Top 5 Strangest American Poker Laws

Published On: 15 August 2009 / Modified: 29 June 2018
Created By: Sean Lind
Judge Judy

American law books are filled from cover to cover with random, obsolete, and outright strange laws created in a time long passed.

As I have surmised after spending no time doing any actual research into the subject, laws were created in the olden days only as a reaction to an odd situation. Some laws are so ridiculous I'm just not sure how they ever came to be in the first place.

Here's an example: In Connecticut, by law, a pickle is not officially a pickle unless it bounces.

Or better yet: In Florida, having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal.

If you need a law to tell you that having sex with a porcupine is a bad idea, you have much bigger problems than needing to know a lawyer ... mainly the hundreds of quills you now have stuck deep into your bird.

5 Craziest American Poker Laws

5. In San Francisco, it's illegal to play poker in public or gamble in a barricaded room.

The Feature Table
Clearly not in San Fran.

So you can't play poker in public. You can play it in private, but you can't barricade the door. So I guess you just leave your front door open, and hope no one walks in?

As a side note, a regulation in San Francisco makes it unlawful to use already-worn underwear to wipe off cars in a car wash.

So next time you need to clean your car on your way to a private game in the Bay, don't even think about taking off those britches.

4. Riverboat gamblers in Iowa have a $5 maximum bet.

If you ever want to prevent people from playing poker, this law will do the trick. They never said you can't play, but you just can't bet more than $5. Have fun.

anna benson
Anna Benson in her FHM photoshoot.

If you choose to spend your poker nights with your lady friend instead, make sure to take note that kisses may last for as much as, but no more than, five minutes.

Also, if you wear a mustache you're not allowed to kiss any woman in public.

3. In Schulter, Oklahoma, women may not gamble in the nude, in lingerie, or while wearing a towel.

This is the only poker law I completely agree with. How's a person supposed to concentrate on the game with naked, or nearly naked women are at the table? That's truly an unfair advantage.

I speak from personal experience after trying to play during the 2006 WSOP while sitting across from Anna Benson, who chose not to wear a shirt under her jacket. Good luck trying to focus on your cards while sitting across from this.

2. Both Massachusetts and New Hampshire had old laws that penalized gamblers who lost money.

Talk about kicking a horse while he's down. Not only did you lose all your money gambling, but you're now getting a fine as well. "If only you had won, I wouldn't have to write you this ticket".

T.J. Cloutier
Another fine? Aw Craps.

What's next? Fines for being the victim of a mugging?

1. In New Hampshire, you cannot sell the clothes you are wearing to pay off a gambling debt.

New Hampshire has officially made it illegal to "lose your shirt" at a poker game.

I assume this law came into effect after having to watch some unlucky gambler walk nakedly home through the streets every week.

Rather than stopping the guy from gambling, they just created a law to keep the guy dressed: the law makers must have been regulars at his game.

There you have it, the five most ridiculous poker laws in the United States.

Luckily, I don't think any of these laws are actually enforced anymore, even if #3 should be.


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Nate Pearce 2009-10-02 13:44:00

Even dafter - in the Netherlands (Holland - that grass smoking, brothel filled example of liberal attitudes) you aren't allowed to play poker online!

Join the campaign to standardise gambling law in the E.U - <ahref="">Right2bet</a>

Steven 2009-08-17 01:58:00

I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes.



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