Minnesota poker rooms at tribal casinos and racetracks offer a variety of Hold’em cash games and tournaments. Some of the bigger cardrooms also run seasonal championships. We’ll explore all of them in our guide to live poker in Minnesota.
Live poker in Minnesota is available at racinos (race tracks with casino games) and tribal casinos. Under Minnesota law, you must be 21 or over to play poker for real money.
Canterbury Park is a racino with the largest cardroom in Minnesota. There are 30 tables in the cardroom at Canterbury Park, enough space to handle poker varieties you won’t find anywhere else in Minnesota.
Let’s start with cash games. Hold’em and Omaha are the main variants on offer. However, the cardroom also spreads 7-Card Stud and mixed games throughout the week. This Minnesota poker room is also unusual in that it offers Spread Limit Hold’em. Limits go from $2 to $100 in a single game.
Source: Canterbury Park Casino
While there’s plenty of action for cash game players, there’s also something for the tournament fiends too. Canterbury Park regularly smashes its regular tournaments out of the park with some of the biggest prizepools in the state.
The schedule includes weekly $85 NLHE freezeouts, $150 deep-stack and super-stack games, and Wednesday-night double stacks with a $250 buy-in. The monthly Crazy Pineapple and $500 deep-stack make Thursday nights the time to visit.
In addition, Canterbury Park hosts some large-scale poker championships. The Heartland Poker Tour and Fall Poker Classic have both been held in this Minnesota poker room.
The Fall Poker Classic is a great 14-event series that culminates with the $200,000-GTD main event. With a buy-in of just $265, it’s a fantastic tournament for players of all budgets.
While you play poker at Canterbury Park, you can also earn points that contribute toward the MVP Rewards program. You can apply for a free card before you sign up for a tournament.
Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack offers a full schedule of tournaments throughout the month, plus promotions and jackpots. The most surprising thing is that this Minnesota poker room manages to squeeze all this action into just 10 tables.
Tournaments run daily at Running Aces, starting with a $250-buyin, 20k-start stack, game on Sunday. The Monday morning $50 game is perfect for those on a night shift. Plus, you can claim a food voucher when you register.
The $175 Player’s Special rounds out the week. As with most of these Minnesota poker tournaments at Running Aces, you start with 20,000 chips and 20-minute blinds.
Source: Explore Minneapolis Northwest
Cash games at Running Aces Casino tend to be on the high side. Spread Limit is the most popular game and includes $2–$100 Spread Limit Hold’em and $5–$100 Spread Limit Omaha High. The cardroom now offers $4–$8 Limit Half-Kill cash games as well.
The Rec Poker podcast is for you if you’re a new player visiting Running Aces Casino. The casino sponsors the podcast that offers tips and strategies for casual poker players.
If tournaments and cash games aren’t enough for you, the Bad Beat jackpots might be. There are four separate Bad Beat jackpots for Hold’em that range from Mini (aces full of tens to kings beaten by quads-or-better) to Grand (quad aces beaten by anything). 40% of the jackpot goes to the loser, 30% to the winner, and 30% to the rest of the table.
Fortune Bay Resort Casino has one of the smaller Minnesota poker rooms. There are just four tables in total, and the cardroom opens on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Spread-limit Hold’em is the only cash game in town at Fortune Bay Casino. Cash games are 8-handed, but tables expand to 10 seats when a tournament begins.
Fortune Bay runs tournaments most nights. The ‘Beat the Boss’ bounty tournament is priced at $120+20. You win a bounty if you knock out the cardroom manager.
Elsewhere, there are special events during the year, notably The Big Game. This freezeout has a $300 buy-in, but you have the option to add on for another $30. Satellites are also available from $110+10.
Don’t forget to sign up for the Wild Edge Player’s Club when you visit Fortune Bay. You earn points every time you play poker, slots, or table games. You use points like cash to spend on hotel and food comps. It’s also a good option to have a player’s card to keep track of your win-loss record in the poker room.
Treasure Island Casino in Minnesota opened its poker room doors in 2004. Since then, it has established itself as a prominent venue for poker enthusiasts.
The room can accommodate a significant number of cash players, ensuring a vibrant and dynamic gaming environment.
The casino offers a variety of cash games, allowing players to select the format that best suits their playing style and skill level. The poker room is also known for hosting big tournaments, providing an opportunity for players to compete at a higher level and win substantial prizes.
