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Arkansas Poker Online - Learn About Sites, Laws, Regulation, ETC

Arkansas
Arkansas Flag

Arkansas may be seen as a fairly conservative state, but it has a surprising number of gambling options available. They may not be the most glamorous or the largest, but they are there, and that would surprise many people. With that being said, there are still some forms of gaming that are not present, and regulated real money online poker in Arkansas would be at the top of that list. Luckily, if citizens of Arkansas want to get their online gambling fix, they have access to a lot of great offshore sites that provide a full complement of Arkansas online poker games and offerings that likely are better than any kind of self-regulated model the state could provide. Below are a list of the best sites and promotions for your consideration!



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Table of Contents

1.   Poker Sites
      1.1. Ignition
      1.2. Chico Poker Network
      1.3. Intertops
      1.4. Winning Poker Network
      1.5. Grand Poker Network
2.   Selection Guidelines
3.   Payments
4.   Laws
5.   Gambling History
6.   Regulated Poker
7.   Live Gambling
8.   Conclusion
9.   Address in Nearby State?
10. Additional Resources

 

Online Poker Sites Available in Arkansas

The poker sites available online to Arkansans are numerous, and so it's worthwhile to narrow the field down somewhat before registering an account at one. We've reviewed all the pertinent info on these rooms and have whittled them down to only those that are honest and reputable. No matter which of these sites you opt to join, you'll be able to take advantage of their first-class customer service, slick and functional software, and dedication to paying out winnings swiftly. Pore over our mini-reviews below, and then pick out an online poker home.

 

Ignition Poker

Image of Ignition Poker's Positive Features

Plenty of action awaits you at Ignition Poker because it's the largest poker site for Arkansawyers. When you create an account and make a deposit, you'll be rewarded with a 100% up to $1,000 poker bonus. This bonus is worth 30% rakeback on tourneys and SNGs while paying out its value at a slightly lesser rate in cash games. 

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Cash game poker is offered from $0.02/$0.05 through $10/$20 in NLHE, PLO, and PLO/8. The limit games here are Hold'em and Omaha-8, and they're spread up to $30/$60. Another format, called Zone Poker, is distinct from any other game available to U.S.A. players. In Zone, you can fold your hand at any time and move to another table where you'll get new hole cards. The speed of play is thus much faster in Zone Poker than in normal poker.

Sit-and-goes are listed from $1 + $0.05 to $200 + $14. There are the types of single-table games you'd expect to see, and there are also a few non-standard variants. Beginners contests pay out a larger number of participants than usual while Triple Ups give prizes of three times the buyin to one-third of the field. Multi-table tourneys distribute $1.5 million in guarantees every week. The largest of these is the $150 + $12 $100,000 Guaranteed on Sundays. Every once in a while, there's a series, like the Black Diamond Poker Open, that boasts multi-million dollar prize pools.

Ignition and the other sites on the PaiWangLuo Network changed all their games over to anonymous tables some time ago. This means that you won't be able to see anyone else's username, and neither will they be able to see yours. The intention behind this was to make it impossible for professionals to use specialized tracking tools, and it seems to have worked. The games here are pretty soft as a consequence because novices feel comfortable taking a seat and playing some cards.

Ignition offers downloadable software for Mac and PC. There's also a mobile poker client that's web-based and works with basically any smart device, but it doesn't contain tournaments or sit n' goes, just cash games. There's an attached casino too with hundreds of games, and you'll get a bonus of 100% up to $1,000 to play them.

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Joining Intertops Poker is easy by clicking on our link above. For an explanation of what to expect here, read our Ignition Casino Poker review.

 

Chico Network

Chico Poker Advantages Image

The sites on the Chico Poker Network manage extensive betting platforms that include real money casino games, sports-betting, and skill games as well as poker. Sportsbetting.ag is our preferred brand on this network, and it will grant you a 100% up to $2,500 poker bonus on your initial deposit. The bonus clears at a 33% rakeback rate.

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No Limit Texas Hold'em, Pot Limit Omaha, and Pot Limit Omaha/8 are the types of cash game poker present at Sportsbetting.ag, and they're denominated from $0.01/$0.02 through $5/$10. Specially labeled tables of NLHE at $0.50/$1.00 and higher have a Bad Beat Jackpot active. If you go to showdown and lose with JJJJ or better at one of these tables, you could win a six-figure payday.This Bad Beat Jackpot has been hit for $650K before.

