POKER LIFESTYLE

A State-by-State Guide to the Legal Poker Age in the United States

By Connor Whiteley
August 25, 2022

Poker remains the most popular card game in the United States and luckily, players have plenty of options for in-person poker games. Resort casinos, poker rooms, tribal casinos on Native American lands, and online poker sites are available across the country. Each state sets its own gambling laws, so not every state may have every option available.

In some states, you only have to be over 18 to play poker legally. The rest require players to be over 21. Below, you’ll find a comprehensive guide on where you can legally play poker in the US, grouped by legal age.

Which US States have Poker Options for Over 18s?

For poker players between the ages of 18 and 20, options for playing poker at a venue are limited in the United States. Despite 18 being the legal age of adulthood, many states use the legal drinking age of 21 as the minimum gambling age. One of the reasons for this is that many casinos require all players to be over 21 so that they can provide their patrons with free alcohol.

This doesn’t mean that there are no options for younger card sharks. The following states all have options for players who are over 18 to play poker.

US poker states 18+ map

California

Players over 18 can play poker in California, but it’s at the discretion of the casino or cardroom. Most casinos and cardrooms only allow players who are over 21 because they serve alcohol. Some 18+ options include Morongo Casino in Cabazon and Chicken Ranch Casino in Jamestown.

Florida

Florida has some of the best poker rooms in the country for players over 18. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale area alone has 12 poker rooms. The Seminole Hard Rock Casino has 40 tables and frequently hosts top-tier poker tournaments as well as daily tournaments.

Illinois

Despite having fairly strict gambling regulations, Illinois makes an exception for charity poker rooms. Rockford Charitable Games Association is a popular poker room in Chicago. While these rooms might not have the glitz of a resort casino, players do get the perk of knowing that even if they don’t have the best night at the table, they’ve helped a charity simply by playing.

Kentucky

Horse racing is Kentucky’s favorite form of gambling but that doesn’t mean the state doesn’t make time for the occasional poker game. There are three private social clubs in the state that host poker games and tournaments. The Royal Social Club is the only one that accepts players aged from 18.

Michigan

Michigan has both charity poker rooms and resort casinos with poker. The charity poker rooms accept players who are over 18 but the casinos do not due to liquor license concerns. Rosemack Poker Room and Corunna Poker Room are both popular options with plenty of action.

Michigan residents are also lucky enough to have access to online poker, though these sites are only for players who are over 21. WSOP.com, PokerStars, and BetMGM are all licensed in Michigan, though the player pool is limited to in-state players.

Minnesota

Minnesota is known for its lakes, golf courses, and card rooms. State law permits patrons over 18 to play poker in card rooms and there are plenty of options for the young poker fan. Running Aces Casino & Racetrack has a poker room that’s open 24/7 and Canterbury Park has frequent tournaments and the closest thing you’ll find to no-limit poker in the state!

Montana

Montana’s poker culture is geared towards small, independent poker rooms with only one or two tables. Seat Open at the Cat’s Paw in Bozeman, Queen of Hearts Card Club in Billings, and the VFW Poker Room in Missoula are all local favorites.

New Hampshire

Like many states, New Hampshire only allows for charitable gambling, which extends to poker. While the legislature changed last year to legalize online gambling, the state did move to raise bet limits at its casinos. The Brook Poker Room and Casino has an 18-table poker room. In short, the state, which has been called “the Texas of New England” is a great place to play!

New York

Technically, the legal age to play poker in New York is 18, but it can be hard to find a table that takes players that age. If you don’t leave the Big Apple, you’ll be limited to home games, however, the rest of New York has some great options for 21+ poker. Del Lago Resort Casino and Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino have several poker tables.

Ohio

Ohio has the best of both worlds for poker players—small poker rooms with a club feel to them and major casinos for the full experience. Deep Stack Poker & Card Room in Hilliard is a local hot spot that is open to players over 18. The bigger casinos, including the Hollywood Casinos in Toledo and Columbus, are only for players over 21.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma is a great state for poker players, with 17 poker rooms available for players over 18. As one of the biggest casinos in the entire world, WinStar World Casino is worth visiting just for the experience—but they do also have a world-class 55-table poker room to up the ante. Also an excellent option is Choctaw Casino and Resort, in Durant.

Oregon

Oregon has slightly complicated age restrictions. Players must be over 21 to play poker at regular casinos, over 18 at Tribal casinos without a liquor license, over 21 at Tribal casinos with a liquor license, and over 18 at members-only poker rooms. The Diamond Poker Room and the Full House Poker Club both accept players over 18.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island is a tiny state but still has poker options for players over 18. The state-licensed casinos with poker are Bally’s Twin River Casino and Tiverton Casino. The Bally’s poker room has recently reopened and currently has 12 tables for 4 poker variants.

