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Virginia online poker

In this VABetting.com feature, you will learn everything you need to know about Virginia online poker, including the best VA online poker sites, its legal status, and much more.

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With legalized online sports betting in VA launching in January of 2021, and brick-and-mortar casinos continuing to open up in the southern part of the state, residents of the Old Dominion state continue to prove their appetite for gambling. Unfortunately for gamblers who prefer to do their gambling online, online casino legislation has thus far failed to pass in the state capital. 

And despite retail poker rooms being operating in the state, legislation has also not yet passed for Virginia online poker. With online sports betting bringing in $67 million in tax revenue to the state in 2023, more than double that of 2022, there is plenty of incentive for Richmond to work towards legal Virginia online poker shortly.

Let’s take a closer look at what to expect when the day comes. 

Best Virginia online poker sites

Though there are not yet any Virginia online poker sites legally operating quite yet, based on what we see in nearby states such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey, we can make some reasonable assumptions on what to expect.

No, online poker is not legal in Virginia, despite there being recent strides in online gambling and brick-and-mortar casino legislation. In April 2020, House Bill 896 and Senate Bill 384 were passed by the Virginia General Assembly, with then-Governor Ralph Northam signing them into law.

On January 1, 2023, sports betting officially went live in the state, and there are now 16 online sportsbooks in Virginia including Caesars Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, Bet365, BetRivers, BetMGM, Hard Rock Bet, Betway, Fanatics Sportsbook, Betfred Sports, Unibet, SI Sportsbook, ESPN BET, Bally Bet, Golden Nugget Online Sportsbook.

That same month, April 2020, Virginia legislators also voted on and passed Senate Bill 36 and House Bill 4, which together, set the framework for developing casinos in specific jurisdictions throughout VA.

While Northern Virginia had to be left alone, the law allowed for casino development in Bristol, Danville, Portsmouth, and Norfolk, VA. With a casino already established in Bristol, VA, the Hard Rock Casino Bristol, and the Headwaters Resort and Casino in Norfolk, VA set to open in November 2024, the gaming momentum in Virginia continues to accelerate.

When could Virginia legalize online poker?

With tax revenue for the state when it comes to online gambling in the form of sports betting doubling year over year since launching in 2021, pressure is mounting for VA lawmakers to figure something out. Even still, there is no definitive timeline for online gambling, including Virginia online poker, to go live in the Old Dominion State.

For Virginia to legalize online poker, there would have to be a specific bill introduced to the VA General Assembly and would have to be approved by both the House and Senate. Given that there has not been a bill introduced for legislative review, at least made public, there are still quite a few hurdles for legal online poker to see the light of day in Virginia.

With the economic benefits of legal gambling becoming more evident by the date, with nearly $70 million in tax revenue from online sports betting alone last year, pressure will surely mount for online poker to be brought to the House floor.

How you would sign up at a Virginia online poker site

Despite there not being any legal Virginia online poker sites yet operating, many gamblers in the state are optimistic that it is just a matter of time. When the day comes, you should be prepared to get in on the action as we look closer at how you would sign up at a Virginia online poker site.

  1. Get Bonus: Starting your journey right here at VABetting.com, we will have full-length reviews for each of the Virginia online poker sites, detailing their playability, payment methods, customer service, and of course, their promotional offers. Each site will offer a welcome bonus to entice new customers away from their competition, and at the top of each of our reviews, you will find a “Get Bonus” button that will take you to their best one.
  2. Register for a New Account: Once you follow the “Get Bonus” link mentioned in step one, you’ll automatically be redirected to the VA online poker site with the bonus applied to your account. From here, you’ll have to provide your new login credentials which will likely include your email address, username, and password. Set up any required security questions and answers and move on to the next step in the process.
  3. Enter Legal Information: Because of their backing by the State of Virginia, the online poker site will request your legal information to verify your identity. This will include, but may not be limited to, first and last name, home address, phone number, gender, birth date, and the last four digits of your social security number.
  4. Deposit Funds: Most likely, Virginia online poker sites, like their online sportsbooks, will be regulated and monitored by the Virginia Lottery. Thanks to this level of regulation and security, each will offer a plethora of payment options for depositing (and withdrawing) funds from the site. These will include popular payment providers such as Venmo, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, and many more.
  5. Choose Your Limits and Game: With your account's new setup and funds deposited into your account, the time has come to have some fun. Choose the type of online poker game (more on that below) that you want to play and the limits you want to play for. Enter the lobby, and then choose your seat to begin playing.

Types of online poker games that could come to Virginia

When online poker arrives at Virginia’s state lines, it won’t just be the fan-favorite Texas Hold’Em that will be available to play. Let’s take a closer look at the top five most popular types of online poker games that could come to Virginia when things get going.

