The Lone Star doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar casinos nor any iGaming platforms licensed by the state. However, Texans can access free-play or sweepstakes casinos from computers and mobile devices. Many of them offer generous bonuses, including Fortune Coins and Rivers Casino4Fun from the publicly-traded Rush Street Interactive.
Best Online Casinos in Texas
Everything may be bigger in Texas, but that is not precisely the case for gambling and casino play.
While there are some legal forms of gambling in Texas, these methods are only available in person. These legal gambling methods are the lottery, retail tribal casinos, Class II gaming, pari-mutuel wagering, and charitable gaming.
Some of those may be easily understood, but what exactly are Class II gaming, pari-mutuel wagering, and charitable gaming? Class II gaming is bingo and other non-banked card games. Pari-mutuel wagering is a type of bet in which all bets on a particular event are placed together in a pool.
A prevalent example of this can be found at horse racing tracks in Texas. Lastly, charitable gaming is bingo, raffles, and generally anything involving a game of chance that goes toward a cause.
So, with all of that established, let’s dive a bit deeper into Texas and its stance on gambling as we examine the systems currently in place.
Gambling Machines In Texas
If not for tribal casinos, there would be no casinos in Texas. But, unfortunately, Texas is one of the more authoritarian states in the United States regarding gambling. So it was surprising even to see a sports betting bill be brought to the state in 2019. It, of course, went nowhere.
There are approximately 3,600 gambling machines in Texas, thanks mainly to the tribal casinos. This is down by about 100 machines from 2020.
These types of machines include slots, video poker, video keno, and other multigame machines. These can be found at either of the two tribal casinos in the state or other places, including retail locations such as convenience stores and bars.
Texas Online Casinos
As mentioned, Texas is strict regarding online casino play, but social and sweepstakes casinos with generous bonuses are permitted. As a result, there is no legal real-money online casino play in the state, and it’s unclear when there will be.
As mentioned, there are sweepstakes casinos players can play. These are available almost everywhere in the United States, with the exception of Washington State and Idaho. So, I recommend checking them out if you live or work in Texas.
Sweepstakes Casinos Online In Texas
A sweepstakes casino is also known as a social casino. With these types of casinos, you play strictly with virtual currency. However, there are large sweepstakes prizes that you can win, resulting in real money. These can operate the way they do because they fall under sweepstakes prize-winning laws, versus real money wagering game-in, game-out.
Pulsz Casino is our experts’ favorite sweepstake casino for players in Texas, and across the US. It’s a free casino with a solid collection of games, including slots, jackpot slots and Texas Hold’Em. You can purchase GC (Gold Coins) and, when you win SC (Sweeps Coins), you can exchange them for prizes. If you sign up through our link, you can get an exclusive offer of 2.3 Pulsz Casino free SC plus an additional 30 free SC.
Funzpoints Casino is an online sweepstakes casino that comes in two different modes. The first mode is the standard mode. You will receive a welcome package with virtual currency, but there will be ads while you play. The other version is a premium version.
With this, you will unlock every game on the platform right away and play ad-free. Here, you can play slots, blackjack, and roulette.
As you can see by its name, LuckyLand Slots features only slot games. However, the best part about LuckyLand Slots is that all games are unique, and you will not find these titles anywhere else.
In addition, LuckyLand Slot features two types of virtual currency—one that you will play with each game, and the other can be exchanged for real money when in possession of large quantities.
B Spot is perhaps the most unique and quirky out of all the social casinos. At B Spot, you will register for an account like a real online casino providing information such as the last four digits of your social security number.
However, this social casino is based on horse racing, though slots are available. You win money by betting on horse racing, and the slots serve as a conduit to reveal your winnings.
Yes, it’s quirky, but nothing else like it on the market.
Texas Free Online Casinos
Texas may not have real-money online casinos, but players still have options to enjoy casino gaming over the web. The following sites are available to players in the Lone Star State. They are free to play and can provide hours upon hours of entertainment for players who join.
Rivers Casino4Fun is top-tier for casino gaming fans who want to enjoy a wide variety of games without having to risk any real money. The site offers an expansive library of casino games, including many that are not commonly found in social casinos. In addition, the site features live dealer games, which adds an extra level of excitement.
Best of all, Casino4Fun is completely free to play, making it a great option for budget-minded players. So if you’re looking for a great online casino experience without having to worry about losing any money, Rivers Casino4Fun is definitely worth checking out.
