Virginia Online Poker

Virginia has recently undergone a major change on the gambling front with the addition of online sportsbooks apps and land-based casinos. Unfortunately, licensed and approved Virginia online poker is not yet legal here, but hopes are high that this will change in the not-too-distant future. In this article we discuss the current situation and take a look at what we can expect in the coming months and years.

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Online Poker in Virginia

Virginia does not have any specific laws regarding online poker. Even so, the state's legal definition of gambling  suggests that Virginia online poker is illegal. Participate in it at unauthorized sites and you could be charged with a misdemeanor.

A handful of land-based casinos are due to open over the next two years. These includeL

  • Hard Rock Casino in Bristol
  • Caesars in Danville
  • Norfolk Resort and Casino
  • Rivers Casino in Portsmouth

Richmond has also been approved by the state to have a casino. Final details and the selection of the casino operator are due at some point in 2021.

Potential casino operators down the road include DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM. All three of these are already operating licensed sports betting apps in the state.

Virginia Online Poker Gambling Law

Virginia has no laws that specifically address the issue of online poker. The state does, however, have a definition of illegal gambling, and online poker would appear to fall into this category.

Poker players must therefore look ahead to playing in one of the physical casinos that are under development. To play poker in one of the new casinos, you will need to be 21 or older. You will not have to be 21 to enter a Virginia casino. However, you must be 21 to play any games that are available.

In addition to the land-based casinos, Virginians are allowed to play poker for real money in their homes. The one stipulation here is that no rake is allowed to be taken. A rake is when operators of the poker game take a percentage of the pot for their own profit.

Best Virginia Online Poker Rooms

There are currently no approved online poker rooms in the state of Virginia. However, you can rest assured the big operators  in the gambling industry will be quick to join in on the action if the state were to authorize this form of betting. The following are some of the likely candidates to provide online poker rooms in the state if given the opportunity.

(NOTE: Various bonuses, promotions and games could vary from state to state. Also bear in mind that promotions and bonuses change over time and are constantly evolving.)


DraftKings is already operating a sportsbook in Virginia. The company currently offers a 100% first deposit bonus up to $1,500 for its poker players. DraftKings allows player to enjoy poker action from Android or iOS devices. It provides live poker games such as Texas Hold'em and three-card poker. It also has an extensive video poker selection.

DraftKings is good for both novice and experienced players. You can play games for as little at one cent or up to $200 per bet. It also provides shared tables and DraftKings tables. Shared tables are available through multiple sites, while DraftKings tables are exclusively for its own account holders. It has various other promotions and bonuses such as free credits. DraftKings has a user friendly website that makes it easy to play from your phone. It is a trusted operator with solid security features.

Hard Rock

Whether the state grants a license to the Hard Rock Online Casino remains to be seen. However, the fact it is associated with the land-based casino in Bristol can't hurt. The Hard Rock website lists a host of video poker games. These include jacks or better, bonus poker, double bonus poker, deuces wild and bonus poker. Poker players will have to wait to see what bonuses are available if Hard Rock gets approval to operate in Virginia. 


FanDuel is another one of the big boys in the American gambling industry. Its promotions include a first-day, risk-free bet up to $200 when you create an account. It's many video poker options include jacks or better, bonus poker, deuces wild and joker poker. A convenient perk with FanDuel is you can use the same account for online poker and its sportsbook app. Usefully, the sportsbook app is already operating in Virginia. Another plus is fast cash payouts in as little as 24 hours. It also has a very trusted and secure website.


BetMGM is the owner of one of the five sportsbooks apps up and running in Virginia in early 2021. Its poker attractions include more than 70 daily tournaments. Notable examples are a daily tournament for $10K and a Sunday tournament for $35K.

Among its promotions is membership in the MGM awards program. This provides discounts and other incentives at one of the MGM resorts. Poker players, especially those of the novice variety, can take advantage of its poker "school''. This provides rules and tips on games such as Texas Hold'Em and the different Omaha variations.

This is also a well-established website that allows you to find your betting options and conduct your banking with ease. Formerly known as playMGMPoker, BetMGM offers a large player pool for poker tournaments and cash games. Available on both your desktop and phone, this is one of the largest online poker rooms in the country. It has plenty of security features, banking options and a VIP rewards program to go along with the other bonuses.

Choosing the Best Virginia Online Poker Rooms

Should licensed poker rooms become available in Virginia, there are many things betters should consider when picking the best one for them. In addition to seeing what poker games the site is offering, you want to make sure it has user-friendly banking methods, security measures for your money and personal information, responsive customer service, and attractive bonuses. 

Game Selection

The variety of poker games that are offered on a site can be very important for many players on several fronts. One of the biggest is what are the buy-ins and table stakes. You can win a significant amount of money in some of these games and others fall more into the category of having fun. Many times you can simply play for free.