  • Texas Hold’Em: Made popular by media such as the movie Rounders and ESPN broadcasting the World Series of Poker every summer, Texas Hold’Em holds the #1 spot for the most played poker game in the world. To start each game, every player at the table (max 8) receives two cards face down. The big blind must put a certain amount of chips in to even see the first two cards, while the player to their right (small blind) must put in half that amount. Everyone else at the table must pay the big blind after looking at their cards and deciding if they want to play the hand or not. From there, there are three cards placed face up on the table (the flop), followed by a round of betting and one more card face up (the turn). From there another round of betting ensues before the final face-up card (the river), and a final round of betting. The objective of each player is to combine their two cards with three cards from the dealer to make the best five-card hand.
  • Omaha: Also known as Omaha High, this game is similar to Texas Hold’Em except each player receives four cards initially instead of two. From there, the same cadence is followed by the dealer from Texas Hold’Em, as players can bet in between each round of card flips. The goal of the game, like its Texas cousin, is to make the best five-card hand using your cards and the communal dealer cards.
  • Five-Card Draw: For many, including myself, five-card draw was an introduction to poker as it is amongst the easiest types to learn. To start, each player is dealt five cards face down. From there, they can choose how many of those five cards, with zero to five being permissible, they want to swap with the dealer. After one round of betting ensues, each player flops their cards to see who has the best five-card hand.
  • Badugi Poker: Badugi is similar to five-card draw poker, with one major twist. Instead of receiving five cards face down, each player in Badui Poker receives four cards face down. From there, three rounds of betting ensue, with the ultimate goal of having the worst hand on the table made up of the four cards.
  • Crazy Pineapple: In Crazy Pineapple Poker, each player at the table is dealt three cards face down as a round of betting follows. The dealer then proceeds to flop three cards as another round of betting ensues, and then each player has to discard at least one card of their own. The dealer then follows Texas Hold’Em cadence, laying out five more cards in total, before the game is complete with the best player plus dealer cards winning the game.

Pros and cons of poker apps vs. online poker sites

When Virginia online poker sites go live, they will almost all have mobile apps on Android and Apple devices to go along with their desktop product. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using poker apps versus their online poker site counterparts.


  • Convenience: This one almost goes without saying, but the ability to play your favorite poker game on the go from your mobile device is a real game changer from fun. Once you live in the state, as long as you are within state lines, you’ll be able to use your VA poker app from wherever you are.
  • Cash Poker Games: Each of the VA online poker sites will have two primary sections; cash games and tournaments. While tournaments might be more geared toward desktop users, as they are longer in nature and require more concentration, cash games allow players to pop in and out, perfect for doing so on your phone or tablet.
  • Mobile-Specific Promos: While we have to wait and see what kind of promotional offers Virginia online poker sites roll out, there could very well be some that are specific to mobile. Using your poker app vs. an online poker site will make you eligible for those likely generous welcome offers that are for mobile users only.


  • Multitasking: If you are anything like me, when you are using a desktop browser you have multiple tabs and even windows open at once. When using your mobile device to play poker, you can only focus on the VA poker app, making multitasking nearly impossible.
  • Connection: Unless you are connected to WiFi, like any other app on your phone, your VA online poker app will rely on the strength of your cellular connection. This can be a big deal if you are in a critical spot in the game and your connection is unsteady. Also, depending on your cellular data package, overages can stack up when using data in the state of Virginia.

Advice for playing online poker in Virginia

You might have played poker at one of Virginia’s brick-and-mortar poker rooms, and that would certainly give you an advantage at online poker against someone who has never played any type of poker before. There are some differences, however, in the online game as we dive into some advice for playing online poker in Virginia based on my years of experience playing in other states.

  • Pick a Style: Personally, my style of online poker is an aggressive one which involves raising preflop anytime I have a pair of suited high cards. As a general rule of thumb, especially at lower stakes, I expect players to be more risk-averse and by juicing the pots early, I have a better chance of bringing home more later in the hand.
  • Start Free: On many of the Virginia online poker sites, you will be able to play games for free with no money risked. If you’ve never played online poker, this is a great way to get the cadence of the game, learn which buttons do what, and just get an overall feel for how the game will be displayed.
  • Remaining Blinds: When you are playing in a tournament, you should always be aware of how many remaining big blinds you can afford to play without going bust. For example, if you have $100 in chips and the big blind is $2, you can see at least 50 hands before going broke.


Is it legal to host a real money poker game at home in Virginia?

Real money poker games at home in Virginia fall somewhat in a gray area under VA law. While VA’s gambling laws prohibit any games of chance and making a profit from gambling, as long as hosts don’t take a rake (profit), they would not technically be breaking the rule. Do your own research before making any decisions.

Are offshore poker sites in VA safe to use?

No, offshore poker sites in VA are not safe to use, as they offer players no protection should things go awry. Because their severity is located in faraway places, “offshore”, they are all outside of United States regulation and jurisdiction and can be dangerous for Americans to play at.

Will poker sites in Virginia offer bonuses for new players?

Yes, poker sites in Virginia will offer bonuses for new players in an effort to entice competition away from their competitors. These will include, most notably, welcome offers, but they will also offer ongoing bonuses for their players.

What penalties can operators face for offering online poker games in Virginia?

Operators who illegally offer online poker games in Virginia are subject to state laws surrounding illegal gambling activities. The penalties could include everything from felony criminal charges, fines, imprisonment, civil penalties, seizure of assets, and more.

Is it possible for Virginia to regulate online poker in the future?

Yes, Virginia can regulate online poker in the future, most likely being done by the Virginia Lottery which regulates online sports betting today.

Can I participate in online poker tournaments from Virginia?

No, you can not legally participate in online tournaments from Virginia, as legislation has not yet been passed to legalize Virginia online poker.

Are there any alternative forms of legal poker gaming in Virginia?

Despite online poker not yet being legal in the state, there are brick-and-mortar poker rooms that operate in the southern part of the state. Residents in Virginia can also participate in charitable and social games, as Virginia laws permit private games as long as the host does not make a profit. Lastly, Virginia has sweepstakes and social casinos, which are a version of online where virtual currencies are used instead of cash, some of which do offer online poker.