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Legal Gambling Age: How Old Do You Have To Be To Play Poker?

Shane C

Jun 21, 2023

Legal Gambling Age for Poker

Any game involving money and luck, such as poker, is categorised as gambling. Gambling is prohibited to certain age groups, and this also applies to poker. Poker is regulated with a minimum age requirement that dictates at what age one would be allowed to play the game. In most of the states in the United States, one should be at least 21 years old to play poker legally. For some states, however, the age requirement is lower and is set at 18 and above.

In this article, we’ll discuss the minimum age to play poker, not only in the U.S. but also in some other countries.

The Legal Age To Play Poker

We want to clarify that anyone who is willing to learn the rules and complexities of poker can play the game regardless of age. But if you want to play for money, there’s an age requirement to play poker legally, and this requirement is based on your location.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Play Poker In The U.S.?

In most states, the legal gambling age is 21 years of age and above. Still, you should consider that the laws and regulations in each state vary.

For example:

  • Colorado – The age limit for online poker websites, casinos, and poker rooms is 21.

  • Players should be at least 18 years of age in Idaho to play on all poker platforms.

  • Oregon – They allow 18-year-olds to play online poker and poker rooms legally, but the legal age at land-based casinos is 21.

  • South Carolina – poker rooms only allow players who are 18 years old and above, while the minimum age of 21 is the requirement for playing poker on cruise ships.

  • Michigan – the age restrictions switch between 18 and 21 and will differ based on the regulations of the casinos you visit.

  • These are just some of the many examples, but aside from the few exceptions, all poker-playing platforms in the US require a player to be either 18 or 21 years of age.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Play Poker In Other Countries?

Similar to the U.S., each country has a different age requirement for playing poker. Here’s a table to get a better look:

Country Minimum Age Requirement
The U.S. 18 or 21 (depending on the state)
Canada 19
The U.K 18
Germany (and most of the E.U states) 18
Russia 18
Singapore 21
Japan 20
South Korea 18

Note: As at the time of writing

** Please note: Although some U.S. states may change their age requirements based on the poker platforms, most countries adhere to a fixed minimum age.

Is Poker Age-Restricted Even If You Aren’t Playing With Real Money?

18 Plus OnlyPoker is not age-restricted when you’re playing for fun and not real money. But “betting” is the main feature of poker, which mandates age restrictions to play.

No worries. Even if you can’t go to a casino and play the game because you’re not of the legal gambling age or your allowance isn’t enough, you can still play elsewhere.

Play Poker At Home

Friends and family members of all ages can play poker at home, but make sure that no money is involved. The only thing you have to do is keep a count of the scores to find out who the winner is. And it’s a great game to play if you want to settle an argument or to assign someone to do chores!

Play Online Poker

Online gambling can be considered the trickiest when it comes to age requirements because there are incidences where minors create fake IDs so that they can play for money. But there are plenty of websites where anyone can play poker online without involving cash.

It gets complicated when online poker forums start offering real money or payouts for games with points.

They set up tournaments and offer cash prizes for those with the top 3 slots at the final table. Even minors can legally join these tourneys and win some real money. But if they try to withdraw and use the money, the online poker site has the legal right to seize or confiscate their earnings if they find out.

Play Poker In Poker Rooms

If you don’t enjoy online poker, then you can try playing in poker rooms, but they require you to be of the legal gambling age and, of course, you will need money. After all, the commission fee they get from players who bet real money is their prime source of income.

Online Poker Vs. Casinos

If you’re a minor, skip this part and stick with online poker that doesn’t require a minimum age to play. But if you’ve just celebrated your 21st birthday, then you can enter a casino! Some casinos set up tables for players who want to compete for a prize or play for points. There’s no payout for the winners, and chips don’t have any monetary value.

Are You 18 Or 21 Years Old? Welcome To The World Of Poker!

Having said that the legal gambling age is either above 18 or 21, you will definitely have more options if you are in the latter group. Given that the age restriction depends on the rules and regulations of the country and state as well as the platform you’re on, if you’re younger than 21, we highly recommend that you check the age requirements in the forums or platforms you’re hoping to visit or play at.

If you have turned 18 but are unable to go to a casino due to the higher age requirement or cost, why not sign up for a free account with Natural8 today and play with the freerolls?