What American States Allow Online Gambling?

In this article we are answering the question where citizens of USA can play poker online legally. The increasing availability of online poker games since the advent of the internet has given players limitless opportunities to take part in one of the fastest growing competitive gambling scenes around. No more, since the early 2000’s at least, would a prospective poker player need to venture across state lines or even play for fun at a friend of a friend’s house.

From newbie Texas Hold’em novices to blackjack high-rollers and everyone in-between, there has never been a more popular time to play with and against anybody anywhere in the world, at a click of a button from the comfort of your own home. It’s exciting stuff for those seeking a thrill without having to go too far – or even anywhere! – to find one.

A small percentage of players can make it as professional gamblers but most people will play for fun and entertainment. Online poker is great fun and provides solid entertainment value without the need to leave the living room.

When it comes to table games, the blackjack variant of poker is the king and every online casino tends to operate at least one blackjack title. It’s an easy game to learn, it’s fun to play and the entire premise adapts well to the online platform. It’s not uncommon for online casino sites to provide more than one version of blackjack, each with slightly different rules, and the providers know they’ll reap big traffic to their sites when it comes to blackjack for those reasons.

Popular online poker formats

But Texas Hold’em is pretty popular with online players too as it provides a more authentic live poker challenge against many other competitors. This is in contrast to to games like blackjack where you are taking on the house and dealer.

Wider availability for online poker

As we mentioned, the opportunities for gamblers to take part in online poker are increasing. We won’t go into talking about the states where it isn’t legal to play online here. The fact of the matter is the availability for customers to sit at various online poker tables is the best it’s been for years.

There are now six US states where regulated, legal online poker is currently offered – they are West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Three of those states are fairly new to the online poker scene as Pennsylvania and West Virginia entered the market in 2019, before Michigan became the latest state to legalize the online poker industry earlier this year.

Top online poker platforms

Meanwhile the very popular Pokerstars is currently legal in three states, with licenses to operate being granted by New Jersey, Pennsylvania and this year’s legal poker newcomers Michigan. Since its formation as long ago as 2001, Pokerstars has built itself up to become the largest real money online poker site in the world. It controls over two-thirds of the total online poker market.

The fact that it is available to players in half of the US states where online poker is legal means Pokerstars is incredibly popular with online poker players. It is natural for players to visit this particular platform, but there are plenty of other popular sites that stage online poker games to get involved with.

Ignition Casino, InterTops, BlackChip Poker and Cafe Casino are all up there when it comes to the best sites for online poker. They all offer great opportunities for players to enjoy the pastime in the six states where online poker is legalized…

The state(s) of play


It would make sense that the state in which Las Vegas resides is pretty key when it comes to online gambling. Although there is only one solitary active poker site in Nevada, it is pretty huge…

The world-famous World Series of Poker has been the premier event of the poker calendar for decades. Why? It provides the most sought after prize in the game. WSOP.com Online is the only real online poker site that exists in the state and provides the only chance you have to win from the comfort of your home. But it’s a fantastic chance, all the same.

New Jersey

After Nevada, the only other state that can lay claim to being a spiritual home of online gaming has to be New Jersey. With its extensive choice of online gambling options including casinos, sportsbooks, and poker games. There are dozens of online poker sites to choose from in NJ. New Jersey is the state with the most availability for players to stick or twist on the virtual tables.


You would be surprised to discover that Delaware was actually the first state to legalize online gambling in 2012. It beat the above two powerhouses of online poker. And online gambling is pretty big in this pretty small state, with the Delaware Lottery in charge of no less than three online casinos, three online poker sites, and an online lottery.


Online casinos with poker games first launched in Pennsylvania in July 2019 and the industry within the state has seen significant growth in the two years following. There’s over half a dozen online casinos in operation and more planned for the near future, this state being much more populous than the one above means the availability of online poker in PA will rocket.

West Virginia

This state was the one to take the lead to legalize sports betting. It has five casinos and a thriving online poker community making it a big player in the gambling world.


Michigan became the most recent state to legalize online casinos in January and has already granted access to no less than 13 (THIRTEEN!) online casinos where games such as blackjack, video poker and live dealer games are prevalent.


So there you have it, the six states where online poker is playable to anybody who wishes to enjoy it. There are plans for this opportunity to soon be expanded to at least one more state with Connecticut very recently opening for online gambling business. Although the poker option isn’t quite ready there yet, it is only a matter of time before it will be. The hope is this is just the latest in a long line of states allowing players to legally play online poker. After all, legal play is safe and protected and the more states that offer that can only be a good thing.

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Narciso Baldo is the Director and Head Coach of Texas Hold'em Questions. He has been playing poker for over 16 years. After spending many years as a professional, he now runs UK poker training site Texas Hold'em Questions. Narciso regularly writes poker articles sharing tips, strategy, news and experience with gambling enthusiasts. Narciso also writes for reputable gambling portal Casino City Times, (bio here). Contact: info@texasholdemquestions.com