Maryland is well known for its steamed crabs 🦀. It’s also a great place to play online poker and win real money.

Maryland online pokerIt’s also one of just a handful of states widely expected to set up a regulated market for real money online poker in the next few years. Lawmakers in the Old Line State tried to pass a bill to do just that in 2024, but support fell just short — they will likely try again in 2025.

Despite that setback, Marylanders can still play online poker in their state! We recommend sweepstakes online poker sites, where you can win real cash prizes.

What is Sweepstakes online poker? Sweepstakes law in Maryland and most other US states allow sweepstakes online poker sites to operate. This makes them a popular option in states without a legal regulated market for real money online poker (like Maryland). Players can win real cash prizes playing sweepstakes poker.

Sweepstakes poker sites offer tournaments on a daily basis. They also offer poker in a variety of formats, as well as sit and gos and cash games.

We recommend two sweepstakes online poker sites: ClubWPT and Global Poker. They work in slightly different ways — one is a subscription site, while the other is what we call a “modern” sweepstakes site for lack of a better word. Later in this guide, we’ll go into detail explaining the differences between the two, but you can win prizes redeemable for real money on both platforms.

There are also numerous free-play poker sites out there. We recommend these types of sites for beginners because they’re the perfect venue for learning how to play — all without having to use any real money.

This guide provides a breakdown of all the options available for playing online poker in Maryland. Be sure to check back for any updates!

Does Maryland Have Online Poker?

Yes, online poker is available in Maryland! Players have some options, all of which depend on whether or not you want to play for real money.

If you’re looking for an online poker experience that’s as close as you can get to a real cash game, we recommend sweepstakes online poker sites. On the other hand, if you’re new to poker and are just looking for someplace to, for example, learn the strength of poker hands or the general flow of a poker game, we recommend free-play sites — where you don’t have to play with real money.

Online Poker in Maryland: Key Facts
📢 What’s LegalSweepstakes, free-play, and social poker sites
🔮Real Money Online
Poker (Regulated)
Could launch as early as 2027
Main HighlightsSweepstakes poker has daily tournaments, players can win real money
🃏 Available GamesNo Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha, and niche variants
🎁 RewardsClubWPT Premium Rewards, Global Poker Daily Rewards
👥 MD Population6.2 Million (ranks 19th)

The Best Online Poker Sites in Maryland

While it’s true that Maryland doesn’t have a regulated market of online poker operators, there are still plenty of legal options for playing online poker in the Old Line State! We recommend sweepstakes poker sites if you’re looking for an experience close to a real cash game, and free-play sites if you are just starting out learning about poker.

Not to complicate things, but there are two types of sweepstakes poker sites (“Sweepstakes poker” is really an umbrella term). You can win real money prizes playing on both types of sites.

First, there are subscription-based sites — a pretty straightforward concept. For a monthly fee, players gain access to daily tournaments, which offer prizes that can be redeemable for real money. Meanwhile, the second type follows a so-called “modern” sweepstakes model.

How do modern sweepstakes work? Under this model, players use real money to buy play tokens, which are usually called Gold Coins in online gaming parlance. Gold Coins have no monetary value; they can only be used on play-money games. But when players buy Gold Coins they are gifted a second type of token, a Sweeps Coin, which are considered prize entries. Players use Sweeps Coins to enter ring games and tournaments, which in turn offer prizes that can be redeemed for real money.

We recommend ClubWPT for subscription poker and Global Poker for the modern sweepstakes type of action. These are top quality platforms that are safe and secure, and which operate legally under Maryland’s sweepstakes laws. Here is a short description of both sites:

ClubWPT

ClubWPT online poker roomClubWPT is a very popular platform that follows the subscription-based model. There are tournaments every day on the site, offering prizes that can be redeemed for real money. Players also have a chance to win access to World Poker Tour events.

Players pay a monthly fee for access. ClubWPT is focused exclusively on tournaments, so unfortunately there isn’t a chance to win real money prizes through ring games.

California-based WPT Enterprises owns and operates ClubWPT and the World Poker Tour, which is a very popular online poker brand known worldwide.

Read our full review of ClubWPT »

Global Poker

Global Poker online poker roomGlobal Poker follows the modern sweepstakes model (explained above in the blue box). Players use real money to buy play tokens (aka Gold Coins) and are gifted Sweeps Coins, which are considered entries into a sweepstakes. Sweeps Coins are used to play on sweepstakes tables, where players can win prizes that can be redeemed for real money.

Global Poker launched in 2016 and is owned and operated by an Australian company. It hosts major tournament series every year with millions guaranteed.

Read our full review of Global Poker »

Social and Free-Play Poker in Maryland

If you’re in Maryland and you want to learn how to play online poker, you’re in luck! There are many free-play and so-called “social poker” sites that you can play in the Old Line State.

Most social media sites like Facebook offer free online poker. PokerStars and WSOP — two of the multi-state operators discussed in the next section of this guide — also have free-play sites, with the hope that people learning to play poke will stick around and play on their paid sites (which aren’t available in Maryland … yet).

Players looking for free-play can also visit sites like Zynga Poker, Replay Poker, and Governor of Poker.

