California has more live poker rooms than any other state in the US. Poker is legal in card clubs and on federally recognized tribal land. California is home to the largest poker room in the world. Commerce offers players over 200 tables with every game imaginable. Fixed Limit games tend to start $3/$6. No limit games start with $1/$2 blinds. Tournaments offer buyins as low as $55.
California law requires poker rooms to rake in an unusual way. The poker room must take a per hand fee or a time charge. It may not take a percentage of the pot. Poker rooms typically take a rake before and after the flop if they do a per hand fee. Time charges are typically collected every half hour.
California Online Poker Legality
California has yet to legalize online poker. There has been talk for the last three years to regulate it. Several bills have been proposed. Each bill has one thing in common. The bill would require online poker to be only intrastate. This would prevent California from networking its online poker players with other states. California’s population makes it likely that intrastate online poker would be sustainable.
Where Can I Play Online Poker in California?
There are no regulated online poker rooms in California yet. In the meantime, there are several online poker rooms available to California players. We prefer the Bodog Poker Network skin Bovada.LV, which is the largest U.S. facing online poker room.
Bovada is three times bigger than the second largest online poker network. Bovada offers a $100,000 weekly guaranteed tournament every Sunday. It also offers the widest variety of cash games, including a huge selection of No Limit Texas Hold’em. New players receive a 100% up to $1,000 first deposit bonus. Cashouts are processed in just a day or two when requested by Western Union. Checks take 1-2 weeks to arrive and are free.
**UPDATE** Bovada.LV has temporarily halted new signups in the USA; existing accounts will continue to function as usual, with cash out times still being within 1 to 2 weeks.
- Americas Cardroom is another great choice. While smaller than Bovada, Americas Cardroom still has some juicy games for players. Most of the games are at No Limit Texas Hold’em with blinds of 1/2 or lower. There are a handful of Pot Limit Omaha games. One drawback is that most tables are Bad Beat Jackpot tables. This includes TheBeast tables, which rewards high volume players with a monthly points race. Players that are looking to play many hours a day may find the jackpot tables that feature TheBeast to be preferable. That is especially true when combining it with the Elite Benefits VIP program. New Americas Cardroom players receive a 100% up to $1,000 first deposit bonus.
Editors Note: Some players might consider driving over to Nevada for a weekend where there is regulated online poker. Ultimate Poker, the first regulated American online poker room, peaks at about 400 Texas Hold’em cash players. There are also hundreds of tournament players at peak hours.
Live Poker Options in California
There are over 70 live poker rooms in California. They range from Commerce’s 200+ tables to small rural rooms. Commerce offers every form of live poker imaginable. Players can even find Seven Card Stud, Lowball and draw games. Other large poker rooms include Hustler, Bicycle Club and Bay 101. California has become the choice for poker in the United States.