When it comes to poker, Oklahoma is one of the leading states in the country. The state has long had a good number of land-based rooms, and with the introduction of real money online poker, the game has strong roots. Even though the landscape has changed over the years, the game remains very popular amongst residents and visitors to the state.
This page captures everything you need to know about poker in Oklahoma – where it can be played, what games are offered, and what is happening with online poker legislation. Information on this page is updated regularly, so come back often!
Online Poker in Oklahoma
The introduction of real money online poker in the early 2000s had a great impact on the state of Oklahoma. With a large existing base of players coming from the land-based industry, online poker made its mark very quickly with both experienced and new players. With a couple of large-scale properties in the state, Oklahoma quickly became a poker destination that online players qualified for regularly, helping to grow both sides of the business.
The U.S. government was blindsided by the massive growth of the online poker industry, built on the backs of companies not based in the country. In an attempt to freeze out these companies, a law was passed in 2006 that made all online gaming banking transactions illegal. This caused a major shift in the online poker world, with half the companies deciding to leave the U.S. The remaining sites had a field day until April 2011 when they were all indicted and forced to shut down U.S. operations.
Since then, real money online poker has been nothing more than a pipe dream apart from states like New Jersey, which passed its own online gambling legislation. There is no talk of that in Oklahoma at this stage, but the ongoing news cycle about online sports betting in the country may change that in the future.
Land Based Poker in Oklahoma
As we mentioned, poker has a long history in Oklahoma thanks to the tribal casinos that offer the game at their facilities. With some of the facilities so close to Texas, which has no land-based poker rooms, the draw from outside the state is high as well.
There are a couple of rooms that host large-scale tournament series from the World Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker. When those are in town, you can expect to find players from around the country and the world to descend on Oklahoma.
On a typical day, you will find rooms offering cash game tables in No-Limit Hold’em Omaha and other games as requested. Each room will have a tournament schedule as well for those who prefer to play those games.
Here is a list of the poker rooms currently open in Oklahoma:
Apache Casino Hotel (Lawton, OK)
Cherokee Casino West Siloam Springs (Colcord, OK)
Choctaw Casino Durant (Durant, OK)
Choctaw Casino Grant (Grant, OK)
Choctaw Casino Pocola (Pocola, OK)
Comanche Red River Hotel Casino (Devol, OK)
Downstream Casino (Quapaw, OK)
FireLake Casino (Shawnee, OK)
Grand Casino Resort (Shawnee, OK)
Hard Rock Tulsa (Catoosa, OK)
Indigo Sky Casino (Wyandotte, OK)
River Spirit Casino (Tulsa, OK)
Riverwind Casino (Norman, OK)
WinStar World Casino (Thackerville, OK)
Social Poker in Oklahoma
After real money online poker sites took the U.S. by storm and then left again in 2011, there were many players looking for a place to play online, but not necessarily to gamble. These players, playing for play chips, made up a significant portion of the traffic that online poker sites saw daily. When Zynga launched its poker site on Facebook, the social poker wave began. More sites were introduced on the platform, and subsequently on their own, allowing players to compete in cash games and tournaments that would award nothing more than more chips and status points. As it turns out, this recognition was worth a lot to players, so much so that many would buy play chips for real money just to have a higher balance and access to more exclusive games.
If you haven’t tried a social poker site, you may want to find one and jump in – it isn’t real money gambling, but it’s still competitive, and playing any hands will help improve your game.
Sweepstakes Poker in Oklahoma
Each state has its own sweepstakes laws, and some poker companies have found a way to use those laws to launch sweepstakes-based poker sites. These sites offer tournaments and cash games that reward players with points that re redeemable for cash, but in order to get access to the games, you need to be awarded the initial points for free. You qualify for points by making a purchase of virtual currency, which has no value, with the other points considered a sweepstakes entry. While it may sound confusing, sites like Global Poker are offering money to winners, so it’s well worth you giving it a try!
Learning Poker in Oklahoma
With access to so many real money card rooms and social and sweepstakes sites at your disposal in Oklahoma, there is no excuse not to learn more about the game! As most people have only played Texas Hold’em, we encourage you to try new games that offer just as much thrill but a much different way to play. Our Poker Game Guides are designed to break down games like Razz and Stud into their most basic form – we review the rules and how each hand is played, along with giving you some simple tips and tricks. From there, you can head to any free play or real money table you can find and start to play hands to put what you have learned into action.
Online Poker in Oklahoma FAQ
Can I travel to a state that has regulated online poker and set up an account?
Yes, you can, but many people misunderstand what that means. If you are traveling to a state that offers legal online poker for real money (currently, there are four states with more hopefully to come), you can create an account and play your favorite cash games and tournaments. However, you cant access the games when you leave the state, so the account will only work when inside a state’s borders.
I have heard that there are offshore sites still taking American players – is that true?
This is indeed true – there are a handful of small poker companies accepting players from Oklahoma and other states. These sites, however, do not have a lot of traffic, and many Americans play worried that their balance could just vanish. For these reasons, we do not recommend these sites to players in Oklahoma, especially given how many great live poker options there are in the state!