US State Poker Guide

July 23, 2016
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Guide to Legal Online Poker in Each US State

Is Online Poker Legal in Your State? Our Experts Answer This and More!

About Legal US Online Poker

  • • Online poker remains unregulated in most states.
  • • There is no federal law that makes playing poker illegal online.
  • • Several states have launched fully regulated poker sites.

Legal online poker in the US is far from simple. The events of Black Friday, when some of the biggest poker sites on the net disappeared overnight in 2011, reminded everyone that online poker is still legally ambiguous in the United States. This controversial topic is such a gray area because there are significant differences between the federal regulations and those that some states have passed. In fact, many states do not even have legislation directly aimed at online gambling! Basically, online poker legality in the US is no longer a simple "yes" or "no" question. That's where we come in - to help you make sense of everything you need to know in our US states poker guide.

US Real Money Poker Issues

Many players have questions relating to online poker sites and various issues including playing for real money, using your credit card to deposit, how old you must be to gamble, and what obligations you have for paying taxes on your winnings. Your US state's online poker laws cover a lot of bases and are quite complex. Do the research now and play with some serious peace of mind.

What do you need to know about US online poker:

  • Is it legal in your state and will there be official legislation soon?
  • Can you play for real money, play money or both?
  • Who are the legislators that are pushing to get online poker sorted out in the state?
  • What penalties are there (if any) for playing online poker in the state?
  • Do online poker sites accept players in the state?

And those are the answers we are going to bring you.

US Poker Laws

Getting the Answers You Need

It is important to know what is going on in your state because you may or may not live in a US state that prohibits online poker. US states' online poker laws vary greatly and ignorance is no excuse - if you break the law, you may be held responsible someday. In our US states poker guide, we can show you everything you need to know to navigate these murky waters. We have examined each and every one of the individual states to see exactly where online poker is legal and where it is not. Then, we take all of this raw information and explain the details so you see which restrictions apply to you and why. Basically, this is required reading for anyone that wants to play legal online poker from the US.

American legislation doesn't just affect poker. With online gambling so popular across the States, it's important to know where and how can you can bet on real money games online. Our casino experts have reviewed the best real money USA online casinos so you can gamble safely and securely whenever you want.

Online Poker is a gray area

Although a couple of states have outlawed internet poker, there are no federal statutes in the United States that prohibit playing online poker. Poker is widely regarded as a game of skill and this was confirmed by a Federal Court in 2012. The UIGEA does not cover the actual game of playing at US poker sites, and instead addresses banking issues. It also means Americans cannot operate online poker games.

Looking for US Sites?   » Find US Sites We've found the best US poker sites that accept players from the US.
Want Faster Payouts?   » Get Fast Cashouts We've found the poker sites with the fastest payout options so you can get your money now.
Real Money Poker   » Play For Cash We've reviewed hundreds of real money poker sites and narrowed it down to the best.
Mac Poker Sites   » Poker for Your Mac Our choice of Mac poker sites offers you Native Mac software and tons of poker action.

Deciding Where to Play

Once you know the legal situation of poker in your state, you still have some research to do - then it's time to track down a great online poker website that will accept you! We have a great list of poker site reviews that list sites that accept US players and have thoroughly checked them out to ensure that we are only bringing you the most solid sites out there. Online poker in US states is alive and well and you know that you can count on us to help you get the ball rolling with this state by state legal online poker guide.

Check out our list of state online poker pages and find out whether or not you can play online poker legally. If so, we can show you the best online poker sites that accept players from your state and help you get started the right way today.

And don't forget, no matter where you are there is probably a live casino nearby where you can play poker. Check out our list of the Top 5 Offline American Poker Rooms.

US States Poker FAQ

In what states is online poker legal?

Regulations surrounding online poker and gambling in the U.S are constantly under review and each individual state is responsible for setting its own laws. As of 2016 online poker is licensed in the states of Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey. To ensure you act in accordance with the law, we recommend you refer to our individual state guide for the most up to date information regarding individual state regulations.

How can I find more information about my state?

Finding out information about the legality of playing online poker in your state couldn't be easier. Just click on your state in our US States Online poker Laws map to find out the latest information about the rules and regulations that apply in your territory.

What sites are licensed and regulated?

All of the sites in our recommended partner list have been carefully vetted by our team to ensure they are safe and are internationally-licensed and regulated.

Are there any US poker sites?

Although the majority of online poker sites are located outside the U.S and accept American players there are a handful of home territory poker sites that are fully licensed and safe. You can find details of these sites, which have all been carefully verified by our team, in our list of Best Poker Sites for US Players. To ensure your online safety we recommend you only use online poker sites that feature on this list.

What does the future of online poker hold?

Thousands of Americans actively participate in online poker, both for real money and gaming, every year. As more and more states review and relax their laws around online gambling, we can expect to see more legitimate American poker sites begin to emerge and for online gambling to become fully regulated in more locations across the U.S.

Are online poker tournaments legal?

On licensed poker sites, within regulated states, online poker tournaments are considered legal. Many of these sites offer a wide variety of tournament types, which offer you the opportunity to compete against other players for real money.

What is the tax situation?

Under U.S. law, gambling profits whether online or offline are legally obliged to be declared and tax paid on the winnings accordingly. You can read more about this in our guide to poker taxes.