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Best Online Poker Sites for Texas

Odds are, you’re here because you want to play real money poker in Texas. Well, good news! We’re going to help you do just that.

Your best bet is to play poker online. You need nothing more than $5 to $10 and an account with one of the best Texas poker sites online.

How We Rate

Gambling safety and security

Safety & Security

You should be able to gamble online without fear. So we only recommend licensed sites that use the latest security and encryption techniques.

Gambling bonuses and promotions

Bonuses

Maximize your bankroll with fantastic bonuses. Our recommended sites offer valuable bonuses with fair terms and conditions, including manageable wagering requirements.

Casino games

Games & Betting

The best sites have the best wagering options. That’s why you will find extensive games and betting opportunities on our recommended sites.

Gambling banking methods

Banking

Getting your money to and from your account shouldn’t be a hassle. We only recommend sites with a variety of convenient banking methods, including cryptocurrency and e-wallets.

This guide shows you which online poker sites you should join, and we explain why later. But before we get to that, we’re going to talk about your live poker options, which include poker clubs and home poker games.

Poker clubs should be your last option for reasons we’ll share in a minute. Let’s just say that they’re not as safe as you might think.

And while there are benefits to home poker games, they pale in comparison to the benefits you can enjoy when you play online at the top poker sites for TX.

But enough teasing. Let’s just into the meat of this guide, starting with your two live poker options.

Poker Clubs in Texas

There’s a reason why you don’t see casino poker in Texas. It’s because they break two of the three rules you must follow if you want to host real money card games.

  • The card game must be held in a private place i.e. your home.
  • The house can’t make money off the game.
  • Everyone must have an equal chance to win.

#3 is easy. Everyone has an equal chance to win playing poker.

The problem casinos and cardrooms face are #1 and #2. If you run a business open to the public, you’re not exactly private. And the standard business model is for casinos and cardrooms to rake the pot or charge a tournament fee.

That’s why they’re illegal in Texas.

How Cardrooms Get Around This

The cardrooms that are operating in Texas have found a loophole or two that allows them to offer real money poker.

The first loophole is how they make money. They don’t rake the pot or collect a tourney fee. What they do instead is charge a membership fee (daily, weekly, monthly, annually) to gain access.

This is pretty cool for Texas poker players because you might only pay $10 or $15 per day. You’d have spent far more if you had to pay normal poker house rake.

Some cardrooms also charge an hourly seat fee, which is sometimes in addition to the membership fee. This is a far less profitable option.

Anyway, that’s how they get around that law.

They get around the private establishment law because of how they make money. By charging a “membership” fee, their poker room is no longer open to the public, only members. At this point, the cardroom is no longer a “cardroom.”

It’s now considered a “club.”

The Problem Poker “Clubs” Face

Poker clubs still face a problem, though. Authorities are still raiding and shutting many of them down. Authorities raided two poker rooms and arrested nine people in April 2019.

What must be frustrating about that situation (other than the raid itself and loss of business) is that it’s like pulling teeth to get a straight answer from authorities regarding the legality of the poker club model.

For example, here’s what District Attorney Ogg said following the 2019 raid.

“Poker rooms are illegal in the state of Texas. We are changing the paradigm regarding illegal gambling by moving up the criminal chain and pursuing felony money laundering and engaging in organized crime charges against owners and operators. Players are not being targeted.”

But when she was asked about the legality of this business model, she opted not to answer the question, saying that the courts will decide.

If it’s up to the courts to decide, why are the District Attorney and police department so eager to go after these cardrooms?

The Real Question You Need to Ask (and Answer)

The crazy thing is that some of these poker clubs are still operating, even the bigger ones, such as the Texas Card House.

The point we want to get across is that it’s not 100% clear whether poker clubs are operating within the law. Club owners don’t know for sure. It doesn’t sound like the authorities know either.

It’s risky to own one of these clubs, so it’s not a stretch to assume that it’s a risk to play at one of these clubs. So, here’s the question you have to ask yourself — is it worth it?

Is it worth playing at one of these clubs if authorities can lawfully raid and shut them down?

Sure, District Attorney Kim Ogg said they weren’t targeting players. But who knows if authorities in other areas are taking a similar approach?

Even if they’re not, do you still want to be inside one of these cardrooms when a bunch of police officers or SWAT come kicking down the door, armed, and screaming for everyone to get on the floor?

We sure don’t. That sounds stressful. And that’s why we recommend Texas poker players get their fix a different way.

Host a Home Poker Game in Texas

A safer alternative to poker clubs is to host and/or play in a home poker game. This alternative satisfies all the rules.

  • The game is held in a private place.
  • The house isn’t making money.
  • Everyone has an equal chance to win.

And there are some of the benefits that home poker games offer that poker clubs don’t.

  • You can choose the game and variant you play.
  • You can choose the stakes you play for.
  • You can choose the format and structure.
  • You can choose the food and beverages.

We say “you can choose,” but it’s up to the host and everyone playing. If you host the game, you can choose the games and stakes you want. Just remember that, if you choose games/variants/stakes that no one else wants to play, no one will show up.

The point, though, is that you’ll have more freedom compared to playing in a poker club.

Home Poker Downsides

There are a few downsides you’ll want to consider, too.

  • If you host the game, you’ll need to host the game on a day that works with everyone’s schedule.
  • You have to find enough people to commit and show up for a game to run. Not many people want to play three or four-handed cash games or MTTs.
  • If you host the game, you might have people you don’t know well in your home, around your family and possessions.
  • You’ll also have to clean up afterwards.
  • And you might have to come up with a few basic snacks and beverages to be a good host.
  • You still might not be able to play the exact games and stakes you want, especially if someone else is hosting the game.

