New Hampshire is most likely known for its Live Free or Die slogan on its license plates (no state taxes in the Northeastern state), but you may not know that folks who live in the state have a love affair with the game of poker! Unfortunately, the laws didn’t exactly cooperate with this love affair until recently. Well, we are here to help explain it all to you with this page dedicated to everything you need to know about playing poker in New Hampshire – from land-based to online laws, from playing for real money to playing for free, we have everything covered here for you on this page.
Online Poker in New Hampshire
Online poker, as you well know, had its biggest era in the 2000s. It seemed in those days that anyone in New Hampshire could log into any number of online poker sites and find themselves playing for up to millions of dollars in prize pools against players from across the state, the country and the world! As the majority of these sites were not operating legally in the U.S., it was only a matter of time before the government stepped in to control the narrative, and they did so by shutting down all the big sites in 2011.
Since that time, online poker in New Hampshire has all but faded away at least from areal money perspective. The good news for fans of the game, however, is that recent changes to the land-based poker laws and the introduction of online sports betting in 2019 have both resurrected a conversation about potentially legalizing online poker in the state as well. Given the precedent set by multiple states including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, New Hampshire may find itself expanding its current sports betting law to include online poker before too long.
Land Based Poker in New Hampshire
As we mentioned, New Hampshire residents have had a long love of poker. Unfortunately, there was a law on the books in the state that limited the maximum that could be bet on a hand to $4, which really crippled the game at the land-based level. In 2015, the state government removed that law, replacing it with a $150 buy-in limit. This gave way to an increase not only in play but also in the number of card rooms available in the state. Today, multiple rooms are successful offering cash games and tournaments, and if online poker were to come back into play, we would see an even bigger turnout at these poker rooms. Here is where you can play poker live today in New Hampshire:
Aces and Eights Casino (Hampton, NH)
Boston Billiard Club & Casino (Nashua, NH)
Chasers Poker Room (Salem, NH)
Concord Casino (Concord, NH)
Keene Casino (Keene, NH)
Lakes Region Casino (Belmont, NH)
Lebanon Poker Room & Casino (Lebanon, NH)
Manchester Poker Room (Manchester, NH)
Northwoods Casino (Berlin, NH)
Speakeasy Casino at The Governor’s Inn (Rochester, NH)
The Brook (Seabrook, NH)
The Poker Room at Hampton Falls (Hampton Falls, NH)
Social Poker in New Hampshire
With land-based poker having a nice run in the state but real money online games having disappeared, many players in New Hampshire are trying to find a way to bridge the gap. Casual players can find live games to be a bit intimidating, so getting in some valuable practice time can be a great way to feel more comfortable at the tables.
Enter social poker – a way to play against thousands of players like in the old days but with little investment. In fact, the majority of players who play at sites like Zynga Poker don’t pay anything. However, you can buy chip packages that give you access to higher levels of the game where the gameplay is more structured and similar in nature to playing against real-money players. The main drawback of social poker sites is the inability to turn your chips into cash, but that shouldn’t stop you from giving them a try.
Subscription Poker in New Hampshire
Subscription gaming is something that became very popular in the video game industry, but some smart folks figured out that you can adapt the poker tournament model to fit the sweepstakes laws of 36 different states, including New Hampshire. This means that poker players looking to play online for great prizes can do so at any participating site, all for a small monthly fee. These sites have been somewhat popular although not nearly on the wide-scale as social poker, so they still provide some great value to players. The sites only offer tournaments, but the fields are decently-sized, giving players a good chance of parlaying their poker skills into some of the hundreds of thousands of dollars of prizes and trips given away each month.
Mobile Poker in New Hampshire
Both of the forms of poker described above are available to players via mobile devices. In fact, the computing power of phones and tablets has come so far that online poker players all over the world are finding out just how easy it is to pick up a device and play poker. The handful of U.S. states that have launched online poker legally offer their games for the most part via apps available to download on Android and iOS devices. As states like New Hampshire get around to finally allowing online poker again, there is no doubt that most players in the state will turn to their mobile devices for access.
To get a sense of what poker looks like on a phone, we encourage you to download any of the apps that interest you in your app store and give them a try.
Online Poker in New Hampshire FAQ
How long will it take to make online poker legal in New Hampshire?
Well, if we had the answer to that question, we would be rolling in it! Unfortunately, there is no official timeline to make this happen. What we do know is that the initial rollout of online sports betting has been a massive success in New Hampshire, which is bound to spark the conversation about adding other games to the law.
Why are there still offshore sites available for me to play in New Hampshire? I thought they were all shut down?
In 2006 and 2011, the U.S. government forced the hands of many of the major online poker sites by indicting them on breaking U.S. banking laws. At that time, several smaller brands that weren’t in direct violation of the law but still attracted American players escaped the shutdown. Some of these brands have since gone out of business, but some are still taking U.S. play even though they are operating outside the law. Our position on this is simple: yes, these sites exist, but they pose a huge risk of you losing your money without any recourse. Save yourself all the headaches and try live poker or one of the other forms of online poker available in your state.