Online Poker in Michigan – Is it Legal?

Online poker has been legal in Michigan since January 2021. Even before that, Michigan poker players had been using offshore sportsbooks to get in on the online poker scene since these online betting sites do not fall under U.S. jurisdiction.

Our poker guide is to help you make the right choice when deciding which online poker operators you can trust. Most poker rooms are very similar, with the major difference between them being the amount of traffic they attract as well as the online poker bonuses offered.

Below, our poker experts have highlighted the brands they believe are the best online poker sites for Michigan players.

Michigan Betting Guides

For Michigan bettors that are looking for more ways to gamble, we suggest checking out our other online betting guides for the various betting markets that are available in Michigan State.

The Best Michigan Online Poker Sites

Our betting experts chose the online gambling sites listed below based on strict criteria we use to determine the best place for poker players to enjoy real money games. All of these sites are located offshore and offer several gambling services under one roof, including a poker room.

These online gambling sites have been trusted by poker players in Michigan for years and allow you to fulfill all of your gambling needs under one roof. Instead of operating similarly to one-note online poker sites, these licensed operators offer online casino games and sports betting.

A lot of poker-only sites are notorious for having professionals who prey on recreational players. We’ve taken that into consideration as well and some of the sites listed below have specific technology they use to prevent this from happening to ensure a fair game.

Most importantly, our poker experts have chosen these sites based on the quality of service, reliability, and consistency of their offerings.

  1. Bovada – One of the busiest poker rooms in the country
  2. BetOnline – Busy poker room with generous bonuses
  3. Everygame – Players in Massachusetts enjoy the rakeback promotion
  4. SportsBetting – Poker players enjoy fast payouts

Variations of Poker

The best online poker platforms available to players in Michigan offer an impressive variety of cash games. Here are some of the most popular.

Five Card Draw

Poker in its original form. Each player starts with 5 cards. Players can then discard up to 3 cards, and they can get back as many cards as needed from the deck to make up their hand.

Seven Card Stud

Most popular version of poker before the explosion of Texas Hold’Em. Players start with two cards face down and one card face up before the first round of betting begins. 

Next, each player is dealt three more cards face up and another card face down with a round of betting in between. The final round of betting starts after the last down card is dealt. The best five-card hand wins.

Omaha High

Currently the second most popular poker variation. 

Each player starts with 4 hole cards. To make a hand, you must use 2 of your hole cards with three cards from the board. The betting rounds are the same as in Texas Hold’Em

A hand is made by using at least 2 of your hole cards and three cards from the board. The betting rounds are in the same order as when playing Texas Hold’Em (flop, turn, river).

Texas Hold’Em

The most popular version of poker. Here. players start with two hole cards. 

The first round of betting happens “pre-flop,” which means before any cards are dealt on the board. After the first round of betting is done, then comes “the flop,” after which the second round of betting occurs.

The final two board cards are dealt with a round of betting in between each of them. The last card dealt on the board is called “the river” and the final round of betting happens after this card is dealt.

You can use any combination of your hole cards and the board cards to make the best five-card hand. 

Other Versions of Poker

  • Omaha Hi/Lo
  • 5 Card Omaha
  • 5 Card Omaha Hi/Lo
  • 6 Card Omaha
  • 6+ Hold’Em
  • 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo
  • 7 Card Stud Low (Also known as Razz)
  • Mississippi Stud
  • Showtime Hold’Em
  • Split Hold’Em
  • Swap Hold’Em

Michigan Online Poker Sites Reviewed

Poker has grown so much in popularity that seeing it on TV has now become normal. In light of that tremendous growth, offshore sportsbooks adjusted their business model and began including poker as part of their offerings.

The reason this is a good thing for Michigan poker players is that it gives you access to a service with brand names that have decades of gambling experience under their belts. For that reason, Michigan players who were already enjoying betting on sports and playing classic casino games gained access to poker rooms without having to open additional accounts. Think of these online betting sites as a one-stop shop for all of your gambling needs.

Now, just because offshore sites offer poker rooms doesn’t mean they’re all good. In this guide, we’ve provided you with sites that have longstanding reputations in the industry and can provide a poker-playing experience that is up to standard. 