Sit n' goes start as low as $0.05 (with no house fee) and climb up to $500 + $25. The highest stake level is sometimes deserted, but you should have no trouble getting lower buyins to fill frequently. MTTs are a bit of a weakness at Sportsbetting.ag because there's a dearth of sizeable events. The exception to this trend comes on Sundays when the $90 + $9 Main Event runs with a guarantee of $50,000. On the final Sunday of every month, the Main Event increases to a $100 + $9 buyin and a $100,000 guarantee.

There's a version of the poker software for Windows and another for Mac. Furthermore, you can log in with your iOS or Android system through a mobile app. We've reviewed this mobile poker client and have found it to be among the top of the heap when compared to the offerings of competing sites. It's visually appealing and contains the overwhelming majority of the games accessible from the desktop program.

There are three leaderboards per week that pay out a total of $20,000. They are for cash games, sit-n-goes, and MTTs, and they're divided by stake level so that the prizes don't just all go to the serious high-stakes pros. Another perk of playing at SB.ag is that you'll collect comp points as you put in time at the tables, and you can trade them in for tourney buyins at about a 5% cashback rate.

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Click on the above banner to visit Sportsbetting.ag now. Check out our Sportsbetting.ag Poker review page for further information first. You may also be interested in our page on SBAG's sister site: BetOnline.

 

Horizon Network

Intertops' positive features image

Experienced online gamblers know that they can trust Intertops because it has been in business for more than 30 years. There's a sportsbook and three casinos, but you're probably interested in the poker room and its promotions. We're pleased to inform you that there's a 200% up to $1,000 bonus ready to be claimed on your first deposit. It clears at a rate that varies depending on the specific formats you play, but it can be as valuable as 27% rakeback.

Play Now CTA for Horizon Network

Intertops is the most prominent site on the Horizon Poker Network. Unfortunately, this network isn't one of the market leaders in the U.S.-facing online poker space, so the player volume isn't anything to write home about. You'll probably find about a dozen active games at $0.25/$0.50 NL and below and sometimes a game or two at higher blinds.

Sit n' goes are similarly sparse with the action consisting almost exclusively of games at $5 and lower. The busiest part of the Intertops Poker site is the tournament section. There are dozens of tourneys every day. Although most of them are for small stakes, there is a daily $50 + $5 Sundowner event that awards at least $1,500 to the winners ($2,500 on Sundays). Moreover, there are step satellites every couple of months to prestigious live poker festivals, so you can win your entry for just a few dollars.

The managers at Intertops have come up with a few ways to keep players happy. For starters, along with your welcome bonus of up to $1,000, you'll benefit from 100 free lines to use on casino games and 36% dealt rakeback for the lifetime of your account. In the future, you'll be able to claim reload bonuses about once every month or so and compete in a $4,000 rakerace every week. The loyalty program hands out small perks as you achieve certain levels of play while the gold coins that you accrue as you grind at the tables can be exchanged for no-deposit bonuses.

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You can open up an account at Intertops by clicking through our banner above. We have compiled an accurate Intertops Poker review with a lot of facts for you to pore over.

 

Winning Network

WPN Good Features Image

There's no gainsaying the fact that, as its name indicates, Americas Cardroom is a favorite among quite a few poker players in the United States. One of the reasons for its success lies in the fact that it offers newcomers a 100% up to $1,000 bonus that's equivalent to 20% rakeback along with a $50 credit for Jackpot Poker SNGs. ACR is the most recognizable site on the Winning Poker Network.

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The Jackpot Poker games that you can play $50 worth for free are three-handed affairs that use a randomly generated multiplier to determine the prize pool, which can be as high as 2,500 buyins. There's one other innovative sit n' go format here: SNG 2.0. This is a nine-player game that incorporates a pre-game round where the participants flip over cards, trying to get the right combination to unlock higher prizes and trigger massive jackpots. Needless to say, there's also a well-rounded lineup of regular sit-and-goes too.

The MTT lobby is pretty intriguing. The largest Sunday Major tournament for U.S. pokerists calls Americas Cardroom home. It's the $200 + $15 Sunday Special, which guarantees $150,000. There are also recurring Million Dollar Sundays that cost $500 + $40 and come with seven-figure prize pools. Several times per year, ACR hosts tournament series, like the Online Super Series, that consist of dozens of events in numerous forms of poker. As far as cash goes, there are tables up to $25/$50 in bet-bet games (NLHE, PLO, PLO/8) as well as limit poker (LHE, LO8, 7CS, and 7CS/8) up to at least $30/$60.

