The long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) H19 as an imprinted gene transcribed from only the maternal allele has the vital role in carcinogenesis. Aberrant H19 expression is involved in bladder cancer development. In this study, we explored the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in H19 and bladder cancer risk. Four tagging SNPs (tagSNPs) were selected from the 1000 Genomes Project database. In total, 1049 bladder cancer cases and 1399 controls were recruited in this case–control study. Odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated by using unconditional univariate and multivariate logistic regression models to evaluate associations between the H19 tagSNPs genotypes and risk of bladder cancer. We found a statistically significant increased risk of bladder cancer in the carriers of the rs217727 AA genotype compared with carriers of GG/GA genotype (OR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.03–1.67). The subsequently stratified analyses also revealed that the H19 rs217727 AA genotype remarkably elevated the risk of bladder cancer in subgroups of young subjects (OR = 1.80, 95% CI = 1.16–2.81), males (OR = 1.44, 95% CI = 1.10–1.89) and smokers (OR = 1.55, 95% CI = 1.06–2.27), as well as high tumour grade (OR = 1.89, 95% CI = 1.23–2.91) and invasive disease (OR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.01–2.60). This finding indicates that the rs217727 polymorphism is significantly associated with the risk of bladder cancer.