Online Poker in Maine – Is it legal?

Like most states in the U.S., the issue of online poker is a bit of a grey area in the Pine Tree state. Most states, including Maine, don’t take an official stand either way. There are no laws stating outright that it’s illegal, but there are also no laws that legalize it.

Overall, the Pine Tree state seems to have a fairly permissive attitude toward all gambling. State law allows for two casinos in Maine, and there are also tribal bingo halls, horse race betting, and Maine just put new gambling laws on the books that legalized sports betting, although the process is still being developed.

Still, there are no state-sanctioned online poker sites in Maine. That means you’ll need to go to one of several offshore sites that have a poker room. Offshore sites offer rooms with all the variations poker players would want to see, including Texas Hold’Em, Caribbean stud, and many others. There are multiple options for online gaming like video poker, as well as live dealer table games where the player is connected to their favorite games by video hookup. And offshore sportsbooks offer the chance to win real money online.

Offshore sites skirt the whole issue of Maine’s vague laws on online poker because offshore sites don’t follow Maine law. These real money poker sites are only beholden to the laws of the countries where they’re based.

In addition to online poker, most of the top sites also offer the opportunity to bet at online casinos with slots and table games, as well as racebooks and sportsbooks. In other words, you’re not just getting a poker room at an offshore site but also the opportunity to play tons of cash games and wager on your favorite sports.

But which of the more than 100 offshore gambling sites should you trust? Let us help. We’ve asked our expert panel of gamblers to evaluate offshore poker rooms and recommend the best places for gaming and wagering. After looking at dozens and dozens of online poker sites, they reported their findings for residents of the Pine Tree state.

The Best Maine Sportsbooks in 2023

Maine Betting Guides

If you’re looking for something more than just a great online poker experience, the rest of our guides for gambling in Maine are a great place to turn. Learn more about betting on horse racing or the best sites for Maine sports betting.

The Best Maine Online Poker Sites

Our panel looked at all the online betting sites with live online poker rooms. They evaluated and reviewed them based on several categories and came up with their recommendations 

Every site on their list offers poker rooms with tables catering to a variety of different experience levels and betting limits. They also all have reputations for safe, reliable play and quick payouts in full.

  1. Bovada – America’s busiest online poker room
  2. BetOnline – Best poker welcome bonuses
  3. SportsBetting – Fast payouts and low rakes 
  4. Everygame – The best rakeback in Maine 

Maine Online Poker Sites Reviewed

After presenting their rankings of the four best online poker rooms available, our experts did a little explaining. Below are their in-depth reviews of what went into the rankings. Each site has a list of pros and cons, so you can decide for yourself which factors are important and choose the site that best matches your preferences. 

Our panel is confident that, whichever gambling platforms you end up choosing, will offer an outstanding online gambling experience in a safe, secure environment.

Bovada Poker

Bovada offers more than $2 million a week in guaranteed prizes and has the busiest multi-table tournament schedule in the country. There are more than a hundred poker tournaments each week at Bovada. That crowded schedule and large pot of prize money are some of the reasons why Bovada Poker was the pick of our expert panel as the best online poker site in Maine. 

Bovada is also the home of the busiest poker room in the United States. It is a member of the PaiWangLuo network, which is the sixth busiest poker network in the entire world. You may have heard of BoDog Poker or Ignition Poker. Those are two of the other sites that are part of PaiWangLuo. None of the five busier global poker networks accept American players, so Bovada is the best option for Americans looking to play the game of poker online. With a global network, there are online poker games starting at all times of the day at Bovada Poker and plenty of players available for individual games around the clock.

Online poker players can find a wide variety of poker games at Bovada, including Texas Hold’Em, draw poker, Omaha, and Omaha Hi-Lo. They have variety in their tournaments as well, including sit ‘n’ go, knockout, turbo, and fast fold. Bovada also offers zone poker, quick seats, and anonymous tables.

The bonus for new poker customers is attractive. Bovada has a first deposit match of 100% up to $500. Even better, there’s no rollover requirement at all on the money. Bovada also offers a loyalty points program that rewards activity at Bovada’s sportsbook, casino, and racebook as well as the poker room.

Pros:

  • Busiest poker room in the U.S.
  • Offers more than $2 million in prize money each week
  • Busiest schedule of poker tournaments in the country, with more than 100 a week
  • Low rollover requirements on bonus money

Cons:

  • Rake is high compared to other sites
  • Welcome bonus lower than competition

2. BetOnline: Best Welcome Bonuses for Players in Maine

BetOnline Poker

BetOnline finished at No. 2 in our rankings and is also one of the busiest poker rooms in the internet gambling industry. Its network is the third busiest one in America based on the number of active devices. BetOnline is part of the Chico Poker network, as are SportsBetting and Tiger Gaming. Chico is one of the top 15busiest poker networks in the world and the third-busiest that includes American players.