Another thing to consider is the higher the stakes the more likely you are to be up against experienced and knowledgeable players. If you don't feel you fall into that category, you might want to start with the less competitive tables.

How much of your money you want to risk is also something to contemplate with video pokers. While it will vary by the site, some machines allow you to play for as little as a penny or nickel. Other machines have a much higher minimum, but of course also have a much higher payout. 

Also be aware of the payoffs in the different kinds of games. For instance, a poker game in which jokers are wild will have a lower payout than games in which the cards are simply worth their face value.

Ease of Use

The advantages of finding a user-friendly online poker site are basically self explanatory. It starts with the fact you are on the site to have fun and gamble - not pull your hair out trying to figure out how the darn thing works.

Another important aspect is what you are comfortable with in terms of what the site requires. Some online poker sites require downloads while others do not. Keep in mind some software programs offer more game options than others.

You also want to find a site that makes it easy to find bonuses and promotions. Since these can change, you want it to be easy to realize what perks have recently become available and are best for you.

The main goal of any online poker site is to attract your business - and keep it. As such, finding the different available poker games can generally be done easily by following the links starting on the main page.

Some poker games are more complicated than others. This is particularly true with games that have additional rounds of betting and have more cards dealt for each hand.

Make sure you have access to the games you enjoy most and are comfortable playing. If you are learning the game and are unsure of your ability to understand how the game works, play some free games before betting real money.

Promotions and Bonuses

Usually prominently displayed on the main page along with the codes that give you access to them, promotions and bonuses are primarily designed to lure you in as a customer. Two of the most common types are welcome bonuses as well as bonuses that will match some portion of your initial deposit.

Once you are a member of a site more bonuses become available. These include high roller bonuses for players who like to wager large amounts of money, reloading bonuses for restocking your account and free-play bonuses. You might also come across bonuses for referring a friend or bonuses that reward bettors for the frequency in which they play poker.

It's always a good idea to do some research before picking the bonuses for you. Some bonuses will have certain requirements such as the amount of money that needs to be deposited. You might also be rewarded for playing certain kinds of poker games.

Banking Methods

As it's desirable to have an online poker site that is user friendly in terms of finding games  and bonuses, you also want one that makes your banking needs easy. The sites can vary, but as a general rule they will require information such as your name, phone number, email address, home address, date of berth and your social security numbers.

Common methods for making deposits include credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard and Discover as well as electronic wallets such as PayPal. The electronic wallets are popular because they are secure, very affordable and don't require a lot of time and effort to set up.

You can also use prepaid cards that have been loaded with money from your bank transfers or bank transfers in which money is moved directly from your bank to your online poker account. There is also the possibility you could use e-checks, which are an electronic funds transfer (EFT) that uses the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network.

When it comes to cashing out your money, two things to consider are the variety of withdrawal methods along with the best sites for fast payouts.

Many of the withdrawals are handled with similar methods to deposits. Examples include credit and debit cards, wire transfers, e-checks, checks and PayPal. To get your money you probably are looking at a delay of 48 hours, although occasionally you might find an instant payout. Sometimes it could take up to a week. Some sites offer you the option of faster withdrawals for a small extra fee.

Legality, Safety and Security

Obviously, you want to know you have given your money to an online poker site that is legal and licensed. You also want to know your money and personal information are secure.

How a site verifies who you are can vary, but the process will often include supplying your phone number and email. You might also be asked to supply a copy of a personal ID.

Make sure the online poker site provides a section for securing your information and  a two-step verification process that will help secure your personal information and money while giving you peace of mind.

Among the reasons you want an online poker site to be legal is to make sure your money and information are safe. This is why dealing with offshore poker sites can be risky.  Should a problem arise, you may have trouble getting it resolved with one of these types of sites. You also don't want to run the risk of using a website in which the games are fixed or are operated by scam artists who will disappear once they have your money.

Customer Service

It's always a good idea to pick an online poker room that replies to your questions in a timely manner and has the ability to reply to any questions with answers that are easy to understand. This is rarely a problem with the top websites and apps because they are anxious to keep you happy and keep your money coming.

Some will supply live chat rooms, which make it even easier to get immediate answers to your questions. Some sites will provide toll free numbers or may reply to your emails.

Make sure the ways to contact the operators of the website and customer support are clearly displayed on the main screen, usually at the top of the page.

You wouldn't want to deal with an online poker site that has poor customer service on a variety of fronts. One is who needs the headache of wondering what's up with their money and personal information. You also wouldn't want to be left wondering about understanding bonuses or any hidden commitments you may have made without realizing it.

Once again, this is a matter of how you want to look at it. Officially, online poker for real money in Virginia is illegal based on the state's overall gambling law.

The one way of playing for poker legally in Virginia that is spelled out is by playing games in your homes. In these games, however, they are only legal if a rake is not taken.

Online Poker v Land-Based Poker

Ever since events such as the World Series of Poker began receiving significant air time on TV, the popularity of online poker has undergone a significant growth around the country. In addition to having fun playing poker and the opportunity to win some money, there are other advantages to playing online as opposed to being in a casino.


