Hysteria is going around so I thought I would review the Texas Law on Gambling. Here is the exact law for Gambling in Texas. Basically, it says that poker is illegal in Texas if you play at a place that makes money on it. (takes a rake..), but it is just a Class C misdemeanor, which is basically as serious as a speeding ticket for a player, the max penalty is $500. If you run a game, then watch out.. That is a Class A misdemeanor which has a $4,000 max fine and up to 1 year in jail.
§ 47.02. GAMBLING. (a) A person commits an offense if he:
(1) makes a bet on the partial or final result of a game or contest or on the performance of a participant in a game or contest;
(2) makes a bet on the result of any political nomination, appointment, or election or on the degree of success of any nominee, appointee, or candidate; or
(3) plays and bets for money or other thing of value at any game played with cards, dice, balls, or any other gambling device.
(b) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:
(1) the actor engaged in gambling in a private place;
(2) no person received any economic benefit other than personal winnings; and
(3) except for the advantage of skill or luck, the risks of losing and the chances of winning were the same for all participants.
(c) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the actor reasonably believed that the conduct:
(1) was permitted under Chapter 2001, Occupations Code;
(2) was permitted under Chapter 2002, Occupations Code;
(3) consisted entirely of participation in the state lottery authorized by the State Lottery Act (Chapter 466, Government Code);
(4) was permitted under the Texas Racing Act (Article 179e, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes); or
(5) consisted entirely of participation in a drawing for the opportunity to participate in a hunting, fishing, or other recreational event conducted by the Parks and Wildlife Department.
(d) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.