The state of Virginia is pretty laid back when it comes to playing a game of poker. It is however one of the few states that does not permit any organized casinos or card rooms, but does allow home games so long as you play by the rules and online poker is OK with many poker players enjoying a game at Americas Cardroom and other online poker rooms. Take a look of what's below to see where you stand, and what you need to do to stay within the law when enjoying a game of poker in the state of Virginia.
Playing Home Games in Virginia
Although most forms of gambling are illegal in the state of Virginia we can read in the penal code that home games are given special treatment and this is good news for poker lovers. In section 18.2-334 gambling is classed as illegal, however in sub-section 4 of 18.2-334 we see, “Nothing in this article shall be construed to make it illegal to participate in a game of chance conducted in a private residence, provided such private residence is not commonly used for such games of chance and there is no operator as defined in subsection 4 of § 18.2-325.” This all means that basically, like many other states, Virginia takes a very sensible approach to home games and as long as no-one is making a profit from raking the pot or charging a fee then all is OK with the law.
Playing Online Poker in Virginia
There is no mention of online poker anywhere in the penal code of Virginia, nor in fact of any mention of online gambling at all. As far as online poker is concerned then we have to take the laws for home games into consideration, which make it perfectly legal and many residents of Virginia regularly play at such online poker rooms as Full Flush Poker, Betonline Poker and Americas Cardroom. It would of course be totally against the law to operate a poker room any within state borders, but we presume that's not what you are interested in doing! There is no law against playing online poker at federal level, so Virginia gets a big thumbs up.
Playing Poker in a Virginia Casino
As mentioned previously, gambling is not legal in Virginia apart from the state lottery and horse racing. This then, sadly means that there are no casinos in the state. Many residents of Virginia visit the neighboring states like West Virginia who have slightly more flexible laws on gambling and now offer table games. It's possible that the laws may change in the future as lawmakers in Virginia cannot fail to notice the amount of tax revenue they are losing out on.