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Ohio online poker

Online poker for money isn’t yet legal in Ohio, but this page will prepare you for the time when the legal status changes. Here, we’ve laid out important details you’ll need to know about Ohio online poker.

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Online poker fans in Ohio will still have to wait a bit longer before they can start playing for money in the Buckeye State. Poker rooms are often considered a form of online casino gambling and are thus illegal under Ohio law, as is the case throughout much of the United States.

However, if politicians look at the success of online sports betting in Ohio, they could follow up on that momentum and begin the lengthy process toward legalizing online poker in OH.

In preparation for a change in legal status, we’ve detailed what the legalization process could look like, what online poker games should be available, and other important information to know before you sign up at an e-poker site.

Best Ohio online poker sites

Ohioans aren’t yet permitted to participate at real-money online poker platforms; however, once they are, we expect these operators to compete as the best Ohio online poker sites.

🃏 PokerStars Ohio ⭐ High-quality software and diverse game selection
🃏 BetMGM Poker Ohio ⭐ Attracts high-level players with its tournaments
🃏 PartyPoker Ohio ⭐ Great for both beginners and pros
🃏 WSOP Poker Ohio ⭐ Renowned for large tournaments

No, playing online poker for money is not legal in Ohio. The only U.S. states where you can play online poker for money are Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

However, those looking to scratch their poker itch can try playing at a social casino like Global Poker instead. Social casinos have been known to have free-to-play alternatives that do not offer cash prizes. These sites are legal in every U.S. state except Washington.

When will Ohio legalize online poker?

Ohio does not yet have plans to legalize online poker, though with neighboring states Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia all allowing the practice, legislators in the Buckeye State may notice lost revenue due to players crossing state lines to play poker online.

Land-based casinos in Ohio have offered poker rooms since they first opened in 2012. Casino expansion has been gradual, but there are now 11 brick-and-mortar casinos throughout the state.

How do you sign up at an Ohio online poker site?

Once online poker sites are legalized in Ohio, you will be able to sign up at the legal, licensed platforms by following these steps:

  1. Use a bonus code or referral link: OHBetting.com will not only offer reviews for all approved online poker sites in Ohio but also list all available welcome bonuses and their applicable bonus codes to ensure you’re getting the best deal at the site. The casino reviews will also link directly to the registration page for your convenience.
  2. Set up your account credentials: At most online casino sites, you will use your email address as your username and will combine it with a password to log into the platform. However, you may need to come up with a unique username depending on the platform. When creating your account, you might also be asked to select and answer a security question or two, adding an additional layer of account protection.
  3. Enter your personal info: After you’ve created your account, you’ll need to provide some identifying information about yourself, including but not limited to your legal first and last name, date of birth, home address, and the last four digits of your social security number. This information is required by state law for all forms of gambling, so you should anticipate that for online poker as well.
  4. Agree to the terms and submit registration: Next, you’ll likely have to check a few boxes agreeing to the terms of service, privacy policy, and that the information you submitted is complete and true. You may also have the option to receive promotional text messages or emails, and to sign up for the casino’s rewards program. Once you’ve completed those steps, click “Submit” to finalize the registration process.
  5. Make a deposit and find a poker room: Lastly, using your preferred deposit method, fund your account with an amount that fits your budget and qualifies you to receive the welcome bonus offer. Be sure to check the terms and conditions carefully so you can make the most of your initial deposit and start your poker experience in as profitable a way as possible.

Ohio casinos with poker rooms

Several of Ohio’s land-based casinos currently offer poker rooms. Here are the places you’ll be able to find a game:

  • Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati: 1000 Broadway, Cincinnati, OH 45202
  • Hollywood Casino Columbus: 200 Georgesville Rd, Columbus, OH 43228
  • Hollywood Casino Toledo: 1968 Miami St, Toledo, OH 43605
  • Jack Cleveland Casino: 100 Public Square, Cleveland, OH 44113
  • Mad River Poker Club: 2023 Harshman Rd, Dayton, OH 45424
  • PokerHub: 5520 Burkhardt Rd, Riverside, OH 45431
  • Ruggles Social Club: 4844 Union Centre Pavilion Drive, West Chester Township, OH 45069
  • Shark Tank Poker Club: 1508 Bethel Rd, Columbus, OH 43220
  • Spades Social: 9536 Cincinnati Columbus Rd suite 11, Cincinnati, OH 45241

Different online poker games that could come to Ohio

After the state legalizes this form of gambling, here are some of the different online poker games that could come to Ohio.

