Michigan Online Poker

Michigan’s expansion into online gambling brings legal, regulated poker sites to the Great Lakes State. Two of the biggest brands in online poker currently offer games in Michigan.

PokerStars MI debuted as the state’s first legal online poker site on Jan. 29, 2021. The Michigan site expands the PokerStars USA network to include Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

BetMGM Poker Michigan went live as the state’s second regulated online poker platform on March 22, 2021. BetMGM Poker operates under the banner of the partypoker US Network.

Both of Michigan’s legal online poker sites offer a full slate of daily tournaments and cash games. Special tournament series frequently come to both platforms as well.

Michigan’s multijurisdictional online poker bill likely precludes a future in which one or more of Michigan’s online poker sites merges player pools with other states. WSOP.com/888poker is expected to launch in Michigan at some point as well.

List Of Online Poker Sites In Michigan

BetMGM Poker Michigan

Claim $600 Deposit Bonus At BetMGM Poker Michigan

Powered by partypoker software, BetMGM Poker MI went live as Michigan’s second legal online poker site on March 22, 2021. BetMGM Poker’s sister sites in other states include Borgata Poker and partypoker.

All of those sites operate under the banner of the partypoker US Network. Michigan’s interstate poker bill could lead to a player pool merger among BetMGM Poker Michigan and the other states in the partypoker US Network.

BetMGM Poker Michigan offers a solid lineup of cash games, daily tournaments, and major tournament series. Fast Forward cash games bring fast-fold poker to Michigan players.

BetMGM Poker MI functions as the online poker component of the BetMGM Michigan online gambling platform.

PokerStars MI

PokerStars Michigan went live on Jan. 22, 2021. PokerStars won the race to launch as the state’s first legal online poker site. PokerStars functions as part of an integrated online sports betting, casino, and poker site, which allows access to FOX Bet Sportsbook and PokerStars Casino.

PokerStars operates as a license partner of Odawa Casino in Michigan. PokerStars’ foray into the Great Lakes State has proven successful so far, with the site generated consistent player traffic.

Michigan players got their first taste of the PokerStars Championship of Online Poker within weeks of the launch, with the inaugural MICOOP series running in February and March.

Your Five Minute Guide To Legal Michigan Poker Sites

Bonuses At Michigan’s Poker Sites

Deposit Match Bonuses

Both PokerStars MI and BetMGM Poker Michigan offer deposit match bonuses that look identical at first glance. Both poker sites present a 100% deposit match bonus up to $600, which applies to your first deposit made at the chosen poker site.

Almost all deposit match bonuses at legal online gambling platforms come with a playthrough requirement. At both BetMGM Poker Michigan and PokerStars MI, you’ll unlock increments of the deposit bonus based on how much cash game rake and tournament fees you generate.

At PokerStars MI, you’ll earn $0.35 of bonus funds for every $1 paid in rake and tournament fees. After making your first deposit, you have 60 days to unlock as much of the bonus as possible.

BetMGM Poker unlocks $0.50 of the bonus for every dollar in rake and fees paid. While that unlocks more bonus money per dollar paid in rake, you only get 14 days after your first deposit to earn bonus credits.

No Deposit Bonuses

In addition to the deposit match bonus, your first deposit at BetMGM also unlocks a “$25 on the house” bonus. The $25 appears in your player balance as free cash game and tournament credits, with no playthrough required.

PokerStars MI also extends a no-deposit bonus, which awards $50 in free play after you play one hand in any cash game. You have to choose between either the free play bonus or the deposit match, however, with the deposit match having a much higher cap.

Online Poker Cash Games In Michigan

Both PokerStars MI and BetMGM Poker Michigan offer No-Limit Hold’em cash games that run around the clock. PokerStars Michigan generally realizes high player traffic than BetMGM Poker MI, but plenty of cash games await players at the No-Limit Hold’em tables at peak hours on both sites.

PokerStars Michigan offers an unparalleled variety of game choices on its cash game menu. While No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha represent the most popular games on the site, you’ll also find just about every imaginable poker variant on PokerStars’ expanded cash game menu.

You’ll find Limit betting structure versions of Texas Hold’em and Omaha, as well as Omaha Hi-Lo, 2-7 Triple Draw, 8-Game Mix, and many more. Tables for some of those games often sit empty, but the seats are there if you can get a group together for those less-traveled poker variants.

PokerStars Michigan and BetMGM Poker MI run No-Limit Hold’em cash games from $0.01/$0.02 stakes up to $25/$50. You can find cash games running up to $2/$5 at peak hours on both sites.

BetMGM Poker MI launched with Fast Forward (fast-fold) games available on the cash game menu. Fast Forward games currently run at $0.05/$0.10 and $0.25/$0.50 stakes.

Michigan Online Poker Tournaments

PokerStars Michigan and BetMGM Poker MI both operate multi-table tournaments at all times of the day.

You’ll find more than 70 daily tournaments on the BetMGM Poker menu, including the Mega Tuesday $535 6-Max. The Mega Tuesday $535 offers a $12,000 guaranteed prize pool every week.

PokerStars MI also offers a wide selection of regularly running daily tournaments. Both of Michigan’s online poker sites save some of the biggest tournaments for Sundays, per a longstanding tradition at online poker platforms around the world.

