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Online Poker in Hawaii? YES, Play Legally for Real Money in 2023!

Hawaii Online Poker

Can I play online poker in Hawaii? The answer is yes!

Is it legal to play online poker in Hawaii? The answer to this is also yes!


Online poker in Hawaii is just about the only way you can play cards in the Aloha State because there are no physical casinos or cardrooms anywhere in the state. If you had always just assumed that there were plenty of gambling options in the land of the hula, then you were mistaken. Hawaii is one of the strictest, if not the strictest, when it comes to land-based gambling.

There really isn’t much hope for this changing any time soon for players, but fortunately, offshore poker sites have not been scared away from offering games in the state. None of the Hawaii laws that could be interpreted as making online poker illegal are ever enforced against people who engage in this enjoyable pastime. At the federal level, all laws that target online gaming are directed squarely at those running the sites, not individual players. Therefore, there's no chance of your getting in legal trouble if you want to play privately on your own computer.

Below we talk about the best Hawaii online poker sites not only in terms of offerings, but also promotions and why you would want to give your play to any of the great listed sites!

What Online Poker Sites Can I Play in Hawaii?

There are almost no venues for live, real money gaming in Hawaii, which is why many of its residents turn to online poker to get their betting thrills. Some sites that offer this game are run well and are dependable, but others among them are shady and untrustworthy. We've taken a look at all of them to safeguard you against operators that aren't all that they appear to be. All of the internet poker rooms below run their games fairly and process payouts without incident. Pick a poker home from the possibilities below, and you'll soon enjoy the poker action you crave.



150% up to $1,500
4.7 / 5



If you seek the site with the most simultaneously active tables, then Ignition is the place to be. It has bustling No Limit Hold'em and Limit Hold'em sections, and you can also enjoy PLO, PLO/8, fast-fold Zone Poker and lottery-style Jackpot Sit & Gos. If tourneys are more your speed, then you'll be glad to know that there's a $150,000 guaranteed MTT every Sunday, supplemented by a million-dollar guaranteed event each month and regular tournament series that routinely award eight figures in prize money.

It's possible to download and run Ignition Poker on a PC or Mac. Furthermore, there's a web-based interface that works with mobile computing devices. New Bitcoin depositors can redeem a 150% up to $1,500 poker bonus and a similarly sized deal for the casino too.



100% up to $1,000
4.5 / 5



SB Poker has a well-rounded cash games section, which includes NLHE, PLO, PLO/8, 6+ Hold'em, and fast-fold Boost pools. For Hold'em and Boost, this room offers Bad Beat Jackpots where a stroke of fortune could see you pick up a massive prize. Other games spread include Windfall lottery-style contests and MTTs. There are plenty of leaderboards for ring games and SNGs that give you a chance to score some extra cash.

SB Poker is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android. The poker welcome bonus is a 100% up to $1,000 match.



100% up to $1,000
4.4 / 5



BetOnline is a sister site of SB Poker, which means that it has all the same poker games and tournaments. BetOnline's mobile poker client is especially well-respected in the world of internet poker. It lists just about the entire portfolio of games and tables that are present on the desktop version, and the gameplay is smooth and intuitive even on smaller screens. You can multi-table easily on the mobile client.

BOL's mobile apps run on Android and iOS devices while the desktop client works on Windows and Mac OS machines. When you make your first deposit, you can obtain a 100% up to $1,000 poker bonus, and further bonuses await in the sportsbook and casino sections of the website.



100% up to $500
4.2 / 5



Bovada and its partner Ignition utilize the same poker network, so the card games at both sites are virtually identical. However, Bovada has an advantage over its sibling Ignition: a full-featured sportsbook. Thus, Bovada hosts a trifecta of gaming products – poker room, casino, and sportsbook – making it an ideal Hawaii online betting platform no matter which forms of real money gaming you most appreciate.

Bovada's poker software works on Macs and PCs. In addition, there's a web cardroom that you can access with any up-to-date browser. The poker welcome bonus is a 100% up to $500 deal, and you can also redeem bonuses of up to $750 in the sportsbook and $3,750 in the casino.



100% up to $2,000
4.1 / 5


$10 FREE

Americas Cardroom is THE place to go for big online poker tournaments. The fun starts with the million-dollar guaranteed MTT that takes place every Sunday, which is part of the $12 million in weekly guarantees offered. If that's not enough, there are also recurring tournament series as well as $5+ million VENOM events a couple of times per year. Of course, there's also NL Hold'em, PL Omaha, Limit Hold'em, PL Omaha/8 and other cash games available, Blitz fast-fold games, sit n' gos, Jackpot Poker, and more.

