Michigan Online Poker: Best Legal Real Money Poker in MI

When it comes to online poker, Michigan has more playing options than most US states. When the state government signed the Michigan Lawful Internet Gaming Act into law in December 2019, Michigan became the sixth US state with licensed and regulated online poker sites. The rollout for legal online poker in Michigan began in earnest in 2021. In April 2022, Michigan online poker joined the Interstate Poker Compact with New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware.

Meanwhile, Michigan online poker players have the ability to play at offshore online poker sites, too. These cardrooms don't have the consumer protections that the licensed online gambling industry does, but they offer bigger bonuses and the ability to play with international card players. The sheer amount of MI online poker sites might confuse newcomers, so our guide to Michigan online poker covers all the options and provides answers to commonly asked questions. Keep reading for everything you need to know to play online poker in Michigan.

Poker Games Available at Real Money Poker Sites

While some real money online poker sites have over a half-dozen variants of the game, Michigan online poker sites tend to have a few popular games. Below is a list of the most popular variations of poker online, followed by the house rules that sites like Sportsbook and Sportsbook use.

  • Texas Hold'em: Players try to build the best 5-card hand using their two hole cards and five community cards. Most Michigan online poker sites host No-Limit, Pot-Limit, and Fixed-Limit versions of Texas Hold'em. No-Limit Texas Hold'em is the version of the game played in the WSOP Main Event.
  • Omaha: A popular game similar to Texas Hold'em but with four hole cards apiece. Also, the player's 5-card hand must contain exactly 2 hole cards and 3 community cards. Online poker in Michigan often has Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo variants, where half of the pot goes to the lowest hand (using the "Eights or Better" rule).
  • Seven-Card Stud: Seven-Card Stud is a game where players are dealt two hole cards and one upcard apiece to start. After a round of betting, they're dealt 3 upcards with a round of betting in-between. Finally, they receive a third upcard, which is followed by a round of betting. The 5 rounds of betting require extra patience and strategy.
  • H.O.R.S.E.: HORSE mixed several types of poker, so a player must be skilled at many variants to win. The acronym H.O.R.S.E. stands for Hold'em, Omaha, Razz, Seven-Card Stud, and Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo, Eights or Better (E standing for "Eights"). Players can enjoy cash games or tournaments involving H.O.R.S.E.

House Rules for Online Poker in Michigan

Many US poker sites have special house rules that enhance the poker games. These can be confusing for new players, so we offer a quick glossary of poker terms so you can choose the best game for you.

  • Knockout Tournaments: Players receive bounties for knocking out an opponent. Knockout tournaments cater to aggressive players.
  • Jackpot Sit & Go Event: Jackpot SNGs are three-player turbo events with buy-in ranges from $2 to $100. Called "hyper-turbo" events at some poker sites.
  • Anonymous Tables: When the player sits down at the table, they are anonymous. Poker history software doesn't work. This mimics a live poker game, where you don't know the other players at the table.
  • Quick Seat: When you enter the poker lobby, you're assigned to the next available table that qualifies for your needs.
  • Zone Poker: Each new hand, the player is reassigned to the first table that's available. This allows you to see more hands of poker, instead of waiting for the other players when you fold.


Banking Options for Online Poker in Michigan

Michigan poker players can use the same payment methods they would use at other online merchants. Credit card deposits not only trigger huge poker bonuses from the site but build up cashback and rewards from Visa and MasterCard as they do. Bitcoin, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies are the ultimate experience in speed, security, privacy, and transparency. Those who don't want to use credit cards or cryptos have options like Western Union, Person to Person, and bank wire transfers.

  • Visa: The west's largest credit card network, Visa is accepted as a banking option at any legitimate US online poker site. Visa-branded cards work for deposits, while many sites accept Visa payouts.
  • MasterCard: MasterCard is second only to Visa when it comes to acceptance at US online poker rooms. MasterCard-branded credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid cards work at most MI online poker sites.
  • Bitcoin: The world's first and most popular cryptocurrency. Bitcoin uses blockchain technology to provide world-class security and speed when making poker deposits.
  • Litecoin: Litecoin launched in 2013 as a faster alternative to Bitcoin. Litecoin is four times faster than Bitcoin and is a popular choice.
  • Ethereum: Ethereum is an altcoin that protects your deposits and payouts with blockchain technology. Outside of poker play, Ethereum also allows the use of smart contracts.
  • Bitcoin Cash: Bitcoin Cash is an altcoin that stems from a hard fork of Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash supporters claim their altcoin provides a better user experience than Bitcoin.
  • Western Union: Founded in 1851, Western Union remains one of the most trusted bank wire services over 170 years later. Pay at a Western Union office and the cardroom receives payment.
  • Person to Person: Person-to-Person wires cash to a person who collects deposits for the poker site. Use Western Union or MoneyGram for these payments. Speedpay is also available.
  • Bank Wire Transfer: Bank wire transfers move money directly from your bank account to the casino. These cost money but are highly secure.
  • Bank Check: Send a payment or collect winnings with a bank check. These are secure, but cost a fee and take extra days to arrive.

