Michigan Online Poker

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Danny Lawhon
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Written by Danny Lawhon

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Matt Schoch
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Michigan online poker is live, legal and here to stay! Playing options — from online poker tournaments to spin and gos and no-limit hold’em cash games — are available in the state. But more features are also on the way. Michigan, which has a storied global poker history, will eventually send its players up against those from other states.

For now, after several years of waiting, Michigan poker players can play real money online poker against other players within state lines. The Michigan online poker sector officially launched on Jan. 29, 2021, so the one-year anniversary is on the way!

Both BetMGM Poker and PokerStars offer a no-deposit welcome bonus and a first deposit bonus to allow you to try out the site with little to no risk. Details to register are below. A third operator is also on the way soon in World Series of Poker MI.

The addition of regulated online poker to the Great Lakes State came from the same set of laws that legalized sports betting, online casinos and daily fantasy sports. Here’s what you need to know about playing online poker in Michigan.

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Latest Poker Updates

UPDATED: Jan. 10, 2022

Our new Michigan online poker columnist David Kaye is back with another banger, detailing his ‘Bad Beat’ jackpot triumph in his latest dispatch.

David lives in Mason and makes his living as a poker content creator. Part of that is writing for us, so if you like his work, spread the word and follow him on all his social channels.

Here’s an archive of the other columns he’s done for us.

The 2021 Michigan online poker tournaments are behind us, and we’re looking forward to a great 2022! Soon, we’ll know what the operators have up their sleeves for January.

Michigan Online Poker Sites

Poker SiteBonusVisit Site
PokerStars Michigan$50Play Now!
BetMGM Poker$25Play Now!

Online poker bonuses and rewards

Like most Michigan online gambling outlets, the best poker sites have to keep their customers happy. So every poker brand will have bonuses and rewards that you can use to pad your account balance. Most online poker bonuses come in two formats: instant bonuses and tournament tickets. Although there are numerous ins and outs to the different types of bonuses you’ll find, the end result of each will usually be one or both of those types of rewards.

For the most part, here are the types of bonuses you will encounter:

  1. No deposit bonus: These bonuses are essentially free money that will show up in your account. You will most often see no deposit poker bonuses when you sign up for an account — they are otherwise rare. Although they may be withdrawable as cash, no deposit poker bonuses often come in the form of site credits and will require you to play through the bonus a certain number of times.
  2. Deposit bonus: With this type of bonus, the poker site will match a portion of your deposit and contribute additional funds to your account on top of the deposit amount. The percentage of the match can be any amount, even 100%. However, there will also be a limit to the maximum amount you can match. In many cases, the site will withhold the full amount of the bonus and drip it to you as you play. Be aware, then, that you may not see an immediate benefit.
  3. Loyalty or rewards programs: In many cases, you are a member in the program automatically from the moment that you register. If you never pay it any mind, that’s all right. However, these programs will both classify you and reward you based upon how much you wager and how often you play. As you hit the tables, you will earn points to redeem for cash or prizes. The exact amounts of cash or prizes vary, but common options include free-money bonuses, tournament tickets and branded merchandise from the site’s store.

The rarest reward you can receive is unrestricted cash. It is unusual, however, for online poker sites to hand out withdrawable funds for a bonus.

In most cases, you will either receive site credits or tournament tickets. Site credits function like cash, but you cannot withdraw them until you’ve “washed” them through the system. Tournament tickets, meanwhile, require you to use them for tournament buy-ins. They are non-transferable and can’t be converted into cash.

Comparing Michigan online poker sites 2022

PokerStars Michigan

Review: PokerStars Michigan 

Download: Play PokerStars Michigan

Best features:

  • Consistently high traffic (for a ring-fenced US site)
  • Mixed games and variants beyond no-limit hold’em and pot-limit Omaha
  • State-of-the-art software with a clear, intuitive design
  • Players can earn Stars Rewards, redeemable for StarsCoin or free play

PokerStars partnered with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians to launch the first online poker room in Michigan in late January 2021.

