USA Poker Law By State - Playing Poker Legal or Illegal

USA State Poker Legal / Laws

USA Poker Players Poker Law By State - Legal Poker Sites

Playing poker in the United States is such a controversial topic. With the UIGEA in place for online poker and state-by-state regulation for brick and mortar it can be quite difficult to understand what laws apply to what. This page focuses on the state-by-state laws in regards to both on and offline issues. Some states are open to gambling, while others are against it. If you live in the United States, it is up to you to understand what your local laws are in respect to online poker.

Notice for USA Players - Recently Full Tilt Poker and Pokerstars shut down to USA players. If your living in the US, you might want to check our US poker sites page which gives an up to date listing of all online poker sites accepting American players.


Online and Offline United States Of America Poker Law / Guide By State

Alabama Poker
Alabama hasn't completely gotten rid of poker, but they aren't exactly poker-friendly. With the exception of bingo and dog racing, your betting is going to have to stay out of sight or out of the state. Home poker is one area where the state is at least willing to be somewhat flexible.

Alaska Poker
Alaska isn't known for its gambling scene, but it's not all bad from a poker player's perspective. Most home poker games are legal, and it looks like you can legally play poker online. The only catch is that there aren't currently any real casinos in Alaska that can offer a professional game of poker.

Arizona Poker
Arizona is a great state for poker players. The state has legalized most gambling in casinos, social home poker games are legal, and they have yet to put a stop to online poker. Really, there is not much more an avid poker player could ask for!

Arkansas Poker
Poker has been thoroughly banned from the state of Arkansas. Whether playing among friends with penny limits, or looking for a professional card room, there are no legal poker games in this state. Online poker might be the one area where you'll be able to get a game.

California Poker
California’s poker laws are, in some ways, open to interpretation. When it comes to home games, rake, and operating a poker room though, there are some specific laws you should familiarize yourself with. Luckily for all Californian poker players, enforcement (particularly for home games) is pretty laid back, and playing poker online in California is legal!

Colorado Poker
Colorado's lawmakers have done the impossible. They've managed to outlaw the unwanted types of gambling (organized crime) without stepping on the toes of their citizens. Whether you want to play in a private home game or just go to a casino, you've got some options.

Connecticut Poker
The "Constitution State" lives up to it's freedom-loving reputation in the realm of gambling laws. With only a few crime-related provisions, it is not at all difficult for players to get in on the action. Whether you prefer home games or the luxury of a real casino, Connecticut has all of the options you are looking for.

Delaware Poker
In general, Delaware is not a great state for poker players. It's not impossible to play for free, but the opportunities are largely relegated to charity events. Unless you plan on seeking out the many underground, back-room poker games that take place in the state, you probably cannot play poker full-time in Delaware.

Florida Poker
Florida's Poker Laws do restrict the game to a degree but there are more than enough exceptions for the game to continue to survive. Home games, casinos, and online poker are all allowed in one way or another. With only a few specific rules, Florida is actually a pretty poker-friendly state.

Georgia Poker
Poker players beware! Georgia is one of the most strict states when it comes to the legality of poker. Both home games and poker rooms are legally out of reach, and online poker may very well next. There is a lot of pro-gambling pressure, but the legislature has yet to give in.

Hawaii Poker
Even though Hawaii is a well known tourist destination, gambling does not a play any role in the state's economy. With no legalized casinos or card rooms, the residents are confined to playing only in the privacy of their own home. This state's gambling laws may be good or bad depending entirely upon how you like to play.

Idaho Poker
Idaho is not one of the better states for poker players. In fact, there are only a handful of states that are less poker friendly. If you happen to live in Idaho, you'll have to either play online, or travel to a nearby pro-poker state to find a legal game. Even playing in your home is against the law.

Illinois Poker
Poker is pretty heavily restricted in the state of Illinois, but that's not to say that you can't find a legal game. There are exceptions to the gambling ban for casinos, and you might even be able to get away with playing poker online or in your own home (but don't count on it).

Indiana Poker
Indiana has put an end to legal home games (even online) but they do provide some regulated options for poker players. With ten poker-equipped, full-sized casinos, the state of Indiana has shown some consideration towards its poker playing citizens, even if they don't have the most poker friendly laws.

Iowa Poker
Short of one limiting restriction on your private home poker games, Iowa is a pro-poker state. They have elaborate casinos, online poker isn't even mentioned in the penal code, and most of your home poker games are legal. For all kinds of poker players, Iowa is an excellent state in which to live.

