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Is Online Poker Legal in Texas in 2023? you're damned straight it is!

Image Combining Texas Map, Flag, and Seal

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

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


Texas is one of the largest states in the United States by both land mass and population, and many of its residents are interested in Texas online poker. One thing it's not known for though is its gambling despite a long and distinguished history of cowboys and outlaw behavior as well as the fact that the most popular version of poker, Texas Hold'em, gets its name directly from this state. The current political climate of the state makes the distinct legalization of online poker in Texas a longshot at this time.

The citizens of Texas shouldn’t fret about having access to internet poker or other forms of internet gambling, however, as there are a plethora of legitimate offshore poker sites offering their real money services to this great state. Not only do these sites offer internet poker, but many of them also offer sports betting, casinos, and racebooks.

You're not breaking any TX laws by engaging in poker playing online. Indeed, the very tough anti-gambling statutes in effect within Texas have specific exemptions for gambling taking place in a private place (like on your computer at home) as long as you're not deriving any income from the activity other than as a player.

The hope of regulated online poker and gambling is not the only solution, and offshore sites are here to show you that. Below is a list of the great online sites available to those in the state and the thrilling games they have to offer. If you are from Texas, there is no need to worry about the unfavorable political climate of your state because there's nothing preventing you from playing today!

What Online Poker Sites Can I Play in Texas?

There are many online gaming choices for Texas players, but not all of them are up to par. We've gone to the trouble of winnowing them down to only those sites that are reputable and competent. When you choose to partake in online poker in Texas at one of our recommended rooms, you'll get to savor exciting gameplay, fair card distributions, and rapid payments of your winnings. Read the information we've presented below, and then pick a site and sign up.



150% up to $1,500
4.5 / 5



The Ignition anonymized poker room heads our list of TX offshore card parlors because it has more ring games running simultaneously than any other site. You have your choice of NL Hold'em or PL Omaha as high as $10/$20. Ignition boasts fast-fold poker too, which it calls Zone, and some tables of Limit Hold'em. As far as tournaments go, you have a full complement of SNGs up to the $200 level as well as a comprehensive array of multi-table tourneys. Stay alert for special MTT series worth millions in guaranteed prizes.

It's possible to download and play at Ignition on your Windows or Mac OS machine. In addition, you can access the site on mobile and compete in the full menu of games that desktop users enjoy. You'll get a 100% up to $1,000 poker match bonus (150% up to $1,500 with Bitcoin) on your first deposit along with $1,000 to use on casino games.



100% up to $1,000
4.4 / 5



Sportsbetting Poker boasts NLHE and PLO (Hi and Hi-Lo) up to $5/$10. Furthermore, there's Boost fast-fold poker and 6+ Hold'em though traffic is lighter in these two formats. In certain NL games, you can attempt to hit a Bad Beat Jackpot that has climbed into the seven figures before. Tournaments here have been growing lately, and the current Sunday Major hands out $60,000+ in prizes every week. Also, check out the weekly leaderboards and contests to pick up some free dough.

SB Poker works with Macs and PCs through a downloadable poker client, and iOS and Android compatibility is ensured via dedicated apps. The poker welcome bonus is a 100% up to $1,000 deal.



100% up to $500
4.4 / 5



Bovada is part of the same poker network as Ignition. This means it uses the same software and features identical games and traffic. The advantage to signing up with Bovada, however, is that it has a sportsbook and racebook, which Ignition lacks. Football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer – you can wager on them all here and a goodly number of other sports as well. The racebook meanwhile accepts your straight wagers and exotics on horse races at more than 100 tracks.

Bovada works just fine on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android hardware. There's a 100% up to $500 poker bonus and a total of $3,250 in bonuses for sports and casino. This increases to $4,500 in free casino + sports money for Bitcoin users.



100% up to $1,000
4.3 / 5



BetOnline is a sister and partner to SB Poker, therefore the poker offerings and promotions are essentially identical. BetOnline is well-respected throughout the industry for its exceptional compatibility across multiple platforms. You can download the poker client and play from any PC or Mac and there is an excellent mobile application for iOS and Android systems. You can also play using the instant-play browser-based software on any other modern device.

BetOnline offers new players a poker bonus equal to 100% of their first deposit up to $1,000. In addition, there are multiple bonuses available within the attached casino and sportsbook, so be sure to check those out and take advantage of the lucrative offers.



100% up to $2,000
4.1 / 5



ACR Poker boasts the most tournament traffic and biggest guaranteed prize pools of any internet poker site available to Texans. The weekly major is the $215 Sunday Special, which guarantees $150,000. This is still a great room if you're into cash games or sit-n-gos, and in fact, there are weekly leaderboards that let you pick up thousands of dollars in extra cash if you can put in enough volume at ring games or single-table contests.

