Online Poker in Louisiana – Is It Legal?

Poker remains one of the most lucrative gambling activities in North America, and in Louisiana, this sentiment holds true. The Pelican State is often called the “Las Vegas of the South” due to its long history of gambling activities involving riverboat casinos and Louisiana poker rooms. 

Perhaps you’re not interested in land-based casinos, the clamor of slot machines and the crowds of people. If you’re looking for a more low-key experience, you have plenty of options to play online poker in Louisiana.

In addition to our comprehensive guide to Louisiana sports betting, our team of experts has also registered, deposited, and played at dozens of operators to narrow down the best Louisiana online poker sites. Below, you’ll find details on the top sites for Louisiana online poker players, as well as a breakdown of the state’s gambling laws, history and more.

Louisiana Best Poker Sites

Following a review of the available online poker sites in Louisiana, our industry experts have concluded that the following operators are a step ahead of the competition.      

  1. Bovada: The best overall online poker site in Louisiana     
  2. BetOnline: Crypto banking and excellent poker tournaments  
  3. Everygame: Notable 36% poker rakeback
  4. SportsBetting.ag: Great bonuses for online poker players

Louisiana residents have a lot of gambling options thanks to its multitude of land-based casinos and horse racing venues. However, if players are looking to gamble online with real cash, the only locally-regulated option available at the time of writing is sports betting sites.

Currently, the only method to play Louisiana online poker is to utilize the services of an offshore poker room. These offshore operators host their servers outside the U.S. and are licensed by international governing bodies. The top Louisiana online poker sites we discuss in today’s guide accept American users with no restrictions, including those who reside in the Pelican State.

In-Depth Reviews of the Top Online Poker Sites in Louisiana   

Finding the best Louisiana online poker site to suit your needs can be challenging. We understand this and have jumped at the opportunity to assist with your complications. With several key factors to contemplate when picking an online poker site in the Pelican State, our team of experts has studied each operator and ranked them before compiling a top four greatest online poker site list. 

Below you will find our top 4 best online poker sites in Louisiana, with our detailed reviews explaining our reasoning. 

1. Bovada: The No.1 Online Poker Site in Louisiana

Bovada Poker

Backed up and secured by the most up-to-date security encryption features available in the gaming industry, Bovada is an incredibly popular online casino, sportsbook, racebook, and poker site in the United States.

Fortunately for Louisiana online poker fans, Bovada presents an exceptional poker service running in conjunction with the PaiWangLuo Poker Network. You can enjoy various poker games such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and more. Bovada is the ideal choice for amateur and professional players alike, with low blinds on cash games and high jackpots in their tournaments. Furthermore, players can enjoy anonymous online poker tables. 

As the busiest poker network in North America, the PaiWangLuo Network has assisted Bovada in becoming one of Louisiana’s most active online poker rooms. And with different poker tournaments occurring daily, weekly, and monthly, popular tourneys like The Million Dollar Weekend, Jackpot Sit & Go’s, and those with winnings of $100,000 and $2 million are a huge draw. 

The rake on poker tournaments at Bovada is 10%, and with such high liquidity and traffic, this operator can offer higher potential winnings than many of its competitors. Aside from primary tournaments, players can also find SNGs, turbo tournaments, quick-seat tournaments, and fast-fold tournaments. 

Fast payouts, a loyalty VIP program for poker players, various banking options, and responsive customer service are added bonuses of being a Bovada customer. A deposit bonus of $500 is released through the loyalty program, and for every 150 reward points you earn, your account is credited with $5 in bonus credits. There are further ways to boost your bankroll with promo codes at Bovada, each of which can provide additional benefits.

