Online San Francisco Poker Rooms in CA
San Francisco may not be the most populous city in California, but it is certainly famous for its love for poker. Although the Golden State has a rich gambling history, its residents don’t have many options to pursue their favorite game, especially because the state still hasn’t regulated online poker.
Those into live poker can visit SF land-based rooms, as they frequently host tournaments. Others can hone their skills at sweepstakes sites or visit offshore poker rooms. Several lawmakers have attempted to legalize online poker over the last 15 years, but their efforts haven’t been fruitful.
Until that happens, we will explore everything you need to know about online poker in San Francisco, how to choose the best offshore sites, where to find them, and a lot more.
Best Online Poker Sites in San Francisco, California
There is a diverse pool of international online poker platforms, and many accept players from San Francisco and the rest of California. However, the problem with some is that they have rigid rules, operate under licenses from shady providers, have insufficient player traffic, and so on.
This is why our team has searched high and low to choose only those worthy of your time and money. In the list below, we recommend providers that offer generous bonuses, have an excellent reputation and game selection, and feature a variety of tournaments and cash games. Check out the following websites:
My list of the best US poker sites which I consider to be the best rooms to play in 2023:
- BetOnline Poker
- Ignition Poker
- Everygame Poker
- Juicy Stakes Poker
- ACR Poker
- Bovada Poker
- BlackChip Poker
- SportsBetting Poker
100% Legal & Licensed Verified Bonus Mobile Friendly Advertiser Disclosure. Must be +18 to participate.
Is Online Poker Legal in San Francisco, CA?
Poker has been popular in San Francisco and other California cities since the early 20th century, but it became quite a sensation in the 1980s. The Golden Gate City has several land-based casinos with poker rooms, offering constant action. However, the game’s online version hasn’t been that fortunate. The state hasn’t legalized it yet, although there have been several attempts over the last decade.
Once the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) became law in 2006, financial transaction providers were prohibited from transferring funds to or from online gambling websites. This was also when most online poker sites stopped accepting US players, eradicating real-money poker sites from San Francisco and the state.
Over the following years, California lawmakers introduced several online poker legislations. Although that raised players’ hopes, these proposals did not move up the legislative ladder.
The first one was in 2008 when Assemblyman Lloyd Levine proposed AB 2026. Another followed in 2010 when Senator Roderick Wright introduced SB 1485, also called the Internet Gambling Consumer Protection and Public-Private Partnership Act. Unfortunately, both were unsuccessful.
Senator Wright didn’t give up and introduced a new bill in 2012 — SB 1463. Although he had support from the tribes, they eventually dissolved, weakening his position. More attempts were made in the next few years, including SB 1366 in 2014, AB 431 in 2015, AB 2863 in 2016, and AB 1677 in 2017. Still, all of these legislative sessions ended without poker law being passed. After that, no online bills were proposed, and the focus shifted to sports betting.
This certainly doesn’t mean SF players have no options to enjoy their favorite poker games. They can visit land-based casinos, sweepstakes sites, or offshore platforms. Additionally, many international sites cater to San Francisco players. However, it is crucial for you to only choose reputable, safe, and licensed ones since they don’t follow SF and CA laws. As a result, you won’t have any legal protection if something goes wrong.
San Francisco, CA Poker Laws
It is important to familiarize yourself with the legal framework that pertains to poker in San Francisco and the rest of California. Here are some laws you should check:
- Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988
- Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006
- California Penal Code
- California Gambling Law, Regulations, and Resource Information of 2022
- Assembly Bill No. 649, Chapter 432
How to Choose the Best San Francisco Poker SiteChoosing the right poker site can be pretty challenging, even if you know what you want. Below, we have provided more information on certain aspects of a poker site that we believe are particularly important when deciding where to join.
Licensing and SecurityYour safety is paramount when playing at an international poker platform. The site you choose to join must have a good reputation and possess a valid license. It won’t come from San Francisco, but from other internationally established regulatory agencies, including the Malta Gaming Authority, the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner, the Curaçao Gaming Control Board, and others.
An online poker room should also implement advanced security protocols, such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology. Poker sites usually employ 1024-bit encryption to protect their activities from outside interference. These security measures ensure that your confidential information is always protected to the fullest extent.
Cash Game Selection and TournamentsTexas Hold’em and Omaha are poker games offered by almost every land-based casino. However, online platforms feature plenty of other options. If you want to play 7-Card Stud, Mississippi Stud, Pai Gow Poker, or some rarer variation, such as Razz or Badugi, you can find them all on offshore sites, along with various other alternatives.
Furthermore, you can also choose a game with a high/low split and no-limit, limit, or pot-limit variants. Whatever online platform you go for, make sure it features plenty of poker games. Top sites also host daily and weekly tournaments.
Rake and Player TrafficChoosing a site that’s a ghost town won’t help you, even if they’ve got the best poker software and offer the most generous bonuses. The success of an online poker room depends on its liquidity. In other words, the number of players online must be sufficient to keep the games running 24 hours a day. Some websites constantly track and update this information and help you determine whether a particular room is worth checking out. If you cannot find this information, reading other people’s reviews and feedback will help you get a clearer picture.
Regarding rakes, websites should offer tables with different options so that they can cater to both beginners and pro players. If you are new to poker, it is better to start with lower rakes and slowly build your way up.
