Legal Online Poker Rooms

Online poker is legal in seven states. It is live in four. Read about the games and bonuses available at legal poker sites.

Legal online poker is available in four states. Those are Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. It is legal in four more. Laws allow online poker in Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. Connecticut and Rhode Island have never had regulated online poker rooms. None of the Connecticut operators have ever had poker software. Rhode Island requires live dealers for table games. That makes online poker virtually impossible. 

Delaware was the second state with legal online poker. However, when 888 lost the lottery contract, online poker folded in the state. Rush Street Interactive, the parent company of BetRivers, owns Run It Once. It is expected to launch in Delaware and other states in 2024 or 2025.

All legal U.S. poker sites require players to be at least 21 years old. The player must be in a legal state at the time of action. Geolocation software is used to pinpoint where the player logs in from. Online poker software is available on Mac, PC, Android, and iOS platforms. 

Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement

The Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) was started by Delaware and Nevada in 2015. 888 operated the software for the poker monopolies in both states. In Delaware, the branding was related to the three racinos in the state. In Nevada, the World Series of Poker branding was used. 

Delaware online poker struggled before the sites merged traffic. At peak hours, it would only have a couple of dozen cash game players. Tournaments were nearly impossible to run with such a small player pool. The MSIGA allowed Delaware to join Nevada’s platform, which was about 10 times its size. 

In 2018, New Jersey joined the MSIGA. This allowed the Delaware and Nevada 888 sites to add WSOP in New Jersey. In 2023, Michigan joined the MSIGA. While 888 has a WSOP site in Michigan, its software is incompatible with what is used in Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey. Its Michigan poker site remains intrastate. However, PokerStars networked in Michigan and New Jersey sites in January 2023. 

There are no other examples of legal interstate online poker pools in the United States. All other sites are intrastate.

West Virginia joined the MSIGA in 2023. However, no sites have launched there. The first is expected in 2024. West Virginia is too small to support an intrastate poker site. 

Delaware no longer has a legal poker network. When Run It Once eventually launches, it will be able to connect Delaware players with other states where it operates. 

Pennsylvania is notably not a member of the MSIGA. Current law does not allow that. A bill in the 2024 legislature hopes to change that. 

The biggest problem facing legal online poker is the lack of states where it is available. Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are the only four states with active legal poker sites. Less than 10 percent of the U.S. population has access to legal poker sites. This allows offshore ones to thrive. Most legal poker sites are intrastate. None connect more than two player pools. 

Liquidity is imperative for poker rooms. Internet ones are no different. The more access to players a site has, the larger the cash game and tournament selections that are available. Legal sites can’t compete with unregulated ones which have access to all states. 

Another problem is the neglect legal online poker sites have by their operators. Sports betting and casino games are the main focus. Poker is an afterthought. That attitude hurts poker’s ability to attract and retain players. For example, the 888 software used in Nevada and New Jersey is 15 years old. It lacks basic features. Even worse, its management is some of the worst the industry has ever seen. 888 can barely answer the most basic support questions with competence. 

PokerStars and BetMGM are better. However, these sites are still afterthoughts to the main businesses of sports betting and casino games.

There are three legal U.S. poker networks. All operate in Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Only one has a site in Nevada.

BetMGM Poker

BetMGM Poker operates in Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. All three sites are intrastate. BetMGM Poker does not have any interstate player pools. In New Jersey, BetMGM has two other skins. Those options are Borgata and Partypoker. In Pennsylvania, Borgata is also available. The Michigan version of BetMGM Poker does not have any skins. 

New BetMGM Poker players receive a first deposit bonus of 100% up to $1000. Up to $75 in tournament tickets are also awarded to new players. The bonus clears at a rate of 50% rakeback. The skins have the same bonus. Players may collect every bonus from all skins that operate in their state.

BetMGM Poker offers Texas hold’em and Omaha games. These are available in cash games and tournaments. SPINS are lottery sit and gos with random prize pools. 


PokerStars operates in Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Its Michigan and New Jersey sites share player pools. PokerStars does not have any skins. New players have the option of receiving $150 in tournament tickets or a 100% up to $600 first deposit bonus. 

