Tennessee Online Poker - All You Need to Know - HowToBet

Tennessee Online Poker

Tennessee online poker has been a dream of many for years. Unfortunately, it will have to remain a dream for a while yet. No online poker can be played in this state, as the only form of gambling allowed is online sports betting.

In this article we summarize the current situation concerning Tennessee online poker and look ahead to the day when it might be made legal.

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Online Poker in Tennessee

Online poker is the same game as in-person poker, but instead takes place over the Internet. As is the case when you are physically playing cards, the online poker sites offer a wide variation of poker games and stakes. Unfortunately, Tennessee online poker is currently illegal.

This is a shame. Poker has enjoyed a tremendous boom in recent years. Particularly since events such as the World Series of Poker began airing regularly on TV. Many of the benefits of playing online are obvious, including the fact you can play anywhere or at any time.

Not only are there no Tennessee online poker rooms, there aren't any physical casinos either. Your only option as a poker player, therefore, is to visit a state which does allow the game.

Where Can You Play Tennessee Online Poker?

The simple answer is nowhere. Tennesse has no physically-based casinos in the entire state. It is also one of the few states that bans all forms of casino gambling. This ban applies to poker rooms as well as any online poker sites. Which is why none have been approved and licensed in the state.

Tennessee Poker Gambling Law

Tennessee has no laws that specifically outlaw online poker, but it's an accepted fact it does not consider it legal. The state also has no specific law prohibiting social gambling such as home poker games. However, thera are also considered illegal. Obviously, stopping these type of poker games from taking place is very difficult to enforce. But that doesn't make them legal by any means.

The only way for Tennessee residents to legally gamble on poker is to travel to a nearby state which allows the game.

Different Poker Game Formats

One of the first things you want to consider when participating in online poker is what kind of format you want to use. Among the different options are video poker games, live poker where games are streamlined directly to you, poker room games, and the more traditional online games where you play against a computer.

There are many variations of poker video games, many of which have wildcards that are used to form the highest possible hand. The payout in games with wildcards is less than games without them.

The traditional online poker games are the same ones usually found in land-based casinos and generally employ the same rules. There may be some betting options not normally found in casinos. While favored by some, video  poker games and streaming games seem to be more popular online than the traditional poker games.

Some gambling websites offer poker rooms and poker tournaments that result in playing against other people. These use a computer software program to deal the cards and all the players have an equal chance of winning. These types of games are generally found on sites dedicated strictly to poker - as opposed to general online casino games.

Live poker games are similar to poker rooms in that you also play against other people. The cards are dealt by real dealers and the games are streamlined directly to you.

Online Game Variations

After deciding the format you want to use when playing online poker, the next consideration is what variation of the many poker games you want to play. There are a multitude of options here as well. Among the most popular are five-card draw, Texas Hold'em and Omaha Hi.

Five-Card Draw

Five-card draw is one of the most basic and easiest to learn. In this type of game after each player puts an ante into the pot, five cards are dealt to each player and a round of betting occurs. Players can stand pat by keeping all their cards or opting to replace all the cards in their original hand. Another round of betting then takes place. As is the case in all poker games, the winner is the one with the highest hand.

Texas Hold'em

Due to its heavy exposure on TV and subsequent high payouts at many tournaments, Texas Hold'em has become the most popular form of online poker gambling. Without going into too much detail, it is an easy game to learn. It starts with players receiving two cards face down and making bets clockwise. Players can either call, raise or fold. After the first round of betting, three cards on placed on the table face up that are called the flop. After more betting, two more cards are dealt face up on the table one card at a time with betting after each one. The player with the best hand of the seven cards dealt is the winner.

Omaha Hi

Omaha Hi is another very popular variation of poker. It is a lot like Texas Hold'em with the main exception being four hole cards are given to each player instead of two. Players must use two of their hole cards and three of the community cards that are placed face up on the table to achieve their highest hand.

These are just three of the poker variation choices. Among the many others are seven-card draw, Omaha Hi-Lo, five-card Omaha, three-card poker  and seven-card stud.

With an internet search, beginning players can easily find explanations for the rules of the various poker games as well as the order of what constitutes winning hands.

