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Online Poker in Iowa: best legal & reputable sites for Hawkeyes in 2023

Online Poker in the State of Iowa

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

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


Iowa may be seen as a fairly standard, run-of-the-mill Midwestern state, but below that exterior, there is the life of a fairly progressive gambling state that's mostly unexpected. Iowa is home to many different types of gambling options, and in terms of sheer volume, the choices are unmistakable. One thing that's lacking though is real money regulated Iowa online poker. While there have been discussions to make this a reality, it just isn’t there yet. Luckily, there are great options for online poker in Iowa as offshore sites offer a full array of gambling options for those in the state to take advantage of. We have compiled a list of those options for you to read about and make the best choice for your playing needs.

What Online Poker Sites Can I Play in Iowa?

The poker sites available to Iowans are mostly upstanding, reputable organizations, but there are a few that you ought to be wary of because they're not all on the up and up. Fortunately, we've done the work of identifying those that will treat you right, and we've presented them below. Whichever of these sites you opt to play at, you'll get to enjoy fully featured, up-to-date software, fairly run games, and the timely payout of your winnings. Read what we have to say about them, and then sign up at the one that seems most tempting to you.



150% up to $1,500
4.5 / 5



You'll find tons of tables running at all hours of the day at Ignition Poker because it's the biggest site for online poker in the United States. Ignition offers a wide variety of cash game variants including NL Hold'em, Limit Hold'em, PLO, and PLO/8. Also on offer are fast-fold Zone Poker, multi-table tournaments, sit-and-gos, and lotto-inspired Jackpot SNGs. Ignition also hosts the Monthly Milly which as the name implies is a recurring monthly tournament featuring a prize pool of at least $1 million.

The Ignition Poker client is downloadable on any PC or Mac device. Additionally, Ignition offers a browser-based interface that functions on any tablet or mobile device. First-time depositors are eligible for a poker bonus of 100% up to $1,000 (150% up to $1,500 for Bitcoin deposits) at Ignition, and another $1,000 deposit bonus is available to wager in the casino.



100% up to $1,000
4.4 / 5


READ REVIEW, along with the other rooms on the Chico Poker Network, is the third-largest poker room available to U.S. players according to player traffic. SB Poker offers a wide range of poker variants such as NL Hold'em, Limit Hold'em, PLO/8, PLO, and fast-fold Boost Poker. SB Poker also features numerous multi-table tournaments, sit-and-gos, and lotto-style Windfall SNGs. SB Poker also boasts the largest Bad Beat Jackpot available to Americans, occasionally reaching upwards of $1 million.

SB Poker can be downloaded on any Windows or Mac device, and there's also an excellent mobile iteration of the poker software available for iOS and Android. New players will receive a 100% up to $1,000 poker bonus on their first deposit, and additional valuable promotions are on offer in the attached sportsbook and casino.



100% up to $1,000
4.4 / 5



Of the various internet poker rooms that cater to mobile players, BetOnline may feature the best mobile software, which is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. The graphics are crystal clear, the interface is intuitive, and the variety of games is comprehensive. BOL is a sister of SB Poker on the Chico Poker Network, therefore the poker selection is almost identical and shares its traffic between the two sites.

BetOnline boasts superb mobile software in addition to a comprehensive desktop client for Windows and Mac devices. Visit BetOnline today and you'll get a poker bonus equal to 100% of your first deposit up to $1,000.



100% up to $500
4.2 / 5



Bovada is a sister site to Ignition Poker on the Pai Wang Luo network. Therefore, both sites offer the same array of poker games and tables. The main benefit to playing at Bovada is that it offers a world-class sportsbook, something Ignition lacks. In fact, you can bet on eSports, entertainment events, and politics in addition to the traditional range of sporting events on offer. Bovada also features a racebook, which lists over one hundred tracks from all over the world.

Bovada Poker can be downloaded on Mac and PC devices. Mobile users can utilize the browser-based poker client to play. You can get a poker bonus worth 100% of your deposit up to $500. Check out the attached casino and sportsbook to receive additional bonus funds.



