Down in Mississippi, people love the game of poker. Heck, there is a game named after the state (Mississippi Stud), so you know the game runs deep down there. While the industry has seen its share of hills and valleys in the last 20 years, one thing remains constant – the desire of the population to find a good game to play.
That’s what this page was designed to help with – finding places for Mississippi residents to play both live and online, to give an update on the status of the industry as a whole, and to provide relevant updates on poker in the state.
Online Poker in Mississippi
It would be fair to say that many people had not ever thought of Mississippi as a travel destination, but when the online poker sites burst onto the scene in the early 2000s, that changed everything. Given the long history of poker in the state, many sites used their platforms to qualify players for big land-based tournaments being held there. Over the next few years, hundreds of players would visit Mississippi for poker purposes, while many more residents used online poker as a means to travel to other parts of the country and around the world.
This real money online poker ecosystem was growing and good for everyone, except it seems the U.S. government. As these sites were operated from outside the United States and therefore not subject to taxation, the government decided to put its foot down in 2006 by passing legislation that would cripple the industry. Several large operators, including Poker Stars, decided to stay in the market, claiming the law didn’t apply to them. However, in 2011 the government managed to indict the remaining sites, effectively shutting down the industry. Poker players in Mississippi were left with no real money online options, and while over the last decade, some states have brought online poker back at a state level, it may be a while before Mississippi follows suit.
Land Based Poker in Mississippi
The good news for players who really learned how to play poker by playing online is that Mississippi has a very healthy land-based poker community. The region has a very progressive view of gambling, which means that there are several poker rooms across the state. These rooms offer players cash games ranging from $1/2 to much higher stakes – mainly in Hold’em, but many dealers can deal other games like Omaha and Stud, so you may be able to drum up enough interest in starting one of those tables. The rooms also offer multiple tournaments a week, and while they aren’t as large as they were in the glory days of online poker, there are several poker festivals held throughout the year at Mississippi casinos.
Here is a list of the poker rooms you will find in the state:
Ameristar Casino Vicksburg (Vicksburg, MS)
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino (Biloxi, MS)
Golden Nugget Biloxi (Biloxi, MS)
Hollywood Casino Bay Saint Louis (Bay St. Louis, MS)
Hollywood Casino Tunica (Robinsonville, MS)
Horseshoe Casino Tunica (Robinsonville, MS)
IP Casino Biloxi (Biloxi, MS)
Magnolia Bluffs Casino (Natchez, MS)
Pearl River Resort (Philadelphia, MS)
Social Poker in Mississippi
After the real money online poker sites left the U.S. market in 2011, there were many players in Mississippi very upset that they could no longer gamble to try to win big pots in cash games or big tournament scores. However, an often forgotten group of players are those who played only for play chips on these sites. They were an important part of the ecosystem, even if they never deposited a dime. These players were also displaced, but fortunately for them, it was right around the time that social networks, and more importantly, social poker sites were growing.
These sites, like Zynga Poker, brought together players from around the world in a play money environment. The games were still the same (primarily No-Limit Hold’em), and there were “cash” games and tournaments, but rather than play for cash prizes, players were hoping to receive status points to rise up the leaderboards. Also, players were accumulating chips to enter more exclusive games (players who wanted to bypass earning the chips could buy them from the Zynga store for real money). Social Poker sites are great for practice purposes, and we definitely suggest you check them out.
Sweepstakes Poker in Mississippi
Sweepstakes laws across the United States vary by state, but for the most part, you can run a poker tournament that gives away cash and prizes as a sweepstakes as long as there is no purchase necessary. This has allowed sites like Global Poker to find a niche in the industry. They offer virtual currency for purchase, and “randomly” award sweepstakes points to players who have bought the currency. These points, in turn, can be used to enter poker tournaments and cash games that have prizes that can be converted back to cash. This is a great way to try to win money playing online poker, even if it isn’t exactly the same system as the other sites used to operate.
Mobile Poker in Mississippi
We do almost everything on our phones these days, and for poker players that includes seeing flops. Mobile poker apps are scattered all over the major app stores, and while there are no real money poker apps available to Mississippi residents, there are plenty of reasons to use a play money app. First, it will give you a sense of how the gameplay is different from a PC to a mobile device. Second, it gives you access to playing poker from anywhere, even if it is only for a few hands. If you are looking to try a new game, or just want to improve your Hold’em skills, these apps are for you.
Online Poker in Mississippi FAQ
What about these real money poker sites I keep reading about online? Are they safe?
There are indeed a few offshore-based poker sites that continue to accept players from Mississippi. The definition of safety varies based on your tolerance for risk. These sites have very limited payment options, and with no regulations to adhere to, could be difficult to deal with. Some people still like playing with these sites (beggars can’t be choosers, as the saying goes), but we recommend you stay away from these companies.
How can I start to learn about games like Short Deck and Chinese Poker?
You may find tables in Mississippi poker rooms starting to spread games like these, as they are new and exciting variants. We have Game Guides for all the different types of poker which will give you the basics on gameplay, rules and hand rankings so you can confidently sit down at these tables and give the game a shot!