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Playing Online Poker in the State of Connecticut

Connecticut map
Connecticut state flag

Connecticut has some great land-based gambling options that may leave you questioning the utility of online poker in Connecticut. Yet, even if you add up all the live poker tables in the state, they amount to but a fraction of what you would find on Connecticut online poker sites. Offshore sites don’t feel like having just land-based gaming options is acceptable and are giving players a great opportunity to have the best of both worlds available to them. You can see all the great sites available to you by looking at our write-ups below that let you know about all the great promotions and opportunities!

 

Online Poker Sites Available in Connecticut

The Connecticut online poker firms can be roughly divided into those that will safeguard your money carefully and those that are unsavory and maybe even totally deceitful. The last thing we want is for you to fall prey to any hustlers in the latter category, which is why we've prepared this guide. All of the rooms we cover below have fair games, up-to-date software, and reliable cashouts. Read up on all of them at your leisure, and then choose the one that appears the finest to you.

 

    Ignition Poker

Positive Features of Ignition Poker Image

Ignition Poker is the largest virtual cardroom open to residents of the United States, so you'll find games aplenty when you open the lobby here. This PaiWangLuo Network site will give you a 100% up to $1,000 bonus when you make a deposit. The bonus is worth 30% rakeback in tourneys and sit-n-gos and a bit less in cash games.

 Play Now CTA Banner for Ignition

Ring games at Ignition are listed from $0.02/$0.05 up to $10/$20 in NLHE, PLO, and PLO/8 games. Limit games (Hold'em and Limit Omaha/8) are spread up to $30/$60. Zone Poker is a type of fast-fold product that can't be found at any other U.S.-facing site. When you fold your hand in Zone, you'll immediately receive new hole cards at a new table. Because there's no waiting for the other players to finish taking their actions, you can see many more hands per hour in Zone than in normal poker.

Sit n' goes range from $1 + $0.05 through $200 + $14. Besides the regular contests that are about what you'd expect, you can play Beginners games that pay out more of the field than usual and Triple Ups, which reward one-third of the field with three times the buyin. Multi-table tournaments offer a great selection, and there's $1.5 million in guarantees every week. The largest of these is the $150 + $12 $100,000 Guaranteed on Sundays. Several times every year, Ignition runs tournament series, like the Black Diamond Poker Open, that contain dozens of event and distribute millions in prize money.

All gameplay at Ignition is anonymized. This means that you won't see the screennames of any of your opponents, and they won't see this info about you either. Newcomers to the game feel comfortable here because this way of doing things means that pros can't use their tracking tools and most other software aids effectively, leading to a more equal playing field. While a few HUD specialists may be disappointed by this policy, most users love it because it has contributed to keeping the poker room especially soft.

You can download the poker installer for Windows and Mac machines. Mobile compatibility is provided through a web-based app, but you can only play cash games with it, not tourneys or SNGs. From either your desktop or mobile, you can also access the casino section, which has hundreds of games. You'll be able to claim another 100% up to $1,000 bonus for the casino in addition to the identically sized bonus for poker.

ProfRB's Ignition Banner CTA

To head over to Ignition now and create your account, click the banner above. You can also check out our honest Ignition Casino Poker review for more information.

 

        Chico Network

Chico Network's Desirable Features Image

At BetOnline, you can partake in poker as well as casino gaming, sports betting, racetrack wagering, and other betting fun. By making your initial deposit to play poker, you'll be eligible to receive a 100% up to $2,500 bonus. This bonus clears at 33% rakeback equivalence.

BoL: Poker Now

Cash game action awaits you at stakes between $0.01/$0.02 and $5/$10 in No Limit Hold'em, Pot Limit Omaha, and Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo formats. The Chico Poker Network, which BetOnline calls home, is the third-largest place for real money internet poker in the United States, so there's a pretty decent selection of tables to choose from. At blind levels of $0.50/$1.00 and above, certain NLHE tables are designated as Bad Beat Jackpot tables. If you take JJJJ or better to showdown and lose in one of these games, you stand to win a massive prize. In the past, this jackpot has paid out for $650K.

There are a lot of sit-and-gos active at BetOnline at buyins between $0.05 (with no house fee) and $500 + $25. There aren't any nine-handed SNGs, which is slightly unusual, but there are eight-handed and 10-max games, which play pretty similarly. The MTTs are a bit less robust, and most of the events you'll see on a daily basis have buyins of $33 and lower. You can partake in a sizable tourney on Sundays when the Main Event runs. It costs $90 + $9 to enter, and it awards $50,000+ each time. On the last Sunday of each month, the Main Event instead has a buyin of $100 + $9 and a guarantee of $100,000.

