’t cheap. You’re lucky if you can find a tournament for less than $50 to $60, and that doesn’t include rebuys or add-ons. It’ll cost you more than that on the weekends.
Chances are you’ll want to rebuy and add-on if you drove several hours to play. Unfortunately, you can still bust early, which will suck if you made a long trek. You’ll have spent more time driving than playing.
It’s for all these reasons that playing tournament poker online in NY makes more sense than playing live.
- You can log onto a poker site and go from one poker room to the next in a matter of minutes, not hours.
- You’ll have a variety of poker games, variants, and stakes to choose from.
- Tournaments run all day long at online poker sites. You don’t have to worry about registering by a specific time unless there’s a specific tournament you want to play.
These aren’t the only reasons why online poker makes so much sense either.
Other Reasons to Play Poker Online in NY
Here are a few other reasons why you should consider playing online poker in New York instead of live.
- Claim a deposit bonus
- Most online NY poker rooms offer hundreds or thousands of dollars in bonuses to first-time depositors.
- Poker sites allow you to play four or more cash game tables and several more, if not an unlimited number of tournaments at the same time.
- Use a HUD
- This is software that collects data from your opponents and turns it into stats you can use to make decisions in real time at the table.
- Poker software features
- Every New York poker site has features that help you play profitable poker. This includes four-color decks, display bet sizing, changing the table design, note-taking, and more.
- Play freeroll tournaments
- Freerolls are free to join and have real money prize pools. You won’t find freerolls offline.
- Lobby stats
- It’s hard to gauge a live cash game simply by looking at it. But you can do that online. Poker sites include stats in their lobbies that tell you how many players each table has, the number of hands they play per hour, the average pot size, and more. These statistics help you determine if that game is worth joining.
- Select tables
- Use the data the NY poker sites offer and online resources to determine which tables are too tough to join. Then, join the easier ones. You can’t do this live.
- There are poker websites that track players’ results by room and screenname. You can look up your competitors to see how good they are, then use this info to make decisions in real time.
- Smaller stakes
- The lowest cash game you can play live is usually $1/$2 or $1/$3. The smallest tournament is usually $40. But online you can play for $0.01/$0.02 per hand and MTTs for less than $1.
There are many reasons to play live poker. Maybe you enjoy socializing. Maybe you’re good at picking up tells. Maybe you want to play for higher stakes.
But if none of that applies to you, then we’d argue that it’s far more beneficial, not to mention practical, to play real money poker online in New York.
Challenges New Yorkers Face When Playing Live
The benefits we shared above aren’t the only reasons why it makes sense to play poker online. Online poker is just so much easier. You won’t face most if any of the following challenges that live players do.
Giving Away Tells
You might be surprised at how bad some players’ poker faces are. They pick up a good hand or hit the flop hard, and you see their eyes open wide or notice them raising their eyebrows.
We’ve even seen players shake so bad you’d think it was freezing inside. And if they’re not physically shaking, their voice is shaking.
These are all tells (or signs) that a player has a certain hand. Or doesn’t. It depends on the tell. Anyway, here’s how this impacts you.
If you don’t play live poker often, there’s a good chance you have a tell or two as well. And your tell will make it easier for others to play against you.
You don’t have to worry about this if you play online, though.
You can only play one table at a time live where you’re lucky to see more than 15 to 20 hands per hour. And if you’re a good player, you’re folding most of those hands.
What do you do with the rest of your time?
You can pay attention to the action, but this is hard to do, especially for prolonged periods. Many people choose to read, watch the game on TV, or play on their phone instead.
If you play online, though, you could play a couple of tables at once. That way, you’re always involved in a hand. You’ll make more money multi-tabling, too.
You should do your best to take notes whenever possible. This includes jotting down your opponents’ ranges, bet sizes, anything they do that surprises you, and more.
This information is good to have for future hands. It’ll help you make more profitable decisions.
The challenge is that some poker rooms dislike notetaking. Some players do, too. And even if you can take notes, it’s hard to do live since there’s so much to remember.
Note-taking is much easier online since you can use shorthand along with symbols and/or colors to tag an opponent. Most poker rooms have hand histories and/or hand re-players too, which you can use to recall everything that happened in a hand.
Another challenging thing about live poker is that you have to deal with other people.
This isn’t such a big deal if the people you play with shower regularly, don’t smoke excessively, and have good manners.
But a lot of guys don’t. They burp, fart, and forget to shower or wear deodorant before wedging themselves in between two other guys.
Don’t forget that some people can be annoying, too. They talk a lot or make too many jokes (that aren’t funny). Or maybe they have a bad temper that flares up whenever they lose (which is every other hand).
Sometimes, people just suck. The good news is that you can avoid them and all their annoying characteristics if you choose to play poker online instead.
This challenge is reason enough for us to play online, that much is for sure.
If you’re interested in playing online poker in New York, then the first step you’ll need to take is to create an account with a top-rated poker site.
We recommend you join one of the poker rooms above. And in the next section, we’ll explain how we chose them.
About Our Top-Rated NY Poker Sites
You’ll notice that we recommend several sites on this page. This list includes ONLY the best New York poker sites online.
But what makes them so great? And how the heck would we know? That’s what we want to explain to you now.
Reviewing and Testing New York Poker Sites
We thoroughly review and test every poker site we recommend. Here is what we look for and test.
- Does the poker room have traffic?
- Traffic impacts which games run and how often.
- What kinds of bonuses can you claim?
- We consider the size of the bonus and how easy it is to earn.
- What kinds of games and variants can you play?
- Some players only want to play old-fashioned Texas Hold’em. But some outgrow that and want to play other poker games like Omaha or Stud.
- Do they have high quality software?
- Software impacts everything from how the games look to how well they work. It also impacts the features you can use and whether you can play poker on your smartphone.
- Do they have guaranteed tournaments?
- How big are they and how often do they run? Can you satellite in? Are the buy-ins reasonable?
We find the answers to these questions and play a few games to test the software. This gives us an idea of whether this is a good room for poker players. And we’re only halfway done at this point.
The other half of our process is determining that the poker site is safe and secure, reliable, and that the operator has a good reputation in the poker community.
We also test their customer support, research their banking options, including how quickly they pay out winnings.
Once we’re done, we publish everything we find in our poker room reviews.
Rating and Recommending Poker Sites
The next phase is rating and recommending poker sites to our readers.
We go through every poker site we think will work for a specific category, such as New York poker sites. We compare their strengths and weaknesses, then weed out the subpar sites.
We rank the remaining sites according to how great of a fit they are for the category we’re working on; in this case, it would be poker sites for NY gamblers.
The final product is what you see on this page. This process takes us hours to complete because of all the research, testing, and rating every site we recommend.
And that’s all there is to it. That’s why you can trust us when we say that the sites we recommend are the best New York poker sites.
We’ve done the work so that you don’t have to!
Real Money Online Poker in New York
We covered a lot of ground in such a short guide. For example, you learned all about the challenges that plague New York live poker players.
- There aren’t many cardrooms in the state.
- The nearest cardroom might be hours away.
- Cardrooms only offer tournaments a handful of times per day, and sometimes, no more than a couple of times per week.
- The stakes are higher offline.
These are just a few of the many reasons why we recommend you play online poker instead. You’ll have more games, variants, and stakes to choose from. You can claim promotions. And you can play games on your schedule instead of the casino’s.
If that sounds like the path you want to take, what you need to do now is join an online poker site. We list the top New York poker sites on this page. Choose one and create your account now.
You can thank us later!