ACR's standard poker software works with PCs and Macs, and there's also a mobile cardroom though it only supports a few types of games. Enter our special ACR promo code PRB10FREE to get a $10 no deposit bonus. When you make a deposit, you will get a further 100% up to $2,000 in bonus funds.



100% up to $700
4.0 / 5



CoinPoker denominates its tables in Tether (USDT) though you can deposit and withdraw in several other cryptos, like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Of all crypto-only poker sites, this one has the highest traffic and the greatest number of games running. In addition to your winnings at the tables, you can scoop up extra profits from the weekly leaderboards for cash and tournaments. 5 Card PLO and Open Face Chinese are offered here: two games that are hard to find elsewhere.

You can access CoinPoker from a PC, Mac, Android device, or iOS system. CoinPoker now offers three distinct deposit bonuses for new players including 100% up to $700, 100% up to $300, and 100% up to $100. You can redeem the three bonuses in any order that you'd like and you can claim 33% rakeback weekly as long as you invest a small amount in the proprietary CHP token.



200% up to $1,000
3.8 / 5



There are only a few games simultaneously running at Everygame, in NL Hold'em, PL Omaha, and PL Omaha/8 formats. However, despite the small size of this room, there are a wealth of benefits to playing here. First off, you'll get 36% lifetime rakeback and the chance to score additional rakeback in the weekly rake race. Moreover, there are many reload bonuses, a loyalty program, freerolls, and other seasonal promotions that return a healthy kickback to regular players.

The Everygame poker executable is designed solely for Windows, but there's an Instant Play interface that caters to users of Macs, smartphones, tablets, and other systems. Make your first deposit to get a 200% up to $1,000 bonus and 25 free casino slot spins.



3.6 / 5



Beyond the typical two- and four-card poker variants that you can find at just about every online site, SwCPoker also spreads Stud, Draw Games, Lowball, HORSE, 8-game, and many others. This room is an offshoot of Seals With Clubs, the original Bitcoin poker provider, and it carries on the tradition of crypto poker although it now transacts in Bitcoin Cash in addition to legacy Bitcoin.

SwC's software runs on Macs, iOS, Windows, and Android machines. This site lacks a first deposit bonus, but the Krill rewards program delivers up to 50% rakeback depending on your volume of play.



100% up to 25 mBTC
3.3 / 5



Nitrobetting is a Bitcoin-friendly operation that, unlike some competitors, maintains its purity by not transacting in any other crypto coin. Here you can enjoy NL Texas Hold'em, PLO, Crazy Hold'em, 6+ Hold'em, and Limit Hold'em. There's a fairly robust cash game section, but although there are sit n' goes and tournaments, they number only a few.

Because it runs in your web browser rather than through download software, Nitrobetting boasts wide cross-platform compatibility. Nitrobetting extends to newcomers a 100% up to 25 mBTC poker bonus.



How to Choose the Right Hawaii Online Poker Site

As you can see, there are many reputable internet poker providers to select from. No single one of them is best in all departments, so you'll have to think about your unique preferences and the types of games you play to identify one to register an account with. The right site for you might be different from what your friend or neighbor would choose. We can't make this decision for you, but we can highlight a few important considerations that you'll want to bear in mind as you weigh all the sites against each other in your mind.

△ If you want to see many tables with players at them, then the heavy player traffic at Ignition, Bovada, and Americas Cardroom ought to please you.

△ If the size of your welcome bonus matters a lot to you, then ACR's $2,000 in free poker funds should satisfy you.

△ If you're looking for a room where you can play from your Mac or Mobile device, then Ignition, SB Poker, Bovada, and BetOnline are probably your best bets.

△ If you're searching for fast-fold poker, then Ignition's Zone Poker, SB Poker and BetOnline's Boost games, and Americas Cardroom's Blitz games may appeal to you.

△ If you feel that VIP rewards are what's due to every player, then Americas Cardroom's Elite Benefits and Everygame's Loyalty Levels may be just what you're after.

△ If you're in the market for rakeback rewards, then Everygame's 36% RB deal will deliver the cashback you deserve.

△ If you want to bet on sports and casino games in addition to poker, then Bovada, SB Poker, BetOnline, and Everygame possess the broad range of wagering possibilities that you seek.

Payout Report for Players from Hawaii

Dollar Bills

It's a piece of cake to make a deposit and receive cashouts from the sites we recommend, and this is especially true if you utilize the digital currency Bitcoin. Although it does take a while to get all your BTC-related wallet and exchange accounts set up, making this initial investment will redound to your benefit many times over. If you don't know much about bitcoin but would like to learn how to use it, then read our instructional guide on getting started in Bitcoin. If you opt to use different cashier methods instead, you'll get your money with no problems, but there might be fees and delays involved.

