New Hampshire Online Poker Sites
The recent expansion of gambling did not include any new provisions for online poker sites in New Hampshire. Fortunately, residents of the Granite State can enjoy poker cash games and tournaments via an alternative (and fully legal) route.
Global Poker uses sweepstakes laws, combined with a virtual currency called “sweeps coins.” This allows you to enjoy online poker games against players from around the country. This site is US based and legal, and it welcomes credit card deposits.
This page covers New Hampshire online poker in depth. You’ll find out about the laws, how to enjoy poker games online and details of the different formats and strategies below.
Is online poker legal in New Hampshire?
House Bill 480 recently regulated online sports betting in New Hampshire. This triggered a competitive bidding process, which was won by DraftKings. There was no provision for online poker in this bill — or casino games.
Legal options for online poker had a 10-year gap in New Hampshire. From the passing of the UIGEA in 2006 until 2016 — when Global Poker launched its site.
This site operates legally under sweepstakes rules. Effectively, each hand or tournament that you play is a sweepstakes contest. To stay legal, Global Poker can’t directly charge you to enter these contests. Instead you’ll buy gold coins (which are “play money”) and get given “sweeps coins” for “free.”
If you win, then you can exchange your sweeps coins for dollars — and cash out.
Sweepstakes poker rooms and casinos need to provide avenues to get completely free sweeps coins. More on that below.
From a legal perspective, state laws make this system legal in most jurisdictions. Only Washington state and Washington, D.C., prohibit these games.
With so many major companies using sweepstakes contests for promotions and marketing, the chances of a sudden change in the law in New Hampshire are very small.
Offshore poker sites operate outside of both federal and state laws. There is significant risk involved in using these sites — which have very little oversight or external controls.
New Hampshire: Overview of Global Poker
Global Poker has quietly grown into a major poker site over the last few years. Unlike the traditional online poker rooms, no software download or app installation is needed. Instead Global Poker works in your browser window. The tables will adjust to fit the screen of your device, and work with both touch-screen devices like phones or tablets and with desktops.
Registration is simple, with just a screen name, email address and a few personal details like your name and date of birth required.
You can toggle between play with gold coins and sweeps coins. Gold coins have zero redeemable value and are for entertainment purposes only. Tables using gold coins are busy, with many players competing for “bragging rights.”
sweeps coins tables are the real money tables. You’ll be able to exchange this virtual currency to dollars, and cash it out to your bank.
You can play three main game formats: cash games, tournaments and jackpot Sit N Goes. These are explained in more detail below. First, you’ll need to get hold of some sweeps coins to enter the games.
Funding your Global Poker account from New Hampshire
You can get sweeps coins to enjoy the poker action in several ways. The easiest is to buy gold coins. Global Poker offers a range of gold coin packages. Each purchase comes with a “free” gift of sweeps coins. Reading between the lines, this is a legal way around buying in without being able to directly purchase chips.
There are also ways to get sweeps coins without needing to part with any money.
One involves writing a letter, together with your account information, to a registered address. This is only a small amount (think $2 worth). You can also participate in social media contests, share posts and so on.
New players get to enter freeroll poker tournaments, with sweeps coins prizes and no entry fee. There is no welcome bonus at the time of writing, although they have appeared from time to time.
NH online poker games and formats
With your sweeps coins account funded, you’ll be ready to hit the tables. You’ll have a choice of three formats: cash games, tournaments and jackpot Sit N Goes.
Most of the tables will feature Texas Hold’em, with a small number of games based on the popular Pot Limit Omaha format. Stakes start at pennies. You can buy in to cash games for as little as $2 (in sweeps coins), and tournaments start with even lower buy-ins. The number of tables gets smaller as the stakes rise, with limited choice when you get to $500+ buy-ins.
Here is an explanation of the key differences between the poker formats:
- Cash Games: In this format you play with money on the table that has a direct equivalent in dollars. If you buy in with $10 of sweeps coins, that value is realizable (by exchanging to dollars and withdrawing).
- Tournaments: These games involve knocking out your opponents until only one player has all the chips. Instead of directly playing for money, you will buy in and get a stack of tournament chips. The bet sizes increase as you go along, making sure there is plenty of action.
- Jackpot Sit N Goes: These small (three-handed) super-fast games are an entertaining way to hit it big. You can win up to 2000x your buy-in. The prize pool is only determined after the game begins.