You can play at BetOnline from a Windows machine or a Mac. There's also a mobile app, for iOS and Android, that's among the best mobile poker solutions on the market today. Whether you sign into the poker room via a desktop or mobile system, you'll be able to collect rewards as you play. A comp points program compensates you to the tune of 5% of the rake and fees you pay. In addition, there's $20,000 up for grabs in three leaderboards per week, one each for ring games, sit-and-goes, and multi-table tournaments.

BetOnline CTA Highlights Banner Image

Signing up at BetOnline is as easy as clicking on the above link. For a thorough overview of BoL poker, consult our detailed review of the BetOnline Poker room. There's a sister site on the same network called Sportsbetting.ag.

 

    Horizon Network

Icons Image of Horizon Network positive features

Intertops is a gambling enterprise that has been in existence for more than 30 years, and during all this time, it has preserved its stellar reputation for fair play and honesty. It's the top site on the Horizon Poker Network, and when you elect to open up an account, you'll get to enjoy a 200% up to $1,000 poker bonus.

Intertops Poker CTA: Play Now

This poker room is a bit on the smaller side. No Limit Hold'em is the only game that gets much traffic, and most of the running games are at $0.25/$0.50 and below. Hardly anybody joins SNGs here, and those that do fire up are almost exclusively at buyins of $5 and lower. Perhaps the busiest section of the poker lobby is the tournaments area, and there are many competitions scheduled every day. Most of them have buyins of $22 and lower, but there is a $50 + $5 event daily called the Sundowner. The Sundowner guarantees $1,500 except on Sundays when it grows to $2,500.

Your poker bonus will release at a rate that varies a bit depending on the specific types of poker you play, but it can be as high as 27%. In addition to the welcome bonus, you'll obtain 100 free casino bets that you can deploy on the blackjack tables for about $90 in expected value. Everyone who clicks through our links to Intertops will have 36% dealt rakeback added to their accounts. You'll also be entered into a $1,000 monthly depositors freeroll.

The rewards at Intertops continue long after you've earned out your first deposit bonus. There are reloads about once a month, so you never have to play at Intertops for too long without a bonus. As long as you put in a reasonable amount of volume, you have a good shot at placing in the weekly $4,000 rake race. Further value is provided by a Loyalty Levels system that gives you cash when you hit certain points tiers. Stay on the lookout for step satellites to notable live poker events around the world. They're held a few times per year. You can win your seat, including accommodations and travel expenses, for a trivial investment.

Intertops cta Highlights Banner Image

Follow the banner link above to join Intertops today. Our informative Intertops review page will give you a better understanding of what to expect here.

 

     Winning Network

Image of ACR Selling Points

The poker interface at Americas Cardroom allows you access to the second-largest player pool among all U.S.-friendly poker sites. Along with a few other sites on the Winning Poker Network, it grants new customers a 100% up to $1,000 bonus. Only Americas Cardroom throws in a complimentary $50 for Jackpot Poker SNGs with this deal.

Americas Cardroom Play Now Banner

Ring games at ACR are provided both for big-bet and fixed-limit formats. NL Hold'em, PL Omaha, and PL Omaha-8 are denominated from $0.01/$0.02 to $25/$50 while LHE, LO8, and Seven Card Stud are present at blind levels as high as $30/$60 and, in some cases, even higher.

There's a pretty respectable range of sit n' go buyins at both micros and high stakes, and ACR hosts a few unique SNG variants too. One of them is called Jackpot Poker, and it is this game for which you'll get $50 free when you make your first deposit. Jackpot Poker starts when three people register, and it uses a random multiplier to calculate the prize pool, which can be as much as 2,500 times the buyin. The other non-traditional sit-and-go variation is SNG 2.0, which seats nine and determines the prize pool based upon a pregame round wherein cards are turned over and certain combinations lead to massive paydays.

Multi-table tourneys are the specialty of the Winning Poker Network, and we've in fact named Americas Cardroom the best place for U.S.A. players to find excellent MTT poker. The schedule is headlined by the $200 + $15 Sunday Special. Its guaranteed prize pool of $150,000 makes it the largest Sunday Major that U.S. customers can participate in. If you seek further tourney excitement, be aware that there are tournament series a few times per year that contain prize pools totaling well into the seven figures.

