Best poker rooms in Florida

Poker.Org Staff
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Posted on: October 13, 2022 4:50 pm EDT

Florida has some of the most popular poker rooms in America, even with the limited legal live poker options. These rooms are also consistently growing as more people travel to these locations for big tournament series and cash games.

Poker rooms are legal in Florida because they are not house-banked games. Players compete against each other, so the house has no advantage pertaining to the outcome of the game. Florida’s legislature passed a law to allow this in 2003. 

However, the prohibition of most traditional casino games for commercial purposes relegates poker rooms to racetracks and racinos, jai alai facilities, and Native American casinos.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida signed its first progressive gaming compact with the state in 2007, allowing tribal casinos to expand its table games to blackjack and baccarat. Ongoing negotiations also worked to expand the hours of operation and betting limits on games like poker. 

How many poker rooms are there in Florida?

As of the summer of 2022, there were 29 poker rooms in Florida. The last estimate showed more than 400 poker tables spread across those rooms, and the October 2022 opening of bestbet Augustine will add to those numbers.

Three of those are in Seminole casinos, including Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, and are the largest poker rooms. Those hold the biggest tournaments each year in affiliation with tournament operators like the World Poker Tour (WPT). 

The RunGood Poker Series (RGPS) also hosts events at poker rooms like Seminole Coconut Creek, and the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Circuit hosts several poker events each year at the Isle of Capri in Pompano Beach. 

The 8 best poker rooms in Florida

Through a series of reviews and poker player testimony, we have determined that the following eight poker rooms are the best. Their locations are optimal and management is respected. They also offer a good number of tables and spread a variety of poker games and limits, even high stakes in some cases.

1. Bestbet Poker Jacksonville

Bestbet operates three casinos in Florida, and the most popular is the Bestbet Jacksonville poker room. Jacksonville is located on the east coast of Florida and is the largest city in the state.

There are 70 poker tables at bestbet Jacksonville, open to players 18 and over. They offer a number of No Limit Texas Hold’em tournaments each week, but cash games run daily, around the clock. There are always $2/$4 Limit Hold’em games to play, as well as $2/$2 and $2/$5 No Limit games. More limits run on evenings and weekends. Players can also find $5/$5 Pot Limit Omaha daily, with higher limits running on demand.

2. Hialeah Park Poker Room

Hialeah Park’s poker room operates in southeastern Florida in the Miami area. It runs at the Hialeah Park Race Track, a longstanding greyhound wagering track that opened in the 1920s.

With 33 poker tables, the room focuses on cash games. Players can always find $2/$4 Limit Hold’em and $1/$2 and $2/$5 No Limit action. There is also a $1/$2 Pot Limit Omaha game available, with $5/$5 and $5/$10 Pot Limit Omaha High on weekends and on demand.

When enough players want more poker variants, the room will run a $5/$10 mixed game.

3. Hard Rock Hollywood Poker Room

The Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Fla. boasts of one of the largest poker rooms in the state. It is located just south of Fort Lauderdale on the east coast of the state.

There are 45 tables at all times for players aged 18 and over, but tournament action from the likes of the World Poker Tour prompts a larger setup to accommodate the players. Even when those events are not running, there are daily tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $130 to $400.

Cash game availability varies greatly depending on the live action. On an average day, this room offers $1/$2, $2/$5, and $5/$10 No Limit Holdem. Omaha hi-lo games will run on request, as well as mixed games up to $25/$50.

4. Oxford Downs

Oxford Downs is in Ocala in Marion County, Fla. It is primarily a racetrack, but it has become known for its poker room as well. There are 24 tables and regular cash games.

They frequently run high-hand promotions, most often on the weekends. Aces-full qualifies, with bonuses ranging from $50 to $2,000. There is also a regular Thursday tournament for the adventurous poker players. It is a double-board bomb-pot bounty tournament with a $60 buy-in and add-ons available.  

Oxford typically spreads some low limit Texas Hold’em games, as well as some Omaha games if players are interested. 

5. Derby Lane

In St. Petersburg, Derby Lane — formerly the St. Petersburg Kennel Club — offers horse and dog race simulcasting and poker. It was once the oldest greyhound racetrack still in operation, but they stopped hosting races at the end of 2020 after 95 years. 

Its card room is quite large with 51 tables. There are quite a few cash games running regularly, including $1/$2 to $5/$10 NLHE and $1/$2 Pot Limit Omaha. There are also weekend $2/$2 Stud-8 games and occasional $4/$8 Omaha-8, and weekend and evening $5/$10 mixed games. 

Derby Lane offers instant high-hand payouts, and promotions for instant payouts and comps.

6. Ebro Greyhound

Ebro is a very small town in Washington County in the northwestern part of Florida, not far from Panama City Beach. But the Ebro Greyhound Park and Poker Room bring people in.

The Ebro poker room has 25 tables and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. for players aged 18 and up. Dealers spread daily tournaments several days each week, such as a $300 buy-in No Limit Hold’em on Sunday afternoons, $80 buy-in on Tuesday evenings, and $120 buy-ins on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. 

Players will always find $1/$3 No Limit cash games running with buy-ins from $100 to $2,000. They can also often find $2/$5 and $5/$10 games, as well as $3/$6 and $4/$8 Limit Hold’em. 

7. Palm Beach Kennel Club Poker Room

West Palm Beach in South Florida is the home of the Palm Beach Kennel Club, which runs a very large poker room in addition to racing. With 64 tables, the room is open from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Sunday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Palm Beach KC runs at least one daily tournament every day of the month, and it’s always No Limit Hold’em but with buy-ins ranging from $65 to $300. The room also runs the occasional multi-flight tournaments that offer substantial prize pools.

Players can always find No Limit Hold’em cash games from $2/$1 to $2/$5, $2/$2 and $2/$4 Limit Hold’em, and $2/$5 Pot Limit Omaha 8-or-Better. Regular Pot Limit Omaha usually plays on weekends. 

8. Isle Pompano Park Poker Room

Isle Casino Pompano Park is in Pompano Beach, just north of Fort Lauderdale. It is known for its harness racing but its poker room is growing in popularity thanks to its Caesars Resorts ownership. 

The card room hosts 38 tables from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. daily, and players earn Caesars Rewards benefits. This ownership also means the room hosts several visits from the WSOP Circuit each year.

It is a non-smoking poker room with weekly tournaments, buy-ins starting at just $80. Cash games give poker players a variety of No Limit Hold’em and Limit Hold’em buy-ins every day, as well as weekend Pot Limit Omaha and occasional mixed games.

Home poker game laws in the state of Florida

The state of Florida frowns on home poker games. Lawmakers would rather poker players go to Florida poker rooms and casinos to gamble. For those who want to do it at home, a player is not supposed to win more than $10 in any single game.

As of October 2022, Florida allows penny-ante games, ones played for pennies or cookies. But there is a big restriction. These rules also apply to bridge, rummy, hearts, dominoes, pinochle, canasta, and mahjong. Legal games are ones in which “the winnings of any player in a single round, hand, or game do not exceed $10 in value.”

Online poker rooms are not yet legal in Florida.

Conclusion

Gambling options have increased in Florida in the past two decades. Poker is one of the most popular games in the state, which explains the dozens of card rooms. Indian casinos often offer the biggest poker tournaments, but players can find a lot of options at the rooms we highlighted in this article.

Featured image source: Flickr by World Poker Tour used under CC license