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United States Home Poker Games
Introduction to Home Poker Games in the USA
A home poker game is a poker game that you play at a private venue instead of at a casino or a public card room. At this point, it is pertinent to mention that there is no specific mention of home poker games in any of the regulatory legislation pertaining to gambling itself in the US. However, the game is becoming increasingly popular among players in the US as people are slowly coming around to the viewpoint that poker itself is not all about luck, but involves a level of skill as well.
Whatever laws have been passed with regard to home poker games in the US, or any form of home gambling in the country, exist to ensure players do not get addicted to gambling and do not end up running a profit-making venture based on gambling. Home poker games in the United States are popular because they allow players to play unraked and low-stakes games at home and also saves them the time and energy involved in visiting casinos or poker rooms. Besides, it helps prevent them from getting involved with online gambling, an activity banned in the US.
Are Home Poker Games in the US Legal?
If you look at the legality of home poker games, some of the states in the US allow social gambling. Social gambling is any form of gambling where the bookie or the host doesn’t make any money other than what he would make as a normal player of such a game would make. The law therefore is very clear – no entry fees to be collected or in the case there is an entry fee, the money that is collected needs to be paid out as winnings.
However, you must bear in mind that a number of states in the US still have a ban on social gambling. These states include Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
This is not to say that all the states have a ban in place on home poker games in the US. There are laws related to home poker games in some of the other states. These include Alaska, Arizona, California (though the laws in this state are quite tough even for home poker games), Michigan, Texas, Virginia (as long as no rake is involved), and Washington. The presence of such laws is a direct indicator that home poker games are legal in these states, though there are certain preconditions involved.
Therefore, if you are thinking of joining a home poker game in the US, make sure the game you are going to is legal and in keeping with all the rules governing home poker games in the United States, and that the person who is hosting the game is authorized to do so. Also ensure there are no minors involved, as that can be a potentially risky situation.
Types of Home Poker Games in the US
You can have different kinds of games under home poker. In the US or anywhere in the world, basically you could fit any kind of poker game under the home poker category, as long as you play it at home.
What this effectively means is when you talk of home poker games in the US, or possibly anywhere else for that matter, you could have the games segmented into different kinds. You could play Stud Poker, Draw Poker, Community Poker, Hold’em Poker, and Guts Poker. You could also play non-poker games on a home poker table at home, besides casino games such as Blackjack and Craps.
Each of the above-mentioned games has specific themes and rules that you would have to abide by, in addition to abiding by the general rules governing home poker games. You would do well to know about these themes and rules before getting into a game of home poker in the US.
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