Discover an Arkansas poker room that’s right for you with our ultimate guide. Play live poker in Arkansas through the month, earn loyalty points, and jump into the biggest freezeouts in the region.
In Arkansas, live poker is restricted to one or two casinos. We’ve rounded up the best poker options in The Natural State, plus a few alternatives if you want to travel.
The Quapaw Nation is the only Native American tribe to run a cardroom in Arkansas. The Saracen Casino Resort opened a few years ago but it’s already making a name for itself as the place to go for live poker in Arkansas.
The small cardroom at Saracen Casino Resort in Jefferson County has 10 tables, most of which are occupied by cash players during the week.
Texas Hold’em and PLO are the go-to games for cash, with stakes starting at $1/$2. The $5/$10 Hold’em game seems to be popular on weekends too. However, there is also a Big O (5-Card Omaha) table running some nights.
As for tournaments, Saracen Casino Resort is a little quieter. Tournaments are promised, but cash games tend to dominate. The cardroom is signed up with Poker Atlas, however, an app that shows you what’s coming up that week.
The rewards program at Saracen Casino Resort is the Player’s Club. You may rack up loyalty points every time you play at this Arkansas poker room. You then cash in your player points for perks like discounted hotel rooms.
Let’s head over the border to Mississippi next for our next pick. The Pearl River Room is the main cardroom at the Golden Moon Casino in Philadelphia, MS. You can play at any of the 14 tables, making it the largest cardroom in The Magnolia State.
Cash games are the biggest draw of the Pearl River Room. Hold’em and Omaha games are available from $1/$2. Some high-stakes games run during weekends, though.
As for tournaments, there’s a $75 freezeout that runs every day. It’s the perfect option if you’re an amateur player who wants to eschew the cash mayhem. For special events and bigger circuit tournaments, we recommend you travel further to casinos like the Beau Rivage.
We stay in Mississippi for our next cardroom recommendation: Beau Rivage. This upgraded riverboat casino has a cardroom that opens at 10 a.m. and keeps the chips flowing until 4 a.m. every day.
The Beau Rivage is one of the must-visit casinos for cash game players. The cardroom spreads everything from Stud and PLO to Big O and NLHE. In addition, you can ask for 2–7 Triple Draw if there’s enough interest.
If the 16 tables don’t spread enough cash action for you, the tournaments might. Buy-ins start at $100 for the regular games.
There are larger events at the Beau Rivage as well. The Million Dollar Heater, for example, has a one-million-dollar guarantee during the near-month-long series.
Unlike Arkansas poker rooms, where bad beats and high hands aren’t too common, you can take advantage of lots of extra promotions. The Beau Rivage runs a Splash Pot bonus for cash players, in addition to an immediate cash prize for the winner of the highest hand that session.
With the MGM Rewards scheme in attendance at the Beau Rivage too, there are even more reasons for you to make the journey to the Mississippi.
Missouri is our next stop for an alternative to an Arkansas poker room. Hollywood Casino St. Louis is our recommended place to play if you want to find deep-stack tournaments, PLO cash, and lots of bonuses.
There are 20 tables at Hollywood Casino, with a dedicated cash game section located alongside the tournament area. Deep stacks include the Monster X-Stack, where you can start with tens of thousands of chips.
We also recommend that you make a journey for the RunGood Poker Series. Hollywood Casino is a regular stop on this series, the main event of which is priced at a friendly $600. The RGPS also features Omaha and deep-stack tournaments.
Let’s take a closer look at the cash games offered at Hollywood Casino. No Limit Hold’em starts at $1/$2, but with $20/$40 games also available, it’s one of the best games in town. Also, look out for Omaha 8 with a Half-Kill rule in play. No wonder Hollywood Casino gets consistently good reviews on Poker Atlas.
As a spoke in the Hollywood Casino wheel, the St. Louis cardroom is part of the company’s PENN Play loyalty program. You can earn player points every time you enter tournaments or play raked cash games. The good news is that you can exchange points for bonuses and comps at a range of Penn National Gaming casinos in the US.
Travel a little further from Arkansas and you can enjoy the hospitality at Harrah’s Casino in Kansas City. The cardroom has thirteen tables – enough space to cater to tourney and cash players alike. You can also watch the 13 HD TVs if you want to be distracted by the sports while you take down pots.
The cardroom at Harrah’s opens at 9 and stays open until 5 a.m. Thursday through Sunday. It’s not quite 24-hour gaming, but it’s as close as you’ll get in this part of Missouri.
Harrah’s is the place to go if you want to get a feel for the WSOPC. The cardroom has hosted recent Circuit series, including the $1,700 Main Event showpiece. In addition, the WSOP offers Seniors tournaments, re-buys, and satellites.
Let’s end with a mention of the Caesars Rewards card. You apply for a free card when you first visit Harrah’s Kansas City. You fill your card with player points for every raked cash pot or tournament you play. You’re allowed to cash in points later on to earn free rooms and meals at any Caesars property around the country.