About half the players on the network are Americans, and the network has better liquidity than most other ones. You’ll find more than a million dollars a day in poker tournament prizes.

BetOnline is also home to the biggest welcome bonuses for poker players in Maine. They match your first deposit up to $1,000, and the site also offers reload bonuses of up to $350.

BetOnline has multiple poker rooms, allowing you to choose from a number of different skill and experience levels and betting limits. So you should be able to find a table that matches your level and appetite for risk. They also offer low tournament buy-ins, as well as tournaments that allow re-entry. 

Variations on tournament play include bounty-limited poker tournaments, shootouts, progressive bounties, rebuy frenzies, sit ‘n’ gos, and Omaha tournaments, among others. There are also a number of individual games you can join, with poker variations you’ll find at the top land-based casinos including Texas Hold’Em, Seven Card Stud, Mississippi Stud, and more.

Pros:

  • Largest welcome bonuses in Maine
  • Plenty of reload bonuses and other loyalty promos
  • Awards a million dollars in prizes for poker tournaments daily
  • Busy poker room with good liquidity

Cons:

  • No VIP loyalty points program
  • Some complaints about the poker room from users 

3. SportsBetting: Highest Limits for Online Poker

Sportsbetting.ag Poker

As we said when discussing No. 2 ranked BetOnline, SportsBetting is on the Chico poker network, which is the third busiest network in the United States. The two are sister sites and offer a similar poker experience, which is a big reason why they ended up side-by-side in our rankings. SportsBetting has a wide variety of games and tournaments, offers high liquidity, and has millions of dollars in prizes. There’s also a busy schedule of tournaments with several different poker variations.

SportsBetting offers generous welcome bonuses and a wide variety of different payment methods. Their poker room software was recently upgraded, along with BetOnline’s, so it runs smoothly and looks highly polished for a fast-running, attractive poker-playing experience. There are no delays, glitches, or problems with pages crashing while wagering. The site also has a good response time, so you can start playing sooner.

SportsBetting has a full online casino, along with a poker room. It also offers a sportsbook, racebook, and esports betting for an all-in-one gambling experience. They even have novelty betting markets like the Eurovision song contest, Powerball drawings and the closing price of the stock market. Their excellent customer service is available 24/7 with little or no delays. Their rakes are also lower than other online rooms.  

Pros:

  • Low rakes compared to competition 
  • Third-busiest poker network in the country 
  • Recently upgraded software creates luxurious poker experience
  • One-stop shopping for gambling, with online casino, sportsbook, racebook, and novelty markets

Cons:

  • User interface not as friendly as other sites
  • Charges fees for credit card transactions

4. Everygame: Best Rakebacks in Maine

Everygame Poker

A quick tutorial on online poker terminology: 

Rake is a fee that poker players are charged to play in games or tournaments. It’s like a “cover charge” or an entry fee. Poker players want their rakes to be low, meaning they don’t have to pay high fees in order to play. 

A rakeback is a refund of some (or all) of your rake. Some sites give you a rebate of your fee to keep you playing with them. High rakebacks mean the site is refunding more of your money to you.

So you should be looking for low rakes and high rakebacks. And Everygame Poker has the highest rakebacks in Maine. Everygame refund is up to 36% of your rake, which means you’ll have more money to bet with.

Everygame also makes sure you have enough money to get started. Their welcome bonus matches your first deposit at 200%, up to $1,000. So you’ll triple your money before the first hand is dealt. Their welcome bonus also includes 25 free plays in the online casino. 

As if the rakeback wasn’t enough, Everygame Poker also has a cashback rebate program that returns a percentage of your poker losses. They are on the Horizon Poker Network, which offers a deep schedule of tournaments and individual games, including sit ‘n’ go, freerolls, and ring games.

Pros:

  • Maine’s highest rakeback rate, at 36%
  • Welcome bonuses match 200% up to $1,000
  • Cashback rebates on poker losses 
  • Offers free casino plays (online slots) as part of welcome bonus

Cons:

  • Poker network isn’t as busy as some competitors
  • Not as many different poker variations as other sites.

One of the most common questions we get is, “Is online poker legal in Maine?” The answer is “It depends.”

Like most states, Maine’s state law is vague—perhaps intentionally so—when it comes to poker. In-person games are permitted in the state’s only licensed poker room, at the Hollywood Casino. Authorities don’t seem to be making it a priority to prevent private games, however. 

Maine state law doesn’t say much at all about online poker. There are no laws legalizing it, even though the state passed a similar law legalizing sports betting in 2022. But there are also no laws saying it’s illegal. 

