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North Dakota Poker - No Need to Drive Far; Go to an Online Site Instead

North Dakota Ouline Map
Flag of North Dakota

Online poker in North Dakota is a fine form of recreation especially during the winter when temperatures often dip below freezing and make going outside uncomfortable. The North Dakota online poker sites that are available offer a wide range of stakes and games, so there's undoubtedly something that fits your preferences.

Although there are a few offline poker locations in the state, they are all small. Online, however, you'll find many tables to select from and a level of player participation that puts N.D. live poker rooms to shame. Another benefit to conducting your real money gambling over the internet is that you don't need to leave the cozy confines of your home, and you can thereby avoid the expenses and bother involved in traveling to a brick-and-mortar cardroom.

The laws in the State of North Dakota are never used to go after online poker players, so you're perfectly safe from a legal perspective. Even when we take a look at the federal laws that apply to the entire United States, there's nothing criminalizing the game. The Wire Act and the UIGEA in combination have been used to go after poker site operators in the past, but a reinterpretation of the law by the Department of Justice in 2011 stated that the Wire Act only applies to sportsbetting, not to poker or casino gaming. Playing cards online is thus not a violation of any federal statutes.



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There's a lot to consider when contemplating joining a North Dakota online poker room. Fortunately, we've outlined the major factors that pertain to this topic in our site reviews below. We'll also go over the state's poker laws, the history of North Dakota gambling, the prospects for the development of a state-supervised online gaming economy, and other info that you might find useful.

Table of Contents

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

 

Online Poker Sites Available in North Dakota

Online poker in North Dakota is an excellent and fun-filled hobby, but it's important that you take steps to safeguard your money. Some of the organizations out there aren't exactly known for their honesty and fairness despite the fact that most of them are entirely aboveboard. We've evaluated them all along numerous criteria so that we can present you with a lineup of the premier poker operators in existence. When you play poker at one of the sites below, you'll get to enjoy smoothly running software, truly randomized shuffling algorithms, and the efficient payment of any winnings you're fortunate enough to accumulate.

 

    Ignition Poker

Positive Ignition Poker Features

Those looking for the busiest North Dakota online poker site are often satisfied by Ignition Casino Poker. It heads the list of U.S.A. internet poker destinations with the most traffic, so you won't have to wait long for the poker action you seek. New depositors here are entitled to a 100% up to $1,000 poker bonus that clears at a rate of 30% effective rakeback in tournaments and SNGs. The clearance rate is a bit lower in cash games, but it provides a desirable boost to your financial results no matter what style of poker you prefer.

 Play Now Banner CTA for Ignition Poker

Ignition and the rest of the PaiWangLuo Network run their poker setup a bit differently than you might expect. All players are anonymized and identified solely by randomly generated player numbers, like “Player 1,” “Player 2,” et cetera. This means it's impossible to track your opponents over a long period of time and get a bead on how they play, and they can't do the same to you either. While experienced poker pros have lambasted this arrangement, it's beloved by the recreational users whom the site actively courts. The consequences of this model are that novices feel welcome here, and the games are softer than just about anywhere else on the internet.

If ring games are what you're after, then you'll encounter them in abundance at stakes from $0.02/$0.05 to $10/$20 in NLHE, PLO, and PLO/8 along with tables denominated as high as $30/$60 in LHE and LO/8. There's a fast-fold type of poker at Ignition that you won't see at any other U.S. internet poker site: Zone Poker. Whenever you fold your hand in Zone, you move instantly to a new table and start another hand with a different set of hole cards. You're therefore spared the tedium of waiting for the rest of the table to complete the hand, and the pace of the game is perhaps three or four times faster than at a regular cash game table.

The sit-and-go roster at Ignition is pretty varied especially since the introduction of Jackpot Sit & Go in late 2017. These games use a random multiplier to determine the prize pool, which can go as high as 1,200 times the buyin. There are more pedestrian forms of SNG too, of course, and you can participate in them for a cost of between $1 + $0.05 and $200 + $14. Triple-Ups are one of the non-standard variants here, and they reward the top third of the field with three times their buyin. Beginners contests might tempt you if you wish to play a type of sit n' go that pays more places than is typical.

