Rakeback.com - Don't play poker without it

Poker in Norway – The Complex Laws

Poker Player Norwegian

Norwegian poker player Annette Obrestad

Poker in Norway exists in a legal grey area, with complex laws and some restrictions.

However it is possible to play poker online in Norway and many foreign poker sites and casinos like NordicBet, Unibet, Betsafe and Betsson can still be accessed despite its complicated gambling laws.

Those and many other online poker sites accept Norwegian Krone (NOK) and don’t restrict signups from Norway. Online poker comparison sites set up by Norwegian poker enthusiasts such as https://www.norskepokersider.com/ list all of the poker options available in Norway.

It’s also not illegal to simply play private home games with friends, as long as they don’t ‘have an organized and professional purpose’.

Famous Norwegian Poker Players

After all, Norway produced one of the best female online poker professionals of all time, Annette Obrestad. She grew up playing online at USA based poker sites like PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and at the time Ultimate Poker (now closed down for other reasons).

She was born in 1988 in Stavanger, Norway, winning millions of dollars in online poker tournaments and live tournaments (outside of Norway, such as in Ireland at the World Poker Tour Dublin, the 2007 World Series of Poker Europe, and the 2006 Aruba Classic) before the age of 19, playing under the screen name ‘Annette_15’.

Thor Hansen and Johnny Lodden are two other famous Norwegian poker professionals.

Norway Closes Poker Halls in 2007

Up until 2007, there were various poker rooms and underground clubs around Norway.

However the Norwegian police and authorities began to crack down on these venues.

Legality of Poker in Norway

As mentioned it should be emphasised that it is now legal to play poker in the privacy of your home, between friends and family for low stakes. No one is prosecuted for just accessing poker online for their own entertainment either.

Prior to 2014 that technically wasn’t the case, although still there was minimal enforcement against individuals prior to then. In 2014 the Ministry of Culture in Norway made an amendment to the Lottery act, which decriminalized playing poker for money.

‘In spite of the strict gambling laws, it is not illegal for Norwegians to gamble on foreign gambling websites.’ICLG.com

Norwegian Poker Championships

The Norwegian Poker championships are in fact one of the most popular tournament stops for European players. They took place in Ireland for seven years in row.

There’s also a famous Norwegian poker challenge which takes place on a cruise liner, the Norwegian Encore, out at sea.

Politicians Call to Legalize Gambling

Norway has considered legalizing poker tournaments and gambling in general at several points in the past, even if only for low stakes.

Norway’s Culture Minister Thorhild Widvey made calls to introduce a regulatory framework for poker tournaments, and politicians in the Progress Party coalition government called for expanding the gaming market to capitalize on gambling revenues.

‘I hope we can have a regulatory framework in place in time for a Norway championship of poker to be held in Norway… the Gaming Act permits the government to allow tournaments through regulation and therefore it is probably not a matter for Parliament.’ – Thorhild Widvey

A famous Pot Limit Omaha player Ola ‘Odd Oddsen’ Amundsgaard challenged an anti-gambing politician, Erlan Wiborg, to a heads up poker match, intending to win the PLO game by such as margin it would prove poker is a game of skill.

He accomplished that, winning around 2000 Euros from Wiborg in an online match before Wiborg quit.

History of Norway Gambling Laws

Norway and all of Scandinavia are often seen as a very liberal, progressive, ‘anything goes’ part of the world, focused on individualism and freedom, so it is surprising to learn gambling laws in the country have historically been strict.

Passed around the turn of the century, one law prevents any Norwegian financial institution from honoring a transaction if a casino is involved. So using a Norwegian bank account or debit card to gamble with is a non-starter.

Even into 2018 the Norwegian government was able to convince Apple to remove any gambling apps from the App Store when accessed by anyone with a Norwegian IP address.

The critics of calls to legalize gambling in Norway include the Norsk Forening for Spillproblematikk (Norwegian Association for Gambling Problems) who cite the normal reasons, such as its addiction potential for the youth.

Lotteries & Sports Betting

Ironically there are legal state-owned gambling companies, such as Norsk Tipping and Norsk Riksoto who run a lottery, sportsbook, Leno, and general betting.

That’s analogous to the United States where casinos and sportsbook are more tolerated than poker – perhaps as there’s a higher house edge in those and large companies and the state simply want a monopoly on winnings, rake and fees derived from punters.

More evidence of that is that Norwegian citizens are required to declare any poker winnings or gambling profits made in another country or at online offshore sites, when filing their taxes. As long as the government gets a piece of the pie, poker is tolerated.

How Much Cash Back Will I Earn?

Rakeback increases your winnings from online poker as you continually earn money back from every raked hand or tournament you play.

Many players earn a living wage from rakeback alone. Use the calculator below to estimate the size of payments you’ll get over a given period of time. The calculator will compute your expected daily, weekly, and monthly cash back depending on the stakes and tables you input.

Calculate Your Rakeback

Top Poker Room Recommendation

Black Chip Poker

  • 27% Rakeback
  • $2000 Sign-up Bonus
  • Bonus Code: RBCOM



  • 11 Online Poker Tools to Boost Your Winrate

    August 20th, 2015

    First up, you probably know them already – PokerTracker and Holdem Manager are by far the most popular poker tools – but may not have heard the two companies recently merged.

    Read more…

  • Where are the Softest Poker Games Online in 2017?

    April 26th, 2017

    “I shouldn’t say this on a poker forum but sng 2.0 acr is about as free money as I’ve seen in poker in a long time. Not sure how long it’s going to last but right now as it’s new people r punting hard.”

    Read more…

  • Lottery Sit & Gos – Where to Play

    August 20th, 2015

    A mixture between tournament poker and gambling, the ‘Lottery Sit and Go’ format is popular with recreationals and regs alike – attracting net depositing players

    Read more…

  • Fast-Fold Poker – The Fastest Poker Online

    January 7th, 2015

    Many of Rakeback.com’s partner sites offer Fast-Fold format poker tables. These high speed poker games eliminate the need for table selection and allow players to grind many more hands/hour thanks to a ‘quick fold’ option. This in turn boosts rakeback earnings.

    Read more…

© 2015 Rakeback.com