Utah has some of the strictest gambling laws in the United States. But that shouldn’t stop you from getting your fix of mixed games and tournaments. There are many cardrooms in neighboring states to Utah that offer a full range of live poker.
There are no Utah poker rooms currently in operation. However, you can still cross the border to find nearby live poker options in Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado. Here are some of the best alternatives to live poker in Utah.
Ace’s Poker Room at Wendover Nugget Hotel & Casino has been a staple of the local gaming scene in eastern Nevada since its grand opening in 2004. You can play cash games and tournaments provided you are of the right gambling age.
This poker room offers a substantial space for both casual and professional players alike. Just hop on the LeBus from Salt Lake City that takes you directly to the West Wendover resorts.
The poker room at Wendover Nugget Casino boasts 10 poker tables, accommodating a mix of game preferences. From Hold’em to O8 and Omaha, the range of cash games is impressive.
Ace’s Poker Room spreads some decent bounty tournaments among its weekly schedule. Bounty games cost $200 to enter, and you can watch one of 41 LCD TVs if you want to catch the sports while you play.
Cash players are catered to with lots of promotions as well, such as the Dash 4 Cash bonus on rake. The room can easily fit up to 100 cash players, making it one of the largest poker rooms in the area.
The casino offers an enticing rewards program, known as the Nugget Advantage Rewards. This loyalty scheme offers the chance to claim player points every time you spend money. You then swap points for perks such as free play, discounted meals, and even hotel stays.
As well as the rewards program, Wendover Nugget Casino also hosts a daily happy hour. This deal provides discounted drinks, making it a popular time for patrons to socialize and relax between games.
Let’s find some space in our Utah poker room rundown with one of Nevada’s best casinos. Caesars Palace is one of the most iconic casinos on the famous Las Vegas Strip and now hosts some of the best tournaments in Nevada.
There are over 16 tables in the Caesars cardroom, spreading cash games 24/7, plus daily tournaments that carry buy-ins from $100 to $150. With over 4,500 sq. ft of gaming floor space, you won’t be short of somewhere to sit.
As well as regular tourneys and cash games, Caesars Palace offers some major events during the summer. The highlights are the WSOP Circuit (WSOP-C), which awards a gold ring to the lucky winner.
You can also prepare for the World Series of Poker with the Caesars Palace Warm-Up Series. This festival of poker includes dozens of tournaments that prove to be perfect practice for the WSOP proper.
Of course, you can also take full advantage of the Caesars Rewards program when you come to play. Claim player points for each buck of rake or tournament fee you pay. You accrue points, then redeem them for comps and free hotel stays at the local resort.
Peppermill Poker Room in Wendover opened in 2007 and has since been a hub for poker enthusiasts traveling from Utah. The expansive gaming space covers over 40,000 sq. ft (though not all of it is dedicated to poker).
Within this space, you’ll find 12 tables with a variety of poker games to cater to a wide range of preferences. Whether you are a fan of Texas Hold’em or Omaha, the Peppermill Poker Room has a cash game to suit.
You can jump straight into weekend tournaments that feature buy-ins from $125 to $235. Tournament guarantees go all the way up to $10,000. Additionally, the poker room can comfortably accommodate up to 120 cash players, making it one of the largest poker rooms in the area.
Customer reviews for the Peppermill Casino, including the poker room, are generally positive. Patrons often comment on the professional and friendly staff, well-maintained facilities, and vibrant atmosphere. The hotel attached to the casino also receives high praise for its comfortable accommodations and attentive service.
The casino’s reward schemes are also noteworthy. These programs offer numerous benefits to regular patrons, enhancing their overall gaming experience.
Despite being a 5-hour drive from the Utah state border, the Arena Poker Room at Talking Stick Resort continues to draw in a steady stream of players. Its reputation, combined with its wide array of offerings, makes it a standout choice for poker enthusiasts in the region.
Opened in 2010, the Arena Poker Room at Talking Stick Resort in Arizona has made a name for itself in the poker world. This well-established venue boasts an impressive 47 poker tables, providing enough room for a diverse range of poker fans.