Almost immediately, the Michigan site became PokerStars’ most-trafficked US site. Big tournament series such as PokerStars’ famous “COOP” series drew big fields and featured huge prize pools. Both the first Michigan Championship of Online Poker (MICOOP) and first Michigan Spring Championship of Online Poker (MISCOOP) did especially well.

One big reason why PokerStars began thriving from the start is the state-of-the-art PokerStars client software. PokerStars first launched globally in 2001. With two decades’ worth of development, PokerStars arguably provides the smoothest and most reliable online poker experience in the world. In Michigan, there is no contest at present, as PokerStars.com is easily the most inviting site from a player experience standpoint.

Players can enjoy PokerStars on a desktop or laptop (PC or Mac) by downloading and installing the PokerStars client. There is also a PokerStars app available for both Apple (iOS) and Android mobile devices.

Our Verdict: Right now, there’s little to complain about with PokerStars.com. Like all legal online poker sites without compacts, the site is ring-fenced, which means players can only compete against others located in Michigan. That limits player pools — although, as already demonstrated, PokerStars in Michigan can still attract large fields for its big tournaments series, and its daily and weekly MTTs consistently draw well, too.

BetMGM Poker MI

Review: BetMGM Poker Michigan

Download: BetMGM MI Poker App

Best features:

  • Clear, no-nonsense design makes for easy navigation
  • Approachable monthly tournament series, with buy-ins ranging from $20 to $1,060
  • Can earn M Life Rewards at MGM Grand Detroit and other MGM locations
  • Offers a “fast-fold” cash game, Fast Forward

BetMGM Poker launched in Michigan in March 2021 to become the second legal online poker site in the state. The site uses the same software found at partypoker US network sites (including BetMGM Poker sites) in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. BetMGM Poker’s land-based partner is the MGM Grand Detroit casino, the largest casino in the state.

The site got off to a slow start traffic-wise and still trails PokerStars. But it has gained some ground. BetMGM occasionally runs a monthly tournament series, the BetMGM Online Series, that attracts decent-sized fields for certain events. Although the BetMGM Poker client is functional and easy to use, it lacks the sophistication of other online poker sites. That said, some players prefer the lack of “bells and whistles,” as it helps enable them to focus more directly on gameplay.

Desktop and laptop users (PC or Mac) can download the client to their computers. There is also an app for both Apple (iOS) and Android users.

Our Verdict: Generally low traffic means BetMGM Poker in Michigan is likely a less attractive option for cash games. The tournament offerings, however, are frequent and varied, and Michigan online poker players may want to add some of the more popular events to their weekly schedules (especially those with guaranteed prize pools). The monthly BetMGM Online Series is worth keeping an eye out for as well whenever it comes around.

WSOP Michigan (coming soon)

Review: WSOP Michigan

Download: Not available in Michigan yet.

Best features:

  • Smart new, high-functioning client provides enjoyable user experience
  • WSOP tournament series with bracelet and ring events
  • Offers good selection of satellites for live WSOP events
  • Ties into the popular Caesars Rewards program

The World Series of Poker is one of the most recognizable brands in poker, and soon it will be available to Michigan players. WSOP currently operates sites in New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania.

The WSOP partners with 888 poker, which operates sites in NJ, NV and Delaware. Together, those sites take advantage of a multi-state agreement that enables them to share player pools among the different sites. Meanwhile, the new WSOP PA site remains ring-fenced. The earliest indications are that WSOP Michigan will be ring-fenced as well when it launches.

When the WSOP launched its Pennsylvania site in August 2021, that marked the US debut of the new Poker 8 software used by 888 poker sites worldwide. The Poker 8 software represents a significant step up from that used by WSOP’s sites in Nevada and New Jersey, where the plan is eventually to transition them to the new client.

When WSOP Michigan debuts, it will employ the Poker 8 software as well, which is good news for Michigan online poker players. That also provides us a good idea what to expect once the site does go live. The client features a pleasing, dark color scheme. The design makes it easy for players to find favorite game types and tournaments.