Alternatives to Opening an Online Poker Account in Hawaii

Hawaii and Neighboring States

Perhaps you are fortunate enough to have another address in a nearby state, be it your business address, summer home, second apartment, family home, etc. If this sounds like you, then you may have other online poker options available. Here is a list of the states that a typical Hawaiian resident might have a secondary residence in and Professional Rakeback's review of each of them: Alaska, California, Florida, Oregon, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. For info pertinent to some other state or to the United States as a whole, look at our guide to the U.S. online poker landscape.

There's a lot of ignorance about online poker in Hawaii. Please share this page with any of your friends and acquaintances whom you believe could benefit from it. This will help popularize and spread the truth about the game we like playing.

Facts About Poker in Hawaii

The section below will aim to provide factual details regarding the legality of playing online poker, live gambling locations, state regulation, famous

Hawaii Online Poker Laws

Legal Reference Book

The laws relating to gambling in Hawaii are very strict, and they're contained in the Hawaii Revised Statutes, Title 37, Chapter 712, which is called “Offenses Against Public Health and Morals" and is split up into three parts, each dealing with a specific category of criminal activity. Part III is the section that treats gambling-related offenses. In 712-1223, we see that:

Gambling. (1) A person commits the offense of gambling if the person knowingly advances or participates in any gambling activity.
(2) Gambling is a misdemeanor.

Now that brings up the point of what counts as gambling. We can look in the definitions section of this part (712-1220) for some clarity on this matter:

"Gambling". A person engages in gambling if he stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.

There follow exceptions for legitimate business transactions, futures contracts, etc. Nothing in these exceptions pertains to poker, so the applicability of this definition to the game depends on whether or not poker is a “contest of chance.” This terminology is also defined:

"Contest of chance" means any contest, game, gaming scheme, or gaming device in which the outcome depends in a material degree upon an element of chance, notwithstanding that skill of the contestants may also be a factor therein.

Ah, it's the old “Material Element Test.” This test is not a standardized one, like the SATs, where you know how the result is calculated. It rather is based upon the thought processes (and feelings) of whoever is deciding the test. Suffice it to say that it's not clear whether or not poker does depend “in a material degree upon an element of chance.” For more info on the inadequacies of the Material Element Test, see this paper by respected gaming attorney Erica Okerberg.

Based upon the vagaries of this definition, it's possible that you could theoretically be charged under Hawaii laws with gambling if you play online poker. However, this is mainly a language game with words and definitions. In reality, no individual player has ever been brought up on charges in the Aloha State. You can play from your home with utmost security in the knowledge that this “crime” – if crime it be – is ignored altogether by the enforcers of the law.

The owners and operators of real money gaming companies in Hawaii face stiffer penalties. Promoting gambling, possession of gambling records, and possession of a gambling device are just a few of the violations with which they could be charged. Some of these crimes are felonies. Nevertheless, almost no online gaming firm has decided to exit the HI market, so their counsel must feel that the risks of facing gambling-related charges are slim.

Hawaii does have a carveout for social gambling. As one might expect given the negative view toward gambling held by the authorities, the rules for social games are quite detailed. There are the standard proscriptions against anyone profiting other than as a player, and the game must be fair. In addition, these events cannot take place in public places, including parks, restaurants, school grounds, bars, and a whole litany of other specified kinds of properties. What's more, no business can profit by such a game even indirectly, e.g., by supplying food, drinks, etc.

Land-Based Gambling

Brick Building

This might be one of the easiest sections to write of any state, as there are no regulated gambling institutions in the state of Hawaii. They don’t have a state lottery, no types of casinos, they don’t allow charitable gambling, and there are no horse or dog tracks for patrons to go to.

Apart from limited social games, the legal HI gambling scene is nonexistent. What most Hawaiians do when they feel like making a few bets is head over to Las Vegas, which has been called “The Ninth Island of Hawaii” due to the number of Hawaiians who take their vacations in Sin City.

Obviously, if regulated internet gaming were to come to the state, some big, big changes would need to be untaken. It’s not clear if companies would have to set up their own casino on the island or if they would just run the business from afar, but much would need to be done in the state to make regulated online gambling a viable endeavor. Don’t expect that to change any time soon.

Regulation Chances for Online Poker

File Folder With Pages

With the lack of currently regulated real money gaming choices for Hawaiians, one might think that there's nothing much going on legislatively either. However, there have been dozens of proposed gambling-related laws introduced in the past few years that would permit online poker, slots in airports, commercial casinos, and more. Needless to say, none of the bills concerning these types of gambling were approved.