We recommend free-play sites for new players, but it should be noted that if you’re learning to play online poker you will gain limited insight into poker strategy if you only play on free-play sites. That’s because there isn’t any real money at stake on free-play sites — the decision-making process becomes much different when there is real money in the pot. That said, free-play sites are great for learning hand rankings, betting, the flow of the game, and things of that nature.

Real Money Online Poker in MD

Gaming officially kicked off in the Old Line State in November 2008. That’s when voters approved a constitutional amendment that authorized five commercial casinos. Voters approved a sixth casino in 2012.

Maryland voters gave their approval for sports betting in 2020. That same year, legislation that proposed repealing parts of the 2008 amendment — specifically, to return authority on gaming matters to the Maryland General Assembly — died in committee; voters still retain that power.

There were plans to ask voters to authorize online poker and casino gaming in 2024, but two bills introduced in January 2024 did not make it past an important Senate committee before the Maryland General Assembly adjourned for the year.

Supporters of expanded igaming have signaled they will try again in 2025, but considering the matter will still need to go to the voters at some point, it’s possible lawmakers could wait until early 2026 before reintroducing the idea. That would give them more time to convince skeptics — including the powerful union of land-based casino workers — that expanded igaming won’t destroy jobs or opportunities.

Multi-State Online Poker in MD

Lawmakers tried to pass legislation in 2024 to create a state-regulated market for online poker, but they included one important provision in their proposals — they called for Maryland to join a multi-state gaming compact to support online poker. They did not want to see Maryland become a segregated market.

Two bills introduced in 2024 called for Maryland to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), which includes five states — Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, and West Virginia.

MSIGA allows operators to combine their player pools across multiple states, creating shared liquidity to support larger tournaments and bigger prizes. Membership in a gaming compact like MSIGA is considered essential for online poker in states with a small population — not so much with more populous states.

Maryland is kind of in the middle, population-wise. Because it ranks 19th in terms of population with 6.2 million residents, the state might want to join MSIGA in order to give online poker a boost.

Without membership in MSIGA, Maryland could become a state like Pennsylvania — where online poker is legal, but where operators and players alike are also missing out on the bigger tournaments and prizes that Pennsylvania’s membership in MSIGA could bring through shared liquidity.

If Maryland were to join MSIGA, pressure would likely mount on Pennsylvania, it’s neighbor to the north, to do the same. The Keystone State has regulated real money online poker but is not a member of MSIGA. With Maryland in the club, Pennsylvania would be surrounded on three sides by members of the compact. At that point, PA’s online poker operators might prod Governor Josh Shapiro to have Pennsylvania join, too (#GrowPApoker).

Poker Sites Likely to Launch in Maryland

If Maryland were to create a regulated market for online poker and were also to join MSIGA, the state would become a very attractive place for operators — provided the tax rate wasn’t too high.

With 6.2 million residents, Maryland would be a mid-size member of MSIGA — it would be larger than Delaware (1 million residents), Nevada (3.2 million), and West Virginia (1.8 million), but smaller than Michigan (10 million) and New Jersey (9.3 million).

Four poker operators — BetMGM Poker, PokerStars, WSOP, and BetRivers Poker — would likely be very interested in launching in the state. Each operator also appears to have an easy path to obtaining market access since each is partnered with a land-based casino for mobile sports betting.

Under a scenario where we see a massive expansion in multi-state poker, BetMGM and WSOP could each create four-state networks, while BetRivers Poker could conceivably run across five. PokerStars appears most likely to expand to a three-state network, but a larger one is possible.

The following network setups are purely speculative, but we think this is what a regulated market of online poker operators would look like in Maryland:

Operator Likely Casino Partner Hypothetical Network Plans
PokerStars USA Would likely operate under the land-based license of Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland, since FanDuel is its partner for sports betting. (Flutter owns both brands). A three-state network of MD-MI-NJ seems the most prudent.
BetMGM Poker A no-brainer — the operator will partner with MGM National Harbor, the largest casino for revenue in Maryland and outside of Nevada. The operator will likely want to create a four-state network across MD-MI-NJ-NV. It still needs to combine its MI and NJ player pools.
WSOP USA Another easy-to-predict match-up — both WSOP and Horseshoe Casino Baltimore are owned by Caesars. A four-state network that includes MD-MI-NJ-NV seems most likely, especially after losing access to DE.
BetRivers Poker A poker platform in development by Rush Street Interactive (RSI). RSI’s flagship brand is currently live in MD with sports betting through a partnership with Bingo World. RSI will probably aim to create a four-state network that includes DE-MD-MI-NJ. They could also add a fifth state to the network, WV.

PokerStars MD

PokerStars online poker room MarylandPokerStars would presumably have access to the Maryland market by operating under the land-based license of Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland.

FanDuel is partnered with Live! for sports betting. Both FanDuel and PokerStars are brands owned by Flutter Entertainment.

Recent moves by PokerStars USA show it is focused on building a vibrant online poker network nationwide, and Maryland would likely fit into those plans. Consider that PokerStars combined its player pools in Michigan and New Jersey on January 1, 2023, and expressed interest in deploying in West Virginia right after the state joined MSIGA.