Source: Treasure Island Casino
Bounty tournaments are a notable feature of the poker room. These tournaments add an extra layer of excitement and competition, as players are rewarded for eliminating their opponents.
One of the most attractive features of the poker room is the bad-beat jackpot. This jackpot provides an additional incentive for players, as they have the chance to win a substantial sum of money if they lose with a strong hand.
Treasure Island Casino also offers a loyalty scheme for its players. This scheme rewards regular players with a range of benefits, including discounts and special offers. Additionally, the casino offers happy hour deals, providing players with the opportunity to enjoy discounted drinks and food while they play.
The customer reviews for the hotel and casino are generally positive. Many reviews praise the quality of the facilities and the level of service provided by the staff. The rewards and loyalty schemes are particularly well-regarded, with many customers appreciating the additional benefits they receive as regular players.
Cedar Lakes Casino, nestled in the heart of Minnesota, inaugurated its poker room in 2019. There are only two tables right now, but that does mean there’s a little latitude in the types of games you can play.
Poker games at Cedar Lakes run from 5 p.m. three nights a week (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday). Sadly, however, games end by 1.45 a.m. on Saturday nights, so you’ll have to get your all-ins planned.
All games at Cedar Lakes poker room are cash games. Limit and Spread Limit are the main games, but PLO can be requested.
Tournaments are a little harder to find at this Minnesota poker room. With just a couple of tables available, the cardroom is better suited to SNGs rather than multi-table tournaments.
The Cedar Lakes Player’s Club rewards program offers the opportunity to earn points through gameplay. Every bet made earns you points, regardless of winning or losing.
These points can be redeemed for various comps, including free play, meals, and hotel stays. The more you play, the more points you earn, enhancing your gaming experience.
There are 10 places to play live poker in Minnesota. Tribal casinos dominate but you can also hit the cash tables at a selection of Minnesota race tracks.
|Cardroom Name||Address||City||Phone Number|
|Canterbury Park||1100 Canterbury Road, Shakopee, MN 55379||Shakopee||1-952-445-6870|
|Running Aces Casino & Racetrack||15201 Running Aces Blvd, Columbus, MN 55025||Columbus||1-651-925-4600|
|Treasure Island Resort & Casino||5734 Sturgeon Lake Road, Welch, MN 55089||Welch||1-800-222-7077|
|Cedar Lakes Casino-Hotel||6268 Upper Class Frontage Rd NW, Cass Lake, MN 56633||Cass Lake||1-844-554-2646|
|Fortune Bay Resort Casino||1430 Bois Forte Rd, Tower, MN 55790||Tower||1-800-992-7529|
|Grand Casino Mille Lacs||777 Grand Ave, Onamia, MN 56359||Onamia||1-320-532-7777|
|Northern Lights Casino – Walker||6800 Y Frontage Rd NW, Walker, MN 56484||Walker||1-844-554-2646|
|Seven Clans Casino Warroad||34966 605th Avenue, Warroad, MN 56763||Warroad||1-218-386-3381|
|Shooting Star Casino||777 S Casino Rd, Mahnomen, MN 56557||Mahnomen||1-800-453-7827|
Minnesota poker rooms offer the full gamut of cash games and tournaments for players. Here are some complete details on each cardroom’s games.
|Cardroom Name||Games Offered||Number of Tables||Major Events|
|Canterbury Park||NLHE, Omaha, mixed games, double bounty NLHE, deep-stacks, charity tournaments, Crazy Pineapple||30||Fall Poker Classic, Heartland Poker Tour|
|Running Aces Casino & Racetrack||NLHE, Omaha, Limit with Half-Kill, Spread Limit Omaha Hi, deep-stacks, bad-beat jackpots||20||Hallow-Scream Poker Tournament, MSPT|
|Treasure Island Resort & Casino||No Limit Hold’em tournaments, Spread Limit cash, Omaha||7||n/a|
|Cedar Lakes Casino-Hotel||Hold’em, Omaha||2||n/a|
|Fortune Bay Resort Casino||Hold’em, spread limit cash, PLO||4||$300 NLHE with $30 add-on|
|Grand Casino Mille Lacs||(temporarily closed)||8||n/a|
|Northern Lights Casino – Walker||Spread Limit Hold’em||1||n/a|
|Seven Clans Casino Warroad||Re-buy tournaments, Hold’em freezeouts, $75 bounty||2||n/a|
|Shooting Star Casino Hotel||Cash games & SNG (Fri/Sat – games vary)||1||n/a|
Over half a dozen Minnesota native American tribes own and operate casinos and cardrooms in The Gopher State.