Windows and Mac users can download ACR Poker. Mobile poker is possible too, but the range of games offered is very restricted. Our exclusive ACR bonus code PRB10FREE grants you a $10 no deposit bonus. Then you can take advantage of the 100% up to $2,000 initial deposit bonus for extra free cash.



100% up to $700
4.0 / 5



CoinPoker is a unique crypto poker site that has utilized several high-tech features that aren't available at most other sites. Decentralized shuffling, validation tools, and a proprietary cryptocurrency are just a few of its differentiated elements. It's a little early to decide that CoinPoker is taking the online poker industry by storm, but it seems to have a dedicated following and fairly solid traffic.

You can play at CoinPoker on any PC, Mac, iOS, or Android machine. You'll receive three different deposit bonuses here comprising a 100% bonus up to $700, a 100% bonus up to $300, and a 100% bonus up to $100. You can utilize all three bonuses in any order that you wish. In addition, you can receive 33% rakeback if you keep a balance of CHP, CoinPoker's unique crypto token.



200% up to $1,000
3.9 / 5



Although Everygame is quite a bit smaller than the sites discussed above, it makes up for this weakness in the sheer number and value of the promos it offers. 36% rakeback, weekly rake races, freerolls, reload bonuses, a Loyalty Levels program, and regular tournament overlays are just a few of the ways that you can pad your real money balance. There are tons of casino and sportsbook perks too.

Everygame Poker is only available for download to Windows PC systems, but there's an Instant Play version that works with Macs, Linux, and mobile hardware. Upon your first deposit, you'll qualify for a 200% up to $1,000 poker bonus and 25 free slot machine spins.



200% up to $1,000
3.8 / 5



Juicy Stakes is a partner site to Everygame, but it doesn't offer a sportsbook or a number of the casino games that the larger Everygame has. Regardless, Juicy Stakes provides multiple promotions for its players including reload bonuses, freerolls, overlay tournaments, and free slot spins in the casino. A loyalty tiers system exists here as well, which can reward you with free cash as you grind at the tables.

Juicy Stakes software is only available to download only on PCs, but you can use the instant play software to play in any web browser on any modern device. You'll receive a poker bonus worth 200% of your initial deposit up to $1,000 alongside 25 free slot spins in the attached casino.



100% up to $2,000
3.8 / 5



BlackChip Poker is a partner to ACR Poker on the Winning Poker Network, therefore the poker is largely the same and the player pool is combined into one. Many players choose to play at BCP because of its especially robust tournament selection which boasts a weekly tournament featuring a $200,000 guaranteed prize pool and Venom tournaments that award $5M or more several times per year.

BlackChip Poker is available to play on any PC or Mac. A mobile client also exists, but it offers a very limited array of poker. You can get a poker bonus equivalent to 100% of your first deposit up to $2,000. You'll also be able to earn 27% rakeback which you can redeem every day.



100% up to $2,000
3.7 / 5



True Poker is a partner and sister of ACR Poker and BlackChip Poker, so the poker offerings and promotions are nearly identical across all three sites. True Poker is especially renowned for its Elite Benefits rewards program, which is aimed at rewarding players who put in serious volume at the tables. The most dedicated grinders can earn rewards equivalent to over 60% rakeback.

True Poker is available to download on Mac and PC systems. An instant-play web version that works with other platforms also exists, but only a few poker formats are available to enjoy. You can get a poker bonus worth 100% of your initial deposit up to $2,000.



3.5 / 5



SwCPoker is a crypto-exclusive poker destination that was formerly called Seals with Clubs. Cashier functions and all poker play here are restricted to Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash. Besides the popular NL Hold'em and PLO, you'll also find Razz, HORSE, Open Face Chinese, and much more. Freerolls allow you to sample these formats prior to investing any of your own money.

SwCPoker offers a full downloadable poker client for Windows, Mac, and Android systems as well as an HTML5 version that runs on any other device you may wish to use. You won't get any deposit bonus here, but you can receive rakeback returns as you play via the Krill rewards program.



100% up to 25mBTC
3.3 / 5



Nitrobetting transacts in Bitcoin only for all deposits, withdrawals, and poker action. The Bitcoin-only cashier here makes for a smooth and straightforward user experience. There are a few poker variants available here including NL Hold'em, PL Omaha, 6+ Hold'em, and Crazy Pineapple. Regular freerolls cater to players willing to put in significant time at the tables each and every week.

