Only five US states currently offer legal online poker, and Michigan stands as one of the states on that list. Poker players in Michigan currently enjoy access to 2 online poker sites operated by two of the most recognizable gaming brands in the world.
PokerStars MI and BetMGM Poker Michigan both offer a solid slate of cash games and tournaments that run around the clock. Both sites also run special tournament series on a regular basis, producing some of the biggest prize pools among legal US poker sites.
Michigan players can take advantage of sign-up bonuses at both sites, using the welcome bonuses and promo codes offered here at Michigan Sharp.
Best Michigan Online Poker Sites January 2022
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Player traffic is somewhat low during off-peak hours
The introduction of legal online poker puts Michigan on a shortlist of states that offer state-regulated mobile poker. Only Michigan, New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, and Pennsylvania currently present the opportunity to play online poker legally. West Virginia and Connecticut will eventually join the list as well.
Online poker sites in Michigan currently do not share players with other legal online poker states. This could soon change after Michigan legislators passed a bill giving Michigan regulators the ability to make deals with other states to share player liquidity.
Online casinos and poker in the Wolverine State function in partnership with the state’s commercial and tribal casinos. PokerStars launched in partnership with Odawa Casino, while BetMGM Poker operates in partnership with MGM Grand Detroit. The BetMGM Poker technology is backed by partypoker, which also offers online poker in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
PokerStars Michigan offers a full slate of cash games, tournaments, and progressive jackpot sit & go’s. It offers $50 free play after players in MI, NJ, and PA finish their first hand. BetMGM Poker offers a similar collection of games and gives new players $25 on the house, which is exclusive to Michigan poker players.
WSOP.com Michigan is very likely to be the next poker site to launch in the state as WSOP technology partner 888 Holdings has announced intentions to debut in the Michigan market.
Michigan Online Poker Sites
The world’s largest online poker brand now operates in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. The state-regulated versions of PokerStars function as in-state platforms, separate from the international PokerStars client.
PokerStars launched in 2016 in New Jersey, marking a return to the US for the online poker giant. PokerStars debuted in Pennsylvania in November 2019 and set a US monthly revenue record for a regulated poker site in April 2020. PokerStars Michigan launched on January 29, 2021.
PokerStars MI could eventually share player pools with PokerStars New Jersey, thanks to an interstate poker bill signed by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Both New Jersey and Michigan now have legislation in place to offer shared player liquidity with other states.
PokerStars Michigan operates in the Wolverine State under the license of Odawa Casino Resort.
BetMGM Poker MI uses software provided by partypoker, one of the world’s most popular online poker platforms. The international version of the partypoker client was cut off from the US market after the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, with partypoker deciding to voluntarily leave the US industry.
The partypoker brand returned to the US with the launch of partypoker NJ in 2013. In Michigan, the poker app launched under the brand name BetMGM Poker but uses the same technology.
BetMGM Poker MI could eventually join the partypoker US Network as a multi-state online poker collaboration. MGM Grand Detroit functions as the retail casino partner for the BetMGM Michigan poker app. BetMGM and partypoker parent company Entain is a partner to MGM Resorts for online gaming, under the Roar Digital brand.
BetMGM Poker PA and sister site Borgata Poker PA launched in Pennsylvania in April 2021. The two sites function as a shared player network, powered by the partypoker US Network.
None of the online poker sites bearing the “Powered by partypoker US Network” label share player pools across state lines for now. Michigan gaming laws give the green light for BetMGM Poker MI to merge with partypoker US Network players in New Jersey, however.
Will Michigan Join An Interstate Player Pool?
When the Michigan online gambling bill first passed, it permitted Michigan’s legal online poker sites to launch as in-state only platforms. That would mean that players logging in to PokerStars or BetMGM Poker in Michigan are required to be within state borders when playing. Geolocation services on each platform would lock out players outside of Michigan.
State lawmakers passed a multijurisdictional poker bill in late 2020, however, with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signing the bill into law in January 2021. The bill allows Michigan’s online poker sites to share player pools with their sister sites in other states with regulated online poker.
While the laws allowing interstate poker are in place, neither of Michigan’s online poker platforms has announced plans to merge player pools yet. Both BetMGM Poker and PokerStars operate legal poker sites in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
New Jersey’s poker sites can enter into shared player pool agreements with other states, while Pennsylvania has yet to pass an interstate poker bill.
What Is An Interstate Poker Player Pool?
WSOP Nevada, WSOP NJ, and the 888poker network in Delaware all share the same player pool. This merged player pool, known as the All-American Poker Network (AAPN) functions as the only legal interstate online poker network in the US.