MyJackpot Casino is a popular social casino with a wide collection of slot games to choose from. Players use Chips, a valueless virtual currency, to play any of the hundreds of slot titles available on the site. Because MyJackpot Casino is not a sweepstakes casino, there are no prizes for players to redeem on the site. However, the real reward for playing on MyJackpot Casino is the endless entertainment that awaits players.
MyJackpot Casino has daily quests that encourage players to login daily and spin the reels to accomplish special in-game bonuses and benefits. In addition, MyJackpot Casino also has exclusive slot titles that can only be found on the site. So whether you’re a casual or serious slot player, you will appreciate the numerous options at MyJackpot Casino.
You can find all your favorite slot game types at Lounge777 Casino, including progressives, classic slots, and video slot games. Plus, there is no need to download any software — everything can be played directly in your web browser.
Lounge777 is very appealing to players who want to enjoy all the fun of casino gaming without any of the risks associated with real-money gambling. So why not give it a try today? You might just be surprised at how much fun you have!
Texas Online Casino Games
Without any real money slots, we turn to social/sweepstakes casino slots, some of which have top casino games apps in Texas. The best part about these slots is that they function the same as real money slots. All of the mechanics are the same. The only difference is the currency you’re using to wager—virtual instead of real.
Piggybacking off of social/sweepstakes casino slots, these table games also function the same way. You will still play blackjack with the same rules. Only you will use virtual currency instead of real money.
Texas Social Live Poker Rooms
Texas continues to have exciting forms of gambling. With about 44 poker rooms, this is another way players can gamble. Some clubs will charge members an hourly seat rental fee. These are pretty minimal in price, such as $13. These poker rooms also keep all of the money—there is no rake. This means that there is no commission.
Of course, many in the state oppose these types of social live poker rooms as Texas’ journey toward legalizing all forms of gambling continues to stay stagnant.
Casinos Near Texas-Oklahoma Border
Oklahoma is a popular destination for Texas gamblers. Oklahoma’s southern border is home to a bevy of casinos and gaming entertainment. For northern Texas residents near the region’s larger metropolitan areas, many of these destinations are within a short afternoon drive. Below, we list the top two picks.
Choctaw Durant Casino & Resort
A popular destination for denizens on either side of the border, the Choctaw Durant Casino & Resort in Durant, Oklahoma, is one of the most popular casinos in the region. Their casino floor boasts a whopping 7,400 slot machines. The Choctaw Durant also has designated areas for smoking and multiple smoke-free zones, with about 5,100 of their slot machines and table games located in the nonsmoking rooms.
Speaking of table games, Choctaw Durant has a large assortment of table games to choose from. Visitors can win big with Blackjack, Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Craps, Roulette, Let it Ride, Three Card Poker, and others.
In addition to this great selection, Choctaw Durant also offers hard-to-find variations of these beloved classics. Among the most interesting is Free Bet Blackjack. In this fascinating twist of the original game, Free Bet Blackjack allows the player to split or double, once each, per hand. If the hand wins, the initial wager and the Free Bet wager will be paid 1:1, based on the original bet. Should the hand lose, the player only loses their initial bet.
But wait! Before you flock to these tables with hopes of beating the house with its own money, it must be noted these Free Bets come with some strings attached. You didn’t think it would be that easy, did you? Of course not! To keep things fun and interesting, players can only double down on a hard 9, hard 10, or hard 11. Any other two-card combination can be doubled, but players must wager their own money.
Using the Free Bet for a Split is much less stringent. Players can Split freely with any pair except 10s. Only one free split is permitted per hand, but the player may wager their own money for any additional qualifying splits.
At the player’s request, the dealer will place a “Free Bet" button beside the player’s initial bet and proceed to deal with the game usually. However, one last twist awaits! In Free Bet Blackjack, if the dealer draws to 22 exactly, all remaining hands push. This variation adds a thrilling new component to a classic game and warrants a visit to the Choctaw Durant all by itself.
Winstar World Casino And Resort
It would be no exaggeration to call the WinStar World Casino and Resort the crown jewel of gambling and entertainment in the Oklahoma-Texas border region. Located 80 miles north of downtown Dallas, Texas, WinStar World Casino Resort proudly bears the title of the largest casino in the world.
With over 400,000 square feet of gaming floor space, even the most well-traveled gamblers will marvel at the sheer magnitude of entertainment options contained within this behemoth of a resort.
Speaking of being well-traveled, the WinStar lets patrons travel the world without ever having to leave its location in Thackerville, Oklahoma. There are nine different plazas within the casino, each of them themed after famed cities from around the world.
These plazas draw inspiration from Rome, Paris, Beijing, Vienna, Madrid, and more. Each of these plazas has its own gaming sections, and some of them even contain their own restaurants with a cuisine that matches its theme.
