Online Poker California 2023 – Is it Legal? – Compare the Best Sites for Real Money Online Poker in CA

Whilst online gambling in casinos licensed within California is yet to be fully legalized, poker fans who reside within the Golden State still have the option of playing their favorite games at our list of the top offshore casinos.

We’ve been through and carefully crafted a list of five casinos which we feel offer poker players in CA a fantastic selection of game choices, live dealers, a wide array of banking methods including crypto, top customer service and much more. In this article we discuss those things, touch upon the legal situation in California and reveal where you can find the biggest poker bonuses.


Best Online Poker California Sites 2023

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511 Codes claimed

100% deposit match up to $3,000


100% deposit match up to $3,000

  • Huge Range of Sports Markets
  • Live In-Game Betting
  • $1,000 Welcome Bonus
5 Stars
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100% deposit match up to $3,000 for new players. This is spread over your first three deposits, $1,000 maximum awarded with each deposit. Minimum of $25 for each deposit. Wagering requirements: 30x.

100% deposit match up to $3,000


100% deposit match up to $3,000

  • HD Quality Live Streaming
  • Accepts Major Cryptocurrencies
  • Top Parlay Builder
4.5 Stars
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100% deposit match up to $3,000 with your first deposit. Promo code CAWELCOME100 must be used to claim. Wagering requirements : 30x (live betting and craps do not qualify for rollover requirements). Maximum wager of 50% of your deposit in one bet.

200% up to $2,000 + 100 spins and $50 freebie


200% up to $2,000 + 100 spins and $50 freebie

  • $30,000 Prize Money Every Monday
  • Rapid Payouts - 48 Hours Maximum
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Bonus valid only in casino red with bonus codes: INSIDERS1and INSIDERS2. Minimum deposit of $20 USD applies. General terms and conditions apply.

100% Deposit Match Up To $1,000


100% Deposit Match Up To $1,000

  • Top All-In-One Gambling Site
  • Many Betting Options & Promotions
  • All US Customers Accepted
4 Stars
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This bonus is only available on your first deposit. Bonus Funds will be released in stages of $5 each. Every time you earn $50 in rake $5 of your bonus amount will be released, until all your bonus funds are released.

Up To $3,000 Bonus


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25x wagering requirement, requirement must be met within 30 days. No promo code applies. Up to %150 deposit match for new players ($1500 casino & $1500 poker)

List of the Best Sites for Real Money Online Poker in California

If you’re looking for the best online poker packages in CA, there’s no need to look much further than our shortlist of the best offshore poker rooms available in California, especially if a great bonus offering and an impressive array of poker variations are important to you.

  1. BetOnline – Industry-Leading California Online Poker Room
  2. Bovada – Unmatched Daily Tournament Prize Pools
  3. Everygame – Earn Real Cash Rewards Whether You Win or Lose
  4. – Claim Your Share of Daily Poker Rewards
  5. Ignition – Crypto Players Enjoy Exclusive Poker Benefits

The Latest California Poker News

Fortunately for CA poker fans, those looking to take advantage of the bustling atmosphere of a live poker room have always been legally able to do so without any legal restrictions. The only restriction placed on legal cardrooms in the state is that they must consist of players vying against one another, instead of against the house.

Non-banked poker variations, such as live Pai Gow poker in which players interchangeably take the role of the dealer are also legal. However, complicated terms do apply to operators. As for online poker in the state, it has not been legalized, nor has there been much of a push toward progression in California’s online poker legal status.

The biggest problem has been constructing an online poker bill that satisfies each of the state’s stakeholders, including tribal casino operators, almost 100 licensed card rooms and the horse race industry, which is backed by unions. Because we are committed to providing the most up-to-date online gambling information, we will certainly be updating this page should anything change.

Reviews of the Best Online Poker California Sites

We have taken the time to complete an extensive review of all the most popular offshore casinos in the state of California. Not only have we been able to narrow the list of the top poker rooms down to five, but we have also included some key features to look out for at these casinos in an attempt to help make your decision between the best of the best slightly easier.

1. BetOnline – Industry-Leading California Online Poker Room

BetOnline poker

  • Website:
  • Payout time: 48 hours – 10 days
  • Established: 2001
  • License: Panama Gaming Commission
  • Headquarters: Panama

Our Verdict: 4.5/5

This poker room is a one-stop shop for California poker players thanks to its well-endowed poker lobby, lifetime reload bonus offers. Arguably one of the best parts of BetOnline is its promise to deliver the fastest payouts in the industry. Players opting for Crypto methods, such as Bitcoin, also enjoy instant, free transactions on top of the peace of mind they claim as a result of such payment method’s advanced security features.