The poker software here runs directly in any web browser, so it works with almost any computing system in use today. Nitrobetting offers a poker bonus equal to 100% of your first deposit up to 25mBTC. You can also receive rewards on an ongoing basis via the Nitro Rewards program.


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

We can't identify the unquestionably best poker room for your personal needs. You'll have to ponder their various advantages and drawbacks carefully to decide which one you think you would prefer. They each emphasize different things and are thus each appropriate for different kinds of players. There aren't any unbreakable commandments when attempting to choose an online poker room, but there are a few points that you'll want to keep in mind while you're thinking about where you want to play.

★ If you're searching for the highest possible bonus amount, then Everygame offers 200% up to $1,000 and Ignition provides up to $1,500 as long as you deposit using crypto.

★ If total player volume is your primary consideration, then Ignition, Bovada, and ACR have the large number of active tables you seek.

★ If you believe that regular rakeback returns are one of the keys to long-term profitability, then Everygame's 36% RB or CoinPoker's 33% may be right for you.

★ If you're interested in fast-fold poker, then Ignition, BetOnline, Bovada, ACR Poker, BlackChip Poker, SB Poker, and True Poker should appeal to you.

★ If you intend to play from your mobile device, then SB Poker, Ignition, BetOnline, CoinPoker, and Bovada have the solid mobile poker experiences you're eager to try out.

★ If you wish to join a site with a robust rewards program, then ACR Poker, Everygame, and Nitrobetting will deliver the kinds of benefits you deserve.

★ If you want to remain anonymous at the tables, then the setup at Ignition and Bovada was designed with you in mind.

How Do I Receive Withdrawals and Payments?

Bag of Money

You can expect to be able to fund your real-money account easily and 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.

Alternatives to Registering Your Poker Account in the State of Texas

Texas Neighboring States

Some folks who are lucky enough to have another address in a nearby state, whether it be a business address, summer home, second apartment, family home, etc, may have other online poker options available. Here is a list of the states that border Texas and Professional Rakeback's review of each of them: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. If you're looking for general info on the laws that pertain to poker in the United States and the sites that are available, then our U.S. poker players' guide may be right for you.

You likely have friends or relatives who are interested in poker but who are ignorant of their legal options for playing online. Please share this article with them so that we can spread knowledge about the game we enjoy so much.

Facts About the Texas Poker Industry

The sections below aim to address the legality of online poker, live gambling options and venues, state regulation, the history involving poker and gambling, and famous poker players from the great state of Texas.

The Legality of Playing Online Poker in Texas

Law Reference Book

Texas is known to look with disfavor upon gambling in general, and therefore it's pretty much standard to expect the state to have rather severe and comprehensive statutes against the practice. What many of our readers may not be aware of, though, is that these laws are so worded as to leave many exceptions and escape clauses through which online poker played in your own home comfortably fits. The codes that deal with gambling are contained in Title 10 - Offenses Against Public Health, Safety, and Morals, Chapter 47 - Gambling.

The main offense that online pokerists may be worried about committing is gambling, so let's look at how this crime is defined by the lawmakers in 47.02:

GAMBLING. (a) A person commits an offense if he:
(1) makes a bet on the partial or final result of a game or contest or on the performance of a participant in a game or contest;
(2) makes a bet on the result of any political nomination, appointment, or election or on the degree of success of any nominee, appointee, or candidate; or
(3) plays and bets for money or other thing of value at any game played with cards, dice, balls, or any other gambling device.

The first two clauses are clearly irrelevant to partaking in card games over the internet, but the third may come into play depending on whether or not the images that appear on your screen are regarded as cards and whether or not a computer counts as a gambling device. In the definitions section of Chapter 47 (47.01), a few examples of gambling devices are given, including roulette, video poker, and keno, and it seems that this wording targets the kinds of machines one would encounter in a casino that are specifically manufactured for use in real money gaming. Your personal computer wouldn't count as a gambling device under this commonsense interpretation of the law; however, we can't say definitively that this is the way TX authorities would view the situation. Similarly, in our opinion, the word “cards” means actual pieces of cardboard or plastic that contain the familiar suit and rank symbols that we're all acquainted with, not virtual representations of those items. Again, it could be possible that local police have a different understanding of what cards are than we do.

Nevertheless, the drafters of the law have left you a way out even if we assume that all these unclear matters are construed in the worst possible way. Continuing on with the text of 47.02:

(b) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:
(1) the actor engaged in gambling in a private place;
(2) no person received any economic benefit other than personal winnings; and
(3) except for the advantage of skill or luck, the risks of losing and the chances of winning were the same for all participants.

