Know When to Fold ‘Em: A Guide to Washington’s Card Room Laws


Have you ever thought about hitting the card rooms in Washington for a night of poker or blackjack? Who doesn’t love the thrill of wagering a bit of money? You can also test your skills against fellow players and dealers.

The allure of card rooms in Washington State is undeniable. From the thrill of poker to the excitement of blackjack, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a casual player or a dedicated strategist, the realm of card rooms awaits, and your understanding of the regulations will undoubtedly enhance your adventure.

But before you head out looking for the nearest card room, do you know all the laws in the Evergreen State? If not, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will deal with you the full house when it comes to understanding Washington’s card room regulations. These include licensing, security protocols, and responsible gambling standards that card rooms must uphold.

Can You Play at Online Casinos in Washington?


Before diving into the card room rules, you might wonder about Washington’s online gambling options. Unfortunately, state-regulated online casinos don’t exist yet. But here’s the good news – residents can still play legally at offshore sites accepting US players.

You can find all the best online casinos in Washington State at

Here, you can discover top online gaming platforms, their game offerings, and unique features, including bonuses and VIP treats. Additionally, you’ll get valuable guides to improve your gaming experience.

Now, on to the card rooms!

The Card Room Scene in Washington

Licensed offshore casinos are accessible to Washington players. They offer a variety of card games and betting options. These casinos must operate legally within their respective jurisdictions. This ensures a safe and secure gambling experience.

While the state hasn’t embraced online gambling, you can still enjoy the thrill of poker, blackjack, and more.

Card Room Licensing in Washington

The Washington State Gaming Commission is the sheriff of everything gambling. The WSGC monitors and enforces regulations related to gambling activities. Online gambling isn’t formally regulated in the state. However, the commission emphasizes fair play and player protection.

Knowing these guidelines can help you engage in card games within legal boundaries. The licensing requirements include an annual license renewal with fees based on table count. Card rooms must undergo background checks and inspections. They must also get local jurisdiction approval. A review of security plans, finances, and ownership is also undertaken.

Sticking to licensed, regulated establishments provides the safest gambling environment.

History of Washington’s Gaming Laws


In the early 20th century, card rooms flourished with little governmental oversight. Of course, along with gambling opportunities, this also led to problems like corruption and organized crime ties.

After years of unregulated gambling, the tides started to turn in the 1960s and 70s. A series of new laws imposed licensing requirements, allowed games, betting limits, and other rules. The Washington State Gambling Commission was formed to oversee and enforce the new regulations.

Games You Can and Can’t Play

Card rooms have options like poker, blackjack, and bridge to satisfy players’ interests. However, not all traditional casino offerings are allowed in Washington. While the state’s gambling laws are more restrictive than others, you can still find quality card and tile game action.

However, dice and wheel games like craps, roulette, and Sic Bo are prohibited under Washington gambling laws. Limits on allowable game types are more restrictive than in other states. But card sharks still have quality options like poker and blackjack at regulated card rooms.

Betting and Loss Limits

Non-poker games like Blackjack have a $20 max bet per hand. Poker games cannot have more than five betting rounds per hand. There are specific caps per round depending on the poker variant being played. The limits are lower than in Vegas, but probably good for keeping your bankroll in check!

Now for loss limits, which are key. You can only lose $250 per day playing non-poker games and $100 per hour playing poker. Card rooms have to cut you off once you hit the limit.

The limits are more conservative than in other states. But they help prevent excessive gambling losses.

Strict Security and Surveillance Standards


Washington’s card rooms are subject to strict security and surveillance standards to maintain a safe and fair gaming environment. Card rooms must have a comprehensive surveillance system, including cameras over tables, entrances, cashier cages, and other key areas. This setup ensures constant monitoring of activities within the establishment.

Video footage from surveillance cameras must be stored for at least 7 days. This storage duration facilitates the review of any disputes or concerns that may arise.

Whenever the card room is open, security personnel must be present. Dealers are trained to observe and report suspicious behavior during gameplay, too. With the WSGC keeping a close eye on the card rooms, you can play confidently, knowing it’s fair.

Card rooms must have detailed evidence retention and reporting procedures. These are in place for potential violations or criminal activity. Card rooms that fail to adhere to the strict standards face fines, suspensions, or revoked licenses.

Responsible Gambling Standards

Washington card rooms must follow responsible gambling standards set by state regulations. They must post information on gambling addiction resources and provide self-exclusion programs. WA card rooms cannot extend lines of credit to customers. They must also help players access services to address problem gambling behavior.

It is illegal for anyone under 18 to gamble. Signage and access restrictions must be in place to prevent minors from entering card room gaming areas.

Tax Requirements

Card rooms pay gambling taxes that contribute needed revenues to the state. This includes a tax rate of 20% on gross card room receipts from fees collected for card gameplay. Check this out at

Additional tax is levied on gross food, drink, and other services receipts. Annual license fees collected from card rooms also provide revenue for the state. Taxes help fund problem gambling programs, community organizations, and the state budget.

Ready to Try Your Luck?


Now that you’re schooled up on the card room laws and limits set by the WSGC, it’s time to put your skills to the test! Just be sure to gamble responsibly, watch your bankroll in light of the betting caps, and know when to walk away.

Whether you’re a seasoned player or a newcomer to the card room scene, navigate the tables with confidence, strategy, and an awareness of the regulations that shape your gaming experience.

Here’s hoping the poker gods smile upon you if you decide to hit the card game tables here in the Evergreen State.