Nevada online poker leads the way in terms of cross-state liquidity sharing pacts. In this guide to Nevada poker online laws, we’ve outlined all the important bits. From the sites you can use to the history of online poker in Nevada. This guide not only explains what’s available now but how we got to this point and what’s possible in the future.
2020 was an interesting year for online poker Nevada, and it carries onto this year. The impact of COVID-19 has seen traffic surge and new innovations come to the fore. State revenue reports don’t exactly provide specific details on how much poker rooms made. However, we do know poker and sports betting revenue combined topped $3.6 million in April. That’s way up from the previous year.
Things got even better when the WSOP had to substitute its Las Vegas event for online alternatives. The first ever WSOP online not only gave away over $100 million in prize money, but also broke numerous records.
Thousands of players anted up on a daily basis in July, helping achieve new heights in terms of traffic and revenue. Although activity returned to normal after the series, we’re all hoping the upswing will raise the baseline and make Nevada poker online stronger than ever.
What are the best Nevada poker sites? Well, from our extensive reviews and industry insights, we’ve identified all the top operators. The list below features sites that not only caught our eye in terms of quality but also innovations. For example, WSOP.com is a Nevada site that shares its players with sister sites in Delaware and New Jersey.
As reviewers, we not only look for what an operator does well, but what they do differently. If a site offers something others don’t, we rate it highly. Of course, they also need to make the grade when it comes to fundamentals like unique games, promotions, software, and security. However, if they can also offer something a little unique, we love it.
Going live in 2013 and backed by the internationally renowned 888Poker, WSOP.com is part of Caesars Entertainment’s online empire. Anyone in poker will know their status within the industry. Winning a bracelet at its annual summer series is the goal of every tournament player in the world. When this site entered the mix, it changed the game in this regard.
Being a licensed poker room in Nevada meant it could offer official WSOP satellites and, over time, online bracelet events. Things got even better in 2018 when WSOP.com NV began sharing players with NJ. The liquidity sharing pact not only boosted cash game traffic, it provided a boost for the network’s MTT schedule. This, in turn, meant players could compete for bracelets online in Nevada and New Jersey.
This ability to provide unparalleled access to the world’s leading tournament series is by far their biggest strength. However, it’s not the only reason it stands tall among Nevada’s licensed online gaming operators. As we’ve said, 888Poker provides the foundations of the site. This means you get access to secure, stable software that’s been honed and refined over a period of more than 10 years.
Indeed, long before WSOP.com NV came into being, 888Poker was doing its thing in Europe. Therefore, you get the benefit of an experienced software provider and a top tournament operator when you join. When you combine this with mobile and desktop software, peak traffic topping 545 players, and a range of MTTs with guarantees topping $30,000 and, at times, $100,000, you’re spoilt for choice at this site.
You can’t talk about online poker in Nevada and not mention sweepstakes. Thanks to Global Poker, you can enjoy a slightly different take on gaming and still be playing within law. Even though Nevada online poker legislation makes real-money gaming possible, US sweepstakes laws also make it possible in some capacity.
The way Global Poker works is simple: you purchase packages of gold coins. You use these coins to play free poker games that allow you to win extra gold coins and something known as sweeps. Finally, you can exchange sweeps for gift vouchers (physical or digital). That’s a brief and fairly simplistic overview, but it gives you a general idea of how the site works. What’s more, it shows you how Global Poker is not only legal in Nevada - but 48 other US states.
You can withdraw sweeps by exchanging them for vouchers that have a cash value. However, this is classed as a free-play site. As such, it operates in a slightly different way and, therefore, it’s judged in a slightly different way. Because you’re not technically paying to play cash games or MTTs, it’s hard to comment on the relative value of the game. For example, we can usually say X tournament costs $200 and the top prize is $50,000 and that’s good value. That’s not possible when you review Global Poker.
For us, Global Poker is all about entertainment. Moreover, it’s a training ground. The site as a whole is designed to be lighthearted. MTTs such as Gold Rush and Bonanza create a quirky vibe that sounds more appealing than Hold’em event X or Omaha tournament Y. The interface is equally quirky. It’s not so far off that it looks like a cartoon card room. However, the avatars are cartoonish and there’s a relaxed feel to everything. This makes it fun but also a great place to hone your skills. Global Poker isn’t filled with sharks. Therefore, you can master the basics without risking too much.
|WSOP.com NV||100% deposit bonus up to $1,000 |
+ seven freeroll tickets
The best Nevada online poker bonuses are designed to give you more for less. For example, the 100% deposit match up to $1,000 at WSOP.com NV gives you money you wouldn’t otherwise have had. In the case of poker deposit bonuses, the free credits are released in increments when you reach certain targets. This creates a steady flow of additional cash that will either help offset recent losses or increases your profit.
