Poker in Mississippi
If you’re interested in the origins of poker, look no further than Mississippi. Poker in Mississippi has contributed to the rich history of this recreational activity. Beginning in the early to the late nineteenth century, the New Orleans area was where this new card game was first played. 5-Card Draw, using a deck of 20 cards (10-Ace of each suit), is the game’s original form. Steamboat passengers from the Louisiana town further up the Mississippi River began playing it in the ships’ lounges. This was the method by which the new card play spread throughout the United States.
Gambling has a long and storied history in Mississippi, dating hundreds of years ago to the state’s indigenous populations. The Choctaw and the Chickasaw were two of these tribes, among many others of a smaller size. Stick ball, also known as “ishtaboli” in Indian languages, was an ancient ball game on which people would place bets. Akin to modern sports betting, this involved fans placing wagers on the outcome of games.
In the 1950s, slot machines began appearing in many accommodations along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Some people of faith, however, were not amused by this. Using a law passed in Mississippi in 1942 as justification, they began pressuring local authorities to close such businesses forcibly. Even though they were unsuccessful in shutting down the hotels, the uproar caused many people, especially the locals, to steer clear of staying there.
Casino gambling as we know it today was made legal in the state of Washington in the year 1990. In 1994, Philadelphia, Mississippi, was home to the first legal casino, the Silver Star Casino. As of right now, casinos that have been granted licenses to operate in Mississippi are the only places where gambling is legal. There are 36 casinos listed for this state on worldcasinodirectory.com. The same source claims that 13 of these establishments feature poker rooms.
Another amusing nugget follows. When any player (besides the blinds) is allowed to post a straddle (an additional blind raise) prior to the flop, it is called a “Mississippi straddle.” In “regular” straddle games, only the UTG player is allowed to straddle, and subsequent players must wait their turn before doing so again. At all times, the action will begin on the left side of the straddle.
- 2,976,000 people live here.
- Government Center: Jackson
- The dollar (USD) is the official currency of the United States.
- Location: UTC+6
- Mississippi Acronym is MS.
Where You Can Play Poker in Mississippi Casinos:
- Pearl River Resort
- Beau Rivage Resort & Casino
- Hollywood Casino Tunica
- IP Casino Resort Spa
- Horseshoe Tunica
Prominent Poker Players from Mississippi
Live tournament earnings for Timothy Burt total $1.284 million. He was born and raised in Grenada, Mississippi.
At the 2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship in Hollywood, Florida, Burt finished in third place, winning $5,250. The $310,000 he took home is the most he’s ever won in a single live tournament. As a bonus, he has made money in the WSOP Main Event on four separate occasions (in 2014, 2015, 2016 (three years in a row! ), and 2019).
As of right now, Smithdale, Mississippi’s Tyler Smith, has $1,209,000 in liquid assets. He won $224,344 and a gold bracelet at the $565 Pot Limit Omaha event at the 2017 World Series of Poker. Additionally, that is his best result in a live tournament. An online poker player from Mississippi known only by his screen name “Slurpslurp” has won just under $129,000 in tournaments played on America’s Cardroom.
Enjoying Live Poker in Mississippi
Legalizing Live Poker in Mississippi
As we mentioned in the introduction, commercial casinos have been legal in Mississippi since 1990. The Gaming Control Act was enacted that year by the State Congress.
That law created the Mississippi Gaming Commission, which is still in charge of issuing gambling licenses and overseeing the state’s land-based casinos today. It has three commissioners, an executive director, and 14 other high-ranking employees.
In the state of Mississippi, the applicable gambling laws are found in Title 75, Chapter 76, and Title 87, the Mississippi Gaming Control Act.
Mississippi’s Live Poker Rooms
In Biloxi, Mississippi’s Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, players can enjoy a variety of cash games at a wide range of limits. There are $1/$2, $2/$5, and $10/$20 No Limit Hold’em stakes, as well as $4/$8 Limit Hold’em, $5/$5, and $10/$20 Pot Limit Omaha, and $10/$20 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8-or-Better stakes. Every day at noon, they also host a $100 NLHE tournament.
One more casino resort and spa can be found in Biloxi: the IP Casino Resort Spa. Cash games are available in the forms of No Limit Hold’em, Limit Hold’em, and Pot Limit Omaha at their poker room as well. Each spring and fall, the Pearl River Poker Open is held at the Pearl River Resort in Choctaw, Mississippi. It’s a series of tournaments held right here at home, typically in the spring and fall. Prices start at $125 and go all the way up to $1,100, with the Main Event costing $600.
There is currently active poker action at Hollywood Casino Tunica. Unfortunately, there is scant information about their accommodations on their website. All we can tell you is that you can play Hold’em and Omaha poker there. The state of Mississippi also has its own poker variant, Mississippi Stud, which gets its name from the state’s reputation as a welcoming place to visitors. It is a game in which the player competes against the house rather than other players.
In 2020, the Horseshoe Tunica, which is owned by Caesars Entertainment, played host to WSOP Circuit events. One or two daily tournaments with $30-$165 buy-ins are held in their poker room all year long.
Mississippi Gambling Halls and Poker Clubs
Unfortunately, Mississippi law prohibits any form of online gambling.
An excerpt from the frequently asked questions section of their Gaming Commission website reads as follows:
In this state, online casinos and poker rooms are against the law. Some websites may claim to offer “legitimate” or “licensed” gambling opportunities. Although these operations may be legitimate and licensed in the jurisdictions from which wagers are received, accepting wagers from residents of Mississippi is against the law. This only means that, even if you have access to big and licensed poker names like Pokerrrr2 or PPPoker in Mississippi, you are still subjected to the laws related to online gambling.
People who bet on sports in their area have the best chance of seeing positive results from this. House Bill 967, passed by the state legislature in the early months of 2017, legalized fantasy sports, a form of online gambling. Some hopeful people saw this as a portent of better times ahead. Since then, however, Mississippi gamblers haven’t had nearly as much success.