North Carolina Texas Holdem

If you live in the Tar Heel State your options are severely limited when it
comes to finding a live Texas holdem poker game. With only one casino in the
state offering poker, you’ll need to live close to this, or do some serious
commuting if you want to play poker on a semi regular basis.

The only option is Harrah’s Cherokee, which is located in Cherokee. This is
about a five hour drive from the capital of Raleigh and a three hour drive from
the most populous city of Charlotte.

So as you can see you’ll have to put in a decent effort to play live Texas
holdem poker. This casino poker room is a good one though; you’ll find a mix of
electronic and live tournaments and some serious tournament play. The poker room
is usually a stop on the World Series of Poker circuit and you’ll find some
excellent action during this time.

Poker hasn’t always been available in North Carolina, and you can imagine
why. The state has a hard line stance on gambling of any form and this has only
recently changed. Since 2012 you’ve been able to gamble and play poker at
Harrah’s Cherokee, however you still can’t anywhere else in the state.

Another casino did open, also by the Cherokee tribe, in 2015 but no poker is
currently offered. This casino is the Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel,
and it’s a luxurious and great casino, so hopefully in the near future they’re
able to get the right licensing to be able to offer another live poker room in
this state.

Other Gambling

Aside from these two casinos you can take part is some other minor forms of
gambling in North Carolina. The main one is lottery. This has only been
available state wide since 2006, and the main reason they run the lottery is to
raise money for education in the state.

The lottery is highly regulated by the state government and all proceeds go
towards college scholarships, tuition for disadvantaged people, and to maintain
and build new schools and colleges. Prior to 2006 a number of isolated lotteries
were run in the state to raise money for education, health, and other good
causes, but now you’ll really only find the major lotteries such as Mega
Millions and Powerball.

If you wish to hold a poker tournament to raise money for charity you also
can’t do this in North Carolina. Which is a bit hypocritical when you think
about it; you can run a bingo or raffle to raise money for a charity though,
which further intensifies the hypocrisy.

Home games also aren’t permitted in this state and lawmakers and the
authorities have been known to come down on people for doing this, especially if
they’re profiting individually out of it somehow. So if you live in the state
make sure you adhere to these rules and laws or you may end up in trouble.

The only reason Harrah’s Cherokee can offer casino games and poker is because
they are on a native Indian reservation and as such are exempt from certain laws
that restrict these activities in the rest of the state. Generally this does
create a precedent whereby laws are passed that eventually allow for gaming in
other areas of the state.

This, plus pressure from neighboring states is usually what provides the
impetus for regulations to be softened and lifted in relation to gambling. In
the next 10 to 15 years it wouldn’t surprise us at all if more casinos open in
this state and as a result more poker rooms will also pop up.

Horse and Dog Racing

Unlike many other states, you also can’t bet on horse racing or greyhound
racing in North Carolina. This is unusual as this was really the way that
gambling began in many other states and then poker, slots, and other table games
were able to edge their way in based on loopholes in the law for horse racing.
In any case, you can’t do this in North Carolina so don’t be tempted to place a
bet on horse racing.

North Carolina

Online poker also isn’t legal or regulated in the state and federal bans are
still in place for online players in the state in the wake of black Friday.
We’ve heard reports that you can still play online poker at off shore less
respected online poker rooms but we would advise that you proceed with caution
in this respect.

If you wish to play online casino games you can do this in the state from a
number of online casinos that are respectable and welcome US players. The law in
relation to online play is a bit grey in North Carolina, but most rulings have
indicated that they treat online gambling as if it were the same as walking in
to an establishment and gambling. So you won’t be able to get away with too much
based on the lack of legislation in this state.

If you love online play then eventually poker will be regulated in this
state. It’s likely to take a little bit more time than some other states though,
and the above pressures we mentioned in respect to live tables also apply here.

Once more states regulate and run online poker the pressure will build on the
smaller states to follow suit. After the smaller states do this then the more
conservative states will fall also. So although you probably won’t be able to
take to the regulated virtual felt in the next 5 to 10 years in North Carolina,
you probably will be able to play in 10 to 15 years online. It seems to be
heading that way, albeit very slowly.

Now back to the poker that you can play in this fine state. The game of
choice from players in North Carolina is no limit Texas holdem and all
tournament play will be in this format. So too will cash games with limit holdem
also being offered for those that get sick of the wild swings and variance in
the no limit game.

If you love poker and want a change of scenery from the Harrah’s in Cherokee
you’ll also find poker rooms in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New
Jersey. Some of these are only a short drive away, or a super short flight, and
they offer some great poker rooms and amazing service. Travelling south you’ll
also find an abundance of rooms in Florida, which rivals Nevada and California
in respect to the huge number of pokers rooms they offer and the action in this
state is amazing.

Generally the standard of play in North Carolina will be quite good. People
travel from all over the country to play at Harrah’s Cherokee so you’ll find a
great mix of people and play ranging from very weak up to absolutely amazing.
This will enable you to implement a solid strategy and exploit the right people
at the right time to maximize your value. The action in North Carolina where
poker is played is excellent, and we can only hope that more poker rooms open up
soon and the game continues to grow and build in this fine part of the country.

List of North Carolina Poker Rooms

Here is our compiled list of all the poker rooms you can find
in the state of North Carolina:

Harrah’s Cherokee


  • Location: Cherokee, North Carolina
  • Hours: 24 hours, 7 days
  • Tables: 20, consisting of 8 live tables and 12 electronic poker tables.
  • Games: If you’re looking for tournaments you will find up to two no limit
    holdem events here each day, at either 2pm, 7pm or 10pm, with a buy in ranging
    from $40 to $580, so you should be able to find a tournament that suits your
    budget. For the cash players, they spread $1 / $2 and $2 / $5 no limit holdem
    and $3 / $6 limit holdem tables. The poker room at Harrah’s Cherokee also
    attracts a WSOP circuit event usually held in April.
  • Ambience: This no smoking poker room is partially separate to the rest of the
    casino and located upstairs. It features green felt tables and black comfortable
    chairs against a black and red decor with dark brown, light brown and red
    swirling carpet. You’ll also find plenty of TVs in the room so you can stay
    entertained while you play.
  • Hospitality: Comps can be earned by players in cash games at a rate of 70
    cents per hour through the Total Rewards program. On top of this you’ll receive
    food and cocktails at the table so you never have to skip a hand. They also run
    a series of promotions and jackpots to keep you coming back for more, especially
    when you are contributing to the dropped dollars all the time.
  • Players: The overall vibe in this poker room is friendly and welcoming which
    is great, everyone seems to be playing to have fun and no one takes it too
    seriously. You’ll find plenty of action in this room as it’s the only one in the
    state and attracts players from far and wide. If you want the biggest possible
    edge visit on weekend’s evenings and play in the tournaments when they run. With
    a solid and straight forward game, you should be able to make some decent money
    here without having to be too creative.


While Kansas doesn’t offer as many options for Texas holdem players as many
states, they do have three legal poker rooms. If you live close enough to the
state line you might be closer to a larger poker room out of state, or you can
try to find a private game.