1. Bovada: America’s Busiest Poker Room

Bovada Poker

Busiest Poker Network

Bovada calls itself the busiest poker room in America, which is a claim they can back up. As one of the biggest brands in the online gambling industry, they are home to players from around the world.

As for their claim of having the busiest poker room in the country, they can make that claim with confidence because they are part of the PaiWangLuo Poker Network. Although the company is based out of Hong Kong, it purchased the network from an American company and rebranded it. They are home to several brands operating out of over a dozen countries. Two of the biggest markets they operate in are the U.S. and Australia.

That last point is important to you because no matter what time you log in to play, there will be traffic in Bovada’s poker room considering the various time zones they operate out of. At the end of the day, a poker room is only as good as the traffic it can attract, and in that respect, Bovada stands at the top of the hill.

HUDs Not Allowed

One of the things that come with playing online poker is sharp players looking for less experienced recreational players. Unlike other casino games or even sports betting, poker is you versus other players. What that really means is that you don’t even have to be good at poker to make money. You just need to be better than your opponents.

This is the beauty of the game since even novice players can make money, as long as they are playing with players at approximately the same skill level as them.

Professional players are all too aware of this and tend to go hunting for less experienced online players so they can take advantage of them and increase their bankroll. They are able to spot weaker players with the help of something called a HUD.

HUD which stands for “heads-up display,” is a piece of technology that records how your opponents play and gives you that information in the form of statistics. With this information, a veteran player can spot weaker players very quickly. Fortunately for you, Bovada does not allow HUDs, thus saving you from falling victim to these poker predators.

Pros:

  • Part of busiest poker network in the US
  • Anonymous tables

Cons:

  • Multi-table option not available on mobile

2. BetOnline: Big Sign-Up Bonus for new MI Poker Players

BetOnline Poker

BetOnline‘s reputation in the industry was built on the back of its ability as a market setter in the sportsbook industry. When they decided to add poker to their long list of offerings, it was always going to be done at the highest level.

Amazing Selection Of Poker Tournaments

Tournaments are the most popular form of poker. BetOnline understands that and in turn, created one of the industry’s best poker tournaments. Their Championship Poker Series is a month-long event that attracts thousands of players. With a prize pool of over $2 million, it’s easy to see why it’s a favorite of Michigan online poker players.

Just by being active during the tournament, you will be rewarded with opportunities to get even more playing time and the valuable experience that comes with it. Throughout the course of the month-long event, active players are awarded free tournament tickets.

There’s also the All In Shootout, which is a daily event that features players that have been active in the various tournaments during the Championship Series. Seeing as players are rewarded for their previous participation, your starting stack in this particular tournament will be based on your previous action during the Series. The promos are also worth taking a look at.

Pros:

  • Great variety of Poker Tournaments
  • New customers receive a Welcome Bonus

Cons:

  • No anonymous tables

3. Everygame: Rakeback of 36% for Online Poker

Everygame Poker

Everygame likes to do things a little differently. When it comes to how they reward poker players, they provide savings on the amount of rake you pay while playing.

A rake is the cut the poker room takes from each pot played. Since players are losing money to each other and not the poker room, this is how they make a profit. The rake varies from 3-5%, and there is a cap on how much the poker room can take from a pot.

Poker players in Michigan that are playing at Everygame have enjoyed a 36% rakeback. In other words, 36% of the amount you’ve put towards the rake in the various games you’ve played will be given back to you in the form of a bonus.

Generous Welcome Bonus

A lot of poker rooms that give you bonuses based on your gameplay do not have deposit-related bonuses. This is another area Everygame stands out with its generous welcome bonus. As a new player at Everygame, you are eligible for a 200% bonus up to $1000.

Pros:

  • Rakeback promotion of 36%
  • 200% Welcome Bonus

Cons:

  • Poker room not as busy as some competitors

4. SportsBetting: Great Bonuses Get You More Action

Sportsbetting.ag Poker

A Lot of Bonuses to Choose From

SportsBetting gets new and existing players started with extra money, which translates to more game time. Poker players in Michigan are able to find at least one promotion that appeals to them with all of the options that SportsBetting has to offer.