An interstate player pool means, for example, that WSOP players in Nevada can play against WSOP players in New Jersey. This increases the number of total players, making more games available and making the overall network more attractive to players.
Will Michigan Poker Players Be Able To Play With Players In NJ or NV?
The omission of interstate poker regulations from the original 2019 online gambling legislation is addressed in 2020 Senate Bill 0991. The bill outlines laws “for multijurisdictional internet poker” and proposes that Michigan’s online poker operators be permitted to join interstate player pools.
The bill passed through the state Senate in October by an 85-16 margin, then made it through the House with a 36-1 yes vote in December. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed off on SB 0991 in January. The bill will become Michigan law approximately 90 days after Gov. Whitmer’s signature.
Guide To Legal Online Poker Sites In Michigan
Michigan Poker Variations
Both BetMGM Poker Michigan and PokerStars MI offer cash games, spanning the micro stakes to the high limits. No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omana cash games on both sites start at $0.01/$0.02 and go all the way up to $25/$50.
PokerStars includes many games outside of Texas Hold’em and PLO. While finding a game that’s actually running can be tough, you can find open seats for Limit Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, 8-Game Mix, 2-7 Triple Draw, and many other poker variants.
BetMGM offers No-Limit Hold’em, Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha and PLO Hi-Lo for its cash game offerings. BetMGM Poker also runs Fast Forward poker games, the partypoker version of fast-fold poker.
Most tournaments on both PokerStars MI and BetMGM Poker MI run as No-Limit Hold’em events. You can find the occasional Pot-Limit Omaha tournament, however.
Bonuses At Michigan Online Poker Sites
Deposit Match Bonuses
A deposit match bonus matches a percentage of the amount of your first deposit with an equal amount of bonus money. The terms and conditions of a deposit match bonus offer can vary dramatically across different platforms, so it’s important to read the fine print and understand how the bonus works at a chosen online poker site.
PokerStars And BetMGM Poker Deposit Match Bonuses
Michigan’s legal online poker sites offer various welcome bonuses for new players.
At PokerStars, for example, the platform offers your choice of $50 free play after playing your first hand OR a 100% deposit match bonus up to $600 with the code STARS600.
BetMGM Poker offers a similar 100% deposit match bonus up to $600.
PokerStars MI allows new players to choose between two different welcome bonus offers. If the deposit match offer doesn’t appeal to you, try opting in for the $50 Free Play bonus.
After opting in, the Free Play bonus is unlocked after you play one cash game hand. You’ll need to make at least a minimum deposit to sit in on a cash game hand, or cash in a freeroll tournament.
The $50 in free play comes in the form of Spin & Go and tournament tickets. You can only apply one of the welcome bonuses to your account. Terms and conditions apply.
See our full Guide To Michigan Online Casino Bonuses.
Online Cash Games In Michigan
BetMGM Poker Cash Games
BetMGM Poker MI offers six-max and full-ring cash games around the clock. Most of the cash game tables play as No-Limit Hold’em games, but Pot-Limit Omaha, PLO Hi-Lo, and Fixed-Limit Hold’em are also offered on the ring game menu.
Players of all bankrolls can find cash games starting as low as the $0.01/$0.02 micro stakes games. BetMGM Poker features cash game action up to $25/$50 stakes.
Online poker cash games in the US generally offer the highest traffic from 5 pm-11 pm eastern time on weekdays, and from 2 pm-11 pm on weekends.
PokerStars Cash Games
Michigan players should find no trouble finding poker cash games at a variety of stakes at PokerStars Michigan. PokerStars presents a menu of stakes and poker variants that includes numerous options outside of No-Limit Hold’em.
Those options include Limit Hold’em, Stud, Razz, 2-7 Triple Draw, 8-Game, and several others. The stakes for Limit Hold’em and 8-Game go all the way up to $100/$200.
Like most poker rooms, however, most of the games play as No-Limit Hold’em, at stakes from $0.01/$0.02 up to the high stakes tables at $25/$50.
Online Poker Tournaments In Michigan
BetMGM Poker Tournaments
The tournament schedule at BetMGM Poker features more than 70 daily tournaments. Buy-ins range from $0.25 micro stakes events up to $535. The largest of those events plays as a $40,000 guaranteed weekly tournament with a $215 buy-in.
A partnership between partypoker and the World Poker Tour regularly brings special WPT online tournament series to the partypoker New Jersey client. The WPT Online Poker Open, for example, brought a $3,500 buy-in, $1 million guaranteed WPT Main Tour event to the New Jersey network.