One of the very few issues that did arise upon inspection was the delayed response time we observed when contacting support via email. Fortunately, the rollover and betting requirements at these flagship poker tables are fairly reasonable, and the same goes for the reload bonus funds you’ll be credited with when making a deposit. Read our BetOnline review for more on why we chose to rank BetOnline 1st on our list of the top CA online poker rooms.

Poker Game Variety at BetOnline: 4.7/5

This poker room is home to a diverse selection of table buy-ins to suit every player’s budget. There are 14 types of poker formats including Freezeout, Satellite, Progressive Knockout, and Boost. Of the 14 poker types at BetOnline, you’ll find each can be played with a varying number of seats, at various speeds, and with fewer or more card stacks. There was hardly any fault to find as far as game variety goes at this poker room.

Payment Options: 4.8/5

Those looking to play online poker for real money in California will be happy to hear that BetOnline has one of the best banking pages in the industry. This top-ranking poker room is equipped with over 20 supported deposit and withdrawal methods. Amongst their large selection of supported payment methods is Bitcoin, which is subject to exclusive bonus rewards such as reload bonuses and free payouts. The only notable downside of their payment options is the lack of supported e-Wallets.

Customer Support: 4.5/5

There are three different ways to contact support should any problems arise. Support platforms include live chat which can be accessed via the live chat button on-screen, email, or telephone. Naturally, the fastest response time was observed via the live chat box but we weren’t dissatisfied with the efficiency of the telephone support team. You can, however, expect a wait of up to 24 hours if you wish to receive support via email so be sure to include all of your concerns and exactly which information you need in your initial email to avoid further delays.

Bonuses & Promotions: 4.3/5

The bonus offering at this poker room is pretty good for the most part. One of the highlights of their offering is the lifetime reload bonus offered to all players regardless of the transaction method they wish to use, although Crypto players claim an amplified version of this bonus. There isn’t a huge selection of bonus codes on offer though. As for promotions, the BetOnline rewards program is where most of their valuable rewards can be seen, as frequent players exchange play points for cash back or even free bets.

Bonus name Bonus amount Promo code Rollover Minimum deposit Bitcoin accepted?
Poker Welcome Bonus 100% up to $1,000 INSIDERS N/A $50


  • Claim reload bonuses every time you deposit
  • Customer support is available 24/7
  • Diverse poker lobby suitable for all budgets
  • Million-dollar cash tables
  • Bitcoin players transact free & instantly


  • Credit & Debit cards are subject to high fees
  • Payouts aren’t processed on weekends

2. Bovada – Unmatched Daily Tournament Prize Pools

Bovada poker

  • Website:
  • Payout time: 24 – 48 hours
  • Established: 2011
  • License: Curacao e-Gaming Authority
  • Headquarters: Costa Rica

Our Verdict: 4.4/5

The exceptional Bovada user interface, teemed with the exciting selection of poker variations made Bovada one of the easiest-ranking casinos we have come across. The option to pick your preferred game pace and buy-in make this poker room suitable for beginners, while the large, guaranteed tournament prize pools and exclusive high-roller tournaments hosted weekly make this poker room an excellent option for pros and higher stake players looking to play online poker for real money in California.

Although we were slightly disappointed with the customer service system at Bovada, we couldn’t justify it as a good enough reason to keep Bovada off our list of the best of the best. Other features of the poker offering at Bovada such as the option to play anonymously and unique formats like Bovada’s Progressive Knockout tournaments make the gameplay exciting and ensure long-term enjoyment.

Poker Game Variety at Bovada: 4.7/5

This top CA online poker room, also ranking as one of the top Bitcoin gambling sites, makes it easy for players who don’t necessarily have hours to burn at the felt to still compete for their share of large prizes at Jackpot Sit n’ Go tables. Players also have the option to switch up their pace with poker structures varying from hyper-turbo to tournaments held over the course of a few days. The highlights of Bovada’s tournament selection are the large, guaranteed prize pools including the weekly high roller tournament with buy-ins starting at $300.

Payment Options: 4.3/5

Bovada offers players a unique way to boost their bankrolls, via player transfer. This method enables players to transfer funds directly from their accounts to the account of a fellow Bovada friend. In terms of the payment method selection at Bovada, your choices are slightly limited as basic methods such as wire transfers aren’t supported. As is the case with most top CA online poker rooms these days, Crypto players enjoy extra benefits when depositing and withdrawing, these include quicker, cheaper transactions.

