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Are Real Money Games Legal in California?
As we mentioned above, California does not deem any house-banked games legal. All licensed gambling venues like card clubs and social and sweepstakes casinos offer non-profit games. These venues don’t let patrons play against the bank or collect a percentage of their customers’ bets. They turn a profit by charging their customers for playing in their facilities and/or collecting rake by tiers rather than percentages.
Tribal casinos in California are the only exception to these rules. All Indian-owned gambling establishments in California fall under the jurisdiction of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC). This regulatory body was created in 1988 when the US Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) to regulate all gaming activities on Indian land. As a result, tribal casinos host real money casino games that you won’t find elsewhere in the state.
There are currently 76 Indian casinos in California. They all offer quality services and promise a good time. However, some of these venues stand out from the pack. For your convenience, we compiled a list of the best CA tribal casinos where you can gamble:
- Yaamava’ Resort Casino — 777 San Manuel Blvd, Highland, CA 92346
- Viejas Casino & Resort — 5000 Willows Road, Alpine, California 91901-1656
- Thunder Valley Casino Resort — 1200 Athens Avenue, Lincoln, CA 95648
- Cache Creek Casino Resort — 14455 CA-16, Brooks, California 95606-0065
- Pechanga Resort Casino — 45000 Pechanga Parkway, Temecula, CA 92592
CA Online Casino Laws
California is one of the US states that haven’t introduced any online gambling regulations into its lawbooks yet. So, you won’t find any online gambling platforms that are licensed in this state.
The only online gambling sites operating in the Golden State are social and sweepstakes casinos. These sites don’t offer gambling services in their traditional form. You can play games of chance using sweep coins, that is, digital money in these casinos. If you’d like to gamble in a real money online casino as a Californian, check out our list of top offshore casinos from the top of the page.
How to Register at Real Money Casinos?
If you’ve never registered in a real money online casino, we’re here to give you a hand with the registration process. Simply follow the step-by-step guide we’ve outlined below.
Choose an online casino you like best from our best offshore casinos list at the top of this page.
Visit the casino’s official website and select the Join button.
Fill in the personal information required in the registration form.
Submit the account request and check your email inbox for a message from this casino.
Use the verification code in the email you’ve received to confirm your email address.
Log into your account, make a deposit, and start gambling.
Best Real Money Games in California
In addition to the discussed gambling restrictions, the Golden State doesn’t allow its gambling establishments to offer any Class III or Nevada-style games. These games include real money casino classics like blackjack, roulette, or craps. Let’s look at the offer of casino games you can play in California in detail below.
Blackjack falls under the Class III category casino games, which California bans. As a result, no land-based gambling venues offer real money blackjack in its traditional form. However, this doesn’t mean you cannot play blackjack in this state at all.
Indian casinos still host standard real money blackjack, so you can enjoy playing numerous variants of this game if you visit some gambling establishments. You can also join an offshore online casino that accepts US players to play this game for real money in its standard format.
Other land-based gambling venues in California also offer blackjack, but with a few changes in its gameplay. This altered version of blackjack is known as California Blackjack. It differs from the traditional blackjack game in a few of its rules.
In California Blackjack, players play against one another, not the dealer, and one of the players at the table acts as a banker. Moreover, this blackjack variant uses 53-card decks and jokers as wild cards to which you can assign any value to reach the sum of 21.
The Golden State doesn’t allow its venues to carry any games whose outcome is determined by using dice or a spinning wheel. Since all standard versions of roulette use the spinning wheel, this game has found itself on the CA gambling blacklist. This means that you won’t find real money traditional roulette variants in any land-based gambling venues in California.
Nevertheless, Californians who want to play regular roulette for real money can do so in offshore online casinos. You can find a list of the best ones at the top of this page if you’re interested in checking them out.
Besides that, you can also play the games in California in their altered versions. Most California roulette’s rules match the traditional game rules. The main difference lies in the use of cards and a wooden wheel with slots instead of the regular roulette spinning wheel and marble ball.
Baccarat is another house-banked game that California bars. So, you won’t be able to play real money baccarat in any of the CA-licensed gambling establishments except tribal casinos. Californians can also play this game in many reputable offshore online casinos. Take a look at the list above for suggestions.
California’s card rooms and social and sweepstakes casinos also offer baccarat games. However, you cannot play for real money as you would in regular casinos. As we already discussed, these gambling venues don’t allow players to bet with real money.
Other Table Games
California’s residents can play two other types of table games in California apart from the ones we’ve mentioned — craps and poker. The Golden State treats these two games very differently.
Craps, like roulette, belongs to a category of games that California prohibits by name. The reason behind this restriction is the dice that games of craps use. So, you can play real money craps variants in offshore online casinos but not any of CA-licensed gambling establishments. The only version of craps California deems legal is the one whose outcome is decided by the use of cards instead of dice.
Poker is also prohibited in the Golden State as a house-banked game. However, unlike craps or roulette, poker doesn’t have any rules that involve dice or a spinning reel. This means that any licensed gambling venues in California can host poker variants as long as they don’t take percentage rake from the pots.
As a result, you can play real money poker in numerous CA tribal and offshore online casinos and rake-free poker in dozens of CA-based card rooms.
Video poker is a computerized version of poker played on terminals in land-based casinos. As such, it is a house-banked game, thus banned by California law. So, Californians cannot find real money video poker in any gambling venues that legally operate in the state except tribal casinos.
Still, they can play video poker for real money in offshore online casinos that accept US players. You find some of the best sites of this kind in the table featured at the top of this page.
Californian gamblers can also play live versions of all the above-mentioned games in CA-based gambling venues, as long as they’re hosted according to the CA’s gambling rules. Tribal casinos offer real money live versions of casino classics, while the rest of the land-based CA venues host altered versions of these games.
You can also play real money live dealer casino games in offshore online casinos we’ve listed at the beginning of this article. Either way, you can bank on a great, immersive gaming experience.
Useful Guides for Californian Players
Californian online casinos games can be difficult to understand especially with all the laws that govern their use, so here are some excellent, easy to read and in-depth guides to get you started.
California doesn’t deem all forms of gambling legal. Its gambling regulations ban all house-banked and percentage games and 11 casino games by name. In addition, this state currently doesn’t regulate online gambling. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean Californians cannot play real money casino games at all. Both CA tribal gambling venues and offshore online casinos that cater to US players have massive collections of real money casino games.