In Which US States Can I Play Online Poker in 2024?

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Online poker is legal in some states, but illegal in others. As of early 2024, there are six states where online poker is 100% legal and regulated – Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Michigan.

In these six states, you can play poker on licensed online poker sites and apps that are regulated by state gambling commissions. This means the games are fair, you get paid if you win, and you have legal recourse if something goes wrong.

Is online poker fully legal across the entire United States?

No. Each state in the US gets to make their own laws about online gambling and poker. Only six states have passed laws to formally legalize and regulate online poker.

In most other states, the legal status of playing online poker is unclear. That doesn’t mean it’s illegal – but it does operate in a legal gray area in many places.

This confusion comes from the fact that federal laws prohibit processing payments for online gambling…but they don’t explicitly ban actually playing online.

So in some states, you can probably play online poker, but you do so at your own risk as the laws are vague. I don’t recommend playing on unregulated sites.

Pro Tip: Take advantage of free resources and poker tools we have on Beasts of Poker. These can include tutorial videos, strategy articles, and even free-to-play tables where you can practice without risking real money.

And here’s a table that gives you a quick overview of the legality of online poker in the USA:

StateOnline Poker Legal SinceWhere to Play?Nevada2013WSOP.comDelaware2013888 Poker, WSOP.comNew Jersey2013PokerStars NJ, 888 Poker NJ, partypoker NJ, BetMGM Poker NJ, WSOP.com NJPennsylvania2019PokerStars PAWest Virginia2020BetMGM Poker WVMichigan2021PokerStars MIAny other state–Free Poker Sites (see below) or Offshore Online Casinos

 

What states allow legal, regulated online poker?

Here’s an overview of the six states where online poker is expressly legal, regulated and available to play on licensed sites:

1. Nevada

Legal since: 2013Regulator: Nevada Gaming CommissionSites available: WSOP.com

Nevada was the first state to legalize online poker. As the home of Las Vegas, Nevada has a long history of gambling so this move made sense.

Playing on WSOP.com you can compete with players from other states thanks to interstate player pooling. This makes games more exciting!

2. Delaware

Legal since: 2013Regulator: Delaware LotterySites available: 888 Poker, WSOP.com

Delaware legalized online poker and casino games around the same time as Nevada and New Jersey.

As a tiny state, player pools are small but Delaware links up with some neighbors to share poker traffic.

3. New Jersey

Legal since: 2013Regulator: New Jersey DGESites available: PokerStars, partypoker, 888 Poker, BetMGM Poker, WSOP.com

New Jersey is arguably the biggest state for legal online poker. Its regulator has issued licenses to lots of big international online poker sites.

This means NJ poker players can choose from the largest selection of American real money poker sites and games. Player pools are large too.

4. Pennsylvania

Legal since: 2019Regulator: PGCBSites available: PokerStars PA

Pennsylvania legalized online poker more recently but as a populous state it immediately became an important market.

PokerStars dominates the PA online poker market. The state is expected to join interstate player pooling agreements soon which will boost liquidity.

5. West Virginia

Legal Since: 2020Regulator: West Virginia LotterySites Available: BetMGM Poker

West Virginia surprised many by quietly launching online poker and casinos in 2020.

As a rural state, the WV market is still developing. BetMGM runs the sole online poker room available to Mountaineer State residents.

6. Michigan

Legal Since: 2021Regulator: MGCBSites Available: PokerStars MI

Michigan is the newest state to legalize and regulate online poker. It launched in early 2021.

PokerStars MI is currently the only online poker option but more competition may enter the market soon. Liquidity could also improve if Michigan joins interstate player sharing.

What about other states like California and Texas?

For years there has been talk of poker powerhouse states like California, Texas, Florida and others legalizing online poker.

But despite multiple attempts, bills have failed to pass in these states so far. The good news is many states continue to consider online poker and casino regulation bills.

In 2024 and 2025 we may see 1-3 more US states, potentially including California or Texas, legalize and regulate online poker.

I’ll be sure to update this article if any new poker-friendly states arrive on the scene, but for now, you can enjoy free poker apps or offshore sites.

Can I play online poker on offshore sites from the US?

Outside of the six regulated states above, your options for playing real money online poker expand if you consider international offshore sites.

