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Online Poker Iowa

Today at IABetting.com, you will learn everything you need to know about Iowa online poker, including online poker’s legal status in Iowa, how you can sign up for Iowa online poker sites, information on Iowa poker rooms, and much more.

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When it comes to gambling legislation, the Hawkeye State has taken mostly a progressive stance up to this point; except when it comes to online poker and casinos. When the U.S. Supreme Court decided to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, Iowa was one of the first states in the country to pass sports betting laws.

Fans looking forward to online poker in Iowa, however, are still waiting in the wings, as state lawmakers have not yet agreed on the subject. While there are online social casinos and even physical poker rooms in the state, there have yet to be any significant steps to legalize online poker.

With momentum from online sports betting revenue pushing agendas, many poker enthusiasts are optimistic that online poker in Iowa could become a reality sometime in 2024. 

With that in mind, let’s dive into what to expect when it comes to online poker in Iowa’s eventual launch, including how you can get involved right away when the day comes.

Best Iowa online poker sites

Though there has not yet been online poker Iowa legislation passed in the Hawkeye State, there are legal operators currently live across the country. Here are the best Iowa online poker sites to expect when the day comes.

No, online poker is not yet legal in Iowa. Beginning in 1989, Iowa has had licensed riverboat casinos, with racinos added to the mix in 1994. Gamblers got a taste of what is to come in 2019, with Iowa online sports betting becoming available to Iowans across the state.

Currently, online poker is only legal and operating in Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. In 2022, the Iowa General Assembly issued a two-year moratorium on all gambling licenses via House File 2497 which gave a pause to any additional gambling legislation potential.

When online poker in Iowa does become legal, it will likely be overseen and regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC), which currently oversees all Iowa gambling operations. It is worth noting that a 2022 report from Morgan Stanley noted that it estimated iGaming (online poker and casinos) revenue to be more than $260 million the year it gets legalized.

How could you sign up at an Iowa online poker site?

Despite online poker in Iowa not yet being legalized, we can draw some conclusions from states such as New Jersey on what the sign-up process will be.

  1. Get Bonus: Coming right back here to IABetting.com, you’ll find each of the legal operators with reviews of their Iowa sites. On each of those pages, there will be a ‘Get Bonus’ link, that once followed, will give your new account the latest welcome offer and redirect you directly to their Iowa site.
  2. Sign-Up for Account: With the best welcome offer bonus already applied, fill in the requested login information such as email address, username, and password. Fill out any security questions and continue to the next step.
  3. Legal Information: With your login credentials locked down, the Iowa online poker site will now verify your identity by requesting information such as first and last name, home address, phone number, and the last four digits of your social security number.
  4. Deposit Funds: Because of the backing of the state of Iowa and the oversight promises of the IRGC, each online poker site in Iowa will offer many payment options. Choose the payment method that works best for you and deposit money into your account, keeping in mind any minimums required by the terms and conditions of your welcome offer bonus.
  5. Pick Your Game Type and Limits: There will be a variety of online poker games to choose from at the online Poker Iowa site, many of which we’ll get to here shortly. Choose the game that best fits what you’re looking for and begin playing.

Iowa casinos with poker rooms

There are currently five poker rooms in Iowa, all located at one of the state's 12 casinos. Below are the five Iowa casinos with poker rooms, and where to find them.

  • Grand Falls Casino: 1415 Grand Falls Blvd., Larchwood, IA 51241
  • Horseshoe Casino - Council Bluffs: 2701 23rd Avenue, Council Bluffs, IA 51501
  • Prairie Meadows: Prairie Meadows Dr, Altoona, IA 50009
  • Riverside Casino: 3184 Hwy 22, Riverside, IA 52327
  • Catfish Bend Casino: 902 Riverview Drive, Fort Madison, Iowa 52627

Which online poker games will you be able to play in Iowa?

While the poker game Texas Hold’em gets much of the attention in the world of online poker, there are many more, with something for everyone. Based on what we’re seeing in other states that have legalized the industry, let’s take a look at which online poker games you will be able to play in Iowa when things get started.