BetMGM Poker, using its partypoker technology, will likely host WPT events for Michigan players at some point.
The BetMGM Online Series runs once per month, offering some of the biggest guaranteed prize pools on the network. The latest edition of the series ran Aug. 15-22, featuring a $1,060 buy-in, $100,000 guaranteed Main Event.
With more special tournament series on the way, and the potential for future WPT-branded online festivals, the future appears bright for BetMGM Poker in Michigan.
The slate of regularly scheduled tournaments includes around 50 events daily. Some of the biggest guarantees on the daily slate include the $100 buy-in Nightly Stars tournament, which guarantees an $8,000 prize pool.
The daily tournament slate includes the Daily Bigs. The series runs five tournaments per day, at buy-ins from $5 to $20.
PokerStars Michigan also offers Michigan-only versions of its popular Championship of Online Poker tournament series, which Pennsylvania and New Jersey players enjoy multiple times per year.
The latest round in the Championship of Online Poker tradition saw PokerStars Michigan host the inaugural MISCOOP series. The online poker festival ran from May 8-24 and featured a $300 buy-in, $200,000 guaranteed Main Event.
The series as a whole offered 120 different tournaments, with a combined $2 million guaranteed. The Main Event drew 871 entries, with the final prize pool ending up well past the guarantee at $243,880.
The latest special online tournament festival to hit PokerStars MI ran Aug. 12-23. Dubbed the Champions Preseason 2021, the series featured a $200 buy-in, $80,000 guaranteed Main Event.
What Other Online Poker Sites Are Coming To Michigan?
The World Series of Poker stands as the world’s most recognized poker brand. The reach of the brand extends far beyond the WSOP’s annual live poker festival in Las Vegas, however.
WSOP.com represents the biggest legal online poker network in the US. Players in Nevada and New Jersey currently enjoy access to the WSOP.com platform.
WSOP and its technology partner, 888poker, currently operate the only legal interstate online poker network in the US. Players on WSOP Nevada, WSOP New Jersey, and 888poker’s Delaware network of sites all share the same player pool.
WSOP.com offers players in Nevada and New Jersey the opportunity to compete in the WSOP Online series each year, which awards official WSOP bracelets for online events.
888poker has announced intentions to launch a WSOP/888 online poker platform in Michigan at some point.
WSOP parent company Caesars Entertainment already has a natural tie-in to the Michigan online gaming market. Caesars Entertainment recently acquired William Hill, which offers online sports betting and casino gaming in Michigan as a license partner of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.
How To Fund A Michigan Poker Account
There are a variety of options to fund a Michigan online poker account. These are the same deposit options that are available at online casino apps. Some of the most popular include electronic bank transfers, credit or debit cards, and PayPal.
Using a credit card can sometimes cause problems. Some US banks are skeptical of legal online poker sites, even ones that are fully licensed by the state government. Oftentimes, bettors find their credit card deposits are declined at online poker sites. If that’s the case, try using a bank transfer or establish a PayPal account with your credit card to fund your account that way.
Michigan Poker Rooms
Michigan plays host to one of the more vibrant live poker economies in the US. All three Detroit-based commercial casinos offer live poker rooms, with several of the state’s tribal casinos also including poker among their live amenities.
MotorCity Casino runs Detroit’s largest live poker rooms. With 17 tables, cash games up to $10/$20, and tournaments running three days per week, the MotorCity poker room stands at the heart of the Detroit poker scene.
The city’s two other commercial casinos, MGM Grand Detroit and Greektown Casino, also operate live poker rooms. FireKeepers Casino, Gun Lake Casino, Odawa Casino, and Island Casino Resort are among the tribal casino poker rooms open for business.
Legal Online Poker Sites Versus Illegal Poker Sites In Michigan
State-regulated online poker platforms will bring legal online poker to Michigan for the first time. Playing at a legal mobile poker site presents many advantages over putting your money on an illegal poker site.
Security Of Funds
For starters, your money is always safe at a state-regulated poker platform like PokerStars MI and BetMGM Poker Michigan. These platforms function as extensions of legal land-based casinos.
This means your money is as safe at BetMGM Poker as it would be sitting on the table at the MGM Grand Detroit. You only have to work about playing well and keeping your opponents from taking your money, as there’s no threat of the house running off with your cash.
Illegal or offshore poker sites, or poker “clubs” that play on mobile devices, offer no such security of player funds. Taking a deeper look into poker clubs and other illegal poker rooms reveals myriad stories of the club or site operator taking player funds and running.
How Can I Tell The Difference Between A Legal And An Illegal Poker Site?