As long as you play at home, don't receive any financial gain other than as a player, and don't cheat, you aren't subject to any form of prosecution for playing poker online in Texas. Even if you screw up somehow and fail to adhere to these three rules, you won't get in much trouble. The law continues: “(d) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.” In the Lone Star State, a Class C misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of no more than $500, and there's no jail time involved.

It's different for those actually operating the poker rooms. They could face charges of Gambling Promotion and Communicating Gambling Information. If it's a brick-and-mortar illicit gambling enterprise, they could also be considered to be guilty of Keeping a Gambling Place and/or Possession of Gambling Device, Equipment, or Paraphernalia. Each of these offenses is a Class A misdemeanor, which incurs a fine of up to $4,000 and/or a jail sentence of no longer than one year.

Offshore poker sites have retained counsel to help them navigate the complexities of gambling laws in different jurisdictions, and hardly any of them decline to operate in Texas. This makes sense because there have never been any high-profile anti-online poker crusades in the state. The size of the population, at more than 27 million, is also an inducement for them to continue to run internet poker games that Texians can join.

Land-Based Gambling

Texas has not been the most open to traditional gambling, but they do seem to be OK with forms of land-based gambling that don’t really appear as much like gambling to the outside public. The state lottery, pari-mutuel betting, and horse tracks are the biggest gambling enterprises in the state and that is fairly standard for states in the US. Charitable games, like bingo, are also permitted under certain circumstances.

An unusual type of gambling machine allowed by the state is the 8-liner, a kind of video slot. People are allowed to maintain them on business premises as long as they pay out only in non-cash prizes and each prize is worth no more than $5. Abuse of the rules is commonplace, and a lot of police effort goes into shutting down operators who are violating the regulations.

Logo of Lucky Eagle Casino

Texas only has one tribal casino that offers poker, the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass, which has 12 tables and runs NLHE and LHE cash games daily.

There are no commercial casinos, but a few cardrooms have sprung up that avoid the TX anti-gambling laws by charging membership and time fees rather than rake. We have reviewed several of these poker clubs in the Austin area:

If internet poker is regulated in the state of Texas, it will be interesting to see how it would end up playing out because Texas has a very large population but none of the traditional gambling institutions in place. So who would control that market and how it would relate to what is already in the state is still very unclear, and it could change how gambling (both live and online) is approached overall in the state.

State Regulation

Regulations Document

There is a lot that would need to happen for Texas to regulate any kind of real money online gaming. It is a conservative state that hasn’t even warmed up to the idea of commercial land-based casinos, which are more likely to come first before the authorities feel comfortable expanding into the online arena. While all the bordering states do currently have casinos, there has been very little real movement on this from the State of Texas, and so regulated online gaming seems like it would be rather far down the road, if at all.

In 2013, State Senator Leticia Van de Putte and Representative John Kuempel introduced several bills for licensed online poker, but none of them made it past the committee stage. There hasn't been any other proposed legislation to establish a regulated internet poker regime in the state since.

History of Poker and Gambling in Texas


With the most popular form of poker taking its name from Texas, it's a given that the state has had a long and rich history of card playing. After flying both the French and Spanish flags during its early years as a colony, the area was transferred to Mexico after that nation's independence in 1821. Social attitudes toward gambling during this time were extremely liberal with the pastime being considered normal and acceptable for people from all walks of life. Revolutionaries declared independence from Mexico in 1836, and the independent Republic of Texas lasted until it was incorporated into the United States in 1845.

There wasn't much to do in some of the towns spread throughout the vast state, which may be why gambling saloons opened up in all but the smallest communities. Lawmen had much better things on their minds than worrying about illicit card games, and so these establishments were left alone unless they made a nuisance of themselves. With so much real-money action occurring throughout the state, professional gamblers found rich recompense traveling from camp to town to city and relieving the locals of their cash.

Doc Holliday
Doc Holliday
Dentist, Gambler, and Gunman

John Henry “Doc” Holliday was originally indeed a doctor, or dentist to be more precise, in Atlanta before taking up cards. He contracted tuberculosis and moved to Dallas in the early 1870s where it was felt that the climate would alleviate the symptoms of his condition. He opened up a practice, but business was indifferent at best, and Holliday soon discovered that he could make more at the card tables than he could wielding his dental implements.

He often got into conflicts with other players, many of whom were cheating, and this sometimes escalated into violence. It was one such incident that forced Doc to leave Dallas rather than being captured by the law. He later killed a man in a dispute at a poker table in Jacksboro and had to flee again in 1876.

Holliday spent most of his remaining years moving around and frequently getting into trouble with the law. He's most famous for participating in the showdown at the O.K. Corral in 1881. Doc Holliday ended up succumbing to tuberculosis in 1887.

