Poker in Montana

Poker in Montana

Most people would say Nevada if you asked them which state in the US has the most casinos. Remember, Las Vegas is considered by many to be the sports betting hub of the world for a good reason. While there are 396 casinos listed in Nevada on, there are 528 casinos listed in Montana. Even stranger, Montana has slightly more than a million residents, while Nevada has around 3 million.  So why is it that Nevada, and not Montana, is known as “the casino state”? As opposed to Las Vegas’s glitzy Strip, why doesn’t Billings, Montana have its own ginormous casino strip? Simply put, bingo parlors and slot machines. But we can’t say there’s no poker in Montana at all! Let’s find out here.

Poker in Montana

Most of the places listed as casinos in Montana in online directories aren’t what you’d picture when thinking of Las Vegas. They are small rooms where the elderly gather to play bingo, keno, or a video poker machine off to the side (all of which are considered gambling under Montana law).

Poker players can especially benefit from this. Despite having over 500 casinos, the website you referenced only reports 20 poker tables throughout the entire state of Montana.

Quick Summary

  • 1,069 Thousand People Live Here.
  • The State Capital is located in Helena.
  • Dollar (USD) is the official currency of the United States.
  • Shorthand for Montana (a state in the United States) is MT.
  • The UTC-7 time zone.

Where You Can Play Poker in Montana Casinos:

  • Bugz’s Casino
  • Rainbow Poker Club
  • Montana Nugget Casino
  • Oasis Casino & Restaurant
  • Hilton Garden Inn

Notable Poker Players from the State of Montana

David Sands, of Boznan, Montana, is currently the state’s wealthiest person on Hendon. So far, he has cashed in for an impressive $8.460 million.

While competing at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in January 2013, he placed second in the $100,000 NLHE Super High Roller event, winning $1.259 million. To date, that is his largest prize from a single live tournament. He was defeated in a head-to-head showdown for the championship by the well-known American poker player Scott Siever. After waiting a few months, in May of 2013, Sands won the Bellagio’s $100,000 WPT High Roller for $1,024,000.

In 2010, Ian Gordon of Missoula, Montana, won the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. mixed game event at the World Series of Poker. That money is the main component of his total live tournament earnings of $712,831. After Sands, he is still Hendon’s all-time runner-up in terms of earnings.

Benny Binion, known as the “father” of the World Series of Poker, spent the majority of his later years on a large ranch in Montana. Binion was raised in Texas and launched his best-known casino in Las Vegas.

Live Poker in Montana

Poker Laws in Montana

Keno, bingo, the state lottery, slot machines, and, thankfully, poker are all legal in Montana.

The regulations for sports betting in Montana can be found in Sections 23-5-110 et seq. and 23-4-101 et seq. of the Montana Code Annotated. The Montana Gambling Control Division is in charge of licensing and regulation. It’s interesting that they issue combined licenses for casinos and bars.

Montana state flag

Rooms Offering Live Poker in Montana

At 4.30 PM every day, the poker room at the Montana Nugget Casino in Kalispell opens for cash games. Third-party sites claim they only offer $1/$4 Spread Limit Hold’em, despite the site’s lack of information on the game. Spread Limit is a less common form of betting limit, where players have the option to bet whatever amount on each street between the spread of $1 and $4. This is similar to the traditional fixed limit. On the other hand, in fixed limit games, players are restricted to betting only the limit, or the big bet, during the turn and river.

A large number of slot machines can be found in the bar area of the Oasis Casino & Restaurant in Butte, Montana. The more pertinent fact is that they occasionally host a poker festival in addition to their regular keno nights. The Roughrider Poker Tour features tournaments with several hundred dollar buy-ins. Tournaments have ranged in price from $150 for the smallest to $470 for the biggest No-Limit Hold’em event.

In addition to the Hilton Garden Inn’s poker room in Missoula, you can enjoy a game of poker at Bugz’s Casino in Billings, the Rainbow Poker Club in Hamilton, or any of the other local establishments that feature poker.

Gambling Halls and Poker Rooms in the Treasure State

Montanans Can Now Play Online Poker

The state of Montana does not prohibit or regulate online gambling. That’s bad news for people in the state who play online poker, even though it doesn’t technically violate any laws.

Montana, US as found in Google maps

The Montana Gambling Control Division does not issue licenses for online gambling. Accordingly, the notorious Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 could lead to the closure of any poker site catering to Montanan players (re: the Black Friday events of 2011). Any poker sites, PokerBros, GG clubs, Upoker, you name it. There’s no exemption.

Therefore, Montanans are in the same position as players in the majority of other states in the Union: without a legal and approved option, they are forced to use grey area apps, unregulated offshore sites, or a virtual private network (VPN) in order to play poker online.

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