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Online Poker in Florida, Played w/Real Money = Legal & Legit in 2020!

Florida State Online Poker

Florida is synonymous with sunshine, vacation, and having a good time, so it makes sense that you can relax with Florida online poker too. While live poker has started to really grow in the state of Florida, regulated online poker in Florida hasn’t quite caught up yet. Luckily, citizens of the state of Florida can rejoice in the fact that offshore sites offer great games and promotions to Floridians.

Florida gambling laws are never enforced against online poker players, and there are no laws at the federal level that criminalize the act of playing poker over the internet. Some members of the public mistakenly believe that the Wire Act and/or UIGEA bar them from participating in this type of recreation. However, these laws are specifically designed to go after the operators of real money gaming sites, not ordinary players.

Since there's nothing legally stopping you from heading online and joining fun games of internet poker, there's no reason not to find a site and get started today. Below is a list of the best US-facing sites that offer games to those citizens of the Sunshine State who wish to play cards over the internet right from their own homes.


VISIT THE SITE WITH THE:

What Online Poker Sites Can I Play in Florida?

Whenever you're thinking about playing Florida online poker, it's critical that you choose a responsible, above-board site to sign up at. While it can be a bit difficult to differentiate between the honest and the disreputable, we're here to lend you a hand. All of the poker rooms on our list are known for their track record of no-nonsense payments, compelling gameplay, and adherence to high ethical standards. Check out the information below so that you can gain a better familiarity with the options for online poker that are available to you.

IgnitionPoker Logo

IGNITION POKER
Most Players


For the largest number of simultaneously running games, Ignition is the choice for Floridians. Besides NL Hold'em, PL Omaha, PL Omaha/8, and LHE at stakes both low and high, there's also fast-fold Zone Poker and lottery-style SNGs to tempt you. Standard-style sit-n-gos exist up to about the $200 level, and the weekly MTT schedule boasts $1.5 million in guarantees. Special tournament series that guarantee seven figures pop up every few months too. All games at Ignition anonymize users' screennames to level the playing field.

Ignition provides poker clients for Windows and Mac in the form of downloadable installers while mobile users are catered to with a web client that works on Android, iOS, and other systems. The poker welcome bonus is a 100% up to $1,000 match (125% up to $1,250 with Bitcoin), and you can claim a similar bonus for the casino too.

Sportsbetting Logo

SPORTSBETTING.AG
Huge Bad Beat Jackpot


SB Poker hosts a wide array of standard cash games, like Texas Hold'em, PLO, and 6+ Hold'em, and there are a few interesting wrinkles too in the form of Boost fast-fold tables and Windfall lottery-style sit-and-gos. SB.ag is one of the few remaining USA-friendly sites that boasts a Bad Beat Jackpot, which is active at certain NL Hold'em tables and has climbed up above a million dollars in the past. Look out for leaderboards, missions, reloads, and other ways to increase your bankroll here.

Sportsbetting.ag has released poker clients for Mac, PC, iOS, and Android, and there's a web-based interface too, so almost every device should work. You'll get a 100% up to $1,000 poker bonus upon making your first deposit.

Logo of Bovada.lv

BOVADA
Sportsbook + Racebook


Bovada is a sister site of Ignition, and so the poker cash games and tourneys are virtually identical between the two sites. Bovada has a sportsbook and racebook in addition to a poker room and casino, though, so it may be a better destination for Florida residents who are looking to bet on sports and horses. There is a broad array of types of bets for you to choose from, including parlays, futures, props, straights, and exotics.

Bovada.lv is compatible with Mac, Windows PC, iPhones, iPads, and Android systems. The poker bonus is 100% up to $500, but you can claim thousands more in promos for casino gaming and sports betting.

Intertops Logo

INTERTOPS
Generous Promos


Intertops is nowhere near as large as the three rooms described above, but it has other advantages that set it apart. For instance, you can get ongoing 36% rakeback, claim prizes in a weekly $4k rake race, boost your results with frequent tournament overlays, and benefit from many redeposit bonuses. With several attached casino products and a sportsbook, Intertops is a fine place to make your internet gaming home.