Multi-table tournament aficionados have plenty to entice them to Ignition because there's $1.5 million in guaranteed prizes every week. The most noteworthy is the $150 + $12 $100,000 guaranteed, which runs on Sundays and often tops its guaranteed amount by a sizeable margin. Several times per year, Ignition hosts series of tourneys, like the Golden Spade Poker Open, that consist of dozens of events distributing millions of dollars in prizes.

It's possible to play at Ignition from either a Mac or a PC because there are dedicated download installers for both platforms. There's also a mobile-compatible web app, but it only has cash games; tournaments and sit-n-goes are excluded from the web-based poker interface. However, if you're a fan of casino games, then you'll be pleased to discover that you can access hundreds of titles from either your desktop or mobile. You'll also get a 100% up to $1,000 casino bonus to go along with the free money for poker that you'll collect with your initial deposit.

Banner Highlights Call to Action for Ignition

Join Ignition Poker today by clicking through our banner link above. To find out more about the room first, read our comprehensive Ignition Casino Poker review.

 

        Chico Network

Icons Showing Chico Poker's Advantages

The entities on the Chico Poker Network offer all kinds of betting services, including casino games, sports betting, and financials in addition to poker. Sportsbetting.ag is one of the trusted companies on this network, and it's ready to furnish you with a 100% up to $2,500 bonus for use at the card tables. This bonus is worth 33% cashback on the rake and fees you pay.

SB.ag Play Now Highlights Banner

The cash game lobby at Sportsbetting.ag contains No Limit Texas Hold'em, Pot Limit Omaha, and Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo poker tables. The lowest stakes are $0.01/$0.02 while the highest are $5/$10. At specially marked NLHE tables of $.50/$1.00 and above, there's a Bad Beat Jackpot active. If you're lucky enough to reveal JJJJ or better at showdown and lose, then you could walk away with a six-figure payout. This jackpot has been hit for $650K before.

As far as sit n' goes are concerned, you can play for as little as $0.05 (with no house fee) or as much as $500 + $25. The lower levels fire up quickly, but you may have to wait a short while to get enough opponents at buyins of $200 or more. Most of the multi-table competitions here are for more trivial stakes, and it's rare to see any events that cost more than about $33 to enter. However, on Sundays, there's a $90 + $9 Main Event that guarantees $50,000. On the final Sunday of each month, this jumps up to a $100 + $9 buyin and a $100,000 guarantee.

The Chico Network has poker software for both Windows machines and Macs. Additionally, there's a mobile app that works with iOS and Android systems. This mobile platform is graphically attractive and supports virtually the full range of games that are available on the desktop version. We've reviewed the SB.ag mobile poker room and have concluded that it's one of the best such solutions on the market today.

There are three leaderboards that you can try to place in each week: one for cash games, another for SNGs, and one for MTTs. They hand out $20,000 to the top placers every seven days. Moreover, there's a comp points system that lets you trade your points in for tournament entries at a rate of approximately 5% value back.

Sportsbetting.ag Highlights Banner cta

To start playing cards at Sportsbetting.ag today, follow the above link. It might be prudent to consult our Sportsbetting Poker review page in case you'd like to know more about it. SB.ag has a sister site with the same games offered, and you can learn all about it in our detailed BetOnline Poker review.

 

    Horizon Network

Attractive Features of Intertops Poker

With a history in the real money gaming industry dating back more than 30 years, Intertops is a firm that has earned its name for integrity and competence. When you make your first deposit, you'll get a 200% poker bonus up to a maximum of $1,000.

CTA Banner for Intertops Poker

The welcome bonus at Intertops releases at a rate that varies depending on the particular types of games you play, but it can reach as high as 27% rakeback equivalent. Furthermore, you'll get 36% dealt rakeback standard when you use our links to register your account. You'll also be able to play 100 rounds of casino games for free, a value of $90 or more at the blackjack tables. Finally, you'll be issued a ticket to the monthly $1,000 depositors freeroll.