Kansas Poker
Kansas has some pretty strict gambling laws, but they do not actually ban poker, they just control it. There are still legal ways to play your favorite games, at all betting limits, in the state of Kansas. With the exception of online poker, the laws about gambling in the state are very clear and concise.

Kentucky Poker
Kentucky has shut the door on casino development and card rooms are illegal. The governor is on an online gambling witch-hunt and may still be fighting to close online poker rooms. The only good news is that home poker games are pretty well protected by the Kentucky's Penal Code.

Louisiana Poker
Louisiana is among the best states for poker players. While the eighteen to twenty year olds might be excluded, the rest of the adult population is given a long leash when it comes to any sort of gambling. Home poker games, casinos, and riverboat casinos are all acceptable in the eyes of the state.

Maine Poker
Maine is right in the middle of the two extremes when it comes to gambling and the game of poker. It isn't always illegal, but it isn't supported completely the way it is in other states. If you are a professional gambler, then there are better states for you, but for the rest of us Maine should be just fine.

Maryland Poker
Maryland is not a poker friendly state by any means. Home poker games, full casinos, and most likely online poker are all illegal. The law enforcement agencies might not be targeting friendly home games, but they would be perfectly within their rights to do so.

Massachusetts Poker
Massachusetts' gambling laws are possibly the oldest in the country, so it can be difficult to apply them to modern life. With a ban on casinos, and ambiguous home game laws, Massachusetts is not one of the better states when viewed from a poker perspective.

Michigan Poker
If you're looking for a very poker-friendly state, Michigan might be a perfect fit. They have poker in their casino resorts, home games are legitimate, and the only legislation they passed relating to online gambling was repealed in the year 2000. It might not be Las Vegas, but it isn't far behind!

Minnesota Poker
Minnesota has restricted poker within is borders, but only slightly. Home games can be legal, and they've got plenty of casinos for players who are looking for the real deal. Even their attempts to abolish online poker have come to a halt. Overall, Minnesota is pretty pro-poker.

Mississippi Poker
Mississippi is the home of riverboat gambling, and its heritage has not been forgotten. There are a myriad of legal ways to play poker within the state's borders, but there are also some heavy restrictions. This state should probably be considered as having a moderately pro-gambling stance.

Missouri Poker
Missouri's stance on poker is a popular one in the united states. Home games (and probably online poker) are illegal, but they haven't thrown the baby out with the bathwater! You can still play poker, and other popular games of chance in the state's authorized land/riverboat casinos.

Montana Poker
Montana seems to fly in the face of its own online gambling laws when it comes to poker. With exceptions for home games, and limited casino play, poker is not remotely a subject of taboo in Montana. It should be noted though that they have taken steps to eliminate online poker within their state.

Nebraska Poker
Nebraska is decidedly against most types of gambling, including poker, within its borders. The residents of this state will probably find it is easier and safer to just travel to a more poker-friendly state if they are looking for a game. Online poker, however, may offer a workable solution.

Nevada Poker
Nevada is one of the most poker-friendly states in America. As the home to Fabulous Las Vegas, some of the world's biggest and most exciting casinos can be found right in the heart of Nevada. If there is one downside though, it would be the fact that they have gone after online gambling.

New Hampshire Poker
New Hampshire is largely against gambling, including poker, but there are a few exceptions that allow poker players to play the games they love. Private home games may be illegal and the only legal games, which operate out of the state's horse tracks, are capped at $1/$2 limits.

New Jersey Poker
New Jersey gambling laws might prevent organized crime but they are flexible enough for poker players to get in on the action. From mega-resorts to small back-rooms to the digital world of the internet, New Jersey's poker games are not just abundant; they are completely legal.

New Mexico Poker
New Mexico's thriving casino industry is relatively new but it has undoubtedly changed the lives of gamblers within the state. Home poker games, and online poker in New Mexico are not clearly defined, so many residents are more than happy to legally visit casinos for their poker needs.

New York Poker
New York has taken a very b stance against poker, as well as other forms of gambling. They are infamous for one major inconsistency, though, since there are numerous casinos operating in the state that do legally offer poker. While they haven't succeeded yet, they've attempted to shut down online poker, and home games have always been a topic of contention.