Customer Support: 4.0/5

The Bovada customer support team was hard to find at first as there are no support platforms explicitly listed until you check out the Bovada FAQ section. We assume this is to limit foot traffic on support platforms, but we feel that the option to contact support immediately would save unknowing players a bunch of time. Once you are in contact with the support team, the response speed is pretty impressive via their live chat, though their email support only promises a response within 48 hours.

Bonuses & Promos: 4.8/5

The Bovada Rewards program is one of the most exciting aspects of the site, as players advance through loyalty tiers, earning rewards points for every dollar spent wagering at their favorite poker tables. Crypto players are automatically entered into a more exclusive rewards program in which players are rewarded more player points for every dollar wagered in comparison to default rewards players. Rewards points can be exchanged for real cash or free gameplay. The Bovada bonus codes are limited but unlimited bonuses such as refer-a-friend make up for it.

Bonus name Bonus amount Promo code Rollover Minimum deposit Bitcoin accepted?
Poker Welcome Bonus 100% up to $500 INSIDERS N/A N/A


  • Crypto players enjoy exclusive rewards
  • No min. deposit requirements
  • Large & unlimited refer-a-friend bonuses
  • Weekly high-roller tournaments
  • Busy daily tournament schedule


  • Confusing customer support system
  • Bonus funds are released in increments

3. Everygame – Earn Real Cash Rewards Whether You Win or Lose

poker at Everygame

  • Website:
  • Payout time: 48 hours – 15 business days
  • Established: 1996
  • License: Curacao e-Gaming Authority
  • Headquarters: Antigua

Our Verdict: 4.3/5

There is a limited selection of bonus codes extending further than the welcome bonus listed directly on this platform’s promotions page so, at first glance, the bonus offering isn’t much to write home about. The personalized bonus codes received via email along with the Everygame rewards program ensure that players of all budgets are treated to enhanced bankroll and gaming opportunities on a regular basis.

If you are considering an online gaming account but not sure which way to turn as you look for a suitable casino that won’t eat into all your winnings as a result of bank charges, you’ll be happy to read that Everygame not only provides a free of charge credit card service but is also ranked as one of the best offshore gambling sites of the year.

Poker Game Variety at Everygame: 4.2/5

With buy-ins starting from as little as just 2c ranging up to $999, it’s safe to say that this poker room is suitable for both amateurs and high-rollers looking to land themselves a share of some of the biggest prize pools available in California. As a pleasant result of the high foot traffic in Everygame’s poker rooms, there are always tournament seats available, so players don’t need to wait around for their favorite Hold’em or Omaha tables to open up. Both Everygame cash games and tournaments can be played with ease on your mobile as well.

Payment Options: 4.5/5

Everygame uniquely identifies as one of the top credit card casinos in the USA, as a result of their unique credit/debit card terms and conditions. Unlike other online poker rooms in which Crypto payment methods are generally promoted and credit/debit transactions result in higher fees and longer transaction times, Everygame offers speedy, free credit/debit deposits. This unique offer includes the likes of Mastercard, VISA, and AMEX transactions. The downside is that Crypto transactions are subject to higher min. deposit requirements.

Customer Support: 4.2/5

There are two different ways to reach support, one being the live chat box (which can be found on your screen in the bottom right corner) and the other being email. Although we found the email option slightly outdated as it requires the player to leave the current tab, however, the response time we observed was satisfactory. We did receive quicker support from the live chat as expected.

Bonuses & Promos: 4.4/5

One thing we must note before moving forward is that players must be sure to check their emails regularly as many of the Everygame bonus codes are personalized according to players’ gaming habits and are sent directly to player inboxes, so there aren’t many listed on the site. As for the rewards program at Everygame, players collect gold chips each time they bet which can be exchanged for no deposit bonuses. Some of these bonuses are subject to stricter requirements than we are used to seeing though.

Bonus name Bonus amount Promo code Rollover Minimum deposit Bitcoin accepted?
Poker Welcome Bonus 200% up to $1,000 INSIDERS N/A $25


  • Win unique prizes such as poker trips abroad
  • Enjoy regular deposit bonuses
  • Enter WSOPC tournaments on the go
  • Zero fees on credit/debit card transactions
  • 24/7 live customer support


  • No benefits for Crypto players
  • Bank wire withdrawals are slow

4. – Claim Your Share of Daily Poker Rewards poker

  • Website:
  • Payout time: 24 – 48 hours
  • Established: 2003
  • License: Panama Gambling Control Board
  • Headquarters: Panama

Our Verdict: 4.3/5

Upon review, we found this poker room to be particularly suitable for players looking to play faster-paced online poker for real money in California. This is because there isn’t a large variety of slower-paced tournaments hosted simultaneously, as is the case at the other leading CA online poker sites we have recommended. In addition, players will find a satisfactory array of Sit ‘n Go games, hosted in a variety of variations and formats.