PokerStars may be best known for its Spin & Gos. These are lottery-style three-handed sit and gos. The prize pool is determined by a random number generator. The maximum multiplier runs over 1000 to one, depending on the buy-in, which is as low as a quarter. 

PokerStars has the largest game selection of any U.S. poker site. In addition to the usual Texas hold’em, Omaha, and seven card stud tables, players will also find HORSE, triple draw, razz, badugi, and other draw games like 2-7 and A-5. These are available as cash games and tournaments. Players will also find zoom tables, which are fast-fold formats, as well as a large variety of sit and gos. 


Last, and certainly least, is WSOP. It operates in Nevada and New Jersey. It has a monopoly in Nevada. That traffic connects with its New Jersey site. In New Jersey, 888 Poker is a skin of WSOP. The Nevada site has no skins. It has intrastate sites in Michigan and Pennsylvania. The Nevada and New Jersey sites use archaic software that is incompatible with the more modern platforms used in Michigan and Pennsylvania.  

Cash games, sit and gos, and tournaments are available at WSOP. Texas hold’em, Omaha Omaha hi/lo, seven card stud, and seven card stud hi/lo are the available options. 

To give an idea of how bad the WSOP software is, only one table may be open on the mobile apps. Texas hold’em is the only game available. The app is incompatible with Omaha and seven card stud. 

WSOP has a 100% up to $1000 first deposit bonus. It clears at a rate of 20% rakeback. It releases in $10 increments for every $50 in rake paid at cash games and tournaments. 

WSOP struggles with the most basic tasks. Cashouts are slow. Support tried to push players into playing longer than they wanted to slow pay withdrawals. Management does not seem to be able to even spell poker. It is best to avoid WSOP and choose one of the other sites available.

Poker sites have failed since their invention in the late 1990s. It is a story as old as the industry is. When offshore poker sites fail, most stiffed players. There have been five legal poker sites that closed. The difference between licensed and offshore poker sites is that the legal ones pay players when they close.

There are several examples of this. The first two failed legal poker sites shared a network. The brands were Betfair and Golden Nugget. In 2014, these poker sites closed after only a few months in business because nobody played there. It was a New Jersey network. The poker balances were transferred to the online casinos.

The following year, Ultimate Poker closed in Nevada and New Jersey. Its software was poor and could not compete with WSOP. Real Gaming was a Nevada poker site that had software worse than the original poker sites on IRC in the ’90s.

Balances were paid within a week of the Ultimate Poker closure. Real Gaming had no players and no balances to pay.

Pala Poker was a New Jersey poker site. Its CEO was Jim Ryan. He was CEO at Ultimate Bet during its cheating scandal. Players familiar with the Ultimate Bet scandal had reservations about playing there or even allowing Ryan back into the industry after tens of millions of dollars were stolen under his watch. New Jersey issued a license with an explanation as to why it decided not to hold the cheating scandal against Ryan. The site eventually stopped offering poker and ceased operations. To the best of our knowledge, there were no funds on the site when it closed as there were no players.

Online poker is legal in Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. However, legal poker sites are only live in Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

What types of online poker games are available in the U.S.?

Texas hold’em, Omaha, Omaha hi/lo, seven card stud, seven card stud hi/lo, HORSE, badugi, razz, and draw games are available at U.S. poker sites. These are dealt in cash games, sit and gos, and multi-table tournaments. 

PokerStars offers Spin & Go lottery sit and gos. BetMGM has SPINS.

Can I win a World Series of Poker satellite at U.S. poker sites?

WSOP has World Series of Poker satellites during the spring and summer months.

Do U.S. poker sites have first deposit bonuses?

All U.S. poker sites have first deposit bonuses. These include no-deposit bonuses and deposit matches that return 20 percent up to 50 percent rakeback.

Do U.S. poker sites have VIP programs?

All U.S. poker sites have VIP programs that return some rake back to players in the form of tournament tickets or cash.

Do U.S. poker sites have rakeback?

No legal U.S. poker sites have rakeback. However, all have first deposit bonuses that return up to 50 percent rakeback. VIP programs return up to another 30 percent rakeback.