There’s a good chance when people think of poker or casino gambling, Nevada is the state they think or. Whether in Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin or Carson City, there is plenty of live poker and gambling action.
Las Vegas hosts the annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) as well as the World Poker Tour and other major events. Nevada has a deep poker history. Players in the state also have the opportunity to play poker online and win some real cash at the virtual tables.
This guide has everything you’ll need to get in on the action at the virtual poker tables in the Silver State. That includes setting up an account, making a deposit to play online poker for real money in Nevada, seeing what bonuses are available and much more.
Nevada online poker overview
|Poker Site||Online||Cash||24 H Peak||7 Day avg||Last Week||Play Now|
|WSOP US||186||480||240||Play Now|
Although online poker was legalized in Nevada in 2013, the market remained small despite an interstate compact with New Jersey. That changed during the coronavirus pandemic, as Nevada online poker sites gained plenty of traction and grew player pools.
The US online poker market as a whole — at the time including New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania — also saw large gains with more players getting online, and the market achieved record revenue numbers.
WSOP.com is the sole operator in the state. The WSOP is owned by casino corporation Caesars Entertainment, and WSOP.com is owned by its subsidiary, Caesars Interactive Entertainment. 888poker, a respected international online poker operator, provides software for WSOP.com. 888 also operates the only online poker platform in Delaware and has a skin in NJ, which are both part of a shared liquidity market with WSOP.com.
During the pandemic, WSOP.com operated online WSOP Circuit events allowing players to win championship rings and big paydays. That was even topped in July when the platform ran online bracelet events.
After the traditional live WSOP was postponed, series organizers saw the WSOP.com platform as a good substitute. The series has included online bracelet events every year since 2015, taking advantage of so many players in Las Vegas playing poker.
Players in New Jersey could also compete to win a bracelet. For 2020, the online bracelet action was to be ramped up in a major way with 14 events — increased from one in 2015 and 2016, three in 2017, four in 2018 and nine in 2019.
Once the live series was postponed, however, those plans were scrapped and the WSOP offered one bracelet event daily throughout July 2020. The series also partnered with GGPoker to allow international players a shot at winning a bracelet online for the first time.
The surge of online poker in the US and abroad brought in plenty of players. Many big names in poker like Daniel Negreanu and Mike “The Mouth” Matusow streamed action on Twitch and YouTube. The entire series created significant buzz for the US online poker industry.
On April 15, 2011, Black Friday shut Americans out of the international online poker market. The federal government basically ruled that online poker was illegal based on the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
Sites like PokerStars were off limits to Americans after federal investigators shut down the industry. Many thought their days at the virtual tables were over.
However, later in the year, the Obama Justice Department released an opinion stating that the Wire Act only applied to sports betting. In essence this allowed states to legislate their own online gambling industries.
Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada all legalized online poker in 2013. That included other forms of gambling in the first two states, but only poker in Nevada. The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) was charged with regulating the industry.
Nevada online poker laws
The actual bill that became the current law governing online poker in Nevada is known as AB 114. The law only permits the operation of online poker sites. Plus, it dictates players on the sites must be inside state lines to play for real money.
The operation of sites that host other casino games outside of poker is not authorized by this law.
Since the bill became a law in February 2013, NGCB has issued several online poker operators licenses to online poker and other gaming technology companies. However, just three online poker sites have ever opened up to the public in the state.
Ultimate Poker launched in April 2013 but shut down in November 2014. WSOP.com launched in September 2013.
Real Gaming Online Poker launched in February 2014 and is owned by South Point Casino in Las Vegas. The platform never attracted much traffic and doesn’t appear to be functioning anymore.
The World Series of Poker’s online product remains the only game in town when it comes to Nevada.
What is or is not legal in Nevada?
It is legal to play online poker on state-licensed and regulated sites in Nevada. However, the sites and players must adhere to specific online poker regulations set by the Nevada Gaming Commission. These include:
- Players must be 21 or older and sites must verify identification.
- Players must be inside state lines to play for real money and sites must verify location using geolocation software.
- Player fund transfers are not allowed.
- Players are only allowed to have a single account on each site.
- Operators must maintain a reserve equal to the total of all player funds.
- Rake cannot exceed 10 percent.
- A 10-year bad actors clause prohibits offshore poker sites that previously accepted US customers from being licensed to operate in the state.
Where can I play poker online in Nevada?