The large jackpots on offer in the poker lobby are certainly the cherry on top, especially considering that you can win up to 100,000x the amount you spend on buying in. Overall, we are fully confident in our decision to list as one of the best CA online poker rooms.

Poker Game Variety at 4.0/5

Cash games such as the notorious $1 Million Windfall Jackpot offer up an opportunity for players to sit in on a fast-paced game structure with the potential to win up to 100,000x the original table buy-in. Those looking for a leisurely gameplay experience will likely enjoy the Bad Beat Jackpot tables. Although there wasn’t much of a selection in terms of simultaneously running tournaments, we felt that those looking for an exciting cash game experience would agree that this poker offering would be hard to match.

Payment Options: 4.1/5

Most of the more popular online payment gateways are supported at Sportsbetting but we only consider a few of them to be a viable option for those looking to enjoy online gambling for the long term. This is because some of the popular payment options such as direct wire transfer are subject to unsatisfactory terms which include high min. deposit requirements and high fees. Those looking to transact with Crypto, however, will be rewarded generously at this top crypto poker site and enjoy instant transactions teemed with zero fees.

Customer Support: 4.6/5

California online poker fans aren’t likely to find much fault in the customer support system at Sportsbetting, thanks to their efficient, friendly support team which can be reached via live chat, email, and telephone. We found the telephone support team particularly pleasant and would recommend making use of their telephone or live chat options if you have any queries as email responses can be pretty delayed. We did find, however, that email responses were pretty detailed to avoid any further delays which we appreciated.

Bonuses & Promos: 4.4/5

Crypto player rewards aren’t limited to transaction benefits, Crypto players receive a reload bonus every time they transact regardless of how many times a deposit has been made. Other bonuses include the refer-a-friend bonus which can be claimed an unlimited number of times. The rewards program entails a points system in which players receive points for every dollar wagered and these points can be used to buy into special tournaments.

Bonus name Bonus amount Promo code Rollover Minimum deposit Bitcoin accepted?
First Deposit Bonus 100% up to $1,000 INSIDERS N/A $50


  • Lifetime reload bonuses
  • Support via email, telephone, and live chat
  • Crypto players claim enhanced loyalty rewards
  • A great option for cash game poker fans
  • Large, guaranteed jackpots


  • Mobile play is slightly delayed
  • Tournament variety could be better

5. Ignition – Crypto Players Enjoy Exclusive Poker Benefits

Ignition poker

  • Website:
  • Payout time: 24 – 48 hours
  • Established: 2016
  • License: Kahnawake Gaming Commission
  • Headquarters: Costa Rica

Our Verdict: 4.1/5

Apart from the delayed customer service system, there really wasn’t much to fault at Ignition in terms of the full gaming experience for CA online poker players. The user interface is sleek whether you choose to play on your desktop or your mobile which we found unique as mobile versions generally offer a slightly weaker experience. The option to play anonymously is a big plus for newbies, in addition to the low buy-ins ranging from as little as 2c.

We were impressed with the Ignition loyalty program which rewards active players with weekly freeroll tickets to large prize pool tournaments. Because it’s also considered a bitcoin casino, Crypto is promoted site-wide, players transacting with Bitcoin or any of the other supported Cryptocurrencies will enjoy transaction and gameplay benefits. As summed up in our Ignition review, ranking this platform as one of the best CA online poker sites was a no-brainer.

Poker Game Variety at Ignition: 4.4/5

The option to play anonymously at Ignition makes this casino the perfect safe space for players who want to test various game strategies in a slower-paced environment without the pressure of being analyzed by other players sitting at the same table. Much like the other top anonymous online casinos in the industry, Ignition is a great choice for CA online players regardless of each individual’s gaming budget thanks to their large variety of Hold’em and Omaha table buy-ins in addition to other popular poker variations.

Payment Options: 4.2/5

Ignition ranks as one of the fastest payout online casinos for good reason. Players transacting with Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin enjoy instant transactions, ensuring zero delays in gameplay and a no-nonsense withdrawal procedure. Although not equally rewarding, VISA and Mastercard payments are also a supported payment gateway at Ignition, making it accessible to the majority of California online poker players. The only downside is the higher charges associated with traditional payments.

Customer Support: 3.9/5

Being an online platform, we were surprised to find that neither of this platform’s available customer support gateways delivered timely responses, with the quickest response time being 5 minutes as observed via the live chat support box. The other support options at Ignition are email (Ignition promises a response within 72 hours) and the online forum in which other Ignition players offer advice. This wasn’t the most impressive support system we’ve come across, but the site still holds enough value to secure its ranking on our list of the best.