The Arena Poker Room caters to a range of preferences, offering both cash games and big tournaments. Notably, this poker room can comfortably accommodate a significant number of cash players, making it a prime location for those seeking a lively poker environment in The Grand Canyon State.
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 through these schemes.
One of the major events hosted by The Arena Poker Room is the Arizona State Poker Championship. This prestigious event attracts hundreds of players and spectators alike, further solidifying the poker room’s reputation as a top-tier venue.
Bally’s Black Hawk Casino Poker Room in Colorado is located a considerable distance from the Utah border, making it a place that requires some travel for those residing in The Beehive State. However, the poker room’s offerings make the journey worthwhile.
Opened in 2020, Bally’s Black Hawk Casino Poker Room has quickly established itself as a notable destination for players. The poker room houses 17 tables, creating an environment that is intimate yet lively. The space can comfortably accommodate a substantial number of cash players, contributing to the dynamic atmosphere.
Cash tables are a prominent feature, providing a consistent level of excitement. In addition, the poker room hosts big tournaments that attract players from far and wide. The Fall Showdown tournament and the $100-$200 NLHE tournaments, in particular, are popular fixtures that add a competitive edge to your poker experience.
The poker room at Bally’s also features a loyalty scheme. As a player, you can earn Bally Rewards points that you can then redeem for perks, comps, and other benefits. The more you play, the more points you earn.
In terms of special deals, the poker room offers a rakeback program too. This deal lets you earn back a percentage of the rake you have paid into the pot, effectively reducing the cost of play.
We have gathered a list of the best alternatives to Utah poker room locations. Here are some of the top options for Utah poker tournaments and cash games if you venture west, south, or east. Always remember to gamble responsibly when you play poker.
|Cardroom Name||Address||City||Phone Number|
|Montego Bay Hotel Casino Resort||100 Wendover Blvd, West Wendover, NV 89883||Wendover||1-775-664-4800|
|Peppermill Casino||680 Wendover Blvd, West Wendover, NV 89883||Wendover||1-800-217-0049|
|Wendover Nugget Hotel & Casino||101 Wendover Blvd, West Wendover, NV 89883||Wendover||1-775-664-2221|
|Red Garter Hotel & Casino||1225 Wendover Blvd, West Wendover, NV 89883||Wendover||1-775-664-2111|
|Rainbow Hotel Casino||1045 Wendover Blvd, West Wendover, NV 89883||West Wendover||1-800-217-0049|
|Caesars Palace||3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109||Las Vegas||1-866-227-5938|
|Cardroom Name||Address||City||Phone Number|
|The Arena Poker Room||Talking Stick Resort, 9800 E. Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85256||Scottsdale||1-480-850-8693|
|Lone Butte Casino||1077 S. Kyrene Road, Chandler, AZ 85226||Chandler||1-800-946-4452|
|Desert Diamond Casino||7350 S. Nogales Hwy, Tucson, AZ 85756||Tucson||1-866-332-9467|
|Cardroom Name||Address||City||Phone Number|
|Bally’s Black Hawk Casino||300 Main St, Black Hawk, CO 80422||Black Hawk||1-303-582-2600|
|Horseshoe Black Hawk||401 Main St, Black Hawk, CO 80422||Black Hawk||1-800-843-4753|
|Ameristar Casino Black Hawk||111 Richman St, Black Hawk, CO 80422||Black Hawk||1-720-946-4000|
|Monarch Casino Resort Black Hawk||488 Main St, Black Hawk, CO 80422||Black Hawk||1-303-582-1000|
|Midnight Rose Hotel & Casino||256 E. Bennett Ave, Cripple Creek, CO 80813||Cripple Creek||1-719-689-0303|
The nearest Utah poker rooms offer a mix of cash games and tournaments across over a dozen tables apiece. Naturally, the largest cardrooms are in Nevada, but there is some equally good action if you’re willing to drive to Arizona or Colorado.