The same goes for reload bonuses, rakeback, leaderboard promotions, and free tournament tickets. Legal NV poker operators understand that nothing is certain in this game. Even the best players in the world can hit a rough patch. Which is why online bonuses should be seen as more of a safety net. They won’t erase your losses, but they can offset them.
What’s more, they provide a cushion that gives you the confidence to take chances and not worry about falling. For these reasons, you need to be on top of your poker promotions and get the latest deals as they drop.
Nevada laws are very similar to what’s in place in the other legal US states. As the first US state to offer regulated online gaming, Nevada was something of a trendsetter. It not only ensured that players met certain standards but that operators did too. This became most apparent in 2014 when Ultimate Poker was forced to withdraw from the market.
Nevada’s desire to push the envelope and become a frontrunner in the legal arena appeared again in 2014. This was when it forged a liquidity sharing pact with Delaware. Since this opened up the door to subsequent agreements. And marked Nevada as one of the most progressive regions in the US for online gambling.
In terms of specifics, legal online poker in Nevada is based on the following foundations - You must:
We know that poker is legal in Nevada online. We also know what sites are available and the regulations in place if you want to play. But how did we even get to this point? What is the history of online poker Nevada?
Things took a turn for the better in 2011 when the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued an opinion on the Wire Act. The DOJ was pressured into making a statement by various state lotteries that wanted to sell tickets online. The conclusion was that the Wire Act only prohibited online sports betting. Moreover, it clarified that intrastate poker and casino gaming weren’t prohibited.
Almost as soon as the ruling was issued, Nevada began working on its own online gaming laws. Being the gambling capital of the world, the aim was to become the first state to go digital. The Nevada Gaming Commission set about drawing up legislation but, despite early enthusiasm, it got caught in the reeds.
Political wrangling and power plays delayed the launch of internet poker in the Silver State. However, in 2013, the legislature approved a Nevada online poker bill. Governor Brian Sandoval signed Bill AB114 into law on February 21, 2013 and called it an important day for Nevada’s gaming industry. And moreover, the state’s economy at large.
Ultimate Poker, a company linked to MMA organization the UFC, received the first Nevada poker online license in April 2013. WSOP.com Nevada got the state’s second license in September 2013.
By 2014, the Nevada Gaming Commission realized the limitations of intrastate online gaming and, more specifically, intrastate state poker. Limited playerpools meant Ultimate Poker went out of business, leaving just one active site. Moves were made to complete a liquidity sharing pact with Delaware. This allowed sites with licenses in both states to share players.
The market held steady between 2015 and 2018, partly due to the annual surge in traffic caused by travelling players. With the WSOP taking place in Vegas, pros and amateurs were in town during the summer months. And, when they weren’t at the Rio, they were playing online.
The annual surge prompted them to host its first online bracelet event in 2015. 905 players anted up and Adam Spinella made history by winning the event for $197,743. Ever since then, there have been more and more online bracelet events every year.
To help generate more activity when the big poker event wasn’t in town, Nevada extended its liquidity sharing pact to New Jersey in 2018. This provided a significant boost and, in turn, annual online bracelet events. Today, this move is still paying dividends. Although Nevada doesn’t have the largest poker market in the US, it’s performing well.
Safety and security are paramount when playing online. Getting any legislation over the line is tough. But proponents of legal poker have had a tough time in the US. For this reason and others, everyone takes safety and security seriously.
The main way operators do this is by checking and verifying your location. Because US poker laws are state-based, the Nevada Gaming Commission can only control what happens within state lines. As such, you have to enable a site’s geolocation software before you can play. This allows the operator to confirm your location and, therefore, ensure you’re safe and complying with local laws.
There may be some people that try to thwart the system. But this doesn’t do them, you, or the poker room any good. Geolocation technology is the first line of defense against cheats. Therefore, if you don’t follow the rules, you put yourself and others at risk. Not to mention, it’s illegal. Therefore, while it may seem slightly intrusive to reveal your location, it’s necessary to ensure the site remains secure and you remain safe.
Why should you play online poker in Nevada? The answer is always that it’s up to you. However, in our experience, legal online poker sites in Nevada offer something their offline counterparts can’t. Yes, land-based Las Vegas poker rooms are among the best in the world. However, they can’t compete with online sites in the following areas:
You can play for high stakes and low stakes in Las Vegas. In fact, if you want the very highest limits, you need to visit the top poker rooms on the strip. However, if you want the lowest stakes possible, you have to go online. The Nevada room offers cash games with blinds as low as $0.01/$0.02 and tournaments start at $0.10. In fact, if you don’t want to spend any money, there are play money games and freerolls.
