Best Poker Sites in CA May 2024 – Play Online Poker in California

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Despite online poker in California not yet being regulated, it is still popular among residents. Several major offshore poker sites accept players from the Golden State offering everything from multiplayer Texas hold’em to video poker. This page will help you understand real money online poker in California and the best platforms to join.

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Best Crypto Poker Site

150% deposit bonus up to $2,000

150% deposit bonus up to $2,000

  • Get 33% rakeback every Monday
  • Fully anonymous, instant withdrawal crypto poker
  • No deposit and withdrawal fees
9.9
5 Stars CoinPoker
Play Now

100% Bonus up to $1,000

100% Bonus up to $1,000

  • Tourney series - Sunday Majors & Progressive Bounties
  • Modern client with 3D visuals, straddle, odds & features
  • New Bad Beat Jackpot 2.0 can exceed $30,000 online
9.8
5 Stars BetOnline
Play Now

100% Bonus up to $500

100% Bonus up to $500

  • $2 million in weekly poker tournament guarantees
  • Zone Poker and anonymous tables for casual play
  • Mobile poker client with up to four tables at one time
9.7
5 Stars Bovada
Play Now

200% Bonus up to $1,000

200% Bonus up to $1,000

  • Soft competition for cash games and tournaments
  • Up to 36% market-leading poker rakeback provided
  • Poker freerolls available every day for Gold Chips
9.6
4.5 Stars Everygame
Play Now

100% Bonus up to $1,000

100% Bonus up to $1,000

  • Pineapple Open Face Chinese Poker cash tables online
  • New poker client with a better interface for tournaments
  • Sit & Go Windfalls with jackpots of up to $75,000
9.4
4.5 Stars SportsBetting.ag
Play Now

100% Poker Bonus + 100% Casino Combo Bonus

100% Poker Bonus + 100% Casino Combo Bonus

  • Quick seat feature to instantly find a poker cash table
  • Complete poker hand histories for 24 hours of play
  • Packed tournaments schedule, including $200K event
9.5
4.5 Stars Ignition
Play Now

200% Bonus up to $1,000

200% Bonus up to $1,000

  • Gold Chips tournaments include the $10,000 Myriad
  • Bubble protection available for qualifying events
  • Deposit with credit cards, Bitcoin, Ethereum & more
9.3
4 Stars Juicy Stakes
Play Now

Comparing the Best Online Poker Sites in California

You’ll find plenty of top-rated online poker sites out there, but we’ve pinpointed seven brands that are head and shoulders above the rest.

CA Poker Site Best For Welcome Bonus Promo Code Poker Network Poker Games
CoinPoker Crypto Gambling 100% up to ₮1,100 N/A – Claim Here Independent Texas Holdem, Omaha, 5-Card Omaha
BetOnline Poker Cash Games 100% up to $1,000 POKER1000 Chico Poker Network Texas Holdem, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, Open Face Chinese
Bovada Poker Tournaments 100% up to $500 PWB500 Pai Wang Luo Poker Network Texas Holdem, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo
Ignition Several Poker Promotions 300% up to $3,000 N/A – Claim Here Pai Wang Luo Poker Network Texas Holdem, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo
Everygame Impressive Rakeback 200% up to $1,000 + 25 free spins N/A – Claim Here Horizon Poker Network Texas Holdem, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo
SportsBetting.ag Video Poker Games 100% up to $1,000 POKER1000 Chico Poker Network Texas Holdem
Juicy Stakes Fast-paced Tournaments 200% up to $1,000 1000JUICY Horizon Poker Network Texas Holdem, Omaha

Best California Poker Sites Reviewed

You’ve seen our table of the best California poker sites, so let’s now take a deeper dive and discover exactly why we rate them so highly.

1. Coin Poker – Crypto-Focused California Poker Site

  • Founded: 2018
  • Payout speed: 2-48 hours
  • License: Curaçao
  • Headquarters: Curaçao

CoinPoker California Mobile Poker

Our number one place to play poker online in California is CoinPoker. It is completely decentralized and the platform is among the best poker apps for mobile.

Transactions can be made using UDST, BTC, ETH, MATIC, and SOL, and CoinPoker has its own token, CHP.