Safety and Fairness at Michigan Online Poker Sites

Whether card players gamble in the regulated or unregulated online gaming market, safety and fairness are major concerns. If a player wins a big pot or a big tournament, they need to know that they'll receive their poker winnings in a timely fashion. If a site doesn't pay reliably or it doesn't protect payments with world-class encryption software, it's like the player never won the poker event. With that in mind, here are factors to consider when choosing a poker room according to fairness and security.

  • Software Provider: Learn what software company provides support to the poker site. The provider not only determines the size of the player pool, but also determines gameplay, compatibility, and security.
  • Licensing Agency: Determine what licensing body oversees a poker site. For the regulated market, it's the Michigan Gaming Control Board. For the unregulated market, it's an offshore agency, often based in Malta, Curacao, Kahnawake, or the Isle of Man.
  • Third-Party Audits: Many sites have their games audited by third-party testers for fairness and safety. Technical Systems Testing (TST) is one such group. Also, the industry-led watch group eCOGRA audits sites on a monthly basis and gives their approval.
  • Player Reviews: Read review sites and aggregated player complaint forums to learn what a poker site's reputation is. Do they pay quickly? Do they have one-sided terms and conditions? Is their player pool soft? Is their customer support friendly and helpful?

Live Poker Rooms in Michigan

In all, Michigan has 65 different live card rooms. Sixty percent are local card clubs, while the remaining poker rooms exist inside Michigan's commercial and tribal casinos. Those in Upper Michigan should keep an eye on 906 Poker Social in Marquette. It's closed temporarily but had a good reputation when it was open.

Best Poker Rooms in Michigan

Poker Room NameLocationBest Feature
MGM Grand DetroitDetroitHigh Hand Jackpots, Bad Beat Poker
Greektown CasinoDetroitBravo Poker App, High Hand Cash Giveaway, MyChoice Rewards
MotorCity CasinoDetroit$313K Guaranteed, $2500 Multi-Bag Payout
Corunna Poker RoomOwosso$1/$2 Blinds, $40 Minimum Buy
Event SpotLansingFirst Friday $100 No-Limit Hold'em Tournament
King's Charity Poker RoomGrand Rapids40-50 Tournament Players Each Night
Momo's Poker RoomGrand RapidsTurbo Events, Cash Games, Benefit Local Charities
Lincoln Poker RoomGrand RapidsSplash Pot, Deep Stack, Mega Stack Events
River Poker RoomUtica3 Cash Tables, 5 Tournament Tables

MI Online Poker Laws and Regulations

On December 20, 2019, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law the Lawful Internet Gaming Act (LIGA), making Michigan the sixth US state to have legal online gambling. LIGA was a combination of two Michigan lawmakers' bills. State Senator Mike Kowall long had championship SB 203, which would have legalized online poker and online casinos, along with land-based sports betting.

State Representative Brandt Iden backed HB 4926, which also proposed legal Internet poker and casino games, along with land-based Sportsbook bets. Since Kowall and Iden are Republicans and Gov. Whitmer is a Democrat, the Lawful Internet Gaming Act of 2019 represented bipartisan support for legal Michigan gambling expansion.

Due to a large number of Michigan land-based casinos and potential online poker operators -- plus the troubles dealing with Covid in 2020 -- the rollout for Michigan online poker took an extended period throughout 2020 and 2021. By the end of 2021, Michigan had licensed and registered online poker. Players still could play at offshore online cardrooms for bigger bonuses, but also had the option of playing in the regulated gaming industry.

Latest Michigan Poker Updates

On April 12, 2022, Michigan's online poker regulators agreed to join the Multi State Internet Gambling Association (MSIGA) -- often known as the Interstate Poker Compact. In the future, Michigan poker sites will be able to share player liquidity with other US states, including New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada. This should lead to more bet levels, bigger tournaments with more entrants, and bigger guaranteed jackpots.

The decision to join the Interstate Poker Compact had been anticipated for a year. On June 22nd of 2021, the US Department of Justice allowed a deadline to lapse that had implications for multi-state poker in the United States. The DOJ had the right to appeal a US District Court decision on UIGEA and the Wire Act which had gone against the US federal government. The court case stemmed from a lawsuit by the New Hampshire Lottery to sue the federal government over its ban on real money interstate online gambling.

A US District Court judge had ruled the federal government had no right to ban such gaming under the provisions of UIGEA -- an assertion made by the Trump-era Department of Justice. The Biden DOJ appears to have chosen not to fight the case to the US Supreme Court.

