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Online Poker in Florida, Played w/Real Money, = Legal & Legit in 2019!

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. 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.



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Table of Contents

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

 

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.

 

Ignition Poker

Positive Features of Ignition

Boasting the highest traffic numbers of any site that Floridians can play at, Ignition Poker is a fine place for soft games and plenty of action. It's part of the PaiWangLuo Network, which also contains Bodog and Bovada. Anyone who opens up a new account will get a first deposit bonus of 100% up to $1,000, which is equal to 30% rakeback in tournies and SNGs and a bit less in ring games.

  Play Now CTA for Ignition Poker

Cash games here begin at the lowly $0.02/$0.05 levels and extend upwards to $10/$20 for No Limit Texas Hold'em poker and Pot Limit Omaha (including Hi-Lo). Tables go up to $30/$60 in Limit Hold'em and Limit Omaha-8 although there might not be a game running at your preferred denomination, and so you might have to mix and match the stakes you're willing to play if you're a fan of one of these variants. Ignition is the best place to go (apart from sister site Bovada.lv) for fast-fold poker, which it calls Zone, in the United States. In Zone Poker, you get a new hand at a new table immediately upon folding, so you can see more hands within a given timeframe than you could in any other format of poker.

Sit-n-goes are pretty well populated, and they run from $1 + $0.05 up to $200 + $14. The unique formats present here include Triple-Ups, which pay an identical prize to the top third of the field, and Beginners contests, in which a larger-than-usual portion of the field cashes. There are also Jackpot Sit & Gos, which randomize the prize pool sizes and deliver the chance to play for up to 1,200 times the buyin. As far as MTTs go, you'll be able to look forward to the $150 + $12 $100,000 Guarantee on Sundays, and for even bigger thrills, you can participate in one of the special series that Ignition hosts from time to time. An example is the Super Millions Poker Open.

Whatever games you elect to play, you'll find that nobody can track your history or compile extensive stats on you. This is because poker at Ignition is anonymized – no one can view anyone else's screenname. This is why this card room is beloved by part-time and recreational users and why they flock to the tables in droves. This anonymization is present whether you elect to run the regular desktop poker software, available for Mac and PC, or the mobile web app. One thing to note though is that the mobile interface doesn't support sit-and-goes or tournaments, just cash games and Jackpots.

There's a casino at Ignition too, and you can get 100% up to $1,000 free to try out the hundreds of games. Actually, there are plenty of promotions in the casino section, including unlimited Bitcoin reload bonuses and weekly deposit matches.

Professional Rakeback Ignition cta Link

You can sign up to Ignition Poker today through the “Visit Site Now!” button above. For more extensive information on the site before joining, check out our report on the games and perks of Ignition Casino.

 

Chico Network

Features of Chico Poker Image

Although it used to be an also-ran in the online poker space, the Chico Poker Network has really stepped up its game to become #3 in U.S.-friendly poker player liquidity. Sportsbetting.ag is our choice of network site, and it's ready to give you a 100% up to $1,000 bonus as soon as you make a deposit. This deal is worth 20% rakeback on ring games, tournaments, and sit n' gos..

If you enjoy NL Hold'em or PL Omaha, then you'll be comfortable here because there are plenty of active tables between $0.01/$0.02 and $10/$20. This is particularly true for full-ring Hold'em enthusiasts because we found this to be the best poker arena for 9-handed tables. The only other game with reasonable traffic here is Pot Limit Omaha/8. The Bad Beat Jackpot – deployed at specially marked NLHE tables of $.50/$1.00 and above – is an exciting promotion, which has been known to close to $1 million at a single time.

There are a lot of Sit-n-gos firing off at all hours of the day although you'll of course encounter more of them running during peak hours than at slower times. They're listed from $1.50 up to $200 + $15, and you'll have no trouble finding opponents up to about $100 or so. Multi-table tournaments aren't nearly so populated, and most of them are for microstakes. On Sundays, you will be able to pay $90 + $9 to enter the Main Event and compete for your share of $50,000. This increases on the final Sunday of every calendar month to a buyin of $100 + $9 and a guarantee of $100,000.

SB.ag has its own form of fast-fold cash game, which is known as Boost. It's only available at micro-stakes, but it provides a way to really amp up your bonus clearing efforts because of the rapid gameplay. There are also lottery SNGs here, called Windfall Poker, that features prizes of up to 2,000x the entry cost.

The Chico Network wishes to make itself available to customers regardless of the hardware they're using, and so the poker client can be installed on Macs as well as Windows machines. There's also a mobile poker platform, which offers smooth and attractive gameplay on Android and iOS operating systems. Through your phone or tablet, you can also enjoy a sportsbook, casino, and other wagering products that come with their own bonuses and risk-free bets.