There are different betting options as well. These include fixed and pot limits. Some games have no limits, which means you can bet as much money as you want.

Ease of Use, Promotions and Banking

With all the different format and game variations, it's important bettors understand what they are doing before gambling for real money. Make sure the online gambling site offers customer support to answer any questions. It's a bonus if there's an online chat room to get questions answered right away.

Before wagering money make sure you read the site's terms and conditions. This will help protect your money and help you locate bonuses that are worth using. Beware some sites have stricter terms than others and there can be penalties if you are not paying attention.

Bonuses and Promotions

Online poker sites offer various promotions and bonuses in order to attract your business. Look for the codes on the sites to receive your bonuses. Online poker players will receive money by winning a specific game or by cashing out the money received through your bonuses.

Among the online poker promotions sites offer are welcome, reload and VIP bonuses.

An example of a welcome bonus might be you will receive a $100 bonus from the site to match your initial $100 deposit. Reload bonuses award bettors for making regular deposits and continually fulfilling any deposit requirements. VIP bonuses are for gamblers who make deposits over a longer period of time and make larger deposits into their accounts.


When it comes to banking with an online poker site, make sure everything is fully explained and you understand your options.

What each site offers for your banking needs can vary, but common forms of making deposits include credit and debit cards, prepaid cards, bank wires, e wallets such as PayPal and cryptocurrency.

As a general rule, you make withdrawals the same way you make deposits. Keep in mind there may be variations. Some credit cards, for instance, may not allow you to make withdrawals back to your card.

It's best to check with customer support to make sure you understand all the deposit and withdrawal options. Similarly, always confirm the site you are on is legal and licensed.

The Benefits of Online Poker

The benefits of playing poker online are numerous. In addition to the fact you don't have to go to an actual physical location, playing online can be much less intimidating than competing at a table with a bunch of strangers. Online casinos also often allow you to play for much less money than land-based tables that have by-in requirements. If you just want to play poker and not gamble at all, free poker games can be found on online poker sites.

The advantages go on and on. 

Online poker sites provide you the option to gamble at any hour of the day and from any location. All you need is some kind of mobile device or desktop computer.

Furthermore, they provide you the chance to pick from many different poker rooms and games, a faster way to learn how to play poker and much faster games that will allow you to play more hands. They also usually offer better promotions and bonuses that are not normally allowed at a physical casino.

Tennessee Legal Gambling Timeline

When it comes to poker in the state of Tennessee, there is no gambling timeline. Poker has always been and remains illegal in the state.

The state has made it recently possible to bet on fantasy sports and some horse races. The biggest development on the Tennessee gambling scene came in 2019 when it approved the betting on licensed sports apps within the state. These apps became operational in November of 2020 and as early 2021 there were four approved online sportsbooks in the state.

Although these apps are generating money and could lead to opening up the state for more betting options, there appears to be no significant call for the state to allow horse race tracks or physical casinos. Nor does online poker or any other form of online casino gaming seem to be coming to the state in the near future.

Tennessee Online Poker FAQ

Will Tennessee approve online poker gambling?

While you can never predict the future, the answer appears doubtful at this point and time. An online poker bill was introduced by a couple of the state’s politicians, but that went nowhere. There is also no foreseeable movement for the state to allow land-based casinos.

What kind of gambling is allowed in Tennessee?

The state allows betting on pro and collegiate sports on approved sports apps, some horse races and daily fantasy sports. It also allows buying lottery tickets, and games such as raffles and cakewalks. You can not bet on any casino-type games, including poker.

Who is allowed to place bets in Tennessee?

For the approved sports betting apps and horse racing, you must be 21 years or older. You can bet on fantasy sports at the age of 18. All bets must be placed within the state border. You do not have to be a resident of Tennessee to place a bet on an approved sports app as long as you place the bet while you are physically located in the state.

What kind of online poker game is best for me?

It’s really a matter of personal preference, although for players new to the game it’s probably better to start with a simpler one such as five-card draw. Assuming you’re playing in a state where poker is legal, it’s probably also a good idea for novice poker players to start with games that have lower betting limits. Many sites offer free games. It wouldn’t hurt to start with a few of those to make sure are ready to bet for real money.

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