Even though it is illegal to play poker for money in the majority of states, these laws are not commonly enforced. Think about it this way and place yourself in the shoes of a police officer: is it really worth their while to go from door to door, hoping to catch citizens in the act of playing a low stakes poker game at home?
If you wish to play for real amounts of money at home, this is where the laws are less forgiving and it is important to learn the differences between each rule and ordinance. When liquor is not being sold on the premises and the purse is less than $1,000, this is not real money or a real concern to law enforcement officials.
Let's say you want to host a major poker tournament at home, one with dozens of competitors, a purse that exceeds $1,000 and you wish to sell liquor on the premises. First of all, the law typically prohibits citizens from advertising any sort of gambling related gathering.
You are going to want to review all of the relevant statutes in your area, because many of them only allow real money to exchange hands at gambling establishments that have complied with the proper licensing techniques.
Advertising a poker game at home is, in and of itself, breaking the law. A person who is foolish enough to advertise a home poker game is exposing themselves to multiple counts of wrongdoing, even before the first hand has been dealt. Although you can avoid these kinds of instances by keeping your game on the hush, there are certainly risks involved.
In order to host a charity game, you may also need to pay a certain fee and submit a charity gaming application for approval. Another way to have legal home poker games is to categorize it as a social game. Depending upon the state you live in, you could be required to prove that everyone who is a part of your game has a bonafide social relationship outside of gambling.
Other requirements for a social home poker game include playing in a private area (as opposed to public), no admission fees or any other associated fees are charged, there is no rake, no person is able to receive financial compensation of any sort for facilitating the game other than their own winnings, no house bank and no odds that favor the house.
Two of the main rules regarding legal home poker games involve the aforementioned ban on public advertisement and the exclusion of any and all professional gamblers. The reason for this seemingly harsh restrictions? The government is attempting to limit the outbreak of gambling addiction. By keeping home poker games to a minimum, even the states that do not have explicitly stated laws on the books are inherently forbidding citizens from playing.
There are a few factors to keep in mind when you want to avoid having a home poker game busted. If you have a high buy in amount, this is far more likely to attract the attention of the police. The more players you have present at your home, the more attention you will draw to your game.
If a game is advertised in the public sphere, this is also asking for trouble. The home poker game that attracts a great deal of attention from the neighbors is also much more likely to be broken up by the police and result in charges being filed against the party who is responsible. Disturbing the peace charges (among others) will also be added to the variety of charges that you are going to be facing.
When holding a poker game at home, be sure to keep your buy ins low, your guests to a minimum and brush up on the laws and ordinances of your area. To set up a game, consider your own personal risk tolerance before doing so. Games can be busted when you least expect them to, so make sure your games are low key, not advertised in the public and kept between friends who trust one another and are not interested in playing for vast sums of cash.
Thanks for reading! For the best online poker sites, check out our online poker reviews.