Washington

Washington allows 18-year-olds to play poker at casinos that do not have a liquor license, otherwise, players must be over 21. The options for players aged 18-20 include Fortune Poker Room in Renton and Ace’s Poker just outside Seattle.

Wyoming

The cowboy state has several casinos but many of them only have slots. There are some small poker rooms dotted around the state. The 307 Poker Room in Laramie has three tables and a number of promotions for players.

Which US States have Poker Options for Over 21s?

In most American states, card rooms have a minimum age of 21 years old. Below are the states that have poker options — either online or in person — for players who are over 21.

US poker states 21+ map

Arizona

Arizona is a destination for sun lovers and poker fans! From upscale resorts like Casino del Sol in Tucson to classic poker rooms including The Arena Poker Room in Scottsdale, there’s a table for everyone.

Arkansas

In 2018, Arkansas finally passed a law allowing for the development of full casinos that included poker rooms. Progress has been slow and there is currently only one poker room in operation—The Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff.

Colorado

Making the short trip from Denver to Black Hawk takes players to poker heaven. Between the Ameristar, Bally’s, Horseshoe, and Monarch Casinos, there are almost 50 tables.

Connecticut

Like many states, the only legal casinos in Connecticut are those run by Native American tribes. Connecticut has two of the country’s most luxurious casinos—Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods—and both have great options for poker players. Mohegan Sun has 33 tables while Foxwoods has 54 live tables and 60 permanent tournament tables.

Delaware

Delaware is a tiny state and currently has one active poker room at the Delaware Park Casino & Racing. The poker room at Harrington Raceway & Casino is temporarily closed but will hopefully be reopened soon.

Even with limited access to live tables, poker fans shouldn’t worry about missing out. Delaware has legalized online poker and there are several options for players. Besides WSOP, there are sites affiliated with each of the state’s three raceway casinos—Harrington Raceway, Dover Downs, and Delaware Park. Delaware shares a player pool with Nevada and New Jersey.

Indiana

Indiana has a few poker rooms for players over 21, and tables at all of the major casinos. French Lick Resort has several live tables, and the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond has a poker room as well as video poker machines.

Iowa

Iowa seems to be on the cusp of legalizing online poker in the next year or two but until then, players can enjoy the poker rooms at several casinos. Riverside Casino & Golf Resort has a 10-table poker room, Bally’s Quad Cities has a small poker room, and the Wild Rose Casino in Clinton is a converted riverboat with poker tables.

Kansas

Kansas has limited options for poker players but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any tables. Prairie Band Casino offers several varieties of poker, including some that are hard to find elsewhere, like Criss Cross and Ultimate Texas Hold’em Progressive.

Louisiana

Louisiana is a state renowned for its ability to celebrate and have fun, so of course they have some great casino options. The most unique poker experience can be had on a riverboat casino, like the Treasure Chest, The Queen Baton Rouge, or the Amelia Belle.

Maine

Maine isn’t a poker destination. The only dedicated poker room closed in 2020 and the remaining option, the Oxford Casino, only offers poker games irregularly.

Maryland

Maryland might be one of poker’s best-kept secrets. The Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore has a 23-table WSOP poker room, the MGM Casino has a poker room with 45 tables, and the Live! Casino has 50 tables.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts law only allows for private poker games and poker in the state’s two casinos. The MGM in Springfield and the Encore Boston Harbor Casino both have poker rooms with almost 40 tables between them.

Mississippi

Mississippi allows gambling at any of the state’s many casinos. The Hard Rock Casino and the Treasure Bay Casino are both in Biloxi and are popular places to play.

Missouri

Missouri has many options for poker fans who are over 21. Most of the state’s casinos are located in Kansas City and St Louis. If you want a poker table with a view, the Horseshoe St Louis has multiple poker tables and is located in the heart of the city near the banks of the Mississippi River.

Nevada

Nevada is the heart of poker in the US. Las Vegas has many of the best casinos and poker rooms in the country and nearly all of the leading gambling brands are represented.

Nevada has also embraced online gambling and legal online poker is available. WSOP.com has a shared player pool with Delaware and New Jersey.

New Jersey

New Jersey is the US’s second-most-famous gambling destination. Atlantic City is also home to some of the country’s best poker tournaments and events. The state offers both online and live poker options for players, so there’s always some action happening.

New Mexico

New Mexico has two casinos with poker rooms. The Sandia Resort & Casino has a poker room with 14 tables and hosts tournaments.

North Carolina

North Carolina has very limited options for poker fans. Thankfully, the poker room it does have is a great one! The poker room at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort has 32 tables and is a regular host of a World Series of Poker circuit event.

North Dakota

North Dakota has a small population and isn’t a very active gambling market. There are still a few small poker rooms for players who are over 21. Dakota Magic Casino, 4 Bears Casino & Lodge, and Sky Dancer Casino all have small poker rooms with a few tables.

