North Carolina has always been a conservative state when it comes to gambling, and that includes its stance on poker. Even though the residents have had their moments with the game, including an unprecedented era of growth in the online poker boom, today there is abut of a gap in the market. This page is designed to help our reader from North Carolina make sense of the current status of poker, both land-based and online. As well, this page will give you an idea of why it is important to learn more games than just Texas Hold’em if you want to improve your overall poker skills.
Online Poker in North Carolina
As mentioned, the online poker madness of the early 2000s was something to behold. Once a young man by the name of Chris Moneymaker won an online satellite to the Main Event of the World Series of Poker and went on to win it all in 2003, players from across North Carolina and the country flocked to the online sites offering hundreds of tournaments and cash games every day. Many players from the state have gone on to do great things with their poker careers, but in 2011 everything changed when the government ordered the sites shut down for violations of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act of 2006. By April of 2011, the industry had all but disappeared. Since that time, states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and a handful of others have passed legislation to regulate online poker. Given North Carolina’s conservative stance on gambling and its recently passed retail-only sports betting legislation, it is difficult to see it making real money online poker legal anytime soon.
Land Based Poker in North Carolina
Whereas many players across the U.S. can rely on land-based poker rooms to get them through the depression of not being able to play real money online poker anymore, in North Carolina, the options are extremely limited. There are poker rooms at both Harrah’s properties on Cherokee land, but that is it for the entire state. This doesn’t sound like nearly enough supply for the demand that comes from the players in the state, but unless the government changes the gambling laws (spoiler alert: it won’t), then there isn’t much for residents to choose from.
The two rooms that do exist in the state do their best to ensure players are well taken care of, from offering as many different levels of cash games as are asked for to trying to host as many tournaments as possible. There is an annual poker festival from the World Series of Poker that rolls through the property, so that is an added bonus for poker players in the region.
Social Poker in North Carolina
No doubt, many of you reading this have a Facebook account (heck, it seems like the whole world is on there). One of the first ways the company was able to monetize users was via social poker sites – games hosted by Zynga and other companies that offered free play games on the platform.
There are currently thousands of players playing social poker at any given moment, and many of them have actually paid to do so. As it turns out, if you buy a chip package from the site, you are able to bypass the lower stakes games where the gameplay is particularly horrible and make your way right to the top of the heap. While these are exactly the same as real money cash games or tournaments, social poker sites do offer a great practice resource for players from North Carolina.
Subscription Poker in North Carolina
Have you ever thought about playing at a World Poker Tour Live Main Event somewhere? Would you want to win your package for next to nothing? Club WPT, the premier subscription-based poker site in the United States, gives you that option every month on their site. Subscription poker works slightly differently than regular poker sites. First, there are no cash games -only tournaments. Next, after you pay a nominal monthly fee, you get access to all the tournaments that are being offered, including the ones giving away seats to other tourneys, for free. This is a great way to be competitive, because the fact that there is a monthly fee drives away a certain amount of traffic, leaving only players who feel comfortable gambling. In turn, the quality of play on the site is going to be much better than on a free play site.
Free play training poker in North Carolina
Even though there aren’t too many real-money games to play in North Carolina, there are still lots of people who love the game, and with the plethora of free play poker sites and apps on the market today, there are lots of reasons why now is the best time to learn more about the game and use these tables for practice purposes.
There is so much more to poker than Texas Hold’em, despite it being the most popular game by far in the world. Games like Omaha and Stud give players a different way to think about the game. If you aren’t sure where to begin learning about new games, we suggest our Poker Game Guides. These will give you a basic overview of the gameplay, rules, and hand rankings. From there, you can take your knowledge to a training table to put your skills into action.
Online Poker in North Carolina FAQ
Can I travel to a state that has regulated online poker and play from there?
Yes, you can do that. There aren’t too many states that offer it and the closest maybe West Virginia at this point, but if you happen to be in a state with legal online poker, then you are more than welcome to register for an account and start playing. Your access to the site will be disabled when you leave the state boundaries.
What about these offshore sites that are still operating? Are they legit?
The few sites that managed to survive the indictments of 2011 continue to operate from jurisdictions out of reach of the U.S. government, meaning they are open to residents of North Carolina. However, these sites are particularly risky given their precarious nature, and the games themselves are very small, considering they are the only games in town for many players. We would prefer it if you traveled to a state with online poker or just left these rogue sites alone.