North Carolina Poker Rooms: Where to Play Live Poker in NC

Find the best locations to play live poker in The Tar Heel State

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Find the best places to play poker in North Carolina with our ultimate guide. We’ll show you where to discover exciting cash games, tournaments, and WSOPC legs right through the year.

Popular Cardrooms in North Carolina Reviewed

North Carolina has several casinos, only one of which has an operating poker room. More casinos are planned for The Tar Heel State in the future.  

#1 Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort is one of two casinos in North Carolina that are owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. It’s also the only Harrah’s property in the state to contain a poker room.

Opened in 1997, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort is a popular destination for poker enthusiasts. The gaming floor spans an impressive 150,000 square feet, providing ample space for a variety of games. The poker room has been expanded from 20 tables to 32 in recent years.

harrah's cherokee casino

Cash games run through the week, though the $5/$5 PLO games only get going at weekends. The rest of the week is taken up with $1/$2 and $1/$3 Hold’em cash. There are no mixed games.

Stick around for the Bad Beat Jackpot – one of the best around – that can award up to $10,000 to a lucky player. You must have quads beaten by a better hand to sew up a giant jackpot. High-hand jackpots worth up to $2,500 run every 30 minutes.

As for North Carolina poker tournaments in the WSOP Poker Room, you can choose from $80, $140, or $250 Hold’em games during the week. Sunday tourneys start at 2 p.m., while there are 10 p.m. tournaments Monday through Thursday.

Turning to customer reviews, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort generally receives positive feedback. The hotel and casino are praised for their cleanliness, quality of service, and range of amenities. Many guests appreciate the diverse gaming options, while others highlight the quality of the food and entertainment.

List of Live North Carolina Poker Rooms

There are some good live poker options in North Carolina that cover cash games and tournaments.

Cardroom NameAddressCityPhone Number
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino777 Casino Drive, Cherokee, NCCherokee1-828-497-7777

Biggest Live Poker Rooms in North Carolina

There is only one North Carolina poker room. The cardroom at Harrah’s Cherokee is one of the biggest in the region.

Cardroom NameGames OfferedNumber of TablesMajor Events
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino ResortNo Limit Hold’em cash, $80–$250 tournaments, Bad Beat Jackpot, High Hand Jackpot32WSOP Circuit, $500 Multi-Flight ($50K GTD)

Tribal Cardrooms in North Carolina

All North Carolina poker rooms are located at the state’s three tribal casinos. Although two of NC casinos carry the Harrah’s brand and backing of Caesars Entertainment, they are owned by one tribe.

  • Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino-Hotel)
  • Catawba Indian Nation (Catawba Two Kings Casino)
  • Lumbee Tribe (new casino TBC)

Live North Carolina Poker Rooms with Hotels

Every North Carolina poker room is located at a resort with a hotel complex attached.

Casino NameNumber of Rooms
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort1800+
Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel300+
Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort1500+

North Carolina Poker Laws

The gambling rules in North Carolina have relaxed somewhat in recent years. Tribal casinos have been permitted since the early 1990s. The first online and mobile sportsbooks are now licensed in the state too.

Each casino resort in NC has a cardroom where you can play cash games and tournaments. The legal age for gambling is 21 for poker. Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort was first to open in 1997, with a second Harrah’s property and Catawba Two Kings following after.

The online gambling situation in NC has been a little murkier. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act prevents any legalization of poker sites for years.

However, there has been a softening of the legal stance in the US. The new interpretation of the Wire Act means that states like North Carolina can pass their own gambling laws if they choose to.

Other legal forms of gambling:

Live Poker Games

Hold’em and Omaha are the main games to play in North Carolina live poker rooms. Mixed games are less common, as are exotic variants like Big O. Always gamble responsibly when you play live poker in North Carolina.

Texas Hold’em

Hold’em is the most popular poker variant in NC. You can play cash games from $1/$2 and up or enter tournaments with buy-ins starting at around $130.


There are two variations of Omaha that you’ll find in North Carolina: Hi and Hi-Lo. However, the Hi version of Omaha seems to take precedence. In this variant of Hold’em, you receive four hole cards, two of which you must use to make the best poker hand.

