Playing poker in Florida is a mixed bag, much as it is in most states. The rules between playing at home, in a casino or indeed online differ in several ways, along with a rather strange law allowing residents of Florida to jump on a boat and play at sea! Below we point out the main differences in what is classed as legal but by and large Florida is fairly laid back when it comes to poker, no matter where you wish to play, along with a few recommendations of where to play online at such rooms as BovadaPoker.
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Playing Poker at Home and in the Casino
Playing poker at home is perfectly fine as long as the limits are kept very small and it is mentioned in the Penal Code. Chapter 849 states that you are guilty of a third degree crime if you "own or operate a house or room for the purpose of gambling or gaming". This is unless it is a penny game, which means that penny poker is allowed and the pot size in any given hand must not be more than $10, however it is extremely rare that a home game with your friends is ever investigated by the authorities. Bill 782 changed the rules regarding playing a game of poker in casinos in that the limits were made a little higher. Poker rooms are allowed to open for a maximum of 12 hours a day and the limit is set at a maximum of a $5.00 bet, and any player is not allowed to purchase more than $100 worth of chips at any time. You may re-buy chips but your total stack cannot go over $100 unless it's winnings. There is a way to get around this by jumping on one of the many ships operating out of the state. Head East toward the Gulf of Mexico and drop anchor just three miles offshore and all rules no longer apply and it is surprising how many players take advantage of this.
Online Poker in Florida
The most important thing to mention here is that online poker is not illegal in Florida. There is no mention of it in the Penal Code and there is no federal law against it, meaning that the subject is pretty much a blank page and all US online poker operators will cater for players from Florida, and there are quite a few online rooms to choose from. It is of course always best to play with a reputable room that gets good player reviews and often pops up in the poker press for the right reasons. Rooms such as Americas Cardroom, Betonline Poker and Juicy Stakes are all good options and many Florida residents are enjoying the games, promotions and the safe, secure environment in which these options operate.