Americas Cardroom maintains two weekly leaderboards: one called The Beast for cash game enthusiasts and another one named Sit & Crush for those who like SNGs. They reward players with tens of thousands of dollars every seven days in the form of straight cash to their accounts and tickets to satellite tournaments. There's also an Elite Benefits system that is based upon the Combat Points you earn as you play, and it features both milestone prizes and complimentary goodies that you can trade your points in for.

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Click on the above banner to go to Americas Cardroom and start playing today. Peruse our comprehensive Americas Cardroom page now for more on why this is a great place for online poker.

Americas Cardroom is part of a poker network, which means that it works together with other firms. This allows all the partners to craft a better poker product than they could otherwise. Other leading sites on the Winning Poker Network include BlackChip Poker (read review), True Poker (read review), and PokerHost (read review). It's possible to get rakeback on any one of these rooms; to find out how, read our instructions on signing up for WPN rakeback.

 

Grand Network

Image GPN's positive features

The Grand Poker Network is the newest organization on our list, but the room on this network that we recommend, 5Dimes, cannot be called “new” by any stretch of the imagination. You see, it has been around for more than 20 years, but it was only in 2014 that it opted to release its own poker platform rather than contracting to use those provided by third parties. The software at Grand has been crafted with multi-platform compatibility in mind, so you can run it on a Windows machine, a Mac, an iPad, an Android phone, or really any type of up-to-date computing hardware.

Because 5Dimes is still growing, traffic is fairly small at present. There are games available between $0.05/$0.10 and $1/$2, but you might have to be flexible as to the stakes you play because not every limit has tables active at any given time. One of the advantages of this site, however, is the fact that the ring games that do start up tend to feature weak opponents who are primarily sports and casino bettors.

Tournaments are also populated by fish, and there's a further incentive to get you to play them: There are a few MTTs every day that don't charge any house fee. You'll be ahead of the curve immediately because the normal 10% fee doesn't exist in these competitions. Unfortunately, there are no tourneys listed above $5 + $.50, but this shouldn't dissuade you unless you absolutely must play for high stakes. A $500 freeroll gives you the opportunity to grow your funds without any investment, and 50% rakeback comes standard when you sign up using our links.

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If 5Dimes sounds appealing to you, then click our banner link above to join up. To find out more, browse over to our carefully researched review of the Grand Poker Network.


 

How to Choose the Right Arkansas Poker Site

You really can't go wrong when you sign up at any of the above sites, but there are probably one or two of them that would be better than the others for your needs. We can't identify which these would be because every one of them has its own attractions and weaknesses. You'll have to think about what your own goals and preferences are before making your decision. We can point out a few things that you may wish to ponder while contemplating your next move.

⊠ If you're keen on playing where there are the most simultaneous games going at once, then Ignition and Winning Poker Network are your two best options.


⊠ If you don't want to have to wait for a game to fill, then the bustling player pools at Ignition and Winning Network may satisfy you.


⊠ If the size of your welcome bonus is a critical factor, then Chico Network's $2,500 offer should be plenty good enough.


⊠ If you feel that rakeback is something you can't do without, then Horizon's 36% and Grand's 50% deals merit your attention.


⊠ If you're looking to play from your Mac or mobile, then Chico, Ignition, and Grand have the right software options for you.


⊠ If you enjoy betting on sports and casino games as a diversion from poker, then Chico, Horizon, and Grand are all outstanding destinations.


⊠ If you appreciate tourneys with large fields of entrants and hefty prize pools, then WPN and Ignition have what you seek.

 

Online Poker Payouts

Dollar Bills

Your real money is totally safe at the well-respected Arkansas internet poker rooms, and you'll get your winnings sent to your house without incident. All of the sites we've talked about possess the capacity to issue you checks, and some of them have other cashout methods too, like bank wires and money transfers. The best withdrawal method to use might be Bitcoin, which all of these sites support. When you conduct your poker banking in the virtual currency, you can eliminate many of the fees and delays sometimes associated with traditional payments. If you're unsure of how to transact in this crypto-currency, then our step-by-step guide to opening a BTC wallet and exchange account may prove valuable.

 

Arkansas Online Poker Law

Law Books

Although Arkansas law doesn't mention online poker specifically, this is one of the few state codes that does contain language pertaining to poker. Let's take a look at how the AR legislators have decided to deal with the game. The part of the law concerned with gambling in general is Title 5 - Criminal Offenses, Subtitle 6 - Offenses Against Public Health, Safety, or Welfare, Chapter 66 - Gambling. The law that's applicable to playing poker is § 5-66-112:

If a person bets any money or any valuable thing on any game of brag, bluff, poker, seven-up, three-up, twenty-one, vingt-et-un, thirteen cards, the odd trick, forty-five, whist, or at any other game of cards known by any name now known to the law or with any other or new name or without any name, upon conviction he or she is guilty of a violation and shall be fined in any sum not less than ten dollars ($10.00) nor more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00).