Bonuses & Promos: 4.0/5

The bonus offering at Ignition certainly seems limited at first glance, but once you start wagering, you’ll start earning Ignition miles which can be exchanged for real cash bonuses at any time, and this is where the real value of the Ignition promotions can be observed. The more lifetime Ignition miles you rack up, you’ll start reaching new status levels. The higher your Ignition Miles status, the more miles you’ll earn for every dollar you wager, which ultimately results in bigger rewards. That’s what we call an exciting rewards program suitable for all budgets.

Bonus name Bonus amount Promo code Rollover Minimum deposit Bitcoin accepted?
Poker & Casino Welcome Bonus 150% up to $1,500 INSIDERS 25x $20


  • Weekly freeroll tickets for chrome tier players
  • Unmatched weekly prize pool of $5 Million
  • Buy tournament tickets with Ignition Miles
  • Unlimited table participation in tournaments


  • Delayed customer support
  • Credit card payments incur high charges

FAQs about Online Poker in California

Can I legally play poker online in California?

What is the best online poker site for beginners in California?

Is online poker legal in California?

What is the most legit online poker site for California?

Comparing Best Poker Sites California Has to Offer

Where one site lacks, another excels. Picking the right poker room comes down to what you consider a top priority which is why the platforms on our list each exhibit a different range of highlights. Here is a comparison between the top poker sites in California to help you gain some insight into which may be the best suited to you.

Poker Room Poker Bonus Promo Code Casino Poker Freerolls Qualifiers Guarantees
BetOnline 100% up to $1,000 INSIDERS 18+
Bovada 100% up to $500 INSIDERS 7+
Everygame 200% up to $1,000 INSIDERS 22+ 50% up to $1,000 INSIDERS 15+
Ignition 150% up to $1,500 INSIDERS 7+

Is Online Poker Legal in California?

Despite the complicated gambling laws in California, online poker continues to thrive as thousands of CA online poker players opt to hit the felt at leading offshore poker rooms with no legal repercussions. To date, there is not a single recorded case of any online player from the state of California being subjected to any misdemeanor charges or prosecution for participating in online poker at an offshore casino.

In an attempt to answer the common question, “Is online poker legal in California?” to the best of our ability, we must explore the extent of online gambling as a whole. Current legislature pertaining to online gambling in Cali only provisions participation in online pari-mutuel wagering. As far as online poker goes, residents of the golden state are welcome to participate online as long as no real exchange of money is involved, this means that online poker games must take place at a social casino.

All gambling in the state of Cali is subject to a minimum age requirement of 18 years old, this applies to both online and live gambling participation. Unfortunately, we don’t foresee any major changes to the legal status of online poker in CA in the near future as there are just too many hurdles to overcome at this point in time, with most stakeholders expressing concern for the impact that online gambling could have on existing industries such as live casino operations.

California Poker Laws

Having never been subjected to any restrictions on live card game participation such as live poker, it makes sense that California is home to the highest number of tribal casinos, of which each is legally able to host live poker games and tournaments.

To date, there have not been any gambling laws that explicitly prohibit live poker. Although it was a close call when the California Penal Code was enrolled in 1872, which outlined a restriction on house-banked games. Fortunately, poker participation was excluded from this restriction.

It would be another century before regulations were placed on live cardrooms. The California Gambling Control Act was adopted in 1997, which led to the formation of the California Gambling Control Commission which went on to oversee and regulate all gambling operations in cardrooms and tribal casinos.

When Will Online Poker be Legal in California?

It is hard to conclude a possible time frame for a change in the legal status of online poker participation in California, mostly due to the fact that there has been very little movement to introduce new bills, of which there hasn’t been any success either.

It’s unfortunate considering that with such a large populous of live poker rooms in the state, such a transition would result in huge financial gains for the state. That being said, we do not foresee any change in the legal status of online poker taking place in the foreseeable future.

Previous California Online Poker Bills

The few notable attempts to legalize online poker were made less than a decade ago with no notable success. Below is an outline of previous online poker bills in California, along with some interesting information on how they played out.


  • AB 1677: Sponsored by Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer – This bill would outline the establishment of legal online poker offered by local card rooms and tribal casinos; a licensing fee of $12.5 million which would be credited against future tax payments; and tax rates that would stagger based on industry revenue. A lack of support from stakeholders lead to the failure of this bill.


