Capital: Baton Rouge
Currency: United States Dollar ($)
Time Zone: UTC-6
State Name Abbreviation: LA
Casinos with Poker
- Harrah’s New Orleans
- Eldorado Casino Resort
- L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge
- Jena Choctaw Pines Casino
- Poker Palace Casino
It is because the game of poker – most likely – originated from New Orleans, the largest city in the state today. In the early 1800’s, The Crescent City was the gambling center of the US, as it was the only city exempt from the state’s gambling prohibition. It even had taxed and licenced casinos as early as 1815. However, alas, a full state-wide ban on gambling ended all that in 1835.
The local New Orleans residents started playing a new card game in which 5 cards out of the 20-card deck (Tens through Aces in 4 suits) were dealt face down, then the players would bet on who has the strongest hand. Back then, straights and flushes didn’t count as made hands – those were only pairs, two pairs, three of a kinds, full houses, and quads.
After a while, the players added a drawing and betting round to the game, thus 5-Card Draw, the oldest variation of poker still played today, was born. English actor Joseph Cowell reported that the game was played in New Orleans in 1829.
The new card game spread across the United States by being played in the bar rooms of riverboats sailing on the Mississippi.
Many historians believe that poker is derived from the old French card game “poque”. This lines up very well with its supposed place of origin, as Louisiana originally was a colony of France – up until President Jefferson completed the Louisiana purchase in 1803.
Louisiana’s gambling can boast a rich history outside of poker as well. In 1753, before the United States was even formed, they were holding government-run lottery draws. In 1837, the US’s first public horse track, Eclipse Park, opened in New Orleans, LA.
In 1868, the Louisiana State Lottery – which, despite what the name suggests, was a private company, not a government organization – started holding state-wide ticket sales and draws. At the same time, all other games of chance were banned in the state. What many suspected later turned out to be true – the company in fact bribed lawmakers to make their operation legal, and all other gambling illegal. In wake of the scandal, fierce anti-lottery activists gained prominence which ultimately ended in the lottery dismantling in 1893.
Nowadays, the “Pelican State” does have a legal gambling market. Worldcasinodirectory.com lists 52 licenced casinos within the state. According to the same site, 13 of them have poker rooms.
Famous Louisianan Poker Players
Brandon Adams, born in New Orleans, currently tops the Louisiana All Time Money List on Hendon with $5.2 million in career earnings. Adams is known for giving lectures at the world-famous Harvard University on top of his professional poker career.
Adams has one WSOP gold bracelet so far. He took down the $3,200 No Limit Hold’em Online High Roller event for $411,561 in 2019. He’s also appeared on classic poker TV shows such Poker After Dark on NBC and High Stakes Poker on The Game Show Network.
Fellow WSOP bracelet winner Kevin Eyster from Lafayette, LA is second behind Adams on the list, having cashed for $4.977 million during his career. In December 2015, he finished first in the $10,400 Main Event at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. He won $1.587 million, which is the biggest single live tournament cash of his career to date.
– Playing Live Poker in Louisiana –
Live Poker Legislation in Louisiana
Land based casino gambling became legal in Louisiana in 1993. Originally, only river casinos got licences.
The current gambling law in effect today was passed in 2011 with the title “Louisiana Economic Development and Gaming Corporation Act (Landbased Casino)”. Licencing and regulation are under the purview of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.
Live Poker Venues in Louisiana
The Eldorado Casino Resort in Shreveport, LA has a poker room. They offer No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo games.
However, their weekly tournaments are all No Limit Hold’em. They run on Tuesdays ($60 buy-in plus an optional $10 add-on), Thursdays ($30 and $10 add-on), Fridays ($50+$10) and on Sundays ($120+$50).
Harrah’s New Orleans is the home to the annual WSOP Circuit New Orleans events. At its latest installment, in 2019, the buy-ins ranged from $250 up to the $1,700 Main Event.
In their year-round poker room, you can find a plethora of cash game tables to choose from. They have No Limit Hold’em on $1/$3, $2/$5, and $5/$10 stakes; Limit Hold’em on $4/$8 stakes; Pot Limit Omaha on $5/$10 and $10/$25 stakes; and even a NLHE-PLO mixed game table on an odd $4/$12 stakes.
In Louisiana’s state capital, Baton Rouge, L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge is located. They too have a poker room. In it, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Sundays, a $100 NLHE tourney starts at 11 am. They also have cash tables with many promotions running, as well as high stakes “nightly feature games”. These games are $15/$30 PLO on Sundays and Thursdays; $20/$40 Limit Hold’em on Mondays and Wednesdays; and a mid-stakes $5/$10 No Limit Hold’em cash game on Tuesday nights.
You can also find some poker action at the Jena Choctaw Pines Casino in the town of Dry Pong; and at Poker Palace Casino in Laplace.
– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Louisiana –
Harrah’s New Orleans
The Eldorado Casino Resort
L'Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge
Jena Choctaw Pines Casino
Poker Palace Casino
Online Poker in Louisiana
Unfortunately, Louisiana is part of the majority of states with no legal online poker.
However, there is some good news: the State House has passed a bill legalizing online poker, now it’s only up to the Senate. In the meantime, Louisianan players have to be contented with “the usual” when it comes to US online poker: either use a VPN, play on an unregulated site, or use a poker app that uses a sweepstakes model.