Intertops can only be downloaded to Windows PCs, but there is also browser-based software that works on Macs, Linux machines, and mobile devices. Make your initial deposit to get a 200% up to $1,000 poker bonus and 25 free spins on slots.

ACR Logo

AMERICAS CARDROOM
$10 FREE Bonus


The tournaments at Amercas Cardroom are numerous and sizable with the weekly Sunday Major clocking in at $150,000 guaranteed for a buyin of $215. Tourney series, like the OSS Cub3d, provide additional means for you to compete for worthwhile prizes. The excitement isn't just confined to MTTs though; for you will see busy sit n' go and cash game sections too, including the niche games Limit Omaha/8, and 7 Card Stud. Place on the weekly ring game and SNG leaderboards for a nice payout.

ACR fully supports Windows and Mac, but mobile compatibility is limited and restricted to just a few game types. Use our exclusive Americas Cardroom bonus code PRB10FREE to get a $10 no deposit bonus followed by a 100% up to $1,000 bonus along with a complimentary $50 real money credit.


How to Choose the Right Florida Poker Site

The population of Florida is quite diverse, and so individual preferences will understandably vary. We can't point to any specific internet poker site and say that it's unquestionably the best. You'll have to consider your own needs, in conjunction with the material presented above, to try to identify the right option for you personally. Although you have your own unique concerns and opinions, we do feel that the considerations presented below may enable you to come to a better decision.

♡ If you like to play where you won't have to wait long for the other seats to fill, then you'll be pleased by the highly populated tables at Ignition and Bovada.


♡ If you think you deserve the largest possible bonus, then Ignition has a 125% up to $1,250 deal - but only if you use Bitcoin.


♡ If you'd like to sample games that might be difficult to find elsewhere, then Ignition and Bovada are perfect for LHE while ACR caters to the LO/8 and Stud crowds.


♡ If recurring rewards as you keep playing are important to you, then Intertops and Americas Cardroom should meet with your approval.


♡ If you're too busy to play from home all the time, then the mobile compatibility of SB Poker, Ignition, and Bovadamight be just what you seek.


♡ If you have your heart set on rakeback because you think it's the most lucrative type of reward out there, then Intertops will leave you satisfied.


♡ If you wish to conduct multiple types of real money gambling at the same place, then Bovada, SB.ag, and Intertops all have poker, casino, and sports betting lineups.

Payout Report

Bag of Money

You can expect to be able to fund your real-money account easily and to receive fast cashouts. This is especially true if you opt for the digital currency Bitcoin. There are sometimes issues trying to deposit via credit card, and traditional means of processing withdrawals often come with significant fees attached. When you use bitcoins to move your money around, you won't be subject to these irritations. All of the sites we've discussed above support this crypto-currency, so you can use it to good effect no matter where you play. If you'd like to learn more about the very safe and very fast method of setting up Bitcoin for deposits and withdrawals, check out this guide.

Online Poker Law in Florida

Book of Laws

The laws on internet poker in the Sunshine State are non-existent. That is, there's nothing specifically dealing with card games conducted online either explicitly permitting the activity or banning it. Instead, we must refer to the general Florida laws on gambling, which are contained in the Florida Statutes, chapter 849. The main piece of law that pertains to poker players is 849.08:

849.08 Gambling.—Whoever plays or engages in any game at cards, keno, roulette, faro or other game of chance, at any place, by any device whatever, for money or other thing of value, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

The fact that the language includes “by any device whatever” tends to include gambling games taking place over the internet. However, the phrasing “other game of chance” seemingly works in the opposite direction when it comes to poker because it tends to imply that only games of chance are prohibited. As federal judge Jack Weinstein explained in a 2012 ruling, there's a compelling argument for considering poker to be a game of skill rather than chance. Further obfuscating matters is the fact that Florida doesn't define “game of chance.”

When we follow up on the referenced part of the Florida codes to find out what the penalties are for gambling, we see that second-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to 60 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500. But you don't need to worry about this because in the entire history of the state, nobody has ever been charged for playing online poker in the privacy of their own home. You can play safely without worrying about the police knocking on your door to question you about your offshore betting activities.