Poker Formats

Live poker in North Carolina is available in cash game and tournament formats. The bigger cardrooms like Harrah’s Cherokee also host big-money stops on the WSOPC. All live poker is regulated in North Carolina. You can read more in our US gaming commission directory.

Cash Games

In North Carolina, cash games are available at all cardrooms. $1/$2 or $1/$3 Hold’em are the lowest available stakes. However, you can play PLO up to $5/$5 on weekends at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino.  

  • $1/$2 NLHE (Harrah’s Cherokee)
  • $1/$3 NLHE (Harrah’s Cherokee)
  • $2/$5 NLHE (Harrah’s Cherokee)
  • $4/$8 Limit Hold’em (Harrah’s Cherokee)
  • $1/$2 PLO (Harrah’s Cherokee)
  • $5/$5 PLO (Harrah’s Cherokee)


All tournaments in North Carolina are played in No Limit Hold’em format. Re-buys are usually permitted for the first hour or two.

  • $80 No Limit Hold’em re-buy (Harrah’s Cherokee Casino)
  • $140 No Limit Hold’em re-buy (Harrah’s Cherokee Casino)
  • $250 No Limit Hold’em re-buy (Harrah’s Cherokee Casino)


Anywhere that runs the WSOPC, or any large poker tournament, will run satellites. A satellite is a qualifier that guarantees seats into a larger tourney. You may also be able to play mega-satellites that guarantee dozens of seats.

Major Poker Events

North Carolina poker rooms host some of the largest local tournaments in the US.

World Series of Poker Circuit

North Carolina has been a stop on the WSOPC (World Series of Poker Circuit) since 2013 when Harrah’s Cherokee held a schedule of events. It’s one of the biggest tours in America and regularly attracts players from across NC, as well as neighboring states like Georgia and Tennessee.

Played over a week, each WSOPC series includes up to 20 tournaments covering No Limit Hold’em, a turbo, and Seniors and Ladies events. The main event is a $1,700 NLHE re-entry with a $1.5m guaranteed prizepool.

North Carolina Live Poker Promotions & Rewards

North Carolina poker rooms run a variety of different promotions to reward regular players. If you visit Harrah’s Cherokee, make sure you sign up for a Caesars Rewards card to earn free cash that you can use to buy into poker events.  

Bad Beat Jackpot

Cash game players can win a jackpot if their strong hand is beaten by a better one. The beaten hand must be quads or better to win any part of the jackpot. The hand usually has to go to a showdown too in order to qualify.

High Hand Jackpot

Some cardrooms, such as Harrah’s Cherokee, also award jackpots to the highest hand of the hour. Prizes vary, and there is a minimum qualifying hand for any winner.

Reward Program

The two Harrah’s casinos in North Carolina are members of the Caesars Rewards program. You earn Reward Credits every time you bet on sports, play slots, or gamble at the poker tables. You can redeem credits for free food or discounted room rates at any participating Caesars property.

The best news for North Carolina live poker players is that you can use your Reward Credits to buy into a WSOP bracelet event. This includes WSOPC tournaments and satellites in North Carolina, or even the WSOP Main Event itself in Las Vegas.  

Home Poker Games & Charitable Gaming

There is some charitable gambling that is permitted under North Carolina law. According to North Carolina General Statutes § 14-309.7, charitable organizations are permitted to host “game nights” where games of chance, including poker, are played.

However, there are specific conditions to adhere to. The event must be conducted on the premises owned or leased by the charitable organization, and the proceeds must be used for charity purposes.

The law also stipulates that the maximum prize for a single game cannot exceed $500. Plus, the total value of all prizes awarded during the event cannot exceed $125,000. Alcohol cannot be offered as a prize, and the event cannot last more than five hours.

Online Poker & Gaming

Some online gambling is now legal in North Carolina. Read our articles to find out more about online gaming:

Famous Poker Players from North Carolina

North Carolina has produced several top-ranking poker pros over the years. 2004 world champion, Greg Raymer, is perhaps the most famous player to come from The Tar Heel State.