Casino resorts in Minnesota supply rooms and suites to weary poker players who want to hit the sack after a long night’s gambling.
|Casino Name||Number of Rooms|
|St. Croix Casino Turtle Lake||160+|
|Treasure Island Resort & Casino||200+|
|Fortune Bay Resort Casino||173+|
|Cedar Lakes Casino & Hotel||100+|
|Northern Lights Hotel & Casino||105+|
|Seven Clans Casino Warroad||60+|
|Shooting Star Casino Hotel||386+|
|Running Aces Casino||115+|
Minnesota Live Poker Laws
Live poker in Minnesota is legal for anyone aged 21 or over. However, regulation depends on who is offering the games.
The Minnesota Gambling Control Board has separate agencies that oversee games depending on where they are offered. The state’s Racing Commission regulates race tracks that have cardrooms on-site. Tribal casinos are governed by a state compact that ensures poker players have a safe environment for real money play.
In addition, charitable gambling is regulated by the Gambling Control Board itself. You can run charity poker nights if you possess the right license.
Minnesota has not yet legalized online poker. Online gambling has generally been considered illegal since UIGEA was introduced in the mid-2000s.
The DOJ changed its interpretation of the Federal Wire Wager Act some years ago. Online poker legislation remains firmly off the table.
There have been moves to regulate Minnesota sportsbooks, but by late 2023 no laws have been introduced.
Want to find out more information? Read up on all the US gambling laws by state.
Other forms of legal betting in Minnesota:
Like some states, No Limit Hold’em is only permitted in tournaments, not cash games. Always practice responsible gambling when you play poker in Minnesota.
Under Minnesota gambling laws Hold’em is legal but No Limit stakes are prohibited for cash games. That restriction doesn’t apply to tournaments, however: you can play deep-stacks, freezeouts, and satellites in the No Limit format.
In Omaha, cash games, each player is dealt four private cards, and five community cards are dealt face-up on the ‘board’. To make a hand, a player must use exactly two from their hand and three from the board. The player with the best hand wins the pot.
Omaha cash is normally played Pot Limit and as a High game only. Hi-Lo, however, is available at some Minnesota cardrooms. You can also play PLO in a tournament format during series like the Fall Poker Classic.
In 7-card Stud, each player is dealt seven cards, three face-down and four face-up. The goal is to make the best five-card hand from the seven cards. There are no community cards. Betting rounds occur after each new face-up card. The player with the best hand wins.
Stud is offered at one or two cardrooms in Minnesota. Cash games are the main format for this variant of poker.
You can play ROE (Round of Each) cash games at select Minnesota poker rooms. This cash game alternates rounds between Omaha and Hold’em.
Most poker formats are legal in Minnesota. However, cardrooms have bypassed some of the strict rules on banning No Limit Hold’em in cash games. Let’s take a look at some popular live poker options in The Gopher State.
No Limit Hold’em is banned for cash games. Therefore, most Minnesota poker rooms offer Spread Limit games instead. It’s like an expanded Limit game where the bets change as the hand progresses.
Unlike cash games, No Limit Hold’em is permitted in Minnesota for tournament play. As a result, most Minnesota live poker rooms run at least one tournament every week.
Part of each bounty tournament buy-in goes toward the prizepool. There is also a bounty that you win by eliminating a player.
A satellite is a live poker tournament that qualifies entry into a larger event. Satellites are cheaper to play than the main event itself. There’s no limit to how many times you can play in a satellite, either.
No Limit Hold’em tournaments are legal at Minnesota casinos. That has opened the way for cardrooms to run successful tours and championships.
This annual poker series takes place at Canterbury Park every year. The schedule includes over 30 tournaments that cover a range of disciplines such as Hold’em, Omaha, and H.O.R.S.E. The $1,100 Championship main event usually attracts over 600 players.
Canterbury Park has been the go-to destination for the Heartland Poker Tour in recent years. The $1,650 Main Event regularly attracted big names when it started, including WSOP champions like Greg Raymer.