You’ll find Texas Hold’em and Omaha available, plus 5-Card Omaha – also called PLO5 – which isn’t always found at online poker sites. Moreover, this site is home to some of the world’s largest PLO cash games, featuring legendary poker player, Tony G.

All players can earn an impressive 33% rakeback if they play in CHP. Other promotions include a Bad Beat Jackpot, and several leaderboards with real cash prizes including a prize pool of up to 15,000 USDT.

Features Overview

  • Poker Options: 9/10
  • Promotions & Rewards: 10/10
  • User Experience: 10/10
  • Payment Methods: 9/10
  • Customer Support: 9/10

Pros pros

  • Deposit using several cryptocurrencies
  • 33% rake back available for CHP players
  • World’s largest PLO cash games
  • Several leaderboards with real money prizes
  • Withdrawals generally processed quickly

Cons cons

  • Some fees for withdrawing
  • Not the largest pool of players
Best Crypto Poker Site

150% deposit bonus up to $2,000

150% deposit bonus up to $2,000

  • Get 33% rakeback every Monday
  • Fully anonymous, instant withdrawal crypto poker
  • No deposit and withdrawal fees
9.9
5 Stars
NO CODE REQUIRED
Play Now

2. BetOnline – Best CA Online Poker Site for Cash Games

  • Founded: 1991
  • Payout speed: 0-48 hours
  • License: Panama
  • Headquarters: Panama City, Panama

BetOnline California Mobile Poker

BetOnline is a great site offering online poker in California for real money, due to its lucrative tournaments. Most notably, Open Face Chinese tournaments, where buy-ins start at $1.10 and rise to $215. You’ll also get random rewards weekly – the more you rake in poker, the better the random prize.

Cash games start with blinds of $0.01/$0.02 and go up to $5/$10, and the available variations are Texas Holdem, Omaha, and Omaha Hi/Lo.

Exciting features at BetOnline include All-In Cash Out, where you can purchase the equity of your hand at any time before the river to minimize the variance of cash games.

Features Overview

  • Poker Options: 10/10
  • Promotions & Rewards: 9/10
  • User Experience: 10/10
  • Payment Methods: 10/10
  • Customer Support: 9/10

Pros pros

  • Fantastic range of cash games
  • Many tournaments with varying buy-ins
  • Large pool of players
  • Several bonuses and promotions
  • Deposit using a giant array of cryptocurrencies

Cons cons

  • Huge fees for credit card deposits
  • High welcome bonus minimum deposit

100% Bonus up to $1,000

100% Bonus up to $1,000

  • Tourney series - Sunday Majors & Progressive Bounties
  • Modern client with 3D visuals, straddle, odds & features
  • New Bad Beat Jackpot 2.0 can exceed $30,000 online
9.8
5 Stars
NO CODE REQUIRED
Play Now

3. Bovada – Top California Online Poker Site for Tournaments

  • Founded: 2011
  • Payout speed: 24-48 hours
  • License: Curaçao and Comoros
  • Headquarters: Costa Rica

Bovada California Mobile Poker

Next on the best sites offering real money online poker in California is Bovada, as we think it has the best poker tournaments. You’ll find $2 million in weekly guaranteed prize pools. In addition, cash games allow players to be seated quickly.

With Zone Poker, the moment you fold your cards in a cash game, you’ll be transported to a new table with a new hand, so you won’t have to wait long for another chance to play.

This site is ideal for both professional and recreational players with its anonymous play as it doesn’t feel rigged and users do not adjust their play if a pro is seated at the table.

You won’t find other poker bonuses, although there is a rewards program, where you’ll earn points as you play, which can then be redeemed for rewards.

Features Overview

  • Poker Options: 9/10
  • Promotions & Rewards: 8/10
  • User Experience: 10/10
  • Payment Methods: 8/10
  • Customer Support: 9/10

Pros pros

  • Large selection of poker tournaments
  • Zone Poker offers fast-paced cash game action
  • Impressive rewards program
  • Fantastic mobile poker experience
  • Convenient for both professional and recreational players

Cons cons

  • Poor selection of bonuses and promotions
  • Small welcome bonus

100% Bonus up to $500

100% Bonus up to $500

  • $2 million in weekly poker tournament guarantees
  • Zone Poker and anonymous tables for casual play
  • Mobile poker client with up to four tables at one time
9.7
5 Stars
NO CODE REQUIRED
Play Now

4. Ignition – Best California Online Poker Site for Bonuses

  • Founded: 2016
  • Payout speed: 0-48 hours
  • License: Curaçao
  • Headquarters: Curaçao

Ignition California Mobile Poker

Ignition is next on our list of the best sites for playing online poker with real money in California. There aren’t many sites for online poker in California offering a better line-up of bonuses with weekly boosts, $2,500 freeroll for crypto depositors, and a rewards scheme.

