Michael Tradford
Last Update:
October 6, 2021
This author was thoroughly tested and approved by the experts at before joining the editorial board to ensure a high content quality.
Author Bio:
Michael was Marketing Director in Atlantic City and worked in the casino industry for several years before shifting over to numerous newspapers in New York and Chicago working his way up to Editor-in-Chief. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports, gambling, and politics. He has a Marketing Degree, visited Columbia University during his time in New York and is now Editor-in-Chief at AmericaGambles.
Michael was Marketing Director in Atlantic City and worked in the casino industry for several years before shifting over to numerous newspapers in New York and Chicago working his way up to Editor-in-Chief. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports, gambling, and politics. He has a Marketing Degree, visited Columbia University during his time in New York and is now Editor-in-Chief at AmericaGambles.

Online Poker Age in the US: How old do I have to be?

Online poker is no different from the real-life version of the game. The only significant difference between the former and the latter is that with online poker, you do not see your opponent, but you are allowed to increase your chances of winning by playing more than one game at a time. However, there is a legal online poker age limit that should be attained before you can play, and we will discuss that in this article.

Everything you need to know about Online Poker Age
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  • Most virtual poker rooms have their online poker age limit set at 18+

  • The legal minimum age for online poker is 21

  • There are online poker sites that are regulated by the US government

  • The online poker age limit applies to all variations of online poker

  • The easiest way to play online poker is by visiting an online poker site

Basics of Online Poker

Playing online poker is almost the same as playing the real-life version, except that you don't see your opponent. If you are feeling smart and lucky, you have the privilege of playing multiple games and winning big within a shorter time frame. You can get more for the money you put into online poker as many poker sites offer amazing bonuses such as sign-up bonuses, and deposit bonuses as well as poker tournaments and games that are worth your time. If you are new at poker and would like to learn more about online poker, and how to play online poker for real money, then you can read some online poker books to know what online poker for beginners’ entail.

General Legal Age

Poker is a game that mostly involves betting, and there are laws regulating betting activities in different places. As for the online poker rooms, most have set their legal age limit at 18. This age limit is because several states in America allow gamblers who are at least 18 years of age. The rules with 18 years are the legal minimum age for online poker are Idaho, Minnesota, Alaska, and Wyoming. While online poker is yet to be legalized in these states, it is not considered an illegal activity at a federal level; thus state laws on gaming remain murky when it comes to the legality of virtual poker and other online gaming. However, responsible gaming has never been paid less attention in the United States of America. Most United States regulated gaming sites have specific age limits, and they have their minimum legal age limit set at 18 just so that if other states decide to legalize online poker in the future, they will not have to alienate gamers in those states.

For U.S citizens who reside in states like New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware, they have the privilege of enjoying online gambling to make real money at authorized and regulated betting websites but only if they not below 21 years of age.

There has been no legal framework supporting the game of online poker in states like New York, California, and Pennsylvania, since January 2016.

Nevertheless, with several petitions aimed at legalizing that game of online poker in those states and other U.S states, residents within the legal age limit may soon be able to play.

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Regulated Sites and Legality

There are some websites where you can play online poker and are under regulations by the US government. On these sites, US citizens who are residents in states where playing poker is legal can enjoy playing without restrictions. There are unlimited sites where underaged people can play online poker, but it is illegal and dangerous as there is no guarantee that you will receive your winnings, and they may run off with your money. You are advised to be careful and vigilant when deciding what website to play on, putting your region of residing and the minimum legal age set by websites into consideration.

One good reason why the government has decided to regulate poker sites is unsecured deposits and withdrawals. One of the sites accused by the U.S government of defrauding poker players is Full Tilt Poker, and the website has since been seized. However full Tilt Poker has long built a new website but under new leadership

Another challenge with unlimited poker sites is that most of the mediums to pay and receive money on these sites are considered to be illegal under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

The unlawful internet gambling enforcement act was put in place due to the activities of fraudulent sites like Full Tilt, and it aims to protect players from other websites that may steal their money.

At the moment, there are numerous unregulated betting sites than regulated sites, mainly because the government has very tight restrictions on betting sites that operate within the United States territory.

With more states in America embracing the legalization of online poker, there is a likelihood that more websites will be allowed to offer online poker services and also restrictions will get looser.

States with authorized online poker sites

At present, the only states in America that expressly allow the game of online poker are Nevada New Jersey and Delaware. As earlier mentioned, the legal age for playing this game in the eastern States. Nevertheless, the game of poker has been legalized in Pennsylvania no law allowing it has been put in place. There is also hope that other states will authorize it based on legal matters in recent years paving the way for the legalization of online casino games.

Precautions for underage players

It is not advised that persons below 21 engage in online gambling. The following are the precautions that underage gamblers should note:

  • According to the United States law, Illegal Internet gambling leads to seven varying federal ramifications. It is considered forbidden and unlawful to carry out any illegal gambling business, to make use of the telecommunications to carry out an illegal gambling business that has to do with sports bets, to make use of on-ground facilities and infrastructure to carry out an unlawful gambling activity in U.S states where the law forbids such actions.
  • Also important to note is that if a person gets convicted of underage gambling, that information automatically is added to their criminal record. Any conviction of underage gambling will also attract an immediate consequence and draw a fine of between $500 to $1000 in addition to the person's driving license been ceased for half a year. If a convicted person is below the age of 16 or below the legal age of getting a driver's license in a particular state such a person would have to wait for an additional six months before they can legally obtain these documents.
  • If anybody in the custody of an underage person allows them to engage in online poker or get involved in any similar or local activity such a person can be charged with a disorderly person offense.
  • To emphasize the severity of underaged poker-playing; there is a committee that is responsible for the prevention of illicit gambling activities or underage gambling in the States where such is forbidden.
  • The AGA (American Gaming Association), carries out the duties of preventing underage gambling and illicit gambling activities and create awareness on the dangers of engaging in such activities in places where they are considered illegal.

Where to find legal online poker sites and start playing

Playing online poker is not only safe when done within the legal age limit, but it is also considered a very profitable activity. This is the very reason why lots of people who reside in US states where online polka is legal to engage in the game and cash out.

For people who are new to playing poker, we understand that it may seem a little challenging finding the right sites where you can legally play and win. However, you do not have to worry much about that as we have things sorted out for you all you're required to do is visit our poker comparison page where you can easily select good poker sites.

Select your state
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New Jersey
Select your state to find the best operator for you personally.
Variations: 5+
Rake: approx. 5% (Cap $1-$5)
Player Pool: 350 - 1,400
Variations: 4+
Rake: approx. 5% (Cap $0.30 - $3.50)
Player Pool: 500 - 3,000
Variations: 8+
Rake: approx. 5% (Cap $1-$5)
Player Pool: 350 - 1,400
Variations: 4+
Rake: approx. 5% (Cap $1-$5)
Player Pool: 350 - 1,400
Variations: 7+
Rake: approx. 5% (Cap $0.30 - $3.50)
Player Pool: 500 - 3,000


Start earning big with online poker if you're within the legal age limit.
Most online poker rooms have set their online poker age limit at 18+. However, in the U.S, the legal minimum age for online poker is set at 21. To avoid fraudulent activities by online poker sites, guarantee receipt of winnings, and keep player's money safe, the US government put online poker sites under strict regulations. As earlier mentioned, there are legal consequences for under-aged poker players and parents who encourage underage poker activities in the U.S.
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