WinStar’s eclectic, expansive casino floor comprises over 8,000 electronic games. That is more than twice the number of gaming machines in the entire state of Texas! The casino also has more than 100 table games across various denominations and a vast bingo room accommodating approximately 800 players.
In addition to this wide variety of games, the WinStar offers poker. It is only natural to expect the world’s largest casino to have a substantial poker room, and the WinStar doesn’t disappoint. Its poker room contains 55 tables dedicated to No-Limit Texas Hold’em, Limit Hold’em, and Omaha. The poker room has also hosted tournaments with huge purses, some of which have approached nearly $3,000,000.
For visitors who want to step away from the casino floor, the WinStar World Casino and Resort has limitless entertainment options. Among the most popular are the WinStar’s golf courses. The world’s largest casino has two separate 18-hole golf courses that span a combined total of more than 350 acres. A Pro Shop can also provide players with an assortment of clubs, tees, shoes, and other brand-name apparel.
Casinos Near Texas-Louisiana Border
The options available to Eastern/Southeast residents of Texas may not be as prestigious as those available on the northern border, but they are much more abundant. Casinos come in many shapes and sizes in the state of Louisiana. In addition, it is not at all uncommon to see gas stations and general stores with adjoining rooms for video poker, slots, and more.
Those who desire a bit more glitz with their gambling should not be deterred. There are still prestigious options available near the Texas-Louisiana Border. Below, we take a closer look at our top two recommendations.
Margaritaville Resort Casino
The Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City is a popular destination for Texan locals traveling to The Pelican State in search of gambling and entertainment. It is roughly 20 minutes away from the Lousiana-Texas border and is home to more than 1,200 of the latest, trendiest slot machines. Voted “The Luckiest Casino in Louisiana," The Margaritaville Resort Casino pays out more than $90 Million in winnings monthly.
Margaritaville Resort Casino also has a classic selection of table games, including Blackjack, Three Card Poker, Baccarat, and Roulette. They even offer hard-to-find variations of some of these games, such as Single-Deck Blackjack.
Two uncommon, exciting table games awaiting players are High Card Flush and Cajun Stud. High Card Flush is played against the dealer and starts by placing an ante bet. Each player and the dealer then receive 7 cards face down. The goal is to get the most significant number of cards in any one suit. There are also two optional bonus bets — the Flush Bonus and Straight Flush Bonus.
Players accustomed to Mississippi Stud Poker will feel right at home on Margaritaville’s Cajun Stud tables. The latter has a similar feel to the former but comes with several optional betting choices, giving players many more strategic options to emerge victoriously.
In Cajun Stud, players do not play against each other or the dealer. Instead, they each try to make their own best five-card poker hand. First, each player is dealt two hole cards, face down. Then, three community cards are dealt face down. These community cards are slowly revealed throughout multiple rounds where players may either increase their Ante bet or fold.
Gamblers looking for a change of pace from the slots and table games will find it at the Margaritaville Resort Casino Sportsbook. Open 7 days a week, bettors can place various wagers on football, basketball, hockey, soccer, baseball, golf, tennis, auto racing, cycling, boxing, UFC, and more.
Coushatta Casino Resort
Coushatta Casino Resort is located approximately 70 miles east of the Texas-Louisiana border. The establishment prides itself on offering the most slot machines in the entire state of Louisiana. They have thousands of slots in video and traditional spinning reel varieties. Patrons will also find electronic table game versions of classics such as Blackjack, Roulette, and Craps.
One of Coushatta’s most exciting slot offerings is their machines which have the potential payout of a new car or motorcycle plus cash. There are nearly 30 of these slot machines that can let players drive home a winner.
Coushatta Casino Resort also has exciting table game offerings. There are over 50 tables dedicated to games such as Blackjack, Craps, 3 Card Poker, 4 Card Poker, Mississippi Stud, and Cajun Stud. In addition, the casino also offers an interesting and unique Fusion Blackjack/Roulette Pit. This riveting format allows each player to play up to two games simultaneously, as the dealer deals both Blackjack and Roulette in tandem.
A Brief History Of Texas Hold’em
The Lone Star State’s gambling history has always been at odds with its gambling laws. There is no better example of this peculiar juxtaposition than the ever-popular form of poker that bears its name: Texas Hold’em.
If baseball is America’s national pastime, then Texas Hold’em is undoubtedly America’s national vice. Virtually no other American tradition has spread so thoroughly across the globe as much as this American-born style of poker.
