Only two States in the US don’t allow for any kind of
organised gambling at all, and Hawaii is one of them. The other
state is Utah. This means you won’t find any casinos, race
tracks, or sports books in this island state. Naturally, this
also means no live poker rooms with Texas holdem, and definitely
no online poker.
Unlike some other states that turn a blind eye to the
lottery, you also can’t partake in national lotteries in Hawaii.
Because the state is sea locked, the old argument that’s been
used across the continental United States that you can drive an
hour or less into another state and gamble, and therefore your
home state misses out on tax revenue from gaming, won’t really
This is a real shame if you love playing Texas holdem poker,
as you’ll really have no good option to turn to.
Thankfully there’s a somewhat faded silver lining, and that is you can host
a poker game and participate in social gambling, provided that
it isn’t conducted in a public space or establishment, such as a
hotel, motel, bar or nightclub.
This social gambling allows you to play home games between friends.
The only restriction being you can’t take any rake or make
money out of running the game. The money that you make through
the game itself is fine though.
With this in mind you should be able to find a lot of home
social games around most of the larger cities in Hawaii. If you
don’t have any friends that like poker, we suggest checking out
social meet up sites online to find social games. On top of this
you can always post in the 2+2 forum and see if you have any
luck there. This forum is a great place to find information
Online Texas Holdem
If you love online poker then black Friday would have truly
chilled you to the core. On black Friday all legal online poker
was essentially shut down in the United States. You could play
online in Hawaii before this, but the fact remains that you’ll
probably have no chance of doing so again.
Some states have enacted their own legislation and allow for
territory restricted online poker rooms, but due to Hawaii’s
attitude towards gaming in general, this will most likely never
happen in this state. If you want to play online legally you
need to travel to a country that allows open online poker, or to
one of the states in the US that has state online poker rooms
Usually we like to provide some advice on where to go nearby
when you can’t play poker in your home city or state. This is
somewhat more problematic in Hawaii as you’ll need to take a
plane, or very long boat ride, to be able to find a live poker
room. In many places that are located near the sea you can take
a boat or cruise out into international water to be able to play
Unfortunately this isn’t even an option in Hawaii due to
rules that cruise lines must adhere to in order to operate
around the islands. With this in mind, your best bet in respect
to playing Texas holdem poker out of Hawaii is jumping on a
plane to Las Vegas. You won’t be alone doing this as every year
a huge number of residents travel to Vegas from Hawaii in order
to get their gambling fill.
The plane flight from Honolulu to Las Vegas is around 6 hours
and will usually set you back about $350 each way, unless you
can get a special deal.
This isn’t too bad really and you’ll find many casinos in Las
Vegas cater to the Hawaiian visitors; most notably the
California Casino and Hotel downtown.
If you’re visiting Hawaii then you won’t be able to play any
poker on the trip. If you’re a resident of the continental
United States then consider visiting the Bahamas if you want
that tropical beach holiday and some holdem action on the same
Although we’ve been a little bit negative towards Hawaii and
their laws around gambling, in all honesty it’s probably not a
bad thing that they’ve outlawed it.
The place is truly beautiful and really is a nice getaway
destination to unwind, relax, and escape some the societal
pressures and issues that plague most cities and states in the
US. To this end, perhaps it’s not such a bad thing that Texas
holdem poker and gambling isn’t allowed in Hawaii.
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