Carlotta “Lottie Deno” Thompkins was a wealthy, redhead Kentucky heiress who lost her money through high living during a trip to Detroit in the 1860s. Her father had died as a soldier in the Civil War a few years earlier, but before that, he had taught her how to gamble at cards, and it was this skill that she used to earn her bread.

After some time spent on the Mississippi riverboats, Lottie settled in San Antonio in 1865 and married another gambler named Frank Thurmond. Frank killed a man with a knife during a card game, and he had to flee without notice. Carlotta started searching for him throughout West Texas, making stops in Fort Concho, Jacksboro, Fort Griffin, and other rough-and-tumble frontier towns.

She acquired the nicknames “Mystic Maud,” ”Queen of the Pasteboards” (pasteboards was another name for playing cards), “the Angel of San Antonio” and her most well-known moniker “Lottie Deno” during these voyages. By whatever name known, she was legendary for her prowess at the tables.

Carlotta eventually reunited with Frank Thurmond and they settled down to a respectable life in Deming, New Mexico in 1882. They both swore off gambling altogether with Frank becoming the vice president of a bank while Carlotta became active in church life. She died in 1934.

During the latter decades of the 19th century, such characters disappeared as larger, well-organized towns and cities passed formal ordinances against gambling, prostitution, and other activities that were seen to be socially undesirable. However, it was felt that banning such highly demanded services altogether was impossible and counterproductive. Instead, sections of town were designated as spots wherein such enterprises could flourish under the watchful eye of police and other officials. They thus could be taxed and regulated rather than operating completely in the shadows. These districts often had colorful names, such as:

  • Hell's Half Acre in Fort Worth
  • Happy Hollow in Houston
  • The Sporting District in San Antonio
  • Frogtown in Dallas
  • Guy Town in Austin
The Balinese Room in Galveston
Balinese Room in Galveston 2006

During Prohibition, one town became notorious for such trade. Galveston didn't just have a vice district; it pretty much was entirely a vice district and was jokingly called “The Free State of Galveston.” Long before Las Vegas, Galveston was where the casino action in the United States flourished.

During one state investigation into gambling at the Balinese Room, a local sheriff was asked why he hadn't raided the establishment. The sheriff responded that it was a private club, and he was not a member. Even when state authorities decided to catch gamblers in action at the Balinese Room, they were thwarted because the walls contained secret compartments into which chips and cards could be hidden at a moment's notice.

These shenanigans were slowly ended in the '40s and '50s as the government became serious about cleaning up illegal gambling throughout Texas. Yet, this set the stage for a development in poker that we're still benefiting from today.

The Texan underground poker scene came into existence, and rounders like Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson, Thomas Austin “Amarillo Slim” Preston, and Bryan “Sailor” Roberts plied their trade by hitting the road and heading to wherever the juiciest games were rumored to be. The Poker Hall of Fame claims that one of these road gamblers, T. “Blondie” Forbes, was the inventor of Texas Hold'em. The Texas Legislature, on the other hand, passed a resolution declaring that Robstown, Texas, birthed the game in the early 1900s. Both of these stories have little historical documentation to back them up, and it's unlikely that either one of them is strictly accurate.

What's undoubtedly true is that the game came into its own in the Lone Star State. There's widespread consensus that it was first brought to Vegas by Texan Felton “Corky” McCorquodale in 1963. By the time of McCorquodale's death in 1968, it had spread to most of the rest of the country as explained in this Life Magazine article from that same year. Had the Texas crew opted to play Stud or Draw Lowball instead, perhaps it would have been one of these other variants that initiated the poker boom in the early 2000s, or maybe there would not have been any poker boom at all.

In 1996, the Kickapoo Tribe opened up a gaming facility that spreads poker, and this remains the only such casino poker venue in the State of Texas. However, beginning in 2015 or thereabouts, several membership card rooms began to conduct business. They charge daily, monthly, or annual membership fees and/or seat rental charges rather than rake, which they contend exempts them from the “economic benefit” clauses of the Texas anti-gambling statutes.

The Lodge Card Club The Lodge in Round Rock Is One of the Membership Card Clubs That Have Arisen in Texas

Whether this line of reasoning will hold water in the long term is up for debate, but for now, they provide players in select cities around the state an additional way to play poker for real money. An attempt by crusading prosecutors to shut down two Houston poker clubs ended in embarrassing failure. It seems the authorities are taking a live-and-let-live approach to membership card clubs, so they are free to operate pending further legal happenings.

In order to summarize the complex and detailed history of poker and gambling in Texas, we have created a timeline covering every major gambling-related event. The completed timeline can be found below.