A big plus up front is the fact you are able to  play 24 hours a day and from anywhere you want as long as you have access to an Internet either through a computer or mobile device. You also can save money on food, traveling costs and parking fees. Unlike a physical casino, you also won't have to worry about possibly waiting to get a seat at a table.

Learning the Game Risk Free

Online poker sites allow you to play for free or for very low buy-ins. This allows you to practice, learn different strategies and improve your knowledge of the game without risking your money.

Less Pressure

Playing with strangers can be intimidating for some poker players, so this problem is also largely alleviated by playing online and in the privacy of your home.

Better Offers

As a general rule, online poker rooms offer betting promotions and bonuses than physical casinos. These include matching deposits, welcome bonuses and free tournaments.

Variety of Games

Online poker rooms tend to offer a wider selection of live games whereas physical casinos will often have just Texas Hold'Em.

Play at Your Own Pace

By playing online you can play games at a much faster pace. You can also slow things down and go get something to eat without worrying about losing your place at a physical table. As opposed to a land-based casino, you also won't have to wander around the floor to find the game you want to play.

Where Can I Play Virginia Online Poker?

You cannot play online poker in the state. If and when the state approves online poker, this article will be updated accordingly.

How to Sign up With Virginia Online Poker Rooms

Although you can't currently sign up with a Virginia poker room, it will not be difficult to do so if they become available.

The first thing you want to do is research the various sites and pick the one that is best for you. Also keep an eye out for which ones are offering the best bonuses.

After downloading the app, you should be able to find a sign-up button. Once you click on the sign-up button, you will be asked to provide various details such as your name, address, phone number, email address and password to set up an account. Double check to make sure everything is correct to avoid any complications in the future. Some sites may ask for an ID such as a passport to drivers license to verify who you are.

The final step will require some sort of verification such as the site sending a message to your email account for you to click on. This verification process will ask you to click on a verification link or enter a code on the website.

Keeping in mind the sign-up process will vary by the poker app, you should be good to go by following the above-mentioned steps.

How to Claim a Virginia Online Poker Bonus

Different sites will have different methods for claiming online poker bonuses, but there are some universal things to keep in mind.

To get started you need to create an account and download any needed software. Sometimes you will automatically receive a welcome bonus. Other times you might be asked to submit one of the codes that can easily be found on the main page. Often you will receive a deposit bonus in which the site will match a percentage of the money you place in your account.

There are many other ways to earn poker bonuses. These include reaching certain thresholds in the amount of money you spend to enter tournaments, the number of hands you play and the accumulation of player points.

To earn bonus points for playing more hands, try to keep the stakes low to minimize your financial risk while becoming familiar with the site. As always, read the terms and conditions. If you are unsure if you can or want to meet a certain requirement, you might want to claim a smaller bonus.

Virginia Online Poker Mobile Play

With the popularity of poker undergoing a huge explosion, it was only natural that gamblers would increasingly use their mobile devices to get in on the action. There are two methods by which you can play for real money on a mobile device. One is by downloading an app onto your phone and the other is by going on instant play sites that can be accessed by logging in through your web browser.

Once you have created an account and have everything set up, you can control the action such as betting, folding and accessing the cashier by touching a button or swiping a finger.

You will notice with these apps that the layout is different than on your home computer. This is because these apps are designed for the smaller screens of phones. Phones are constantly improving and unless you have trouble reading small print, betting on your mobile device is just as easy as your personal computer.

The History of Online Poker in Virginia

There is no history of online poker in Virginia. Although the state has recently sanctioned online sports apps and physical casinos, online poker as well as other casino-type games have yet to be approved.

It would not come as a big surprise if online poker did become available in the future. Virginia had traditionally been a conservative state when it comes to politics but as recent elections have shown it has become increasingly liberal. The fact the revenue generated by online poker would help finance social programs would be popular with many of the state's voters.Furthermore, when land-based casinos and sportsbook apps were approved in the state, the Virginia Lottery Board was given the authority to create other regulations regarding online betting. This suggests online poker might be in the state's future.

Virginia Online Poker FAQ

What is the legal gambling age in Virginia?
To play in one of the land-based casinos you will need to be 21. This also applies to the state's approved sportsbook apps. To bet on fantasy sports, the lottery and horse races you must be 18.
What poker gambling is allowed in Virginia?
The only poker gambling sanctioned by the state for real money is for games in a house in which no rake is taken.
When will Virginia approve online poker?
It doesn't look good for it happening anytime soon. While it's impossible to predict what may happen down the road, the long-range prospects for online poker in the state are more promising.
What can I bet online in Virginia?
Starting in 2021, the state allowed betting on sportsbook apps and websites. Daily fantasy sports, which were approved and went online in 2016, as well as the lottery and various horse races are also available for online betting.
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