Manage and Enjoy Your Home Poker Tournament – Part Three

Here’s the deal – if you make money simply by running a poker tournament at home or elsewhere, you probably broke a state or local law. Most states or municipalities are not terribly concerned that someone leaves a tournament with more money than they started – as long as they do it by skill and not by chance. This means that if you charge a “fee” to play in the tournament or receive a commission from the pots, you are probably on the wrong side of the law.

On the other hand, if you simply provide a venue for a social group to meet, collect a buyin from each participant, set a payout schedule, and pay 100% of buyins for that payout schedule, in most states you will be acting legally.

At the time of this writing, there are 26 states that allow social poker play There are 21 no, and 3 others besides the District of Columbia, where regulations are unclear about this type of game. The states that allow social poker play are: AL, AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, HI, KY, LA, ME, MN, MT, NV, NJ, NJ, NM, NY, ND , OH, OR, SC, TX, VA, WA and WY. Of the 21 that do not allow social games, the penalty is a misdemeanor.

Many states that allow a home tournament also have other restrictions that come into play. For example, some states require your poker tournament to take place at a residence rather than at a commercial location. Others do not allow drinks to be traded on the premises during the game. So, you provide the hooch or go byob. And while FL does allow social gaming, it has a $ 10 limit – “any player’s winnings in a single round, hand or game cannot exceed $ 10 in value.”

An excellent source for more information about your state can be found .

A key factor that allows social poker tournaments in most states is the concept of “predominance”. This simply boils down to Chance vs. Abiliity. If skill is the predominant means of winning a game, the Dominant Factor Test has passed and the game is legal. Therefore, a game that is predominantly random, such as roulette, is not considered to pass the test. While some may argue, there is no skill involved in deciding which numbers to cover on roulette. An understanding of the statistics shows that there is absolutely no relationship between the previous winning numbers and the next number to be reached. This makes roulette a game of luck, as in slot machines. Poker is considered more a game of skill than chance, and it keeps us cool in these 26 states.

Therefore, in most US states, the path is clear to holding a poker tournament in the privacy of your home under most circumstances. So why not take the opportunity to gather a group of friends for a night of fun, excitement and maybe a little profit?