California Adrian Sterne

California’s Top Legal real money Poker Sites 2020

CaliforniaThe game of poker may have been in existence for many years before, but it was only in 1987 that California took steps towards properly legalising some of it. It was these steps that led to it becoming much more popular and triggering quite the poker boom. The legalisation of hold’em and Omaha flop games in 1987 in California was the first of these steps. Prior to that time, the state only allowed draw games to be played by poker gamers.

Yet, even before that time, California was providing more varieties of poker to the gambling market than anywhere else.

That being said, the number of people opting to play hold’em and the number of games taking place catering to such dramatically increased following the legalisation of the flop games there. Los Angeles, in specific, started operating the Commerce Casino and Bicycle Club following this, which proved to be hot points for poker gaming.

To add to this, Congress passed a law in 1988 which allowed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) to come into effect. This would legalise all types of casino and poker games on Indian lands. This saw poker rooms begin to open up on an even greater scale within California, before it spread out across much more of the United States.

Where to Play Online Poker in California

We have handpicked a range of online poker sites where we just know everyone living in California is going to be able to access and play a very large and diverse range of online Poker games, with this in mind please have a good look through the following collection of legal California online Poker sites and checkout the size of their new player sign up bonuses, they are huge!

My list of the best US poker sites which I consider to be the best rooms to play in 2020:

  1. BetOnline Poker
  2. Ignition Poker
  3. Intertops Poker
  4. Americas Cardroom
  5. Bovada Poker
  6. BlackChip Poker
  7. SportsBetting Poker
  8. True Poker

100% Legal & Licensed Verified Bonus Mobile Friendly Advertiser Disclosure. Must be +18 to participate.

RankPoker RoomsBonusReview...
100% up to $1000(T&C apply. 18+)
Read ReviewVisit SiteDeposit Options


  • 100% First deposit bonus
  • Promo Code: NEWBOL
  • Banking through cryptocurrencies
  • Top 3 in US player traffic

Payout Speed

1-3 days

Licensed by

100% upto $1000(T&C apply. 18+)
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  • Exclusively for US players
  • Bonus up to $1,000
  • Many Payment Options
  • Great Feature Selection

Payout Speed

1-3 days

Licensed by


200% upto $1000 Welcome Bonus

(T&C apply. 18+)
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  • Recreational Player Traffic
  • Get a 200% Match on Your Initial Deposit
  • Wide Tournament Selection
  • High-Quality Games

Payout Speed

1 - 5 days

Licensed by


100% upto $1000

(T&C apply. 18+)
Read ReviewVisit SiteDeposit Options


  • VIP Loyalty Program
  • Weekly Progressive Jackpot
  • Reliable Customer Support
  • US-Friendly

Payout Speed

1-3 days

Licensed by


100% up to $500

(T&C apply. 18+)
Read ReviewVisit SiteDeposit Options


  • Guaranteed Tournaments
  • Quick, secure payouts

Payout Speed

1-3 days

Licensed by

100% upto $1000 Welcome Bonus(T&C apply. 18+)
Read ReviewVisit SiteDeposit Options


  • Rich Player Traffic
  • Special Promotions
  • Get Free $1,000
  • US-Friendly

Payout Speed

2 - 5 days
100% upto $1000(T&C apply. 18+)
Read ReviewVisit SiteDeposit Options


  • Up to $1000 Sign Up Bonus
  • Promo Code: NEWSB
  • Highly Responsive Customer Support
  • Easy-To-Orient
  • Soft Competition

Payout Speed

1-3 days

Licensed by

100% upto $1000 Signup Bonus(T&C apply. 18+)
Read ReviewVisit SiteDeposit Options


  • Prompt Payment Processing
  • Welcome Bonus up to $1,000
  • Rakeback Options
  • VIP Elite Benefits

Payout Speed

1 - 4 days

All of the above California State online poker site bonuses are subject to change at any time, should any of them be of interest to you please visit the respective Poker sites website for full terms and conditions of any bonus listed.

Laws & Regulations In California

With the introduction of the UIGEA in 2006, many poker rooms were affected – especially when it came to the online poker industry. Many companies pulled out of the United States entirely, although California’s constitution doesn’t mark poker gameplay as illegal in any way. This is more so relative to land-based poker though, which means that the state maintains a strong selection of card rooms throughout the land. These have been in operation since around 1850 when California officially became a US state.

Unfortunately, online poker isn’t considered to be a specifically legal operation within the state. That’s not to say that it is illegal, but the UIGEA is still in effect across the US, which does put restrictions on what California is able to do as far as online poker is concerned. Tribal casinos are their own entity, and even though people from the state have been trying to get laws passed through to establish legal online poker, a lot of backlash has come from the tribal communities.

In more recent years though, things seem to have died down with the intention of legalising online poker in California. For example, much of 2018 and throughout 2019 so far, no poker-related proposals were put forward during legislative sessions. This is a bit of an unfortunate outcome, although the Supreme Court did overturn the PASPA ban in May of 2018. Perhaps a new ruling on online poker will come in due course.

