Michigan is the latest state to launch real-money online poker, but it was still early in the game.
Best Online Poker Casinos In Michigan
Online poker may not be expanding nationwide as fast as online sports betting or online casino play, but Michigan is helping push online poker to more potential players.
Online poker became legal in Delaware in 2012, and it went on to become legal in Nevada the following year. The two states eventually entered into the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement, allowing for the online poker rooms to now have players from multiple states competing against one another. From there, New Jersey got in on the agreement in 2015.
For now, Michigan’s three real-money online poker sites only take action from people within the confines of the Wolverine State.
Let’s dive into what Michigan online poker has to offer!
Is Michigan Online Poker A Game Of Skill?
Yes, of course. Anyone can play poker, but a massive amount of skill is necessary. As the saying goes, poker takes a day to learn but a lifetime to master.
Skill is essential if you want to be successful at a high level. The more well-versed you are in the mathematical front, the better off you’ll be in the long run. Initially, yes, there is plenty of luck, but once you practice more and get the ancillary elements of the game down, you can be wildly successful.
Unlike other casino games, poker is played in a peer-to-peer fashion. This means that you are pitted against another person, not against the house directly. The casino or online poker room makes its money by taking a cut of each pot in the form of a rake.
Or, in the case of tournaments, a small percentage of each entry fee goes to the house.
Typically, rake is capped at around 10% of the pot up to a certain amount. The rake from an online poker hand is minimal, but it does add up.
Still, it only really impacts you in a cash game, for example, if you are winning. Losing hands contributed to the rake, of course, but it’s the winner of the hand that technically pays it.
Because the casino or online poker room is a passive participant in the game — it only facilitates the game — your odds of winning in poker can be dramatically higher than any other casino game. It comes down to your ability to have an edge against your human opponents.
That said, achieving an edge in online poker can be challenging, especially if your opponents are experienced. There is no guarantee that you will have better odds of winning in peer-to-peer poker than you would have at house-banked table games.
But in poker, your skill level can undoubtedly increase or improve. Practice can make you a better poker player. No amount of practice can make you better at playing roulette or even blackjack, assuming you aren’t attempting to count cards (which casinos do not allow if they catch wind of you doing it).
So, poker is a skill game because you can play well or poorly, and your ability depends on your experience and practice. Even the best players can lose because luck determines which cards you are dealt.
Real-Money MI Online Poker Sites 2023
In Michigan, there are currently three legal online poker platforms to play at—World Series of Poker, BetMGM Poker, and PokerStars.
There is no brand more iconic in the poker industry than the World Series of Poker.
Starting in the 1970s on Fremont Street in Las Vegas, the WSOP has grown into the top online poker brand in the U.S., with an annual poker festival in Nevada that hosts tens of thousands of poker players. In 2013, the WSOP brought its poker games to the online space.
The WSOP MI product launched on March 28, 2022, marking the first time the poker site is live in Wolverine State cyberspace.
One of the key features of the player is its weekly Sunday tournament that has a $100 buy-in and a $50,000 guarantee prize pool.
PokerStars is the most popular online poker brand outside of the U.S.. The site initially launched in 2016 in New Jersey and eventually came to Michigan on Jan. 29, 2021.
We had the multi-state agreement from years ago, and it appears that PokerStars Michigan and New Jersey could be part of another one in the future. PokerStars Michigan is made available via the license of Odawa Casino Resort.
PokerStars MI boasts a Sunday special tournament with a $45,000 guarantee and $100 buy-in.
BetMGM Poker MI
With BetMGM, we must mention the brand partypoker. After leaving the United States in the mid-2000s, partypoker came back to the states through regulated channels in 2013. This is important because partypoker now supplies the software for BetMGM Poker to operate.
BetMGM Poker MI is partnered with MGM Grand Detroit and launched on March 22, 2021, just weeks after rival PokerStars.
MGM Grand Detroit is the company’s flagship casino in the Motor City.
BetMGM Poker has a weekly Sunday event with a $30,000 guarantee and a $215 entry fee.
Free Online Poker Sites In Michigan
There are free online poker sites that you can play in Michigan. The lead outlet to explore is Global Poker, a social sweepstakes poker site, which awards players money in a sweepstakes fashion. The site doesn’t accept real-money deposits or withdrawals.
With real-money poker rooms being available in the state, you’re probably wondering why you should bother playing at Global Poker. Well, Global Poker offers authentic poker games and can help you learn the game before trying you hand at playing for real on WSOP, for example..
This means that you can play there without the risk of losing real money as you learn more and more about the game and increase your skill level.
Who Can Play Online Poker In Michigan?
It’s a common misconception that you must be a Michigan resident to play online poker in Michigan.
To play real-money online poker in Michigan, you must be physically located within the state of Michigan at the time of playing, have an verified account at the online poker site, and be 21 years of age or older.