Our Verdict: WSOP will be a welcome addition to MI online poker, just as it was in PA. But the real excitement and benefits will come when the site can pool players across MI, NJ, and NV. Until then, Michigan players will be happy to settle for ring-fenced online Circuit and Bracelet Event series, as well as satellites for live events like the WSOP in Las Vegas.

Poker games available at real money poker sites

No-limit hold’em is far and away the most popular poker game in Michigan — and just about everywhere else. Indeed, almost all tournaments on Michigan online poker sites are NLHE, although they come in many different formats (turbo, deep-stacked, progressive knockout). You will find some pot-limit Omaha tournaments on occasion.

BetMGM Poker and WSOP only offer hold’em and Omaha. PokerStars is the only option for players looking to play other games, including mixed-game formats. PokerStars has the following cash games available:

  • limit seven-card stud
  • limit seven-card stud hi-lo
  • limit razz
  • pot-limit 2-7 triple draw
  • limit 2-7 triple draw
  • Badugi
  • H.O.R.S.E. (limit hold’em, Omaha hi-lo, razz, stud, stud hi-lo)
  • 8-Game (H.O.R.S.E. plus 2-7 triple draw, PLO, and NLHE)

PokerStars features a daily tournament called the “Change-Up,” where the game is something other than NLHE or PLO (for example, H.O.R.S.E., stud, razz, Badugi).

Tournaments and Cash Games in Michigan

While it’s true your game options at Michigan poker sites are mostly limited to no-limit hold’em and Omaha varieties, there’s still a good deal of variation. All legal poker sites have their regular sampling of daily and weekly tournaments, a wide range of cash game stakes, and their own flair on some classic favorites.

PokerStars Tournaments and Cash Games

In addition to frequent tournament series, PokerStars features many popular daily and weekly multi-table tournaments, often with guaranteed prize pools. Some feature the popular progressive knockout (PKO) format, although most are traditional multi-table tournaments (MTTs).

Popular PokerStars daily tournaments include:

  • The Big $5, The Big $10, The Big $15, The Big $30 (regular MTTs)
  • The Hot $5, The Hot $10, The Hot $30, The Hot $50 (turbo MTTs)
  • The Lunchtime Hot $20 ($1K gtd.)
  • The $100 Nightly Stars ($10K gtd.)
  • Change-Up — mixed game, non-NLHE tournaments ($20 buy-in, $500 or $1K gtd.)

Popular weekly tournaments at PokerStars MI include:

  • Thursday Thrill ($200 buy-in, $15K gtd.)
  • Sunday Warm-Up ($30 buy-in, $3K gtd.)
  • Sunday Supersonic ($50 buy-in, $5K gtd.)
  • Sunday Marathon ($100 buy-in, $10K gtd.)

PokerStars features Sit & Go’s, with buy-ins ranging from $1 to $500. There are also the jackpot-style Spin & Go’s, with buy-ins from $1 to $10 and top prizes from $10 to $30. Cash games range in stakes from $0.01/$0.02 to $25/$50 for no-limit hold’em and as high as $100/$200 for the 8-Game mix. Players stick to lower stakes most of the time, however, with NLHE games of $0.50/$1 and below the most popular.

PokerStars in Michigan does not offer the fast-fold “Zoom” game found on PokerStars’ global sites, although it is probably just as well. Such games generally require high player liquidity to operate effectively.

BetMGM Tournaments and Cash Games

BetMGM Poker always has a number of multi-table tournaments scheduled, many of which feature guaranteed prize pools. These MTTs start at $0.25 and $1 to play, with a $535 weekly tournament among the highest buy-ins. The monthly BetMGM Online Series frequently features a $1,060 buy-in tournament as well.

Some of the more popular regularly scheduled tournaments at BetMGM Poker in Michigan  include:

  • The Daily $10K ($109 buy-in, $10K gtd.)
  • Mega Tuesday ($535 buy-in, $12K gtd.)
  • Sunday $35K ($215 buy-in, $35K gtd.)