Is it Legal to Play Poker Online in California?

While the state of California hasn’t got any laws regarding the legal status of online poker, players from there still have the ability to access such games. In fact, California is one of the largest states within the country, meaning that a large portion of players actually operate from there. Essentially, the reason that there aren’t any specifically legal online poker rooms in operation within California, is because there are no regulations in place to allow it.

Yet, there is still a perfectly legal way of accessing online poker from California. Players simply have to sign up to a site that operates from outside of the US. It’s not difficult to find such sites, with many providing their services out of locations like Costa Rica, Panama, Antigua, Curaçao and others. And while some online poker rooms that provide their services to the US do block certain states, California isn’t one of those. This means that regardless of which online poker room you choose to access from The Golden State, you should still be able to register and deposit there to enjoy rounds of poker.

There are many of these sites for you to access and join in with playing poker alongside other US citizens. In fact, we’ve located plenty of them for you as well, meaning that you can check out the ones that we think are the best. This will help you to avoid any poker rooms that may seem shady and take you along to those that can be trusted instead.

How to Select a Good Online California Poker Room

It’s not difficult to locate an online poker room that caters to Californian players. There are plenty of them in operation. However, not all of them cater to the market on a good enough level. That’s why we have gone through the full range of them and singled out the platforms that provide gamers within California with a great experience – and a safe one, too!

All of the poker rooms that we recommend here have gone through thorough testing and we’ve reviewed them in full, too. By checking through these reviews, you’ll be able to find out which ones hold respectable licences, which ones cater to and support your preferred payment method, how good their withdrawal processes are and much more. Reading through such will allow you to filter them to find out which one(s) works best for you.

Selecting a good online California poker room isn’t something that should just be done on a whim. After all, this is all to do with money. Online gambling shouldn’t be taken lightly by anyone. Find a site that you feel comfortable with. See what kind of licensing status it has. Find out about its various offers. Check to see how long it has been in operation. Uncover what kind of poker games it provides within its lobby. See if it supports your preferred payment method. All of these features are what you should look out for and more.

There’s little doubt that there will be one or more online poker rooms that will cater to your preferences. Then, it’s simply a matter of registering at the site and proceeding on with your initial deposit to start playing the games there.

Is Playing Poker Online Safe in California?

There isn’t specifically direct and easy answer for this question, because it generally depends upon the poker room that you’re playing at. For example, players from California won’t have any issues with accessing online poker sites, but not all of them operate in a safe and secure way. This is why it’s always good to make sure that the platform you’re accessing holds a gambling licence or at least has a good reputation behind it.

To put it simply, if an online poker room doesn’t have a gambling licence, then there aren’t really any regulations in place for it to adhere to in order to ensure that it’s providing you with a secure service. While some sites that don’t hold a licence do operate in a fair and just way, there are others that can take advantage of players who don’t know about this. So, while gameplay from California is a safe option, this can’t always be guaranteed unless you do your research beforehand.

Other than having a valid gambling licence and/or a good reputation, you should also check whether or not the platform is utilising a secure server and data encryption technology. Without such, there’s no guarantee that your personal data won’t be kept out of the sightline of prying eyes. It’s very important that an online poker room utilises these features, so that you know you’re not going to be giving up personal and private information to anyone and everyone by using it.

All payments to and from the poker room are carried out using reliable, professional payment processing companies and therefore receiving winnings withdrawn from the poker rooms is not an issue. Many now opt to use cryptocurrencies as all payments are untraceable and therefore remove any potential risk that pertains to federal laws. However, it is important to note; federal authorities do not prosecute individual players. They will, however, if deemed to be acting in defiance or against the wire act laws, will prosecute poker room operators but this is rare and has not occurred in years, so, therefore, playing in California is safe, and players should not have any worries or concerns in doing so.

Advantages of Playing Online Poker in California

Many Poker players enjoy taking part in Poker Tournaments however it is often the case that getting to and from the venue where they are being held can prove to be hard, especially if those Poker Tournaments are being held out of State.

Thanks to the online Poker plying environment then you are able to instantly, and with no effort what so ever, take part, enter and play in a huge range of Poker Tournaments whenever and wherever you like, simply by logging into one of our featured Pokers sites.

With there are such a very diverse range of online Poker Tournaments available then you will find plenty of free of charge Poker Tournaments up for grabs, plus you will also be able to take part in Satellite Poker Tournaments which offer you the chance, via a very low entry fee, to win a direct entry into a large paying Poker Tournament.

There really are lots of additional benefits of moving your land based Poker playing action online, so do make sure you checkout all of the above listed sites who all have something unique to offer you whenever you choose to log on and play!

Varieties of Online Poker in California

Playing poker in California is a great past time many enjoy, however those who may be just discovering poker online may be unaware of the different variants that they will have access to when registering with an online poker room. The positive side to this is the discovery will enlighten new players to not just the standard Texas Hold ‘em, but will see them being in the position to learn multiple other variants such as Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo and Omaha Hi-Lo and standard Omaha.

