Poker is a popular game in Singapore. You can play it online, in casinos and even at home with your friends. Ardent players are spoilt for choice when it comes to playing poker. It is however important to note that in Singapore, there is only one legal poker room in a casino, which is found in Sentosa. But you can always travel to neighboring countries if you wish to hone your skills or even participate in poker tournaments. Here is all you need to know about poker in Singapore:
Online Poker in Singapore
Online poker is a favorite of many Singapore poker players. There are countless sites that accept Singapore players and even accept the country’s currency. It makes no difference that none of these sites is based in Singapore: you can still play your card game to your heart’s delight.
You make payments using Singapore dollars (SGD), which are then converted into US dollars at no extra cost for the players. You can add money to your account using your debit card, credit card or even bitcoins. All major Singapore bank cards are accepted such as Citibank, DBS, OCBC, BNU and UOB. When you leave your table, the money is reconverted to SGD until the next time you want to play again.
The most popular online poker game is the No Limit Hold ’em (NHLE). It is played in various formats such as SNG, cash games and even scheduled Multi- table tournaments.
There is no denying that online poker is immensely popular in Singapore. In a country where there is only one legal card room for playing poker in, one would understand why many people prefer to play the game online. Playing it online does not diminish any of the excitement and enjoyment that is associated with the game. You still get to compete with other players, some from your own country and others from different nationalities. It is thrilling to say the least.
www.intertops.com is one of the largest poker sites that accept Singapore players. Unlike most other sites, your SGD will be converted to USD at a small price. However, it is still worth playing from this site due to the exposure you get. Tournament players benefit the most from using this site since they get to play with other talented players from all over the world. It is through the site that some of the big names in Singapore poker came to be. Players such as Ivan Tan and Bryan Huang have this site to thank for their current superstar status.
Live Poker in Singapore
Live poker may not be thriving in Singapore, but this does not mean that it doesn’t exist at all. In the smoking section of the casino at the Resort World Sentosa exists a card room where poker is played. It is the only legal room for playing poker in the entire country.
The room has seven tables. In all these tables, the No Limit Hold ’em game is the only game available. During weekdays, there are not that many people in the casino. The case is however very different on weekends when players flock here to play the game. The rake system at this casino is unique for all the good reasons. Pots whose stakes are less than $ 100 are not raked at all while those above $ 100 are raked at a 50% rate with a maximum of $ 50. Players can therefore legitimately expect to reap substantial benefits from their game. If you want to play live poker in Singapore, you have to make your way to Sentosa. Many other lovers of the game are to be found here. You can expect to have a great time at this casino as well as to learn a thing or two on how to better your poker playing skills.
Home Poker in Singapore
Contrary to popular belief, playing poker at home with family or friends is not illegal in Singapore. It however becomes illegal when your house is turned into a “common gambling house”. A common gambling house is essentially a term implying that you run an illegal gambling business from your house.
However, law enforcement is reluctant to make arrests or even press charges based on the fact that people operate illegal poker gambling businesses from their homes. But this was not always the case. In 1999, police officers raided the office of a successful businessman Chua Seong Soi over a high stakes gambling game. Everyone present was arrested and fined, including Chua himself. On appeal however, he was acquitted and this decreased the morale of the police in raiding houses suspected of being “ common gambling houses”. However, if you do advertise your house as a place where people gather to play poker, you will not be on the good books of the police. Advertising is a foolproof way of making it illegal to play poker in your home. But a vast majority of Singapore citizens do enjoy meeting with friends and playing a poker game without unnecessary interference from the authorities. It is a favorite
Travelling to play Poker
One cannot deny that playing live poker in Singapore is very limiting indeed. With only one legal card room in the entire country, it is easy to see why many Singaporeans are tempted to visit nearby countries to play their cherished game. One favorite destination for many players is Macau. It has plenty of casinos most of which have poker rooms. There are also a variety of poker games that one can engage in here, regardless of whether you like playing high stake or low stake games. On the flipside however the rakes are relatively high in Macau, which can be discouraging to those who want to maximize their benefits from playing the game. Besides Macau, some also travel to the nearby Genting Highlands in Malaysia, where there are plenty of poker rooms. People also travel to Siem Reap in Cambodia, Seoul in Korea as well as various destinations in the Philippines.
Poker forms a big part of recreational activities in Singapore. The country has a lot to offer to poker players. For more information on playing poker in Singapore.