New Hampshire Poker - New Hampshire Poker Laws

New Hampshire Poker LawsIs Poker Legal In New Hampshire?

New Hampshire, in general, is not a very pro-poker state. The laws don’t specifically mention poker, but the general gambling laws may be ambiguous enough to outlaw home games. There may be some exceptions and even though casinos have been banned, the racetracks are actually starting to offer some low limit poker games. Read on as we get into all of the messy details, and explore when poker is legal in New Hampshire.

Looking for a poker site to play poker online from New Hampshire? Read our US online poker guide


Are Home Poker Games Legal in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire’s Penal Code has declared “A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if such person knowingly and unlawfully gambles…” According to the definitions provided by the law makers, gambling “means to risk something of value upon a future contingent event not under one's control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that something of value will be received in the event of a certain outcome.”

Because the law specifies that gambling is not under one’s control or influence, the skill vs. chance debate is sparked. Poker players and other fans of the game will claim that poker is a game of skill, and chance only plays a small role. On the other end of the discussion, there are plenty of those who will say that chance plays a material role in the game. In the end, we are left with no answers.

So far, nobody has been arrested for operating or playing in a home poker game, so the courts haven’t had to apply these laws in these types of circumstances. If such a situation should arise, it will be up to the judicial system to interpret the law, and make a ruling on poker in the New Hampshire. Until then though, proceed with caution and know that home poker games may be illegal.

Do The Casinos in New Hampshire Offer Poker?

New Hampshire doesn’t have casinos, but the state has authorized four horseracing tracks. These are obvious exceptions to the gambling laws and they are unique venues for poker players. With some new legislation, these racetracks are actually allowed to host poker games as long as the proceeds are for charity.

Because poker is such a big draw, these racetracks typically have poker games every day of the week. There are, however, limitations to these games. The restriction that most greatly impacts players, is the cap on betting limits. In New Hampshire racetracks you won’t be able to find any poker games with limits higher than $1/$2.

Online Poker and New Hampshire Law

The lawmakers in New Hampshire haven’t tackled the question of playing poker over the internet. In fact, they don’t even have any laws about placing bets via the Internet, telephone, fax, or any other electronic method.

The anti-gambling laws that the state already has in place probably could be construed to outlaw online gambling, but until a case goes to court we will have no idea how the state will deal with online poker. It is, however, probably safe to assume that New Hampshire cannot monitor your Internet usage well enough to “catch” you gambling.


View More USA Poker / Gambling Laws by State

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