Pennsylvania

Many people are shocked to discover that the same state that is home to the Amish is also home to some of the best casinos in the country. Parx Casino has 48 tables and between their two locations in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Rivers Casinos have 58 tables. There’s a seat for everyone in Pennsylvania!

Pennsylvania was also one of the first states to legalize online gambling, though it does not yet share a player pool with other states. There are four online options for poker fans—PokerStars, WSOP, BetMGM, and BorgataPoker.

South Dakota

The Wild West days left their mark on South Dakota and players who want to feel like poker-playing outlaws will find several options in the state. Cadillac Jack’s has a dedicated poker room in a modern resort casino while Saloon #10 in the heart of Deadwood is a living piece of history where you can play poker in the same spot as cowboy legend Wild Bill Hickok!

Texas

The legal status of poker in Texas is very complex and groups on both sides have been battling in the legislature to either close the loopholes that make private poker rooms legal or to rewrite the law so it clearly allows these clubs to exist. For the moment, there are nearly 60 poker rooms across the state and most of them have a waitlist to register, so sign up now to get dealt in soon.

Virginia

In 2022, Virginia finally legalized casino gaming. Caesars and Hard Rock are currently operating in temporary buildings while their casinos are under construction in Danville and Bristol, respectively. The Rivers Casino in Portsmouth opened in 2023 and has a dedicated poker room with 24 tables.

West Virginia

West Virginia only has a few casinos in the state, but the Mountaineer Casino has some tables, and the Mardi Gras Casino has just opened a dedicated poker room. What makes West Virginia special is its online gambling legislation. In just a few short years since legalization, four online casinos with poker options have begun operating in the state.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin has almost as many poker rooms as it has types of cheese! Lake of the Torches Casino, Seven Winds Casino, and the Oneida Casino all have a variety of poker options.

What US States is Poker Illegal In?

Unfortunately, there are still some states that do not have any legal poker options. These states do not currently have anywhere for people to play cards but that doesn’t mean it will always be that way.

illegal US poker states map

Alabama

Poker and all other games of chance are prohibited by the Alabama state constitution. This includes in-person and online poker.

Alaska

Alaska also does not have any venues for licensed poker games.

Georgia

The Peach State has some of the toughest gambling restrictions in the country. Thankfully, that only limits gambling for real money—there are still tons of poker leagues across the state where players compete for points and prizes. The Atlanta Poker Club League is one of the most active and popular.

Hawaii

Hawaii is an island paradise with so much to entertain and enchant visitors, including beautiful beaches, volcanic scenery, and vibrant cities. What they don’t have, however, is anywhere to play poker. Gambling of any kind is completely banned in the state.

Idaho

Idaho has strict gambling laws that ban games of chance. The tribal casinos in the state do offer some video poker machines but that’s the closest you’ll be able to get to a real poker game there. The Coeur d’Alene and Shoshone-Bannock Casinos both have video poker machines.

Nebraska

In 2020, Nebraska passed legislation that made full casinos possible. Currently, there are no live poker rooms in the state, but the Warhorse Casino in Lincoln does have video slots. As long as no entry fee is charged, poker tournaments are also legal.

South Carolina

South Carolina bans all forms of gambling in the state, so you won’t be able to find any poker tables. If you step onboard the Big “M” Casino boat, however, you can play three card poker at one of their tables while you’re cruising in federal waters.

Tennessee

Tennessee has a complete ban on games of chance and there are no casinos or live poker rooms in the state.

Utah

Utah is one of the few states with a total ban on all forms of gambling, even lotteries. It also has some of the harshest penalties, making the Beehive State a bad place to try your luck.

Vermont

Vermont doesn’t allow any gambling in the state. Lucky for players, New Hampshire and New York both have casinos that are very close to state lines. The Lebanon Poker Room is particularly popular.

Poker is Legal in 80% of the United States

Poker remains a firm favorite across the country. From family games in rec rooms in Michigan to high roller tables in Las Vegas and community poker games in New York, you can find people enjoying poker in every form.

Only 10 states don’t have some form of legal live poker. The other 40 states have a variety of resort casinos, poker rooms, and private card clubs. In 15 states, players who are over 18 can play a hand, while the other 25 states require players to be over 21.

Unless you’re in Alaska or Hawaii, it’s always easy to find a casino close by, even if it means a short drive across state lines!

poker states map by age

Ed. Note: An original version of this article was published in August 2022. We’ve updated the information in accordance with regulatory developments across many of the 50 US States.

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Connor Whiteley poker author
Written By.

Connor Whiteley

Connor Whiteley is a financial services professional and freelance writer who spends as much time as possible on the felt. Previously, Connor was a dealer in various underground Los Angeles poker games, but left the city and those games to raise his daughter with his loving wife Jennifer. Connor is constantly staying up to date […]

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