Probably the best way to boost your profitability at the tables is with the daily cash game challenges and the more than $5,000 distributed to sit-n-go leaderboard winners each week. On top of this, the comp points program delivers value back of approximately 5% of the rake and fees you pay.

Click on the banner above to go to the Sportsbetting.ag site and register your account. If you'd like to find out more first, then consult our comprehensive review of Sportsbetting Poker. SB.ag's sister site, BetOnline, also merits your careful consideration.

 

Bovada Poker

Bovada's Positive Features

The Bovada poker room is connected to that of Ignition, so the two sites share the same poker tables; yet there are benefits to opening up a Bovada account. Bovada bettors have access to a sportsbook and racebook, which are absent from Ignition. Yet, this advantage comes with a drawback: The Bovada Poker bonus is only half the size of Ignition's welcome offer at 100% up to $500.

  Bovada Play Now Poker Banner CTA

The focus at the Bovada Sports book is on American leagues, like NFL, NCAA, MLB, and NBA. Nevertheless, there are plenty of athletic contests from around the world listed, like soccer, tennis, cycling, and golf. All of these sports and more are good to bet on to clear the sports bonus at Bovada, which is 50% up to $250. The maximum bonus value jumps to $500 if you make your initial deposit through Bitcoin.

The racebook covers around 200 tracks with a heavy concentration on the United States but with a few British, Irish, and South African venues rounding out the selection. All the straight wagers and exotics that you can enjoy at most brick-and-mortar racetracks are available here, and Bovada pays full track odds. Wagering limits run from $100 to $1,000 depending on the type of bet you're making and the track.

The Bovada.lv Casino has all the titles that Ignition has, but it also incorporates a couple of features missing from its partner site. There's a Live Dealer area where flesh-and-blood human dealers run casino table games with the action and results broadcast over the internet. In addition, there are leaderboards in a few games that don't cost anything extra to participate in and give you the chance to pick up a small prize while gambling. Newcomers to the casino receive a 100% up to $1,000 bonus on each of their first three deposits (150% up to $1,500 for BTC deposits)!

If Bovada sound good to you, then click on our banner link above to visit the site and register your new account. For more information before you take this step, check out our thorough Bovada.lv Poker review.

 

Horizon Network

Intertops positive features image

The Horizon Poker Network and its flagship site, Intertops, are committed to rewarding new and returning customers alike. When you make your first deposit at the site, you'll be entitled to claim a 200% up to $1,000 bonus (worth ~27% cashback), 36% dealt rakeback for the lifetime of your account, a depositors freeroll ticket, and 50 free spins to try out the slot games housed within the casino in the poker lobby.

The bonus funds you get will clear at a different pace depending on what formats of poker you enjoy. $5 bonus pieces will hit your real-money balance faster in full-ring tables and slowest at HU cash. Tournaments and SNGs are somewhere in the middle. The 50 free spins should not be discounted, even if you don't especially like casino gaming, because there's nothing to lose, and you could score yourself a couple hundred bucks for free (free spin winnings are capped at $250).

Traffic above about $50nl is pretty thin, and it's almost all NLHE although a few PLO tables sometimes have games running too. Tournaments are a bit better because, in addition to frequent small-buyin competitions, you can register for the $20 + $2 Sunday Sundowner special, which has a guaranteed prize pool of $4,500. This is a great room for overlay hunters because many events, particularly time-sensitive promotional ones, fail to hit their guarantees, and Intertops therefore has to make up the difference.

Cards are only one type of gaming on offer here. There are also two separate casinos (along with the one in the poker client) and a fully featured sportsbook. You can take advantage of 100% up to $100 specials in each of the casinos and your choice of four bonuses to bet on sports.

After the generous perks for opening a new account are concluded, there's still more coming to pad your wallet at Intertops. A rake race is good for a total of $4,000 each week, and you don't need to play too heavily to place on it. As you complete loyalty tiers, you'll obtain gratis cash placed into your account along with gold chips, which can be exchanged for no-deposit bonuses. Frequent redeposit bonus offers mean that you're never too far away from additional free money.

To take advantage of sick promotions, soft tables, and all-in-one gambling pleasure, click the link above and get started today. We've gathered a lot of other information for you in our accurate Intertops review.

 

Winning Network

WPN/ACR Positive features image

The Winning Poker Network and its forerunners have been providing online poker to Florida and the rest of the United States since 2001. The top room on the network is called Americas Cardroom, and it's the second-largest site for online cards in the U.S. market. Every newly depositing player gets a 100% up to $1,000 bonus and a $50 free credit to check out whatever games catch your eye.

