Nebraska is not known as a traditional poker hotbed, but during the prime online poker years in the United States, interest in the game grew immensely. As a result, these days, there are still a lot of questions from residents as to where they can play the game they grew to love in the 2000s.
Our team put together a comprehensive page of information about poker in Nebraska. This page will give you the most up to date information on the game – where to play, how to play, and what to play no matter where you are in the state.
Online Poker in Nebraska
Real money online poker became mainstream in the United States early in the 2000s, and for years, Nebraskans flocked to online sites to play their favorite cash games and tournaments. The money was flowing back then, as many of these sites offered weekly tournaments with six and seven-figure prize pools.
One issue with online poker in the U.S. was the legality of it, which seemed hazy at best. The sites were all based offshore, and therefore not subject to U.S. taxes, which meant millions of dollars of potential revenues flowing away from state governments. In 2006, the government made things less ambiguous by enacting a law making all the banking transactions illegal, and this made several prominent sites leave the market. In 2011, those that had stayed were indicted on charges of breaking the 2006 law, and just like that, players from Nebraska were shut out of playing real money online Texas Hold’em and other games.
For the rest of the decade, there was nothing to report regarding online poker in Nebraska. Some states, like New Jersey and Delaware, passed their own online poker legislation, which saw much smaller games return to their states. However, with the repeal of sports betting law in the country in May 2018, the door was open to potentially seeing poker return. In early 2020, a bill was introduced into the Nebraska legislature that would see the regulation of not only sports betting, but also online casinos and poker sites. Nebraskans are holding their collective breath to see if this bill will pass, and finally, they will be able to play cards for money online once again.
Land Based Poker in Nebraska
It is good to see some positive movement on the online poker front in Nebraska because the same cannot be said for land-based poker in the state. As of 2020, there are no legal poker rooms situated in Nebraska, and given the limited scope of gambling as a whole in the state, it isn’t likely that any will be opening up soon.
If you are looking to play live cash games or tournaments, there will be some travel involved. Depending on where you live, there are poker rooms in neighboring states like South Dakota, Iowa, and Colorado. You can look at our pages on those states to see what rooms are open and how far they are to where you live. That’s really the only option you have for playing live games anywhere near your home state.
Social Poker in Nebraska
Social poker offers players the chance to play from their homes but in a play money environment. There are thousands of players playing on these social poker sites, like Zynga Poker, every day, and even though you are competing for status and recognition instead of money, there is still some fierce competition. These sites do offer you a chance to bypass lower stakes games and play at some exclusive tables, but it is going to cost you – chip packages are available for sale in the storefronts of these sites.
Sweepstakes Poker in Nebraska
With no real money poker left to play in Nebraska or anywhere in the U.S. in 2011, some new forms of gambling in poker emerged to try to satisfy the needs of displaced players. Sweepstakes poker is one of those solutions. With sweepstakes laws, players are able to play poker to win cash and prizes as long as there is no purchase required – anyone should be able to join the game if they want to do so.
A couple of models came out of this discovery. Subscription sites like Club WPT charge players a monthly subscription fee, for which they receive discounts, play chips, and sweepstakes entries to be used for series of tournaments that give away everything from electronics to trips to World Poker Tour live events. Other sites like Global Poker ask you to purchase virtual currency that you can use at certain tables on the site but have no value; purchasers are rewarded “sweepstakes tokens,” which do have a cash value if you win them in cash games and tournaments.
In both cases, players are allowed to send a letter to the companies to receive free sweepstakes entries, and that is how these sites are allowed to be in business. Check out our reviews of these sites to see if they would fit your poker profile.
Learning Poker in Nebraska
Despite the current status of poker in the state, Nebraska is bracing itself for the potential return of online poker, which means now is the perfect time to learn as much as you can about all the games. Our Poker Game Guides offer you the basis on each of the different games such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Stud and new variants like Short Deck that have been developed since the first wave of online poker sites left the U.S. There will be great opportunities in some of these games to be very profitable if you have a head start on your opponents, and this site is giving you the tools to get the ball rolling.
Online Poker in Nebraska FAQ
When will online poker be live if the legislation passes?
Well, that’s difficult to say. What we do know is that the bill has to pass first, and it is likely to be voted on before the session ends in June. From there, regulations will have to be finalized, and applications received for licenses. Our best guess is that we will not see online sites live before the end of the year at the earliest.
Can’t I just use a VPN and play at a site from another state or country?
This is not something we recommend at all, due to the risk of having your account shut if you are caught. It may seem tempting, but given how difficult it will be to get money to and from these sites when you don’t live in the jurisdiction, and the fact that you could lose your money if a site decided to close your account, we think it is safer to just stay patient and use the options available to you today.