BetMGM Poker MD

BetMGM online poker room MarylandBetMGM is another potential Maryland online poker operator and could be the most likely one. That’s because its land-based casino partner would be MGM National Harbor, the largest casino in terms of revenue in Maryland and outside of Nevada, according to the American Gaming Association (AGA).

The operator currently offers mobile sports betting under the MGM National Harbor license. It also has a retail sportsbook at the property.

BetMGM runs online poker rooms in Michigan and New Jersey but hasn’t yet combined those player pools. In December 2023, the operator announced in a business update that shared liquidity was “imminent” but provided no further details.

BetMGM will likely combine its player pools in Michigan and New Jersey to compete with its rivals. Launches in new markets are also possible — the operator has long been rumored to be close to launching online poker in Nevada and has also expressed interest in launching online poker in West Virginia. A five-state BetMGM Poker US network is a real possibility.

WSOP MD

WSOP online poker room MarylandWSOP has a clear path to the market in Maryland since the brand and Horseshoe Casino Baltimore are both owned by Caesars.

Caesars Sportsbook currently operates under the Horseshoe license for sports betting but is looking for the company to deploy its Caesars Palace brand for online casino gaming.

WSOP could create a four-state network across MSIGA, with combined poker rooms in Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, and Nevada.

BetRivers Poker MD

BetRivers online poker room MarylandBetRivers Poker is an online poker platform currently in development by Rush Street Interactive (RSI). A launch is expected sometime in 2024.

RSI currently offers sports betting in Maryland under the Bingo World license. BetRivers Poker could operate under the same license for online poker.

BetRivers Poker will reportedly launch in neighboring Delaware at some point. RSI replaced 888 as the Delaware Lottery’s exclusive igaming provider at the end of 2023, but has yet to launch online poker there. RSI is extremely likely to launch BetRivers Poker in more than one state at the outset.

It’s possible that RSI could establish a maximum five-state network under MSIGA by combining its player pools in Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, and West Virginia.

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Maryland Online Poker FAQ

Is online poker legal in Maryland?

Yes, you can play online poker for real cash prizes in Maryland! We recommend subscription-based or modern sweepstakes poker sites if you want to play for real cash prizes, and free-play sites if you’re just looking to play for fun without using real money. Here’s how the three types of sites differ:

  • Subscription poker sites — players pay a monthly fee to access daily tournaments, which offer prizes redeemable for real money. We recommend ClubWPT for subscription poker.
  • Modern sweepstakes poker sites — under this model, players use real money to buy play tokens (aka Gold Coins) that can only be used for play-money games. Gold Coins have no cash value. Players are then gifted Sweeps Coins, which are used to enter games at sweepstakes tables. These tables offer prizes that can be converted into real money. We recommend Global Poker as the best modern sweepstakes poker site in Maryland.
  • Free-play or social poker sites — there are many apps available for download in Maryland that offer online poker for free. Sites like Zynga Poker are perfect for new players because it gives them a place to learn the basics of online poker without using real money.

It will be at least another two years before Maryland could potentially launch its own regulated market for online poker.

There are offshore and unregulated online poker sites available from Maryland, but we do not recommend playing them.

Is online casino gaming legal in Maryland?

No, online casino gaming is not legal in Maryland. Voters could be asked to give their approval of online casino gaming as early as November 2026.

Are sweepstakes casinos legal in Maryland?

Yes, they are! Sweepstakes and social casinos — such as High 5 Casino, Stake.us Casino, Funrize Social Casino, No Limit Coins Social Casino, and TaoFortune Social Casino — are an increasingly popular way to gamble, especially in states that don’t have regulated online gambling. Sweepstakes casinos are perfectly safe and legal to play in Maryland. Check out our in-depth review of sweepstakes casinos!

Can I play PokerStars in Maryland?

PokerStars is not currently available in MD. Still, the operator is likely very interested in launching there because of the size of the potential market (Maryland ranks 19th in population) and the fact that it would have a clear path to entering the market through its existing partnership with Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland for sports betting.

Can I play WSOP in Maryland?

WSOP is not currently available in Maryland, but we expect that the operator is interested in launching in the state. That’s because the market is a potentially large one (6.2 million residents), and it has access to the market through the land-based casino license of Horseshoe Casino Baltimore. The casino and WSOP are both owned by Caesars.

Can I play BetMGM Poker in Maryland?

Not yet, but you could be able to do so soon. BetMGM Poker would gain access to the market through the land-based license of MGM National Harbor, which is the largest casino (in terms of revenue) in Maryland and outside of Nevada.

Does Maryland have online gambling?

Maryland has a regulated market for sports betting, with about a dozen sportsbooks operational in 2024. Sweepstakes online poker and free-play sites are also legal in the Old Line State.

Can I play offshore online poker sites instead?

Since offshore poker sites do not offer the same consumer protection level as legal, regulated sites, they are not recommended. Players on offshore sites are at risk of identity theft because they are disclosing their financial and personal information. Federal officials have warned US citizens not to use offshore sites because they have no legal recourse to collect winnings owed to them.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling (VACPG) helpline at 1-888-532-3500