Nestled in the Northeast region of the United States, Vermont is known as a lovely, sleepy area of the country. What you may not know is that the state has a huge love for poker, and in the heights of the online poker industry, some heavyweights in the game came from that region.
The poker industry has seen its ups and downs over the years, and this can make it somewhat confusing for people when they try to understand what poker is available in their states. This page should clear the air regarding poker in Vermont – what you can play, where you can play it, and why you should always be trying to improve your game.
Online Poker in Vermont
We’ll start with online poker in Vermont, as this is the area we receive the most email about at our site. Back in the 2000s, real money online poker burst onto the scene, and before long, there were thousands of Vermont residents playing at sites like Poker Stars and 888 Poker trying to win their share of the millions being gambled every day. Everything was going great for players, but the operators were actually based offshore and deemed to be breaking U.S. federal laws by allowing American players. The government finally went after the industry when it had grown so large that it was worth more than the land-based casino industry, and in 2011 the option of playing real money poker in Vermont went away. In the years since, several states have passed legislation of their own to allow for online poker to return, but to date, nothing has been introduced.
Land Based Poker in Vermont
Vermont is not a state with a huge population, and the residents are spread out all over the state, so putting together a poker room with enough possible traffic to sustain the business is a tough proposition. Thankfully, the online poker boom did introduce the game to an entirely new audience, and with that no longer an option, players hungry for the rush of the felt are finding their way to live poker rooms.
The unfortunate part for Vermont poker players is that there are no live rooms in the state. There are, however, poker rooms available both in neighboring New Hampshire and north of the border in Quebec. You can check out our pages on those locations to find out where cash games and tournaments are being hosted, and if you are up for the travel, you will find some great play at any of those rooms.
Social Poker in Vermont
With the most common forms of poker being eliminated or not existing in Vermont, it can seem like somewhat of a dire situations for fans of the game. However, there are some options that players can choose from to at the very least, practice their games and maintain their skill levels. Social poker is one such solution – these games are built off the desire for recognition rather than on winning lots of money. It may sound odd at first, but when you remember that on Poker Stars and other online poker sites, over half the players in the U.S. had never made a deposit, you can see why these social poker sites like Zynga would be popular.
Social poker offers loads of Hold’em, Omaha, and other games. You can start from the lowest rung on the journey and accumulate chips and achievements on the way to the top, or you have the option of buying enough chips to skip many of the lower levels where the skill level is poorer. Either way, you will find thousands of eager poker players from across the globe at the tables.
Subscription/Sweepstakes Poker in Vermont
Under sweepstakes laws in Vermont, a company can offer poker tournaments that reward prizes as long as there is no entry fee required. IN that light, companies have thrived in many states with a subscription model for online poker. Club WPT is the leader in this space, and you can check out our review of the site to understand how their subscription model works. There are other sweepstakes poker sites that have recently launched with Global Poker seeing the most growth in the last couple of years. While it isn’t perfect, these sites weed out the players who do not want to pay anything to play, which means that the general level of play at the tables will be higher.
Learning Poker in Vermont
Before you take off to New Hampshire or Canada to play some cards, it may be worth your time to read up on the games you are going to play. Poker is a game that takes a few minutes to learn but a lifetime to master, and our guess is that most of you haven’t even scratched the surface of what the game has to offer. With so many different poker variants that most people don’t play (Omaha, Razz, Stud, Short Deck), there is some value in learning the basics and giving them a try. We offer guides to all the poker games in existence, giving you a quick understanding of the rules, hand rankings, and gameplay. From there, you can use your mobile phone to find apps that will allow you to try these games without having to spend any money. Trust us – the more games you try, the better you will become at all of them. We are just giving you the kickstart you may need.
Online Poker in Vermont FAQ
If I travel to a place where online poker is legal, can I play?
If it is in the United States, then yes, you should be able to play online poker for real money in a state that offers it. Currently, six states have passed online poker legislation – New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Nevada all have live sites, while West Virginia and Michigan should have sites in 2020. If you travel within the borders of any of these states, you will be able to register for an account, deposit, and play. When you leave the state, your access to the games will terminate, so you need to bear that in mind in case you end up with a balance you would like to withdraw after playing.
Offshore sites still exist, right?
Yes, they definitely still exist. Sites like Poker Stars and Party Poker continue to be juggernauts around the world, and if you make your way up to Canada, you may be able to access those sites and many more. In Vermont, there are a handful of sites based in Costa Rica that are taking play from Americans, but these sites are not regulated in any way, so you need to exercise caution if you are planning to play with them. It is an activity that we do not recommend on any level.