Maybe you have never asked yourself this question: Is it legal to
play poker in a bar or at home with friends? As a card game, very often we
do not associate it with breaking the law while enjoying a game with friends.
We are facing one of the most popular card games in the world, which has
been gaining more and more followers over the years.
Who doesn't enjoy a good after-dinner chat accompanied by a friendly
game of poker? If you have tried it, surely you have felt like playing several
hands in the company of your friends one afternoon. But the truth is that
poker, based on betting, is governed by a different legislation than
other card games such as brisca or cinquillo.
However, it is very common to organize poker games in a friendly way in
the intimacy of homes, in the company of your loved ones with whom, surely, you
handle bets with chickpeas and not with money.
We cannot deny it, poker is a very fun game in which large
amounts of money do not always move, not even money becomes the objective of
the game in these cases. The fun, the laughs, having a good time and, of
course, the adrenaline at the possibility of having a good hand when the river
is uncorked, make poker one of the great kings of card games.
Even so, given that the law is very strict and clear on the subject
of gambling and betting, we tell you what you need to know to avoid
being punished for breaking the law.
Let's get straight to the point. In public places, playing poker, even
without betting money, is an infraction. The law of some autonomous
communities establishes that poker is a game exclusive to casinos and,
as such, it must be played in casinos. It may happen that, actually, no money
is being bet, that it is a friendly game between friends who, instead of
choosing dominoes, have preferred poker. However, the law is implacable
and it is true that the just pay for the sinners.
This would be the case in the Community of Castilla y León, Catalonia,
Madrid or the Valencian Community. Apparently, there is a correlation between
the rise of illegal gambling and the expansion of this popular card game which,
in recent years, has spread among families and friends. On the other hand,
poker is sometimes an economic activity that evades taxation. In addition, in
order to guarantee a certain "order" and the payment of debts
generated by the games, the security surrounding poker games is often called
In order to reverse this situation, the different communities set out
to tighten the law and to consider poker games outside casinos as an
The same situation can be found at home. Organizing poker games
with family or friends in the privacy of your home, even if you do not bet
money and you only play a few chickpeas, is a violation of the law.
In fact, there have been cases in which the National Police have
dismantled poker tournaments organized in homes. You may ask yourself, isn't
there a legal way to play poker with my friends at home? The answer is yes, but
it is complicated. To avoid problems with the authorities in case they break
into your house by surprise - the National Police raid your home from time to
time to dismantle illegal poker games - you will have to ask for a permit
or an authorization to exercise the activity of the game.
This authorization entails a multitude of requirements that make it an
arduous and difficult task to obtain. On the other hand, the fines for playing
poker outside the premises authorized for this purpose - casinos - can reach
high figures, reaching up to 30,000 euros for the organizer of the event. For
the participants, the fine is 3,000 euros.
Alongside casinos, where it is completely legal to play poker, online
poker has emerged as one of the great options for poker fans. One of the
great attractions of this variant is the possibility of facing rivals from all
over the world.
The online poker rooms present a series of advantages such as,
for example, playing at more than one table simultaneously. In addition, you
have the possibility to play more hands in less time.
As far as the law is concerned, online poker rooms are completely
safe and legal in Spain.
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