Florida is a fairly progressive destination when it comes to playing poker. Home to multiple casinos, race tracks and card rooms throughout the state, there are multiple opportunities to engage in legitimate, above board gambling entertainment, including legal Florida online poker options. The Sunshine State went through a short stint with Internet cafes, however it went down hill fairly quickly once it was discovered that these cafes were associated with illegal gambling operations. They are now outlawed throughout Florida, which brought the state face to face with the issue of online gambling and how they wanted to position themselves. This guide will discuss the legal status of online poker gambling in Florida, which options are legally sanctioned to offer card playing services to Florida residents, and how to find and access the top rated options.
There are a variety of legal Florida poker options available to players. There are more than 40 brick and mortar card rooms and a handful of legally licensed and regulated offshore poker sites that accept Florida residents. While a few state such as New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware offer state regulated online poker options, Florida hasn't gotten there quite yet. Though discussions have taken place such as with Senate Bill 7052, but nothing much has come of them. The state's bad experience with illegal online gambling through Internet Cafe's has probably set Florida back a bit in the move to legalize state based online poker. It is currently illegal to own or operate an online gambling site of any kind within the state of Florida. This law does not prohibit Florida residents and visitors from engaging in online poker gambling that is licensed, regulated and based outside of the United States. There is also no federal law that legally prohibits this either. The key here is in making sure you do not visit any type of Internet poker room that does not hold the credentials necessary for operating legally within the industry. If you'd like to learn more about the existing gambling laws and statutes in the Sunshine State, then you can visit the Florida State Legislature website or this resource.
Florida law requires that all participants of lottery games, pari-mutuel wagering, bingo and poker be a minimum of 18 years of age. Participants interested in playing electronic casino games must be a minimum of 21 years of age. These established gambling ages translate into the online gambling arena as well. This means that players who are 18 years of age or older can engage in licensed online poker at virtual card rooms that are located outside of the US. Where some players get confused is with the casino gambling. Many licensed online casinos accept players as young as 18, however, if your state, such as Florida, has applied a minimum casino gambling age of 21, then in order to comply with the law, you must wait until you are 21 to engage, despite the online gambling site's willingness to welcome younger players. Though it is true you would probably not get caught if you were to participate at 18, is it really worth the risk? Most states take underage gambling pretty seriously and could use anyone that is caught to make an example of.
The poker sites that are recommended in this guide offer a variety of online poker games and platforms. You will find multiple variations of games such as Texas Hold'em, Omaha, 5 card and 7 card Stud, HORSE, RAZZ, Caribbean Poker, and others. You will also find various pot limits and buy in levels to accommodate the preferences and budgets of just about any player. The brands we recommend offer cash games and tournament games around the clock, including guaranteed tournaments and sit n' go tournaments. Buy-ins range from micro to high roller levels, and there are freerolls as well. The player base sizes at the sites listed in this guide are decent in all cases, ensuring plenty of fish in the water, with various levels of competitiveness. Most top rated poker sites also offer a mobile application that allows you to play online poker from your smartphone or tablet. This technology is somewhat new, hence the game selection may be smaller in some cases, but the experience is just robust.
As mentioned above, as long as an online poker site is legally licensed, regulated and is located outside of the United States, you are not breaking any state or Federal laws by participating in poker gaming at these types of destinations. However, this does not mean you should not apply reasonable due diligence in selecting the poker room you will play at. Not everything that is legal is a good idea, and this holds true in online gambling. Just because a poker site is licensed to provide services to players around the world does not mean they should be blindly trusted. We have a stringent set of criteria by which we evaluate the legally sanctioned poker rooms that accept Florida players. We strongly recommend that you rely on the input of trusted resources and industry professionals for selecting a legitimate, secure and high quality poker destination. This guide is an example of the type of resources we recommend.
Our review process is thorough and intense, and effectively exposes undesirable and questionable online poker destinations while also revealing the top rated options. We start with verifying that the site holds the appropriate credentials to ensure that they are licensed, regulated and compliance certified. If they are operating legitimately within the industry, we then move on to evaluate their security profile, game selection and performance, customer support staff, banking suite, bonus offers and all other elements of their operation. Each category must meet certain standards in order to be included here, and our standards do exceed minimum licensing requirements.
Our recommended online poker sites all offer a generous sign up bonus to new players, as well as various reload bonuses, tournament promotions, free entrance into tournament games and special events. Since these types of gambling destinations cannot offer you comps on your hotel room or food, they incentivize players through bonus money and free games. We anticipate that when Florida does legalize online poker, and we are confident that they will at some point, they will offer similar bonuses and promotions as their competitors do across the pond.