How to Download Michigan Online Poker Software and Poker Apps

If you've never played at a MI online poker site, here is a how-to guide for new players. The sign-up and deposit process is easy, so you'll be gambling on your favorite poker game in a few short minutes.

  1. Choose Online Poker: Michigan Site: Read reviews of Michigan online poker sites. Choose one based on the games, software, bonuses, deposit methods, and reputation for safety and fairness.
  2. Sign Up for Player Account: Click on a link on the review page to go to a poker room's homepage. Click on "Sign Up" and go to the registration form. Enter you name, username, address, and email address.
  3. Make a Deposit: Visit the Cashier or Accounting page to make a deposit. Choose a banking method, input the amount you wish to deposit and confirm the payment. Input a bonus code if needed, and otherwise accept the welcome bonus.
  4. Join a Poker Game: Next, visit the poker lobby for a full list of cash games, sit-and-go events, and tournaments. Choose a game and confirm the choice. Remember to join any freerolls tournaments the site offers to newcomers.
  5. Play Poker Online: Enjoy your poker sessions. Be certain you read strategy tips before playing because poker contains many skill elements. Take frequent breaks. If you're new to poker, play for small stakes until you build up your skill level and bankroll.
  6. Cash Out Poker Winnings: Once you've satisfied the wagering requirements on your poker bonus, make a withdrawal request. Visit the cashier page again, choose a payment method, and wait for your payout. Remember that the first cashout often takes longer, due to verification needs.

Online Poker Michigan FAQ

Can I play poker online in Michigan?

Absolutely. Michigan online poker players have more options than players in most US states. You can play at online cardrooms licensed in Michigan or play at offshore online poker rooms.

How Does Online Poker in Michigan Work?

To play online poker, Michigan residents need to sign up and make a deposit at an online cardroom. Players have two options: either playing at regulated or unregulated poker sites.

Regulated poker rooms are the better option. They offer consumer protections and self-exclusion abilities, while unregulated poker rooms offer bigger welcome bonuses to lure players to open an account. 

Are Michigan Online Poker Sites Safe?

Absolutely, but you'll need to research the sites first. Regulated poker sites have their policies enforced by Michigan authorities. Players who gamble at offshore online poker sites must research the operator to learn if they're fair and trustworthy. To do so, they study their history and reputation, software providers, membership of watchdog groups like eCOGRA, and their international licensing. A key tool is a Michigan online poker site review.

Will Michigan Share Player Pools with Other U.S. States?

Yes. On April 12, 2022, Michigan joined the Multi State Internet Gaming Association (MSIGA), often known as the Interstate Poker Compact. As a member, Michigan players will be able to play against card players from New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada.

Now that Michigan is a MSIGA member, it's expected that Pennsylvania will join in the coming months and years. At present, it's not known when Michigan will become an active member, so keep checking back for updates on Michigan's launch date in the MSIGA. 

Where can I play live poker in Michigan?

Yes. Michigan has 39 card rooms and 26 land-based casinos that host live poker. The list of Michigan card rooms includes Lincoln County Club in Grand Rapids, Corunna Poker Room in Owossu, and the River Poker Room in Utica (formerly the One-Eyed Jacks Poker League). The list of casinos with poker rooms includes MGM Grand Detroit Casino, Greektown Casino Hotel, and MotorCity Casino in Detroit, along with Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant. 

Who can play at Michigan online poker rooms?

Michigan online poker is legal for any Michigan resident who is 21 years old and older. Also, non-resident people visiting Michigan can open an account and play while inside the state's borders, though they can't play once they leave Michigan. Again, the age limit is 21. 

To play, download the desktop application or mobile poker app. Visit the poker site's homepage and click on the "Play Now" link. Follow the instructions to download the poker software you need to play. 

Are Michigan online poker sites safe?

Yes, they are. Michigan regulates its online poker rooms, so the sites must follow Michigan regulations. 

Are home poker games legal in Michigan?

The Michigan Gaming Control Board allows home poker games, though certain laws apply. The organizer of a home poker game cannot collect a rake or other profits from the game. Otherwise, real money live poker games can take place. 

Can Michigan players compete for WSOP bracelets online?

Yes. Michigan players can compete in 12 different WSOP Online Circuit events. In 2022, these events took place between April 20 and May 1. Buy-ins ranged from $109 to $1,000, while the guaranteed prize pools ranged from $20,000 to $100,000. 

How big is the online poker market in Michigan?

Michigan has a population of approximately 9,974,000 people. Everyone in the state who's 21 or older can play at legal Michigan online poker sites.

Also, Michigan is a member of the Multi-State Internet Gambling Association (MSIGA), meaning it eventually will share player pools with New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada. These three states have a combined population of 12 million people, so Michigan online poker players have access to a pool of players of around 22 million. 

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