You might have heard — there’s a new kid on the online poker block. BetMGM Poker has launched in Michigan, providing a second option to online poker players, as well as some competition to PokerStars MI, which launched in January.
Given that the new era of legal online poker in the Wolverine State is still not even two months old, here’s a quick primer explaining how to get started at BetMGM Poker and letting new players know what to expect when visiting virtual tables.
Downloading the BetMGM Poker MI client
If on a computer, your first step to playing at BetMGM Poker MI will be to download the poker client.
A poker client enables on-site play without going through a particular web browser. This method is advantageous because browsers work differently, with some being more amenable to running site software than others. With a standalone client that BetMGM Poker can update whenever needed, there’s more uniformity in the user’s experience.
Another nice feature of poker clients is that they include geolocation software. It’s a plus to not deal with additional plug-ins, as sometimes is necessary when visiting an online casino through a web browser.
Simply visit the BetMGM website on your laptop, desktop or mobile device, choose Michigan as your state, click the “Poker” tab, then follow directions to download and install the client.
Can I play at BetMGM Poker on my phone?
You might have noticed that reference to a mobile device. Beyond laptops and desktops, you can also play at BetMGM Poker on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets.
You can download the BetMGM Poker app the same way you would download the client to your computer. The site will detect automatically if you are on a iOS (Apple) or Android device and download the right one for you.
Apps can also be downloaded from either the Apple Store or via Google Play. Be sure to download the BetMGM Poker Michigan app, and not one for another state.
Keep in mind that you must be physically located in the state of Michigan to play real-money poker games at BetMGM Poker MI. You can download the client or app, and even deposit and withdraw funds from outside of Michigan, but you have to be in the state to play on the site.
There’s one other thing to remember when playing “on the go” on a mobile device. Even though you’ll have access to the same cash games and tournaments available on the computer client, the smaller screen can potentially make game actions — for example, checking, betting, raising, folding and especially multi-tabling — more difficult to execute.
That said, early reviews from players suggest the mobile app works well and compares favorably to the PokerStars MI app.
Signing up for a BetMGM Poker MI account and depositing
Once you have the BetMGM Poker MI client or app, you’ll want to register an account. Doing so will require providing some personal information similar to what would be required for both online casino and sports betting platforms:
- full name
- email address
- physical address
- phone number
- date of birth
- the last four digits of your Social Security Number
You’ll also set up a password for logging in and choose a screen name.
Providing this personal information helps the site know you are who you say you are, and also that you are at least 21 years old, as required by Michigan law. It also helps ensure the integrity of the games and security of your funds.
Speaking of funds, there are several ways to deposit and withdraw money:
- ACH/e-check (VIP Preferred)
- electronic bank transfer/online banking
- BetMGM Prepaid Play+
- Cash at the MGM Grand Detroit casino cage
Each method has its own instructions. There is a $10 minimum for deposits. Not every depositing method works equally for withdrawing, so look through the options in case you want to use a method that works in each direction.
Poker games available at BetMGM Poker MI
So you’ve downloaded BetMGM Poker, created an account and made a deposit. What games can you play? There are many options.
Presently, BetMGM Poker offers cash games in three variants:
- no-limit hold’em
- pot-limit Omaha
- fixed-limit hold’em
In the past, the BetMGM Poker client in New Jersey has offered seven-card stud games as well, but does not at present. They aren’t currently being offered in Michigan, either.
Players can play no-limit hold’em, with blinds ranging from $0.01/$0.02 up to $25/$50. The same stakes are available for pot-limit Omaha. The less popular fixed-limit hold’em games feature stakes starting at $0.02/$0.04 and go up to $30/$60. When we checked, there were six-handed and eight-handed cash games running.
Sit and Gos
Players will also find a variety of heads-up and six-handed sit and gos now that BetMGM Poker has launched in Michigan. Sit and gos are tournaments that only happen when an adequate number of players register — once all the players “sit,” then it’s time to “go.”
Stakes for SNGs range from $1 to $500. You’ll find both no-limit hold’em and pot-limit Omaha SNGs available.
BetMGM Poker MI also offers a wide range of traditional multi-table tournaments at various times. You’ll find both short-handed and full-ring MTTs.
Buy-ins start as low as $0.25 and $1 and go up to a weekly, $535 buy-in Mega Tuesday tournament. Watch for freerolls as well, which award cash prizes or tournament tickets.
Nearly all of the tournaments are no-limit hold’em, with a few pot-limit Omaha ones sprinkled in.
BetMGM Poker MI also has launched in Michigan its own version of “fast-fold” poker called Fast Forward. It resembles PokerStars’ Zoom game.
These fast-paced games involve a pool of players who get moved to a different table after every hand. When they fold a hand, they don’t stick around to see how it turns out. Rather, they are instantly whisked away to a new table and get dealt new cards.
Fast Forward requires a certain number of players for the games to be viable. BetMGM Poker MI does not yet have enough players for the games to run so early in its launch cycle.
Marquee daily and weekly events, plus big poker events to come
That $535 Mega Tuesday tournament is one of several marquee events on the schedule in the BetMGM Poker MI lobby. The Mega Tuesday happens at 10 p.m. every Tuesday and features a $12,000 guarantee.
There is a Daily $10K event with a $109 buy-in and $10,000 guaranteed prize pool at 7 p.m. nightly. There is also a weekly $215 buy-in Sunday tournament with a $40,000 guarantee (the Sunday $40K) that looks to be the big “Sunday tournament” going forward.
Users will also see a special $109 buy-in BetMGM Grand Online Series Main Event scheduled for Apr. 11. It sports a big, $100,000 guarantee. As the tournament name implies, an initial tournament series is likely to be announced soon.
New players should grow accustomed to scanning the lobby to see what games are coming up on the schedule.
Most tournaments come with those aforementioned guaranteed prize pools. No matter how many players register to play, a minimum total prize pool is guaranteed. Sometimes, the number of players registering isn’t large enough. Entry fees total less than the guarantee, meaning the tournament has an overlay. An overlay is like a bonus for players, as the site has essentially added free money to the prize pool.
Since BetMGM Poker just launched in Michigan, there have been some overlays in tournaments as the number of players signing up takes hold. That perk won’t last, but it’s something worth looking out for these first few weeks.
Keep an eye out as well for that BetMGM Grand Online Series announcement and other tournaments being added. Good luck at the tables!