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Is It Illegal to Play Poker in Your House?

Yes and no. See, there is nothing quite like bringing your friends together to play poker. As fun as this could be, it could be illegal to play poker in your house. Well, this depends on where you are located as the state has its own rules about playing poker at home.

So, we have called upon experts to clarify whether it is illegal to play poker in your home.

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The Legality of Online Poker

Firstly, let’s look at online poker games. Not every state has legalized online gambling. Therefore, before you can start placing poker bets in games with your friends, you need to know if it is legal .

There are currently five states that have legalized online poker. You can play poker games with friends at top casinos sites or internet poker rooms. The five states that have legalized online poker are:

  • Delaware
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia

States Where It Is Illegal to Play Poker

Many states will not allow you to play any kind of poker games in your home.

  • Wisconsin: the gambling is illegal, so home poker games are also illegal by default.
  • West Virginia: Gambling in your home can see you being charged with a misdemeanor for betting. You will also have to pay a fine or get send up to a year in probation.
  • Tennessee: poker is allowed in Tennessee. However, home poker games are outlawed.
  • North Carolina: the only legal gambling games are state-approved, and poker is not one of them
  • New York: poker games at home are considered social games, and the state does not approve of any social games.
  • Pennsylvania: the gambling law is unclear on whether gambling at home is allowed. We would suggest you contact your lawyer before hosting a game of poker.
  • New Mexico: state laws prohibit home poker games.
  • South Carolina: poker games are currently not legal, but there is an amendment underway to allow poker at home as a “recreational activity.”
  • New Jersey: poker games at home with friends are not allowed as the state has not approved them.
  • Rhode Island: you will have to get permission of the state to play poker at home in Rhode Island. If not, the game you are hosting will be deemed illegal, and you could get into a lot of trouble.
  • New Hampshire: social gambling and home poker games are not legal in New Hampshire.
  • Michigan: the state does not allow any kind of social gambling, including poker games at home.
  • Maryland: according to Section 12 of the legal gambling law, home poker games are not allowed.

States That Prohibit Gambling

The above states simply do not allow home poker games, but you can still play poker at regulated casinos. However, a few states do not allow gambling in of any form:

  • Utah: gambling is prohibited in all aspects, which also includes playing poker at home.
  • Missouri: playing poker at home with your friends is illegal by omission as all gambling forms are prohibited in the state.
  • Oklahoma: the state does not allow you to host or play home poker games. The law prohibits all forms of gambling, and you may be fined between $25 and $100 or spend a few days in jail.
  • South Dakota: all forms of gambling games are prohibited. Therefore, it is illegal to play poker with friends at home.
  • Vermont: it is illegal to play poker at home, and if you are found guilty of winning or losing money or anything of value at any casino games, you will be fined.
  • Mississippi: you will not be allowed to take part in home poker games while in Mississippi, but you can play poker at any casinos.
  • Kansas: both social and commercial gambling forms are illegal in this state. Therefore, you won’t be able to play poker at home.
  • Iowa: the only legal gambling forms allowed in Iowa are bingo and race track betting.
  • Idaho: any form of poker is considered illegal.
  • Arkansas: all card games are prohibited within state borders.

How to Legally Play Poker At Home

Playing at home is fun as you don’t have to oblige to all the casino rules. You can play games according to your rules. Games can be as fast or as slow as you want them to be. But there are a few things you have to keep in mind when playing home poker games.

These few elements will ensure you stay clear of any cops or robbers. Before you purchase a poker table or chips, make sure that your state laws allow for poker games at home.

  • Play with chips rather than money.
  • Know your players – ensure that you can trust all the players at the table.
  • Play using small stakes. Trust us.  Small stakes don’t interest robbers.
  • Insist to cut cards to avoid amateurs from taking advantage.
  • Play in a safe area!

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