Intertops is the flagship site on the Horizon Poker Network. This isn't the biggest spot for internet poker around, and you'll be unlikely to see many tables higher than about $50nl. If you're a sit-n-go player, then your opportunities for single-table action above $5 buyins will be pretty limited. Things are better in the MTT section because there are plenty of tourneys running every day. The most noteworthy is the daily Sundowner, which costs $50 + $5 to join and guarantees between $1,200 and $2,500 depending on the day of the week.

As you continue playing at Intertops, even after your first-deposit bonus is done, you'll gain a lot of other rewards. There's a $4,000 rakerace each week, and it pays out 100 players. Reload bonuses are common, about once a month, and you can even earn no deposit bonuses by exchanging the gold coins you'll collect as you put in the time at the tables. A Loyalty Levels program compensates you as you reach certain point tiers. Every few months, Intertops hosts satellite step tourneys to major live poker events, and they often feature sizeable overlays. This is the perfect way to win your next poker vacation at a discount.

Intertops Highlights CTA Banner

Click on the banner above to register at Intertops Poker. Our fact-filled Intertops Poker review may answer any questions that you have.

 

     Winning Network

ACR's Positive Features

The most well-known brand on the Winning Poker Network is Americas Cardroom, the room with the second-largest player liquidity figures in the U.S. market. When you open up an account here, you'll be granted a 100% up to $1,000 bonus (20% rakeback equivalent) and $50 free to try out the Jackpot Poker SNG games.

ACR Poker Banner: Play Now!

The Jackpot Poker sit n' go format is a three-handed affair that determines the prize pool through a multiplier selected randomly at the start of each game. You could find yourself competing for 2,500 times the amount you paid to buy in. Another unique variant is called SNG 2.0. It seats nine and also incorporates random elements to grow the total amount awarded to the winners. There are also regular sit-and-goes, at price points both low and high.

Cash gamers have their pick of big-bet games (NL Hold'em, PL Omaha, and PL Omaha/8) at blind levels ranging from $0.01/$0.02 up to $25/$50. In limit betting structures, you'll see Hold'em, Omaha/8, Seven Card Stud, and Seven Card Stud/8 at stakes as high as $30/$60 and in some cases even bigger. MTTs are a big draw at the Winning Poker Network with the highlight being the weekly $200 + $15 Sunday Special, which has a guarantee of $150,000. Once every few months, there's a series, like the Online Super Series, that allows you to test your mettle against huge fields for very worthwhile prizes.

ACR maintains two leaderboards per week: The Beast for ring game grinders and Sit & Crush for SNG participants. Each of these competitions hands out tens of thousands of dollars to the top finishers in the form of straight cash and satellite tournament tickets. There's also an Elite Benefits system to reward players in every type of game based upon the number of Combat Points they accrue.

Highlights Banner CTA for Americas Cardroom

Follow the above banner link to open your Americas Cardroom account. Or take a look at our review of Americas Cardroom for further information.

As part of a poker network, Americas Cardroom doesn't have to try to develop and deploy its poker solution all by itself. Rather, all the companies on the network combine their resources to deliver a product that's better than what any one of them could come up with on their own. Other leading rooms on the Winning Poker Network are: BlackChip Poker (read review), True Poker (read review), and PokerHost (read review). All of these sites offer rakeback, but those who choose a rakeback account are excluded from Elite Benefits rewards. If you intend to create a rakeback account, head over to our WPN rakeback page and follow the instructions contained therein.

 

        Grand Network

5Dimes Positive Attributes

The 5Dimes poker venue is the smallest on our list, and it's also the newest. You can have full faith and confidence in the managers of the room, though, because 5Dimes has been in business for more than two decades. The leaders of this company got tired of relying on outsiders to provide poker to their customers, and so the Grand Poker Network was born in 2014. The poker client has been released for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android, and there's also a Flash version that's compatible with basically any modern computing device.

There are typically only a handful of cash games populated at any given time, and the stakes run only from $0.05/$0.10 to $1/$2. Yet, the tables that are running are usually extremely juicy. The opponents you'll square off against are mostly sportsbettors and casino fish, and so your winrate should be much higher here than it would be at a more mainstream poker site.