The origins of Texas Hold’ Em’s creation have been lost to legend, but most game historians agree that it was first played en masse in Robstown, Texas, in the early 1900s. The popularity of this poker variant has perpetually increased since its inception.
The Growth In Popularity
A man by the splendidly alliterative name of Corky McCorquodale is credited with introducing the Texas-born game to Las Vegas in 1963. Poker had been legal in Las Vegas since 1931, but Texas Hold’em was altogether unfamiliar in the region until Corky brought it to the California Club in Vegas. From there, the game quickly became popular and spread to the Golden Nugget, Stardust Resort and Casino, and The Dunes.
In fact, within five years, Texas Hold’em had enough of a foothold in Las Vegas to entice high-stakes Texan gamblers such as Doyle Brunson, Crandall Addington, and Amarillo Slim into playing in Sin City.
World Series of Poker
Tom Moore introduced the first-ever poker event to the Second Annual Gambling Fraternity Convention in 1969, after an unsuccessful effort to organize a “Gambling Fraternity Convention." Several games were played in this tournament, including Texas hold’em. Benny and Jack Binion bought the rights to the conference in 1970, renamed it the World Series of Poker, and relocated it to their Las Vegas resort, Binion’s Horseshoe.
After the tournament’s first year, a writer named Tom Thackrey recommended that the main event be no-limit Texas hold ’em. The Binions agreed, and no-limit Texas hold ’em has been the premier event ever since.
Over the next two decades, public interest in the major event grew steadily. After only eight participants in 1972, the number of participants increased to over one hundred in 1982 and over two hundred in 1991.
Books That Revolutionized Texas Hold’em
Following two historic, back-to-back World Series of Poker championships, Doyle Brunson released his breakthrough poker strategy book, Super/System. Although it was self-published and sold for $100 in 1978 (about $426.30 today), the book was hugely popular and changed the way people played poker. It was one of the first books to cover Texas hold’em, and it is still considered one of the most essential works on the subject.
Al Alvarez wrote The Biggest Game in Town, a book about a 1981 World Series of Poker tournament, in 1983. It was the first book of its sort describing professional poker players and the World Series of Poker. Alvarez’s work is credited with establishing the poker literary genre and further popularizing Texas hold ’em (and poker in general).
Neither Super/System nor The Biggest Game in Town was the first large publication on the subject of poker. That honor belongs to Herbert Yardley, who released The Education of a Poker Player in 1957. His work combined poker stories with the math behind poker strategies. Yardley helped to further establish poker as a game of skill rather than mere chance.
He learned the game while working as a telegrapher for a railroad. He then used his poker winnings to further his schooling, which eventually led him to become a codebreaker for the government of the United States. His keen insights and reflections did a great deal to convey the benefits and real-world applications of poker strategies.
Outside of Nevada, interest in hold ’em began to increase into the 1980s. Despite the fact that California had legal card clubs selling draw poker, Texas hold ’em was still considered illegal under legislation that rendered the game “stud-horse" illegal, of which Texas Hold’em was considered a variant.
However, in Tibbetts v. Van De Kamp, Texas, hold ’em was considered a game of skill and legally distinguished from stud-horse. Soon after that, Texas hold ’em became available in poker establishments across California. Although it is commonly assumed that this judgment determined that hold’em constituted a skill game, the distinction between skill and chance has never been addressed in California poker law.
From here, bookmakers Terry Rogers and Liam Flood introduced the game to European card players in the early 1980s during a trip to Las Vegas, and Texas Hold’em began making its way around the world.
Popularity Of Texas Hold’em Today
Today, Texas Hold’em is, without question, one of the most renowned poker games in the world. Due to exposure on television, the internet, and popular literature, Texas hold ’em’s popularity skyrocketed in the 2000s. During this period, hold’em surpassed seven-card stud as the most popular poker game across casinos in the United States.
In addition, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and the World Poker Tour (WPT) employ the no-limit betting format in their main events, which are frequently broadcast. Because of its simplicity and popularity, Hold’em has spawned a slew of strategy books that detail how to play the game properly. Thus, it is no small wonder that Texas hold ’em became an iconic, hugely popular game across the world in the first decade of the twenty-first century.
This, combined with the advent of online poker, the game’s appearance in film and television, the invention and use of the “hole card cam" (which allowed viewers to see hole cards played in the hand as a means of determining strategy and decision-making during gameplay), the appearance of television commercials advertising online cardrooms, and the 2003 World Series of Poker championship victory by online qualifier Chris Moneymaker, all culminated into making anyone, anywhere in the world, feel they could have success, fun, and fond memories whenever they sit down at a table for a few hands of Texas Hold’em.