Players in Nevada may have only one option for online poker, but WSOP.com players benefit greatly from the site’s shared liquidity with New Jersey and Delaware.
The NGCB doesn’t release specific online poker revenue numbers, but WSOP.com regularly leads the New Jersey market by a wide margin. Players in Nevada will find plenty of regular action and larger prize and player pools than at other Nevada online poker rooms.
Caesars Interactive Entertainment offers Nevada players a nice online poker option. The site makes use of 888poker’s software and also pools with 888’s skins in New Jersey and Delaware.
Players will find some regular tournament and sit and go action. The site also runs regular major tournament series with some nice payouts such as the Summer Series, Super Online Circuit Series and others.
Those offerings greatly increased during the coronavirus pandemic and expanded to even more online bracelet events. The tournament scene includes plenty of satellite events as well as freerolls and added cash events like the frequent Player Appreciation Tournaments.
WSOP.com remains the largest online poker site in the US. And when the live WSOP runs each summer in Las Vegas, the site offers numerous ways for players to qualify and take part in the action. That includes opportunities to win your way into the $10,000 Main Event.
The site also throws around some extra cash for leaderboards and other series promotions. That includes leaderboards for things like BLAST Sit & Go events, which work well on the small screen of a mobile device and feature four-handed tournaments with a time clock.
Once that time is up, the real gamble starts and players are automatically all in. BLAST events can pay off in a big way, with players possibly earning up to 10,000 times their buy-in.
When it comes to game varieties, players looking for mixed games and other games that might be spread in a Las Vegas casino will be out of luck.
The 888poker software used on the platform only offers Texas Hold ’em and Omaha variations (including Hi/Lo). Despite that, tournament players will be happy with plenty of events, and WSOP.com offers some nice features and a pretty smooth software client.
Regular cash game players will definitely find more action in the evenings. Don’t expect nosebleed stakes, but look for regular micro-stakes games all the way up to $1/$2 and even higher on the weekends.
Those looking for some more out of the norm won’t find too much at WSOP.com, unfortunately. The same game varieties are available for cash games as well — No Limit Texas Hold ’em and Omaha. The latter will be more difficult to find, but there are some players out there.
Like tournaments, WSOP.com also goes the extra mile promotion-wise for cash game players. That includes cash game leaderboards with thousands of extra dollars up for grabs.
After the coronavirus pandemic, the number of cash game players on an average night might be in the 400-600 range. Evenings will find the most action, especially weekends.
These cash game offerings are certainly not what they were pre-Black Friday and in the international online poker market. However, players can at least find some action in a regulated, legal online poker market without having to worry about game safety and security.
Pros and cons
When it comes to playing poker in Nevada, players are lucky in that it remains one of the few states offering fully legal and regulated online poker. Along with New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Michigan have also legalized online poker, but as of August 2020 hadn’t approved any operators to go live.
Nevadans can take advantage of some nice online poker with a chance at some real winnings in cash games and tournaments. Here’s a look at some pros and cons of the platform:
|• Shared liquidity – Part of the country's only interstate compact, meaning larger prizes and player pools.||• Games offered – Players only have an option of Texas Hold’em and Omaha.|
|• Promotions – Nice efforts at rewarding players in Nevada and New Jersey. Often this includes thousands of extra dollars.||• Minimal cash game offerings – In both stakes and games, the offerings are limited.|
|• Gameplay – Smooth and attractive on-screen gaming. This also includes the WSOP.com app.||• Limited player numbers – While it remains the largest US online site, the player pools pale in comparison to legal international sites. However, these numbers definitely increase during big series.|
|• Major events – WSOP.com has the option of offering major satellites to WSOP live events as well as online bracelet tournaments.|
|• Security – Players can take advantage of safe and secure funds transfer options. Player info and funds remain safe.|
Other operators in the state
Beyond WSOP.com, players are in a bit of a waiting game in Nevada. The state only has a population of about 3.1 million and other operators may be apprehensive about entering such a small market.
WSOP.com benefits from its live tournament scene in the state, the World Series of Poker. That synergy helps ramp up online numbers each summer.
The state’s adjacency to Arizona and California, two states with large poker-playing histories, also allows for players to cross the border and play in some major online events as well as the live WSOP.
Partypoker also partners with the World Poker Tour to offer major live and online events around the world, including New Jersey. The WPT runs several live events in Las Vegas, offering even more opportunities for possible expansion into Nevada.