One of the recent attempts was SB677 in 2018 by State Senator Michelle Kidani. It would have set up a Hawaii Internet Lottery and Gaming Corporation to conduct online wagering with the proceeds used to fund education. The bill was referred to committee and did not pass.

There are no existing land-based casino or cardroom forces that could lobby for online poker licensing. The hospitality industry wishes to keep Hawaii family-friendly and retain revenue in their existing properties, so they're not likely to help either. And with a population of around a million and a half residents, the state is simply too small to attract much attention from outside entities who might wish to offer their services.

We find it highly unlikely that Hawaii will establish a real money internet gaming licensing arrangement except perhaps as part of a future federal system for lawful online poker.

History of Gambling in Hawaii

Makahiki Festival
Makahiki Festival Celebrants

Tribal Hawaiians loved to engage in a little betting especially during the annual New Year's Makahiki festival. Though its roots derive from traditional religious ceremonies, once the deities were paid their due, the games could begin. Chiefs and commoners traveled far and wide to watch their favorite champions compete in pohaku ikaika (stone lifting), mokomoko (boxing), and of course he`e nalu (surfing) among other tests of strength and physical agility. Spectators wagered among themselves on who would prevail. Over time, this gambling assumed a greater and greater role in the event with some risking all they owned on the outcomes. There are even reports, difficult to substantiate, that a few overeager bettors put their lives at stake. With such valuables on the line, it's easy to understand what writer Alton Pryor noticed in his “Little Known Tales in Hawaii History”: “The games seldom ended without fierce brawls between the different parties.”

Captain James Cook
Captain James Cook

British Captain James Cook came into contact with the native Hawaiians in 1778, and then other Westerners followed. Christian missionaries didn't like the large-scale gambling that was going on, and the practice was curtailed. Another form of betting arose to take its place though: racetrack wagering. The Hawaiian Jockey Club was established in 1872 by no less a personage than King Kalakaua who reigned in the years when Hawaii was an independent monarchy prior to being annexed by the United States in 1898. Horse racing remained common throughout the islands, especially among servicemen during WWII, until the late '40s. It waned in popularity thereafter, removing the only regulated gambling option for residents of the Islands of Aloha.

Our team of experts has created a detailed historical gambling timeline that covers every gambling-related event to take place within the state of Hawaii.

Hawaii Gambling Timeline

Famous Hawaiian Poker Players

Shooting Star

Fairly isolated from the mainland and in any case virtually devoid of gambling opportunities, Hawaii is a laggard when it comes to the production of successful poker players. Nevertheless, there are several prominent players who hail from The 808 State. Perhaps the most famous is Brandon Eisen who's from Mililani.

Brandon Eisen
Brandon Eisen of Mililani, Hawaii

Though he's mostly a cash game player, Brandon started to compete in big tournaments in 2013. His first notable cash came in the 2014 $1,111 Little One for One Drop charity event at the World Series of Poker. Eisen's third-place finish was good for $283,895.

Brandon Eisen has since that time amassed a total of 30 cashes in WSOP bracelet events along with 15 cashes in the WSOP Circuit although he has yet to win a bracelet. His biggest payday, however, came not in a WSOP tournament but in the 2018 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $5,250 Championship Event, which he won for a prize of $771,444. In total, Brandon's live poker tournament earnings exceed $1.9 million: the highest of any player from Hawaii.

Other Online Gambling Available to Hawaiians

Besides poker, there are other types of online wagering that Hawaii's residents can access. Whether you wish to try out blackjack or slots when you have a little downtime or intend to bet on your favorite sports team before the big game starts, you can certainly do so from the comfort of your home.

Online Casinos

Hawaii's strong anti-gambling stance means that there's no regulated casino entertainment possible: neither live nor online casinos are supported by state law. This means that you must head over to an offshore casino if you want to play slots, craps, roulette, or other similar games.

We have found three dependable internet casinos that are available in Hawaii.

1. Cafe Casino - 350% up to $5,000 Bitcoin Bonus (Double the Standard Bonus)
2. Wild Casino - $9,000 in Bitcoin Bonuses ($5,000 for non-crypto users)
3. Ignition Casino - 150% up to $1,500 Bitcoin Welcome Bonus

There are actually plenty of other internet casino destinations for Hawaii's players, and you can learn more about them with this page devoted to the most trusted US online casinos.

Online Sportsbooks

Hawaii has historically eschewed any types of betting within its borders, and this is true when it comes to sports betting too. Still, there are outside bookmakers that are more than willing to transact in The Aloha State.

