Without question, poker is one of the most popular card games in the world. One of the roots of poker can be traced back nearly 1,000 years to a domino-card game played by a 10th century Chinese emperor.1
The closest card version of poker was a three-card game called Poque, which was popular in France in the 17th century. French explorers and colonists brought Poque to their settlements in Quebec and areas around New Orleans.
English-speaking settlers anglicized Poque to poker, and the game evolved to include five cards and a 52-card deck. Over the years, different poker games have been invented and adopted around the world, including seven-card stud and Texas Hold’em.
One of the best places in the U.S. to hone your poker skills is in Florida. Why Florida and not Nevada? It’s all about quality. Florida has the fourth-largest population in the United States and is home to, at last count, nearly 880 poker tables across 42 poker rooms.2
For snowbirds from Quebec and Ontario who like to play poker when they’re vacationing in Florida, it’s important to remember that substantial winnings—typically those over $1,200—are subject to a 30% withholding tax. That’s because poker winnings are considered income by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Fortunately, for snowbirds from Quebec, Ontario, and the rest of the country visiting any one of Florida’s poker rooms, they can get a portion or all of those taxed winnings back.
Florida’s 5 Best Poker Rooms
bestbet Jacksonville is not just one of the best poker rooms in Florida, with 70 tables, it’s also the biggest poker room in the Sunshine state. At bestbet Jacksonville, poker players can play limit and no-limit Hold’em, 7-Card Stud, and Omaha seven days a week. There are also daily tournaments, with as many as four per day on the weekends.3
The High-Limit Poker Room is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 24 hours on the weekends.
In addition to a 144,000-square foot casino floor, there is a simulcast centre open from 11:00 a.m. until midnight every day if you want to try live horse and dog races or bet on some Jai Alai.
Palm Beach Kennel Club
The largest poker room in Florida is at the Palm Beach Kennel Club with 64 tables where you can play everything imaginable. Thanks to new state laws, there are now larger multi-table tournaments with up to an $800 buy-in, No Limit Hold’em cash games, tournament payouts, jackpots, as well as various promotional giveaways.4
There are many TV monitors and betting windows, as well as a tableside food and beverage service. If you’re just learning, you can take part in a free instructional session. In addition to poker, Palm Beach Kennel Club also has greyhound racing and simulcast action. There are also special events, fine dining, and casual dining.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood has one of the best poker rooms in Florida where you’ll find everything you’d expect at a great casino: over 2,200 slots, over 90 table games, High-Limit table rooms, High-Limit slot rooms, and a VIP Lounge.5
Poker lovers will also find 41 tables of high-stakes poker located in Seminole Paradise. The 24/7 high-stakes Poker Room offers various games and tournament of Limit and No Limit Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, and 7-Card Stud.
Isle Casino Racing in Pompano Beach
Just 20 minutes from Fort Lauderdale, Isle Casino Racing has a 100,000-square foot casino floor with 1,460 gaming machines, and a 50-year history of live harness racing. It’s also home to 38 live-action poker tables.6
Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park offers the highest return for hourly play in South Florida. If you like to multi-task, you’ll love the Multi Action Poker. Exclusive to Isle Casino Pompano, you can play two hands at once.7
The Poker Room is open Sundays to Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 a.m. and 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays.
Miccosukee Resort & Gaming
Miccosukee Resort & Gaming is just west of the Florida Turnpike along the south-eastern edge of the Florida Everglades. The 24-hour gaming operation features over 1,900 gaming machines with a High-Limit Gaming Area. There is also a 1,000-seat High-Stakes Bingo Hall.8
Miccosukee Resort & Gaming is also home to a 32-table poker room of high-stakes poker where you can play Omaha Hi-Lo, Limit and No Limit Hold’em, 7-Card Stud, Pot Limit Omaha, Omaha 8 or Better, and Omaha Hi. The poker room also hosts smoking and non-smoking tables.
Non-U.S. Residents Subject to 30% Withholding Tax
If you are a non-U.S. resident and win a significant amount of money at any of the poker rooms in Florida or anywhere else in the U.S, your winnings could be subject to a 30% withholding tax. But, if you live in a country like Canada, which has signed a U.S. tax treaty, you may be eligible for a refund.
Some of the countries that do not have a U.S. tax treaty, but may still be eligible for a refund include: Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kuwait, Mexico, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and the U.A.E. However, based on a recent court case, winners from these countries may qualify for a refund if they meet certain criteria.
If you win a substantial amount gambling (typically over $1,200), your winnings are subject to a 30% withholding tax by the IRS. So, if you win $2,500 playing poker, the casino will pay you $1,750. The IRS keeps the rest.
RMS is the Easiest, Fastest Way to Get Your Money Back
If you’ve been to the U.S. and had 30% of your winnings held back by the IRS, Refund Management Services (RMS) can help you reclaim a portion or all of your taxable winnings.
Founded by a Canadian Chartered Accountant in 1998, RMS is the most reliable and experienced gaming and casino tax refund provider for non-U.S. residents. Only RMS has the One Simple StepTM process. Our customer service agents take care of the rest.
Once you provide us with complete documentation, your claim will be processed and we will submit it to the IRS. We’ve never been refused for an eligible refund.
1.“Where did Poker Originate?” History.com, April 23, 2016; http://www.history.com/news/ask-history/where-did-poker-originate.
2.“Poker Rooms in Florida,” World Casino Directory, last accessed February 11, 2016; https://www.worldcasinodirectory.com/florida/poker-rooms.
3.“bestbet Poker Jacksonville,” World Casino Directory, last accessed February 11, 2015; https://www.worldcasinodirectory.com/casino/bestbet-poker-jacksonville. .
4.“Poker Room Overview,” Palm Beach Kennel Club web site, last accessed February 11, 2016; http://www.pbkennelclub.com/.
5.”Casino and Gaming,” Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood web site, last accessed February 11, 2016; https://www.seminolehardrockhollywood.com/poker.htm.
6.“Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park,” World Casino Directory, last accessed February 11, 2016; http://www.worldcasinodirectory.com/casino/pompano-park-harness-track-2205 .
7.“Poker,” Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park web site, last accessed February 11, 2016; http://pompano-park.isleofcapricasinos.com/gaming/poker-room.html.
8.“Miccosukee Resort and Gaming,” World Casino Directory, last accessed February 11, 2016; https://www.worldcasinodirectory.com/casino/miccosukee-resort-gaming-center-2183.