North Dakota is an area of the country that is far enough away from major centers that poker is a great way to pass the time. The state has a lot of poker enthusiasts, many of whom learned the game when online sites were readily available in the U.S. With the changes in legislation over the years, it has been a lot tougher for residents to find poker games to play, but the love of the game is still strong.
We want everyone in North Dakota to know exactly what poker is available to them, so we put together this information page. Bookmark it and come back often anytime you have a question or want an update on the status of poker in your state.
Online Poker in North Dakota
In more rural regions of the country, Americans eagerly welcomed the launch of real money online poker sites in the early 2000s. The ability to play Texas Hold’em cash games and tournaments without having to leave the house was a game-changer for many residents, and before long, thousands of North Dakotans were registered at multiple sites trying their best to be a winning player.
When the online poker sites grew to massive heights without any regulations or oversight, the U.S. government decided to step in and attempt to control the situation. The resulting law that passed in 2006 made it illegal for U.S. banking transactions for these sites, and that was the first step in forcing these offshore operators out of the country. By 2011, there were no more sites left across the U.S. landscape, leaving North Dakota’s poker population wondering what to do.
These days, there are rumblings that some states are going to pass legislation to bring online poker back (six states have). For those in North Dakota, there may be a bit of a wait, but if anyone really needs to get their fix, a quick trip across the Canadian border is a solution.
Land Based Poker in North Dakota
With no real money online poker to speak of in the state, many North Dakota residents looked to land-based poker to help close the gap. There are only a handful of properties in the state. However, there are some on the borders of neighboring states that assist with poker playing traffic. These poker rooms offer both cash games and tournaments, and while there are no major poker festivals that come through, there are some qualifiers for bigger land-based events like the World Series of Poker to take advantage of the love of qualifiers that online poker created.
Here are the poker rooms that are open for business in North Dakota (check out our other state pages for rooms that are close by in other states):
4 Bears Casino & Lodge (New Town, ND)
Sky Dancer Casino (Belcourt, ND)
Spirit Lake Casino (St. Michael, ND)
The Vegas Motel (Minot, ND)
Social Poker in North Dakota
A large percentage of poker players in North Dakota played the game purely for entertainment purposes, lounging in the play money area of the online poker sites that were open in the 2000s. The good news for those players is that social poker has become a great replacement. In fact, the enhancements to the game by companies like Zynga poker made the game even more enjoyable for players.
Social poker works off the notion that players want to earn status and show that off to their group of friends – therefore, there is no need for cash winnings on these sites. Players move through the ranks by playing in games and winning, unlocking new levels, and exclusive games. However, those that want to skip the effort can also buy chips for real money, which will automatically give them access to higher limits. Social poker is a great way for players to stay in touch with the game even if they aren’t gambling.
Sweepstakes Poker in North Dakota
If you were a real money online poker in the past and you miss walking away from a cash game or tournament with some green, then we think you may want to try the sweepstakes poker sites that have grown in in popularity over the years. These sites, which take advantage of each state’s sweepstakes laws where possible, offer you the chance to play poker for money in a roundabout way.
There are two main forms of sweepstakes poker sites. Subscriptions sites like Club WPT have you join as a member, charging you a monthly fee to access a Members Area where you receive sweepstakes entries to enter gash games and tournaments. Other sites ask you to buy virtual poker chips, which can be used at play money tables, while as a bonus receiving sweepstakes chips that can be used at special tables and can be redeemed for real money. Both are excellent ways for players to simulate playing for real money, and the cash and prizes are enough for many to forget that these sites aren’t the same as the ones the remember from the past.
Online Poker in North Dakota FAQ
I saw a banner for a real money poker site accepting players from North Dakota. Is this some sort of scam?
No, this is not a scam. There are a handful of sites that continue to push the envelope and accept players from the United States despite the fate befallen other sites. These sites do not offer very many payment methods, so players that try to deposit and withdraw often find it to be a hassle. The fact that they remain an arm’s length from the government is also a risk that many players simply aren’t interested in, which is why they haven’t grown much since the events of 2011. We don’t recommend these sites to our readers.
Where can I learn about games like Omaha and Stud?
There are so many more poker games to try besides No Limit Hold’em, which is far and away the most common game played today. We want you to learn all the variants, as becoming a better player overall will help your Hold’em skills. To get you started, you should check out our Poker Game Guides – our team of experts put together the basics of each game in an easy-to-understand format so you can quickly head to a play money table somewhere and give them a try.