Given how nice the weather is all year round in the Sunshine State, it may come as a surprise how much time people spend indoors playing poker in the state. Florida is one of the biggest proponents of poker in the United States, and as you will see on this page, the game is booming despite the lack of any real online options. This page will cover everything you need to know as a resident or a visitor to the state – what games are available, why Florida runs right behind Nevada and California in popularity of the game, and the status of real money online poker in the state.
Online Poker in Florida
Floridians used to flock to real money online poker sites back in the 2000s when the sites burst onto the scene in the U.S. With tournaments regularly attracting seven-figure prize pools and thousands of qualifiers heading to events like the World Series of Poker hoping to be the next Chris Moneymaker, it seemed like there was no stopping this machine.
However, the U.S. government decided that poker sites based offshore and paying no taxes in the country while evading laws was not something they wanted to promote, and in 2011 the Department of Justice successfully shut down many of the major poker brands in the country. All of a sudden, players in Florida were not able to access their accounts, and it took some time for these players to finally be compensated for their balances. Despite some efforts to legalize online poker in the state, the conservative way of life won out, and today, players are left reminiscing of these poker glory days.
Land Based Poker in Florida
Florida is one of the only states where you don’t only find a concentration of poker rooms in one geographic area. The game is popular across the state, and with regulations that allow for live poker rooms not only in casinos but at racetracks, operators have taken the opportunity to open their doors to the game.
Whether you are a low-stakes cash game player or a major tournament player, there is something for everyone in Florida. Most of the rooms offer not only No-Limit Hold’em but also other variants like Omaha, Stud, and Chinese Poker. The state also hosts several major poker festivals each year, primarily at the Hard Rock Seminole Casino outside Ft. Lauderdale and at bestbet in Jacksonville.
Check out all the land-based poker rooms available across the state of Florida:
bestbet Jacksonville (Jacksonville, FL)
bestbet Orange Park (Orange Park, FL)
Big Easy Casino (Hallandale, FL)
Casino Fort Pierce (Ft. Pierce, FL)
Casino Miami Jai-Alai (Miami, FL)
Creek Entertainment Gretna (Gretna, FL)
Daytona Beach Racing and Card Club (Daytona Beach, FL)
Derby Lane Poker Room (St. Petersburg, FL)
Ebro Poker Room (Ebro, FL)
Gulfstream Park (Hallandale, FL)
Hialeah Park Casino (Hialeah, FL)
Isle Casino Pompano Park (Pompano Beach, FL)
Kings Court Key Poker Room & Jai Alai (Homestead, FL)
Magic City Casino (Miami, FL)
Melbourne Greyhound Park (Melbourne, FL)
Naples-Fort Myers Poker Room (Bonita Springs, FL)
Ocala Gainesville Poker (Reddick, FL)
One-Eyed Jacks @ Sarasota Kennel Club (Sarasota, FL)
Orange City Racing & Card Club (Orange City, FL)
Oxford Downs Poker Room (Summerfield, FL)
Palm Beach Kennel Club (West Palm Beach, FL)
Pensacola Greyhound Track (Pensacola, FL)
Seminole Coconut Creek (Pompano Beach, FL)
Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
Seminole Hard Rock Tampa (Tampa, FL)
Silks @ Tampa Bay Downs (Tampa, FL)
TGT Poker & Racebook (Tampa, FL)
The Casino @ Dania Beach (Dania, FL)
Social Poker in Florida
Now, many of you reading this page were only ever playing online poker for the social aspect, instead of playing real money games. In fact, poker chat boxes can be considered one of the first forms of social networks. Well, when companies like Facebook came along and connected millions of people from Florida and across the country, it became a perfect spot to start to host social poker games as well. Today, poker players in Florida can play at any of the multiple social poker sites that exist, choosing either to play for free and work their way up through the levels to reach to top tables or by buying chip packages that would allow them to skip ahead to the bigger, tougher games. Social poker sites are a great way to stay active in the game while waiting out any legislation that could be coming to the state.
Subscription Poker in Florida
There are a lot of different gaming laws in the United States, and one that is of particular interest to the poker world is the sweepstakes law. In the late 2000s, it was determined that poker tournaments could qualify to fall under this law if they followed a few guidelines. As a result, a new arm of the industry arose – Subscription Poker. According to the sweepstakes law, players could pay a monthly “membership fee” to then have no-fee access to multiple tournaments during the month. The World Poker Tour jumped on board, and today, that site (Club WPT) leads the way along with several more sweepstakes-style sites. While these aren’t exactly the same as real-money games, the fact that you are playing for some pretty big prizes such as trips and entries into huge poker tournaments mean the gameplay is still going to be fierce.
Online Poker in Florida FAQ
Where can I learn more about games like Omaha and Razz?
We can help you with that! This site has a whole section dedicated to teaching players about the games. Our Poker Game Guides break down each of the disciplines into easy-to-understand language, giving you the basics of each game. Them you can find one of the free play sites available for your PC or mobile device and take what you have learned to the felt. In no time, you will feel comfortable enough to sit down in areal-money game at one of your local poker rooms.
Can I play online poker for real money anywhere in Florida?
Technically, there are still a couple of sites that are based in Latin America that are open to U.S. players. However, these sites present a risk as they are unregulated and dependent on payment processing, which can disappear in an instant. We never recommend that our readers play with these sites, but if you are going to do so anyway, then we suggest you only deposit an amount you are willing to part ways with if, for some reason, the site goes out of business.