  • Chris Hunichen (Career earnings: $10.8m)
  • Greg Raymer (Career earnings: $8.1m)
  • Anthony Spinella (Career earnings: $4.4m)
  • Mike Sowers (Career earnings: $3.7m)

Gambling Tax on Poker

In North Carolina, as in most states, gambling winnings, including poker, are subject to both federal and state income taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires all poker players to report their winnings as income on their federal tax return. This includes both cash and non-cash prizes.

In addition to federal taxes, poker winnings are also subject to North Carolina’s state income tax. The state has a flat tax rate of 5.25% on all income, including gambling winnings.

It’s also important to note that if you win a poker tournament and the winnings are subject to reporting or withholding, you’ll receive a Form W-2G from the payer. This form will detail the amount you won and the taxes withheld, if any.

In addition, you may be liable for tax on anything you win online. Poker sites are available to North Carolina gamblers, but the IRS may want to know about any large online wins. Check out our guide to online gaming tax for more information.

Remember, it’s always recommended to consult with a tax professional to understand your specific tax obligations and to ensure you’re in compliance with all tax laws.


Can I play poker legally in North Carolina?

Yes. You can play live poker in North Carolina legally if you are over 21. You may have to pay tax on any poker winnings, so ensure you keep all records of wins and losses over the year.

How many cardrooms does North Carolina have?

There is only one North Carolina poker room currently in operation: Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort. You can play cash games and tournaments throughout the week.

Who is poker regulated in North Carolina?

Casinos in North Carolina are regulated by separate tribal gaming commissions. The Cherokee Gaming Commission oversees all gambling at its two casinos in North Carolina.  

What was the first cardroom to open in North Carolina?

Harrah’s Cherokee was the first casino to open in North Carolina. It has since held WSOP Circuit events, in addition to a popular tournament schedule and cash games.

Can I play poker online in NC?

Online poker is not regulated in North Carolina. However, you can play at offshore poker sites that run cash games and regular tournaments during the day or night.

How old must I be to play poker games?

Under North Carolina law, you must be 21 or over to play real-money poker. You must also be 21 to play charity poker games in The Tar Heel State.  

Is there a strict dress code at NC casinos?

No. Every North Carolina poker room operates a casual dress policy. VIP areas may require a jacket, but you can visit the casinos if you wear a tee shirt and shorts.

Do North Carolina poker rooms open 24 hours?

Yes. The earliest a North Carolina poker room opens on weekdays is 10 a.m. You can play cash games or tournaments until 6 a.m. Opening hours are different on weekends, with cardrooms opening midnight to midnight.

Are WSOP Circuit tournaments available in North Carolina?

Absolutely. You can play the WSOPC at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. This North Carolina poker room hosts regular WSOPC stops during the year. The series includes a $1,700 Main Event with a $1.5m guarantee.

Can I play home poker games in North Carolina?

No, but some charitable gambling is permitted in NC, including poker games. The maximum prize for a single poker tournament is $500.

Do I have to pay tax on my poker winnings?

You may have to pay state and federal tax if your winnings exceed $5,000 for a single tournament. However, it is possible to offset some of your poker losses when you come to file your return.

Can I get help with gambling addiction?

Yes. You can get help by calling the NC Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-877-718-5543. The state’s Problem Gambling Program also provides education and support for anyone fighting addiction.

What famous poker players come from North Carolina?

Chris Hunichen has won more than anyone from North Carolina, with $10.8m in tournament earnings. Greg Raymer, however, won the WSOP Main Event in 2004 and is one of the most famous pros from the Tar Heel State.

Do I have to pay rake?

Yes. All cash game pots are raked as soon as they reach the minimum eligible limit. The amount of rake can vary from 5–10%, depending on the rules of each cardroom.

Can I play freerolls at North Carolina poker rooms?

No. Freerolls are usually reserved for poker sites in NC only. You can set up an account at home and claim a freeroll token as soon as you join. Play for free and win real money as part of the freeroll conditions.

Can I earn and redeem loyalty points when playing live poker?

Absolutely. NC casinos offer reward cards that let you build up loyalty points when you play tournaments and cash games. You may redeem points for room comps, meals, or entries into live poker events.

Are any poker rooms being constructed in North Carolina?

The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina has been given permission to build a new casino in the state. The casino may house a poker room. In addition, three new casinos licensed by the state could be built.  

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