Where in the USA Can You Play Online Poker: A Comprehensive Guide

The world of has seen great interest in recent years, and many US residents are curious about which states allow for legal online play. As online gambling legislation varies across the United States, it's essential to be well-informed about the different options available. In some states, online poker is legal, while others have yet to pass legislation or are not considering it at all.

Presently, a few US states have fully regulated and licensed online poker rooms for their residents. However, the legal landscape is continually evolving as more states consider introducing online poker legislation. This shift in policy is primarily due to the increasing demand for online gaming and the potential for significant revenue generation for state governments.

For those looking to join in on the excitement of online poker, it's vital to understand the diverse range of games and tournaments, along with the importance of safety and security on poker platforms. It's also crucial to know about the various options for depositing and withdrawing funds from online poker sites and the overall playing experience on different software platforms.

Key Takeaways

  • Legal online poker offerings vary by state in the US
  • Additional states are considering online poker legislation due to demand and revenue potential
  • Players should prioritize safety and security, various game options, and efficient deposit/withdrawal processes in the online poker experience.

Current Legal States for Online Poker


Nevada, the home of , was one of the first states to legalize online poker. As a pioneer in the industry, Nevada hosts some prominent poker sites like WSOP (World Series of Poker). Players in Nevada have access to a regulated and secure online poker environment, ensuring fair gaming and easy withdrawals.

New Jersey

New Jersey is another state that has legalized online poker, offering state residents access to a variety of poker sites. PokerStars, WSOP, and partypoker are some of the major platforms available, providing a strong selection of games and tournaments for players to participate in.


In Pennsylvania, residents can enjoy legal online poker since 2019. PokerStars is one of the platforms accessible in the state, giving players the opportunity to engage in various poker games and tournaments. As a result, Pennsylvania has seen a growth in its online poker market due to the clear regulations and legal framework.


was also an early adopter of online poker. The state has a more limited selection of poker sites, but the legal environment ensures a fair and safe gaming experience for players. Its online poker market is connected with Nevada and New Jersey to create an interstate player pool, increasing competition and offering larger prize pools for players.


Michigan is a relatively newer state to join the legal online poker scene, opening its market in 2021. With a legal framework in place, players can enjoy safe and regulated poker games, including platforms such as PokerStars. As the industry in Michigan matures, additional platforms are expected to enter the market.

West Virginia

West Virginia passed legislation that legalized online gambling and sports betting in 2019. The state's online poker market is still developing, but it is expected that major platforms like PokerStars, WSOP, and partypoker will soon enter the scene, providing residents with an array of poker games and tournaments to join.

Online Poker Legislation in Progress


In Indiana, online poker is not currently legal, but there is a possibility for change. Lawmakers in the state have been actively discussing the potential for legalizing online gambling, including online poker. Although there have been discussions, no specific bills have been introduced or passed in the Indiana legislature to legalize online poker or other forms of online gambling. However, the state is closely monitoring the progress and success of its neighboring states like Pennsylvania, which has already legalized online poker.


Virginia is another state where online poker is not yet legal, but lawmakers have been considering the possibilities of legalizing the activity. Like Indiana, no specific bills have been introduced or passed in the Virginia legislature regarding the legalization of online poker. However, the state expanded its gambling options in 2020 with the legalization of sports betting and the approval of casino gaming in several locations. As the state continues to explore its gambling environment, the potential for online poker legalization in Virginia may become a more prominent topic of discussion.


Online poker in California has been a subject of interest for the past few years, but the state has not yet managed to legalize it. The primary obstacle to legalizing online poker in California is the opposition from some powerful stakeholders, including certain Native American tribes who own and operate casinos within the state. They argue that the legalization of online poker would have a negative impact on their businesses. Despite the opposition, some lawmakers continue to push for the introduction of online poker legislation, believing it would generate significant revenue for the state and provide a broader range of gambling options for residents.

States with No Legal Online Poker


Texas is known for its rich poker history, but surprisingly, online poker is not legal in the state. There are no specific laws allowing online poker, and the state's gambling laws generally restrict such activities. Texans looking to play poker have to rely on private home games or to other states with legal online poker options.


In Washington state, playing online poker is considered a felony due to the state's strict laws against internet gambling. This means residents looking to enjoy online poker have no legal options within the state and may resort to playing on offshore websites.


laws do not allow online poker and other forms of online gambling. The state has not taken any steps to legalize or regulate online poker, leaving residents with limited options for legal poker entertainment.


Online poker is not legal in Alaska, as there are no laws permitting online gambling in the state. Alaska has strict regulations against most forms of gambling, and residents seeking to play poker online must do so through offshore websites.


Despite Florida's numerous brick-and-mortar poker rooms, online poker is not legal in the state. The laws surrounding online gambling are unclear, and Florida legislators have not made any efforts to address online poker legalization specifically.