Americas Cardroom runs a couple of weekly leaderboards that award the top rakers with cash and satellite tournament entries. One of them is for cash game enthusiasts and is called The Beast while the other is named Sit & Crush and caters to the sit-and-go community. An Elite Benefits program lets you exchange the points you earn at the tables for monetary payments, and you'll get some extra cash as you achieve certain point totals.

CTA Banner of ACR's Highlights

Start playing at Americas Cardroom today by clicking on the above link. Read ProfRB's Americas Cardroom overview page to learn more about ACR.

Americas Cardroom is a member of a poker network, so it doesn't attempt to do everything by itself. Rather, it operates in conjunction with the other network firms to create a well-rounded, feature-rich poker room that's superior to what any of them could come up with on its own. Other premier rooms on the Winning Poker Network are: BlackChip Poker (read review), True Poker (read review), PokerHost (read review). For instructions on how to secure a rakeback deal on any of these sites, check out our page on WPN rakeback.

 

        Grand Network

GPN's Positive Features Icons

The Grand Poker Network is the brainchild of 5Dimes, a prestigious online bookmaking and casino business that has been around for more than two decades. This poker platform opened to the public in 2014, so it's one of the newer poker networks in existence. A lot of care went into its creation, and you can play on it from your PC, Mac, iOS, Android or really any other hardware that's not woefully obsolete.

The one major issue with this site is its level of player liquidity. There are rarely more than about 10 ring games active at any one time, and the range of stakes is pretty small: $0.05/$0.10 through $1/$2. Hardcore multi-tablers and high-stakes sharks will probably wish to look elsewhere, but anyone who's willing to play just a table or two at modest stakes should feel comfortable here. The players are not very skilled, which is undoubtedly the result of many of them being primarily sports bettors and casino gamers who are just trying poker out on a lark.

The tournaments can be pretty profitable here although the highest games offered are $5 + $0.50. There are several MTTs each day that dispense with the house fee, which will make your results seem much better without your having to do anything special. A $500 freeroll beckons every Sunday: a great way to grow your bankroll with zero risk. Top all of this off with the 50% rakeback you'll collect by following our links, and you'll be well on your way to poker success at 5Dimes.

5Dimes' CTA Banner Link

The poker room at 5Dimes is easy to join; all you have to do is click on the above banner link. You can read our page describing the Grand Poker Network for further enlightenment first.


 

How to Choose the Right Connecticut Poker Site

The process of selecting a good online poker site is one that's specific to each individual reader. It's not possible for us to legitimately push any single room on you because they each have their own distinct characteristics and advantages. The ultimate decision is yours and yours alone. That said, we've been around the online poker scene for well over a decade, so we have the experience to point out to you a few factors that you may wish to take into account as you compare and contrast the various available options against each other.

If you don't want to have to wait around for a game of your preferred type to start, then the traffic numbers at Ignition and WPN should suffice for you.


If your mouth waters at the prospect of a mammoth bonus, then the Chico Network has a $2,500 deal for you.


If you wish to conduct many forms of real money wagering, then Chico, Horizon, and Grand have poker, casino, and sports lineups.


If you appreciate tournaments with big guarantees, then the regular weekly schedules and occasional series at Ignition and WPN will cater to your needs.


If you intend to play from a Mac or mobile, then Ignition, Chico, and Grand have apps that make this possible for you.


If you feel that rakeback is the way to go, then check out Horizon's 36% and Grand's 50% rakeback offers.


If you relish the blazing speed of fast-fold poker, then Ignition's Zone Poker is the only such game in town.

 

Payment Processing

Bills and Coins

Funding your poker account is as simple as entering in your credit card details while requesting a cashout can be done via check. Other methods may be available at each specific site, and some of the most popular ones are money transfers and bank wires. We highly advise you to consider using Bitcoin, a digital currency that's supported by all of the rooms described above. With BTC payments, you can avoid the waiting times and fees that are sometimes associated with other processors. If you're uncertain as to how to use Bitcoin for your online poker adventures, the it might be wise to pore over the thorough walkthrough we've prepared on the subject of Bitcoin and online gambling.