100% up to $2,000
4.1 / 5



Americas Cardroom is the flagship site on the Winning Poker Network, the second-largest online poker operator catering to U.S. players. ACR offers a wide array of cash game formats including NL Hold'em, Limit Hold'em, PL Omaha, and Omaha Hi/Lo. Cash game blinds start as low as $0.01/$0.02 and high-stakes games featuring blinds as high as $25/$50 are also regularly occurring. ACR also offers an impressive variety of multi-table tournaments including recurring tournaments like the VENOM and the Online Super Series. The VENOM features a $5 million guaranteed prize pool!

Americas Cardroom offers a downloadable poker client for both Windows and Mac devices. A mobile client is available as well, but it offers a very limited list of available poker games. Grab $10 free by using our PRB10FREE bonus code and you can also receive a 100% of your first deposit up to $2,000.



100% up to $700
4.0 / 5



CoinPoker is the largest crypto-only poker room on the web, and it is growing quite quickly. Tables are exclusively denominated using Tether (USDT), although you can deposit and withdraw using a few other cryptos, like Bitcoin. There are weekly leaderboards for cash games and tournaments to enhance your crypto bankroll even further.

The CoinPoker software is fully compatible with any modern computing device, including iOS and Android mobile systems. You can benefit from an excellent set of three deposit bonuses at CoinPoker including a 100% bonus of up to $700, a 100% bonus of up to $300, and a 100% bonus of up to $100. Also, you can claim 33% rakeback every week if you hold a balance of CoinPoker's proprietary coin, CHP.



200% up to $1,000
3.9 / 5



The poker traffic at Everygame doesn't really hold a candle to the above rooms, but there are plenty of other reasons to make it your online poker home as long as you don't expect to be able to heavily multiple for high stakes. Everygame offers 36% rakeback which is issued daily, as well as other valuable promotions including rake races, reload bonuses, overlay tournaments, and a robust VIP player program.

The Everygame Poker client is available to download on any Windows device. Users of other devices can utilize an instant play interface to play via any modern browser on virtually any computer, tablet, or mobile device. The welcome bonus for poker is 200% up to $1,000 of your first deposit + 25 free casino slot spins. Additional value awaits you with promotions in the casinos and the sportsbook.



3.6 / 5



SwCPoker conducts all of its deposits, withdrawals, and gameplay using Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. The gameplay on offer here is quite varied with all the standard game types, like NL Hold'em and PL Omaha, but also multiple obscure types of poker including HORSE, Razz, and Open Face Chinese. Micro-stakes tables are not subject to any rake or fees, and numerous freerolls serve to place extra funds back into your bankroll.

SwCPoker operates on PC, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. Although SwC lacks an initial deposit bonus, you can earn up to 50% rakeback, depending on how much volume you put in at the tables.



100% up to 25 mBTC
3.3 / 5



Unlike many of the other crypto poker rooms, Nitrobetting has deployed Bitcoin exclusively for all deposits, withdrawals, and gameplay. No additional cryptocurrencies are utilized here, creating a simple and user friendly experience. Numerous poker variants are on offer here including NL Hold'em, Limit Hold'em, Crazy Hold'em, PL Omaha, and 6+ Hold'em. Freerolls can also reward dedicated grinders daily and weekly.

Nitrobetting runs in any modern web browser, therefore, the poker software works with numerous OSes including iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS. Visit Nitrobetting now and get a 100% poker bonus worth up to 25mBTC. Check out the attached sportsbook and casino to receive additional bonuses.



How to Choose the Best Iowa Poker Site For Your Style of Play

The various poker rooms for players from Iowa each have their own individual characteristics and advantages. Therefore, we can't advise you to select any one of them over another. The choice of poker company to do business with will depend on your own needs and preferences. Although it's not our place to tell you where to play, we do have a number of considerations you'll want to bear in mind as you ponder the path you intend to take.

✶ If you're on the lookout for the best possible bonus, then you'll want to put Everygame's 200% offer and Ignition's $1,500 fast-clearing bonus on your shortlist.

✶ If the size of a room is your primary concern, then you'll be happy with the large player traffic at Ignition, Americas Cardroom, and Bovada.

