Missouri Online Poker
You cannot legally play online poker in Missouri. However, there are some online sweepstakes and social poker sites where you can play America’s favorite card game.
Of course, when it comes to online poker possibly coming to MO, the successful launch of legal online sports betting might turn some heads in Jefferson City. In the meantime, poker players have several land-based poker rooms in the state, should you not mind driving to play.
Below is a rundown of news about Missouri’s potential for online poker. At this point, there is nothing too promising, but we’re on top of the situation and will update this page with any developments. Read on for the latest about poker in the Show-Me State.
Latest Missouri poker news
Is online poker legal in Missouri?
No. Although poker players can find legal tables within the state’s 13 riverboat casinos, online poker remains illegal in Missouri at this time.
It is possible you have come across online poker sites advertising themselves as legal for Missouri players, but don’t be fooled. Gambling is governed by Title XXXVIII, Chapter 572 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, which considers unlawful gambling a misdemeanor in the state.
Because the law does not specifically identify online poker as an illegal activity, some sites try to argue it is not illegal in Missouri. We disagree with this interpretation, and there are a host of other reasons to avoid offshore online poker sites operating outside of Missouri or US law. The bottom line is that there are no legal Missouri online poker sites available at this time.
Is Missouri close to allowing online poker?
Not especially. Most of the legislative focus on gambling is on sports betting right now, and it is safe to say online poker will not become legal in Missouri before sports betting does.
Even if the Missouri General Assembly isn’t close to enacting legislation for online poker, there has been one MO lawmaker attempting to push a bill through. In 2021, Rep. Dan Houx didn’t have much success with his HB 1364, a bill that would authorize online poker, online casino games and online sports betting. There’s no question, however, that Houx is committed to the concept and may well pursue such legislation again.
As noted, the legalization of online poker (and online casinos) likely hinges on the success of online sports betting, which seems a much more likely candidate for Missouri to legalize. A smooth and successful launch could perhaps lead to lawmakers taking a more serious look at online poker.
Potential online poker sites in Missouri
Since there is no Missouri online poker bill currently close to passage, Missourians will have to wait for legal online poker, if it ever happens. Should the activity become legal in the state, though, here are some likely sites to launch:
PokerStars is one of the biggest poker sites on the planet. It is part of the same company that owns FanDuel, which has its daily fantasy sports site already operating in Missouri. PokerStars stands out for its sheer variety of options. Like most poker sites, there are cash games, tournaments, sit and go’s, jackpot sit and go’s and fast fold game formats. Additionally, PokerStars has nearly every poker variant available, including some that it has invented itself.
WSOP.com is the online poker site for the most prestigious poker tournament in the world. WSOP is part of Caesars Entertainment, which also owns and operates the Harrah’s location in Kansas City and the Horseshoe Casino in St. Louis. In some states, the WSOP.com site has upgraded to a new platform called Poker 8 that has earned positive reviews. The site offers a variety of variants and formats, with both cash games and multi-day and multi-flight tournaments available. The main advantage of WSOP.com is that it is the best site for multi-state poker should Missouri decide to legalize and join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement with other states to share player pools.
Partypoker is part of the old guard of poker sites and debuted in 2001, emerging in its current incarnation as a joint venture of MGM Resorts and Entain. Because of various partnerships that these parent companies have, Partypoker potentially has access to any market where Boyd Gaming is, including Ameristar Kansas City. Partypoker is notable for its welcome bonuses and its cash-back system.
888 Poker is a familiar brand in online poker and has deep ties to WSOP.com through a longstanding partnership. Thus, it’s not too much of a stretch to suspect that it will find a way into Missouri if online poker launches. Like its larger stablemate, 888’s main value lies in its possibilities for multi-state poker and participation in actual World Series of Poker events.
A note about terminology
At several points on this page, we refer to online poker sites. However, if you are using a mobile device to play poker, you will almost certainly use an app to access an online poker site. And if you are using a laptop, the company will likely require you to download and use a standalone client rather than providing access through a browser. Therefore, our use of the word “site” is probably a bit of a misnomer, since you’d probably be using either a client or app.
Types of online poker sites
Poker sites tend to fall into one of three categories. Here are the different types of poker sites that you may encounter:
Legal and regulated
These sites are legal, regulated entities in states where they do business. Such sites are not available in Missouri at this time. All of the companies in the section above are in this category. They will only appear in Missouri should the state decide to legalize and regulate them. They are also the safest option for poker players.
Unregulated and offshore
The second type of online poker site operates from outside of the United States and is under no obligation to follow US or Missouri law. Besides not being legal, these “offshore” sites present other risks to Missourians. If you were to play on these sites and suspect fraudulent activity or have any problems with your funds or the security of your personal information, you would have no legal recourse. Therefore, we recommend that you avoid these sites.
