So you are wanting to host a poker game in your home (maybe you are already doing so). You have your friends, you have the food, maybe you even have a little bit of a wager going on? But, can you legally do this?

Come on, the reason that I ask this is because New York State seems to have a law on the books about everything, but they don't exactly make sure that state residents know about these said laws.

So, is that poker game legal in New York? Well, what kind of a game is it?

Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash
Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

Is this a casual game? Is there a small pot, maybe you are using pennies (yeah, right!), is there a big prize? Do you charge people to be in it? All of the answers to these questions weigh in on the legality of the game.

What is the definition of a 'Casual or Social Poker Game?'

Poker concept with cards on green table

A casual or social game is a bunch of people in someone's basement. No one is trying to become a millionaire because of that game, no one is trying to really profit off the game.

What is a rake, when it concerns poker, and what is the big deal about having one?

Miscellaneous board game pieces on a chess board
Diane Macdonald

When it comes to poker, a rake is not that thing you use in the garden for weeds. A rake is a percentage of the pot, most often collected by the host for putting the game together. NYS law says, that the rake should not happen more than 5 times, otherwise this is no longer considered 'just a friendly game.' Then because of the rake, you will need licenses and permits.

So a friendly group of neighbors wants to play poker, can anyone get arrested for doing this?

royal flush of shamrocks between betting chips.

More than likely, you won't get arrested for playing a simple game. When do people start getting arrested? When there is drinking and fighting involved. Remember, those simple games are simple as long as no one starts losing money, getting drunk, and then fighting. That being said, be smart, play safe, and have fun.

22 'Most Wanted' in New York

Authorities across New York State, including the FBI, have identified these people as its "Most Wanted Fugitives." Officials ask for help in finding them but warn they should be considered "armed and dangerous."

11 of New York's Most Wanted Criminals with Upstate Connections

Below are individuals with ties to the Capital Region and Upstate New York. They have been designated as some of New York's Most Wanted Fugitives and should be considered ARMED and DANGEROUS.

15 Of New York State's Most Wanted Criminals- April 2022

Below are individuals wanted by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision's (DOCCS) Office of Special Investigations who have been designated as its Most Wanted Fugitives. They should be considered armed and dangerous. This list is current as of 04/01/2022:

NEVER attempt to apprehend a fugitive yourself. If you have information on the location of any of these fugitives, you can contact OSI 24 hours a day / 7 days a week to report it. All leads and tips are treated as confidential information.

If an immediate response is necessary, such as you see the wanted person at a location, please call “911” and report it to the police.

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