✶ If you wish to partake in different kinds of real money wagering, then SB Poker, Everygame, BetOnline, Bovada, and Nitrobetting offer sports, casino, and poker.

✶If you prefer to remain anonymous and only use crypto to play poker, you may want to check out CoinPoker, SwCPoker, or Nitrobetting.

✶ If you're planning to play from a Mac or mobile device, then the software from SB Poker, Ignition, BetOnline, or Bovada will let you play with comfort.

✶ If you prioritize rakeback when evaluating poker sites, then don't forget about Everygame's 36% RB special. CoinPoker also offers 33% RB if you hold a balance of CHP, CoinPoker's unique crypto token.

✶ If you want to try out something off the beaten path, then Ignition, Americas Cardroom, BetOnline, Bovada, and SB Poker have lottery sit-n-go and fast-fold tables to check out.

✶ If you appreciate big tourney prize pools, then Ignition, Americas Cardroom, and Bovada have the massive events you seek.

How Do I Receive Withdrawals and Payments?

Black Money Bag

It's no problem to cash out your poker winnings because all of the Iowa online poker sites will send a check to your doorstep. Some of them have other payment processors available too, like money transfers and debit cards. All of them also support the digital currency Bitcoin. When you make your money transfers using this crypto coin, you can avoid certain fees and delays that are inherent in traditional cashouts. If you don't really know how to begin using Bitcoin, then we've prepared a handy guide to crypto-currency that you may wish to take a look at.

Alternatives to Registering Your Account in the State of Iowa

Iowa and Bordering 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, or some other property. If so, then you may have other online poker options available to choose from. Here is a list of the states that border Iowa and Professional Rakeback's review on each of them: Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. For a broader perspective on internet poker throughout the country as a whole, you can read our page devoted to U.S.A online poker.

Online poker in Iowa is a topic about which there is a lot of ignorance. If you know anybody - friend, family member, acquaintance, coworker, etc. - whom you think might want to learn about poker over the internet, then please consider sharing this article with them.

Facts About Iowa Poker Industry

The sections below aim to provide factual information regarding the laws involving gambling in Iowa, current and incoming state regulation, live gambling locations, and the history of poker and gambling throughout the state.

The Legality of Online Poker in Iowa

Legal Reference Book

This may seem a bit unusual, but Iowa has a very tough stance on unlawful gambling notwithstanding its myriad legalized forms of brick-and-mortar wagering. When we take a step back for a moment, this makes a lot of sense. The state derives considerable revenue from its casinos, lottery, and other real money gaming options, so it wishes to dissuade anyone partaking in gambling from which the state coffers aren't enriched. The main parts of the law that could relate to online poker are contained in the Iowa Code, Title XVI - Criminal Law and Procedure, Chapter 725 - Vice. Most relevant is §725.7 - Gaming and betting — penalty:

1. Except as permitted in chapters 99B and 99D, a person shall not do any of the following:
a. Participate in a game for any sum of money or other property of any value.
b. Make any bet.
c. For a fee, directly or indirectly, give or accept anything of value to be wagered or to be transmitted or delivered for a wager to be placed within or without the state of Iowa.
d. For a fee, deliver anything of value which has been received outside the enclosure of a racetrack licensed under chapter 99D to be placed as wagers in the pari-mutuel pool or other authorized systems of wagering.
e. Engage in bookmaking

The part we're concerned about is a. It's very broadly worded and could easily apply to online poker. Just in case it doesn't, b. seems to be another avenue for possibly targeting internet poker. The consequences for breaking this law depend upon how much money is involved, and they get higher for repeat offenders. A first offense involving $100 or less is categorized as a serious misdemeanor. This type of crime carries a fine of between $315 and $1,875 as well as incarceration for up to a year. If the sum of cash at stake is $5,000 or more, then a violation is deemed a Class C felony even for a first offense. Class C felonies can subject the guilty party to a fine from $1,000 up to $10,000 and a jail sentence of up to 10 years.

There have been occasional raids wherein ordinary players have been charged under §725.7, but the important thing to note is that all of these enforcement actions affected those participating in unlicensed live poker games, not online card tables. We haven't been able to dig up any evidence of this law ever being used to go after online poker players. You should be perfectly safe, from a legal standpoint, as long as you play poker over the internet privately from your own home.

