All about poker clubs

Although in Spain they are not regulated as such, there are poker clubs where a certain number of players meet to play this popular game. However, the legislation in this regard in Spain is very restrictive and has led to the clubs to the alegality, being practically associations of players who are currently outside the law.

Many fans wonder if it is possible to set up a poker club in Spain and if they have the legal protection to be able to operate. In Spain the law is clear and leaves very little room for maneuver, but some players have wanted to know how to create an informal poker club at family level, without official presence or professional operation.

Of course, whoever wants to set up his own poker club should first know what the current situation is regarding these associations and what he has to do to create a different one, in order to make it a friendlier and less exclusive place than the official ones.

Going to a poker club in Spain: is it advisable?

It would be foolish to state categorically that poker clubs do not exist because there is a law that says there cannot be any. They do exist. What happens is that the legislation does not allow these games to take place in public spaces. That is, there are no authorized places for these clubs to meet.

With the law in hand, the most sensible thing to say is that frequenting a poker club in Spain is not too advisable because they are not authorized. To always play in a club that has the corresponding license is the best, and gives more guarantees at the time of claiming a prize. Spain has restricted face-to-face poker to casinos, and any other place where to meet to play poker is unauthorized and can be sanctioned for not complying with the law.

Here opens an interesting debate, because it seems that the prohibition of poker clubs is maintained thanks to the support of casinos, which today hold the monopoly of having authorized facilities to play poker, considering these clubs as direct competition. However, if we can learn from countries with a longer history in poker, such as the United States, it is that casinos and poker clubs can mutually benefit from a constant flow of poker players.

Worst of all, casinos do not seem to perceive the potential benefit of a future coexistence with poker clubs. If we take the American example, casinos maintain profits thanks to the fact that there is a flow of new young players, who are trained in these clubs and end up being regular customers at their tables. This issue in Spain is still too green.

It is essential for casinos to be able to continue to operate if they are to have a nursery where poker amateurs can go on to develop as professional players. This, to this day, is done bordering the current legislation, since, in theory, poker clubs cannot exist, but experienced players do not learn to play directly in a casino.

And why does this happen? To begin with, because tournament prices or cash table limits are lower in clubs than in casinos. The casinos claim that they cannot lower the minimum because it is not profitable, but one of the reasons why it is not profitable is because there is not as much affluence of players as there would be if the casinos coexisted with the clubs. Therefore, it is actually the casinos that are losing out in this whole mess.

It is obvious that new players prefer to gain experience playing in a club, especially considering that the reduction of these limits can be quite important if we compare it with the price to pay in a high-level tournament.

Why do casinos have their own clubs?

Although casinos are reluctant to allow the existence of poker clubs because they fear fierce competition and do not see the potential benefit in coexisting with them, to meet this demand for clubs some of them have decided to set up their own poker club. This is the case of Grupo Orenes, one of the most popular casino groups in Spain, which has launched its Time for Poker Club. You can also find The Poker Club and the Casino Poker Club.

Setting up a poker club is not easy given the powerful restrictions that the law establishes in this regard. However, in spite of the differences with the clubs that exist in other countries, we can affirm that they have achieved the objective. In the capital, the Casino Gran Vía has the Privilege Poker, its poker club, which is accessed with a membership and generates discounts and promotions to play in the casino.

Although in reality these clubs act as premium extensions of the casinos themselves, which require an extra supplement to access these clubs, the mere fact of setting up a poker club is a good sign, since they are spaces where players can socialize and share their love for poker.

However, these clubs have been created with opposite principles to the traditional poker clubs. To begin with, being under the umbrella of a casino, their fees are more expensive than those required for mere participation in the casino. But, in addition, these clubs are designed for expert and professional players who want to play at a different level. Therefore, it is not so much a space for learning as a space for expertise, something that does not fit with the demand of the amateurs who ask for the regulation of poker clubs.

Casinos have created their own poker clubs because they are the only ones authorized to create them, and because they are aware of the importance of creating more familiar environments for those players looking for a different experience.

However, casinos remain just as inaccessible and, being usually located on the outskirts of cities, they are not the ideal places to find a secluded atmosphere. They require travel and an entrance fee, which also makes the experience more expensive. In other words, there is no accessibility. This is something that must change if in the future someone wants to know how to create an accessible poker club with a constant influx of fans.

The laxity of poker clubs, ideal for newcomers

When we say that poker clubs are the perfect places to learn and gain experience, we are not only referring to technique, but also to knowing how to manage at the table. There is a whole series of details that a professional player knows how to take care of and that have to do with presence and poise.

For example, everything related to annoying attitudes, cell phone sounds and so on is censored in casinos. A player can be expelled from the table for not putting his cell phone on silent or even for looking at it too much. It is also forbidden to be foul-mouthed or to talk to the dealer in a disrespectful manner, as well as to throw cards against the table without any consideration.

In addition, certain attitudes, such as betting with high poker chips and inserting them between chips of small value, are somewhat reprehensible in casinos, but are much better seen in clubs, where poker can be played in a more informal way, where neither the language nor the code of conduct of the players is sanctioned.

This leads many players to want to set up their own poker club. Each may follow specific rules, others may choose to relax the rules, and others may try to become professional from the start. However, whoever wants to find out how to create a professional poker club, should only observe how casino clubs work, eliminating those elements, such as fees or the obligation to have an active membership, which end up being inaccessible to other players.

Also keep in mind that in casinos there are certain gentlemanly gestures that are very well regarded and are almost always mandatory if you want to leave the table as a gentleman. For example, tipping the dealer who has been dealing luck throughout the game is a gesture of etiquette that is highly appreciated in virtually every casino in the world.

Online poker clubs

Online poker clubs, leaving aside the issue of legality, can be easily found in some online poker apps frequented by players of all levels, both beginners and regular players.

The main offer in online poker clubs usually consists of cash or real money tables with much lower limits than in casinos, of course. And this is precisely what makes online poker clubs extremely attractive for novice players or for those players who do not have a bankroll that allows them to play in a casino.

Within the offer of online poker clubs we can also find various types of tournaments (SPIN, MTT, Sit&Go...), although it is true that it is difficult to find clubs with tournaments of more than 5 tables. Of course, as you can imagine, the entry fee for playing is much lower than what you would pay in a casino.

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