Things are different for people actually trying to run illegal games throughout Florida. There are a whole host of crimes on the books that they could be accused of, including keeping a gambling house, renting a house for gambling purposes, permitting gambling on a billiard or pool table (!), printing illicit lottery tickets, and possession of a slot machine. Some of these infractions are felonies. Regardless, the operators of offshore poker entities don't fear these restrictions very much as evidenced by the fact that almost all of them accept Florida residents as players.

Home game poker is also OK in FL but with a catch: Nobody can win more than $10 in a single hand or game. In addition, the expected proscriptions against anyone profiting by hosting a game or advertising for such a game are in force. The types of gambling that Florida legalizes and regulates are outlined in the rest of Chapter 849 along with the rules governing them.

History of Gambling in Florida

Old Compass
Flag of West Florida
Flag of Independent West Florida
1810

For much of Florida's history, it was a swampy backwater, incapable of supporting much in the way of population. It changed hands between the French, English, and Spanish, and it even had a period of declared independence before finally being acquired by the United States in 1821. Florida gained statehood in 1845. In 1868, a provision banning lotteries, and by extension, all other forms of gambling, was added to the state constitution.

By 1888, Florida still had fewer than 270,000 citizens, but this did not deter hotelier Henry Flagler from opening up the Bacchus Club, an illegal casino, in St. Petersburg. It featured prime cuisine, lavishly decorated rooms, and, of course, enough real money gaming action to keep the wealthy coming back for more. Other competing establishments opened up shortly thereafter as they sought to carve out their shares of the pie.

It's not surprising that these kinds of services boomed in popularity with the enactment of Prohibition in 1920. Miami and Tampa were known as the gambling hotspots in Florida. While poker, roulette, and the other forms of gaming common throughout the United States were present, some accounts record that the most prevalent game was bolita. This is a type of lottery game common in Cuba that was brought over by immigrants to the States. It has 100 small balls, which are placed in a bag and then drawn.

Al Capone
Al Capone
Prohibition Era Gangster

The Mafia eventually got into this lucrative scene. Miami was declared an “open city“ by mob bosses, meaning that any of the families could operate their underground gambling dens within the metropolis without angering the higher-ups. In practice, this led to plenty of disputes, drive-bys, and assassinations as rival factions sought to disrupt their competitors' operations. So serious did the violence become that Miami came to be known as “Little Chicago” in reference to famous bootlegger Al Capone's theater of activity. Capone actually had a house in Miami as did Meyer Lansky.

During the depression, lawmakers sought to generate revenue by allowing pari-mutuel racetrack betting in 1931. They experimented with permitting legalized slot machines too, but these machines were outlawed again shortly thereafter. In 1958, the authorities flirted with allowing commercial casinos to open, but these efforts came to naught. In 1970, bingo was authorized.

Throughout all these legislative maneuvers, unlicensed gambling continued seemingly unabated. This becomes clear when we look at the events of Nov. 3, 1971, in which the police arrested nearly 50 people for being part of a multi-state numbers gambling ring. In 1979, the state thought it had identified another instance of unlawful gaming when the Seminole Tribe opened up a high-stakes bingo parlor. The Seminole disagreed, and the case went to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which decided in favor of the Seminole. This was one of the landmark Indian gaming cases in American history, and tribal casinos are still going strong in Florida today.

In 1986, the Florida Lottery was approved. In 1996, poker was allowed at racing facilities, but it had to abide by the rule of $10 maximum pots. In subsequent years, this rule was waived, but the maximum bet amount was set at $2, making most no limit and pot limit games basically impossible. In 2007, the bet-size restrictions were replaced by a maximum buyin amount of $100, and this limit was lifted in 2010. Several bills were passed to also enlarge the types of gambling allowed in the state's racinos, and they can now offer slot machines along with poker.