|Cardroom Name||Games Offered||Number of Tables||Major Events|
|Bally’s Black Hawk Casino||Cash games, tournaments ($100–$200 NLHE), rakeback program||17+||Fall Showdown, $1,000 Super Stack, Colorado Poker Championship|
|Lone Butte Casino||Hold’em, Omaha, Big O, Bad Beat Jackpot||20+||$200k-GTD tournament, Player of the Year Tournament|
|Monarch Black Hawk||Cash games, Monarch rewards program, Omaha Hi-Lo, Hold’em, progressive bad beat jackpot,||14+||n/a|
|Ameristar Casino Black Hawk||Cash games, tournaments||11+||n/a|
|The ARENA Poker Room||Hold’em, Omaha, 7-Card Stud, Spread Limit||47+||Arizona State Poker Championship|
|Wendover Nugget Casino||High-hand jackpot, cash game promotions, bounty tournaments||8+||n/a|
|Peppermill Poker Room||Bad-beat jackpots, weekend tournaments, cash games||10+||n/a|
|Caesars Palace||Daily $100/$150 NLHE tournaments||16+||Summer Warm-Up Series|
Most Nevada casinos have hotels attached, as do casino resorts in Arizona. Colorado poker rooms tend to be standalone cardrooms but check ahead before you travel.
|Casino Name||Number of Rooms|
|Montego Bay Casino & Resort||550+|
|Peppermill Casino & Resort||380+|
|Wendover Nugget Hotel & Casino||500+|
|Rainbow Hotel Casino||429|
|Red Garter Hotel & Casino||183+|
Live Poker Action Near Utah
Travel to Nevada, Colorado, or Arizona to find an alternative to Utah B&M casinos. There, you can enjoy a lot of poker variants, such as Texas Hold’em, and Omaha, and interesting games like Big O.
Texas Hold’em is a popular variant of poker where each player receives two private cards, and five community cards are dealt face-up on the board. The objective is to make the best five-card poker hand using any combination of the seven cards. The game can be played in two formats: cash games and tournaments.
In cash games, you exchange real money for chips, and the game is played with a specific set stake. You can join or leave the table at any time. The value of chips directly corresponds to cash, and the game continues indefinitely.
On the other hand, tournaments have a specific start and end time. You pay an entry fee and receive a fixed number of chips. The game continues until one player has all the chips, and cash prizes are distributed based on finishing position. The chip value in tournaments does not correspond directly to cash.
Omaha is another variant of poker where each player is dealt four private cards, and five community cards are dealt face-up on the board. You have to use exactly two private cards and any of the community cards to form a five-card poker hand.
Omaha Hi-Lo, or Omaha 8, is a variation where the pot is split between the highest and lowest hands, the latter must be 8-high or lower.
In terms of cash games, there can be differences between states due to varying gambling regulations. In Arizona, for example, Omaha cash games are common and legally allowed in many poker rooms.
In contrast, Colorado has stricter regulations, with a maximum bet limit in place, which may affect the dynamics and popularity of Omaha cash games in the state.
Stud is not widely played in Colorado or Arizona. So, if you’re looking for an alternative to a Utah poker room, you may have to make the trip to Nevada.
Generally, Stud is played in the 7-card variety (not the 5-card version). Everyone makes the best hand from 7 cards available, three of which are hidden from other players.
Stud is most commonly played in Nevada as a cash game, though it also forms part of the rotation in H.O.R.S.E. Stud is also a major component of big poker series, such as the World Series of Poker (WSOP).
Razz poker is a variant of 7-Card Stud where the goal is to have the lowest hand instead of the highest. Unlike most poker games, the ace is the lowest card in Razz. It’s less common than Texas Hold’em or Omaha, but it’s still played in some cardrooms, especially in Nevada. Razz also forms one round of the rotation in H.O.R.S.E.
Live poker in Utah doesn’t accommodate mixed games. However, there’s nothing to stop you from making the short car journey to Nevada to get your fill.