The tournament section is also potentially very profitable but for a very different reason. You see, there are a few tourneys every day that have NO HOUSE FEE. Now, they top out at $5 + $0, so they're not a recipe for massive cash winnings, but they are ideal for any micro-stakes tourney player who's on a small bankroll. Combine these special tournaments with the 50% rakeback you'll obtain as a reader of Professional Rakeback, and you have a formula for rapid increases of your real money balance. An additional perk comes every Sunday when 5D hosts a $500 freeroll that draws in only a couple hundred entrants.

5Dimes CTA banner link image

Signing up at 5Dimes is as easy as clicking on the banner above. We've compiled a Grand Poker Network review so that you can educate yourself on what to expect at this network.


How to Choose the Right North Dakota Poker Site

The right online poker home will differ from individual to individual, so we can't recommend any one as being preferable to the others. You'll have to make this determination for yourself after considering their various strengths and weaknesses. While we can't make the ultimate decision on your behalf, we are ready to present you with a rundown of some of the factors you ought to consider as you're pondering which North Dakota online poker site would satisfy your needs:

☛ If the size of your welcome bonus is one of your primary criteria, then Chico's 100% up to $2,500 first deposit deal may leave you happy.


☛ If you don't like waiting around for your games to fill, then the crowded lobbies at Ignition and the WPN ought to appeal to you.


☛ If you wish to play from a Mac, phone, or tablet, then Chico, Ignition, and Grand will permit you to do so easily.


☛ If you're in the market for an all-in-one gambling provider, then Chico, Horizon, and Grand merit your close attention.


☛ If you think you deserve to benefit from regular rewards on an ongoing basis, then WPN's Elite Benefits and Horizon's Loyalty Levels are for you.


☛ If you're in the market for a superb rakeback offer, then Horizon's 36% and Grand's 50% should be more than adequate.


☛ If you like lottery-style SNGs, then the Winning Poker Network and Ignition are the only places to partake in them.

 

Online Poker Payouts

$100 Bill

After you win a sufficient amount from your rivals at the poker tables, you'll undoubtedly wish to cash out some of your funds. All of the sites we've discussed above stand ready to process your payout requests via check. At some of them, additional methods may be offered, like debit cards and bank wires. Perhaps the most convenient means of payment is the digital currency Bitcoin. It has low fees and speedy transaction completion timeframes, and every site we deal with supports it. If you're curious about the potential of using crypto-currency for poker but you don't really know much about it, then head over to our beginners guide to gambling online with Bitcoin.

 

North Dakota Online Poker Law

Legal Reference Book

The laws of North Dakota don't mention poker by name although there are parts of the Administrative Code that deal with charitable poker games. If we want to learn how the statutes in place relate to card games, we have to look at the texts regarding gambling in general. Fortunately, the relevant portions of the law are pretty short and sweet, amounting to no more than a couple of pages. They're contained in Title 12.1 - Criminal Code - Chapter 28 - Gambling and Related Offenses.

It's pretty useful, when dealing with anti-gambling provisions in any state, to look at how gambling is defined. We can easily find this information in 12.1-28-01:

As used in this chapter:
1. "Gambling" means risking any money, credit, deposit, or other thing of value for gain, contingent, wholly or partially, upon lot, chance, the operation of gambling apparatus, or the happening or outcome of an event, including an election or sporting event, over which the person taking the risk has no control.

There follow a list of activities that are exempted from this definition, which include contests of skill, business transactions, and the use of gambling equipment for academic studies at institutions of higher learning. The phrasing used in this section tends to imply strongly that poker is considered a form of gambling especially because games that depend “wholly or partially, upon lot, chance,” are treated this way. The only way around this seems to be to argue that poker falls into the category of contests of skill. However, this is a longshot, and there's no particular reason to believe that such an argument would be successful in the Roughrider State notwithstanding the fact that many prominent individuals are of the opinion that poker is a game of skill. One of them is federal judge Jack B. Weinstein who ruled in 2012 that skill predominated over chance in Texas Hold'em.