Florida Gambling Timeline

Timeline of Gambling in Florida

Regulation Chance for Online Poker

Manila Folder

Florida has already seen some pretty drastic changes to its gambling economy in the past couple of years, which could mean big developments going forward too. The state actually had legislation progressing through the State Senate in 2011 that would have established an online poker licensing regime, but after Black Friday, it was removed from consideration and postponed indefinitely.

Florida's government has now got a taste of the revenues that tribal and racetrack gaming have to offer, which may whet its appetites for expansion into internet real money gaming. On the other hand, the powerful Seminole Tribe, which has extensive casino holdings throughout the state, would have to be placated somehow or otherwise brought on board. Furthermore, the passage of Amendment 3 at the polls in 2018 means that any future gambling expansion would have to be approved by 60% of the voters at the ballot box.

The prospects for fully legalized internet poker in Florida are dicey but not out of the question.

Land Based Gambling

Large Building

Florida has a lot of the major types of land based gambling with the exception of commercial casinos, but the tribal casinos that dot Florida’s major cities are nothing short of top-notch. These tribal casinos have gained even more prominence in the past couple of years with the removal of buy-in requirements that used to artificially keep poker games small. There are racinos in FL as well, and they're allowed to offer poker and slot gaming although casino table games aren't permitted to them. There's an unusual type of betting facility ostensibly centered around the sport jai-alai also. This is because arenas for playing jai-alai are grouped into the same category with racetracks for the purposes of gambling.

The largest cardroom in the state is in the racino Bestbet Jacksonville, and it contains a whopping 70 tables. The variety of games on offer is truly spectacular with Hold'em, Seven Card Stud, Pot Limit Omaha, and Big O comprising just a few of the types of action available. Other venues with at least 50 tables are the Palm Beach Kennel Club, the Daytona Beach Poker Room, the Derby Lane Poker Room in St. Petersburg, and the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa.

Florida has made major headway in becoming the East Coast California in terms of access to games across the state. While some players might not be as familiar with some of the casino brands in the state, they are still capable of potentially running a successful online site if online poker regulation in the state were passed. Of course, it is also possible that many of the names would change if regulation were passed as other casinos might try to buy or partner with a tribal casino if need be.

Famous Players From Florida

Yellow Star With Wavy Lines

Florida hasn't historically been known as an especially noteworthy poker state, but that's changing. With a large population and tribal casinos and pari-mutuel facilities spreading poker across the state, it would be a wonder if there were not a sizable contingent of pokerists calling the state home.

Jason Mercier
Jason Mercier

Perhaps the most famous of these is Jason Mercier who hails from Hollywood. Born in 1986, Jason was one of the many players introduced to poker in college, and he quickly became hooked. By the end of 2007, he had achieved Supernova Elite, the top VIP status at PokerStars under his screenname “treysfull21.” He discontinued his studies to focus on poker, and in 2009, he became a sponsored pro at 'Stars: a position he retained until January 2018.

Jason's success at the live tables, however, is perhaps even more impressive than his online achievements. He has 70 cashes and 5 bracelets in World Series of Poker events. His biggest success, however, has come in high-roller tournaments, like the one in Monte Carlo in May 2013 and Las Vegas in June 2014. In each of these MTTs, he walked away more than $1 million richer. Mercier's other major tourney triumph was a first-place finish in the April 2008 €5,000 EPT San Remo Main Event for which he collected a payday of €869,000 (worth about $1.36 million at the time).

In total, Jason Mercier has earned an amazing $18.7 million in live tourney prizes, the most of any Florida poker player.

Also natives of Florida are the two poker brothers, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi and Robert Mizrachi. Robert Mizrachi is the elder by two years, but it's young Michael who has won more in live tournament poker with $15.7 million to Robert's $6.6 million. Still, Robert does retain some bragging rights because he has picked up four WSOP bracelets compared to the three that Michael has won.

“The Grinder” has performed the difficult feat of prevailing in the $50,000 Players Championship event at the World Series in two separate years: 2010 and 2012. He also finished fifth in the 2010 Main Event. All three of these results were good for more than $1 million apiece.