Legal online gambling sites will always display the seal of approval from the appropriate gaming regulatory agency. Both partypoker NJ and PokerStars NJ, for example, show the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement seal.
In Michigan, all state-regulated online gambling platforms are licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
How Do I Know That Legal Online Poker Sites Offer Fair Games?
Another reason to pick a legal, state-regulated online poker platform over an offshore site is the guaranteed fairness of games. Anything less than that means you’re risking your money in a rigged poker game, causing you to lose money and question your play.
The games offered at legal poker sites like PokerStars and BetMGM Poker allow players the security of regulated, fair games. The online games presented on these platforms deal with the same level of randomness and fairness as their live casino counterparts.
Who Regulates Legal Online Poker Sites In Michigan?
Both commercial and tribal casinos in Michigan can offer legal online poker. The Michigan Gaming Control Board licenses and regulates all online gaming in the state. PokerStars Michigan is partnered with tribal casino Odawa Casino Resort, which also has to comply with the rules and regulations of the National Indian Gaming Commission.
BetMGM Poker MI, licensed to MGM Grand Detroit, also falls under the regulation of the MGCB.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board exists with the purpose of assuring transparency, accountability, and fairness from the land-based casinos in their respective jurisdictions. Legal online poker sites, by extension, will be held to those same standards.
Why Should I Trust Legal Online Poker Sites In Michigan?
Legal Deposits And Withdrawals
Depositing money at PokerStars Michigan or BetMGM Poker requires making a legal financial transaction. Trusted methods like ACH/eCheck, credit/debit cards, PayPal, Play+ Prepaid, and even casino cage deposit can be openly used to deposit a state-regulated online poker platform.
That same deposit at an offshore poker site requires that you play the shell game with a third-party payment processor. Your deposit at an offshore poker site will likely appear on your bank statement as an overseas transaction from an outlet you’ve never heard of. That can’t be good.
The Reputations Of PokerStars And BetMGM Poker
As two of the biggest names in online poker around the world, both BetMGM Poker (backed by partypoker) and PokerStars operate with a keen interest in player safety, security of personal information, and fairness of games.
Both brands have built their reputations as legal and safe poker platforms. Some other brands in the history of online poker have gone in a different direction, and neither partypoker nor PokerStars wants to end up with a sullied reputation.
How Do I Get Paid If I Win?
Michigan’s legal online poker sites will offer several ways to legally withdraw funds. Some of these methods include ACH/eCheck, PayPal, Play+ Prepaid, and casino cage pickup.
Michigan Online Poker Rooms FAQ
Yes. Online poker is legal under Michigan law. The Michigan Gaming Control Board has approved two poker sites in the state so far.
BetMGM Poker MI and PokerStars Michigan both operate as legal, state-regulated online poker sites. More legal online poker platforms could eventually launch in Michigan as well.
PokerStars MI and BetMGM Poker MI are both legal, state-regulated poker sites. Only sites approved by the Michigan Gaming Control Board can legally offer real-money online poker.
Any poker site presenting real-money games outside of MGCB regulations is doing business illegally in Michigan.
Michigan poker players are able to choose from a variety of cash games, tournaments, and progressive jackpot sit & go tournaments.
PokerStars and BetMGM Poker present nearly all of their games at micro to high-stakes price points. No-Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha, and several other poker variants are accessible at Michigan’s online poker platforms.
21 or over. The minimum legal age for playing on Michigan’s state-regulated online poker platforms is 21. This age applies to poker sites offered by both commercial and tribal casinos.
Some tribal casinos allow patrons to play at either 18 or 19 as the minimum age, but state laws mandate that online players must be at least 21.
Senate Bill 0991 puts the framework in place for Michigan’s online poker sites to potentially share player pools with other states.
New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware currently operate with an arrangement known as the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA). This agreement allows online poker sites in each of those states to share player pools if they wish.
SB 0991 allows Michigan to enter into interstate poker agreements. This could result in Michigan joining the MSIGA.
Yes. The BetMGM Online Series runs every month, usually as a series of ten tournaments.
The latest chapter in the BetMGM Online Series ran Aug. 15-22. The biggest prize pool guarantee from that series came in the Main Event, which featured a $1,060 buy-in and a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool.
Yes. Using the BetMGM Poker MI promo code offered here at MichiganSharp.com, you’re eligible for a 100% deposit match bonus up to $600 with the bonus code SHARPCHIP. You can unlock $0.50 of bonus money for every $1 paid in rake or tournament fees, and you have 14 days after your initial deposit to unlock as much of the bonus as possible.
BetMGM Poker also awards $25 in free playing credits just for signing up for a new account.