In order to protect you from possibly underhanded bookmakers, we have narrowed the list down to three sportsbooks that appear especially honorable.

1. Bovada Sports - 75% up to $750 Bonus (50% up to $250 for non-crypto)
2. - 100% up to $1,000 Bitcoin First Deposit Bonus
3. Everygame Sports - Get a $250 Bonus on Your First Three Deposits

Other upstanding sportsbooks exist for American bettors, and you can learn more about them in this list of the top sportsbooks for USA residents.

Summary of Online Poker in Hawaii

There's no reason to abstain from real-money online poker in Hawaii because of the many internet-based sites available to you. Grab a cocktail, open a window to enjoy the fine weather, and play cards at the Hawaii online poker site of your choice. With any luck, you'll soon be hitting the “cash out” button and receiving your winnings shortly thereafter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Online poker in Hawaii is a complex subject with many moving parts. If you still have questions about certain aspects of it, look below in our FAQ where we have collected quite a few questions and answers on this topic.

Yes, online poker is effectively legal to play in Hawaii. There are state laws that could arguably outlaw the pastime, but these statutes have never, in practice, been used to prosecute internet poker players.

Federal laws don't criminalize playing online poker either. The UIGEA, for example, concerns itself with those offering the games and payment processors rather than ordinary players.

Yes, PokerStars is transacting legally in Hawaii but only for play money games. You see, as part of the settlement that the company entered into with the DoJ to resolve the Black Friday charges against it, PokerStars pledged to not offer real money games to American customers.

The exception is in states where PokerStars has a specific license that allows it to provide real money poker services. The list of such states is pretty short: New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Until Hawaii joins these states in implementing a licensing regime for online poker, which seems unlikely to occur anytime soon, PokerStars will not be able to extend its real money platform to Hawaii's residents.

The legal team at Global has developed what it feels is an iron-clad workaround to federal and state illegal gambling statutes. We hope this is true, but we have our doubts. This subject is too involved to go into here in detail, but you can learn more about it with our review of Global Poker.

Yes, Ignition is legally operating in Hawaii. Despite what state and federal law enforcement might think, Ignition is following well-established trade rules, established by treaties to which the United States is a signatory, that allow different countries access to each other markets for gambling and other services.

Yes, it's not illegal for you to play at BetOnline, and BetOnline isn't in any legal predicament by serving Hawaii. BOL's lawyers have undoubtedly taken a look at the situation for real money online gaming in The Aloha State and have determined that the risk of prosecution is minimal. BetOnline holds a valid license from Panama, and under the terms of this license and Panamanian law, it's allowed to accept customers from a multitude of jurisdictions around the world, including Hawaii.

Yes, you can certainly play at Bovada from Hawaii. There's a shortlist of states from which Bovada does not accept customers, but fortunately, Hawaii is not among them.

For a while starting in 2016, it was impossible to play poker at Bovada because the firm decided to close its poker room. However, this decision was reversed in 2017, and Bovada Poker returned to the United States. Therefore, you can now enjoy this renowned destination for offshore poker.

Starting at the age of 18, individuals in Hawaii can partake in the very limited forms of gambling that are allowed. This basically refers to just social gaming amongst friends.

Online, this same 18-year-old threshold applies. You should not attempt to open an account for online poker if you are below this age. When it's time to request a withdrawal, you'll have problems trying to verify your identity. In this case, your account could be terminated and your real money balance confiscated.

No, it would be foolish in the extreme to try to manage an illegal gambling enterprise in Hawaii. The state's police forces are known for their diligence in busting up illicit gambling rings. Just look at the raid in March 2012 when Hawaii County police targeted an alleged gambling room and arrested 12 people.

Unless you wish to end up like the unlucky defendants in that case, we counsel you to steer clear of the underground Hawaii gambling scene.

There are plenty of ways to conduct your deposits and withdrawals for online poker, including credit cards, wire transfers, and checks. However, in today's modern world, the best payment processor for online gaming is Bitcoin.

Bitcoin permits you to perform speedy transactions with low fees and a high degree of anonymity. All of the sites that we recommend for Hawaiians support BTC. A growing number of them also let you deposit and withdraw with “altcoins” like Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum.

Yes, there's an exemption in the otherwise strict Hawaii anti-gambling statutes for social poker games. The usual prohibitions against minors playing, the house taking a rake, and the game taking place in a public place apply. As long as you host your home poker game in a private residence with equal odds for all participants (who are above the age of 18) and nobody benefits economically from the game, you're legally in the clear.

Additional Resources

To investigate further into Hawaii gambling, the below resources may be useful:

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!