  • Blackjack: Sometimes called “21,” blackjack is a casino staple and is one of the most popular table games. The goal is to have a combined card value that beats the dealer’s hand without going over a value of 21. Face cards have a value of 10 while aces can be worth 1 or 11.
  • Texas Hold’em: Often held in a tournament format, Texas Hold’em is typically what people think of when they hear the word “poker.” Players are dealt two cards each while five community cards are dealt face-up on the table. From there, players wager on whether the best five-card hand they can create is higher than that of the other players at the table, with several intervals to add money to the pot as more cards are revealed.
  • Omaha Hi: Omahi Hi plays very similarly to Texas Hold’em, but instead of being dealt two cards, players receive four to start out. There are still five community cards available, but players must use exactly two cards from their hand and exactly three of the community cards to come up with the best five-card hand.
  • 7-card Stud: Before Texas Hold’em rose to prominence, 7-card stud was one of the most commonly offered poker variants. Once again, the goal is to put together the best five-card hand, though in this variant, players are dealt their own cards without a community option.
  • 5-card Draw: Unlike the other poker games listed here, 5-card draw allows players the chance to discard from their hand and be dealt a new card for each one they dumped. This is a very easy game to learn, and because there are only two rounds of betting, the game tends to move quickly. You may also find variations like Double Draw, Deuces Wild, and Open Draw (where the discarded cards are revealed face-up).

Advice when playing online poker in Ohio

When online poker is available in Ohio, we recommend you abide by the following advice.

  • Be alert and in control of your emotions: Sometimes referred to as “tilting,” gambling while at emotional extremes is always inadvisable. Riding too high or too low leads to riskier betting behaviors and can compound losses in a hurry. Additionally, playing while you are fatigued can lead to sloppy decision-making and keep you from having a good time, which is the main reason to play.
  • Set time and money limits: Another great way to practice responsible gambling is to set limits on the amount of time and money you spend at an online poker room. As alluded to in the previous point, the more time you spend playing the more mentally fatigued you can become. Limiting the amount of money you can spend will also help keep you from racking up gambling debts.
  • Try multiple sites: When online poker laws are approved, they won’t limit you to only playing at one poker site. In the same way you would shop around at multiple stores before making a purchase, testing out multiple online poker sites will help you decide which rooms are right for you while giving you the chance to claim multiple welcome bonuses and potentially increase your bankroll.

Benefits and drawbacks of mobile poker apps vs. online poker websites

As is the case with other forms of online gambling, there are pros and cons to consider when playing on a mobile app compared to through a web browser. Here are some of the key benefits and drawbacks of using mobile poker apps vs. online poker websites.

Benefits

  • Mobile apps work anywhere: As long as you’re physically located within the state borders, you’ll be allowed to play poker on a mobile app. With a website, you’re tethered to a computer (or a mobile device that may not be as easy to use as the app).
  • Mobile apps allow notifications: If you’re looking to enter an online poker tournament, a notification reminding you 10 minutes before the tournament starts can keep you from getting locked out of your table and losing your entry. Notifications about bonus information are always a nice touch as well, and you won’t be able to get these through website platforms.
  • Some casinos use mobile-only bonuses: In some cases, poker bonuses such as discounted entries, betting credits, or profit boosts will apply only to users playing on a mobile device through the poker app. Most bonuses will apply whether you’re using an app or web browser, but the mobile-exclusive perks tend to enhance the online poker experience.

Drawbacks

  • Mobile apps require updates: If you’re using an online poker site, you’re guaranteed to be using the latest version of the platform. However, if you’re trying to play through a mobile app, you will need to download the latest version of the app or you may be blocked from playing.
  • Mobile apps can have geolocation issues: With a website on your desktop, the casino platform can more easily verify your location and confirm that you are within state borders. However, on a mobile app, cell phone service can cause locational drift that could keep you from being able to play.

FAQ

Is playing real money poker at home legal in Ohio?

Yes, playing real money poker at home is legal in Ohio. You can have your friends over to play a casual game of poker, but you will not be able to play online poker for money anywhere within the state borders.

Can Ohio residents play on international poker sites?

Yes, Ohio residents can play on international poker sites, provided they are not playing for real money. Social casino poker play is perfectly legal, but online for-money poker is prohibited under Ohio law.

How will I deposit money into an online poker account in Ohio?

Once online poker is legal in Ohio, you will be able to deposit money using many of the same popular payment methods as you would for making a sports betting deposit. Debit cards, Venmo, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Skrill, Play+, online banking, e-checks, and wire transfers could all be accepted, though credit cards may not be available depending on the casino site and how the state law is written to allow online poker.

Are there any free online poker games available to Ohio residents?

Yes, Ohio residents can play free online poker games at social casinos. These social casinos (sometimes called “sweepstakes casinos”) are available throughout the U.S., save for Washington where they are still prohibited. Social casinos can provide free-to-play poker games that simulate a brick-and-mortar poker room without being able to win real money.

Why shouldn’t I play at offshore poker sites in Ohio?

You shouldn’t play at offshore poker sites in Ohio because they are both unlawful and unsafe to use. Offshore poker sites aren’t regulated by any governing body and don’t have to abide by ethical business practices. Your winnings aren’t guaranteed to land in your account, your personal and financial information could be at risk, and you could be playing at a table with players using cheating implements that will keep you from winning.

Where in the US is online poker legal?

In the US, online poker is legal in Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Online poker has been legalized in Connecticut as well, but there are no operators that are currently licensed and live in the state.