The brand also has numerous large tournaments with guaranteed prize pools of up to six digits, such as the Triple Header Sunday.

Moreover, you have loads of MTTs every day, along with sit-and-go tournaments. Cash game players will be able to enjoy a range of stakes, features, and quick seating. We also love the Rabbit Cam feature, where you can see the next card.

Professional and recreational players flock to this poker site for its anonymity and fairness eg no immediate adjustments when a pro joins the table.

Features Overview

  • Poker Options: 9/10
  • Promotions & Rewards: 10/10
  • User Experience: 8/10
  • Payment Methods: 8/10
  • Customer Support: 8/10

Pros pros

  • Huge welcome bonus
  • Many other bonuses and promotions
  • Many tournaments with large guaranteed prize pools
  • Cash games at a range of stakes
  • Many free rolls available

Cons cons

  • Reasonably small range of depositing options
  • Huge fees for credit card deposits

100% Poker Bonus + 100% Casino Combo Bonus

100% Poker Bonus + 100% Casino Combo Bonus

  • Quick seat feature to instantly find a poker cash table
  • Complete poker hand histories for 24 hours of play
  • Packed tournaments schedule, including $200K event
9.5
4.5 Stars
NO CODE REQUIRED
Play Now

5. Everygame – Offers an Unbelievable 36% Rakeback

  • Founded: 1983
  • Payout speed: 2-3 days
  • License: Curaçao
  • Headquarters: Curaçao

Everygame California Mobile Poker

Everygame is another one of the best sites for online poker in California. You can collect Frequent Player Points, which can be traded for rewards. In addition, you are automatically entered into the weekly FPP race with exclusive prizes and free tournament entry.

Its biggest selling point is the 36% player rakeback, which is earned on cash game rake and tournament fees (not including MTT fees).

Games-wise, Everygame allows you to play Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hi/Lo. Tournaments are regularly offered, including their Sunday Myriad tournament offering a guaranteed $10,000 prize pool. There are also daily STARS tournaments, sit and go tournaments, and freerolls.

Over at the Everygame casino, you’ll find just three variations of video poker as well as Caribbean Stud Poker and Caribbean Hold’em.

Features Overview

  • Poker Options: 8/10
  • Promotions & Rewards: 9/10
  • User Experience: 8/10
  • Payment Methods: 7/10
  • Customer Support: 8/10

Pros pros

  • Claim a gigantic 36% rakeback
  • Decent-sized welcome bonus
  • Great rewards scheme for loyal players
  • Plenty of tournaments offered
  • Highly reputable online poker site

Cons cons

  • Not enough casino poker options
  • Low number of depositing options

200% Bonus up to $1,000

200% Bonus up to $1,000

  • Soft competition for cash games and tournaments
  • Up to 36% market-leading poker rakeback provided
  • Poker freerolls available every day for Gold Chips
9.6
4.5 Stars
NO CODE REQUIRED
Play Now

6. SportsBetting.ag – Impressive Range of Video Poker Games

  • Founded: 2011
  • Payout speed: 2-3 days
  • License: Panama
  • Headquarters: Panama

SportsBetting.ag California Mobile Poker

SportsBetting.ag is another platform offering online poker for real money in California. Despite its name, it offers a great poker experience, with the highlight being its selection of video poker games.

You’ll find an intuitive platform offering a range of tournaments, including windfall and progressive bounty tourneys, as well as the $1.5 Million Masters Series.

Tournaments are mainly Texas hold’em, so the game variety could be better, but you’ll find various stakes from freerolls to buy-ins worth hundreds of dollars. Cash games are also offered, and the Six Plus feature adds a new dimension to the gameplay.