For a sweepstakes poker room like Global Poker, you only have to be 18 years of age.
Online Poker Variants Offered
While Texas Hold’em is the most popular version of poker—we see it all the time on television—there are plenty of other variants to try!
At these online poker sites, you can find a plethora of other online poker games.
Other variations of poker available in the Wolverine State include:
- Seven-Card Stud
- Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo Eight-or-Better
- Omaha (pot-limit, limit)
- Five-Card Omaha
- Omaha Hi-Lo Eight-or-Better
- Five-Card Draw
- Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw
- Deuce-to-Seven Single Draw
- Eight-Game Mix
Online Poker Cash Games In Michigan
Online poker offers different types of games, and one of these game types is cash games.
With these types of games, you exchange money for chips in order to take a seat at a table. There has to be a seat open, and players can come and go whenever they wish. T
There are minimum and maximum amounts for setting down at a table, and they depend on the stakes of the game. Online poker cash games can range from $0.05-$0.10 blinds all the way ups to $5-$10 blinds. The minimum buy-ins can range from just a few bucks to hundreds of dollars.
The game that is right for you just depends on your bankroll size.
Online Poker Tournaments In Michigan
The other type of online poker game is tournaments, where you can’t cash out your chips at any time.
With tournaments, all players have the same buy-in, and everyone gets the same amount of chips. We talked about how you can cash out in cash games, but in tournaments, these do not end until one play has all the chips. You are out if you lose all your chips — assuming the event doesn’t have any rebuy or re-entries allowed.
In Michigan, poker tournaments are especially popular. One of the more recent examples of a tournament is the Michigan Championship of Online Poker (MCOOP), hosted by PokerStars. The WSOP will also host its major online tournaments in the Wolverine State.
BetMGM Poker also has its speciality tournament events.
Types Of Online Poker Tournaments
- Freezeout: These are the classic and traditional type of poker tournaments in which you buy-in just once and play until you are either out of chips or you are the person at the end with all the chips. The famed World Series of Poker main event is an example of a freezeout.
- Re-entry/Rebuy: Unlike a freezeout tournament, these tournaments allow you to get back into the game even after you’ve been knocked out or felted. Sometimes there’s a limit on the number of times you can re-enter. Other times, there is a time limit on when you can.
- Freeroll: These types of tournaments involve no buy-in, so you are playing for free, hence the name “freeroll." Online poker sites typically offer these for new and lesser experienced players in order to give away free money to help people start their bankrolls. The overall prize pools are relatively small, as the house is typically paying for it all.
- Satellites: These types of tournaments are designed to have you qualify for a larger or more expensive tournament. Sometimes satellites don’t play down to a sole winner because the top-five finishers, for example, might all receive the buy-in for the next tournament.
- Bounty: You earn money or other benefits from eliminating players from the event, in addition to any prize money you are slated to receive based on your finishing in the event.
Live Poker Rooms In Michigan
In addition to online poker, the state’s casinos also offer poker.
- 5 Star Charity Poker Room: 4 tables
- Burton Eagles Poker Room: 8 tables
- Corunna Poker Room: 9 tables
- Greektown Casino: 9 tables
- Huron Poker Room: 6 tables
- Joey Armadillo’s: 5 tables
- King’s Poker Room: 6 tables
- Langan’s All Star Poker Room: 8 tables
- MGM Grand Detroit: 14 tables
- Motor City Casino: 17 tables
- Odawa Casino: 6 tables
- Rounders Poker Room Saginaw: 7 tables
- The Event Spot II Poker Room: 2 tables
- The New Saginaw Poker Room: 6 tables
- Waterford Card Room at 300 Bowl: 8 tables
- Winning Hand Poker: 8 tables
- Bay Mills Resort & Casino: 4 tables
- Ciccarelli’s Sports Bar: 8 tables
- FireKeepers Casino: 13 tables
- Gun Lake Casino: 14 tables
- Island Casino: 6 tables
- Kewadin Casino Sault Ste. Marie: 4 tables
- Krazy Kopz at Vision Lanes: 8 tables
- Legends Poker Place of Metamora: 8 tables
- Momo’s Poker Room: 14 tables
- Muskegon Poker Room: 6 tables
- Rosemack Poker Room: 9 tables
- Soaring Eagle Casino: 14 tables
- The Event Spot Poker Room: 6 tables
- Thompson Poker Room: 3 tables
- Westgate Poker Room: 5 tables
COVID-19 and Michigan poker
With the global COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, online poker has been a godsend. Unfortunately, many retail poker rooms temporarily closed or have limited capacity. With online poker, none of that exists!
As long as you are in Michigan, you can play at PokerStars or BetMGM online without any restrictions from the comfort of your own home!