Top Rated Online Casinos to Play in Poker
If you planned to use money to gamble online in Indiana, you’ll be disappointed: poker is illegal outside of the state’s casino. There is a strict prohibition for playing online card games for real money.
In that aspect, Indiana lags behind other states in the USA, which already legalized Internet gambling: Delaware, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and New Jersey. Can we expect any changes? – Not soon. There’s not a viable discussion among legislators at the moment.
But there are options: sweepstakes websites are not banned, so you can try playing poker for coins that you can later exchange for real money.
Since the interest for online gambling in the state is huge, we decided to offer this Indiana online poker overview. We’ll discuss the legislation behind online poker, the websites that offer you alternatives, and the poker rooms across the state that offer the real excitement.
How Do We Test the Best Indiana Online Poker Sites?
We established a solid system that enables us to test and compare the best poker sites. When you want to play card games online, it’s important to rely on social proof. You want a safe, reliable, and fast website that gives you a good choice of poker games.
When reviewing different gambling services, we pay attention to these points:
Welcome and Other Bonuses for New Players
Bonus programs are part of a website’s marketing campaign. To attract more new players, it matches a player’s deposit with free credits, which they can use for gambling and they can win money with it. There are playthrough requirements associated with these bonuses, and we make sure to mention them in our reviews.
No-deposit bonuses are also common. These come in the form of free credits when you sign up, before making the first transaction. If the website offers multiple types of gambling games, the no-deposit bonus may come in the form of free spins on slots.
Most gambling sites offer loyalty point schemes, which reward players for returning and playing more.
Selection of Games
What types of poker can you play on a particular website or app? Is live dealer poker included? It’s important for the game selection to meet your preferences.
Nothing beats the thrill of a tournament, when you face other participants to compete for the big win. If a website includes such an offer, we make sure to mention it when reviewing it.
The reputation of the software provider is extremely important. The games have to be programmed by the RNG (random number generator) principle. That’s how you know that you’re getting fair deals, and the house does not get an unfair advantage over the players.
We always check the software developers when reviewing a website.
The Indiana Gaming Commission does not authorize any website to offer online gambling services under its jurisdiction. However, sweepstakes sites can operate within the state under foreign licenses. We make sure to check if the website got licensed by a reputable authority.
What Types of Poker Can You Play?
If you decide to play poker online, you’ll have to choose the game you like. If you’re a complete newbie, you need a website that includes instructions on how to play each game. Global Poker is great in that aspect. It has a Poker School, which will teach you the basics and give you enough confidence to start playing.
These are the types of poker games usually offered on real money poker websites:
- Texas Hold’em
- Pot-Limit Omaha
- Seven-Card Stud
- Omaha Hi-Lo
- 2-7 Triple Draw
- Five-Card Draw
- Chinese Poker
The online offer mimics the opportunities in actual poker rooms. Players prefer sites with a more versatile offer, since they give them opportunities to experiment with different types of poker until they settle for their favorite game.
Video poker is also offered by many online casinos, but you shouldn’t mistake it for a real poker game. This is a mix between a slot and a card game. You play not against other players, but against software.
Can You Play Poker on Downloadable Apps?
Global Poker, as one of the top recommended poker sites that work in Indiana, is a web-based service. You can access it from any mobile browser, and the website will automatically adjust to the size and form of your screen.
IN gamblers who decide to gamble on off-shore sites can download high-quality apps. However, we have to advise against gambling for real money on foreign websites. You won’t be breaking the law only if you opt for the sweepstakes format.
What Kind of Gambling is Legal in Indiana?
Since playing online poker for real money in Indiana is not legal, do you have any other options? Unfortunately, all casino games are illegal in the online environment. The only types of wagering that the state allows are online sports betting and daily fantasy sports.
But if you don’t mind sweepstakes, you can play on the best online gambling sites that work according to that model. That’s the only legal way to gamble online.
As for actual casinos, you’ll find several across the state. Gambling as a concept is legal; it’s just not allowed over the Internet.
Casino Banking Methods
The UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) of 2006, forbids US banks to process gambling transactions that don’t comply with the federal laws. That’s why the best poker sites with international licenses are prevented from accepting Indiana players. But sweeps poker is allowed, so you won’t have any problem using one of the available banking methods:
- American Express
- Prepaid Visa and PayNearMe for deposits
To enjoy sweeps poker, you’ll need to buy virtual currency (coins). You can play with these chips, but you cannot redeem them for withdrawals. However, the website will reward you with Sweeps Coins, which you can use to play more, but you can also redeem them for real money.
Are Online Poker PayPal Payments an Option?
PayPal works by specific rules: U.S. account holders cannot use the service for gambling activities if they are illegal in their state. Since Indiana hasn’t legalized online gambling, PayPal blocks the transaction to any casino sites.