Social gaming is allowed under very specific rules and stipulations contained in Chapter 99, including:

  • A genuine social relationship must exist between the players
  • The game must be fairly run
  • Nobody can claim any portion of a pot or money wagered except as a player
  • No cover charges are allowed, and no rebates or discounts can be offered to individuals for playing
  • Nobody can win or lose more than $200 in any 24-hour period
  • Any law enforcement personnel is granted immediate access to the premises upon request

Licensed liquor establishments can also host social games provided that they obtain a social gambling license and pay a $150 fee, but they cannot act as cashier or banker for the games. They can also organize and conduct sports pools.

Possession of a gambling device, keeping gambling houses, pool selling (except by authorized businesses), and selling illegal lottery tickets are all contrary to the laws of Iowa. Amazingly, most of these crimes are treated as serious misdemeanors – the same as any ordinary player who puts less than $100 at risk! Needless to say, foreign gambling companies aren't dissuaded from serving the state by these trivial penalties. All of the poker sites that serve Americans are willing to accept Iowan action. Their legal teams have no doubt concluded that there's virtually no chance of their employers being convicted under any of these statutes.

Chapter 99 lists types of gaming that are excluded from being covered by Chapter 725. Among them are charitable games, social gaming, commercial casinos, tribal casinos, pari-mutuel betting, and the state lottery.

Land-Based Gambling

Horseshoe Council Bluffs Logo

Iowa falls on the very liberal side in terms of land-based gambling options. It offers the state lottery, tribal casinos, commercial casinos, pari-mutuel betting, and charitable gambling options. Wagering on sports was added in 2019.

There are around two dozen casinos in total. Though the commercial casinos are technically riverboats, this is mostly legal fiction. Because these boats are now allowed to be permanently docked, they're basically identical to any casino housed within a landside building in any other state. Poker has thus flourished in the region with the largest card room being at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs. It has 18 tables that spread low-limit No Limit Texas Hold'em, Limit Texas Hold'em, and Limit Omaha/8. Every day of the week except Friday, there's at least one tournament.

If poker were to get regulated in the state of Iowa there are already natural establishments to take the lead on offering games to citizens. As mentioned, the Horseshoe has a presence in the state, and it's owned by Caesars Entertainment, which also owns the brand. While other smaller casinos in the state have significant followings, it is not really clear if they would be able to support their own sites as well unless they partnered with one of the other major regulated poker brands.

State Regulation

Manilla File Folder

Iowa actually stands a decent chance of getting online poker regulated within the state. It might not be quite as quick as West Virginia, but something happening within five years is completely possible.

The reason for this kind of optimism comes from the fact that some talks have already happened in the past about this. In 2012, a bill to regulate online poker, Senate File 2275, passed in the Senate, but it died in the house. A similar piece of legislation was introduced the next year, but it achieved even less success than its predecessor. The regulation of sports betting, both online and offline, in 2019 is also a reason for hope with regards to poker.

Of course, even if online poker became regulated in Iowa, there is no guarantee that it would be an unqualified success. The state is rather small in population, and this could cause a problem in trying to get sites off the ground. One thing working in favor of the state though is that there is already a good gambling infrastructure available, so it won't be necessary to completely change the nature of the state.

History of Gambling in Iowa

Antique Compass
George Channing Haddock
George Channing Haddock
Anti-Gambling Crusader in Sioux City

Most of the economic activity in Iowa was concentrated on agriculture from the start of its organization as a territory of the United States in 1838. Therefore, there weren't a ton of wild-living miners, cowboys, lumbermen, or other individualistic risk takers like there were in areas further west. Still, there were exceptions to this general trend. Sioux City was founded in 1854 on the Missouri River, and it soon grew to become a major port for riverboats. Gambling and prostitution were rife, and the town gained a reputation for lawlessness. Into the picture stepped preacher and temperance advocate George Channing Haddock in 1885. His fiery sermons attracted quite a bit of attention from onlookers, not least of whom were the owners of saloons and gambling establishments. They formed a conspiracy and had him killed in 1886. Their plan backfired because Haddock became a martyr, and the illicit drinking and gaming houses were driven out of town.

