New Mexico has a storied past with poker, with the proximity of the state to both Texas and Nevada. The game has grown in popularity over the years, mainly due to the online poker boom of the mid-2000s. These days, as the poker industry is in a continual change in the United States, we thought it would be good to have a resource where residents of New Mexico could find everything they wanted to know about poker – the most up to date status on the online game, the land-based options for playing real money poker, and what new products have entered the market that players may not know about.
Online Poker in New Mexico
There are no state laws regarding online poker in New Mexico. It is for this reason that when the online poker sites from outside the country started accepting players from the state (and all the other states) back in the early 2000s, players were only too eager to register for accounts and make deposits. Before long, these sites were generating millions of dollars a day from players trying to win big pots in cash games or qualify their way to the World Series of Poker like Chris Moneymaker did in 2003.
The real money online poker sites brought the world much closer to New Mexico, which is why it was even more disappointing to that state’s residents than most when the federal government stepped in to shut down these offshore companies. When it was all said and done, the industry was shuttered in 2011, leaving New Mexico poker players without a home for real money online poker.
Land Based Poker in New Mexico
With no real money online poker to play after the sites left town in 2011, New Mexico residents turned back to the land-based poker rooms that were around before people started playing from their computers. What the state lacks in volume of rooms it makes up for the in the quality of play – there have been several large poker tours come to the state over the years, showing the demand and interest in the game from residents.
There are five poker rooms open in New Mexico, and those rooms offer cash games and tournaments evet day. If players are interested, there are also some rooms in neighboring Arizona, and a quick check on our page about that state will provide the location of those rooms as well.
Here is a list of the available poker rooms in New Mexico:
Buffalo Thunder Casino (Santa Fe, NM)
Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino (Mescalero, NM)
Isleta Casino (Albuquerque, NM)
Route 66 Casino (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Poker Room (Albuquerque, NM)
Social Poker in New Mexico
When online poker became as popular as it did in the U.S., many companies tried to find a way to profit from the game. While the real money poker sites left the country unwillingly in 2011, the desire to play remained, and this is when social poker really started to shine. What companies like Zynga and others realized is that a majority of poker players like to play for the entertainment value as opposed to wanting to gamble their own money. With the rise of Facebook, there was a platform ready and waiting for poker players, and social poker companies took full advantage. Today, you can find thousands of players on these sites every day, and if you are a more casual poker player, you will find loads of tables to sit at to work on your poker skills.
Sweepstakes Poker in New Mexico
If you are looking to do a little more than play for status points at the poker table, and you have a little money to invest in the endeavor, then sweepstakes poker is calling your name. New Mexico residents can take advantage of sweepstakes laws in the state to play online poker with the chance to win real cash and prizes.
There is a bit of a twist, however, with sweepstakes poker sites. Club WPT, one of the top subscription-based poker sites, gives players access to a full schedule of monthly tournaments in return for a subscription fee. The tournaments do not cost anything to enter, so if you don’t want to pay to enter them, you can receive credits by mailing a postcard to the site, and they will credit your account once a month. The same goes for the other sweepstakes sites like Global Poker, but in those cases, you are paying for virtual currency instead of a monthly subscription fee. While all of this may sound convoluted, we promise you it is totally legit, and you can win prizes as large as entries into World Poker Tour events!
Mobile Poker in New Mexico
Mobile apps have changed the way we interact with the world, and this is true in the world of online poker as well. If you are in the app store on your device, you can search and find dozens of poker apps to download. These are not real money poker apps – those are reserved only for states that have passed legislation – but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from them. The gameplay on a mobile device is slightly different than on a computer, so it is good to get a sense of how a game looks on a smaller screen. Free play apps are a great way to practice for no cost, and having a poker game in your pocket means you can play anytime you get the itch.
Online Poker in New Mexico FAQ
Why is online poker legal in some states and not New Mexico?
It has been determined that regulating and managing gaming is something states can do on their own, and when the unregulated poker sites left the U.S., some states were ambitious enough to write bills of their own. Today, online poker is legal in six states (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Nevada, Michigan, and West Virginia), and with sports betting legislation spreading quickly across the states, we should see that number increase in the coming years.
What about playing with the real money poker sites I see ads for sometimes?
These sites are still operating outside the law – they just haven’t been shut down yet. We don’t think the added troubles of trying to make deposit and withdrawal requests and the potential of a site being shut down at any time without warning is worth it for our readers – just find another way to play poker without all the stress.