In terms of bonuses, there’s a Bad Beat Jackpot, High Hand Boost Leaderboard, and you’ll get rewards upon earning a specific amount of rakeback. Lastly, the SportsBetting.ag app gets regular updates so it keeps up with poker trends.

Features Overview

  • Poker Options: 7/10
  • Promotions & Rewards: 7/10
  • User Experience: 9/10
  • Payment Methods: 9/10
  • Customer Support: 9/10

Pros pros

  • Many video poker variations
  • Loads of depositing options
  • Huge welcome bonus
  • Intuitive and good-looking platform
  • Poker apps regularly updated

Cons cons

  • Poor range of poker variations
  • Not enough bonuses and promotions

100% Bonus up to $1,000

100% Bonus up to $1,000

  • Pineapple Open Face Chinese Poker cash tables online
  • New poker client with a better interface for tournaments
  • Sit & Go Windfalls with jackpots of up to $75,000
9.4
4.5 Stars
NO CODE REQUIRED
Play Now

7. Juicy Stakes – Exceptionally Fast Tournaments Offered

  • Founded: 2020
  • Payout speed: 2-6 days
  • License: Curaçao
  • Headquarters: Melbourne, Australia

Juicy Stakes California Mobile Poker

If you’re looking to get through as many tournaments as possible during a playing session, look no further than Juicy Stakes. They offer Fast Fortune tournaments, which are fast-paced and the prizes can be huge eg you can win up to 1,000x your buy-in.

You’ll find plenty of cash game tables, with a range of blind levels. Two variations of poker are available – Texas hold’em and Omaha.

The operator has the same loyalty scheme as Everygame. There’s also up to 36% rakeback offered, plus daily freerolls. Reload bonuses are sometimes offered, to reward loyal players even further.

Over at the casino, you’ll find a small selection of video poker titles, but that’s about it.

Features Overview

  • Poker Options: 8/10
  • Promotions & Rewards: 8/10
  • User Experience: 8/10
  • Payment Methods: 8/10
  • Customer Support: 7/10

Pros pros

  • Fast Fortune tournaments offer speedy gameplay
  • Plenty of tournaments and cash games
  • 200% welcome bonus
  • Great loyalty scheme
  • 36% rakeback available

Cons cons

  • Poor range of video poker games
  • Not many poker variations

200% Bonus up to $1,000

200% Bonus up to $1,000

  • Gold Chips tournaments include the $10,000 Myriad
  • Bubble protection available for qualifying events
  • Deposit with credit cards, Bitcoin, Ethereum & more
9.3
4 Stars
Use bonus code
Copied
1000JUICY
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Play Now

CA Poker Bonuses

You’ll find many different bonuses at the top sites for online poker with real money in California. We’ve outlined a few of the more common poker bonuses below.

Remember: some bonuses might require promo codes, so don’t forget to double check this before trying to claim a bonus.

Welcome Bonus

This is any bonus at a California online poker site given to players as a reward for joining. They are nearly always boosts to the first deposit.

For example, you might deposit $50 and receive a 100% bonus, adding $100 to your account balance.

But you’ll also sometimes find no deposit bonuses offered when signing up with a site.

The best poker online CA welcome bonus we’ve found is at Ignition, which is split equally between poker and casino.

Deposit Bonus

When you deposit money while using this promotion, additional bonus money will also be awarded. The amount of bonus money is generally a percentage of the deposit.

For example, you might deposit $150 and get a 100% bonus, meaning you receive an additional $150 in bonus money.

Deposit bonuses at online poker CA sites are almost always capped, but they are still generally the biggest bonuses around.

No Deposit Bonus

A no deposit bonus is a bonus given to you without you ever needing to make a deposit. This means that no deposit bonuses are risk free.

On the flipside, they are generally much smaller than deposit bonuses, plus they can have more restrictive terms and conditions attached.

None of our recommended sites providing online poker in California for real money currently offer a no deposit bonus to players.

Free Tournament Tickets

As the name suggests, these are free entries to tournaments.

They are often given as part of a welcome bonus, plus they can also come as part of a loyalty scheme.

Tournament tickets can be worth varying amounts, with some poker sites offering free tickets for huge tournaments, giving you the chance to win thousands of dollars.

Freerolls

Freerolls are free tournaments.

Most sites offering online poker for real money in California offer them.