One of the advantageous large poker rooms provide is learning tutorials. This can include detailed explanations on how each variant is played and include lessons relating to strategic playing techniques, to will include video tutorials. When you consider the different variants that we mentioned, the one most played is Texas Hold ‘em as it is the version of poker most known to the majority of players, whether casual, professional or those that play home games. Its rules are the easiest to understand, however so too are the other variants, so taking time to learn them will not only provide an increase game variety but will increase your knowledge overall of poker and the finer details to playing it.

Making Deposits at Online California Poker Sites

Now, signing up to an online poker site is one thing, but making a deposit into your account is quite another. You’ll need to know that the payment method that you prefer is supported at your chosen site before registering. The introduction of 2006’s UIGEA law did affect transactions taking place to gambling sites, which was one of the main reasons that multiple operators chose to pull out of the US. However, since that time, various alternatives to bank transfers and card deposits have come into effect.

One of the best options to go for when it comes to depositing at an online poker room, is to use a cryptocurrency. There are so many cryptocurrencies available to use these days, including popular options like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dash, to name but a few. Because cryptocurrencies aren’t attached to any sort of central financial institution, the UIGEA law can’t have any sort of effect on them. This means that you can readily deposit and withdraw via any supported cryptocurrency. Due to this, multiple online poker rooms have taken the decision to start supporting such payments.

If cryptocurrencies aren’t supported or if they’re just not your preferred payment method, one or two other options are generally available to utilise. Many online poker rooms accept Money Orders as a valid form of payment. The issue with these can often be that they also come with transaction fees that you will need to pay for both depositing and withdrawing. The main other alternative to this is to make use of a Person to Person transfer, which operates in much the same way.

Famous Poker Players From California

erick lindgrenOne California based Poker player that you may be familiar with is Erick A. Lindgren, one of the most successful Poker players who is from Burney in California.

He has proved to be a mean opponent at many Poker Tournaments and has so far won for himself two World Poker Tour titles and has managed to additionally win two World Series of Poker Bracelets.

What to Watch Out For

There are certain things that you should be somewhat aware of when it comes to choosing an online poker room. These don’t pertain specifically to California, but to locating an online poker site from anywhere.

To begin with, watch out for those poker sites that promise you the whole world in a basket. If you come across a website that has an otherworldly welcome offer and promises of exceptional ongoing offers, there’s a strong chance that they won’t be genuine. Now, this isn’t something that is set in stone, but when you consider that proper online sites tend not to go over $1,000 as a maximum from their welcome offers, a poker room offering up to $10,000 should cause a few alarm bells to ring, for example.

Additionally, watch out for online poker rooms that don’t have a direct way of contacting a customer support team. By this, we mean live chat or telephone. Some may provide email addresses for you to utilise, although you can’t always be certain that you’ll get a response this way. The poker rooms that are operating on a more genuine level will ensure that you have the ability to contact them in a more direct way than email. Obviously, the ones providing round-the-clock support are much more appealing, as this means that regardless of when you’re playing, you’ll always be able to seek out assistance.

One final point to make a note of, is that online poker sites shouldn’t have any trouble with providing details of their location, their supposed gambling licence and more. Now, again, it’s not always the case that poker sites will provide these details.

Furthermore, it’s not always the case that they actually possess a gambling licence. And this doesn’t necessarily always make them a bad site to sign up to. However, it’s better for those who prefer peace of mind to watch out for this information. A regulated and licensed poker room won’t shy away from offering up details of their status.

Playing Online Poker in California FAQ

You may have a few different questions regarding playing online poker in the State of California, and as such below we have listed the most frequently asked questions and answered them all for you!

Are online Poker games available 24 hours a day in California?

YES. All poker games offered with online poker rooms are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is regardless of where you are located or the state you reside in.

Is there a charge or fee to download the online Poker sites software?

NO. Online poker rooms provide software free without the need to invest in purchasing the software as they retain full ownership of the software. You simply need to visit the poker room, click the download link and the software will begin downloading onto your computer. Some poker rooms are offered via a web browser and access to is also free to those that do.

Are Freeroll Poker Tournaments available to play online in California?

YES. Yes, all freerolls that are available to players online and not restricted to specific countries. Therefore entering freeroll tourneys is as simple as registering and being logged in at the time the tournament begins.

Can Private online Poker Tables bet set up at Poker sites?

YES. No, not all sites offer private tables. PokerStars is one of those that does however they currently do not allow those in California to register and play at the site.

Will I be able to play 7 Card Draw Poker online in California?

YES. Most online poker rooms offer 7 Card Draw Poker and those that reside in the state of California are able to access cash games, sit’n’go’s and 7 Card Draw Poker tournaments online.

About the Author

Adrian Sterne Editor

Hi, I am the Chief Editor of, this site is dedicated to all thing poker. I have been working around the poker industry for the last 15 years, with different brands. The main purpose of this site is to keep you uptodate with the industry and offer you the best deals around.