Hawaii is one of the few states in the US with a complete ban on all forms of gambling, including online poker. There are no legal online poker options for Hawaii residents, and playing on offshore poker sites is also considered illegal.


Illinois does not currently have laws allowing online poker and is one of the states where online gambling is not permitted. Although there have been discussions and proposals for online gambling legalization, no concrete steps have been taken in this direction.


While Mississippi is known for its legal casinos and brick-and-mortar poker rooms, the state has not yet legalized online poker. Residents seeking online poker action must rely on offshore options or travel to nearby legal online poker states.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire has not legalized online poker and has strict gambling laws, which do not permit online gambling in general. Residents of New Hampshire are left with no legal online poker options within the state.

New York

New York has been considering the legalization of online poker for years, but the state's lawmakers have not yet reached an agreement on regulating and legalizing online gambling. As a result, online poker remains illegal in New York.

Future Prospects for Online Poker

The future of online poker in the United States seems promising as more states are considering the regulation and legalization of online poker. As online gambling becomes more popular, states are realizing the potential revenue it can generate.

Several states have already taken steps to legalize and regulate online poker, such as New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware, where residents can play legally at state-regulated sites. Pennsylvania has also joined this group, allowing their citizens to engage in legal online poker.

Many other states are currently discussing the possibility of legalizing online poker, including but not limited to:

  • California: With a large population and a thriving poker scene, California is a prime candidate for the regulation of online poker. However, disagreements among stakeholders have slowed the progress.
  • New York: The state has made significant strides towards legalizing online gambling, and online poker could be the next step.
  • Florida: Online poker could become regulated in Florida, with its large poker playing community and potential for additional revenue.
  • Connecticut: Recent developments in sports betting and online casinos suggest that legal online poker could also be in the pipeline for this state.

However, the path towards legal online poker in the US is not without its obstacles. Some states face opposition from anti-gambling groups or disagreements over the distribution of gambling revenue. Additionally, changes in the federal legal landscape could affect the prospects of online poker in individual states.

In terms of technological advancements, the use of mobile apps for real-money poker is becoming increasingly popular, providing players with a convenient and accessible gaming experience across the country.

In conclusion, the future of online poker in the United States is showing potential for growth and expansion, as more states begin to consider regulating and legalizing the activity. As a result, enthusiasts and professional players alike can expect to see greater access to legal online poker in the coming years.

Safety and Security in Online Poker

When playing online poker, it's essential to prioritize safety and security. Choosing trustworthy poker sites can significantly reduce any potential risks that come with depositing and withdrawing money online. Several measures can be taken to ensure that you play on safe and secure platforms.

Firstly, it's important to look for well-known and reputable online poker sites. These sites have built a strong reputation over time, thanks in large part to their commitment to ensuring safe and secure gaming experiences. They often employ advanced encryption technologies to protect their players' personal and financial information, reducing the risk of identity theft and other cybercrimes.

Another factor to consider is whether the online poker site is licensed and regulated by a reliable jurisdiction. Sites that are regulated must follow strict rules and regulations to ensure fair, responsible, and secure gaming. Some of the most respected regulating bodies include the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, and the Delaware Gaming Commission.

When depositing funds on a poker site, it's crucial to use a trusted payment method. Most of the reputable poker sites offer multiple options, such as credit cards, e-wallets, and bank transfers. Using reliable payment methods can not only safeguard your transactions but also ensure a swift and secure deposit and withdrawal process.

Lastly, it's a good idea to research the site's customer support options. Top-rated poker sites will often provide dedicated support teams available 24/7 through live chat, email, or phone. Efficient customer support can help with any safety or security concerns that may arise during your online poker experience.

By taking these steps, players can enjoy the thrill of online poker with confidence, knowing that they are participating in a secure gaming environment.

Variety of Games and Tournaments

In the United States, online poker players have access to a wide variety of games and tournaments. This includes popular poker variants such as Texas Hold'em and Omaha, which are commonly featured in both cash games and tournament formats.

Cash games offer the flexibility to join and leave a table at any time, allowing players to manage their bankrolls more easily. They are perfect for those who prefer a more casual experience but still enjoy the thrill of poker. The stakes range from micro to high limits, catering to players with different skill levels and financial means.

Online poker tournaments, on the other hand, provide a more structured environment with specified start times and buy-ins. They may come in various formats such as sit-and-go's, multi-table tournaments, and even satellite events that offer entry to larger live tournaments. The prize pools in these tournaments can be extremely lucrative, attracting professional players and seasoned amateurs alike.

In addition to Texas Hold'em (sponsored link) and Omaha, many online poker platforms offer other poker variations such as Seven Card Stud, Razz, and Mixed Format games like HORSE. These options give players the chance to diversify their skills and enjoy different challenges at the table.

For players located in the US, it's essential to check the legality of online poker in their respective states before participating. Several states have already legalized and regulated online poker, including New Jersey, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, providing a safe environment for real money play.

