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Is Online Poker Legal in California?

Online poker is not explicitly legal in California, but nor is it illegal. There are no laws regulating online gambling at all in the Golden State, which allows offshore real money online casinos to operate in the area.

It is a bit weird that the state hasn’t referenced legalizing online poker yet. In California, poker isn’t even considered gambling given its history in the American Frontier/Old West time period. So, the lack of regulation on the online game kind of makes sense in some ways.

Below we have a short look at whether online poker will ever be explicitly legal in California. We then give you what you really came for: a list of the best online poker sites in California.

is online poker legal in california

Will Online Poker Be Legalized in California?

Online gambling is in a bit of a weird space in California. It isn’t legal, nor is it illegal for players to gamble at offshore online casinos and sportsbooks.

At one stage, some laws used to make it a little more difficult. Particularly the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (2006) and the bad interpretation of The Wire Act (1960).  Rather than go for players, these acts targeted banks that allowed players to deposit at online casinos.

Nowadays, these acts aren’t really an issue, and it is pretty easy to take part in poker games hosted at offshore casinos. You aren’t doing anything illegal by participating in these real money gambling games.

Top 5 Online Poker Sites in California

Here are our favorite online poker sites available in the Golden State:

1.      Café Casino

Café Casino has several wonderful RNG poker games. Some even offer massive progressive jackpots that exceed one hundred thousand dollars.

Some of the poker games you can look forward to playing at Café Casino include Caribbean Stud Poker, Hold’em, Tri-Card Poker, Let’Em Ride, and Pai Gow Poker.

2.      Lucky Red Casino

Lucky Red Casino is powered by Realtime Gaming. In recent years, the software developer has really stepped up their game with table games. They have many poker variants to choose from.

Fan favorites include Caribbean Draw Poker, Caribbean Hold’em Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, Let’Em Ride, Pai Gow Poker, Pontoon, and Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker, among others.

3.      Cyberspins

Cyberspins is powered by Betsoft. Although Betsoft doesn’t have quite as many poker variations available in their catalog, they still offer a good set of options.

Some of the variants available to players include Three Card Rummy, Pai Gow Poker, and Caribbean Poker. There are also some live dealer tables that allow you to play Casino Hold’em poker with a real dealer.

4.      Red Dog Casino

Red Dog is also powered by Realtime Gaming. So, you are looking at playing the same games available at Lucky Red Casino, which includes a great number of classics.

The reason we include Red Dog on our list to supplement Lucky Red is their list of hefty bonuses and promotions. They also run casino tournaments fairly regularly, giving players a chance to try to test their skills.

5.      Bovada Casino

Bovada is probably one of the most well-known online gambling sites in the United States when it comes to poker. In fact, the casino even has exclusive bonuses for players who are solely interested in playing poker.

You can either play poker with a live dealer or play one of the many RNG games that the casino has on offer. As the casino runs tournaments often, there is ample opportunity to get your poker fix at Bovada.