Other prominent Florida poker players include 2010 WSOP Main Event runner-up John Racener, WSOP ME double runner-up (1982 and 2001) Dewey Tomko, poker player, author, and training site coach Jonathan Little, and heads-up cash game specialist Daniel “Jungleman” Cates.

Online Casinos

Florida has a number of land-based casinos, but there's no state-licensed online environment for these games. Still, quite a few offshore internet casinos have opened their doors to Floridians. Here are our top three picks for blackjack, roulette, slots, and other similar gaming diversions:

Ignition Casino Logo

1. Ignition Casino - Up to $1,500 Welcome Bonus ($2,000 w/Bitcoin

Bovada Logo
2. Bovada Casino - $3,000 in Bonus Money ($4,500 With Bitcoin)
SB.ag Logo
3. Sportsbetting Casino - 3 x $1,000 Welcome Bonus

For more information about the interactive casino sites that serve Florida residents, read our USA online casino recommendations.

Online Sportsbooks

There has been a rush among many states to implement sports wagering following the Murphy v. NCAA Supreme Court case, which led to the overturning of the federal ban on this type of gambling. Though a few bills related to this topic have been filed in the FL Senate, none of them have yet become law.

This doesn't mean you're out of luck as a Floridian who wishes to put some money down on sporting action. You can go to an international online bookmaker and place your bets there. Among the reliable sportsbooks that are available online are:

Bovada Logo

1. Bovada Sports - Up to $250 Free (up to $750 for Bitcoin users)

SB.ag Logo
2. Sportsbetting.ag - Up to $1,000 Sports Bonus and Neverending Reloads
Intertops.eu Logo
3. Intertops Sports - Intertops Sportsbook: 3 Bonuses to Choose From

To get further details on the best internet bookmakers for American bettors, browse over to our list of highly rated sportsbooks that accept USA residents.

Parting Thoughts

If you're eager to play online poker in Florida, then there are no roadblocks in your way. The state's laws on gambling have never been used to go after any individuals for participating in this hobby. Florida online poker is a great way to spend some time when it's too hot to go outside.

Do you have an address in a nearby state?

States Neighboring Florida

If you are lucky enough to have another address in a nearby state, be it your business address, summer home, second apartment, family home, etc, you may have other online poker options available to you.  Here are a list of the states that border Florida and Professional Rakeback's review on each of them:  Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. If you're looking to get more information on internet poker in the United States in general, then you might like to take a look at the comprehensive guide to U.S. online poker that we've put together.

If you have family members or acquaintances who enjoy poker but are unsure whether or not they can safely play it online, then please share this page with them. This will help alleviate their concerns and increase the popularity of poker as a whole.

Frequently Asked Questions

We wish to provide as much useful info as possible on Florida online poker. Therefore, we've gathered together some of the most common questions and answers related to this topic below.

The state leaders in Tallahassee have not yet seen fit to legalize and license online gaming operations in the Sunshine State. Thus, there are no state-approved venues for internet card games for real money.

Florida was actually one of the first states to consider regulating online poker within its borders, all the way back in 2011, but these efforts were abandoned in the wake of the Black Friday crackdown. Since that time, there have been no successful initiatives for authorizing legal i-gaming in Florida.

For all intents and purposes, poker played online is legal in Florida. The state laws against gambling have never been enforced against poker games conducted online, and there are no federal statutes that prohibit the pastime either.

The Wire Act has been used before to go after internet gambling firms, but a reevaluation of the legalities of the Wire Act by the Department of Justice in 2011 clarified that this legislation only applies to sports betting, not to lotteries, poker, or any other kind of gaming.

Yes, PokerStars is open to Floridians but only for practice chip play. You see, after the company was targeted in the Black Friday indictments, it opted to clear its name by making a deal with the DoJ. As part of the settlement, PokerStars agreed to exit the U.S.A real money poker environment completely except in those jurisdictions where it has obtained explicit permission from the authorities to operate.

The only such jurisdictions are New Jersey and Pennsylvania where PokerStars manages fully licensed online cardrooms. Florida doesn't even have a real money online poker licensing regime, so PokerStars has steered clear of letting Florida's citizens play on its platform for anything other than play money.

