Poker Tournaments in Kentucky in 2024 – KY Poker Tournaments Schedule & Results

Read on and learn about the biggest poker tournaments in the Bluegrass State

Last Updated on February 15, 2024 by Avatar Author Adrian Sterne
Fact checked by Dusan Jovanovic

Kentucky boasts a long history of gambling. However, it is limited to only three categories — horse racing, lottery, and bingo and raffles. Despite multiple attempts, the Bluegrass State has never legalized casino gambling, including poker. It features no land-based casinos or card rooms and offers no real-money state-licensed online gambling sites.

Nevertheless, all is not lost for Kentucky poker enthusiasts. Plenty of offshore online casinos organize poker events they can join. Read on to learn more about Kentucky tournaments and where to find them.

Poker Tournaments in Kentucky

The first trace of KY gambling dates back to the 1780s when the first horse racing tracks opened in Lexington and Louisville. However, the state did not progress at the same pace after that. It waited over two centuries to introduce its two other legal gambling categories — lottery and charitable gambling.

The Kentucky state lottery has been operating since 1989, and charitable bingo and raffle parlors opened in 1992. The Bluegrass State gambling scene fell into another deep slumber after that. The next developments occurred in 2011 and 2016 when the authorities allowed instant horse racing machines and online lottery ticket sales.

Throughout the years, Kentucky passed no legislation related to real-money casino gambling or poker. Rep. Adam Koenig’s HB 137 bill, which focused on sports betting while also including provisions for legal online poker, was the closest Kentucky got to achieving this goal. Nevertheless, it was dropped in April 2020. As a result, the only way the residents can play state-licensed poker is at home or at charitable events.

Online Poker Tournaments in Kentucky

As mentioned, Kentucky hasn’t legalized casino gambling, online or otherwise. The only forms of real-money online gambling available to its residents are horse racing and lottery. The former is offered by advance-deposit wagering sites like Churchill Downs and TwinSpires. The latter is available through Kentucky’s official lottery site and app.

Daily fantasy sports are also a part of Tobacco State’s online gambling offer. Two renowned DFS providers accept players from this state. However, this category remains unregulated because Koenig’s 2020 bill failed.

An offer this scarce leaves KY online poker players with two options — sweepstakes sites and offshore casinos. Sweepstakes and social gaming sites are allowed because they don’t fall under Kentucky’s definition of gambling. They let players enjoy casino-style games like poker without “staking or risking anything of value.

Offshore online casinos and poker rooms are gambling platforms registered outside Kentucky’s borders. They host a variety of quality poker games and organize regular online tournaments. Since KY gambling legislation comprises no stipulations that specify penalties for playing on these sites, Kentuckians are technically free to join them.

Please remember that we’re not legal experts, so you shouldn’t take our advice at face value. If you intend to participate in poker tournaments on offshore gambling sites, consult your lawyer to learn more about your legal rights and obligations.

Land-Based Poker Tournaments in Kentuck

While Kentucky doesn’t outlaw real-money poker specifically, its gambling legislation criminalizes this game by definition. So, there is no state-licensed land-based location where you can play poker for real money. By extension, you’ll also find no real-money land-based poker tournaments in this state, either.

The only way Kentucky poker fans can enjoy this game within the borders of their homeland is at home or by participating in charitable gaming events. The Tobacco State lets residents and visitors organize and engage in home poker games as long as they aren’t profitable for anyone involved.

Kentuckians can also enter charitable poker events at KY state-licensed social clubs and other similar venues. The law exempts these events on the same grounds — their purpose is not to generate profit.

If these options don’t seem competitive enough, you may have to drive across the border. Depending on where you live, you’ll find the closest brick-and-mortar casinos with real-money poker tournaments in Ohio or Indiana.

How to Register for an Online Poker Tournament in Kentucky

Registering for a KY online poker tournament is surprisingly easy. The process is the same on most online gaming sites and comprises a few simple steps. For your convenience, we’ve provided a brief overview below. Have a look.

Pick an offshore poker site

There’s no shortage of online poker platforms that accept Kentucky players, and you can see that on this page. Check out our list, visit the linked operators, and consider their poker tournament offer. Choose a site that fits your needs and preferences best.


Visit your operator’s official website, find the Join or Sign Up button, and click on it. The site will direct you to a page with a registration form you should complete. Provide your name, address, phone number, date of birth, and other required information. Depending on the operator, you may also need to enter a bonus code if you plan on claiming the welcome deal.

Verify your email address or phone number using the link or message you’ve received from the casino. Once your account is active, you can return to the main page and use your credentials to log in.

Head to the Promotion section and find the welcome deal your poker site offers. Read the bonus terms attached to the promotion to learn whether you’re eligible and how you can claim it. Note the specifics like the qualifying deposit amount, wagering requirements, maximum withdrawal limits, and so on.

Deposit & Play

Browse the site to find the Cashier page and select it. This section includes a list of payment methods you can use to fund your account. Choose the option you like best, enter the amount you want to transfer, and confirm your request. Some casinos might require you to verify your identity or financial information before they allow you to make a transaction. This process typically involves sending documentation like a photo of your ID, bank statement, utility bill, or an equivalent.

Visit the gaming library or Tournaments section and browse the poker events offered. Find the tournament format that appeals to you the most and read the rules and entry requirements. Follow the necessary steps to join the competition and start gaming. Good luck!

Kentucky Land-Based Casino With Poker Tournaments

Real-money gambling, including poker, is illegal in Kentucky, so there are no land-based casinos or poker rooms. Additionally, there are no tribal casinos, even though the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act allowed Native American tribes to organize and regulate gambling on their land in 1988. So, Kentucky doesn’t offer any land-based poker tournaments at the moment.

Unfortunately, there’s no indication that this situation will change soon. The idea of land-based gambling expansion has many supporters, but Kentucky lawmakers strongly oppose it. The neighboring states’ brick-and-mortar poker rooms will likely remain the closest tournament venues for a long time.

Kentucky Poker Tournament Schedule

Kentucky might not offer any land-based poker tournaments, but its online poker scene is packed with offshore casino events. The schedule below provides the latest info on ongoing and upcoming competitions. Take a look.

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Final Thoughts

There is a reason why Kentucky isn’t one of the top tournament destinations in the US. Namely, the state outlaws land-based and online casino gambling, including poker. Nevertheless, there are still numerous offshore-based gaming sites that feature poker tournaments for Kentucky players. We’ve linked the operators with the best offers on this page. Check them out and take your pick.


Are there any legal poker tournaments in Kentucky?

No. All casino gambling is illegal in Kentucky, so you’ll find no venues or online sites that host poker tournaments in this state. The only exceptions are charitable land-based and online sweepstakes events because their activities don’t constitute gambling according to the KY laws.

Can I play in online poker tournaments in Kentucky?

Many offshore gambling sites with poker tournaments offer their services to Kentucky players. KY gambling legislation makes no mention of these sites, so joining and playing on them is technically allowed. However, a lawyer or legal counselor might help you understand your position better.

What’s the best online poker room in Kentucky?

Kentucky offers no state-licensed poker rooms. However, plenty of great offshore online casinos accept players from this state. If you have trouble choosing, refer to the list we’ve provided on this page. It comprises reputable operators with rich offers of tournaments and games.

Will Kentucky legalize online poker tournaments in the future?

It might. There are currently no efforts toward online gambling legalization in the state. Nevertheless, this proposition has many supporters in Kentucky, including the current governor, Andy Beshear.

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