Texas is the birthplace of poker as we know it, and specifically no limit
Texas holdem, which is by far the most popular form of poker played around the
This state saw the rise of some of the most famous poker names that we know
today such as Doyle Brunson, who’s known by many as the grandfather of poker.
The state was once overflowing with underground poker games where shootouts
that were common in the wild west still occurred even as recently as 30 or 40
years ago. This state has now calmed down a lot in respect to poker, and the way
players treat each other, with only one casino poker room operating.
This is the Kickapoo Luck Eagle casino in Eagle Pass which offers up 12
tables and a range of Texas holdem cash games and tournaments. This casino is
located on a native Indian reservation which is the only place that live poker
and casino games can now be offered.
Elsewhere in Texas you can’t bet on any cards games at all or casino games.
The only form of gambling that the state allows outside of this one casino is
pari-mutuel betting on horse racing and greyhound racing, lotteries including
pull tabs and scratch cards, and some social gaming such as bingo and raffles.
The social gaming is a bit of a grey area, and certainly doesn’t include
charity or home poker games, so make sure you don’t think that you can get away
with running a poker game under this clause in the law. That’s unless you’re
willing to fight a charge on the basis that it was held in a private place,
which there has been some small success in doing in the state.
Social gaming in general really only applies to community organizations and
not for profits running a bingo game or a raffle in order to raise funds for
their respective cause. Outside of this you can’t really do much more in this
The lottery that’s available to Texas residents is state run and all profits
go towards veterans and education. This money provides services to veterans who
return home and suffer hardship or issues as a result of mental or physical
trauma they received while serving the country.
The education component supports maintenance and facilities at schools,
scholarships for college and higher education, and also provides support to
those who are disadvantaged yet still wish to gain a higher education level.
The lottery offers players the major national draws such as Powerball and
Mega Millions, and they also run some state specific games and offer pull tabs
and scratch cards for those who love an instant game.
As we touched on earlier, you can also bet on horse and greyhound racing in
the state of Texas. You can only participate in pari-mutuel wagering though, so
you can’t just place a bet via a bookmaker or something similar.
Pari-mutuel wagering, also known as the tote or totaliser, is a system where
all bets are placed into a pool for a specific race and then the pay outs are
determined by popularity of bets on certain outcomes. From the main pool a
commission is taken out based on the total amount bet. This commission goes to
the organization or business that’s administering the pari-mutuel betting
Other Poker Options
Depending on where you live in Texas it may be faster to travel outside of
the state to find a poker room, as opposed to driving to Eagle Pass which is
right down south on the border with Mexico. If you live in the north of Texas,
you’ll be able to travel just a short distance across the border into Oklahoma
where there are three casinos.
Winstar casino and two Choctaw casinos operate right on the border and both
offer great poker rooms. If you live in the west you can travel in to New Mexico
where a few poker rooms are available, but these are more of a drive into the
To the east of Texas you’ll be able to find three poker rooms nearby in Lake
Charles in Louisiana. Here you’ll find a Golden Nugget, an Isle of Capri Casino,
and Lauberge casino, all of which offer great poker rooms and a lot of solid
When it comes to the online world Texas certainly doesn’t offer any regulated
online poker rooms. In respect to Texans playing at online casinos and card
rooms that operate offshore, this is a little bit different and there isn’t much
legislation which covers this.
If you were to operate an online casino or poker room in Texas you’d end up
in a lot of hot water. But, if you’re simply playing casino games at an online
casino that’s operated elsewhere you may be OK.
While it certainly carries some risk you may be fine in wagering on your
favorite casino games at one of the respectable online casinos.
For online poker it’s a little bit different again. Poker is frowned upon in
general after black Friday and the big online poker rooms such as Full Tilt and
PokerStars certainly won’t welcome players from Texas, or the US on the whole.
Smaller poker sites may allow you to play though, but you should proceed with
caution as you could end up in trouble doing this, and also because of the fact
the smaller sites that allow US players to play are generally not as well
respected or trusted and have been known to conduct some shady business tactics.
We also advise you to take the safe route and avoid online play all together if
there’s any doubt at all.
We’ve provided you below with a small amount of information on the one poker
room that runs in Texas at the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino. Aside from this your
options are limited, and you’ll need to get your kicks from playing lottery or
If this doesn’t sound that great to you then you can travel just a little bit
out of the state to find some excellent poker rooms in New Mexico, Oklahoma, and
Louisiana. Short of this, you’ll need to move interstate or jump on a plane and
hit up Las Vegas for some of the best poker action in the world.
The standard of play and action that you find at the lone poker room in the
Lone Star State will be pretty good, and if you have a solid game you should be
able to find a large edge.
If you’re in the area some time you should really drop in and play at the
Kickapoo, just so you can say you’ve played no limit Texas holdem in Texas.
After all, it’s the state where it all began and where the history is rich with
amazing stories which center around the great game of poker.
Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino
Location: Eagle Pass, Texas
Hours: Open Monday to Friday from 12pm until 5am and Saturday and Sunday from
10am until 5am
Games: No limit Texas holdem tournaments are held on Sunday, Tuesday, and
Thursday with a buy in ranging from $35 to $130. The Sunday tournament begins at
1pm, with the Tuesday and Thursday tournaments commencing at 7pm. If you’re
looking for a cash game you will find $1 / $2 and $2 / $5 no limit Texas holdem
and $3 / $6 limit holdem tables running most of the time. $5 / $10 no limit and
higher limit games may run on the weekends if there’s demand for it from
Ambience: This partially separate poker room features green felt tables with
black trim, surrounded by black comfortable chairs in a brown, orange and maroon
decor. The room is well lit for poker and the colorful pattern carpets match
nicely with the rest of the area. The room is no smoking for your comfort and
TVs are placed strategically so that you can stay entertained between hands. The
tables also feature automatic shufflers to keep the play moving at a steady
Hospitality: You can earn comps here in the cash games at a rate of 50 cents
per hour through the Lucky Eagle Players Club Pass card rewards program. On top
of this you’ll receive cocktail and food service at the table while you play so
you need never miss a hand. Finally you’ll have a chance to win big with the bad
beat jackpot that they run which increases progressively until someone wins.
Players: You should be able to find some pretty decent action in this poker
room any time that it’s open. The cash games will present some great value with
mostly amateur and loose players taking to the felt. If you stick to the $1 / $2
no limit game and can ride out the variance you should do well. Dealers and
staff in this room are excellent and really go out of their way to make sure
that you’re looked after as you play poker. If you want the best possible
action, and hopefully the biggest edge, take to the felt on a Friday, Saturday,
You might think the state that the most popular form of poker is named after
would have more poker rooms. Even though Texas only has one public poker room,
the state is filled with private games and clubs offering Texas holdem.
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