In general, freerolls don’t have huge prize pools, as the sites don’t want to give away money, but there are some exceptions with four-figure prize pools.

Loyalty Schemes

Loyalty schemes are incredibly widespread at sites offering the best online poker in California.

They reward players for their time at the site, usually by handing out points as rake is collected.

Once a certain number of points are earned, they can be exchanged for prizes. Many loyalty schemes also have tiers – the more points collected, the higher the tier and the better the rewards.

VIP Rewards

VIP reward schemes are essentially loyalty schemes for the biggest spenders.

Those who contribute over a certain amount in rake will be admitted to a VIP scheme, where they’ll receive many perks, often including high rakeback, personal customer support, and valuable bonuses.

Once you become a VIP, you generally need to continue contributing significant sums of money in rake to retain your status.

Refer-a-Friend

Many of the sites offering poker online for real money in California

have refer-a-friend schemes. Essentially, if you refer a friend to the site and they meet certain prerequisites, you’ll receive a reward.

This could be real money or bonus money, and could be a flat fee or a percentage of the money they deposit or spend on rake.

Types of Poker Games Available at California Poker Sites

You’ll find many variations of poker at the top sites for online poker in California. Take a look at the more commonly found ones below.

Texas Holdem

Texas hold’em is the undoubted king of poker.

You’ll need to make the best possible five card hand from your two hole cards and the five community cards.

There are four rounds of betting, so pots can become large.

No limit Texas hold’em allows you to make bets of any size, while limit and pot limit hold’em restrict the amount that can be wagered.

Omaha

Omaha is similar to Texas hold’em, but you instead need to make the best poker hand from exactly two of your four hole cards and exactly three cards from the board. Like Texas hold’em, there are four betting rounds.

You’ll also regularly find Omaha Hi/Lo, which works like regular Omaha, but rewards the players with the highest and lowest qualifying hand. Plus the high hand and low hand each get half the pot.

Growing in popularity, there are many Omaha poker sites to choose from in the US.

Stud

Stud poker is a term used for many poker variants.

Players initially receive two down cards and an up card, then three more up cards with betting rounds in between, followed by a final down card.

Examples of stud poker include Seven-Card Stud and Razz.

Draw

Draw poker is any variant of poker where the player is dealt their entire hand before the betting starts, and can then improve their hand by swapping cards.

The most common variant of draw poker, and also the game many new poker players begin with, is five-card draw.

You might also find seven-card draw being played, along with many other variations, such as Badugi and 2-7 Triple Draw.

Open-Face Chinese

Open-face Chinese is becoming more and more popular at the best sites for online poker in California.

It can be complex, with each player having up to 13 cards in their hand. The goal is to create three hands – two five-card hands and one three-card hand.

The more hands won, the more points earned. The winner is the player to reach a set number of points first.

Pai Gow

Pai Gow Poker is a game based on the ancient Chinese game of Pai Gow. It’s a game played against the dealer, rather than against other players.

The player places a bet and then needs to create a five-card hand and a two-card hand from their seven cards. If both hands beat the dealer, the player wins their bet.

If one beats the dealer, it’s a push. And if neither beat the dealer, the bet is lost.

Video Poker

Video poker is a single-player game found at many of the best sites for online poker in California. There are several variations, but in general, you place a bet and are then dealt five cards.

You can then choose to swap as many as you want. You then have your complete five-card hand. If it is good enough, you’ll win a prize.

The better your hand, the more money you win. It is easy to learn how to play Jacks or Better which is the standard variation, but other variations include enhanced payouts and wild cards.

Live Poker

Nearly all California casino apps offer live dealer games, where you play against a dealer beamed to your screen via a webcam.

Many of these live casinos offer variations of live casino poker, such as 3-Card Poker and Caribbean Stud.

Sweepstakes

Sweepstakes poker is any poker game played within the sweepstakes model.

Players purchase virtual currency, and then play games using it. Any virtual currency won can be exchanged for prizes.

This is the only type of legal online poker in California where you can win real money.

Other Poker Games

You’ll also find loads of other poker variations out there, from live poker variations to casino poker games played against the dealer.

While most follow the same basic hands as standard poker, it’s still important to understand the rules before playing each variation, as there will nearly always be tweaks that alter the way the game is played.