Whether it expands into the Nevada market remains to be seen, but the future of the Wire Act could end up playing a role (see more on that below).
Bonuses at WSOP.com in Nevada
Another great thing about playing online is the ability to take advantage of online poker bonus offers. These are plentiful at top legal poker sites and offer players a great way to even get some money for free to test out a site.
Obviously WSOP.com is the only operator in Nevada, but there are still some excellent bonus offers for new players to check out, including:
- $10 sign-up bonus — This is free money to play simply for creating an account. The best part is that you don’t even have to transfer any money into your account.
- 100% deposit bonus — When you are ready to transfer a few dollars to that account you’ve now created, the site offers a nice match. Make a deposit of up to $1,000, and receive up to that same amount as a bonus with a playthrough requirement.
- Additional bonuses — WSOP.com has also regularly offered some additional extras for those who create a new account. One cool recent extra awarded players with seven $100 Welcome Week freeroll tickets. That’s another shot at some free money.
- Reload bonus — Beyond bonuses for new players, WSOP.com also regularly offers some nice rewards for players adding more funds to their accounts. It’s yet another opportunity for some extra cash to hit the tables.
One thing to remember is that there are some nice exclusive bonuses right here on this page from PokerScout. Simply click on these links to start receiving some free money. This is an opportunity you’ll want to cash in on.
Using the WSOP.com app
Mobile gambling is as popular as ever, and the world of online poker is no different. Whether in a taxi, in a waiting room or just on the couch at home, opening up a poker app on your phone offers some entertainment with a real chance to win some cash.
Poker players will find an excellent experience on the WSOP.com app, with much of what they’d find when making use of the desktop client. The games are smooth and simple to operate.
There’s also a nice selection of cash games, tournaments and sit and go offerings. The aesthetics of the app are nice and concise — user friendly and allowing for smooth movements and actions like bet, raise and fold.
Like the desktop client, the app is built on the 888poker platform. Players will find them to be virtually the same, just with different color schemes. Players can use the WSOP.com app on iOS and Android, and this is a great way to get in on the fun.
Depositing and withdrawing safely at WSOP.com in Nevada
Unlike illegal offshore casinos, players using traditional regulated online poker platforms can feel safe in depositing money. Setting up an account is simple, and players will need to provide just a few personal details like name, address, phone number, etc.
You’ll also be asked to create a username and password for logging into the site. Licensed online operators must follow strict regulations set forward by the NGCB so that payer data and poker funds are safe.
Players can then make use of play money or any sign-up bonus funds to start checking out the site. Maybe there’s a major tournament series you’ve been checking out, and you want to throw your hat in the ring?
Depositing is a simple process and only takes a few minutes. Players can use traditional and reliable methods of transaction because sites like WSOP.com are legal and must pass similar gambling requirements as a traditional Las Vegas casino.
Operators like WSOP.com accept various deposit methods like credit cards, debit cards, bank wires, ACH/e-check transfers, e-wallets (like PayPal and Skrill) and some other options.
Players looking for a cash alternative may want to check out PayNearMe, which makes use of an app to pay in cash at participating retail outlets.
Deposits are usually almost instantaneous, meaning you can jump in a tournament or cash game pretty quickly. Plenty of action awaits once you’ve funded your account, but don’t forget to use the PokerScout bonus links so you can begin working on those free dollars.
Where can I play poker live in Nevada?
Nevada is the casino capital of the country. As such, there are more places to play live poker in the Silver State than any other.
That changed quite a bit during the coronavirus pandemic. Casinos halted operations, and live poker was slow in returning. Those that did stuck mostly to cash games in the early days of reopening, with some daily tournaments eventually added.
Properties made use of plexiglass windows between players, who also were mandated to wear masks. In September, the Venetian became the first property to announce a major tournament series.
The DeepStack Showdown became the first post-pandemic series, featuring 32 tournaments with a total guarantee of $400,000.
Across the state, the NGCB listed 62 open poker rooms and 580 tables operating across the state before the pandemic. That number was much lower in the aftermath of the pandemic, and the state’s quarterly statistics report ending June 30, 2020, listed only 255 live tables.
In Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, that number had sunk to 209 tables. Poker room revenues regularly averaged close to $9 million a month statewide before the pandemic.
However, the numbers jump when the WSOP rolls into Las Vegas annually in June and July. With minimal live poker and no WSOP or WPT events in Las Vegas, those numbers have sunk significantly.