Yes, the managers of the Ignition Casino poker room would likely contend that they're acting legally. Ignition is part of the PaiWangLuo Network, a Hong Kong-based investment corporation. As such, it's subject to the laws of Hong Kong, not to the statutes of the United States.

The U.S. federal government has tried to block foreign gambling firms from offering their services throughout the country, but international tribunals have declared that the United States is breaking its agreements by doing so.

BetOnline is legal in Florida because there are no laws that it's breaking by accepting Florida residents as customers. BoL and sister site Sportsbetting.ag are licensed in Panama, and they're regulated by the Panama Gaming Control Board.

They justify their acceptance of American poker players on well-understood trade principles embodied by the World Trade Organization of which the United States is a member. Therefore, they're not breaking international law by allowing Floridians to enjoy poker at their poker room.

Global is allegedly operating legally in Florida at least according to statements the company has made. We're not entirely convinced, but this entire discussion is too lengthy to include on this page. You can take a look at our review of Global for more information.

People in Florida are able to gamble at land-based facilities once they turn 18. The exceptions are slot machines and casino table games for which an individual must be at least 21 in order to play.

The same rules translate online, so you have to be 18 or over to sign up and play cards at any internet poker site. In fact, if you're below the age of 18, the sites won't allow you to register your account.

If you're under 18, resist the temptation to lie when opening up your account. Any discrepancies in the information you provide will likely be uncovered when you have to submit your personal identification as a prelude to withdrawing your winnings. At that time, the poker room would be entirely within its rights to confiscate your winnings and close your account if it determines that you had been gambling illegally while below the legal gambling age.

No, it would be foolish in the extreme to attempt to offer wagering services online from within Florida's borders. If you should elect to engage in such risky business practices, you might find yourself the unwanted recipient of the attentions of law enforcement.

Just look at what happened in 2015, when the Broward County Sheriff's Office arrested eight men in connection with an illicit online sports betting ring and seized $1.2 million. Unless this eventuality seems appealing to you, we caution you to steer clear of any thoughts of opening up an illegal FL gambling enterprise.

Florida does not have any individual income tax, but the Internal Revenue Service still expects you to fork over a share of your poker income to the feds. The exact amount that you'll have to pay will depend on many factors, including how much you made and the amount of tax withheld from your paychecks assuming you also hold a regular job in addition to playing poker.

The best course of action to take if you're wondering about your tax obligations is to consult with a qualified tax lawyer or a CPA. The IRS also has some information on its website about taxes on gambling winnings.

At one time, only a few internet poker rooms supported Mac computers, but happily, this is no longer the case. Ignition, Bovada, SB Poker and Americas Cardroom all allow you to hit the virtual card tables on Mac systems.

Even at sites that don't offer specialized Mac download installers, it still may be possible to use web-based interfaces to log in and play through your browser software. In the worst case, you can probably run the normal Windows client on your Mac through emulation software, like Parallels. Check out our page devoted to Mac poker sites for more on this topic.

Mobile gaming is a large and booming segment of the entire online gambling economy. Poker site execs have taken notice, and many of the top rooms for Americans now have mobile-compatible poker solutions.

You can play from your tablet or smartphone at Ignition, Bovada, Sportsbetting.ag, and many other rooms. The only issue is that most mobile poker clients allow you to only access a selection of the most popular games. For the full menu of poker tables and tournaments, it's likely best to run the normal poker application from your desktop or laptop computer.

A variety of traditional payment channels, like credit cards and money transfers, is supported at most internet poker sites, but we advise you to employ the digital crypto-currency Bitcoin instead. It's faster, cheaper, and less intrusive than most other payment processors who tend to nosily inquire into your private financial business. Every one of the poker operators on our recommended list transacts in BTC.

Other crypto coins are gaining momentum too though acceptance rates have not yet approached those of Bitcoin. You can read up on how to use a few promising “altcoins” with our guide to Ethereum online gaming and our walkthrough on using Bitcoin Cash for internet poker and betting.


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!