Arizona has a small selection of cardrooms where you can play Hold’em cash games and tournaments. Arizona live poker is legal at many of the state’s tribal casinos.
Though The Grand Canyon State has lots of tribal casinos, not all of them offer dedicated poker rooms. Here are a few of the cardrooms in AZ where you can play poker throughout the week.
The Arena Poker Room at Talking Stick Resort in Arizona opened in 2010. Its 47-table cardroom marks it out as arguably Arizona’s best poker establishment. Certainly, with a host of cash games and tournaments running 24/7, there’s a good reason for that rating.
The Arena Poker Room caters to a range of tourney preferences, including freezeouts, re-buys, and bounties. Look out also for special events such as the Seniors Poker Open which even includes friendly-priced satellites.
If you prefer a league-style set-up, you’ll enjoy promotions like the Summer Point Challenge. You earn league points every time you play qualifying tournaments. Top your division and you’ll be in line for a share of a guaranteed prizepool.
There are also major tournaments held during the year. The highlight is the Arizona State Poker Championship which attracts thousands of players from the region.
Rewards and loyalty schemes are integral to the Arena Poker Room experience. As a player, you can reap the benefits of your time spent at the tables.
The Player Rewards Club Card allows you to rack up loyalty points, and then exchange them for cash or other benefits. You can also pick up freeplay tokens to use at Talking Stick Resort if slots are your thing.
Lone Butte Casino is the only one in the Gila River Resorts chain to operate a dedicated poker room. The cardroom opened in 2002 and now boasts over 20 tables in total, more than enough to accommodate the players who turn out for the weekly guaranteed tourneys. There’s even a dedicated private entrance to the room just for poker players.
In addition to regular tourneys, Lone Butte has played host to several big championships, attracting poker enthusiasts from across the region and beyond. These include a $200,000-guaranteed Hold’em event, as well as a special Player of the Year tournament for the best-performing players at the clubs.
As for poker variants, the casino offers a range of games, including Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and Seven-Card Stud, to name a few.
The casino also offers a rewards program, known as THE Card, which allows members to earn points as they play. These points can be redeemed for a variety of benefits, including free play, dining discounts, and special promotions. In addition to this, Lone Butte Casino runs a daily happy hour, offering discounted drinks to patrons.
Desert Diamond Casino West Valley is one of four casinos in Arizona operated by the same tribe. It’s also one of the only casinos in the Desert Diamond family to run a poker room.
Situated in Glendale, AZ, the cardroom opened its doors to the public in December 2015. This gaming destination is well-known for its expansive poker room that features 36 poker tables, catering to a variety of player preferences.
Casino Del Sol, nestled in the heart of Tucson, Arizona, opened its doors in 2001 and has since established itself as a premier destination for poker enthusiasts. The dedicated poker room is open from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. and houses 13 high-quality tables.
Cash games are the undoubted highlight here: $1/$2 Spread Limit Hold’em, $1/$3 NLHE, and $4/$8 Limit Hold’em are the most popular games offered. Look out too for Bad Beat Jackpots that run throughout the year.
The poker room at Casino Del Sol also hosts regular tournaments that are scheduled throughout the week. These include the much-anticipated Sunday Bounty and the Monday $1500-GTD, both of which draw large crowds. Don’t forget to take advantage of the exclusive poker dinner menu for local players.
As a patron of Casino Del Sol, you are also eligible to join the Rewards Club. This program offers a range of benefits, such as complimentary meals, discounts on hotel stays, and points that can be redeemed for a variety of services within the casino. The more you play, the more points you earn, making your poker experience even more rewarding.
Desert Diamond Casino Tucson doesn’t offer as much poker as its sister site in West Valley. However, the 8 tables offer enough action for even the most jaded poker player.
This Arizona poker room caters to a range of skill levels, providing opportunities for both novices and seasoned players. The room is designed to create a comfortable and exciting environment for players, ensuring a memorable gaming experience.
A distinguishing feature of the casino is the Diamond Rewards Club, a loyalty program with seven tiers. This program offers players the opportunity to earn points and enjoy a variety of benefits, enhancing their overall gaming experience.
The poker room also runs a variety of promotions, including high-hand jackpots that roll over, adding an extra layer of excitement to the games. These promotions not only provide additional opportunities to win but also contribute to the vibrant and engaging atmosphere of the poker room.