Pros:

  • Fast withdrawal options 
  • The biggest online poker network in Louisiana  
  • Millions guaranteed in weekly tournaments
  • Weekly $150k prize pools 
  • Poker bonus offers from Loyalty Rewards Points system

Cons:

  • The welcome bonus could be more generous  
  • Rakes could be lowered to compete with rival sites

2. BetOnline: Crypto Banking & Excellent Poker Tournaments

BetOnline Poker

Cryptocurrency bettors will instantly thrive in the surroundings of BetOnline poker services. This operator presents the widest selection of crypto payment methods, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, and another seven crypto variants. This allows players to deposit up to $500,000 and withdraw $100,000 almost instantly. Don’t worry if you’re unfamiliar or involved with crypto; card options, bank transfers, and money orders are also banking options.

With online poker experience dating back to 2011, BetOnline knows something about pleasing its customers. Regular bonuses and promotions are available with BetOnline promo codes, and welcome bonuses include a 100% deposit match of up to $1,000. Not forgetting the poker-specific features like “Bad Beat,” where losing hands that possess a Four of a Kind Deuces or better are automatically entered into a jackpot that can be as high as $50,000. 

Online poker tournaments are another instrumental part of BetOnline’s excellent service, boasting various large and small buy-ins. The $1 Million Windfall is a fan-favorite tournament and one of eight variations that present jackpots of up to $50,000. But regarding overall variants, players won’t go short of choice with a range of buy-ins and limits. Pot limit, no limit, and fixed games like Texas Hold’em, 5-Card, Omaha, Caribbean Stud, and Pai Gow are also readily available. 

BetOnline rewards its loyal customers through a VIP program, as anyone playing poker on the site receives redeemable points that can be used for tournament entries and other freebies. This poker site also provides an exclusive native app for download, thus enhancing your online poker experience while on the move.

Pros:

  • Dedicated poker app  
  • Daily poker tournaments
  • Jackpots as high as $200,000 
  • 30 variations of poker tournaments  
  • The best cryptocurrency banking options

Cons:

  • Fees on specific banking methods   
  • Some payout methods are slower compared to rival poker sites

3. Everygame: Notable 36% Poker Rakeback

Everygame Poker

Formerly known as Intertops, Everygame rebranded a few years back and has since polished its overall product to deliver top-quality forms of gambling activities, including a sportsbook, racebook, casino and, most importantly, a poker room. Moreover, the Everygame Instant Play Poker App makes online poker fast, simple, and accessible for players on the move. 

For Louisiana online poker players hunting value for money, Everygame could top that list. This operator presents one of the best percentage rakebacks within the industry, where customers receive a 36% rake straight to their account. When combining this excellent value with a noteworthy matched deposit bonus, a poker loyalty rewards program, and continuous promotions, finding a Louisiana online poker room offering more value for money isn’t easy.  

The Horizon Poker Network operates Everygame Poker, and while this isn’t the busiest poker network in the U.S., they’re undoubtedly emphasizing their alternative features. New poker players can receive a 200% welcome bonus of up to $1,000 when registering with Everygame. 

Bonuses are handed out in $5 increments when player points are earned. Once you’ve completed the bonus, player points can be used to redeem site credit and other rewards. And if you’ve collected more player points than anyone else in any given week, a $400 bonus is awarded.  In addition to the welcome bonuses, there are a wide variety of promo codes at Everygame that can provide further value.

Everygame supports conservative and liberal stakes alike, where Sit&Go’s can be as low as ¢2, but they also provide high-stakes tournaments for the high rollers. That said, big stakes aren’t required to win big, with some $5 entry tournaments that can have prize pools of up to $150,000. The most common regular poker events include the Sunday Sundowner Series ($10,000) and the Soft Poker Series ($70,000).

Pros:

  • Offers something for newbies and high-rollers alike
  • 200% poker bonus up to $1,000 for new users
  • Outstanding 36% rakeback
  • Tournaments for all poker levels 
  • Great points reward program for poker players

Cons:

  • Lower traffic than some online sites  
  • Limited anonymous poker options

4. SportsBetting.ag: Great Bonuses for Online Poker Players

Sportsbetting.ag Poker

The entertainment options for types of gambling games are SportsBetting.ag are diverse. Whether you’re looking for a sportsbook, casino, racebook or a hand of poker – you can’t go wrong with this operation. 