You can take a seat at a table for nano-stakes, down to $0.01/$0.02, at ACR, but the real excitement is at the high-roller tables. They go up to $25/$50 for NLHE and PLO, and there are even larger blinds in some of the LO8, Seven Card Stud, and LHE varieties. The sit-and-go lobby is also well beloved by those with huge piles of cash to devote to their hobbies because there are a few contests that cost more than a thousand dollars to sign up for.

Speaking of SNGs, there are a couple of pretty distinct formats that aren't spread elsewhere. SNG 2.0 is a nine-player contest that has multiple prize pool configurations and even special jackpot pools that can be unlocked based on the results of a pre-game round. Jackpot Poker is a three-handed, lottery-inspired game that allows you to play for up to 2,500 times the buyin.

The tournament scene at ACR is also potentially very remunerative if fortune should smile upon you. The weekly Sunday Major is named the “Sunday Special,” and it pays out no less than $150,000 to the best of those who pony up the $200 + $15 buyin. This is the largest such regularly scheduled tourney available to Floridans, but the money gets even better in the Million Dollar Sunday. This event runs every few months and awards at least $1,000,000 to the winners. Recurring tournament series, like the Online Super Series, give you a way to play lots of tournaments, in whatever kinds of poker you most enjoy, within a short period of time.

In the rewards department, Americas Cardroom is pretty robust. There are weekly leaderboards for SNG and cash (called Sit & Crush and The Beast respectively) that credit the top placers with cash prizes and satellite entries. On top of this, there's the Elite Benefits program that allows everyone to receive rewards depending on how many points they can grind out.

Begin your poker journey at Americas Cardroom by clicking on the above banner. You can instead peruse the site review we've compiled on ACR to acquaint yourself with how this operator works.

The WPN is a poker network that's comprised of many separate “skins”, which share player pools to keep their lobbies busy and full. If you want to know more about the other sites on the network, then you can take a look at the reviews we've written on the most reputable among them: BlackChip Poker (read review), True Poker (read review), PokerHost (read review). For profitable rakeback offers on the Winning Network, head over to our page covering these beneficial RB deals.

 

 

Grand Network

Desirable Features  of 5Dimes

Grand Poker is headlined by the well-established 5Dimes company, which had already managed very successful bookmaking and casino brands before launching its own poker network in 2014. Because it's one of the newer internet poker locations to grace the Florida online poker environment, traffic here is a bit light, but what games you do find will be filled with clueless opponents.

You see, most sophisticated poker sharks haven't yet discovered 5Dimes, leaving the seats occupied by some true fish. You can battle against them in ring games from $0.05/$0.10 to $1/$2 and tournaments up to $5 + $.50. Yes, this is a pretty small range of games available, so we do recommend that you find another place to play if you like big action and multitabling. Yet, this is an excellent backup site even for those who don't wish to make it their everyday home.

There are fee-free tourneys daily, allowing you to grow your account balance without having to fork over anything to the house. Furthermore, a $500 freeroll every Sunday gives you a chance to scoop up some winnings even if you have $0 to spare. You'll get 50% rakeback when you sign up through our links: a fine way to automatically enhance your bottom line over time.

The cross-platform compatibility at 5Dimes lets you play from just about any modern computing device. Follow the banner above to begin playing today. If you'd like to absorb more data about the room first, then our Grand Poker Network review may be just what you seek.

 


 

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 Winning.


♡ If you think you deserve the largest possible bonus, then Winning, Ignition, Chico, and Horizon all have $1,000 signup deals.


♡ If you'd like to sample games that might be difficult to find elsewhere, then Zone Poker at Ignition and Bovada and the interesting SNG variants developed by the WPN may appeal to you.


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


♡ If you're too busy to play from home all the time, then the mobile compatibility of Chico, Ignition, Bovada, and Grand Poker might 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 Grand and Intertops will leave you satisfied.


♡ If you wish to conduct multiple types of real money gambling at the same place, then Bovada, Chico, Intertops, and Grand 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. 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.

 

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.

Does Florida have a regulated online poker market?

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 serious initiatives for authorizing legal i-gaming in Florida.

Is online poker legal 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.

Is PokerStars legal in Florida?

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 jurisdiction is New Jersey where PokerStars manages a fully licensed online cardroom. 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.

Is Ignition Casino Poker legal in Florida?

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.

Is BetOnline Poker legal in Florida?

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.

Is Global Poker legal in Florida?

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.

What's the minimum age to gamble in Florida?

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.

Can I run my own online gambling business in Florida?

No, it would be foolish in the extreme to attempt to offer online 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.

Do I have to pay taxes on my poker winnings?

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.

Can I play poker in Florida on a Mac?

At one time, only a few internet poker rooms supported Mac computers, but happily, this is no longer the case. Ignition, Bovada, Sportsbetting.ag, and Grand Poker 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.

Is it possible to play poker on a mobile device?

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.

How do I put money into my account and claim my winnings at Florida online poker sites?

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!