BetMGM Poker also has Sit & Go’s, with buy-ins from $1 to $500. Note that unlike PokerStars, BetMGM Poker only offers hold’em (no-limit and limit) and pot-limit Omaha. In the past and in other states, BetMGM Poker has offered seven-card stud. But that variant has not been added to the Michigan site.

NLHE and PLO cash games feature stakes ranging from $0.01/$0.02 to $25/$50. Although less popular, the fixed-limit hold’em games have stakes from $0.02/$0.04 to $30/$60. BetMGM Poker does have a “fast-fold” game, Fast Forward, although it almost never runs, because of a lack of players.

WSOP.com Tournaments and Cash Games

WSOP runs a consistently full schedule of multi-table tournaments on its other sites. The offerings at WSOP PA are a likely indicator of what the Michigan site will feature. Some of the more popular weekly tournaments (all with guaranteed prize pools) include:

  • $7,500 Daily ($55 buy-in)
  • $5,000 Daily ($30 buy-in)
  • $3,000 Nightly ($77 buy-in)
  • $2,500 Nightly PKO ($22 buy-in)
  • $1,000 Midnight Express ($20 buy-in)

WSOP PA has picked Thursdays for a number of different weekly tournaments, such as:

  • $30,000 WSOP PKO Weekly Thursday ($215 buy-in)
  • $10,000 WSOP Weekly Thursday 5X Rebuy ($109 buy-in)
  • $2,500 Weekly Thursday ($20 buy-in)

Of course, WSOP also features many tournament series, including WSOP Circuit series (that award rings) and WSOP Online Bracelet series (awarding gold bracelets). Within weeks of launching in Pennsylvania, WSOP ran an eight-tournament WSOP Online Bracelet series in which Pennsylvanians won bracelets. Expect similar fanfare in Michigan.

WSOP sites also feature satellites to live WSOP events, including the $10,000 WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas. WSOP offers NLHE, PLO, and PLO hi-lo Sit & Go’s, with buy-ins from $0.25 to $200. The site additionally features 888 poker’s “Blast” games, a variation on regular sit & go’s in which there is a time limit. After that point, players automatically go all-in every hand. Buy-ins for Blast games are $0.10 or $1 and can pay out as much as 10,000 times the buy-in. There are also Blast tournaments.

For cash games, WSOP only has no-limit hold’em, fixed-limit hold’em and pot-limit Omaha (both high only and hi-lo). There are no stud games or other mixed games on the site. Stakes for NLHE and PLO cash games range from $0.01/$0.02 to $100/$200.

How Michigan online poker works

You can play online poker for real money legally within the state. But it’s important to understand how things work at regulated online poker sites in Michigan.

Who can play?

First, Michigan requires anyone who plays online poker in the state to be 21 or older. This requirement should come as no surprise. When you play online poker in the Great Lakes State, however, you will not be able to play with anyone who is not physically inside state lines. As is the case with most other states, the Michigan online poker scene is confined to Michigan for now.

The good news is that it is not necessary to be a resident of Michigan to play. If you are a visitor, you have the same opportunity to experience online poker, as long as you are of legal age.

How to download the app or poker client

First, use one of the links above to access the site of your choice. You will need to download the app to your mobile device or the poker client to your desktop computer. Using our links will often put you in line for the best welcome bonuses. However, make sure you jot down any poker bonus codes we have listed, as they can be worth extra cash and benefits in your account.

Apple and Android device users should have no difficulty downloading and installing the app via the provided PokerStars and BetMGM links above. Once you’ve installed the app or client, look for a sign-up button at the top of the screen.

As with online casinos in Michigan, be ready to supply your personal information in order to create your account. You will need the following:

  • Your name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number

These are all common requirements at online gambling sites in Michigan. You will also need to choose an appropriate screen name, password and (potentially) security challenge questions. Then, find the box to enter our bonus code. It is usually the only optional box on the page. Make sure that you enter the code exactly as it appears — including any capital letters and without any typos.