Some of Arizona’s B&M casinos offer poker games alongside their slots and table games. Here’s a list of the best Arizona poker rooms.
|The Arena Poker Room @ Talking Stick Resort||Talking Stick Resort, 9800 E. Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85256||Scottsdale||1-480-850-8693|
|Gila River Resorts – Lone Butte Casino||1077 S. Kyrene Road, Chandler, AZ 85226||Chandler||1-800-946-4452|
|Desert Diamond Casino Tucson||7350 S. Nogales Hwy, Tucson, AZ 85756||Tucson||1-866-332-9467|
|Desert Diamond Casino West Valley||9431 W. Northern Ave, Glendale, AZ 85305||Glendale||1-623-877-7777|
|Casino Del Sol||5655 W. Valencia Rd, Tucson, AZ 85757||Tucson||1-855-765-7829|
|Hon-Dah Resort Casino||777 Highway 260, Pinetop, AZ 95935||Pinetop||1-800-WAY-UP-HIGH|
Each Arizona poker room offers something different. Not all casinos have lots of tables, either, so always check our list before you set out.
|Cardroom Name||Games Offered||Number of Tables||Major Events|
|Gila River Resorts – Lone Butte Casino||Hold’em, Omaha, Big O, Bad Beat Jackpot||20+||$200k-GTD tournament, Player of the Year Tournament|
|The Arena Poker Room||Hold’em, Omaha, 7-Card Stud, Spread Limit, bounties, freezeouts, satellites||47+||Arizona State Poker Championship, Seniors Poker Open|
|Desert Diamond Casino Tucson||$1/$2 Spread Limit Hold’em, $4/$8 Limit Omaha, $60 NLHE tournaments ($2,000 GTE)||8||n/a|
|Desert Diamond Casino West Valley||No Limit Hold’em, Omaha, high-hand jackpot,||36||n/a|
|Casino Del Sol||$1/$3 NLHE, $4/$8 Limit, Omaha, Big O, tournaments, bad beat jackpot||10+||n/a|
|Hon-Dah Casino||$40 Mixed Tournament (Hold’em, Crazy Pineapple, Omaha), bounty tournament||5||Poker Bingo|
Some of the Arizona poker room locations are attached to casinos with hotels. Only Talking Stick Resort pushes 500 rooms, but all suites are clean and spacious.
|Casino Name||Number of Rooms|
|Talking Stick Resort||496|
|Casino Del Sol||215|
|Desert Diamond Tucson||148|
You can enjoy a selection of classic poker variants and mixed games at the best Arizona poker rooms. Here are some of the more popular variations that you’ll be able to play.
Hold’em is easily the most popular version of poker in Arizona. Cash game players are looked after with limits starting at around $1/$3. Limit Hold’em goes a little higher (to $4/$8). Bad beat jackpots are spread across most Hold’em cash games.
Tournaments at AZ poker rooms tend to carry guarantees, but the really large payouts are reserved for the major events.
The four-hole-card variant of Hold’em is normally played as Pot Limit Hi/Lo at a typical Arizona poker room. You receive four hole cards, two of which you must use to make the best poker hand.
In most cases, Omaha is played as a cash game, but some casinos like Hon-Dah Casino include Omaha as a discipline in their mixed-game tournaments.
7-Card Stud is only really offered at the biggest Arizona cardrooms, such as The Arena Poker Room. You receive three cards to start with, followed by rounds of betting, and then a final down-card. You win by making the best five-card poker hand from seven available cards.
Arizona cash games don’t stretch to H.O.R.S.E., though the bigger cardrooms do offer mixed-game tournaments. You play a round of each discipline, with the dealer announcing every variant at the start of a new round.
Big O is probably the most unusual game that you’ll find at a standard Arizona poker room. It’s a variant of Omaha where you begin with five hole cards, instead of the regulation four. You play the game Hi-Lo, so half the pot can be won by the lowest qualifying hand – if one exists.
AZ poker rooms offer a mix of tournament and cash action. Ensure you’re of minimum gambling age before you enter, and may the luck be with you.
Some of the best live poker in Arizona can be found at the cash tables. Cash games cover Limit, No Limit, and Spread Limit games, and that includes both Hold’em and Omaha. Most cardrooms in Arizona offer Bad Beat Jackpots, in addition to high-hand payouts.
The bigger Arizona poker rooms like The ARENA host some impressive tournaments with large prizepools. The Arizona State Poker Championship is the biggest of all and regularly brings in lots of players. The 2023 Arizona State Poker Championship drew in a record crowd of 2,066 runners, all battling for a prizepool worth $2.1m.
Again, The Arena Poker Room is the place to go if you want to find bounty tournaments. In a bounty, you win a cash payout for every player you bust.
Poker satellites are a great way to win a large buy-in at a fraction of the cost. The Arena Poker Room is your best bet for live satellites, especially during a large festival like The Arizona State Poker Championship.
Every Arizona poker room operates within the walls of a licensed tribal casino. That means you can take advantage of the same great rewards programs as slots and roulette players. Always practice responsible gambling whenever you join a loyalty program.
In a loyalty scheme, you add points to your player card whenever you pay tourney fees or cash game rake. The more points you collect, the bigger your benefits.
The Gila River Indian Community and Tohono O’odham Nation are the most active Native American tribes running casinos and cardrooms in Arizona. The Tohono O’odham Nation operates four of the Desert Diamond Casinos in Tucson, Sahuarita, West Valley, and Why. However, currently, just two offer live poker in Arizona.
The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community runs just two casinos – Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort – but Talking Stick comes out on top in the state with one of the largest cardroom properties.
In addition to live poker options, Arizona is beginning to open up its gambling industry. Check out our guides to AZ gaming below.