Timeline Showing Texas Poker-Related Events

Famous Texas Poker Players

Shooting Star

There may be more prominent poker players from Texas than from any other state. This is only to be expected when we consider the long Texan history with the game, which extends back to the frontier days.

Johnny Moss was a teenager in Dallas during the 1920s, well before the advent of televised tournaments and life-changing prize pools. He was surrounded by cards even from a young age, and he even got a job attempting to suss out cheaters in poker games run by a local saloon.

It wasn't long before Moss put the skills he learned observing the other players to good use, and he ended up becoming a “rounder,” traveling between Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana looking for the juiciest action to be had. It has been reported that he won more than a million dollars multiple times from poker sessions at the Metropolitan Hotel in Fort Worth.

In the late '40s or early '50s, Johnny may have participated in a months-long five-card stud battle against well-known gambler Nick “The Greek” Dandalos although some commentators suggest that the match never took place. After losing several million dollars to Johnny Moss, Dandalos reportedly departed the table, saying, “Mr. Moss, I have to let you go.”

That possibly apocryphal marathon of poker was allegedly the inspiration for the World Series of Poker, which started in 1970, though other events like public poker games at the Flamingo and the 1969 Texas Gamblers Reunion have also been credited as spawning the WSOP. Whatever its origins, Moss prevailed in the contest three times, taking home the inaugural trophy in 1970 following a vote of all the players and triumphing again in the Main Event freezeout tournaments in 1971 and 1974.

Though his lifetime tournament winnings are listed as just over $1.25 million, this doesn't include the many millions he must have scooped up in private games and tourneys held before poker results tracking was widespread. Moss passed away from a heart attack in 1995.

T.J. Cloutier was also a legendary Texas road gambler, but he was active a bit later than Johnny Moss was, having been born in 1939 and taking up the game only after stints as a pro football player, serviceman in the Army, and oil rig worker.

Cloutier has had amazing tournament success starting in the '80s and continuing until the present day. Indeed, T.J. tops the list of live poker tournament winners among people from Texas with more than $10 million to his name. One accomplishment that has eluded him, however, is victory in the Main Event of the World Series despite having finished in second place in 1985 and 2000.

Photograph of Doyle Brunson
Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson

The same can't be said of Doyle Brunson who won poker's Big Game twice: in 1976 and 1977. Amazingly, his hole cards were T2 in the final hands of both tournaments, leading to this combination being referred to ever since as the Doyle Brunson.

Doyle first took up poker in the '50s, and when he won more money in a single night of 7 card stud than his entire salary for a month, he quit his job and turned poker pro. After his two WSOP ME triumphs, Doyle authored the seminal book “Super/System,” originally entitled “How I Made Over $1,000,000 Playing Poker.”

Some authors of strategy books fear that exposing their secrets will cause their opponents to get a bead on their game and thus adversely affect their results, but this doesn't seem to have occurred in Brunson's case. He has collected 10 World Series of Poker Bracelets, tied for second place with Phil Ivey and Johnny Chan only behind Phil Hellmuth's 16. Doyle has had 37 cashes in WSOP events and has accumulated more than $6 million in tourney winnings.

Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson has become the Godfather of Poker, having been around since the inception of No Limit Texas Hold'em and continuing to play at a high level despite being more than 80 years old. Indeed, he has cashed in the WSOP Main Event in every decade of its existence from the '70s to the '10s. He doesn't exactly court controversy or engage in verbal feuds against opponents like some of his peers (*cough * Phil Hellmuth *cough* Mike Matusow); yet, EVERYONE in poker knows who Doyle is, and a good many outsiders have heard of him too.

These gentlemen are just three of the many Texan poker players who have left their mark on the game. An exhaustive list would be beyond the scope of this page, but here are the names of a few other notable poker players who have hailed from this state: Thomas Austin “Amarillo Slim” Preston, Bryan “Sailor” Roberts, David Williams, Ben Tollerene.

Other Types of Online Gambling

Although the major topic of discussion has been poker, there are plenty of other kinds of gambling available to players in Texas including slots, table games, video poker, and sports betting. We have researched the available options and below we will provide our recommendations for trusted online casinos and sportsbooks.

Online Casinos

Not only can you play poker over the internet from the Lone Star State, but casino gaming is certainly available too. Unfortunately, many of the names in this industry are saddled with unwholesome reputations. But Professional Rakeback has done the legwork to find you 3 online casinos that are fair and reputable:

Logo of Ignition
1. Ignition Casino - $1,000 Welcome Bonus and Many Reloads Casino Logo
2. Bovada Casino - $3,000 in Casino Bonuses ($4,500 With BTC)
Logo of
3. Sportsbetting Casino - Many Bonuses, Tournaments, Rebates

Learn more about the top-rated most trusted online casinos for USA players which are known to be Texas-friendly.