  • AB 2863: Sponsored by Assemblyman Adam Gray – This bill outlined the legalization of online poker and a large portion of industry revenue being distributed in the form of a subsidy to the horse racing industry in exchange for agreeing to support the bill. However, a lack of consensus between the state’s two most influential coalitions, PokerStars and tribal spearheads, would lead to a lack of support for the bill, which ultimately resulted in another failed attempt to legalize online poker in California.


  • AB 9: Sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto – Introduced with no success.
  • AB 167: Sponsored by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer – Introduced with no success.
  • SB 267: Sponsored by State Senator Isadore Hall III – Introduced with no success.
  • AB 431: Sponsored by Assemblyman Adam Gray – This first time an online poker bill was passed by a committee vote. This bill did not outline any detailed policies but rather acted as a placeholder for amendments to be made in the future.

We are yet to see another movement toward the legalization of online poker.

Tax on Online Poker Winnings in California

Any income generated from gambling winnings is subject to tax under the ‘Other Income’ category on Schedule 1 – eFileIt. This rule applies to both cash winnings and any item with a fair market value. You must report all gambling income on your federal tax returns by law.

If your winnings exceed a certain amount (This amount is set at $5,000 for poker winnings), the California gambling operator will withhold a standard tax rate calculated at 24% of your winnings and provide you with a W-2G form to complete and submit along with your annual tax return.

The same rules will apply to any winnings earned at CA-based online poker rooms once this gambling operation is legalized. However, should you win cash at an offshore site such as the top California online poker sites we have listed above, you’ll not only avoid having to pay taxes, but you’ll also enjoy bigger prize pools and maximize your winning potential.

Regulated Poker Sites vs Offshore Poker Sites

Most of the differences between regulated poker sites and offshore poker sites have no bearing on player experience. There are currently no regulated poker sites in the Golden State as a result of the current gambling legislature. But for the sake of clarity, here is a list of the most obvious differences along with a brief explanation of each.

  • Location: Regulated poker sites are online poker rooms located in the same district that you reside in and regulated by local gambling authorities, whereas offshore sites are based in other countries and regulated by their own country’s gambling control board.
  • Legal Jurisdictions: As a result of the gambling restrictions in the state, CA online poker players may not legally participate in any state-based regulated poker sites. This is different from the legal jurisdictions of an offshore site which has no bearing on the participation of online poker by CA residents as their country’s laws do not govern the activities of people outside their borders.
  • Prize Pools: As a fortunate result of legal restrictions on regulated poker sites, the foot traffic at offshore poker sites is exponentially higher than the foot traffic at regulated sites which grants offshore casinos the ability to offer much larger guaranteed prize pools on a frequent basis as cash flow is far more stable.
  • Accessibility: By federal law, geolocation technologies have been established to ‘protect’ CA online poker players from unintentional, illegal participation on sites they are restricted from using. This technology establishes your location by screening your IP address, which automatically makes it impossible for CA players to access US-based casinos without using VPN software. For this reason, amongst many others, CA online players have found the most success at offshore poker sites such as BetOnline and Bovada.

Will California be Ring-Fenced or Shared Player Pool?

Ring-fencing is the process of grouping players from a particular legal jurisdiction, whether that be from a specific state or country. Most of the advantages of ring-fencing are observed by regulating authorities as this process essentially ensures that all competing players are subject to the same gambling laws, which ultimately saves local gambling control boards a lot of time on the legal administrative issues that can arise when competing players are governed by various gambling laws.

Because there are no current movements toward legalizing online poker in the state, which would ultimately provide insight into the type of player pool that can be expected, coming to a conclusion on such a matter would have no grounding.

We can note, however, that should online gambling be legalized, it’s possible that California might choose to register to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), but the result of this movement would rest in the hands of Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada’s gambling control boards.

How to Play Online Poker in California

If you’re ready to start playing online poker for real money in California, follow this basic step-by-step guide for getting set up as an online player at BetOnline, the number 1 online poker room in the state.

Step 1: Open the BetOnline website

Open the web browser on your preferred Desktop, Android, or Apple mobile device. Visit the BetOnline homepage, and click ‘Join’.

BetOnline Poker Platform


Step 2: Enter Your Basic Information

Provide the basic information you are prompted for and be sure to check that this information is accurate before continuing to the next step. Click ‘Create Account’ to finalize your registration.

BetOnline Register

Step 3: Claim Your BetOnline Welcome Bonus

Check out the promo page to confirm the relevant welcome bonus code as you will need to enter this code before finalizing your first deposit. Now navigate to the banking page and select your preferred payment method, fill in the relevant details and enter the promo code you just confirmed. Click ‘Deposit Now’ to claim your welcome bonus.

