Idaho is a state that is probably most commonly referred to when talking about potatoes – not exactly the most exciting reference, but still part of the mainstream. The state is also a hotbed for college sports, and there is a huge player base for poker as well. The last couple of decades have seen the growth of poker in Idaho for various reasons, and we built this page to cover everything someone in the state needs to know about the game. From where to play, to why real money online poker isn’t a thing right now, this page will have everyone up to speed on poker in this great state.
Online Poker in Idaho
When online poker became insanely popular in the early 2000s, players in Idaho rejoiced in all the choices they had to join a real money online Cash game or an online tournament, which could see them win thousands of dollars. The industry was booming, and Idaho players were finding themselves qualifying for major land-based poker events around the country and across the world from their own living rooms.
As we all know, this dream didn’t last forever, and by 2011 the entire poker landscape had been wiped out by the U.S. government. While some states have taken it upon themselves to legalize online poker, those conversations have not taken place in Idaho. Players find themselves having to wait and hope that their state government will act in the same manner as Michigan, which recently announced online poker regulations in conjunction with its new sports betting laws.
Land Based Poker in Idaho
Compounding the issue for online poker players in Idaho is a lack of places to play live poker in the state. There are several tribal gaming facilities in the region, and when the real money online poker sites went away, a couple of them tried to launch poker tournaments and cash games. The state quickly stepped in to have those games stopped, and since then, there has not been any suggestion that live poker will return to locations in the state.
If you are a real money poker player, you aren’t left with many options for playing aside form private games. However, if you are willing to drive a bit, you will find poker rooms available both in Northern Nevada and Southern Washington – we have pages dedicated to both those states as well, and we encourage you to check them out to see if there is a room close to where you live.
Social Poker in Idaho
Have the last few paragraphs got you Idaho poker players a bit depressed? Nothing to fear – there are still some options left for you for playing online poker and getting in the work you need to continue to improve at the game. The first is by joining a social poker site. These sites are found via mobile apps or through social networks like Facebook. You can create an account and sit down for free with tens of thousands of other poker fans to play in cash games and tournaments, trying to accumulate enough chips to advance in levels. If you want to skip past the early rounds (the gameplay can be pretty weak at these tables), then you can actually buy more chips to add to your stack, unlocking new levels and tables that are restricted to other players. You won’t be able to cash in any of your chips for money, so use the time to work on strategies you have learned along the way. Any poker is good poker as far as we are concerned, and with the lack of real money online poker for the foreseeable future in Idaho, social poker will help ease the pain.
Subscription Poker in Idaho
If you are willing to invest a small amount of cash every month to have access to tournaments that award amazing prizes, then subscription-based poker sites like Club WPT could be perfect for you. These sites fall under sweepstakes laws, which means that once you pay the monthly fee, you can register for any of the available events for no additional cost. Club WPT even has a monthly tournament, which gives away a seat to a World Poker Tour Main Event somewhere in the U.S., so this may be the best chance you have to play online and make your way into the Winner’s Circle!
There are reviews of some of the sweepstakes sites available on our website – check them out to get a full understanding of how they differ from real money poker sites.
Poker Training in Idaho
Let’s face it: there aren’t a lot of options for real money poker in Idaho. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to learn about the game and train your skills. With land-based card rooms in neighboring states and subscription sites giving you the chance to win awesome prizes, making sure you read up on tips and tricks is critical.
We have an entire Poker Game Guides section which you can use to find out the basics on some types of poker you perhaps haven’t played before, or newer games like Short Deck, which are becoming more popular with players. We have a team of experts on staff that will teach you all about basic gameplay as well as some more advanced tips to improve your game. Take what you have learned and go find a play money site to put that knowledge into action!
Online Poker in Idaho FAQ
Can I still play offshore poker sites for real money from Idaho?
This does remain an option for players who are living in Idaho. Most poker sites have blocked American players, but there are a couple of smaller sites that remain open for the time being. Some sites have actually gone out of business without warning, and that has caused concern for players who are considering sending money to an offshore site with no recourse if the site decides not to pay them. We don’t recommend these sites to players as the risk of something going wrong is too high to add to the risk of gambling the money in the first place.
I live close to Nevada – can I go across the border and play online poker there?
Absolutely! You do not need to be a resident of Nevada or any other state with legal online poker to create an account and play. The only thing you have to remember is that when you cross back over the state border out of Nevada, you will lose access to the games because the sites and apps are geo-fenced to keep the play inside the state as per the legislation.