This clearly is meant to proscribe all kinds of card games, including poker, but the penalties are extremely small. It's hard to see how anyone would be dissuaded from gambling merely by the threat of being fined a maximum of $25. More worrisome might be the ban on transmitting gambling information contained in § 5-66-114:

a) (1) It is unlawful for any person, partnership, or corporation to receive or transmit information in the State of Arkansas relating to football, baseball, basketball, hockey, polo, tennis, horse racing, boxing, or any other sport or game for the purpose of gaming.

The way this passage is worded is odd. While it seems as though it might only apply to sports-betting, another possible interpretation holds that “game for the purpose of gaming” includes online poker. Making things more confusing is that there's no clear-cut definition of gambling or gaming in the AR laws. The section of the law telling us what the punishment is for transmitting gambling information is weird too. It basically just says that the penalties are the same as they are for the type of gaming for which the information is being transmitted. This means that the maximum fine for this infraction would also be only $25 for violations involving online poker.

Regardless, the State of Arkansas hasn't ever prosecuted any individual for either of these offenses merely for playing online poker. You can have fun with virtual card games free from any legal troubles. Indeed, the authorities only seldom target even players participating in illicit live games. Instead, they prefer to go after those managing and running the games. Some of the charges gaming operators can face are keeping a gambling house, keeping a gaming table or device, having a financial interest in a gaming device, and producing unlawful lottery tickets. The most serious of these offenses are Class D felonies, which subject the guilty party to imprisonment for up to six years and a fine as high as $10,000. The offshore sites aren't deterred by the risks inherent in serving Arkansas, and all of them that accept Americans also allow customers from this state to create accounts. They've all retained the services of professional counsel, who seem to have given them the all-clear as far as the prospect of prosecution under Arkansas law is concerned.

 

 

Gambling History of Arkansas

Hourglass

The main tribe in the present-day State of Arkansas at the time of Spanish and French contact was the Quapaw. They played a dice-and-bowl game with valuable property at stake. Both players took turns tossing dice in a bowl. These dice only had two sides, so they were more like coins than dice, and one side was painted while the other remained blank. Depending on the number of dice showing each color or pattern, points were scored, which is how the winner was determined.

With the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the area was transferred to the fledgling United States. The population was small, recorded at just 1,062 in 1810, and it was considered part of the frontier. Its residents had a rough-and-tumble reputation, and it was held to be improper to inquire into their personal histories too closely because many of them had a record of questionable activities in the past. It's undoubtedly the case that gambling took place, but the lack of sizeable cities meant that any such gaming was small-scale in nature. As the state grew, anti-gambling leagues formed in the 1830s, and they were known to dispense quick justice to heavy bettors – often without the formality of a trial or jury.

Hot Springs, Arkansas
Hot Springs, Arkansas, 1892

During the 19th century, the waters around Hot Springs gained a reputation for restorative and healing properties, causing the town to become a vacation destination for the ill. Taking advantage of the presence of visitors with money to burn, gambling halls proliferated in the period after the Civil War, making Hot Springs one of the most well-known places for illicit real money wagering. The 1874 Constitution of Arkansas contained a section prohibiting lotteries, which was a category used more or less synonymously with gambling in legal circles at that time. The operators of Hot Springs gaming houses remained open by reaching agreements with corrupt local officials. Such ad hoc deals weren't without their downsides. In fact, there was a Hot Springs Gunfight in 1899 between rival law enforcement factions in the employ of competing gambling bosses, and five people were killed. Poker, craps, and other table games abounded in Hot Springs.

Another type of betting came to the city with the opening of the Oaklawn Park Racetrack in 1905. However, it was banned in 1907 when “an act to prevent betting in any manner in this State on any horse race” was passed. It's a lot harder to conceal a horse race from the authorities than it is to hide slots or table games, and so the race course was duly turned to other purposes.

Owney Madden
Owen Vincent “Owney” Madden
Illegal Gambling Boss

All the while, the underground gambling parlors continued to do a brisk trade. During the Prohibition Era, they did even better because bootleg alcohol became a major draw to supplement their take from the games. Major mob figures, like Al Capone and Bugs Moran, often hid out in Hot Springs when heat from the police made life uncomfortable for them elsewhere. Gangster Owney “The Killer” Madden owned a speakeasy in Manhattan called the Cotton Club, but he had to relocate to Hot Springs in 1935 in the wake of increased attention from the police. It worked out well for Madden; he bought the Hotel Arkansas and became the leading figure in the local gambling scene.