 

Connecticut Online Poker Law

Legal Reference Book

The Connecticut laws relating to poker are pretty clear and straightforward when compared to the codes in most other states, but they're unfortunately not very favorable for our card game of choice. The part of the General Statutes of Connecticut that deal with gambling are found in Title 53, Crimes, Chapter 946, Offenses Against Public Policy, §53-278a - §53-278g. Let's look at what counts as gambling in the eyes of the Connecticut legal regime (§53-278a):

(2) “Gambling” means risking any money, credit, deposit or other thing of value for gain contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance or the operation of a gambling device, including the playing of a casino gambling game such as blackjack, poker, craps, roulette or a slot machine, but does not include: Legal contests of skill, speed, strength or endurance in which awards are made only to entrants or the owners of entries; legal business transactions which are valid under the law of contracts; activity legal under the provisions of sections 7-169 to 7-186, inclusive; any lottery or contest conducted by or under the authority of any state of the United States, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or any possession or territory of the United States; and other acts or transactions expressly authorized by law on or after October 1, 1973;

We see that poker is included specifically as a form of gambling along with casino table games and slot machines. There's no room to argue the skill vs. luck debate here because the game is explicitly listed as falling under the gambling provisions of CT law. Turning to the penalties for gambling, we find in §53-278b:

Gambling; professional gambling; penalties. (a) Any person who engages in gambling, or solicits or induces another to engage in gambling, or is present when another person or persons are engaged in gambling, shall be guilty of a class B misdemeanor; provided natural persons shall be exempt from prosecution and punishment under this subsection for any game, wager or transaction which is incidental to a bona fide social relationship, is participated in by natural persons only and in which no person is participating, directly or indirectly, in professional gambling.
(b) Any person who engages in professional gambling shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

Engaging in gambling, including poker, or convincing others to engage in it is a class B misdemeanor. Even just being present while others gamble is treated the same way. According to Connecticut sentencing guidelines, class B misdemeanors carry a penalty of up to six months in jail and a fine not to exceed $1,000. However, the way that a law is enforced is just as important as the words contained in dusty, old law books. We have been unable to turn up any instances of §53-278b being used to go after individual online poker fans. You appear to be completely fine from a legal standpoint if you privately play online poker in Connecticut. Police officers mainly target those involved in underground, brick-and-mortar gambling especially when it's being conducted in connection with organized crime.

You'll note that the law has an exemption for social gaming, so you can hold home games without worry. You may be concerned about the language pertaining to “professional gambling” and the more severe penalties attached to this offense. You have nothing to fear. Professional gambling in this context doesn't mean what you might think. Referring back to the definitions in §53-278a, we read:

(3) “Professional gambling” means accepting or offering to accept, for profit, money, credits, deposits or other things of value risked in gambling, or any claim thereon or interest therein.

This encompasses those who actually provide and organize illicit games, not regular players in such games. There's another provision of the law concerned with transmitting gambling information. “Gambling information” is considered to include only information connected with professional gambling, so you're OK on that count as well.

Other crimes that the operators of gambling games can be charged with include possession of a gambling device, possession of gambling records, and maintaining a gambling premise. These offenses are mainly misdemeanors, but there are a couple of them that are class D felonies. Anyone found guilty of a class D felony can be subject to imprisonment for between one and five years as well as a fine of up to $5,000. Repeat offenders can see the severity of their infractions upgraded one level. Offshore entities continue to serve up internet poker games to Connecticuters regardless of these potential legal punishments. We're pretty sure that their professional attorneys have advised them that their risk of being held legally liable is small.

These sections don't apply to the regulated forms of real money gaming that the state permits and authorizes under various other parts of state law. They include charitable gaming, the state lottery, pari-mutuel wagering, and tribal casinos.

 

 

History of Gambling in Connecticut

Old Compass

Connecticut was founded by Puritans, and so there was a general sentiment against gaming and other revelry from the start. Taverns were one of the main social gathering places in those days, and they were the site of much of the gambling activity taking place. An early law prohibited tavern keepers from possessing “any Dice, Cards, Tables, Bowles, Shuffle-board, Billiards, Coytes, Keiles, Loggets, or any other Implements used in Gaming.”

Connecticut Lottery Ticket From Colonial Era
1754 Connecticut Lottery Ticket

Yet, the public authorities were always short on cash for infrastructure and other improvements, and lotteries seemed to be a way to raise funds without having to levy taxes. Some of authorized lotteries in Connecticut during the 18th century sought to fund buildings at Yale, seaside wharfs, and bridges. Most of these enterprises failed to reach their funding goals, so perhaps a lack of interest in gambling was a trait of ordinary citizens rather than just being commanded by their leaders. After independence, lotteries became more widespread, but they were rife with abuse and corruption, and so the legislature decided to ban them in 1830.

Charter Oak Park
Charter Oak Park, 1895

The next major form of real money betting was horsetrack wagering with the opening of Charter Oak Park in West Hartford in 1873. This became a popular spectator sport, and other tracks opened up across the state. It was at Charter Oak Park that Thomas Edison captured the first film footage of a horse race in 1897. Unfortunately, Connecticut implemented anti-gambling laws in 1925 that put a big dent in the profitability of these enterprises, and they closed down.