Supported Payment Methods at CA Online Poker Sites

Before you can play poker at the top California poker online sites, you’ll need to deposit some money. Here are the options available:

Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies are becoming more mainstream and are commonly being accepted at online gambling sites.

Purchase some crypto at an exchange, then transfer it from your wallet to the poker site’s wallet to make a deposit. While it is a fast process, there are some negligible fees.

But crypto is unregulated, so if you are a victim of crypto fraud, you have no recourse. Plus, it’s highly volatile, so its value can plummet quickly and at any time.

Most importantly, crypto can be used to deposit at sites in states where gambling isn’t legal, making it a popular choice for players at California poker sites.

Online Bank Transfer

Bank transfer involves sending money from your bank directly to the casino’s bank, just as you would when paying an invoice.

It’s incredibly safe and doesn’t usually incur any fees, but it’s also really slow – it’s the only payment option listed here that won’t see funds credited within a few minutes.

What’s more, as California doesn’t have legal online gambling, many banks will refuse to transfer the money to a poker site.

Debit and Credit Cards

Paying via a debit or credit card is simple – just tap in the details and the money is generally transferred instantly without the card company charging fees.

Furthermore, it’s really secure and offered at most sites.

But as with bank transfers, the fact that poker is not legal in California means that many card issuers won’t allow payments to sites offering poker online in California.

eWallets

Examples of eWallets are PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller. You simply deposit money into the eWallet, then spend the money online.

With PayPal, you simply link it to your bank account, and money is taken from your bank account every time you make a PayPal purchase. It acts as a middleman by protecting your financial details, guaranteeing secure and fast transactions.

But eWallets often charge high fees, plus many won’t allow gambling transactions if you’re based in a state without legal online gambling.

Prepaid Cards

Prepaid cards allow you to head to a store and buy a card with cash. The money on this card can then be deposited at any poker sites accepting that payment method.

It’s incredibly safe, as no banking details ever need to be entered online, plus most prepaid cards charge little to no fees. But the need to physically visit a store makes them inconvenient.

Pay in Cash with Retail Partner

Finally, you can sometimes pay using cash at a retail location and have that money transferred to your poker balance automatically.

This is most often found at poker sites with links to a land-based casino.

How to Sign Up to California Poker Sites

Signing up at the best poker online CA sites is simple, but we’ve created a step-by-step guide below to walk you through the process, using one of the best sites offering real money online poker in California.

  1. Look for Welcome Bonuses

    Firstly, visit your desired poker site, like BetOnline and claim the available sign-up bonus.
    Look for Welcome Bonuses
  2. Head to BetOnline and Choose to Join

    Next, head over to BetOnline using your desktop or mobile browser. You should then click the Join button to get the registration process started.
    Head to BetOnline and Choose to Join
  3. Fill Out Registration Form

    You’ll now need to enter all necessary details, which should take just a few seconds. Then hit the Create Account button. You now have a BetOnline account.
    Fill Out Registration Form
  4. Deposit Money

    Before you can play, you must deposit money. Head to the cashier and choose your depositing option, then follow the on-screen instructions. This is where you’ll usually claim your bonus, so remember to enter any promo code or complete any other action required to claim the bonus.
  5. Play Poker

    You can now start playing poker. Just head to the poker lobby and choose the tournament or cash game you want to play.

California Poker Legislation Timeline

There have been no recent significant developments in legalizing online poker in California. If any attempts are made to make online poker legal in California, we’ll let you know.

Is Poker Legal in California?

It is possible to play poker in various CA poker rooms and casinos.

But is online poker legal in California? The answer is no – there is no legal online poker in California, except for sweepstakes and social poker.

You can play video poker and casino poker at many venues in California, but they’re also not legal to play online.

CA Poker Laws

It states in Penal Code Sec. 337j(e)(1) that it’s not legal to play poker in California.

But it’s important to realize that nobody has ever been prosecuted for playing online poker in California, meaning it’s safe to play poker in California at the offshore poker sites we recommend.

Are Winnings Taxed in CA?

There is no specific gambling tax in California.

Instead, any winnings earned playing poker at a casino or card room are treated as income, just like money from a job. Therefore, they’re taxed as per the income tax brackets in California.