Oaklawn Racetrack
Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs

In 1935, pari-mutuel wagering became legal again. Horse racing returned to Oaklawn Park, and greyhound contests appeared at Southland Greyhound Park in West Memphis starting in 1956. Elected leaders started to intermittently crack down on gambling establishments in Hot Springs, but their efforts generally only lasted a year or two until new officeholders returned the situation back to the previous status quo. In 1967, though, reformist governor Winthrop Rockefeller commanded state law enforcement to close the casinos and burn any gambling equipment found. This put an end to nearly 100 years of more or less open gaming in the city.

In 2000, a type of gaming machine called Instant Racing appeared at the state's racetracks. It allows participants to bet on past horse races in a way that closely resembles slot machines. In 2005, the state allowed the tracks to host “electronic games of skill.” Unlike the way the rest of the state gambling clauses operate, a game of skill in this circumstance is considered one in which there's any amount of skill, no matter how minute, so blackjack and craps were deemed OK. The games must be conducted through an “electronic device or machine” and have to be approved by the Arkansas Racing Commission. The addition of this type of game had the effect of turning the two racetracks into racinos.

By the mid-200s charitable bingo halls had been proliferating in Arkansas, without anyone really thinking about their legality, but in 2006, they were declared unlawful and prevented from operating. The next year, they were re-legalized, but they had to pay a fee to the state for all bingo equipment they purchased. Raffles were also permitted in 2007. In 2008, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery was approved by voters. Also in 2008, poker started to appear in the racinos. However, it must be played at electronic tables to comply with the unusual stipulations of the state law.

 

Regulation Chance for Online Poker

Blue Regulations Page

Despite the state not really caring about offshore sites that are accepting customers from within its borders right now, it's not anywhere close to adopting any kind of new regulated online gambling framework. Arkansas is a very conservative state that is unlikely to accept real money gambling on internet poker. Even looking at the laws it has on the books for regulated land-based gambling, it is easy to see that state leaders are not fans of widespread gaming. There was an unexpected bill authorizing pari-mutuel wagering via mobile, internet-capable devices that passed in 2014, but this was done to generate revenues for the two AR race tracks, not as any sort of prelude to making online gaming in general legal. We don't really foresee any expansion into online poker in Arkansas' future at least for another decade.

 

Land Based Gambling

Southland Park Logo

Land based gambling in the state of Arkansas is few and far between. There is only one option for live poker within the state: the Southland Park Gaming & Racing greyhound facility. There are only a few tables, and they're electronic in nature to comply with state law. The room isn't even open 24/7; it's restricted to 12 hours a day on weekdays and 16 on weekends. There's only a single tournament every day (except on Sundays when there are two of them), and the buyins are all less than $50. Competing racetrack Oaklawn Park used to offer similar poker tables, but the decision was made to stop doing so in early 2017. These two establishments also allow pari-mutuel betting, of course, along with a variety of casino games. Other types of gambling in Arkansas are the state lottery and charitable gambling.

This lack of tribal and commercial casinos means that if online poker were to be regulated in the state, there would need to be some pretty big changes to how business is conducted. Right now, neither of the racinos within the state seem to be properly set up to deal with running an online poker site, so a new player would have to come into the market to fill this gap.

 

Final Conclusion

Despite its reputation as an anti-gambling state, there are no legal roadblocks to playing online poker in Arkansas. Select an enticing Arkansas online poker room, and open up an account today. You'll soon be on your way to accumulating poker profits.

 

 

Do you have an address in a nearby state?

Arkansas Neighboring States

If you are lucky enough to have another address in a nearby state, be it your business address, vacation home, second apartment, family estate, etc, you may have other online poker options available to you.  Here are a list of the states that border Arkansas and Professional Rakeback's review on each of them:  Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, OklahomaTennessee and Texas. If you don't really have anything to do with any of these specific states, then our informative page on online poker in the United States might be useful to you.

Most people in Arkansas are ignorant of the online poker landscape in the state. It may be possible to spread knowledge to them if you inform them about this page, so please consider sharing it with them.

Additional Resources

These Arkansas gambling resources will assist you in gaining more knowledge about the subject:

 


We strive to maintain this information and update it frequently with our research. However, we are not immune to making mistakes or omitting information that you, dear reader, may find of use. If you have any further questions not addressed in this guide or have noted any discrepancies or inaccuracies we urge you to contact us with your questions and concerns so that we may swiftly address them!