There are many Indiana poker options, including multiple casino poker rooms within the Indiana borders and many more in neighboring states.
With online sports betting regulated in the state, many Indiana-based poker fans are wondering whether regulated online poker will follow. While there are no provisions for this in HB 1015, many hope the success of sports betting will help move things forward.
You can play online poker for cash prizes in Indiana right now at Global Poker, a legal online social poker site that covers almost all of the U.S. Below, we cover options for live poker games, online poker options, and bonuses available to poker fans in Indiana.
Is online poker legal in Indiana?
In 2019, Indiana passed a sweeping online gambling bill that set out regulations for online sportsbooks, changed live casinos (adding table games) and added new casino licenses.
Unfortunately, HB 1015 did not legalize online poker, which remains illegal today.
There are some positives for players who would like to see their Indiana online poker options increase. Lawmakers have been trying to expand online gambling in the state. While efforts fell short in 2022, there are rumblings in Indianapolis that a larger gaming modernization bill could come in 2024.
Expansion efforts in the past have focused on online casino gaming, but online poker could make a future bill as well.
Regarding real-money online poker, only Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, and Delaware have legal sites up and running.
However, Indiana residents can enjoy online poker for cash prizes at Global Poker. You can find out more on this site below.
Indiana poker rooms near you
When it comes to playing live poker in Indiana, Hoosiers have several options. Most of these poker rooms are moderately sized, although some are as large as 20 tables.
Here are the current options for live poker games at Indiana casinos:
- Caesars Southern Indiana
- Four Winds South Bend Casino
- Horseshoe Hammond
- Horseshoe Indianapolis
Notable poker tours with stops in Indiana include the Highland Poker Tour, WSOP Circuit and WPT.
Indiana has a history of successful poker players. Big names from the Hoosier State include Mike Sexton and WSOP Main Event winner John Cynn, who went to Indiana University.
How to play online poker games at Global Poker in Indiana
Global Poker uses state sweepstakes laws to provide online poker games in Indiana. This site is growing in popularity. It regularly gets 100-plus cash game tables active and a busy schedule of poker tournaments.
Instead of playing directly for dollars at Global Poker, you’ll play for Sweeps Coins. You can convert Sweeps Coins to cash prizes when you decide to redeem. These cash prizes can be redeemed into your personal bank account.
You can’t purchase Sweeps Coins directly; instead, you purchase Gold Coins (for entertainment only) and Global Poker gives you Sweeps Coins with that purchase.
For those new to the concept, coming across Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins may seem like a foreign concept. You’ll find that it doesn’t take long to get used to using Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins.
Banks allow you to use credit or debit cards to purchase Gold Coins on social online gaming platforms like Global Poker.
Promo offers on the site include a freeroll entry for new players, guaranteed tournaments (with satellites), and giveaways via social media. You can even get free Sweeps Coins by sending a physical letter to an address you’ll find on Global Poker’s website.
Games include no limit hold ’em, pot limit Omaha, and a small number of Crazy Pineapple tables. You can play in cash-game format or join small tournaments, which often have guaranteed prize pools.
There are also jackpot sit and gos (SNGs). These are hyper-turbo games, with random prize pools of up to 2000x your buy-in.
What poker games can I play online?
Online poker has come a long way since it began at the end of the 1990s. Today, you’ll find a lot of different formats competing for your attention.
When state-regulated online poker rooms come to Indiana, you can expect some of the following formats and game variations to be available:
- Cash games: This was the original poker format. You play for chips that have a direct monetary value. In a live Indiana poker room, the smallest game has $1/$2 blinds. Online games can be much lower, with 1c/2c as the smallest, topping out at around $5/$10. Expect many poker variants to be available in a cash-game format.
- Tournaments: Instead of using chips with real-money value, you buy in and get a stack of tournament chips. Play continues until one player has all the chips, with prize money distributed to around 10% of the field. The big prizes are for the winner and players at the final table. Tournaments now have multiple variations. These include rebuy, turbo, and knockout bounty games, as well as qualifiers for live or online events.
- SNGs: Smaller sit-and-go tournaments start at just one table, which begins as soon as there are enough players. This is a popular tournament format, as the time commitment is much lower than for multi-table tournament games.
- Fast-fold poker: Since playing every hand is never a winning poker strategy, you’ll end up waiting for other players in most games. Fast-fold poker was developed to avoid this “dead time.” You join a pool of players at any given buy-in. As soon as you fold your current hand, you are sent to a new game with new players from that pool. This online poker format works well on mobile phones; it can be 4x the speed of regular games.
- Lottery SNGs: This newer format involves a fast, three-handed tournament with a random prize pool. You won’t know whether you are playing for 2x your buy-in or up to 10,000x before each game begins. With short chip stacks and 2- to 3-minute blind levels, you must act fast to avoid being blinded away.
Many real-money online poker sites have begun adding novelty games like Omaha poker variants and short-deck hold ’em.
Bonuses at Indiana online poker rooms
While it is impossible to know the exact promos and bonus offers that could come if Indiana regulates real-money online poker, we can look to poker sites in other states for clues on potential bonus offers:
- No deposit poker bonuses: When online poker rooms first open, most have a big marketing push to hit a critical mass of players. A small amount of money for simply registering is a popular bonus offer. This is usually in the $10 to $25 range. You’ll have to collect points via real-money play before withdrawing the cash.
- Matched deposit bonus: This has been the industry standard for online poker rooms for a long time. Indiana poker sites will likely offer a 100% bonus, matched to your first deposit. Often, you clear this money in increments into your real-money account as you collect points from playing real-money poker games.
- Loyalty point offers: Online poker rooms handle loyalty rewards differently. Some rooms offer flat deals, where you collect points you can exchange for cash or tournament entries. Others have tiers, with bigger bonuses the more points you receive. Still, other sites have novel systems like the “chests” (containing custom rewards) of the Stars’ loyalty program.
- Free tournament entries: Poker rooms often have tournaments with small real-money prizes and tournament ticket giveaways. Some of these are qualifiers to larger buy-in events.
- Reload bonuses: It is not only brand-new players that can benefit from deposit bonus offers. Reloads are often less than 100% and give loyal players who need to top up their account a way to get some bonus money.
Alongside these standard bonus formats, real-money online poker rooms often create attractive promotions. These include online tournament events, leaderboard contests, rake back, extra points during happy hour, and sometimes crossover promos with casino or sports betting areas of the brand.
Wrapping up: How would Indiana-regulated online poker look?
The biggest question about Indiana real-money online poker is whether inter-state pools will be allowed in the state when legislation is passed. If so, there could be some huge regulated online poker rooms to join. If not, it will be a case of the individual brands battling it out to see who gets to critical mass first.
With more players, legal Indiana online poker rooms will be able to offer bigger tournament guarantees and a better choice of games. This will attract more players, creating a cycle that can be a big boost.
State regulators must decide whether to allow inter-state pools when considering online poker for Indiana.
From other states, we know that big international brands like Stars, 888 and PartyPoker are keen to partner with local license holders. In some cases, these sites also power poker rooms, which keep the brand of the live casino. The advantage of playing with these big brands is that they already have innovative new formats and games running (at international sites).
While nobody knows when state-licensed online poker will begin in Indiana, there is already one safe and legal option. Global Poker turns every hand into a mini-sweepstakes contest. This allows you to win cash prizes and legally redeem them to your bank.
While Indiana waits for regulation, this makes for an entertaining low-stakes option.