After that, hit the button at the bottom to submit, and you should be ready to go.

How to deposit and cash out at Michigan poker sites

In order to play for real money on a Michigan site, you’re going to have to invest your own money. Even more obviously, you’re going to want to be able to withdraw any winnings if your big moment arrives. Thankfully, every Michigan poker site comes with multiple ways to deposit and cash out quickly.

If you want to make a deposit, these options are available:

  • Credit or debit card — Visa and Mastercard are acceptable options. However, make sure to check with your issuing bank before you make this type of request. Some do not allow deposits to online poker sites or may charge hefty cash advance fees.
  • Electronic wallets — Skrill and PayPal are accepted by Michigan online poker rooms.
  • Online banking — If you use online bill pay for other transactions, you may be able to use it to send money directly from your bank account to the poker site, too.
  • Electronic checks — VIP Preferred is the option, although ACH is viable. These function exactly like paper checks, except in an electronic format. Most Michigan poker sites will accept echecks.
  • Prepaid cards — Play+ and Paysafecard are the most common options for a prepaid card, which is essentially a gift card that you give yourself.
  • PayNearMe — You can fund your accounts at 7-Eleven and Family Dollar locations using cash and the PayNearMe service.

Finally, some poker sites’ land-based partners will accept deposits in person at the casino cage. You can deposit and withdraw from your BetMGM Poker account at MGM Grand Detroit casino, for example.

Are Michigan online poker sites safe?

Yes. It is safe to play on Michigan’s legal online poker sites. Any sites that you see mentioned above are fully licensed and regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. Rest assured: This page will never advertise poker sites that do not meet these standards. All legal poker sites in Michigan come with the MGCB logo and/or note that the site is “authorized and regulated by the MGCB.”Michigan Gaming Control Board

If you come across a site not mentioned on this page, it is most likely an offshore poker site. These sites are not under the regulations and laws of the state of Michigan or the United States. Invariably, offshore sites do not work with the MGCB, nor do they operate with a Michigan land-based partner or have offices in the US.

Playing on one of these sites puts you and your financial security at a much higher risk. International sites often exist in the gray areas of the law and in countries with far less stringent business standards.

You also cannot count on these sites to report to an effective regulatory body. In many cases, the regulator has no authority to take action on the site if there’s an issue, including with payouts. Worse, it’s even possible that it is part of the same organization. The bottom line is that there’s no reason to take any kind of chances, now that legal online poker is legitimately underway in Michigan. Stick to legal — and safe — Michigan sites.

Will Michigan share player pools with other states?

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an interstate online poker bill into law, but it doesn’t automatically set up a pact with other states. That action is now up to the MGCB. It is unclear whether such a deal will be made in 2021. One option is for Michigan to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement, which allows New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware to share player pools.

Still, multi-state poker could be on its way to Michigan. It’s likely a must-have for the online poker market in the Great Lakes State to survive long-term. Michigan is a slightly larger market than New Jersey, where online poker is barely surviving, despite it pooling players with Nevada and Delaware. Adding states, including Pennsylvania and Michigan, to the interstate poker compact in the coming years would certainly be a boost to the US market. In practice, however, the only beneficiary of the agreement has been WSOP.com, which offers multi-state play in both New Jersey and Nevada.

For the time being, Michigan is not a part of the MSIGA. In other words, you will have to be inside Michigan to play, and you will only be playing against other Michiganders (or visitors to the state).

Live poker rooms in Michigan

Michigan offers a slew of live poker options. Many of the state’s casinos offer their own poker rooms. Here are the opportunities you have to play poker in live settings at Michigan casinos.