You’ll also need to pay federal tax on money won at land-based poker rooms, as you would on earnings. As online poker is technically not legal in California, most won’t attempt to pay tax on online winnings.

How CA Online Poker Compares to Other Legal States

California is bordered by three states: Nevada, New Mexico, and Oregon. In both New Mexico and Oregon, poker is legal in licensed venues, but is not legal online, just like California.

Nevada offers a huge range of land-based poker options at some of the biggest casinos in the world. Online poker is also legal in Nevada, providing it is played at licensed and regulated sites.

Looking further afield, there are only seven other states with legal online poker: Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island. But players in all states can play poker at offshore poker sites.

California Online Poker vs Live Poker

Playing poker online has many differences from land-based poker.

Online poker sites generally offer a larger array of poker types and tables. What’s more, sites with online poker in California have more tournaments than land-based venues with much larger prize pools.

You can also play anonymously online, and get large bonuses for signing up. Online poker also generally has much lower rake.

Whereas land-based poker is generally slower, but many prefer it, as it offers a more social experience. What’s more, it’s easier to judge if another player is bluffing when playing at land-based poker tables.

Pros and Cons of Online Poker

What are the pros and cons of playing online poker? Find out below:

Pros pros

  • Much larger variety of games
  • Many more tournaments
  • Tournaments generally have higher prize pools
  • Ability to play anonymously
  • Large bonuses offered to online players
  • Fast gameplay
  • Lower rake
  • Incredibly convenient

Cons cons

  • Not a very social experience
  • Not very easy to read other players
  • Not legal in California

Live Poker in California – Casinos with Poker Rooms

California has a huge range of casinos with poker rooms, as well as many dedicated poker rooms. Some of the best venues are listed here.

The Commerce Casino & Hotel

  • Address: 6131 Telegraph Road, Commerce, CA 90040
  • Opening Hours: 24/7

Regarded by many as the best place for poker in California, it has a huge poker room with over 200 poker tables – there’s no venue in the world with more.

It is a regular destination for the World Poker Tour. Blinds can get as high as $400/$800 in the high-stakes room.

Several poker variations are offered, including Texas hold’em, Omaha, and Open-Face Chinese.

The Gardens Casino

  • Address: 11871 Carson St., Hawaiian Gardens, CA 90716
  • Opening Hours: 24/7

With 110 tables, this is another casino offering a huge range of playing options.

It’s the venue for several major tournaments, including the WPT Gardens Poker Championship, plus offers loads of daily and weekly tournaments.

Along with traditional poker, it has a good range of casino poker options, including Pai Gow Poker and 3 Card Poker.

Parkwest Bicycle Casino

  • Address: 888 Bicycle Casino Drive, Bell Gardens, CA 90201
  • Opening Hours: 24/7

Another giant casino, the Bicycle offers 185 poker tables, with a range of popular poker games, as well as some popular in California.

It hosts World Series of Poker Circuit events, as well as the Ladies International Poker Series.

Interestingly, it has a live camera, allowing people online to watch the action in the poker room.

Hustler Casino

  • Address: 1000 W. Redondo Beach Blvd., Gardena, CA 90247
  • Opening Hours: 24/7

Gardena has a reputation for poker, thanks to the Gardena card clubs, but Hustler Casino opened well after these, on the site of the El Dorado Club.

It was founded by Larry Flynt and it has 70 poker tables, offering several game types at a variety of stakes. Many tournaments are held there every week.

Hollywood Park Casino

  • Address: 3883 W. Century Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90303
  • Opening Hours: 24/7

Another huge casino, it offers 105 poker tables with the usual variations available, along with a strong selection of mixed games featuring Badugi and Badeucy.

It has previously hosted the US National Championship of Poker. As with most other California casinos, this casino also has a range of casino poker games, including Pai Gow Poker.

Famous California Poker Players

California has produced some of the best poker players of all time – winners of many major titles and huge amounts of money.