North Carolina Poker
In an effort to maximize state revenues, North Carolina has allowed the construction of massive casinos (complete with poker rooms) so you can gamble in the state. However, If you just want to play with some friends in your own home , there are very serious limitations to what you can do.

North Dakota Poker
North Dakota may not be well known for its gambling, but this is a very pro-poker state. Every kind of poker game, from home games to casino play to online play, is a viable option, and their in-state network of Native American Indian Tribes has set up some very respectable casinos.

Ohio Poker
If you already live in the state of Ohio, you probably already know that it's laws are very anti-gambling, poker included. Home games may not be out of the question, but finding a reputable card club/poker room is impossible. Citizens of Ohio have been pushing for change for years, and in November of 2009, they may be able to force some change.

Oklahoma Poker
Oklahoma is an average state for poker players. It has its strengths and its weaknesses but there's no reason for you to worry about not playing poker again. With some solid casinos, and a notable silence on the issue of online gambling, this state is perfectly acceptable for most.

Oregon Poker
Throughout the country, Oregon is not well known for its gambling, but that may be slowly changing. As more people realize that Oregon takes a pro-poker stance with its casinos and social games, word about the Beaver State is beginning to spread throughout the poker community.

Pennsylvania Poker
Pennsylvania's stance on playing poker is in the midst of a serious revolution. Advocates from both sides have weighed in, and as the courts begin to take a stance, the cards seem stacked in poker's favor. With poker on the forefront for PA's casinos and a thriving home game environment, Pennsylvania is moving in the right direction.

Rhode Island Poker
Rhode Island does not have any laws that say it is illegal to gamble online, nor do they have any laws saying it is legal either. This is one of the few states where the legal issues aren't black and white.

South Carolina Poker
South Carolina has had the same gambling laws since 1802 so it's not surprising that the state is pretty restrictive. Without leaving the state's boarders, there is literally no legal way to gamble. The one option you have is boarding an ocean going casino-equipped ship.

South Dakota Poker
South Dakota is decent for poker players. Your home games won't fly here, but that does not mean you cannot play at all. They do have online poker laws but they probably don't apply to you, and there are always casinos, operating legally, with poker rooms.

Tennessee Poker
Tennessee is one of the few states that allows no legal forms of gambling. Everything from slot machines to horse betting is outlawed, and poker is no exception. Home poker games, commercially available card rooms, and even online poker are all out of reach to the residents of Tennessee.

Texas Poker
The State of Texas has on foot on each side of the gambling issue. Luckily, when it comes to poker, they are only moderately restrictive. By allowing most home poker games, and not going after online poker players, this is a decently poker-friendly state. Learn the facts here, to make sure you don’t cross the line.

Utah Poker
Utah, as you'd probably imagine, is one of the strictest states in the union when it comes to gambling and playing poker. They may be behind the times when it comes to outlawing online poker, but otherwise they have completely banned all poker games, no matter where they are being held.

Vermont Poker
There is a reason Vermont is not known for gambling: it is illegal in the state. Sure there are some small exceptions for charitable organizations but for the most part, poker and all other types of gambling are totally illegal in this state. Online poker may be your one and only legal option.

Virginia Poker
Virginia's legal stance on playing poker is pretty unique. While they don't have any real casinos or poker rooms, playing a social game in your own home it 100% legal under most circumstances. There are only a few laws that poker players need to aware of before starting a safe, legal home poker game in Virginia.

Washington Poker
Washington is a state with an odd, but not entirely unfair penal code when it comes to poker. They've got loads of live casinos (complete with poker rooms), and even private home poker games have been legally protected, but the lawmakers have still gone ahead and outlawed online poker.

West Virginia Poker
West Virginia attracts dedicated gamblers from the neighboring states every single day. As their laws have become more permissive, their gambling industry has blossomed and poker players have definitely been given a longer leash. Private home poker games are the only real point of contention today.

Wisconsin Poker
Wisconsin might not be the perfect state for poker players, but it isn't the worst either. Sure home games are against the law (though not heavily pursued) and some well thought out laws theoretically prohibit online gambling. The state's strengths though, can be found in its glamorous casinos, which do have poker rooms.

Wyoming Poker
Wyoming is the smallest state in the union, and their gambling laws reflect that reality. They are short, sweet, and make allowances for the common player in their own home. There are no gambling resorts or card clubs in Wyoming, but considering the state's goals, this is not surprising.

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