Bonuses and PromotionsThose who like to gamble online will tell you that bonuses play a huge role in deciding where to play. Excellent casino sites reward players with lucrative bonuses and promotions. Many provide deposit bonuses, rakeback deals, cashbacks, freerolls, loyalty programs, and a slew of other promotions to reward the time you spend playing at their tables.
However, these incentives aren’t limited to existing casino players. Many poker rooms also feature welcome promotions to attract new clients, which can be quite beneficial in building your bankroll.
As tempting as they sound, bonuses are subject to wagering requirements. They usually range from 20x to 40x, but sometimes, they can be insanely high and go over 50x. This is a red flag, and you should avoid such casinos. So, before choosing an online poker room, look at this vital aspect and read the fine print.
Banking OptionsTo play online poker, you must make a deposit. Many different ways of depositing are available to poker players, but not every San Francisco site offers all of them. The leading sites usually have a variety of payment methods, but before signing up, check if the one you prefer is available; otherwise, you may be disappointed to discover you cannot use it after you have already set up your account. Additionally, you should consider the transaction speed and the minimum and maximum amount you can cash out.
Device CompatibilitySince you carry your mobile device everywhere, the platform you choose needs to be compatible with it. These sites can typically work on a wide range of devices, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Some casinos will even offer native apps you can download to your laptop or smartphone.
Customer SupportEvery poker website must provide efficient and friendly customer support. The support team should be knowledgeable and readily available to resolve everything from trivial issues to serious problems. Moreover, being able to reach them 24/7 via several communication channels, such as email, phone, and live chat, is a huge plus. There should also be an exhaustive FAQ section that will offer quick solutions to recurring questions.
Benefits of Playing Online Poker in San Francisco, CAAlthough many players are used to enjoying poker in a live setting, its online counterpart has become popular over the last decade. If you are still hesitant to start playing online, we have listed several benefits that you may find helpful.
- Convenience — This is one of the major benefits of online poker, as it allows you to play it from anywhere in the world. All you need is a device and an internet connection, and you can enjoy the game from the comfort of your home, while you are commuting, or even if you are on vacation.
- Bonuses and deals — This is what attracts the biggest number of players to online poker. Operators compete to offer better welcome packages, deposit offers, and non-deposit promotions. There are also VIP programs for loyal customers.
- Games offered — Every online platform features a wide range of poker titles. Aside from the popular variations, you can also try some of the rarer ones.
- Lower rake — The rake, or the fee for participating in a tournament, is significantly lower than in brick-and-mortar casinos. This way, players have higher chances of making a profit.
- Easy access — Joining the poker action has never been easier. In fact, it requires just a few clicks or taps. You don’t have to travel to the local land-based casino, and you can find a seat at the table at any time. The best thing is that you can do it 24/7.
- Multi-tabling — You can also play online poker at multiple tables simultaneously. This approach is not easy, and we don’t recommend it for beginners, but seasoned players can do it to increase their chances of winning big.
- Participants — Online poker has no shortage of players. They come from all over the world and play on multiple websites, so whether you are a newbie or a poker pro, you’ll always find someone to take on.
Famous Poker Players From San Francisco, CAThe Golden Gate City is home to many successful poker professionals, including Neil Blumenfield, Zachary Hyman and Joe Sebok, to name a few.
Neil Blumenfield has participated in more than 70 live tournaments and is currently ranked #240 poker player in the US and #40 in California. He has amassed more than $3.8 million in poker competitions, and his biggest success was a prize of $3.3 million in one live tournament.
Another San Francisco native, Zachary Hyman, is a well-known poker pro who won over $1.9 million in his career. He was part of 22 live poker tournaments, and in one of them, he emerged victorious and took home a prize of over $700k. Hyman is ranked #1,112 on the all-time money list.
Joe Sebok, also known as the “Cub”, is a San Francisco poker player currently ranked #1,212 on the all-time money list and #115 in California. Sebok took part in more than 40 public tourneys, which brought him over $1.8 million. His biggest achievement was a prize of over $200k in a single live tournament.
Other San Francisco poker pros are Chris Tham, Sverre Sundbo, Philippe Rouas, Yves Victor Hallague, and others.
Best Land-Based Poker Rooms in San Francisco, CASan Francisco is home to three land-based gambling facilities, each with a dedicated poker room. They may not be the biggest ones, but they are often action-packed. We suggest you visit them if you are a fan of Texas Hold’em, 3-Card Poker, Pai Gow Poker, Omaha Hi/Lo, and 7-Card Stud.
Furthermore, this is where you can participate in daily poker tournaments. Buy-ins for the tourneys range from $100 to $300.
|Poker Room||Address||Number of Tables||Tournaments|
|Artichoke Joe’s Casino||659 Huntington Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066||6||No|
|Lucky Chances Casino||1700 Hillside Blvd, Colma, CA 94014||19||Yes|
|Pete’s 881 Club||721 Lincoln Ave, San Rafael, CA 94901||4||Yes|
Is online poker legal in San Francisco, California?
Which cash games can I play in SF online poker rooms?
Can I claim bonuses on San Francisco poker sites?
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Poker Sites by US States
- new hampshire
- new jersey
- new mexico
- new york
- north carolina
- north dakota
- rhode island
- south carolina
- south dakota
- washington dc
- west virginia