Where Can I Play Poker Live in Indiana?
Indiana has impressive poker rooms, located across the state. The Horseshoe Casino in Hammond is home to the biggest poker room at the moment.
At the moment, there are nine poker rooms, available in these casinos:
- Tropicana Casino, Evansville – The poker room is relatively small, featuring 8 tables.
- Majestic Star, Gary – 21 poker tables are more than enough for you to find a spot.
- Horseshoe Southern, Elizabeth – This room features 30 tables.
- Horseshoe Casino, Hammond – It has the largest poker room in the state, with 34 poker tables available.
- Hollywood Casino, Lawrenceburg – The poker room has 21 tables.
- French Lick Casino, West Baden – It’s one of the most attractive casinos in the state, but the poker room is not impressive; only 4 tables are available.
- Four Winds South Bend Casino, South Bend – 10 tables are available in this poker room.
- Blue Chip Casino, Michigan City – The poker room has 8 tables, and it works 24/7.
- Belterra Casino, Florence – There are 9 tables in this poker room.
Regardless of your location, you’ll easily find a casino that’s a short drive away.
History of Indiana Legal Online Poker
With the Bill H 1015, which was signed into law in May 2019, sports betting became legal in the state. The discussion before the finalization of this bill gave us a lot of hope that Indiana online gambling sites would be legalized, too. However, that didn’t happen. This bill only legalizes sports wagering at racinos, riverboats, satellite facilities, and a Vigo County casino.
This is what Governor Eric Holcomb stated about this bill:
“By modernizing our laws, this legislation will spur positive economic growth for our state and for an industry that employs over 11,000 Hoosiers.”
Couldn’t we say the same thing about online poker if it got legalized? The websites would also support the state’s economy, and the industry would open space for more jobs. But currently, IN legislators show little interest in moving things forward.
Aside from the Bill H 1015, little progress has been made towards Internet gaming.
How is Internet Poker Regulated in Indiana?
Poker real money sites are legal only in four states: Delaware, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and New Jersey. The players from these cities can play casually, but professionally as well. They can enter the WSOP through the World Series of Poker – branded online poker site.
Just to give you an impression of how much Indiana is lagging behind, consider this fact: Nevada’s Governor Brian Sandoval signed the Assembly Bill 114 into law in February 2013. This is an online poker bill, which enabled Nevada to maintain its edge in responsiveness to the trends in the gambling industry.
In Indiana and most other states, the main piece of legislature that regulates online gambling is The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. According to this act, gambling businesses cannot accept bets or wagers over the Internet. Fantasy sports are specifically excluded, since they are defined as a game of skill instead of a game of chance.
Three states (Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey) legalized online casinos only when they are launched through a partnership with a land-based casino. There is a way to go around the UIGEA, but Indiana’s legislators don’t show interest just yet.
However, sweepstakes-only casinos do not fall under the terms of online gambling regulations. These websites found a way to bypass the ban, since they don’t offer the games to be played with real money. The players purchase coins and earn sweeps, which they can then convert into money. It’s a simple concept that works. Chumba is the most popular casino that works by this method. As for poker, Global Poker is a great service that accepts U.S. players.
- Is it legal to play online poker in Indiana?
- The answer is complicated. It’s not legal to play Indiana online poker for real money. You cannot use a VPN to gamble online, since each website will put you through a verify identification process, which requires residential information. That being said, there is a way around this ban: you can play sweeps poker. Instead of placing the bets with real money, you’ll purchase coins and you’ll use them to play. The website will reward you with sweeps, which you can withdraw as real money to your account. This is a completely legal way to play poker online from any location in Indiana.
- Do poker sites accept PayPal, PayNearMe, Skrill?
- PayPal is complicated. If the state bans gambling, so does PayPal. You will not be able to process any gambling transactions with this payment method if you’re located in Indiana. That’s why it’s not included in the banking methods of sweepstakes websites. The usual options include credit/debit cars. PayNearMe is an option for deposits on some sites. Skrill is a great alternative to PayPal, and it’s more liberal. It’s offered as a payment method on almost all sites that accept IN gamblers. You can read through our individual casino reviews to see what banking options you have on different websites.
- How to Play with Bonuses?
- When you get a bonus for signing up or making the first deposit, you’re still gambling with real cash. The bonus will be translated into extra coins in your balance. You should be careful: there are playthrough requirements attached to these bonuses. If the requirement is to wager the amount of the bonus 30 times, it means that you’ll have to bet with 300 coins if you got 10 as a bonus before you can withdraw your winnings. Many players are shocked to find that out. However, you have to know that the house has to keep its edge, so it would stay profitable. These are fair terms; you only need to be aware of them before you accept the bonus offer. If it seems unfair, you don’t have to accept it. You can only play with the coins you buy.