Richard C. Lee
Richard C. Lee
Mayor of New Haven, Connecticut,
1954 - 1970

In the '30s, gambling was supplied by the Mafia, which was looking to diversify after the end of Prohibition meant that there were no more fortunes to be made in selling contraband booze. People could play “the numbers,” a form of lottery, for as little as a penny. More serious gamblers could find card games, bookies, craps, and other gaming options. These illicit endeavors were given a boost in 1953 with the election of Mob-connected Democrat Richard Lee as mayor of New Haven. Rumor has it that New Haven was declared a “wide open” gambling town once he took office. Organized crime has maintained its presence in Connecticut throughout the decades until the present day with the assassinations, extortion, intra-family politics, and continued illegal operations that you would expect. As recently as 2012, the FBI broke up a sportsbetting and card gambling ring in Stamford and Hamden that allegedly had ties to the Gambino crime family.

On a more wholesome front, charity gambling was allowed starting in 1939 with bingo. In subsequent years, raffles, casino nights, and sealed tickets (pull tabs) were added to the menu available to nonprofit organizations although casino nights were discontinued in 2003. In 1971, the state's lottery was created, and in 1972, pari-mutuel betting became legal. Pari-mutuel wagering was authorized for horse races, greyhound races, and jai alai. Horse racing didn't really take off in the state, but dog races and jai alai contests had their heyday in the '70s and '80s. The last jai alai fronton closed its doors in 2001, and greyhound racing stopped being offered in 2005. In 1992, the Foxwoods Indian casino was inaugurated with the addition of table games to an existing bingo hall, becoming the first casino in Connecticut. Rival Mohegan Sun came along in 1996. For a long while, these were the only two CT casinos, but there are plans to build a third one in the next few years.

 

Regulation Chance for Online Poker in Connecticut

Blue Regulations Graphic

If there is a state that's a dark-horse candidate to regulate poker sooner than most expect, Connecticut is it. Being in the Northeast, with a healthy gambling repertoire and a fairly liberal voting block to draw from, many of the boxes are ticked about potential reasons you could see regulated online gambling within the state. There haven't been any serious legislative pushes for it, but Governor Dannel Malloy in 2012 called online gambling “inevitable.” In most states, tribal gaming groups are opposed to real money online wagering, but in Connecticut, both tribes have released popular free-to-play online games, so they're probably ready to jump onboard with internet poker. All the ingredients are there except for an actual bill in the General Assembly, but such legislation could almost certainly be drafted whenever the powers active in the state deem it desirable. The state probably isn't quite large enough to support its own online poker sites, but compacts to share player pools with other existing states that offer internet poker, like New Jersey and Nevada, would solve this problem.

 

Land Based Gambling

Foxwoods Cssino

Besides the lottery, Connecticut has charitable gaming and pari-mutuel wagering. No opportunities exist for attending pari-mutuel contests in the state, but there are more than a dozen off-track betting facilities. There are no commercial casinos, but the two tribal casinos that call Connecticut home are fairly large. The poker room at Foxwoods in Mashantucket has more than 100 tables offering No Limit Hold'em, Limit Hold'em, Omaha, Stud, and pretty much any other game you could think of. There are several tournaments every day along with numerous special events throughout the year. Mohegan Sun's poker room is considerably smaller with only around 40 tables, but it should suffice for all but the most demanding poker fans.

 

Summary and Conclusion

There's nothing too challenging about playing online poker in Connecticut. There are many decent, upstanding sites for you to choose from, and the state law will leave you alone as it has done in the past. Connecticut online poker is a perfect pastime to pursue especially during the cold CT winters when going outside to one of the Indian casinos is too much of a chore.

 

 

Do you have an address in a nearby state?

Connecticut and Nearby States

If you are lucky enough to have another address in a nearby state, be it your office address, summer home, second apartment, family homestead, etc, you may have other online poker options available to you.  Here is a list of the states that border Connecticut and Professional Rakeback's review of each of them: Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Maryland, New Hampshire, and Delaware. Many Connecticut residents also have business in faraway states, and if you're one of them, then our guide to US online poker may be helpful to you.

Many people in the Nutmeg State have no idea when it comes to the possibility of playing poker online. If you know anyone, perhaps a brick-and-mortar player, whom you think could be persuaded to give the game a try over the internet, please share this page with them and thus increase their knowledge.