On to the section criminalizing various gambling activities, which is 12.1-28-02:

Except as permitted by law:
1. It is an infraction to engage in gambling on private premises where the total amount wagered by an individual player exceeds twenty-five dollars per individual hand, game, or event.
2. It is a class A misdemeanor to:
a. Sell, purchase, receive, or transfer a chance to participate in a lottery, whether the lottery is drawn in state or out of state, and whether the lottery is lawful in the other state or country;
b. Disseminate information about a lottery with intent to encourage participation in it, except that a legal lottery may be advertised in North Dakota; or
c. Engage in gambling on private premises where the total amount wagered by an individual player exceeds five hundred dollars per individual hand, game, or event.

There are a few things about this that seem unusual. First of all, only “gambling on private pemises” is treated in this text. This leaves open the question as to whether or not gambling in public is prohibited, but there don't seem to be any statutes dealing with this subject. The other thing that's a bit odd is that only gambling more than $25 per hand is illegal. Doing so is an infraction, which is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, unless you bet more than $500 in a single hand, which is a Class A misdemeanor and carries the risk of up to a year in jail and/or a fine as high as $3,000.

These provisions of the law are mostly academic, however, because they're not enforced in practice against online poker enthusiasts. Indeed, North Dakota ranks near the bottom of the United States for gambling-related arrests in general. As an individual online poker player, you have no reason to fear the law because it has never been used to prosecute participants in online card games.

The N.D. gambling laws go on to tackle the subject of people who engage in gambling businesses. Here, the consequences are more severe. Let's take a look at the relevant part of the codes (12.1-28-02(3)):

A person is guilty of a class C felony if that person engages or participates in the business of gambling. Without limitation, a person is deemed to be engaged in the business of gambling if that person:
a. Conducts a wagering pool or lottery;
b. Receives wagers for or on behalf of another person;
c. Alone or with others, owns, controls, manages, or finances a gambling business;
d. Knowingly leases or otherwise permits a place to be regularly used to carry on a gambling business or maintain a gambling house;
e. Maintains for use on any place or premises occupied by that person a coin-operated gaming device; or
f. Is a public servant who shares in the proceeds of a gambling business whether by way of a bribe or otherwise.

Anyone found guilty of any of these crimes will be subject to the penalties prescribed for Class C felonies, which are imprisonment for up to five years and a fine of up to $10,000. Regardless of the sanctions possible for gambling businesses in the state, none of the internet poker rooms that operate in the United States bar North Dakotans from accessing their services. It's probably the case that their legal counsel have evaluated the N.D. legal situation and have advised their clients that the risks are minor.

 

 

History of Gambling in North Dakota

Hourglass

Before the arrival of European settlers, natives of the area now called North Dakota had already developed several gambling games. One of the most popular was the hoop and pole game. As played by the Mandan, a small hoop was rolled along flat and level ground. The hoop had a network of webbing stretched across it with a gap in the middle. Competitors would try to spear the hoop directly through the center to score points. Most of the other North Dakota tribes had similar games, although they differed in small details, and were known to regularly put valuable goods at stake on the outcome.

After cursory French explorations in the mid-18th century, this territory was transferred (at least on paper) to Spanish sovereignty in 1762 until sold to the United States in 1802. For most of the rest of the 19th century, it remained sparsely populated. It was only with the expansion of the railroads in the 1870s and '80s that it became feasible for homesteaders and ranchers to relocate to this out-of-the-way expanse.

Bismarck was notorious during the early 1870s for its thriving vice scene. Indeed, it became known as the Wickedest City in the West for a short while. Gambling halls, houses of ill-repute, and saloons proliferated on a section of 4th street. So many violent disputes eventuated from these activities that the neighborhood soon came to be known as “Bloody Fourth,” and local newspaper accounts reported that there was at least one shooting, stabbing, or fight per week though this may have been an exaggeration designed to increase paper sales. With wealth came respectability, and Bismarck soon clamped down on these illegal operations.

In 1889, North Dakota was admitted as the 39th state, and in 1894, the state constitution was amended as follows:

The legislative assembly shall have no power to authorize lotteries or gift enterprises for any purpose, and shall pass laws to prohibit the sale of lottery or gift enterprise tickets.