Carter Lake, Iowa
Map of Carter Lake, IA

Carter Lake, on the Nebraska/Iowa border, became a gambling hotspot too but for quite different reasons. In 1877, the Missouri River flooded, and its entire course changed, leaving Carter Lake on the “wrong” side of the river. For a while, there was some uncertainty as to whether it yet remained in Iowa or was now part of Nebraska. Even after an 1892 Supreme Court decision clarified that it was still part of Iowa, the state didn't have any intention of providing services across the river to the isolated community. Nebraska's leaders weren't going to go to any special trouble over a community that wasn't even part of their state either. As a result, it became a kind of no man's land where the provision of police and other services was mostly absent.

Gambling thrived in Carter Lake starting from the final years of the 19th century, but it really took off during Prohibition and remained even after it was repealed. The most famous of these venues was the Chez Paree, which operated during the 1940s. It featured entertainment from top stars, including Bennie Goodman and Sophie Tucker. However, it was busted by the authorities in 1949 and shut down.

The first form of state-supervised gambling in the Hawkeye State came in 1973 with bingo and raffles for nonprofit groups.

983 saw the introduction of pari-mutuel racetrack betting. A couple of years later, a state lottery was approved. The legislative ball kept rolling, and in 1989, Iowa became the first state to permit modern riverboat casinos. While they initially had to be on the river for gambling to occur, and cruises were limited to two hours, these rules were waived in later years.

In 1992, the state signed compacts with its native tribes, and tribal gaming casinos soon appeared. In 1994, racetracks were allowed to add slot machines, and casino table games and poker followed in later years.

2019 saw the legalization of both online and brick-and-mortar sports betting with the passage of SF 617. Daily Fantasy Sports became explicitly permitted too in the same bill.

Online Poker History Timeline for the State of Iowa

Other Types of Online Gambling in Iowa

Although our primary focus is poker, there are many other types of gambling available on the internet. It can be tough to discern which casinos and sportsbooks you can trust. We have thoroughly researched the available options, placing our own money on the line in an effort to find out the best choices. Below, we will provide our top recommendations for online casinos and sportsbooks available to Iowans.

Online Casinos

Iowa is pretty favorable to casino gamblers with these games being available in about two dozen land-based venues. However, it's a different story online because Iowa has not yet explicitly legalized internet casinos. Therefore, you will have to go to the website of an unlicensed brand if you wish to dabble in online casino games.

There are hundreds of offshore casinos available, and we have picked three of the best ones to showcase below.

1. Cafe Casino - 350% up to $5,000 Exclusive Bitcoin Bonus
2. Wild Casino - $9,000 in Bitcoin Welcome Bonuses
3. Ignition Casino - Bitcoin Deposits Qualify for 150% up to $1,500 Bonus

For other reliable sites that offer casino games over the internet, check out this overview of the most trusted online casinos for United States residents.

Online Sportsbooks

Iowa has quite a few brick-and-mortar and online sportsbooks. Still, you might appreciate betting with an offshore provider due to the larger variety of sports offered and possibly better odds.

Look below for our top three online sportsbooks for Iowans.

1. Bovada Sports - 75% up to $750 BTC Bonus (50% up to $250 non-BTC)
2. - 100% up to $1,000 BTC Bonus + Unlimited Reloads
3. Everygame Sports - Get a $250 Bonus on Your First Three Deposits

You can learn about other reputable internet bookies that accept American customers in our guide to sportsbooks for USA citizens.

Summary of Online Poker in Iowa

Online poker in Iowa is a great pastime if you don't feel like getting dressed and heading to the casino. There are no legal penalties against the game that are actually enforced in practice, so this is a safe form of amusement to participate in. Find a great Iowa online poker room from our list above, and start playing now.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, we've compiled a list of questions and answers about Iowa online poker. Read them to educate yourself further on this topic.

Is Global Poker a poker site that's legal in Iowa?

According to Global's attorneys, the company's presence is completely legal in Iowa. However, we have a different perspective. We can't really get into this subject in sufficient detail here, but you can read our Global review for further information.

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!