Arizona has a love affair with poker. The state’s proximity to Las Vegas and all the poker riches that can be won there doesn’t hurt, but residents can also partake in many big games in their own backyard. This page is going to look at poker in all forms in Arizona -from the land-based card rooms around the state to the current status of online poker, you will find everything you need to be the most informed poker player in your group!
Online Poker in Arizona
When online poker sites launched in the late 1990s, no one could have possibly imagined the way they would change the gambling landscape across the world. This is especially true in the United States, as players from Arizona and other states joined online poker sites at a fever pitch for years. Sadly, it was all a bit too good to be true, and the sites that hosted many of the games had to abandon the American market in two waves in 2006 and again in 2011. Since that time, a handful of states have found a way to bring back legal online poker for real money, but most have sat on the sidelines on the topic. Arizona is one of the states that hasn’t yet passed online poker legislation, but given the state’s adoption of poker in general, it is hoped that the wait won’t be too long to join the likes of New Jersey and neighboring Nevada in the online poker world once again.
Land Based Poker in Arizona
Despite all the drama surrounding real money online poker in the U.S., Arizona residents have always had land-based poker rooms to fall back upon. Casinos are very popular in the state, and many of the licensed facilities dotted across Arizona offer players a chance to sit down in a cash game or a tournament. The size of each of the rooms varies based on location, but you will find some serious players in every one of these poker rooms. Locations like Talking Stick Resort feature almost 50 tables and host major poker festivals each year.
Here is a list of all the locations of poker rooms in Arizona:
Bucky’s Yavapai Casino (Prescott, AZ)
Casino Del Sol (Tucson, AZ)
Cliff Castle Poker Room (Camp Verde, AZ)
Desert Diamond Casino (Tucson, AZ)
Desert Diamond Casino West Valley (Glendale, AZ)
Fort McDowell Casino (Ft. Mcdowell, AZ)
Gila River Casino Vee Quiva (Laveen, AZ)
Gila River Casino Wild Horse Pass (Chandler, AZ)
Harrah’s Ak-Chin (Maricopa, AZ)
Hon-Dah Casino (Pinetop, AZ)
Mazatzal Casino (Payson, AZ)
Talking Stick Resort (Scottsdale, AZ)
Social Poker in Arizona
For those who have been living under a rock for the last decade, playing games on a social media platform like Facebook has become one of the most popular pastimes on the planet. Arizona residents contribute to a multi-billion dollar industry when they play social poker games like Big Fish or Zynga Poker. But are they real poker?
The games you find on social media sites are played by the same rules as real money poker, but there are no cash prizes to be won, and there is no need to purchase chips. However, as there is some incentive to reach the top of the social ladder and leaderboard, players do have the option of purchasing chips to take to these play money tables. This is how these sites make money, and based on the fact that they have made billions off selling free chips to players who will never be able to cash them out, we think social poker has become a great way for players in Arizona to practice their skills when they are away from the land-based poker room.
Subscription Poker in Arizona
Subscription gaming models allow a company to offer their games under a sweepstakes model, as there is technically no entry fee to enter the games themselves. This loophole in the law allowed for several subscription-based poker sites to emerge in the early 2010s. These sites, which invite players from Arizona and 35 other states to register and pay a monthly membership fee, offer daily and weekly tournaments which award prizes but no actual cash. Some, like Club WPT, combine the land-based poker world with the subscription model by giving players a chance to qualify for a WPT event via the subscription site.
These sites are open and available to Arizona residents and offer yet another way for players to enjoy real poker action even if they can’t play online for cash at the present time.
Mobile Poker in Arizona
Both the types of poker listed above, along with many play money poker products, are available as native apps for iOS and Android devices. Playing from a phone or a tablet provides poker enthusiasts with an extra layer of convenience as the game moves along with you! Real money online poker sites around the world and in many of the regulated states in the U.S. also offer native games for mobile devices, so when poker is finally legal in Arizona, there will be even more selection to choose from. For now, aspiring poker professionals in Arizona can head to the app store and look through all the choices available.
Online Poker in Arizona FAQ
Can I play online poker if I travel across the border to Nevada?
Absolutely! You can play legal online poker in any U.S. state that has regulated the market. All you have to do when you travel inside the state’s border is look for the available sites (our pages can help you navigate what sites are available in each state), then register for an account and start playing! One thing to keep in mind is that these sites can only be accessed when you are physically inside the borders of the licensing state, so if you travel to Nevada and play, be prepared to lose access to your account as you cross back into Arizona. Your balance will still be active, but you are bound to the Terms and Conditions of the site regarding inactivity, so please do the research before you make a decision to play.
What about offshore poker sites? Are those legal to play from Arizona?
All the sites that were incredibly popular in Arizona in the 2000s were based outside the country, and today there are still a handful of rogue operators that thumb their noses to the U.S. government and accept play from residents of Arizona and elsewhere. These sites are very difficult to deal with and with no regulations to adhere to, can simply close their doors or your account with no legal ramifications. We think you should stay away and stick to the online and land-based options that are legal and available in Arizona.