  • Texas Hold’em: The clear number one game in online poker is no doubt Texas Hold’em. Made mainstream by the televising of the World Series of Poker and movies such as Rounders, Texas Hold’em is responsible for the majority of the games you’ll see at online poker Iowa sites. To start, each player at the table (maximum eight) receives two cards as a round of betting ensues before the dealer shows any cards. The dealer then proceeds to show three (flop), one (turn), and one (river) cards, each with a round of betting after. The name of the game is to use your two cards, and three of the dealers, to make the best possible hand.
  • Omaha: The next most popular game of online poker is Omama, also known as Omaha High. Like Texas Hold’em, the players receive cards right away, except in Omaha, they receive four. The dealer also proceeds to deal five cars of their own, and the player uses two of theirs and three of the dealers' to make the best five-card hand possible.
  • Five-Card Draw: You might be familiar with five-card draw online poker, as it’s one of the easiest types of poker games to learn. Each player at the table is dealt five cards face down, and they can then trade as many cards as they want with the deck, with one round of betting. The poker game that involves the most luck, five-card draw poker is very much about bluffing.
  • Badugi: Players at the table are dealt four cards (face down), and a round of betting ensues right away. The players can then swap cards with the deck, with another round of betting to follow. This happens two more times before all players flop their cards, with the worst hand on the table being the winner.
  • Pineapple: Crazy Pineapple Poker, like Texas Hold’em, starts out with the player receiving cards. After each player receives three cards initially, there is a round of betting, and then the dealer flops three cards before another round of betting. Next, each player discards one of their own cards, before Texas Hold’em rules then follows until the game is complete.

Expert advice when playing online poker in Iowa after it’s legalized

You might have some experience playing poker in one of Iowa’s dozen casinos, but there are different things to be aware of when playing the game online. Based on more than a decade of playing, below is some expert advice when playing online poker in Iowa after it’s legalized.

  • Play Free Games: As you get to learn the platform, take the time to understand the buttons for fold, call, bet, etc., and take advantage of the free games available. These are not just a great resource for learning the system, but also getting the flow of the table in terms of when to call, fold, or bet.
  • Pick Your Style: Personally, rarely do I enter a pot without first raising, as my style of online poker is always aggressive. Whether you choose to play aggressively or a more passive approach, pick a style and strategy and stick to it.
  • Count Blinds Left: You should always be aware of how many times you can afford to pay the big blind based on your stack of chips. By knowing this multiplier, you can measure how aggressive you can afford to be (or not be) on each hand.

Why choose a mobile poker app over an online poker site?

When online poker in Iowa becomes a reality, both mobile poker apps and poker sites will launch in the state. There are pros and cons to using both, however. Here are some pros and cons of choosing a mobile poker app over an online poker site.

Pros

  • Mobile App-Exclusive Promos: While promo offers on a case-by-case basis depending on the operator, some Iowa online poker operators might offer welcome offers available to only mobile users. Once you’ve downloaded the Iowa online poker app, head to the promotions tab to see if any are available.
  • Playing On The Go: When you play poker on a mobile app, you can play from anywhere as long as you have internet (or cellular data connection) and are inside Iowa state lines. This means whether you’re at work, in the car, at a concert, or at home, online poker is available directly in your pocket.
  • Cash Games: Each online poker site in Iowa will have two sections, one for cash games and one for tournaments. Cash games allow players to come and go from the table using the money in their account, unlike a tournament which requires you to sit until the end if you want to win any money. Mobile poker apps are great for cash games, accordingly.

Cons

  • Can’t Multitask: Just as when you use any app on your phone when you are using an Iowa online poker mobile app, it’s the only thing you can do on your phone. If you’re someone who likes to do other things on your screen in the background while you wait out poker hands, the desktop site is your better option.
  • Cellular Data: Unless you are at home or a place where your mobile phone is connected to wifi, you’ll have to rely on cellular data to use your mobile poker app in Iowa. Not only can this get costly depending on your mobile phone plan, but the connection also might be unstable; not an ideal scenario when playing poker for real money.

FAQ

Do all casinos in Iowa have poker rooms?

No, not all casinos in Iowa have poker rooms. Five casinos in Iowa currently have poker rooms including Grand Falls Casino, Horseshoe Casino - Council Bluffs, Prairie Meadows, Riverside Casino, and Catfish Bend Casino.

Should I play at offshore poker sites in Iowa?

No, you should never play at offshore poker sites in Iowa as they are unsafe and are not regulated by any domestic government. Because of this, there is no jurisdiction to help with any issues you might have with them.

When could IA legalize online poker?

Yes, IA could legalize online poker as soon as 2024, as a two-year moratorium is set to end in the summer of 2024.

What penalties could I face for playing online poker in Iowa?

Because online poker is not yet legal in Iowa, the type of penalties you can face depends entirely on local municipalities and their willingness to push the issue. See Title XVI of the Iowa Code for more information on gambling laws in the state.

Is online poker considered a game of skill or chance in Iowa?

Currently, there is zero mention of online gaming in any Iowa legislation, so the state has not yet ruled if online poker is a game of skill or chance.

Are there any local poker tournaments or events in Iowa?

Yes, each of the five casinos (Grand Falls Casino, Horseshoe Casino - Council Bluffs, Prairie Meadows, Riverside Casino, and Catfish Bend Casino) that have poker rooms in Iowa offer local tournaments and events throughout the year.