BetOnline Deposit

Step 4: Wager and Win Real Money

You are now set up and ready for action. Head over to the BetOnline poker lobby and select the table that grabs your interest.

BetOnline Poker Tournaments


Types of Poker Games Available at the Best Sites for Online Poker in California

There are 3 categories under which all types of poker games fall, these include community card poker, draw poker, and stud poker. Online poker variations generally fall under the community card poker category but for the sake of learning, here is a short explanation for each category along with a few familiar examples.

Community Card Poker

This category of poker games includes any poker variations in which community cards, otherwise known as shared cards, are in play. The most popular example of this poker format is Texas Hold’em in which 5 community cards are presented.

Stud Poker

This poker format involves any poker variant in which players are dealt a combination of face-up and face-down cards over a series of rounds. Though less common, online players may be familiar with Five-Card-Stud in which a total of 1 card is dealt face-down and 4 cards are dealt face-up over the course of multiple rounds.

Draw Poker

This less popular online poker category refers to any variation of poker that entails the dealing of a complete hand before the start of the first playing round. Players go on to adjust their hands by replacing dealt cards with cards they draw from a face-down deck. One of the most popular poker titles under this category is Five Card Draw.

Poker Site Bonuses available for California Players

California online poker players are in for a treat in terms of the bonus offers they’ll have access to at the top offshore poker rooms. One of the most important factors to consider when determining a great bonus offer from an average one is the steps that you’ll need to take to withdraw your bonus funds. Poker bonuses are generally released in increments as you gather rewards points. Naturally, some types of bonuses are subject to less stringent terms, let’s take a look at what bonuses you can expect and how to determine their value.

Match Deposit Bonuses

If you’ve made any attempt to check out online casinos before finding yourself here, you’ve likely come across this type of bonus offer already. The most common example of this offer is a welcome bonus. An example of this bonus may be presented as follows, ‘Claim a 200% poker bonus up to $1,000’. If you choose to claim this bonus, you are entitled to bonus funds calculated at 200% of your first deposit, up to $1,000. Therefore, a $500 deposit would result in a bankroll of $1,500 thanks to the $1,000 bonus funds credited to your account.

No Deposit Bonuses

This type of bonus is mostly rewarded to players, at the discretion of the poker room, for completing a specific task or advancing through a rewards program. A common example of such a bonus would be a cash bonus you claim in exchange for rewards points you’ve earned betting at your favorite poker tables. These bonuses are usually associated with stricter terms, but this isn’t always the case.

Freeroll Tickets

This type of bonus does not credit you, as the player, with any sort of bonus funds. However, they do grant you access to exclusive tournaments which you may or may not have been able to afford on your own. This means you’ll be able to compete for your share of larger prize pools free of charge.

Poker site Poker bonus Promo code Rollover Minimum deposit Bitcoin accepted? Expiration date
BetOnline 100% up to $1,000 INSIDERS N/A $50 30 days
Bovada 100% up to $500 INSIDERS N/A $20 30 days
Everygame 200% up to $1,000 INSIDERS N/A $25 90 days 100% up to $1,000 INSIDERS N/A $50 30 days
Ignition 150% up to $1,500 INSIDERS N/A $20 30 days

Making Deposits & Withdrawals at California Poker Sites

California online poker rooms support a large variety of payment methods. We recommend that you take the time to set up such payment methods or opt for a casino that will reward you for transacting with your preferred payment method.

Crypto at Poker Sites

This category of payment methods is promoted at most of the top poker rooms in CA. The benefits associated with such payments include instant transactions, exclusive rewards program bonuses, and lower transaction fees. Our Bitcoin poker guide provides fantastic insight into the ins and outs of transacting with Cryptocurrencies at California poker sites.

Traditional Payment Methods

There are limited benefits to these types of payment methods at most casinos. That being said, those that wish to make traditional payments using their debit or credit cards would maximize their gaming experience by opting for an American Express Casino, or VISA casino such as Everygame which ranks as one of the best CA online poker sites to date.

eWallets at Poker Sites

This payment method is not currently supported by any of the offshore casinos we recommend on our site, however, one of the most commonly known examples is PayPal. There aren’t usually many benefits to transacting with e-Wallets so we don’t consider the lack of this supported payment method much of a disadvantage.

Deposit Options Available at the Best California Poker Sites

Here is a breakdown of the most common deposit methods and which California online poker rooms support them.

Poker site Bitcoin Bitcoin Cash Ethereum Dogecoin Debit / Credit Cards Bank Transfer PayPal

Withdrawal Options Available at the Best California Poker Sites

Check out the below table for more insight into which casinos support the most popular withdrawal methods.