State law also doesn’t say anything about offshore sportsbooks. Every site in our top 10 is located outside the U.S. That means they are required to follow the laws of the country where they are located and are not under the jurisdiction of U.S. law or Maine state law. So they are free to offer residents in the Pine Tree state the chance to play online poker for money along with other forms of gambling, with no restrictions.

Video Poker

Video poker is a computer version of the card game. It doesn’t use actual physical cards. Instead, a random number generator is used to determine which virtual “cards” you are “dealt.” Many players say it does not offer the same poker experience as the live game and that it seems more similar to playing slots. But it is an alternative that is available at many sites, both in person, at video kiosks, and online. 

In addition to live poker rooms with dealer table games, Bovada and BetOnline, offer video poker games in their online casinos. Other highly recommended offshore gambling sites that don’t have live poker rooms, and thus weren’t in our rankings, offer video poker alongside their other casino gaming options. That group includes Bookmaker, Heritage Sports, and BetUS.

Casual Poker

Playing poker with friends is technically not legal in Maine. Unlike other states, it doesn’t appear that this gambling activity puts you at risk of criminal charges. And the authorities seem to have better things to do than break up poker games in people’s kitchens or restaurant backrooms.

Land-Based Poker Rooms in Maine

The one place where you can gamble, in person, on hands of poker in Maine at a licensed poker room is at the Hollywood Casino in Bangor. It offers four tables and primarily has Texas Hold’Em games. The poker room closed for a portion of 2022.  

The only way to play online poker in Maine is at an offshore gambling site that offers a live poker room, like the ones in our top four rankings. Other forms of gambling, like online casino gaming or betting on sports with real money online, are also available at these sites.

Tips for Online Poker With Real Money In Maine

Here are a few tips on playing online poker:

  • Stick to reputable sites – Not all offshore gambling sites are equally trustworthy. Our first step in compiling our rankings was to eliminate any sites that had question marks associated with their reputation. If we weren’t comfortable with the safety, honesty, or reliability of a site, we removed it from consideration. Every site in our rankings has a long history of secure, dependable operation. 
  • Have a strategy before you begin playing – The recommendation for new players is to go with a tight aggressive approach—be very selective about which hands you play, but when you play a hand, take control of the betting action. 
  • Be selective – One of the keys to poker, which is often overlooked, is learning when to play and when to let it pass by. Don’t play every hand you’re dealt. Pick and choose the times when the odds seem to be in your favor.
  • Don’t be led by emotion – Stick to your strategy. Don’t react to short-term changes in momentum. Don’t chase losses or get crazy when you’re doing well. 
  • Master bluffing – Learn how to pull off a successful bluff, but don’t do it too often. 
  • Be responsible – Know when enough is enough. Don’t bet more than you can afford to lose.

How to Play Maine Online Poker

The process for registering for an account to play poker at one of our choices for the best sportsbooks in Maine is fast and easy. It only takes a couple of minutes from start to finish. Here’s how to get started.

Step 1: Register for the Poker Site

Once you’ve chosen the poker site you want, click the “Join Now” or “Register” button on their site.

Step 2: Enter Your Personal Details

Create a user ID and password, then fill out a sign-up form with personal information. You may need to verify your identity by responding to a code sent to your phone.

Step 3: Make Your Initial Deposit

Once you’ve created an account, you need to make your deposit to put in money to bet with. This is also when you would enter a promotional code to collect your welcome bonus. Choose the payment method from the list provided on the site and enter your information. If you are going to claim a deposit match bonus, make sure that you meet the minimum deposit requirement in order to qualify.

Step 4: Join a Poker Ring Game or MTT

That’s it. You’re ready to start playing. Find a room and table that fits your experience level, with a betting limit that matches your risk tolerance. You can play on your computer or use their mobile app or mobile-optimized site to play on your phone or tablet. 

FAQ – Online Poker in Maine

Can I play online poker in Maine?

Yes, online gambling and online casino games like poker can be played at offshore sites by residents of Maine and anywhere in the United States.

Can I play PokerStars in Maine?

No, the only gambling option available to residents of the Pine Tree state is offshore poker sites like the ones that we have recommended.

Where can I play poker in Maine?

Maine is home to just two land-based casinos and only one, Hollywood Casino, offers this popular game. The best place to play the game of poker in Maine is by using a top-rated offshore site.

Can I use Bovada in Maine?

Yes, Bovada provides an incredible online gambling experience to residents in Maine. Because this site operates offshore, it can offer casino gaming as well as different sports betting options to Maine players.

What poker sites pay real money in Maine?

Any of the offshore gambling platforms that we have recommended have a long history in the industry and always pay users their gambling winnings on time and in full.

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