Regarding the SportBetting.ag poker room, it operates under the third-most-popular poker network operator in the United States. It has been a solid online gambling site for over a decade. With a license from the Panama Gaming Commission, online poker players from Louisiana can rest assured the site is secure. With a varied selection of games from Texas Hold’Em, Omaha, Stud, Americana, and 32-Card Draw, poker fans are never short of choice. 

Bonuses are generous at SportsBetting, as a new customer 100% matched deposit bonus of up to $1,000 accompanies an additional $125 for free bets. Cryptocurrency also provides an ultra-fast turnaround as withdrawals are completed within 12-24 hours, and credit card transactions are additionally some of the fastest – compared to rival operators. 

Poker tournaments are aplenty and cater to amateur and skilled players alike. Unique features such as the rotating Bad Beat Jackpot are a nice touch – allowing players to share prize pools with other players if they lose but own a good hand. 

Poker qualifier tickets are just $5, as players can gain a position at the main table after collecting a specific number of poker points. Each Sunday SportsBetting.ag hosts a main event tournament with a prize of $150,000; the buy-in price is $100, and each player receives 100,000 in chips. Smaller tournaments can also offer big money, such as the Windfall Jackpot Sit&Go with a $10 entry with the potential of earning some of the $1 million in prizes.

Pros:

  • Dedicated poker app  
  • Fast banking for crypto users
  • 100% matched deposit bonus of up to $1000 + $125 in free bets 

Cons:

  • Anonymous poker tables are limited 
  • Basic graphics make the site seem slightly outdated

How We Rated the Pelican State’s Top Poker Sites 

The best online poker sites in the Pelican State aren’t chosen at random. Each operator must undergo a vetting process to earn this coveted title and receive a position in our top-rated rankings. Our industry experts manually test every online poker site available to Louisiana residents and reach a conclusion based on strict criteria. 

The top online poker sites must perform and provide services to a high standard, and there are countless features, tools, and factors we evaluate them on. However, at the bare minimum, an operator must have varied banking options, a secure encrypted site, tempting bonuses and ongoing promotions, responsive customer service, and a respected reputation behind positive user reviews before they’re considered for our rankings. 

Brief History of Gambling in Louisiana   

Louisiana is often called the “Las Vegas of the South,” but as we dig into the history books, perhaps Las Vegas should be called the “Louisiana of the West” because gambling in LA runs deep to prehistoric times. While the state has undergone multiple pushbacks on legalized gambling, many have eventually failed, and New Orleans has regularly been the centerpiece of the state’s gambling activities. 

Before the turn of the 20th century, Louisiana gradually began to march towards complete legalization of most gambling activities; there were abundant wagering activities. While most Americans assume that games such as poker stemmed from Las Vegas or simply migrated to the U.S. over time, they would be wrong. In fact, the history of poker can be traced back to New Orleans specifically, as well as the Louisiana Purchase.

In the early 1800s, French settlers played a game called “poque.” And in 1803, it evolved into the term we know today, “poker.” In the same year, we saw the Louisiana Purchase introduce the city as part of the U.S.; the rest is history.

Skipping a few hundred years into the 20th century, horse betting was first legalized in 1920. Then came riverboat casinos, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, land-based casinos and most recently, online sports betting. The state opened its borders to these activities and will surely introduce more forms of gambling and online gambling laws in the future. 