That’s part of the reason numbers rose so much on WSOP.com — online poker offered a nice alternative for many.
Some of the most popular places to play poker on the Las Vegas Strip include the poker rooms at Bellagio, Aria and The Mirage. Off the Strip, The Orleans offers plenty for locals and those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Strip.
In downtown Las Vegas, Binion’s is a favorite and offers a glimpse into poker history as the birthplace of the World Series of Poker. The Golden Nugget also has an excellent poker room, and the property once hosted popular poker shows like “High Stakes Poker,” “Poker After Dark” and “Face the Ace.”
History of online poker in Nevada
Online poker began booming in the US in 2003. First, a Tennessee accountant named Chris Moneymaker won entry into the World Series of Poker Main Event through an online satellite. He went on to capture the world title and $2.5 million. Then, the popularity of poker on TV, sponsored by online poker sites, simply exploded.
The US government’s first attempt to curtail the activity and get control of market came in 2006 when Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). This forced US banks to stop processing transactions for offshore online poker operators and pushed several of those operators out of the US market. However, several major operators stayed, and online poker’s popularity continued.
Five years later, on April 15, 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice charged top executives at major online poker operators including PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet with money laundering and illegal gambling charges. This pushed these sites out of the US and effectively closed the door to online poker in America.
However, by the end of the year, signs that door could be opening again began to surface.
In December 2011, the DOJ released a legal opinion that the Federal Wire Act only applies to sports betting. This paved the way for states to begin to consider licensing and regulating online poker and casino sites. That same week, NGCB approved draft regulations authorizing online poker.
In 2018, however, the Trump administration’s Department of Justice reversed the Obama-era opinion on the Wire Act, arguing that the act did indeed apply to all forms of online gambling — not just sports betting.
The new opinion could have massive consequences for the US online gambling industry — snuffing out interstate compacts like that of WSOP.com as well as online lottery sales. The New Hampshire Lottery sued to block the opinion.
The lottery won the first round in federal court, but the DOJ appealed the case. The court heard arguments in June, and poker players and those in the industry were still awaiting a ruling as of August 2020.
The Wire Act case could have major repercussions in the poker industry. Small population states like West Virginia might not have viable online poker markets without shared liquidity. The gambling industry is hoping for another ruling in its favor.
Legal and regulated online poker in Nevada
The political process took more than a year, but on Feb. 21, 2013, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed Assembly Bill 114 into law, legalizing online poker inside Nevada’s borders.
It also opened the door to interstate liquidity compacts. Delaware and Nevada signed the first compact in 2014. WSOP.com began sharing player pools with the three 888 network sites in Delaware under the agreement in March 2015. New Jersey signed onto the agreement with both states in October 2017.
Ultimate Poker, a majority-owned subsidiary of Station Casinos, became the first licensed and regulated online poker site in the US when it launched at the end of April 2013. The World Series of Poker-branded WSOP.com entered the market in September 2013 and almost immediately became top dog.
The South Point-owned Real Gaming Online Poker launched in February 2014, but had little impact on the market. For all intents and purposes, the Nevada online poker market became a one-horse race in November 2014 when Ultimate Poker shut down.
Frequently asked questions
What’s the legal age to gamble in Nevada?
The legal age is 21.
Does that include online poker?
Yes. If you play poker online you still must be 21 or older.
Do you have to live in Nevada to play online poker?
No. Players traveling to the state for a vacation, the World Series of Poker or another reason can all play on WSOP.com. Players can even set up and fund an account ahead of time so they’ll be ready to play. Don’t forget to use the PokerScout bonus offers on this page, however, to play when you’re actually in the Silver State.
Can I qualify for the World Series of Poker via an online poker site?
This is certainly possible for WSOP.com players in Nevada, and New Jersey as well. WSOP.com is the online platform of the World Series of Poker and offers numerous online qualifiers for official bracelet events at the annual Las Vegas series.
The operator also offers qualifiers to WSOP Circuit events as well as online circuit events — all still awarding championship rings. WSOP.com also offers online bracelet events, allowing players to win some gold and big money if they were at the actual live series in Las Vegas.
Can I play on partypoker or PokerStars in Nevada?
No. WSOP.com remained the only online poker option in the state as of August 2020. The site shares liquidity with WSOP.com in New Jersey as well as with 888poker in Delaware and NJ. This has led to WSOP.com becoming the country’s largest online poker operator.