The state is renowned for its mixed poker games, offering a blend of disciplines like Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Razz, and 7-Card Stud. You’ll find cash games available at various stakes, providing options for both casual players and high rollers.
And remember to try mixed games during the big summer series at The Venetian or Caesars Palace, not forgetting the annual World Series of Poker (WSOP).
Big O is available at some cardrooms in Colorado, Nevada, and Arizona. Certainly, you’ll find this fun variant at the largest cardroom alternatives.
Big O is a twist on Omaha played with five cards each instead of four. You still use two hole cards, but you have many more options when forming the best hand possible.
The best Utah poker room alternatives offer a full suite of games. Freerolls are generally unavailable, other than via special VIP promotions.
If you’re heading out of Utah, cash games will normally consist of Texas Hold’em or Omaha / Omaha Hi-Lo. Hold’em is usually played No Limit, though Pot Limit and Limit are also found widely across Nevada.
Omaha and Omaha 8/Hi-Lo are also popular variants for playing cash games. The action is fast and furious, and stakes normally start around the $1/$1 or $1/$2 level. Look out for VIP rooms – particularly in Nevada – if you want some high-roller action.
A rake is taken from all pots, and the percentage can vary from cardroom to cardroom. 5–10% up to $5 max. per pot is standard, but we recommend you check the cardroom terms before you head out from Utah.
The nearest casinos to Utah, in the Nevada city of Wendover, run tournaments all week. In Colorado and Arizona, tournament schedules may be a little more sporadic, so always check the calendar before you make the trip.
Tournaments in CO and AZ usually carry buy-ins around the $100–$150 mark, though smaller $55 satellites may also be available. The poker room will guarantee the prizepool so that it pays out regardless of the number of runners.
Bigger championships take place throughout the year too. The Arizona State Poker Championship is probably the largest game in the state, but it pales in comparison to what Nevada can offer.
Nevada offers more choices as an alternative to Utah live poker. You can rock up and play SNGs or morning tourneys at most Las Vegas casinos. Alternatively, stay for summer and play in The Venetian DeepStack or the World Series of Poker.
Some cardrooms outside Utah offer bounty tournaments too. These are special Hold’em games where you win a cash prize for eliminating a player. You can oftentimes win more with bounties than you can through the regular prizepool.
You can play low-buy-in satellite qualifiers for a shot at winning a more expensive tourney entry. Major championships will usually have a schedule of satellites planned in the run-up to the main event. During WSOP season, Nevada offers some of the biggest and best satellite calendars anywhere in the US.
You can enjoy plenty of promotions when you hunt out Utah poker rooms. From high-hand bonuses to bad-beat jackpots, the excitement never ends.
You earn loyalty points every time you play a hand, which can be cashed in for various rewards. To earn these points, simply use your player’s card while at the poker table.
As your points build, you may redeem them for cash, tournament entries, or special promotions. So, the more you play, the more you earn. It’s a rewarding way to enjoy your favorite game, making every hand count towards something bigger.
Reward cards are oftentimes offered in cardrooms across Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada. It’s not quite the same as earning rakeback at an online poker room, but it does give you the chance to get free hotel stays and meals if you’re traveling.
Under Utah’s draconian gambling laws, it’s illegal to play or hold home games in the state. Of course, you can still travel across the border to play in a friend’s game. Home games are fully legal in the state of Nevada provided the organizer isn’t taking a rake or fee for running the game.
Live poker in Utah is outlawed, but you can still find some alternative ways to gamble. Find out more with our guides below:
Utah doesn’t have any big poker tours. However, you can find plenty of championships and events if you venture over the state lines.
The WSOP is held each summer in Las Vegas, a few hours’ drive west over the Nevada border. The event has been running since 1970 and now features up to 100 bracelet tournaments covering everything from Texas Hold’em to H.O.R.S.E.
Nevada is also home to some of the big stops on the World Poker Tour. The Five Diamond Poker Classic is held in Las Vegas, as is the World Championship with its $40m guarantee.