Timeline of Gambling in the State 

  • May 2021: Louisiana lawmakers pass a bill to legalize sports betting, including online sports betting, in the state. The bill also allows for in-person sports betting at casinos and other gaming facilities, but does not expand the availability of poker games.
  • 2020: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issues an order allowing video poker truck stops to operate with outdoor seating and offering food delivery, in an effort to support businesses impacted by the pandemic.
  • 2018: Louisiana lawmakers pass a bill that allows for daily fantasy sports contests in the state, but does not include any provisions related to poker games.
  • 2005: The Louisiana State Legislature passes a bill that allows for the creation of a state-run poker room in New Orleans, located within the Harrah’s casino. The bill also allows for up to 15 riverboat casinos to operate throughout the state, each of which is authorized to offer poker games.
  • 1997: Louisiana voters approve a ballot measure that legalizes slot machines at racetracks in the state, including some racetracks that offer poker rooms.
  • 1991: The Louisiana State Legislature passes a bill legalizing land-based casino gambling in the state, including some casinos that offer poker games.
  • 1987: The Louisiana legislature passes a bill that allows for video poker machines in truck stops and bars throughout the state, but does not include any provisions related to poker games in casinos.
  • 1985: The Louisiana legislature passes a bill that legalizes video poker machines at racetracks in the state, including some racetracks that offer poker rooms.
  • 1978: Louisiana becomes the third state in the U.S. to legalize a state lottery, but does not include any provisions related to poker games.
  • 1968: The Louisiana State Legislature passes a bill creating the Louisiana Lottery Corporation to regulate and operate the state lottery, but does not include any provisions related to poker games.

Will Louisiana legalize online poker?   

Regarding its stance toward online gambling laws, the state of Louisiana is relatively strict and straightforward. This can make it difficult for poker players to enjoy their favorite game by stepping on the toes of the law. However, there are still many questions surrounding the legality of online poker and whether it’s considered illegal. 

Considering the recent push and legalization of online sports betting, we can assume that Louisiana will one day permit online poker. Taking the experience of dealing with licenses and laws from sports betting, the knowledge gained in this field will assist the state in feeling comfortable about ushering in other forms of online gambling to take a march toward legalization. 

Currently, the only option to play online poker in Louisiana – without directly breaking the law – is to utilize an offshore casino. However, tread lightly, as you’ll want to choose an online poker site that’s trustworthy with a license that regulates their operations, such as those mentioned in this guide.   

Types of Features To Look For in Best Online Poker Sites 

We previously highlighted some key features we look for when ranking the best online poker sites in Louisiana. Now let’s dive deeper and further explain why the following factors are necessary when using an online poker network.  

Poker Game Variety   

Whether you’re entering the poker room, sportsbook, or casino, players want to be offered multiple variations and markets when putting their money on the line. For example, a poker room should have Texas Hold’Em, Omaha, and Caribbean Stud at least, and the best sites provide a comprehensive selection of countless other poker variations.

Banking Methods Accepted  

Some players prefer to deposit with credit or debit cards, while others enjoy the anonymity of cryptocurrency. A top online poker site must offer as many banking options as possible. Furthermore, we like to see operators that don’t attach hefty fees with specific payment methods. 

Bonuses, Promotions, & Exclusive Offers  

The online poker space is a competitive market; this example is best displayed through the plethora of welcome bonuses each site offers. Typically, new customers will use a promo code or affiliate link to join a site and claim their matched deposit bonuses, usually 100% or 200% of up to a certain bonus amount. 

We don’t, however, take these bonuses at face value. It’s important to read the terms and conditions for each bonus as they’ll be attached to a rollover requirement. Sometimes, the site presenting a lower bonus with a lower rollover requirement is the better option. 

In addition to bonuses, we want to see operators taking care of their loyal customers. Regular promotional offers are necessary, whether it’s free bets, VIP programs, free spins, or chips.  

Mobile Experience    

Most offshore sportsbooks don’t offer a downloadable app. However, due to the nature of online poker, many cater to this aspect with native poker apps. Regardless, we want to witness a smooth and operational mobile site from our mobile device’s browser – in case we aren’t interested in apps or have no GB space.

This is why an optimized mobile site that emulates an app is important. For a poker site to receive a top ranking from our experts, the mobile experience must emulate an app and keep up with the usability experience of the site’s desktop offering.  

Customer Service    

The common theme among these features is variety, and customer service is no different. We want assistance immediately when a problem arises with our online gambling site account. An operator must provide multiple points of contact, from email, live chat, telephone number and complaint forms.

