Poker in the ACT

wombleoz 8 August 2007 20

Free poker is taking off all over Australia, well almost all over – you can’t get a game in Canberra.

Many organisations run poker games as their business, the biggest being The Australian Poker League who have over 250,000 members throughout the country. These members can go to various pubs and clubs and play poker for free – well unless you are a member who lives in Canberra 🙁

Pubs and clubs throughout the country are attracting new customers on quiet nights – customers who go to play risk free poker in the hope of winning prizes and entries to bigger tournaments.

I guess the reason we can’t play here is some sort of arrangement with the casino? Surely having more people learning and enjoying the game increases their chance of attracting people to play on their tables??

Anyways, I would be interested to hear people’s thoughts – should we be allowed to play or should the ban remain?

N.B. – I am a member of the Australian Poker League, although I have never actually played a game with them – I have no interest in their business other than wanting to play the game.

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20 Responses to Poker in the ACT
crackdanuts crackdanuts 9:47 pm 28 Sep 08

Ferret – Shelbyville comment = Gold. Jerra is all well and good if you live there or Hume. But for us Belco northsiders it usually ends up pissing the missus off cus you have been gone so long!!! Hmmmm….Divorce or play poker…tough call.

Growling Ferret Growling Ferret 9:58 pm 09 Aug 07

So if you and 10 mates want to play, go and play at a mates place in Jerra (or Shelbyville…)

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 9:54 pm 09 Aug 07

Poker played in a private home with fewer than 9 people is not illegal

Whew 😉

Growling Ferret Growling Ferret 8:13 pm 09 Aug 07

Not whilst Clubs ACT owns the ACT Government. Patrons playing poker are not playing pokies…

wombleoz wombleoz 11:00 am 09 Aug 07

Thanks for the comments guys – seems to be a bit of interest about. Shame I don’t drive as it appears there’s games close by 🙁

I guess the question now is how do we get it changed???

Ralph Ralph 10:57 am 09 Aug 07

I agree, the APL do a good job of running these games. A good atmosphere and very helpful on rulings etc. If ever there is confusion about split pots on an all in etc, the APL people always sort out what is supposed to happen correctly.

PeteB PeteB 10:21 am 09 Aug 07

I live down the South Coast and my son came down from Canberra to visit for the week – he’s been playing poker online (free – no money involved) for a few months and wanted to play the real thing. We have played every night at clubs in Batemans Bay and Moruya – most are free entry, some are $11.00, with cash prizes for final table players. Numbers have ranged between 45 to 64 players and the people are friendly and helpful, and the events are well run by the APL, and its great fun (almost sounds like an ad). Highly recommended.

caf caf 9:15 pm 08 Aug 07

Interestingly enough, if you read the Unlawful Games Act 1984, you’re specifically allowed to play Scrabble for money (along with backgammon, bridge and chess).

caf caf 9:12 pm 08 Aug 07

Poker played in a private home with fewer than 9 people is not illegal (refer to the Unlawful Games Regulation 2007).

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 7:07 pm 08 Aug 07

Texas Hold Em is classified as an illegal game in Canberra


pierce pierce 4:44 pm 08 Aug 07

I saw a photo of a bottleshop in San Franciso called Coit Liquor a while back.

scumdorg scumdorg 2:03 pm 08 Aug 07

It reminds me of a sign I saw outside a pub on the Gold Coast – “Poker up the front, liquor up the rear”.

Growling Ferret Growling Ferret 1:09 pm 08 Aug 07

FFS. Its on Fox all the time, and you can play at the Eaglehawk on Mondays for a tenner buy in. I’ve played a few times, and its a well run and organised comp.

If you want a cash game, the place to be is Queanbeyan Golf Club on a Sunday afternoon I believe… I know they have had $50 buy in tournaments in the past

Maelinar Maelinar 12:50 pm 08 Aug 07

Let’s not reinforce or promote or advertise illegal behaviour, regardless of how stupid we think it is.

I vote for deleting any references that would enable RiotACTers to get in trouble with the law.

papadoc papadoc 10:25 am 08 Aug 07

check for more local locations, otherwise email for possible cash games in the ACT.

hk0reduck hk0reduck 9:34 am 08 Aug 07

I have some friends who I believe play poker down at a pub in Jerrabombera on monday nights. It’s really not that far away.

pierce pierce 8:39 am 08 Aug 07

So you can pay poke’er but not play poker?

papadoc papadoc 8:35 am 08 Aug 07

I too agree. I’ve worked for another local company trying to enter the canberra poker market with no success and it seems to be a government decision based on the fact that poker is seen as gambling, even though no one pays to play.

The major licenced clubs have for some time been keen and willing to host the games and are just awaiting the green light from the government.

Texas Hold Em is classified as an illegal game in Canberra with the only licence to play it being held by the Casino at the moment. NSW has basically an open policy to the game whereby players can now play for money in pubs and clubs, QLD, SA and VIC have a “No wagering” policy, so it seems stupid that the ACT won’t follow suit.

In the meantime, if anyone wants to play cards for a small “buy-in” in the ACT, send and email to and they may be able to point you in the right direction 😉

Ralph Ralph 8:30 am 08 Aug 07

Ralph has been attending some Australian Poker League games at the Murrumbateman pub on Thursday nights.

It is great fun and I am only new to it. The games are well run and they are very helpful for newbies, as are the other players.

It is bizarre though, you can get porn, fireworks and hookers in the ACT, but you can’t play poker!

smiling politely smiling politely 7:59 am 08 Aug 07

Agree completely – what’s the go? I’ve been looking to move on from home games to try something a little more challenging, but don’t wish to try my luck at the casino just yet…

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