Cardrooms in Nevada, Colorado, and Arizona host seasonal championships that guarantee thousands, or millions, of dollars. Look out for alternatives to the WSOP when you travel to Vegas like The Venetian’s DeepStack Extravaganza or Caesars Palace’s WSOP Warm-Up. In Colorado, Bally’s Black Hawk hosts one of the best state championships around.
Utah gambling laws are among the strictest in the United States. Utah has been pretty much gambling-free since the 1920s.
The Wire Act is adhered to, which effectively bans gambling over the Internet. But the restrictions don’t end there.
Both live poker and online poker are unregulated in The Beehive State, and most gambling is classed as a Class B misdemeanor. That means you could face jail time or a fine if you’re caught playing poker in Utah. Under the strict anti-poker laws, home games are also prohibited.
The Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act is assumed to be in full effect in The Beehive State, restricting players from Utah from accessing online poker rooms. However, it is still sometimes possible to play at offshore poker rooms that aren’t licensed on US soil.
In reaction to the rest of the US (or most of it), Utah has tightened its laws on poker and gambling rather than liberalize it. Section 1102 of the Utah Criminal Code reveals that “regardless of whether a federal law is enacted that authorizes Internet gambling in the states, this section acts as this state’s prohibition of any gambling, including Internet gambling, in this state.”
In short, even if the US passed a blanket law legalizing online poker, Utah would move in the opposite direction. Check out our guide to US gambling laws to find out more.
No. Utah has strict gambling laws that prohibit games of skill, such as poker. With no live poker options available, you must travel across the border into states like Nevada to play tournaments and cash games.
Utah has no legal brick-and-mortar cardrooms. Poker is illegal under the state’s strict penal code. Even most charitable gambling is prohibited under the Utah Criminal Code.
Yes. Utah has state borders with Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado, all of which offer a variety of live poker options for cash game players and tournament fans alike. The nearest casinos with poker are only a short drive from the Utah border.
Absolutely not. Online poker is considered a Class B misdemeanor under the current state laws. You may be fined if caught playing online poker in Utah.
You can play poker live in neighboring states to Utah, such as Nevada and Arizona. The minimum age to play is 21. Remember to bring a photo ID to prove your age when you visit.
Cardrooms in neighboring Nevada are open 24 hours a day. Opening times vary at tribal casinos in Colorado and Arizona, so always check the websites before you make your journey.
Absolutely. The WSOP is held every year in Las Vegas, NV, and covers over 90 bracelet events across 2+ months of play. You can stay and play cash games, SNGs, or alternative series, such as the Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza.
No. Home poker games are explicitly forbidden in The Beehive State, along with almost all forms of gambling. You can travel over the border to Nevada, however, to play home games quite legally.
It’s illegal to gamble while in Utah, but you may have to pay state taxes on gambling winnings if you make money in Colorado, Arizona, or Nevada. Make sure you inform the IRS of any large gambling winnings when you complete your IRS return.
In Utah, several charities are dedicated to addressing problem gambling. These include the Utah Department of Health & Human Services. They offer support services like counseling, treatment programs, and hotlines. Their goal is to promote responsible gambling and provide help to those struggling with addiction.
No. Utah does have eight recognized Native American tribes, but none of them currently operate or own a B&M casino or cardroom. You must travel to neighboring Nevada to play poker in a live cardroom.
Rake is the fee taken from cash games and tournaments when you play at Utah poker room alternatives. All cardrooms in neighboring states like NV, CO, and AZ take fees when you play poker at B&M casinos.
There are no freerolls offered at a Utah poker room. There are no charitable gambling options at all in The Beehive State. All forms of gambling are strictly forbidden, so you must venture across state borders to find freeroll tourneys.
Of course. Many top casinos near Utah offer loyalty schemes for poker players. You add points to a loyalty card when you play a cash game or enter a tournament. You have the chance to cash in points to gain hotel stays or other perks.
There are no brick-and-mortar cardrooms in Utah, and no new casinos are planned. There are no tribal casinos or poker rooms in The Beehive State, either. However, you can cross the state border and play games in adjoining states like Colorado.
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