Site Safety & Security  

Most Americans provide personal details online daily; however, when our money and bank details are involved, it’s crucial to use a website that offers up-to-date and secure protection. We like to ensure the best Louisiana online poker sites use SSL encryption and are licensed in their country of origin, thus giving international customers the same protection they’d receive locally. 

Creating an Account at Online Poker sites    

We’ve compiled a step-by-step guide to assist you in creating an online poker site account. Remember, the minimum gambling age can vary from 18 to 21 at the best offshore sites, so be sure to check the rules before making these additional steps. 

Step 1: Create Your Account  

Choose your favorite poker site from our top-rated list by simply clicking the links we’ve provided. When arriving at the landing page, locate the “Join Now,” “Register,” or “Sign Up” buttons and click. 

Step 2: Verify Your Account Information   

Fill out the requested information, including name, address, email, etc. Once you’ve submitted the form, the poker site will send a confirmation email; simply click on the link to activate your account.  

Step 3: Make a Deposit   

Select your payment method and head to the site cashier or banking page. Some sites will require a code to claim their welcome bonus, don’t forget to enter this if applicable. Select your deposit type, and enter your details and the amount you wish to deposit. 

Step 4: Place Your Wagers  

Your funds should appear in your account within minutes. You can now head to your favorite poker tournament or cash game. 

Poker Site Bonuses Available to Louisiana Bettors   

Online poker sites provide exciting bonuses and promotions to keep their new and current customers pleased. However, understanding these bonuses can be important in making an informed decision about which poker site best suits you. With that said, let’s preview the most commonly approached poker site bonuses.

Welcome Bonuses  

Welcome bonuses are offered by all of the top online poker sites. Ultimately, this is a bonus aimed at new customers.  

Matched Deposit Bonuses

A matched deposit bonus is the most common welcome bonus of all. This bonus matches a player’s first deposit, usually at 100%, but in some cases, 200%. If a site promotes a 100% matched deposit of up to $1,000, you’ll receive an exact match of your initial deposit in bonus credits up to $1,000.    

No Deposit Bonuses

Unlike matched deposit bonuses, a no-deposit bonus requires no initial deposit. Yes, you can get a bonus for registering with an online poker site. However, bonuses come with conditions, so it’s important to read over the terms and conditions.

Free Plays

Free poker chips, entries into poker, and cash prize tournaments, most of the top online gambling sites will offer freebies during your stay. Don’t expect these to arrive on your first day, although many sites will provide free spins at the casino for new customers. 

Loyalty Programs     

The top online Louisiana poker sites mentioned in this guide all present loyalty reward programs. This service focuses on the loyalty of a customer rather than a newly arrived one. For your time at the poker tables, you can receive poker points and other unique freebies that can be redeemed for various rewards that differ from site to site.

Making Deposits & Withdrawals at Louisiana Poker Sites  

The top-rated online poker operators provide customers with various deposit and withdrawal methods. However, the following three banking options must be considered one of the best poker sites in Louisiana.

Crypto at Poker Sites      

Many online poker sites will offer crypto payments and withdrawals. Aside from anonymity, crypto is a popular banking option due to its fast deposit and withdrawal times. To add, we don’t want to see Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash options only; the best sites will present an extensive range of crypto deposit/withdrawal options, such as: 

  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Shiba Inu
  • Dogecoin 
  • Binance
  • Cardano 
  • Tether 
  • Stellar 
  • Bitcoin Cash   

eWallets at Poker Sites      

eWallets have boomed since the debut of PayPal back in 1998. These wallets can be attached to your bank account, making online purchases simple. The best online poker sites will present various eWallet options, including:

  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • PayPal 

Traditional Payment Methods      

There’s nothing wrong with keeping it old school. If crypto and e-wallets are too much fuss and hassle for you, the best online poker sites should also allow traditional payment methods such as:

  • Wire transfer
  • Debit or credit cards
  • PayNearMe
  • Check
  • ACH transfer
  • Online banking  

Poker Tournaments in Louisiana  

Poker tournaments in Louisiana are a huge draw, both in-person and online. Let’s take a closer look at the Pelican State poker tournaments on offer.