These may or may not bother you that much.

Here’s the truth. Home poker games are great if you can make them work. You can get a few buddies together, drink a few beers, and play some cards legally.

But unless you’re set up to host a game, and unless you have a list of people who want to play regularly or know someone who hosts a regular game, it might be tough to play poker as often as you want.

We don’t say this to discourage you from home poker games. In fact, we think you should play them as a supplement to what we feel is the best option for poker players in Texas — playing real money poker games online.

Why We Recommend You Play Poker Online in Texas

Online poker gives you the opportunity to play the games and stakes you want, without worrying about whether armed officers are going to kick down your door and arrest you.

Playing poker online offers convenience, speed, profitability, variety, entertainment, and more, all from the comfort of your own home.

What we want to do now is show you some of the benefits you can look forward to if you decide to play online in TX.

Promotions

One of our favorite things about playing real money online poker are the promotions you can claim. Here are some of the deals our top-rated Texas poker sites offer.

Deposit bonus
The poker room will match a percentage of your deposit. This can easily add hundreds of dollars to your bankroll.
VIP program
Earn points as you play. Use these points to unlock rewards such as bonuses, cashback, exclusive tournaments and freerolls, and more.
No deposit bonus
Get $5 to $50 free to play with.
Tournament tickets
Use these to enter tournaments for free or at a discount.
Bad beat jackpots
Win a piece of a progressive jackpot when a strong hand, like a four of a kind, loses to a stronger hand. The two players in the hand get most of the prize pool. The rest is usually divvied up amongst all the players dealt in the hand.
Leaderboards
Run up a high score and win a cash prize.

These are only some of the most common offers you can expect to find at online poker rooms. There are others.

But the one thing almost all of them have in common is that land-based cardrooms don’t offer them.

Games and Variants

Land-based cardrooms only have so much square footage to work with, so they have to offer the games and variants that either make them the most money and/or that people want to play the most.

That’s why Texas Hold’em and Omaha are the games cardrooms offer most. It’s rare to see cardrooms offer Stud or mixed games.

But not online. At the top online poker sites for Texas you can play games like Stud, Razz, HORSE, and Badugi. And you can play variants like Six Plus Hold’em, Heads-Up, Turbos, Bounty MTTs, Hyper Turbos, and more.

Multi-Tabling

One thing that’s tough about playing live poker, especially if your background is online poker, is that you can only play one game at a time.

This can get boring since you’re going to fold most of your hands. Online poker is better because rooms deal hands faster and impose time limits to ensure players act quickly. But even then, you’d get bored if all you played was one table a time.

That’s why we love multi-tabling so much. Many online poker rooms allow you to play a handful (or more) of tables at the same time.

This gives you nonstop action. Not only that, but you can play more hands and MTTs, which gives you the opportunity to earn more money per hour (if you’re a winning player).

Guaranteed MTTs and Satellites

You can play guaranteed MTTs in poker clubs. Some of them even offer massive five- and six-figure guaranteed prize pools.

But they still pale in comparison to the guaranteed tourneys you can find online. Here are a few reasons why.

  • Guaranteed tourneys run everyday online.
  • Most US poker sites run a huge Sunday schedule. That’s when you can play in their biggest tournaments.
  • The buy-ins are lower compared to live MTTs, but often they have similar or larger guaranteed prize pools.

The bottom line is that you’re going to find far more MTT action online. The guaranteed prize pools will vary from $500 to $250,000 depending on the MTT and the day of the week.

You’ll even find the occasional $1 million guaranteed tourney. All you have to do is join one of our top-rated poker sites for Texans.

Around-the-Clock Action

Another thing we don’t like about live poker is that most cardrooms have specific business hours. You can only play poker within that window.

But when you play poker online, you can play whenever you want so long as you can find a game running. This allows you to play on your schedule instead of someone else’s schedule.

Now, that wraps up some of our favorite benefits that you can experience playing real money poker online. But we could easily keep going.

The point is, online poker rocks. The only thing it’s missing is the social element. But if you can look past that, or supplement that with home poker games, you’ll have all the games, promos, and software features you can handle online.

How We Rank the Top TX Poker Sites

Best Texas Poker Sites

Okay, so far, we have convinced you to nix playing in Texas poker clubs and to play online poker instead, supplementing your need for social interaction with the occasional home poker game.

The question we usually get at this point is, what online poker site should I join? Which one is best for me?

This is tough for us to answer since everyone wants to play different poker games, variants, and stakes. So, here’s our default answer.

We recommend you join one of the top TX poker sites we recommend. We might be biased, but it’s for a good reason. We have decades of combined experience playing at and reviewing online poker sites.

We also spend several hours reviewing and testing every real money poker site we endorse. Here are the things we look for and test in every review.

  • We check whether the poker site is licensed by a reputable gambling commission.
  • We look to see what games and variants they offer.
  • We use the poker room’s software to see how well it works and whether it has features such as four-color decks, hand histories, the option to display bet sizes, and more.
  • Does the poker site offer promotions like deposit bonuses, guaranteed tourneys, cashback, rebates, rake races, leaderboards, and more?
  • We check to see if the poker room has US-friendly banking options with reasonable limits and fees.
  • Is the poker site safe and secure?

We won’t recommend a poker site that can’t tick all these boxes, especially anything to do with reputation, safety, or security. Otherwise you’re no better off playing in one of those poker “clubs” where the laws are ambiguous and your odds of seeing a raid are exponentially higher.

But that’s how you know you can trust our recommendations. We went to great lengths to determine which sites are the best Texas poker sites for you to join.

All that’s left for you to do is to choose one or two of them, create your account, make a deposit, and test them out for yourself.

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