Social or sweepstakes
These sites are legal in Missouri. Social and sweepstakes online poker rooms allow you to play for free if you wish, and sweepstakes sites also offer you the option to redeem winnings for cash prizes. Such sites offer the ability to compete against players in nearly every state, which means large tournament fields and potentially large prize pools. Unless Missouri legalizes online poker, a sweepstakes site like Global Poker is probably your best option.
Poker rooms in Missouri
There are multiple live poker rooms in Missouri. All of them are at one of the state’s casinos. There are no standalone poker rooms in Missouri.
You’ll likely have no trouble finding a game of No Limit Texas Hold’em at any of the rooms. However, because of the finicky nature of live poker and player attendance, it’s a good idea to call ahead before you head over to the room to find out how many tables are open and what games are available.
Here are the poker rooms in Missouri:
- Ameristar Casino Resort Spa St. Charles, 1 Ameristar Blvd., St. Charles, MO 63301
- Century Casino Cape Girardeau, 777 Main St., Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
- Harrah’s Kansas City, 1 Riverboat Drive, North Kansas City, MO 64116
- Hollywood Casino & Hotel St. Louis, 777 Casino Center Drive, Maryland Heights, MO 63043
- Horseshoe St. Louis, 999 N. Second St., St. Louis, MO 63102
Poker games you’ll find in Missouri
It’s no surprise that Texas Hold’em is the most popular poker game in Missouri. It’s the most popular game in the world and has become synonymous with modern poker itself. However, there are more poker games that you may encounter in Missouri, so here are some brief descriptions:
No Limit Texas Hold’em
No Limit Texas Hold’em is the “Cadillac” of poker. It is the world’s most popular card game due to its simplicity and speed. Players receive two cards face down each and must combine those cards with five community cards to make their best five-card poker hand. Because the game is “no limit,” there is no restriction on the amount of money you can wager at any time from whatever you had to start the hand. No Limit Texas Hold’em is the game at the WSOP Main Event each year and is readily available in every single card room in Missouri.
Limit Texas Hold’em
Limit Texas Hold’em, aka fixed-limit hold’em, is identical in structure to its no-limit sibling, with the only difference concerning the betting. As the name suggests, these games limit how much you can bet. You’ll see games listed according to their stakes — e.g., $3/$6, $5/$10 — with those figures indicating how much you can bet. In a $3/$6 game, for instance, you can bet in $3 increments during the first two betting rounds and $6 increments during the last two.
Pot Limit Omaha
Pot Limit Omaha is the second-most popular game on the planet and is growing in visibility at many card rooms in Missouri. PLO is a community card game the same way that hold’em is, where players share five common cards. The difference is that each player gets four hole cards instead of two and must use exactly two of them to assemble a hand. However, exactly which two cards you’re using can change from street to street, and the quality of one’s draws is often as important or more important than the current strength of your hand. Because there are more cards and more possibilities, PLO usually has bigger pots and bigger bankroll swings.
Omaha Hi-Lo (Eight or Better)
Omaha Hi-Lo is a variant of PLO that plays similarly. The difference is that it is a split-pot game, meaning that the highest and lowest combinations of cards in each hand split the pot evenly. Every hand of hi-lo has a high hand, but players must compile five cards ranked 8 or lower in order to qualify for a low hand. Because each player has four cards, it is possible to win both the high and low sides of the hand (known as “scooping”). Hi-lo is a slower-paced game, but it can have massive pots — even bigger than PLO — because of players shooting for different sides of the pot. You’ll also sometimes find Omaha Hi-Lo as a fixed-limit game rather than pot-limit.
A mixed game is an umbrella term for any poker game involving multiple variants. Usually the game rotates among the variants at regular intervals. Sometimes you’ll find mixed games that include hold’em and Omaha among the variants. Other mixed games include only fixed-limit games, such as “H.O.R.S.E.” which features limit hold’em, limit Omaha Hi-Lo, Razz, stud, and stud eight or better.
Crazy Pineapple is not a common game in live poker rooms anywhere, Missouri or otherwise. However, because one prominent option for Missourians is Global Poker, the top sweepstakes online poker site in the country, Crazy Pineapple requires a brief description. The game is a variant of hold’em where you receive three face-down cards instead of two. However, after the flop, each remaining player must discard one hole card and proceed with the remaining two. The result is a game somewhere in between hold’em and Omaha for unpredictability and variance. You’ll find Crazy Pineapple on Global Poker, including in occasional tournaments.
Although Missouri does not allow real money poker online, the possibility is nonetheless in the cards (so to speak). If sports betting does become legal in Missouri, then online poker as well as online casinos could be waiting in the wings.
Below are some links to various agencies and entities that can give you more information about the potential for real money online poker in Missouri.
- Missouri General Assembly
- Revised Statutes of Missouri gambling law
- Missouri Gaming Commission
- Louis Post-Dispatch
- The Kansas City Star
Poker, like all types of gambling, also contains a definite addictive potential. Here are some links for responsible gambling resources available to Missourians.