Poker site Bitcoin Bitcoin Cash Ethereum Dogecoin Debit / Credit Cards Bank Transfer PayPal

Playing on California Online Poker Apps for Real Money

All of the casinos on our list of the top online poker rooms in California have one thing in common, their mobile apps can be accessed via the web instead of requiring a download. These sites have already been optimized for full use on all Android phones and iPhones so there is no need to complete any additional setup once you have completed the registration process.

As for the user experience you can expect when you start taking to the felt on the go, there are very minimal differences that can be observed in comparison to the desktop version of these top mobile app. The only real difference is that you may not be able to take part in a multi-table tournament format, however, you will enjoy seamless gameplay teemed with an improved visual aesthetic.

Playing Online Poker vs Poker Live in California

Opting for a virtual poker experience generally proves much more beneficial than playing live. Of course, the atmosphere and social aspect of a live dealer casino can’t be outdone by an online poker room. However, there isn’t much more to the live experience to report on, especially if you intend to win your share of bigger prize pools.

As for variety, live casinos generally offer a limited number of poker variations as they are limited by the number of tables in the room, compared to live casinos that can host as many varieties as their foot traffic allows. Naturally, the foot traffic at online poker rooms is far greater than that of a live casino, thanks to shared player pools.

This is especially the case at the top offshore casinos where hundreds of thousands of players flock to grab their share of bigger prizes daily. The higher foot traffic creates a smoother, larger cash flow which enables online casinos to offer much larger prizes, jackpots, and rewards program bonuses.

Live Poker in California – Casinos with Poker Rooms

California has the largest selection of live poker rooms in the entire country. If you’re on the lookout for an exciting live poker experience, you may be wondering which way to turn. We recommend swinging past these land-based poker rooms for an enjoyable live gaming experience.

Pechanga Resort Casino

  • Address: 45000 Pechanga Pkwy, Temecula, CA 92592, United States
  • Opening hours: Open 24/7

Pechanga is one of the largest casinos in the country, let alone the state of California. Its poker room is equipped with 38 tables and boasts an impressive record of $1M jackpot winners. The Pechanga rewards program entails a points system in which Club Dollars can be used to pay for dining, hotel accommodation, concert tickets, and spa treatments.

Red Hawk Casino

  • Address: 1 Red Hawk Pkwy, Placerville, CA 95667, United States
  • Opening hours: Open 24/7

Amongst the top paying table games at Red Hawk Casino are Three Card Poker and Jackpot Hold’em. Players can claim exciting bonuses using their Red Hawk Rewards Card, such as match play table bets, free table bets, dining discounts, and special gift offers.

Barona Resort & Casino

  • Address: 1932 Wildcat Canyon Rd, Lakeside, CA 92040, United States
  • Opening hours: Open 24/7

As is the case with the rest of the world, Texas Hold’em is the most popular poker variation at the Barona Resort & Casino. Other supported variations of the game include Three Card Poker and Mississippi Stud Poker.

Famous California Poker Players

It’s not surprising that California has produced an abundance of the biggest poker players in US history when we consider the lax live poker laws and the impressive number of live poker rooms operating in the state. Here are a few of CA’s top poker achievers.

  • Brian Rast: Currently ranked 18th on the US All-Time Money List, Brian’s live earnings to date total a whopping $23,533,381, with his highest cash win at the Super High Roller Bowl where he cashed in $7,525,000 and claimed his winning title.
  • C. Van Tran: Justin currently ranks 33rd on the US All-Time Money List, with a lifetime live winning record totaling $13,365,371. One of his most notable wins was at the World Championships of Online Poker (WCOOP) in 2006, where he claimed $670,000 for claiming first place.
  • David Rheem ‘Chino’: Trailing closely behind Van Tran, David boasts a lifetime live-earning record of $12,839,615. His biggest win was recorded at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $10,300 Main Event where he ranked 1st place, bagging $1,567,100.

The Best Site for Real Money Online Poker in California

If you’re looking for the best poker site in California, we recommend looking no further than the number 1 offshore poker room listed right here on our site. From the moment you visit BetOnline, you’re welcomed with a taste of the efficient user experience you can expect going forward, as you are presented with a 2-minute quick registration process. There is a multitude of legitimate payment gateways to choose from, some of which are teemed with refreshing benefits such as instant, free transactions.

As for the BetOnline poker experience, players are treated to an easy-to-navigate user interface and an extensive poker lobby equipped with an impressive array of poker buy-ins. One of the most notable highlights of this world-class poker room is the generous bonuses that players claim regularly, in addition to the large, guaranteed prize pools up for grabs every day.

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