Online Sportsbooks

More than a dozen states have instituted legalized sports betting in the wake of the Supreme Court decision permitting them to do so. However, the strong anti-gambling legislative tradition in Texas means that it's unlikely to follow suit any time soon.

Yet, you still have ways of wagering on sporting matches because there are many international bookmakers who are only too happy to transact with Texas' citizens. We've taken a good look at these companies in order to give you our recommendations as to the best ones:

Logo of Bovada
1. Bovada Sports - 50% bonus up to $250 (75% up to $750 for Bitcoiners)
Sportsbetting Casino Logo
2. - 100% to $1,000 Sports Bonus and Unlimited 25% Reloads
Logo of Everygame
3. Everygame Sports - Choose From Multiple Sports and Casino Bonus Offers

Our list of top-rated sports-betting sites for Americans will improve your understanding of this entire topic.

Summary of Online Poker in Texas

Online poker in Texas is quite possible and could be profitable for you depending on how good you are. There are no laws prohibiting private individuals from participating in card games over the internet. The Texas online poker sites listed in this page are all conscientious organizations that wish to leave you satisfied, so select one of them and start playing today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Playing poker in Texas over the internet is pretty enjoyable, and we'd like to remove any doubts or concerns you have about it. To this end, we've presented below some of the most common questions and answers related to online poker in Texas.

No, Texas has not established any legalized framework for online poker licensure. Live casino poker is viewed by industry experts as a precursor to state-regulated virtual gambling, and Texas is weak in this department with only a single tribal casino location offering poker within its borders. TX political leadership tends to be quite conservative, and so it will likely be quite a while before internet sites for poker appear that are approved by the Texas authorities.

It absolutely is legal to play online poker in Texas. Despite the fact that there are no licensed online cardrooms that have received the OK of state leaders in Austin, there are many offshore rooms that cater to Texans. They're based in jurisdictions where online gaming is totally legal, and they happily welcome residents of the state through their virtual doors.

There's nothing in the Texas legal codes that makes playing a crime as long as you do it in a private place. Furthermore, with the 2011 reevaluation of the Wire Act by the Department of Justice, there's nothing at the federal level banning this activity either unless the DoJ is able to persuade an appellate court to overturn the decision in a case where New Hampshire prevailed against the Department's attempt to change the rules.

It's perfectly legitimate to play on PokerStars from Texas, but unfortunately, it's not possible to do so except for play money. You see, PokerStars was one of the companies hit the hardest by Black Friday in 2011, and as part of the resolution of the case, it agreed to stop doing business in America except in those states where it has gone through the appropriate regulatory approval (like New Jersey). Thus, Texas citizens are unable to play at the world's leading online poker provider, which is true of the majority of the U.S. population as well.

Yes, the Ignition Poker Casino room operates under well-understood trade rules by which foreign companies are allowed equal access to the markets of the signatory countries. Thus, despite the restrictive banking and financial regulations sponsored by busybodies in Washington, D.C., the firm most likely considers its operations to be in full compliance with the law. Needless to say, you can enjoy the services of Ignition Casino Poker from the Lone Star State.

Yes. BetOnline bases its international and multi-jurisdictional betting platform on World Trade Organization rulings that have found the United States to be in violation of its treaty obligations by going after offshore gaming entities. BoL accepts customers from 49 of the 50 states, Texas not the least among them.

We have our criticisms of Global's claims that its enterprise is completely legal in Texas and the remainder of the United States. While there isn't really enough space in this FAQ to go into detail on this subject, we have prepared a review of Global that discusses the problems we see with the firm's business model.

The lowest age at which someone is allowed to gamble in Texas is 21 for most types of gaming, including poker, although individuals are allowed to participate in charitable bingo, purchase lottery tickets, and engage in pari-mutuel racetrack betting at 18.

Online, the rules are a bit different. Most sites will let you sign up as long as you're at least 18 because they can't effectively monitor the relevant age restrictions in thousands of areas around the globe. It's up to you to ensure that you're in compliance with local law.

It would be extremely foolish to try to set up an illegal online betting service inside the State of Texas. In 2013, investigators pulled the plug on an international sports betting ring that was headquartered in North Texas and allegedly booked more than $5 billion in sports bets. Eighteen men were arrested in connection with this enterprise.

Importantly, none of the people charged in the case were ordinary bettors; it was those actually running the organization who were the targets. Unless you like to be in the crosshairs of state and federal law enforcement, it would behoove you to avoid getting mixed up in the illicit online gambling industry.