In-Person Poker Tournaments       

The state of Louisiana is a hotbed for some of the most thrilling poker action in the South. Big brand casinos such as Hollywood and Horseshoe receive a huge demand from the Pelican State. Major tournaments like the annual WSOP Circuit events also occur at the Horseshoe Casino, Bossier City.

Online Poker Tournaments       

The best Louisiana poker sites, such as Bovada, BetOnline, Everygame, and SportsBetting.ag, host various online poker tournaments that can include huge prize pools of $100,000 or more. Buy-ins for tournaments can go as low as ¢2 or as high as $100, but when using these sites, you’ll never run short of online poker tournaments to choose from. 

Poker Cash Games in Louisiana  

In addition to tournaments, regular cash games can be found at Louisiana casinos every night of the week, with more than 10 venues. However, if you’re more interested in an exceptional online poker experience, daily cash games can also be found using one of our top-rated online poker sites.

In-Person Cash Games       

The land-based poker rooms in Louisiana that host cash games and tournaments are: 

  • Bally’s Shreveport
  • Coushatta Casino Resort
  • Harrah’s New Orleans 
  • Horseshoe Casino Lake Charles 
  • L’Auberge Casino Baton Rouge 
  • Boomtown Casino New Orleans 
  • Golden Nugget Lake Charles 
  • Horseshoe Bossier City 
  • Jena Choctaw Pines Casino 
  • Paragon Casino Resort

Online Cash Games       

If you’re looking for online poker cash games, the following sites are excellent choices and will additionally host tournaments:

  • BetOnline 
  • Bovada 
  • Everygame 
  • SportsBetting.ag 

Is using offshore sites to play online poker in Louisiana safe?   

Offshore operators providing online poker services in the Pelican State are safe. However, you must ensure you use a reputable and trustworthy brand when you’re dealing with real cash. The online gambling sites mentioned in this guide have been vetted by our experts and present a high level of security with up-to-date site protection, such as SSL encryption. And while the Louisiana Gaming Control Board doesn’t oversee them, they do have gambling licenses within their country of origin.

Differences Between State-Regulated Poker Sites & Offshore Poker Sites 

State-regulated poker sites are a rarity in the United States, as only a handful of states provide this service. They are licensed in the United States, overseen by their state’s gaming control board, and must adhere to the U.S. legislature regarding online gambling rules and tax laws. 

Offshore poker sites are located outside the United States but commonly offer their services to North American residents. The best offshore online gambling operators are regulated, licensed, and overseen by the gaming boards of their respective home base countries.

FAQs – Playing Real Money Poker Games Online in Louisiana

Can I gamble online in Louisiana?

There are no local operators that are allowed to offer online casino gambling. For that reason, American users typically use offshore sites to play online casino games for real money or participate in online wagering. 

Where can I play poker in Louisiana?

Louisiana is the home of ten casinos that have active poker rooms. Real-money online gaming is not available locally, though; for that reason, Louisiana residents use offshore sites to play real-money games online. 

Is Bovada Poker legal in Louisiana?

Bovada is an offshore casino site and sportsbook, so it is not under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Federal government or subject to any state or federal laws. For that reason, Bovada is a popular option among American users, including in the state of Louisiana.

What gambling sites are legal in Louisiana?

The only locally-regulated gambling sites you can find in Louisiana are online sportsbooks. However, users play online poker games and online casino games using offshore casino sites because they do not fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Federal government.

What gambling apps are legal in Louisiana?

U.S.-regulated apps available in Louisiana are restricted to the sports wagering operators that have received licenses in the state. However, offshore operators offer online games, sports wagering and more to residents of Louisiana. Many of these offshore sites function beautifully on any mobile device.

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