Overall, the variety of games and tournaments in online poker sites has something for everyone. From classic Texas Hold'em and Omaha to unique mixed games or high-stakes competitions, players can find their ideal poker experience within the rapidly growing world of online poker.

Depositing and Withdrawing from Online Poker Sites

Playing online poker for real money is a popular activity in some US states. To participate, players need to deposit funds at the poker sites and withdraw their winnings. This section discusses the process of depositing and withdrawing money at online poker sites in a confident, knowledgeable, neutral, and clear tone.

Firstly, depositing money into online poker sites is a straightforward process. Most sites offer a variety of payment methods to accommodate different players, including credit cards, e-wallets, and bank transfers. To deposit, players should visit the cashier section of the poker site and choose their preferred payment method. After entering the amount they wish to deposit, the transaction is usually processed within a few seconds, and the funds appear in the account. In some cases, if the bank refuses the transaction, players can try charging it again or use a different payment method.

Withdrawing money from online poker sites is equally simple and follows a similar process to depositing. Again, players must visit the cashier section but this time select “Withdraw” or “Cash Out.” They can choose their preferred , enter the amount they wish to withdraw, and follow the prompts. Withdrawal processing times depend on the chosen method, with e-wallets being the fastest option and bank transfers taking the longest.

It's essential for players to understand the rules and regulations regarding online poker in their particular state. Some states, such as New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware, have regulated online poker and established their own poker and casino sites. In these states, depositing and withdrawing funds is a seamless process. However, in states where online poker is not explicitly regulated, it's crucial for players to verify the legality and reliability of the poker sites they use.

In summary, depositing and withdrawing from online poker sites is a user-friendly process. Players should be aware of the regulations in their state and select trustworthy poker sites to ensure smooth transactions. By understanding the process and following the appropriate steps, players can enjoy real money poker games without unnecessary complications.

Playing Experience and Software

When it comes to the online poker experience, various factors play a crucial role in determining the quality of the platforms. One of the primary aspects to consider is the availability of online poker in different US states. Since online poker regulations vary across the states, the choice of available poker sites largely depends on the state you reside in.

The software used by online poker platforms greatly impacts the overall playing experience. Top poker sites like PokerStars, WSOP, PartyPoker, and 888Poker invest heavily in their software, ensuring smooth gameplay, user-friendly interfaces, and a variety of game options. Most of these sites also offer mobile apps, so players can enjoy real money poker on the go.

In addition to the software, the variety of games offered on these platforms also enhances the playing experience. Popular variants such as Texas Hold'em, Omaha, and Seven-Card Stud can be found across these reputed platforms. Many sites also offer less common games, catering to players with diverse preferences.

Another factor influencing the experience is the competition level within the platform. Major poker sites like PokerStars and WSOP host a range of tournaments, attracting players of different skill levels. This allows beginners and experienced players to find suitable games and challenges.

Lastly, the quality of customer support provided by poker sites is essential in ensuring a seamless playing experience. Renowned platforms such as PartyPoker and 888Poker offer top-notch support, assisting players with any issues or queries they might have.

In summary, an enjoyable online poker experience predominantly depends on the state regulations, software quality, game variety, competition level, and customer support. Reputed poker sites such as PokerStars, WSOP, PartyPoker, and 888Poker consistently deliver the best experience to players across the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is online poker legal for real money in the US?

Online poker for real money is currently legal in a few US states, including Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. Each state has its own regulations and licensing process for online poker sites. In some cases, players are allowed to play poker across state lines through interstate agreements, like the one between Nevada and Delaware.

Which states allow PokerStars for US players?

PokerStars, a popular online poker platform, has been available for real money play in New Jersey since 2016, and Pennsylvania since 2019. In Michigan, PokerStars launched in January 2021. The platform is not available in other states for real money play, but players can participate in free play to sharpen their skills.

How can I play online poker legally while living in the US?

If you live in one of the states where online poker is legal (Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, or Michigan), you can play on licensed and regulated sites. Players in these states should familiarize themselves with their state's specific regulations and play only on approved platforms, like the Poker Stars app, to ensure legality.

In which states is live poker allowed and regulated?

Live poker is available in various states across the US, with regulations and legalities varying by state. Some states with thriving live poker scenes include Nevada, New Jersey, Florida, and California. Almost all states have some form of live poker available, but it's crucial to research the laws in your specific state before participating.

What are the options for free poker sites in the USA?

There are several free poker sites available to players in the USA, regardless of their location. These platforms typically offer play money games and are an excellent opportunity for players to practice and improve their skills without risking real money. Some popular options include PokerStars Play Money, Zynga Poker, and Replay Poker.

Is there a way to play online poker out of state legally?

Playing online poker out of state legally depends on the specific state laws where the player resides and the state where the poker site is licensed. If you live in a state without legal online poker options, traveling to a state that allows online poker is one way to play legally. Additionally, players residing outside the US can access international poker sites that accept US players, but they should ensure they are playing on a reputable and safe platform.