Global Poker runs an occasional online poker event. This is the “Global Poker Open” and features a list of big prize tournaments — many with guaranteed prize pools.
New Hampshire online poker: Tips for new players
If your only experience with poker involves home games or trips to out-of-state casinos, online poker will offer you a lot of choices. The tips below are designed to keep your sweeps coins bankroll safe while you find your feet.
- Play Lower: Compared to live poker games, online games are tougher. This means you should play at lower stakes than you are used to live. The $2/$5 online level is filled with pros, and dangerous for players with only loose casino poker experience. Start small and work your way up as you gain online experience.
- Bankroll Management: The number one reason for poker players going broke online is failing to manage money. There is a lot of natural variance (chance) in poker games. This means having too big a proportion of your total bankroll in any one game is a big risk.
- Take Notes: If you play against the same players frequently, you’ll win more money by remembering their tendencies. Take detailed notes on hands you see shown down to gain valuable insights that you can exploit later.
- Learn the Math: Many live poker players can get away with playing by feel. Online, there is less “live read” type information available. This means math has a bigger role. You’ll need to understand pot odds, implied odds and the value of your hand against different ranges your opponents might have.
- Avoid Tilt: Anger after a bad beat is a common enough reaction. What separates winning players from the rest is the ability to manage that anger. Form a plan to walk away from the games and have a cooling off period, before tilt sees your bankroll decimated.
Live poker options in New Hampshire
Charity gambling laws in New Hampshire mean that there are small live poker venues in casinos throughout the state. These operate legally by giving 35% of their profits to good causes. These venues range in size from a handful of tables to over 30. While cash game buy-ins are capped, there are no longer any restrictions on tournament buy-ins.
Here are the current charity poker rooms in New Hampshire:
- Aces and Eights Casino (Hampton)
- Chasers Poker Room (Salem)
- Keene Casino (Keene)
- Lebanon Poker Room (Lebanon)
- Northwoods Casino (Berlin)
- The Greyhound Casino (Seabrook)
- Boston Billiard Club and Casino (Nashua)
- Concord Casino (Concord)
- Lakes Region Casino (Belmont)
- Manchester Poker Room (Manchester)
- Speakeasy Casino (Rochester)
- The Poker Room at Hampton Falls (Hampton Falls)
Wrapping up: Next steps to enjoying online poker in New Hampshire
Sweepstakes laws make online poker possible in New Hampshire. Global Poker offers cash games, tournaments and jackpot Sit N Goes for “sweeps coins.” This virtual currency can be exchanged for dollars if you win — and legally withdrawn to your bank.
Global Poker is a big enough site to offer guaranteed prize pool tournaments and action up to the mid-stakes in cash games. With a legal option open to residents of the Granite State, there is no need to take the considerable risk of playing at offshore poker sites.
It is hoped that regulation will mean in-state poker rooms will come to New Hampshire in the future. In the meantime, you can play online poker games legally and safely enough — check out the action for yourself over at www.globalpoker.com.
New Hampshire Online Poker FAQ
There are no regulated in-state poker sites like you’ll find in New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Nevada. Instead you can legally enjoy online poker at Global Poker. This site uses sweepstakes contest laws, combined with a virtual currency, to bring you real money action. Global Poker is legal in 49 states, including New Hampshire.
You can use your regular credit card to make deposits at Global Poker. This works in the same way as any online purchase and is safe and secure.
You’ll play in sweeps coins. There are two steps for redeeming this. First, you need to exchange your accumulated sweeps for dollars. There is a $50 minimum for this. After this you can request a withdrawal via local bank transfer.
No, the deal is controlled by a random number generator — which is checked as part of the (Malta) license held by Global Poker. Millions of hands have been dealt there, with the distribution of cards completely in line with a random deal.
Sites that welcome US players from Caribbean islands are risky. With little oversight — and operating in a legal gray area — depositing at these sites is against the law according to the UIGEA. If you have a dispute — for example an offshore site refuses to pay you — then there is no official body you can take your case to.
With Global Poker operating legally in New Hampshire, there are zero reasons to take the risk of playing at offshore sites.
While there are no current bills looking to regulate poker, it is impossible to rule out future legislation. A successful rollout of regulated online sports betting could inspire lawmakers to revisit both casino and poker online at some point in the future.