Poker is one of the most popular gambling games in casinos all around the world. The game itself is very simple to set up and play. So, many people wonder if it’s illegal to play poker for money at home. After all, you don’t need a world-class trained dealer to play poker. It’s very easy to play poker at home provided you know how to set up a home poker game. You can play the game with just about anyone. In any case, you can also play online poker with friends, as well.
Are home poker games illegal?
However, it’s important to note that there are countries around the world where home poker is illegal. As a counterpart to this, there are also many countries where home poker games are legal. For example, with a few limitations, home poker games are legal across the United States of America. The limitations are as follows:
- You’re not allowed to advertise the home poker game,
- You can’t charge any fees whatsoever for hosting the game,
- The house is not allowed to meddle in the bets of players,
- The house can’t hold any money.
USA Poker Laws
Alabama Poker Laws
If you check Title 13a-12-21 of Alabama law, you will see it states that if a player can prove that they were playing, simply, a social game in a private place, they won’t be convicted of illegal gambling.
“It is a defense to a prosecution under this section that a person charged with being a player was engaged in a social game in a private place. The burden of injecting the issue is on the defendant, but this does not shift the burden of proof.”
Arizona Poker Laws
Chapter 13-3301 of Arizona, poker law states:
The following conduct is not unlawful under this chapter: Social gambling.
California Poker Laws
California law says that as long as no money is used while playing house cards, it is not illegal to do so.
“(2) As used in this section, “controlled game” does not include any of the following: (D) Games played with cards in private homes or residences, in which no person makes money for operating the game, except as a player.”
Florida Poker Laws
The state of Florida is good for poker. Social gambling is allowed, as is house poker. We must keep certain conditions in mind, such as:
Title 46, Section 849 of Florida’s Constitution
“it is not a crime for a person to participate in a game … if such game is conducted strictly in accordance with the law … in which the winnings of any player in a single round, hand, or game do not exceed $10 in value. “
Poker Laws in Texas
Section 47.02 (b) (1) of state Texas law:
“It is a defense to prosecution under this section that: (1) the actor engaged in gambling in a private place;”
Playing poker at home is allowed, even quite famous in this state. Feel free to make your own private poker game.
Outside of the U.S.
In Australia, once again, with certain limitations, it’s legal to hold home poker games. You can’t advertise the game and rakes and fees aren’t allowed. Other countries take a different approach. For example, the country of Thailand has banned all gambling forms apart from the state lottery.
Writing about the legal ramifications of playing home poker around the world would be beyond this article’s scope. It’s best to do your own research depending on where you live. If you have any doubts about it, then feel free to consult a legal expert.