PokerStars Michigan’s biggest weekly tournament comes in the form of the $100 buy-in, $50,000 guaranteed Sunday Special. BetMGM Poker MI offers the Sunday $40k Guaranteed each week, with a $215 buy-in and $40,000 guaranteed prize pool.

Michigan players can look forward to the biannual Championship of Online Poker series running at PokerStars MI. PokerStars also just announced a $1 million guaranteed series, called Summer Stacks, which runs June 12-28.

BetMGM Poker Michigan runs a special BetMGM Online Series monthly. The World Poker Tour’s partnership with partypoker could also lead to WPT online events operating at BetMGM Poker MI at some point.

What Online Poker Sites Are Coming Soon To Michigan?

888poker has announced intentions to launch an 888/WSOP.com-branded online poker site in Michigan. Per state law, 888 would have to enter into an agreement with one of Michigan’s land-based casinos and launch the poker site under such a licensing partnership.

WSOP.com operates in Nevada and New Jersey through license partnerships with Caesars Entertainment, parent company to WSOP. Caesars doesn’t own any casinos in Michigan, so a 888/WSOP online poker platform would have to partner with another casino brand.

A potential WSOP Michigan site could share player pools with the WSOP Nevada/New Jersey network.

Michigan Online Poker Player Pooling

WSOP/888 currently operates the only interstate online poker network in the regulated US market. WSOP.com Nevada, WSOP.com New Jersey, and the 888poker Delaware network all allow players to compete against each other in a merged player pool.

Michigan passed a multijurisdictional online poker bill last winter, which allows the state’s legal poker sites to share player pools with other states if they wish. A potential WSOP.com Michigan site could expand the already-existing WSOP/888 network to include Michigan players.

PokerStars MI could join PokerStars New Jersey under Michigan law, while BetMGM Poker MI has clearance to join the partypoker US Network’s New Jersey sites in a combined player pool.

Legal Versus Illegal Online Poker Sites In Michigan

PokerStars MI and BetMGM Poker Michigan aren’t the only platforms offering online poker games in Michigan. The two state-regulated sites are, however, the only legally operating online poker networks in the state.

Any other online poker platform offering its services in Michigan is operating illegally in the Wolverine State. Illegal poker sites often operate as offshore gambling sites, working outside of state and federal laws.

When you deposit your money at PokerStars MI or BetMGM Poker MI, you can play poker knowing that your money is always safe. State-regulated online poker platforms protect your funds and your personal information and are required by state law to provide prompt payments when you decide to cash out.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) oversees all legal gambling activities in Michigan. Both land-based and online poker rooms have to answer to the MGCB in the case of a customer dispute or issue with payments.

Offshore gambling sites, on the other hand, don’t fall under the jurisdiction of a government-appointed state gaming regulation agency. When you deposit money at an offshore poker site, you might not get it back, no matter how much you win.

PokerStars and MGM Resorts stand as two of the biggest global gaming companies. Both of these brands operate with a keen interest in the safety of funds and player information.

Michigan Legal Online Poker Rooms: FAQs

Is online poker legal in Michigan?

Yes. Michigan legalized online poker at the end of 2019. The first of the state’s legal poker sites, PokerStars Michigan, went live in January 2021.

BetMGM Poker Michigan debuted a few weeks later in March 2021. A third legal poker site could go live at some point as well, as 888poker has announced intentions to launch an online poker platform in Michigan.

What kinds of games are legal at Michigan’s online poker sites?

Both PokerStars MI and BetMGM Poker MI offer cash games and tournaments around the clock. No-Limit Hold’em is by far the most popular poker format on either site, followed by Pot-Limit Omaha.

PokerStars Michigan also includes Limit Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, 8-Game Mix, 2-7 Triple Draw, and many other poker variants among its cash game selection. BetMGM Poker MI offers Fast Forward cash games, which is partypoker’s version of fast-fold poker.

How old do I have to be to play online poker in Michigan?

21 or older. Michigan state gaming laws set the minimum age for all forms of online gambling at 21.

When you sign up for an account at BetMGM Poker or PokerStars, you’ll need to provide proof of age and identity before you make your first deposit.

Do Michigan’s online poker sites share player pools with other states?

Not yet, but that will likely change at some point. Michigan lawmakers passed a multijurisdictional online poker bill last winter, allowing the state’s legal online poker sites to merge with other legal poker networks if they wish.

Both BetMGM Poker and PokerStars could merge with their sister sites in New Jersey, another state that allows interstate online poker.

Do I have to pay taxes on poker winnings in Michigan?

Yes. Federal law mandates a 24% tax on all gambling winnings over $5,000. That tax applies to both one-time wins and cumulative earnings that go over the $5,000 mark.

Michigan also applies a 4.25% state tax to all gambling winnings earned in the state. That includes positive net earnings at Michigan’s online poker sites.

When is the best time to play online poker in Michigan?

Peak hours for Michigan’s online poker sites usually run from 5 pm to 9 pm local time on weekdays. Weekends usually see peak hours from the early afternoon through 10 pm local time.

About the Author

Geoff Fisk

Geoff Fisk is a San Diego-based freelance writer, specializing in the poker and gambling industries. He’s written for numerous platforms and has traveled the globe as a live poker tournament reporter. Geoff’s interests include the legal online poker industry in the U.S. and abroad.