  • Brian Rast: With tournament winnings of over $25 million, Rast, who was raised in Powey, has won more than any other California poker player. His biggest prize came in 2015, when he won over $7.5 million at the $500,000 No Limit Hold’em event at the Super High Roller Bowl. He currently has six WSOP bracelets.
  • Jamie Gold: Jamie Gold was born in Missouri but lives in California. He won the WSOP Main Event in 2006, scooping a prize of $12 million and his only WSOP bracelet. Thanks to this gigantic prize, he was once the highest-earning player of all time. Since the 2006 WSOP, he has failed to replicate his success.
  • David Rheem: Born in Georgia but residing in Los Angeles, David Rheem has won over $14.5 million at tournaments. His biggest ever win came in 2008, when he won nearly $1.8 million by coming 7th at the WSOP $10,000 World Championship No Limit Hold’em event. He has no WSOP bracelets, but has won three WPT titles and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $10,300 Main Event.

Responsible Gambling in California

Responsible gambling is highly important and you should never gamble with money you can’t afford to lose. Unless you are a professional poker player, poker should be primarily seen as an enjoyable pastime, not a way to make money.

You’ll find several responsible gambling tools at sites offering the best online poker in California. These include tools to limit the amount you can deposit and allow you to completely exclude yourself from a site for a set time.

If you feel that gambling is becoming a habit and causing you problems, be sure to use these tools and contact a responsible gambling organization.

California Problem Gambling Resources

Tips on Playing Real Money Online Poker in California

Looking for some tips to give you a better chance of winning when playing at the best online poker sites for real money in California? Then continue reading.

1. Always Use Bankroll Management

Anyone playing at a site offering online poker with real money in California should use bankroll management.

This states that you should only ever risk a small amount of your bankroll on a tournament entry or cash game buy-in.

If you lose this money, have the discipline to walk away and come back another day. This will ensure you don’t lose all your bankroll quickly, and therefore won’t have to deposit as often.

2. Don't Bluff Often

Bluffing is a famous part of poker, but the best players only bluff rarely.

Bluff too often and it will become obvious, and you’ll be called more and more often, losing money each time.

Learn the game and identify the premium times to bluff, based on the cards on the board and those your opponents could be holding, as well as the size of the pot.

3. Learn about Pot Odds

Pot odds are a more advanced concept, but anyone looking to be successful while playing poker online in California should learn about them.

Essentially, pot odds are the ratio of current pot size to the cost of calling. High pot odds mean you should call, while low pot odds mean you should fold.

You should also learn about implied odds, which also consider what might happen in the rest of the hand.

4. Be Disciplined

Discipline is perhaps the key trait needed by those who play poker online in California.

You’ll find that most hands need to be folded, and this can sometimes get slightly boring. But you must continue with this strategy – players who play too often nearly always end up losing.

Discipline also extends to remaining calm after a big loss and not going on tilt, which means playing loosely to quickly win back money – something that fails more often than it succeeds.

5. Understand Position

Position is exceptionally important in poker, especially when playing online.

Essentially, the later you are to play, the better your position. As by acting later, you’ve already had the chance to observe other players and what they’ve done.

When in an early position, you should fold, unless you have a premium hand. The best players at poker California sites will understand position perfectly, so to beat them consistently, you’ll need to understand it too.

Online Poker in California – Our Verdict

The best online poker CA has to offer is found at CoinPoker. This is a site offering almost everything, including fantastic bonuses and a giant range of tournaments and cash games.

It’s also exceptionally simple to play there using both a desktop and mobile device, plus it can be trusted entirely.

We also think it’s the best California poker online site because it accepts cryptocurrency which is ideal for gambling in a state where online poker is not yet legal.

Methodology

How We Test and Review Gambling Websites

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While betting options and promotions are the main attractions at gambling websites, it’s also important that the gambling software you’re using is safe and secure.

That’s why, here at Techopedia, we have an in-house review process that covers every aspect of a gambling website.

This includes:

  • Games and betting markets
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…and more.

You can take a look at our detailed guide on how we test gambling platforms featured on Techopedia.

FAQs

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Affiliate Disclosure: Techopedia may receive advertising commissions for visits to a suggested operator through our affiliate links, at no added cost to you. However, all our recommendations are unbiased and follow a thorough review process. Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly and you must be of legal gambling age.

Jamie Wright
Sports Betting and Slots Expert
Jamie Wright
Sports Betting and Slots Expert

Experienced gambling copywriter. Previously worked for Bovada, 188BET, Ignition, FortuneJack, Cloudbet, and more. Follower of all things football and huge Chiefs fan.