There’s a 100% bonus of up to $2500. For every $15 worth of cash games you play, you clear $5 in bonus money. There’s also the 100% bonus of up to $1000, which you are given 30 days to clear.

SportsBetting also offers a 30% rakeback promotion where you get that much of the rake you put forth from previous gameplay in the form of a bonus. New players are also eligible for $5000 in free roll tickets. When you sign up for a poker account in Michigan with SportsBetting, you will be getting the most playing time for the amount of money spent.

Pros:

  • Plenty of bonus options
  • 30% rakeback promotion

Cons:

  • HUDs are permitted

Online gambling launched in Michigan in January of 2021. None of the land-based casinos in the state have online gaming platforms, though, meaning players are better served at offshore sites.

The international poker sites we’ve covered in this guide have decades of experience in the online poker industry. These sites offer live dealer games, weekly tournaments, and tons of other gaming opportunities.

Michigan Poker Laws

Below are Michigan’s poker laws:

Casual Poker and Poker for Money

A poker game among friends and colleagues would be considered casual poker. It can be considered as such as long as there is no host making a profit from these games.

  • Private poker rooms are illegal
  • A regularly hosted poker game for profit is illegal (charging an entry fee)

Land-Based Casino Availability in Michigan

There are over 25 live poker rooms in the state of Michigan. They are divided into three main areas of the state that can be defined as the “upper peninsula,” “lower peninsula” and the Detroit poker rooms.

Here is a list of some of the live poker games available in the state:

  • MGM Grand Detroit – Detroit, MI
  • Motor City Casino – Detroit, MI
  • Greektown Casino – Detroit, MI
  • Bay Mills Resort & Casino – Brimley, MI
  • Ciccarelli’s Sports Bar – Utica, MI
  • Firekeepers Casino – Battle Creek, MI
  • Huron Poker Room – Oscoda, MI
  • King’s Poker Room – Grand Rapids, MI
  • Langan’s All Star Poker Room – Walled Lake, MI
  • Northville American Legion – Northville, MI
  • One Eyed Jack’s Poker Room – Shelby Township, MI
  • Rounders Poker Room Saginaw – Saginaw, MI
  • Soaring Eagle Casino – Mt. Pleasant, MI
  • The New Saginaw Poker Room – Saginaw, MI
  • Waterford Card Room at 300 Bowl – Waterford, MI
  • Winning Hand Poker – Trenton, MI
  • Burton Eagles Poker Room – Burton, MI
  • Coruna Poker Room – Corunna, MI
  • Island Casino – Harris, MI
  • Krazy Kopz at Vision Lanes – Westland, MI
  • Legends Poker Place of Metamora – Metamora, MI
  • Momo’s Poker Room – Taylor, MI
  • Muskegon Poker Room – Muskegon, MI
  • Odawa Casino – Petoskey, MI
  • Rosemary Poker Room – Roseville,  MI
  • Roundtree Poker Room – Ypsilanti, MI
  • The Event Spot Poker Room – Lansing, MI
  • Thompson Poker Room – Ypsilanti, MI
  • Westgate Poker Room – Cornstock Park, MI

How to Play Online Poker in Michigan

Below are the steps needed to start playing poker online:

Funding Your Account

When playing poker online with legal poker sites, the most convenient way to fund your account is via credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express) or debit card. Please note that if this is how you choose to deposit, you’ll be required to provide proof of ownership of the card you used. Offshore sportsbooks must keep their reputation intact and in order to do so, they need to confirm where the funds they receive are coming from. They can’t accept money from you until they can confirm it’s yours.

This is why our betting experts recommend cryptocurrency for depositing. Unlike credit cards, cryptocurrency transactions do not involve a third party (banks and/or credit card companies). For that reason, they have a much higher success rate and you avoid having to prove that the funds are yours. It’s a much simpler deposit process, not to mention it’s also by far the best payout method as well.

Finally, you can use bank wire transfers to fund your account. Bank transfers are the slowest banking method, but they are available.

You Can Deposit and Play Right Away

If you are unfamiliar with crypto and want to stick to credit cards, you won’t need to provide proof of ownership of the card immediately. 

For the sake of convenience, most sites will allow you to make a few credit card deposits before asking for identity verification. As long as the deposit amounts aren’t too high or too frequent, you probably won’t have to complete identity verification until you ask for a payout. 