While they don’t hold US licenses, many quality offshore online poker sites do accept players from most American states. Some popular examples include Ignition Poker, BetOnline Poker, and Americas Cardroom.

These established offshore sites offer world-class poker gaming in a convenient online format you can access anywhere.

According to USACasinos247 these are the best real money poker sites to play:

Ignition CasinoIgnition Casino

Ignition Casino

Renowned for its poker offerings, Ignition provides anonymous tables so you can focus on the game rather than player identities. Tournaments, cash games, mobile play and a robust promotional calendar appeal to all skill levels.

BetOnlineBetOnline

BetOnline

BetOnline operates a busy poker room open to international players. As part of the Chico Network, poker traffic is always buzzing across tournaments, cash games and variants like Texas Hold’em and Omaha. Lucrative poker bonuses and rewards make this site appealing.

BovadaBovada

Bovada

Bovada allows anonymous poker play to promote fair, private competition amongst players. Suitable for poker newcomers and veterans alike thanks to an array of poker game options, tournaments types, guaranteed events and more available on desktop or phone.

While they don’t have the same oversight as regulated poker sites, these offshore real money poker sites offer top-notch poker gaming, convenience plus player perks and rewards you’ll appreciate.

Free Poker Sites for Those in Other States

If you live anywhere besides those six regulated states above, playing online poker for real money exists in a legal gray area.

However, there are still options for you such as free poker sites. On these sites, you can play Texas hold’em without spending or winning real money.

Free poker sites let you play purely for fun and entertainment against other players. You use virtual currency instead of real cash when playing games.

Some popular free online poker rooms that are available across America include:

World Series of Poker Official Site

The WSOP offers a slick online poker client where you can play a range of poker variants including Texas hold’em. Everything is completely free and legal no matter where you’re located.

You start with a stack of virtual chips. Playing earns you loyalty points to unlock cool avatar items. And the software has nice features like action replays of big hands. Well worth checking out.

Zynga Poker

Zynga is a casino and social game developer that offers popular titles. Their Zynga Poker app has millions of players logging in to play daily games of Texas hold’em poker and more.

Available via iOS, Android, Facebook and web browsers, this free poker game is fast and simple to get started. You play with fun virtual currency against real opponents.

Pokerrrr 2

An extremely popular mobile poker app is Pokerrrr 2. It lets you invite friends or get matched with random real opponents for private 1-on-1 or multi-table poker games.

The nice thing about Pokerrrr2 is it’s built for mobile from the ground up. So the interface is intuitive and games are fast-paced. Everything is completely free too.

So if you fancy playing a few hands of cards, be sure to download one of these free poker apps or sites. They provide a fun and legal way for poker fans across America to play a range of poker games just for entertainment.

No risk of losing real cash, but you still get the excitement of competing against living, breathing opponents in games of skill like classic No-Limit Hold’em aka the cadillac of poker.

Common questions about legal US online poker

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about playing online poker for real money in America:

Is playing online poker on my phone or tablet legal?

Yes, you can legally play real money online poker on your mobile device IF you are located inside a state where internet poker has been regulated and launched. Apps from licensed poker sites work on iOS and Android devices.

Do legal poker sites accept credit cards?

Yes, licensed and regulated online poker sites that operate legally inside states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania accept major credit cards, debit cards, online bank transfers and more. Offshore poker sites frequently have issues taking credit cards.

Do legal poker sites offer bonuses?

Absolutely! Legal, regulated US online poker sites offer generous welcome bonuses and ongoing reload bonuses to players. This gives your bankroll a nice boost when signing up or depositing more funds. Just make sure to read the bonus terms.

Can I win real money playing legal online poker?

You sure can! The beauty of regulated online poker is that by law, sites must pay out players who win money fairly. This gives you reassurance that you’ll get paid your cash if you crush the games.

Do I have to be a resident to play?

In most regulated states, you need to be physically located within state lines when playing on an online poker app or site for real money. So check your state’s rules. Some allow a 30 day grace period for new residents.

Do legal poker sites share player pools?

In some cases, yes. States like New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware have agreed to allow regulated poker sites in each state to share players. This means bigger tournaments and more active cash game tables. Other states may join these interstate compacts soon.

We hope this overview helped explain exactly where online poker is legal and regulated across the United States.

Author: Justin Watson