Many Minnesota poker rooms offer their own reward card for players. You must be over 21 to apply for a loyalty card and join the program.
You earn loyalty points every time you enter tournaments or play cash games. Hotel room discounts and free meals are the two main benefits of a reward card. Plus, you can redeem points for free play in some parts of the casino.
Read more on how you can bet online in Minnesota:
Here are some of the most successful poker pros to come out of Minnesota:
In Minnesota, the tax rate on gambling winnings is around 7–8.5%. All of your gambling winnings are taxed if you’re a Minnesota resident. That includes anything you’ve won in other states.
However, if you’re just visiting, you’ll be taxed on gambling winnings from Minnesota poker rooms. You may need to complete Form M1 detailing any poker wins at a Minnesota casino.
It’s important to note that the federal tax is also applicable to gambling winnings. Plus, anything won at a poker site may also be liable. You can read a detailed online gambling tax guide for more information on this.
As a poker player in Minnesota, it’s important to know that all gambling winnings, including poker, are subject to federal and state income tax. You must report all your winnings on your federal income tax return, even if you don’t receive a Form W-2G.
Firstly, gather all your gambling records. This includes W-2G forms, losing tickets, receipts, statements, and any other documentation. These records will provide evidence of both your winnings and losses.
When filing your taxes, report your total gambling winnings on line 21 of Form 1040, labeled as ‘Other Income’. You cannot reduce your gambling winnings by your gambling losses and report the difference. Instead, you must report the full amount of your winnings as income and claim your losses separately.
You can deduct your gambling losses, but only up to the amount of your winnings. To do this, itemize your deductions on Schedule A of Form 1040. Be aware that you must be able to provide receipts, tickets, statements, or other records that show the amount of both your winnings and losses.
Yes. You can play cash games and tournaments in MN if you are 21 or over. No Limit Hold’em cash games are outlawed, but you can enjoy Spread Limit games at a range of stakes.
Eight poker rooms in Minnesota offer real-money games and promotions. Cardrooms can be found at race tracks and tribal casinos across The Gopher State.
Cardrooms at race tracks in Minnesota are regulated by the state Racing Commission. Tribal casinos offer poker under the terms of their state gaming compacts. You can read more in our US state and federal gaming commission directory.
No. Online poker is yet to be regulated in The Gopher State. Though there are no licensed poker sites, you can play online with some great offshore gambling firms.
The minimum gambling age is 21 to play at a Minnesota poker room. We recommend you take a photo ID with you to the cardroom when you visit to avoid long waits and missing the start of a tournament.
Casinos in Minnesota operate a smart-casual dress policy. You can gain access provided you are wearing sensible clothes that won’t offend other gamblers. A shirt, pants, and shoes will guarantee entry into the casino.
Not at all. Many Minnesota cardrooms only open a few days a week. Weekend opening hours are more generous at MN casinos, so check ahead before you make a trip.
No. The WSOPC doesn’t currently hold any tournaments in Minnesota. However, the biggest poker rooms in the state host their own championship series and seasonal tours.
You can hold charitable fundraisers in Minnesota provided you have permission from the state’s gambling control board. You must not make a profit from running the game, and a portion of the takings must go to local charities.
Yes. All Minnesota poker winnings are liable for tax. That applies whether you are a resident of the state or not. You can deduct losses up to the amount of your winnings, so be prepared to complete a Form M1 if needed.
Yes. The Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling is a one-stop resource for problem gamblers in The Gopher State. You can access a free helpline at 1-800-333-HOPE, text, or use online chat to get assistance.
Lyle Berman is the most famous poker pro from Minnesota. He’s one of the most influential people in the poker industry and has career poker earnings worth over $2.5m.
Yes. Cash games are raked at every Minnesota poker room. The amount is around 5–10%, capped to a set maximum value. Ask ahead to find out how much rake you must pay when playing cash games.
No. Freerolls are only available to play at poker sites which you can access from within Minnesota. You can sign up and claim a welcome bonus including freeroll tournament tokens.
Of course. A rewards card gives you access to comps and perks to use at the casino. You earn loyalty points by playing eligible tournaments and cash games. You then cash in your points on bonuses and perks of your choice.
No. Cedar Lakes is the most recent casino with poker to be built in Minnesota. It opened in 2019 in Cass Lake and offers small poker games to local gamblers.
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