Until then, you can usually fund your account and start playing right away. We do recommend completing the identity verification process before your first payout. This process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Also completing it early will usually get you higher deposit limits.

Tips for Online Poker Real Money Michigan

Below you will find some general tips for playing poker for real money online:

Basics of Tournament Play

Tournaments are the more popular form of playing poker, with the other being cash games. Tournaments have a predetermined buy-in amount, which can vary from a few dollars to a few hundred. They can also vary in size from 10 people to several hundred.

The players are divided into tables of 8-10 depending on how many people are participating. The goal is to make the “final table” which also usually means you are among those splitting the prize money.

All players in the tournament start off with the same amount of money. The blinds are raised in increments in order to force the action.

Cash Games Require a Different Strategy

Cash games require a completely different mindset than tournament play. First of all, the main difference is in a cash game, the money you buy in for and play is an actual cash representation of your balance. In a tournament, you can buy in for $1 yet have a starting stack of hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on the tournament.

You can also buy into a cash game as often as you want as long as you have a balance. For these reasons, cash games tend to be much more aggressive than tournaments. They also require a lot more strategy on the turn and on the river. 

Due to the conservative nature of tournament play, a lot of hands are decided pre-flop or on the flop. Unlike tournament play, the blinds in a cash game remain the same. If you are new to playing cash games, we suggest you stick to playing top ten hands only until you get a better feel for the strategy and betting patterns.

Can you really make money online gambling?

It is possible to make money gambling online if you’re a professional. Most players are recreational, which makes earning a profit more difficult. Anything that someone does recreationally is usually not for monetary gain, so being a professional or treating it like a job goes hand in hand with making money.

With the correct mindset and discipline, it is possible to make money betting on sports. Here are a few tips to help you earn money gambling:

Figure Out Your Bankroll

Professional players start out with a bankroll, which is a preset amount of money that they will use to bet. If you are unsure of how much your bankroll should be, a good starting point would be to start with an amount you are comfortable losing. In other words, an amount that you could lose without it affecting your day-to-day life.

Once you’ve figured out that amount, reduce it by about 10%. You don’t want to invest too much money until you’ve gained some experience. Do not “top up” your bankroll, meaning if you start losing, don’t re-up. There are valuable lessons to be learned by sticking to your bankroll. One of those lessons might be that before you should invest in gambling, work on your strategy.

Track Your Results

If you want to make money gambling, you need to track your progress. There are so many reasons for this, most notably pattern recognition. You need to know what’s working and what isn’t, and that can only be done by tracking results.

Playing Poker in Michigan

There are no shortages of options for those of you looking to play poker in Michigan. You can go to one of the over 25 poker rooms spread out across the state.

At certain tribal casinos, you can gamble as long as you are at least 18 years of age. At the three commercial casinos in Michigan, you must be at least 21 years old. There are 23 tribal casinos in the state.

You can also play online poker at Bovada or any of the sites that we have recommended in this guide. If you choose to sign up for an online poker account, you will be able to play from the comfort of your home or on the go via mobile gaming.

Additionally, you can sign up for one of many mobile poker apps or mobile-optimized offshore poker sites. There is no shortage of online poker options for Michigan bettors.

FAQs – Real-Money Online Poker in Michigan

Can I legally gamble online in Michigan?

Online gambling is available at offshore sportsbooks as well as at state-regulated sites as well.

Regulated sites are taxed at a rate of 4.5% on winnings. Offshore sites are outside of U.S. jurisdiction.

Do you have to be a resident of Michigan to gamble online?

There are a handful of other states where online gambling is legal with state-regulated casinos. However, residents of all states can gamble online with an offshore casino or gambling site.

What casinos can you play online in Michigan?

You can play online casino games with numerous different regulated casinos and offshore casinos, meaning there is no shortage of options for residents of Michigan State.

Can I play online poker for real money in Michigan?

You can play online poker in Michigan as of January 2021. There are several sites to choose from and in this guide, our poker experts have provided you with their top choices.

What is the best online gambling site in Michigan?

All of our highest-rated online gambling sites are great for Michigan State bettors, but our experts have chosen Bookmaker as the top online gambling site in the state.

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