Texas is one of the few states in the Union without any individual state income tax. Still, the Internal Revenue Service wants its cut of whatever profits you make while playing card games online. How to properly prepare the paperwork for your gambling earnings is a question that's best addressed by a competent tax attorney or certified public accountant.

Yes, many of our recommended sites have dedicated poker client downloads for Mac computers. Among them are Ignition Casino and

Even at rooms that don't specifically cater to Mac users, you may find web-based interfaces that work with any modern browser software, including Safari and other popular Mac packages. Windows emulation software, like Crossover Mac, is another option. Learn more about this topic in our roundup of the best Mac poker sites.

Mobile gaming is a big moneymaker for all kinds of entertainment companies, and online poker firms are no exception. Some sites have apps that you must install to your smart device while others include mobile compatibility through their web-play interfaces.

Among the poker rooms that make it easy to play from your phone or tablet are Ignition,, and Everygame. However, be aware that most mobile poker solutions only carry a restricted menu of games, so you'll want to download the desktop program to sample the full gameplay experience.

Through loopholes in the existing state gambling laws, a few membership-based private cardrooms have started to appear across the state. In some localities, they're even licensed by the local authorities. This is true in Houston, which the Post Oak Poker Club calls home.

These clubs charge membership fees rather than rake and, in most cases, are cheaper than playing in a traditional casino. Their legality has come into question, though, and decisions by state lawmakers, the courts, and the attorney general may have an impact on whether or not they can continue to operate going forward.

A Dallas straddle, much like any other straddle, is a bet that someone can make preflop before cards have been dealt. It's typically two times the size of the big blind, but some venues allow players to Dallas straddle for any amount that they wish. Only the player on the button can make a Dallas straddle.

What's unique about this type of straddle is that the straddler gets “absolute last action” preflop. This means that as long as there's a bet or raise and any other player remains who has not folded, called, or re-raised, the action skips over the straddler. He or she only acts after everyone else has completed their decisions.

For example, let's say the button makes a Dallas straddle to $8 in a $2/$4 NL game. The action starts at UTG – to the left of the big blind like normal – and it folds around to the cutoff who makes it $20 to go. The person on the dealer button would normally act next, but in this case, because they straddled, the turn of play bypasses them and goes to the small blind instead.

Let us suppose that the small blind calls the $18 back to him, and then the big blind re-raises to $60. Now the cutoff folds. Instead of being the dealer's play, the action skips him yet again, and the small blind must decide whether or not to put the additional $40 into the pot, fold, or four-bet.

If the small blind either folds or calls, then the dealer position gets to make his moves. If the small blind four-bets, then the action is on the big blind, and if the bb player re-raises again, then the small blind will have decide first before the player on the button.

Ultimate Texas Hold'em isn't a traditional form of peer-to-peer poker but rather a casino table game in which the player competes against the dealer. It does resemble normal Texas Hold'em in that the player makes an ante and a blind bet (an equal amount for each), after which he receives two hole cards.

After examining the two down cards, the player has the option to make a Play bet for three or four times the size of the ante. It's the player's choice to put down either three or four units extra. Alternately, the player can check.

Following this decision, the dealer reveals three community cards face up. Now the player can make a Play bet of twice the size of the ante or check. However, if a Play wager was already made “preflop,” then the player can only check.

Next, the dealer places two more community cards face up on the table. The player now must either fold (losing all bets) or make a Play bet equal to the ante amount. If a Play bet was already placed earlier in the hand, then the player does not make another one.

Now, the showdown takes place. Both the player and the dealer make the best five-card hands using any combination of their hole cards and the face-up community cards.

Ante and Play bets are paid out to the player if he wins. If the dealer wins, they are forfeited to the house. In case both hand strengths are equal, these bets will be graded a push. An exception to the above system occurs if the dealer doesn't make at least one pair, in which case the Ante bet pushes regardless of the player's holding.

The Blind bet is collected by the dealer should the player lose. However, if the player prevails in the hand, then the Blind bet rewards him according to the strength of his hand:

  • Royal Flush: 500 to 1
  • Straight Flush: 50 to 1
  • Four of a Kind: 10 to 1
  • Full House: 3 to 1
  • Flush: 3 to 2
  • Straight: 1 to 1
  • Lower Than a Straight: Push

There's usually an optional Trips side bet. This bet pays out if the player has at least trips regardless of whether he wins or loses against the dealer. The exact amount the Trips bet pays depends on the strength of the hand. The paytable employed varies from casino to casino, but payoffs of 3 to 1 for three of a kind and 50 to 1 for a royal flush are standard.

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!