There is only one Arkansas casino that currently offers poker. Southland Casino Hotel runs card games against the house (e.g. Mississippi Stud) but not poker.
|Cardroom Name||Address||City||Phone Number|
|Saracen Casino Resort||1 Saracen Resort Drive, Pine Bluff, AR 71601||Pine Bluff||1-870-686-9001|
Arkansas is a little light on live poker options. However, you can travel across the border to find large resorts and poker rooms in states such as Louisiana and Mississippi.
|Cardroom Name||Address||City||Phone Number|
|Harrah’s New Orleans||228 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA 70130||New Orleans||1-800-427-7247|
|Horseshoe Casino Bossier City||711 Horseshoe Blvd, Bossier City, LA 71111||Bossier City||1-800-895-0711|
|Horseshoe Casino Lake Charles||100 Westlake Ave, Westlake, LA 70669||Westlake||1-337-430-2300|
|Cardroom Name||Address||City||Phone Number|
|Pearl River Resort||Highway 16 West, Choctaw, MS 39350||Choctaw||1-866-447-3275|
|Beau Rivage Resort & Casino||875 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS 39530||Biloxi||1-228-386-7111|
|Cardroom Name||Address||City||Phone Number|
|Harrah’s Casino Kansas City||1 Riverboat Drive, North Kansas City, MO 64116||Kansas City||1-816-472-7777|
|Hollywood Casino St. Louis||777 Casino Center Dr. Maryland Heights, MO 63043||Maryland Heights||1-314-770-7600|
|Century Casino Cape Girardeau||777 North Main Street, Cape Giraradeau, MO 63701||Cape Girardeau||1-573-730-7624|
|Ameristar Casino Resort Spa St. Charles||1 Ameristar Blvd, St. Charles, MO 63301||St. Charles||1-636-949-7777|
Neighboring has the largest cardroom options if you’re traveling from Arkansas to play poker.
|Cardroom Name||Games Offered||Number of Tables||Major Events|
|Saracen Casino Resort||$1/$3–$5/$10 Hold’em, $2/$5 PLO||10||n/a|
|Harrah’s Casino Kansas City||Hold’em, Omaha, Texas Shootout, High Hand Jackpot, Bad Beat Jackpot||13||WSOP Circuit, RunGood Poker Series|
|Hollywood Casino St. Louis||Limit Hold’em, No Limit Hold’em, Omaha, Double Stack, Double Bounty, Mini Mega Stack, X-Stack||20||RunGood Poker Series|
|Century Casino Cape Girardeau||Texas Hold’em, Omaha||4||n/a|
|Ameristar Casino Resort Spa St. Charles||Texas Hold’em, Omaha||5||Ameristar Poker Open|
|Harrah’s New Orleans||Texas Hold’em, Omaha, $120 NLHE tournaments||20||WSOP Circuit, Poker Gras|
|Horseshoe Casino Bossier City||Hold’em, Omaha, bi-weekly $200 NLHE tournaments||14||WSOP Circuit|
|Horseshoe Casino Lake Charles||Texas Hold’em, Omaha / Omaha Hi-Lo, $150 weekly tournaments||10||WSOP Circuit|
Arkansas’ Saracen Casino Resort is building a new hotel that will accommodate over 300 people. Resorts in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri also boast hotels with 200–400 rooms and suites.
|Casino Name||Number of Rooms|
|Saracen Casino Resort||320 (TBC)|
The current Arkansas gambling laws were updated in 2018 following a referendum. The public overwhelmingly voted for four new casinos to be built in Arkansas. There are now three casinos in Arkansas, only one of which – Saracen Resort Casino – has a poker room.
Legalized online gambling in AR is some way behind. Sports betting is legal, and each casino operator is allowed one app. However, the rules on online poker date back to the days of UIGEA.
The banning of bets made over the Internet is governed by the Federal Wire Wager Act. However, now that the rules have been relaxed and sportsbooks are legal, online poker could soon follow.
Read our guides on other types of legalized gambling in Arkansas:
Each Arkansas poker room runs regular tournaments and special events. There’s also action for the cash game players. Remember to practice responsible gambling when you play live poker in Arkansas.
Under AR gaming law, poker variants like Hold’em are considered to be games of chance. It’s the most popular form of poker: in Arkansas, cash games and tournaments are usually played as Texas Hold’em. Check out more poker rules in our guide to US gambling laws by state.
Omaha is the popular 4-card variation of Texas Hold’em. It’s usually played as a cash game with Pot Limit betting. $1/$2 is the lowest level, but $2/$5 and up are also available at most Arkansas poker rooms.
You’ll have to travel outside Arkansas if you want to play Stud. 7-Card Stud is the main game in town, a cash game variant played with Limit stakes and seven rounds of betting.
Tournaments and cash games are the main poker formats at Arkansas casinos.
In a cash game, you sit down with a set number of poker chips up to the maximum buy-in. You can re-buy chips if you run out and don’t want to give up your seat. Straddles may also be permitted in some cardrooms.
The main tournaments at Arkansas poker rooms are freezeouts and re-buys. In a re-buy tournament, you may purchase more chips if you bust out.