List of poker rooms in Michigan casinos

Michigan casino card roomAddressNo. of tables
Bay Mills Resort & Casino11386 W. Lakeshore Dr, Brimley, MI 497154
FireKeepers Casino Hotel11177 E. Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI 4901426
Greektown Casino-Hotel555 E. Lafayette St., Detroit, MI 4822612
Gun Lake Casino1123 129th Ave., Wayland, MI 4934814
Island CasinoW399 US-2, Harris, MI 498456
Kewadin Casino2186 Shunk Rd., Sault Ste. Marie, MI 497834
MGM Grand Detroit1777 3rd Ave., Detroit, MI 4822617
MotorCity Casino Hotel2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit, MI 4820117
Odawa Casino1760 Lears Rd., Petoskey, MI 497706
Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort6800 Soaring Eagle Blvd., Mt. Pleasant, MI 4885814

Michigan online poker FAQ

Can I play online poker in Michigan?

Yes. Online poker is legal in Michigan. Multiple operators offer regularly open tables, daily and weekly tournaments, and occasional special series with larger guaranteed prize pools.

What online poker sites are in Michigan right now?

Michigan has two online poker sites. PokerStars was the first to market, and BetMGM Poker followed soon after. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is expected to be up and running at some point in 2021.

How does an online poker site know I’m in Michigan?

All Michigan online poker sites, casinos and sportsbooks must verify the physical location of their players at all times. They accomplish this by using geolocation software. This software uses your mobile device’s onboard GPS to pinpoint your location before you are allowed on the site. If you use a laptop or desktop computer, you will have to verify your location by downloading this software separately, or through the site.

The sites are not inclined to waver on this requirement, either. They face heavy fines and sanctions, including the loss of their operating licenses, if they are not vigilant about enforcing the in-state requirement. Simply put, you will have to verify your location within Michigan before you’ll be able to make your first bet, raise, call or fold.

Can online poker be trusted in Michigan?

Yes. Michigan online poker games are as fair as they come. Online poker sites use random number generators to deal the cards. The Michigan Gaming Control Board tests this technology and oversees operations to make sure games are presented fairly.

The sites don’t have an interest in one player winning over another. They have strict security in place to police collusion, bot play and anything else untoward.

What was the first legal online poker site in Michigan?

PokerStars MI was the first poker site to launch in Michigan. PokerStars was live on Jan. 29, 2021, a week after online casino gaming and online sports betting were first allowed in Michigan. BetMGM Poker followed on March 22, 2021.

Are home poker games legal in Michigan?

Technically, home games are not legal in Michigan, but there are several poker rooms around the state that are legit and regulated. Michigan gaming law also allows some charitable organizations to offer poker games at standalone facilities.

What poker variants do Michigan poker sites offer?

The vast majority of tables and tournaments you’ll find on Michigan online poker sites will be centered on no-limit Texas hold ‘em. Omaha to a lesser degree. You’ll come across a game of Omaha or pot limit Omaha on occasion in the regular fold, too. Several other game types you’ll sometimes find at PokerStars include seven-card stud, razz, 2-7 triple draw, Badugi, 8-Game and HORSE. But these games and tables are rare, and are often limited to special tournament play.

How do you play PokerStars in Michigan?

First, make sure you have downloaded the PokerStars client. Use the PokerStars link above on this page. You will need to download the app to your mobile device or the poker client to your desktop computer. Using our links will often put you in line for welcome bonuses. But our bonus codes can be worth extra benefits in your account, so write them down, too.

Apple device users should have no difficulty downloading and installing apps and clients. However, Android users will need to instruct their devices to accept downloads from unknown sources in the device’s security settings.

Once you’ve installed the app or client, look for a sign-up button at the top of the screen to create an account and find tables or tournaments for play.

Can Michigan players compete for WSOP bracelets online?

The short answer here is “not yet.” World Series of Poker still has plans to launch a product in Michigan but has yet to do so. The company still expects to be live in the state by the end of 2021. Watch this space, and PlayMichigan.com in general, and we will keep you updated.

Danny Lawhon Avatar
Written by
Danny Lawhon

Danny has more than a decade of reporting experience in three states, including nearly 10 years with the Des Moines Register in Iowa. He's covered college and professional sports, the NCAA Tournament and the PGA, LPGA and Champions Tours. Danny is a professional musician in his spare time and plays the piano and pipe organ (seriously). He now covers the online gambling industry in Michigan.

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