Sports betting and daily fantasy sports are already legal in the Hawkeye State, and many expect an Iowa legalization push for online poker sometime soon.
Though casinos in Iowa are now allowed to offer sports wagers, Iowa poker online remains illegal under state law, along with every other online casino game. This is likely to change soon as states around the country have moved toward legalization. Those that have already legalized online poker and casino gaming are seeing huge tax revenues.
There are some exceptions to the law. Some social casinos use a “sweepstakes” model to allow players to play online poker and online casino games for real money without violating any laws. If you’re interested in learning how to play poker and how you can start playing ahead of the state’s anticipated legalization push, here is a quick primer on Iowa poker online.
How to Play Online Poker
The three most popular poker games are Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and Stud.
Hold’em is the most common game you will find. In Hold’em, every player is dealt two cards face down. The player must then make the best five-card hand using his two cards, called hole cards or pocket cards, and the five community cards that every other player can use. There is a round of betting after each time new cards are dealt. The most common Hold’em game is no-limit, which means you can bet all your money at any time, though some games use pot limit rules, which means you can’t bet more than the amount already in the pot.
Omaha is very similar to Hold’em, except all players are dealt four cards instead of two. The only difference is that you are required to use exactly two of your hole cards and three of the community cards.
In seven-card stud, players are dealt two cards face down and one card face up on the first round, three more face up cards on the second, third, and fourth rounds, and finally another card face down. Like the other games, you must make the best five-card hand from the seven you have but there are no community cards.
Where to Play Online Poker in Iowa
As mentioned above, though sports wagers have been legalized in the state, Iowa online poker remains illegal. Some social casinos have found a way around the law by offering a “sweepstakes model.”
Social casinos allow you to buy play money but then “gift” you coins that can be redeemed for cash with each purchase. You cannot buy these coins, but you can buy as much fake money as you want and continue to be “gifted” more coins.
You can then use the coins to play online poker or other casino games just as you would with real money or chips. Once you are done, you can exchange these coins for real money and collect your winnings without running afoul of any laws.