Some cardrooms in the Deep South host special events during the year. In Arkansas, poker tournaments of this size are less common.
Mississippi and Louisiana are your best bets for a WSOPC event. This touring schedule culminates in the $1,700 main event and a gold ring for the lucky winner.
Many local cardrooms new Arkansas run their own special tournaments. Poker series usually contain multiple events to suit a range of budgets and preferences. You can stay until the end to play in the main event with a guaranteed prizepool.
Many Arkansas poker rooms run their own reward schemes. These are a good way to get comps and discounts, just for playing tourneys and cash games.
For example, as a member of the Players Club at Saracen Resort Casino, you earn points every time you play poker or any other game at the casino. These points can be redeemed for a variety of perks such as free play, dining credits, hotel stays, and exclusive event invitations. The more you play, the more points you earn, leading to greater rewards.
The Players Club operates on a tiered system, meaning the more points you accumulate, the higher your tier and the better your rewards. Starting at the Classic level, players can progress through the Silver, Gold, and Platinum tiers, each offering increasingly valuable benefits.
In addition to earning points for play, Players Club members also receive special promotions and offers. These can include entries into exclusive poker tournaments, increased point-earning rates, and even birthday bonuses.
Read more about online gambling in Arkansas with our guides:
Currently, just one tribe owns and operates a cardroom in Arkansas. However, the Cherokee Nation will construct a new casino in Russellville, the Legends Resort Casino Arkansas. It’s not clear whether the new casino will house a poker room.
Besides Amarillo Slim, Arkansas has produced some excellent poker pros over the years:
You are liable for tax on any poker winnings you’re lucky enough to earn in Arkansas. Your Form AR-OI has a line dedicated to gambling winnings. Gambling income may also include winnings from casino games and sports betting. Since an increase in 2019, you are now subject to a 3.5% tax on winnings (up from 3%).
You may also have to pay federal income tax if your prize is large enough. You will be liable to pay 24% tax on any tournament wins over $5,000. However, it can be possible to deduct other losses on your federal tax return.
Online gambling winnings are treated as personal income if you’re a professional. While online poker is not regulated in Arkansas, you should keep receipts of money in and out of every poker site. Read more about this in our online gambling tax guide.
Poker and casino games were legalized in Arkansas in 2019 following a public vote. A constitutional amendment opened the way for four brick-and-mortar casinos to be built in the state. Read our US State & Federal Gaming Commission Directory for more details on Arkansas regulation.
There is just one cardroom open in Arkansas at Saracen Casino Resort. However, all four Arkansas casinos have permission to run card games if they choose to.
Every Arkansas poker room is regulated by the Racing Commission. It ensures casinos abide by the conditions of their licenses.
The Saracen Casino opened in 2019 with the first Arkansas poker room. It’s owned by the Quapaw Nation and features a 300-room hotel, sportsbook, and slots alongside live poker.
Online poker has not been regulated in Arkansas. However, it is still possible to play poker online at offshore gambling sites. You can try cash games or tournaments at poker sites for real money and claim a welcome bonus.
The minimum gambling age for playing poker and gambling in Arkansas is 21. You will be denied entry or any winnings owed if you are proven to be under the legal age.
Arkansas casinos and poker rooms operate a casual dress policy in keeping with the hot weather. You must not enter gambling properties topless or you risk being ejected.
Arkansas casinos operate 24 hours, but the poker rooms may not run all day. Check the casino website or an up-to-date app like Brave Poker before you make the journey.
No. There are no Arkansas poker rooms that run WSOP Circuit tournaments. The nearest casino to Arkansas with WSOPC events is the Horseshoe Tunica, which has run Circuit tournaments in the past.
No. Under the current rules, poker is only permitted in licensed casinos in Arkansas. Charitable gambling is also prohibited under Statute 5-66-112 of the Arkansas Code.
Yes. All poker winnings are taxed at 3.5% under Arkansas state law. You must report all gambling winnings on your Form AR-OI when you complete your state tax return.
Yes. The Arkansas Problem Gambling Council is the main center for getting help with addiction. You can call a free helpline at 1-800-522-4700 if you are a resident of Arkansas.
“Amarillo Slim” Preston is probably the most famous poker player to come from The Bear State. Other successful players from Arkansas include Daniel Lowery, Michael Lech, and Nitis Udornpim.
Yes, you must pay rake on any cash games you play in Arkansas. Tournaments also carry a percentage fee in addition to the buy-in. All fees should be displayed in the cardroom.
No. You can’t play freerolls at any Arkansas poker room. However, most poker sites in Arkansas offer freeroll tickets to new players. You can use your freeroll token to win a share of a guaranteed prizepool.
Yes, most casinos near Arkansas run loyalty programs so that you can earn and redeem points when you play tournaments or mixed games. Some casinos in Arkansas also offer giveaways where you can win physical prizes like a new car.
Legends Resort Casino has received the go-ahead to be built in Pope County. However, there are no plans for the Legends Resort to house a dedicated poker room.
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