From Texas Hold Em to strip poker, we mapped out the US cities that just can’t get enough of the high-stakes card game.


While we’ve switched out rowdy Western saloons for billion-dollar skyscrapers and online games in our pockets, America’s love for poker remains as strong as ever. With so many ways to play, socially or solo, online or in a casino, Texas Hold Em or Five Card Draw, there are many that can’t resist the allure of the cards.  


But who can call themselves the most dedicated poker players in the country? We decided to find out, once and for all. 

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Which Cities and States Are the Most Poker Obsessed?

Unsurprisingly, Nevada is top of the list for the most poker-obsessed state


But don’t click away just yet, because Las Vegas isn’t the top city. It may just have to hand its crown as the gaming capital to Miami, Florida. 


Have you seen the huge guitar-shaped hotel casino in Fort Lauderdale? It’s definitely a big enough advertisement for the game. 


The Top 10 Poker-Obsessed Cities in the U.S.


  1. Miami, Florida
  2. Las Vegas, Nevada
  3. Atlanta, Georgia
  4. Orlando, Florida
  5. Cincinnati, Ohio
  6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  7. Cleveland, Ohio
  8. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  9. Tampa, Florida,
  10. Boston, Massachusetts


But what about the states? That’s where things get a little more predictable, with states including New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania sitting at the top after being reported as some of the top grossing revenue states for casinos in the USA in 2022.


The Top 10 States Obsessed with Poker (Searches per 100,000 people)


  1. Nevada (118)
  2. California (90)
  3. New York (86)
  4. New Jersey (83)
  5. Massachusetts (82)
  6. Arizona (79)
  7. Washington (78)
  8. Texas (78)
  9. Colorado (76)
  10. Connecticut (75)


Seasonal Trends

The peak times for all poker-related searches are typically in July and December, when the Poker World Series and World Poker Tour take place. This is when the buzz is at its highest. 


The Poker World Series is based in Las Vegas, Nevada, which is certainly reflected in the numbers. 


More Popular in Higher Income States

By comparing this list to the states with highest GDP per capita, we can see that many of the higher income states like New York, Massachusetts, Washington and California and Connecticut all feature. That suggests it may be those with more disposable income who choose to play. 


Forbidden Love: The Banned States

Gambling isn’t welcome everywhere, but that hasn’t stopped the people of Hawaii and Utah (ranked 11th and 17th respectively). 


Despite games of chance being completely banned in their states, they’re still searching ‘how to play poker’. Rebellion or curiosity? You decide.

 

No Casino, No Problem

Ranked at the top of searches for ‘online poker’ is Vermont. That’s unsurprising as its one of the handful of states with no casinos, so online casino sites like Global Poker and at-home game nights are the only way to get a fix of their favorite game. 


The other casino-less states: Alaska, New Hampshire, Tennessee and Virginia, weren’t far behind in their searches for ‘online poker’. 


What States & Cities Aren’t That Bothered? 

If we look at the bottom of our list, Georgia is securely last with just 14 searches per 100,000 people. But while many people from Georgia seem completely unbothered by poker, people in the city of Atlanta (city #3) definitely disagree.


 The 5 Least Poker-Interested States in the U.S.


  1. Georgia 
  2. Mississippi
  3. Louisiana
  4. West Virginia
  5. Kentucky


Has New Orleans Turned Its Back on Poker?

The origins of poker (or Poque, as it was known) trace back to New Orleans in the 1800s, brought over by French colonists. But now we see Louisiana as the third least interested state, and New Orleans ranked only the 39th ‘most’ poker obsessed city. 


Florida Plays Poker (Just Not in Jacksonville)

While Miami, Orlando, and Tampa all feature in the top 10 cities, the state of Florida is only 16th on our list. 


We can only imagine Jacksonville, which ranks at 61 on our list and is Florida’s most populated city, just isn’t a fan. Maybe they prefer a game of bridge.


The Top States for Each Game

We also looked at the most searched poker variants across the different states. See which state you’d most fit in with based on your favourite style of poker. 


Texas Hold Em - Massachusetts & Nevada

High/Low Chicago - Wyoming

Five Card Draw - Colorado 

Seven Card Stud - New York

Omaha Poker - Nebraska

Strip Poker - Utah


It’s nice to see Nebraska sticking to its roots and favoring its hometown game, Omaha poker. 


To Strip or Not to Strip

Notorious Utah is back again. Not only do they love to break the rules, but strip poker is their game of choice. Talk about risk takers. It begs the question: do the gambling laws apply to betting clothes? 


At the other end of the list, Georgia is the most prudish state, with the least amount of searches for ‘strip poker’. 


Methodology

To identify which states and cities are the most poker-crazy, we used Google Keyword Planner to extract search volume data for a list of poker-related keywords. 


We did this both on a country-wide level for the United States and also by state, using data between March 2022 and February 2024. 


For cities, we looked at the top 75 most populated cities in the US, so if you noticed a city is missing (like casino-crazy Atlantic City), that’s why!


We standardized the search volume data by calculating the proportion of searches per 100,000 people within each state's population. This approach enabled us to identify the states and cities exhibiting the highest levels of interest in poker based on search volume relative to their respective population sizes.