There are plenty of cash games in Las Vegas and, if you look for them, a schedule of daily tournaments. Compared to other places, Sin City has a strong selection of live poker games. However, even the might of Vegas can’t match what WSOP.com has to offer. Cash games typically have upwards of 500 players and there are dozens of MTTs and sit & go tournaments every day. This means you can play when you want and, importantly, in the way you want.
The final reason Nevada online poker sites have become popular is because they’re easily accessible. It doesn’t matter where you are, what you’re doing, or what time of the day it is. As long as you’re in Nevada and have an account with a legal site, you can ante-up at any time. Even though the largest poker rooms in Vegas operate 24/7, you have to travel. That can be a hassle. When you play online via your desktop or mobile, there’s no travelling or other barriers to entry. That’s fantastic.
Gaming on the go is becoming more popular and accessible by the day. Today, you can play via your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. For example, if you check out our WSOP.com NV review, you’ll see that it offers a fully functioning app and mobile website. With the help of 888Poker, their mobile platform gives you access to tournaments and cash games at all stakes. What’s more, you can play for a bracelet from your mobile - even in a parking lot, like Ryan Depaulo last year in 2020. As long as you’re within state lines, Nevada mobile poker apps give you the ability to play anytime, anywhere.
In terms of the US hierarchy, Nevada isn’t top of the tree when it comes to poker traffic. That honor currently goes to New Jersey. That’s to be expected. With a population of 3 million, Nevada is almost 3X smaller than New Jersey. The lawmakers knew this back in 2011 and that’s why they added liquidity sharing clauses into Bill AB114.
This masterstroke facilitated deals with Delaware and New Jersey. Deals that have, subsequently, increased traffic in NV. As the sole operator (at the time of writing), WSOP gets all the traffic. And, when it’s peak time, there are more than 545 players grinding on the site. During the summer months when the biggest poker event in the world is in town, this number increases dramatically.
During those times, you’ll find more cash games at the upper limits ($3/$6) and above. However, under normal conditions, the majority of the action takes place at $1/$2 and below. What’s more, because traffic can be fairly limited at times, there aren’t too many options besides Hold’em and Omaha. But, if you’re a low or mid-stakes player looking for decent games in Nevada, you’ll find enough action.
We’ve mentioned it enough times already, but Nevada poker online tournaments are some of the best in the world simply because you can play for bracelets. However, outside of these opportunities, the weekly roster features a variety of Hold’em MTTs with buy-ins ranging from $1 to $100+ and guarantees topping $10,000.
There are some Stud cash games running in Nevada, but these are rare and typically run at night. For the most action, you’ll need to play Hold’em and Omaha. Both variants have six-max and full-ring games that start from $0.01/$0.02 and scale up to $3/$6. You can play for slightly higher stakes (up to $10/$20) if you fancy a bit of Omaha Hi-Lo.
From regular speed to turbos, sit & go tournaments are always running on the site. From as little as $1.10, you can play full-ring, six-max, and heads-up games. What’s more, you can use sit & go satellites to qualify for major MTTs.
There are plenty of freerolls for newbies and established players. All new sign-ups receive seven freeroll tickets. Existing customers can pick up tickets by using monthly promos and the loyalty scheme.
First things first, any regulated Nevada site will be secure. This means the platform will feature SSL encryption technology and all payment processors will be highly reputable. Additionally, player funds will be stored in secure, segregated bank accounts, which means your money is safe even if the operator runs into financial difficulties.
To maintain these standards and ensure your money is protected, licensed operators will ask you to verify your identity before approving an initial withdrawal request. You can do this by emailing/uploading an official form of ID such as a passport. Once your details have been checked and verified, you’ll be able to make deposits and withdrawals by completing these steps.
You don’t need to worry about safety and security at any licensed Nevada poker online room. As we’ve discussed throughout this guide, all legal sites are tightly regulated. From the players that can ante up to the way you make payments, everything is extremely safe and secure. If you play by the rules, are 21+ years old, and based in Nevada, you’ve got nothing to worry about.
What does the future hold for online poker Nevada? For the existing poker room, it will be much of the same. If it can launch sites in other states and agree liquidity sharing pacts, growth is on the horizon. Outside of WSOP Nevada, the chances are that more operators will enter the state. Rumors were flying at the start of 2020 that partypoker was preparing to make a move. If that happens, expect PokerStars to follow suit.
When these changes will happen is unclear but they’re almost inevitable. Nevada can’t remain a one-site state forever. If local lawmakers want the market to reach its full potential, they need to license more operators. partypoker and PokerStars are two of the biggest brands in the business. If they were to go live in Nevada, it would really shake things up and breathe fresh life into the gaming economy.