What Betting Games Can You Play in Montana?

 

Casinos in Montana are not always glamorous like Vegas, but there’s plenty of them. Photo by David Schott // CC BY2.0

Montana can be a confusing place when it comes to betting and casino gaming. There are certain restrictions on games, bet sizes and prize pools. However, compared to many places the rules are actually quite slack in places, allowing for certain games to appear not just in casinos, but also in taverns and other licensed establishments.

If you want a basic guide to betting in Montana, table games against the house are not allowed. So, you won’t find any licensed roulette or blackjack in Montana. Online games face greater restrictions in Montana, even games of skill like poker. Horse race betting is favored, and you can find a number of sites which offer bets on a parimutual basis (i.e. the prize fund directly correlates with the number of participants, so that players effectively play against each other.)

Here we take a look at the betting games that you can play in Montana.

State Run Betting Games

The Montana state lottery allows players to win huge prizes. Tickets can be purchased from physical retailers, and are not available online. A lottery app is available where players can make their selection of numbers, but then they must still pick up tickets from a physical retailer using a bar code that is sent to their mobile.

The state also offers scratchcards, as well as stripped down fantasy sports leagues. For example, the lottery hosts a fantasy football league, which offers small prizes that average around $2,500 for first. Participants choose 5 offensive players, as well as the whole defense from the team of their choosing. At the end of the week, the three teams with the most points split the prize pool.

The lottery also now offers games based on other sports such as the NFL and NASCAR. There are also sports betting outlets offering non-banking games, again where players bets are settled against each other’s.

Casino Games and Betting Machines

Keno is classed as a bingo game, and so you can play it live in Montana. Photo by Santeri Viinamaki // CC BY-SA4.0

Aside from the State-run lottery games, you can play several other casino games in Montana. Common forms of gambling include raffles, bingo and keno, which the State categorizes as a type of bingo.

Video line gaming machines are also allowed, though they are not really like Vegas-style or online slots, which have a predefined amount of paylines which match up with symbols to make a win. In Montana, the video gaming machines are usually forms of bingo or video poker.

The State classes poker as a game of skill, and it is played against other players, so you can find it both in casinos and in taverns. Home games of poker are also legal, though as with all forms of the game the prize fund should not exceed $800.

Gaming Venues In Montana

Montana has a number of commercial casinos, as well as tribal casinos. Here in Missoula, there are traditional gaming houses like Diamond Jim’s, and large tribal casinos like the Gray Wolf Peak Casino. When it comes down to it, however, the majority of casinos in Montana have what is known as “Class II” gaming, which usually involves poker tables and slot-like machines for bingo.

If you want to check out the biggest casinos, then Montana has 5 Native American tribal establishments that operate Class III gaming, which have all of the casino games that you would find in Vegas, from roulette to proper slot machines. There are many more Class II Native casinos. Here you can find the addition of slot machines with reels, but in reality the reels are for “entertainment purposes” and the machines are, again, more like bingo.

What is great about the Montana gaming scene, is that any venue with a liquor license can host up to 20 video gaming machines, as well as live poker tables. These games all have a $2 maximum bet and $800 maximum payout, and the machines are operated in partnership with the state. It’s pretty awesome that you can find a game of poker pretty much anywhere!