As used in this passage and understood by legal experts of the time, “lottery” was deemed to include all kinds of real money gaming pastimes, not just what we think of today as a lottery. It effectively banned all types of gambling throughout the state although a few illicit slot parlors continued to operate below the radar.

Another type of gambling that remained prevalent in North Dakota was gaming for charitable fundraising. While the activity was not expressly allowed by law in the first half of the 20th century, it was widely tolerated by state officials. However, by the '70s, these games started to be advertised publicly to potential players, which was a bit of an embarrassment for N.D. leaders because philanthropic groups were openly flouting the law in a way that could not be ignored. In 1976, this problem was resolved when the state constitution was amended to permit charitable bingo and raffles, and this was expanded to include pari-mutuel wagering in 1987. Over the years, further games have been allowed to nonprofit organizations albeit with strict rules and reporting requirements in place. Off-track betting was authorized in 1989 and generates a lot more revenue than would be expected given the state's paltry schedule of racing days.

Greg Raymer
Grey Raymer
2004 WSOP ME Champion

In 1992, a major addition to the gambling menu in North Dakota arrived with the signing of the first tribal gaming compacts. In 2002, a state lottery was voted on and approved, and it began selling tickets in 2004. This lottery is unique in the United States in that only multi-state games are allowed; North Dakota-specific drawings are prohibited. Also in 2004, Greg “Fossilman” Raymer, originally from Minot, North Dakota, prevailed in the World Series of Poker Main Event to the credit of his home state although he had by then moved elsewhere.

 

Online Poker Legalization Chances

Documents

This may come as a surprise given that all gambling was outlawed until 1976, but North Dakota was actually one of the first states to explore the possibility of regulated internet poker. Representative James Kasper sponsored HCR 3035 in 2005, which would have expressly legalized online card games in North Dakota subject, of course, to licensing and other requirements. While it passed the House, it was defeated by the Senate. There have not been any further attempts to pass similar legislation in the years that followed up until the present day. Yet the fact that there's a thriving gambling scene in the state perhaps augurs well for the eventual implementation of a legalized real money online poker framework in the state. We wouldn't necessarily expect N.D. to be one of the next wave of states to enact the needed legislation, but it probably will do so eventually.

Live Gaming Options

Brick Building

There are many gambling diversions available in the Flickertail State, including a lottery, pari-mutuel and off-track betting, full-bodied charitable gaming, including poker and casino nights, and five tribal casinos. There are no commercial casinos, and unfortunately, none of the tribal establishments feature more than a few card tables. However, there are several charitable poker rooms that host events for nonprofit groups on a rotating schedule, and this expands your brick-and-mortar alternatives for poker.

 

Parting Thoughts

There are only small cardrooms in the Peace Garden State, but online poker in North Dakota has come to the rescue. You can sign up, make a deposit, and play right from your own house. The legal authorities never take actions against individual players, so choose one of our reputable North Dakota online poker sites and open an account today.

 

 

Do you have an address in a nearby state?

North Dakota and Bordering States

If you are fortunate enough to have another address in a nearby state, be it your office address, summer home, second apartment, family estate, etc, you may have other online poker options available to you. Here is a list of the states that border North Dakota and Professional Rakeback's review on each of them: Minnesota, Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming. If none of these states are particularly relevant to your situation, then our guide to online poker in the United States as a whole might be more appealing to you.

Many North Dakotans are unaware of the online poker ecosystem in the state. You can help to relieve their ignorance by sharing this page with any of your friends or family whom you feel would benefit from reading it.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Online poker in North Dakota isn't a straightforward affair, and so you might have a few unanswered questions about it. We've attempted to address some of the most frequent concerns about this topic below.

Is North Dakota a state in which Global Poker is legal?

Global Poker says it's legal in North Dakota and throughout the rest of the United States as well. We don't know if this is correct though. We won't spell out all our reasons for thinking this way in this FAQ lest we bore you, but you can find out more in our Global Poker review.

 

 


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!