In the United States, real-money poker is available to 18 and over players in a variety of different settings. While each state has its own unique gambling laws, there are a few jurisdictions that allow poker for players 18 and up, whether in full casinos or dedicated poker rooms.
Aside from brick and mortar options, 18-year-olds have the opportunity to play poker online legally and safely. For licensed and regulated online poker rooms, 18+ poker is just a few clicks away regardless of location.
Use the following guide to learn more about playing poker at 18, where is it allowed, and other key tips necessary to navigate the world of legal poker after turning 18 years old. You can check out our reviews for detailed information about each of the 18+ poker rooms we endorse.
Top Rated 18 Plus USA Online Poker Sites
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|1||100% Max $1,000||4.7||Play Now Review|
|2||100% Max $500||4.5||Play Now Review|
|3||100% Max $1,000||4.2||Play Now Review|
The Evolving Poker Culture in the US
Long gone are the days of poker’s underground status as a game played by outlaws in the Wild West. Today poker is available in casinos, poker rooms, and online in regulated environments. There is even a World Poker Tour, an international brand that hosts professional players in televised tournaments around the world.
The rise of poker, coupled with the increasingly relaxed gambling laws in the United States, has created a culture that is inclusive of poker and its players. Today, depending on the particular state, 18+ players can play in casinos, card rooms, or online.
How old do you have to be to enter a poker room?
Gambling age by state varies, some jurisdictions may separate their poker rooms from casinos to give players more options. In such states, card rooms may only have poker tables, allowing 18-year-olds entrance even if the state’s gambling age is 21.
Other states house casinos and poker rooms together regardless of the situation. At this point, the required age could be 18 or 21, so the laws of the state should be referenced directly.
In addition, each casino and card room has the option of establishing their own policies, so even if the law allows 18+ poker gaming, a casino may require players to be 21 so that they can freely serve alcohol. Operators are free to do this as long as they do not violate the state’s designated minimum gambling age.
How old do you have to be to play poker online?
This depends on where you are playing. Domestic online poker sites will indicate their minimum age requirements on their site, and it can range between 18 and 21. Offshore online poker sites are a little more consistent.
With very few exceptions, most reputable online poker sites accept players who are 18 and up. Anyone who attempts to engage in underage gambling at these poker rooms will be banned and will forfeit any winnings.
Types of poker games you can play at age 18
Once a prospective bettor turns 18, every poker game becomes available– assuming they are playing online or at a poker room that allows 18+ players. Game options vary depending on the online poker room or brick and mortar card room of choice, but nearly every venue has the basics:
Bigger rooms and most online cardrooms offer more even more popular poker games for 18+ players. Some other options available include:
- Seven-card stud
- Crazy pineapple
- Caribbean Stud
- 2-7 Triple draw
- Chinese poker
States Where You Can Play Poker at 18 and Up
In the US, a total of 39 states offer state-regulated poker in their land-based rooms. However, very few of those allow access for 18+ poker players. There are a number of domestic options in the country:
- Michigan (select tribal casinos)
- Oklahoma (select tribal casinos)
- California (select tribal casinos)
For those states without access to local 18+ poker rooms, young adults still have access to poker through reputable online poker sites. There are three states that are an exception to this rule: Connecticut and Washington both outlaw all forms of online gambling regardless of the source, and New Jersey has asked offshore poker sites to not accept players from the Garden State.
While there are no real consequences to players who decide to play poker online regardless of these restrictions, individuals will be playing at their own risk in these states. CT and WA players can still access any site they wish, but many of the prominent poker sites have exited the NJ market.
Do you have to be 18 to play online poker?
All licensed and regulated online poker sites require players to be at least 18 years old. If a site says anything different, be extremely cautious. To ensure safety, we recommend using one of the online poker rooms listed on this site for all poker gaming.
Underage players who try to engage in online poker at these sites will find themselves forfeiting any winnings when it comes time to withdraw funds and prove their identity.
18 and Up Poker Tournaments
Poker tournaments are available for 18+ online and in poker rooms. For the brick and mortar rooms that allow 18-and-up access, it would be easiest to check their websites or give the room a call. It can be assumed, however, that most rooms offer tournaments weekly in popular games like Hold’em and Omaha.
When it comes to tournaments at online poker rooms, the options can grow exponentially. Depending on the site, there could be daily tournaments, a week-long event, or tourneys with a $1.5 million guarantee. Most of these online tournaments will be in Hold’em or Omaha with buy-ins ranging from $1 up through hundreds per entry.
Safest Online Poker for 18+ Players
When playing poker online, safety is a two-fold measurement. First, safety is necessary when it comes to choosing the most trusted 18+ poker sites. But for 18+ players new to the games must also address the safety concerns regarding responsible betting.
The first issue is easy: safety is guaranteed when using one of the recommended online poker rooms featured on this page. As licensed and regulated entities, these online options offer players data encryption, customer service support, and cryptocurrency options to foster an environment of protection.
As for responsible gambling, that is contingent upon the player. For 18-year-olds with no previous experience playing poker, learning a few easy games first– such as Texas Hold’em– is recommended before jumping headfirst into the gauntlet. But for players that have experience or know-how in poker, playing new games is just a quick adjustment exercise.
Mobile Poker Games for Players 18 and Over
One of the best parts of all the online poker rooms we recommend is that their sites are optimized for mobile gaming. That means that just by accessing the website on your mobile device, mobile poker is in the palm of your hand without having to download any extra software.
Funding Methods for Online Poker Available to Players 18 and Up
There are a few key deposit methods and withdrawal options available to players 18 and up at our recommended online poker sites. Specific banking options will vary from site to site, but you will not find many poker rooms that don't accept some combination of these deposit and withdrawal methods:
- Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Etherium, Litecoin, Dash)
- Zelle to Bitcoin
- Credit Cards and Debit Cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card)
- Cashier's Check
- Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Etherium, Litecoin, Dash)
- Check by Courier
- Wire Transfer
- Money Transfer
There are pros and cons to each method, so we recommend checking out our guide to 18+ online poker banking options for a more detailed explanation.
18+ Poker FAQs
It really depends on where you are playing. For state-regulated poker rooms, it varies by state and ranges between 18 and 21. Offshore online poker sites allow players to enjoy real money games at 18+.
Playing real money games through online poker sites under the age of 18 is not permitted nor recommended. All reputable online poker rooms require their players to be legal adults, including the ones of this page. Be wary of any poker site offering anything for those players who are under 18.
Not only do reputable online rooms not offer strip poker, but taking your clothes off for strangers online is a very risky and terrible idea as the footage could be recorded or watched by unwanted parties.
Whether you want to play online or in-person, all poker rooms and websites minimum age requirements are at least 18 and over. No reputable room or site will have tournaments for players under the legal adult age.
Poker at 18 is available online and in certain poker rooms, depending on the state laws. Refer to our list of recommended online poker rooms and states that allow 18-year-olds to know where to play.
A poker room’s required age is sanctioned by the state and the establishment’s own rules. Some poker rooms in the US allow 18 and up players. However, the majority of rooms and casinos still require poker players to be 21.
Online poker requires players to be at least 18 years old if they want to play. If a site offers poker to anyone under 18, be cautious as they are likely not trustworthy.
Poker itself is not illegal for players under 18. It is, however, illegal to bet real money on poker games while still a minor either in a brick and mortar card room or an online poker site.