Some Arizona casinos have played host to major US poker tours in the past. The WSOP-C (WSOP Circuit) and WPTDeepStacks have held tournaments in Arizona in recent years. Most common, however, are the large state championships that grace AZ each year.
By far and away, the State Poker Championship is the most prestigious of the Arizona poker tournaments held in The Grand Canyon State. It was first held in 2006 and is still going strong.
The most recent Arizona State Poker Championship, hosted in 2023, carried a prizepool worth over $2m. Over 2,000 players came from across Arizona and further afield to take part. Ryan Stiner was the 2023 winner, bagging a first prize worth $262,000.
Arizona doesn’t have a lot of famous pro poker stars. However, a glance at the top 20 reveals plenty of players who have broken the $2m mark for career earnings. Jim Bechtel, from Coolidge, AZ, has multiple WSOP bracelets to his name in a career stretching back 40+ years.
As a poker player in Arizona, it’s crucial to understand your tax obligations. Any gambling winnings, including poker, are taxable income. When you win $600 or more, the casino will provide you with a Form W-2G.
This form details the amount you won and the taxes withheld. It’s your responsibility to report all your gambling winnings to the IRS, regardless of whether you received a Form W-2G or not. You’ll be taxed between 2.59% and 4.5% in Arizona, depending on how much your income is.
When filing your taxes, include your winnings on line 21, “Other Income,” on Form 1040. Remember, honesty in reporting can save you from potential penalties and interest down the line.
Gambling online also requires some knowledge of tax issues. Check out our online gambling tax guide for more information.
Live poker in Arizona has only been a reality since the early 1990s. Following a tribal-state compact, some Native American-owned casinos began offering Hold’em and Omaha alongside traditional slots and table games. Under Arizona gambling laws, you must be 21 or over to play poker and win money.
Away from tribal casinos, UIGEA has always weighed heavily on state lawmakers’ minds. However, since the relaxation of some online gambling laws in the US, states like Arizona are beginning to open up their industries.
In 2022, Arizona allowed the first online sportsbooks to open their virtual doors. The days of the Federal Wire Wager Act stopping states from expanding their gaming industries are long gone.
Unfortunately, the move hasn’t stretched to online poker. Unlike states like New Jersey and Nevada, Arizona won’t regulate poker sites. However, offshore poker rooms still provide cash games and tournaments quite happily to AZ residents.
Yes. Live poker rooms have been operating in Arizona since the 1990s. You can play cash games and tournaments on tribal casino properties as long as you are of the minimum gambling age.
There are over 20 brick-and-mortar casinos in Arizona, of which half a dozen offer cardrooms with poker tournaments and cash games. The largest cardrooms in AZ run yearly championships too with big guaranteed prizepools.
Casino Arizona was the first, and largest, cardroom to open in the state back in the late 1990s. It offered over 40 tables, alongside traditional casino games like roulette and slot machines.
There is no regulated online poker industry in Arizona. The state gambling laws don’t cover poker right now, but sports betting is permitted online. You can still access offshore poker sites that offer cash games, satellites, and tournaments.
Yes. You must be 21 or over to play poker live in the state of Arizona. You may be asked to present a photo ID when you enter an Arizona poker room to play cash or tournaments.
Yes, some Arizona cardrooms have house rules on dress. For example, all Gila River Resorts & Casinos properties require a shirt and shoes. Revealing clothing is not permitted on casino premises.
The largest cardrooms in Arizona are open 24/7. The Arena Poker Room at Talking Stick Resort has the longest opening hours, while smaller casinos start running games at 10 a.m.
Of course. The Arizona State Poker Championship is probably the biggest tournament in the state. The yearly event carries a guaranteed prizepool of $2 million and attracts the best players from the state.
Yes. Under Arizona law, you can play poker at home providing the organizer doesn’t take a rake or charge fees. You can find more details on the Arizona Department of Gaming website.
You may be eligible to pay tax on substantial poker winnings that you win at the casino. The casino will withhold a portion of your payout and inform the IRS. You must also complete a Form W-2G and include the win on your annual tax return.
Of course. Your first port of call should be the website of the Arizona Division of Problem Gambling. You’ll find full details on treatment, counseling, and self-exclusion programs.
Jim Bechtel is possibly the most famous poker pro to come from Arizona. He has won over $2m in live games, as well as two World Series of Poker bracelets.
Rake is the fee that an Arizona poker room deducts from a winning pot. You must pay rake on eligible cash game pots, as well as when paying tournament entries.
In general, you can’t play freerolls at AZ poker rooms. Freerolls are generally offered by online poker rooms only to entice new players. However, some of the larger B&M cardrooms in the US do offer freerolls to loyal customers and VIPs.
Absolutely. Most tribal casinos in Arizona offer a player card that lets you build up points every time you play poker. You can cash in player points for bonuses like free meals, hotel stays, or gifts.
Yes. Desert Diamond Casinos are building a new casino resort at White Tanks, which is due to open in late 2024. The poker room will have 12 tables and will offer cash games and tournaments.
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