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Gambling in Iran goes back at least 6,000 years, where they were known to play dice games fashioned out of bone. While Iran is a Muslim country, and Muslims are known to really limit their gambling, in general at least, it wasn’t until the Islamic Revolution in 1978 that gambling became outlawed by legislation for the most part. (1)
This isn’t surprising given that the country then became controlled by Islamic fundamentalists, with the Supreme Leader of the country being a religious figure, which has consisted of two thus far, the rather famous Ruholla Khomeni, who presided over the Iran Hostage Crisis, and the present Supreme Leader, Ali Khomeni. (2)
So these gentleman aren’t exactly liberals when it comes to permitting gambling, and a lot of this stems from the general Islamic belief that gambling tempts people to believe in luck and therefore draw them away from Allah. (3)
Gambling is considered a sin, generally anyway, and believing in luck and not Allah is what is frowned upon here in particular. Determinism plays a central role in this faith, and is at least seen as interfering with that, and by extension, the work of Allah.
There are some Muslim countries that are surprisingly tolerant of gambling though, at least as far as the people being Muslim, but in the case of Iran, with an Islamic government essentially, you can bet that they are going to be pretty strict about this, and most Islamic countries are in fact.
Interestingly enough, it is believed that the Prophet Mohammad tolerated certain forms of gambling, so they are seen as permissible in Iran, and here that includes things like betting on horse races, camel races, and archery contests, and this view is well supported by the government and the religious leaders.
Since gambling is forbidden, they don’t call placing such bets on these events gambling, they call it “predicting.” So it is OK to wager on these predictions, because if you were actually caught gambling, you would be subject to flogging and jail time here. (4)
It might be argued that the same rationale would apply to predicting any sporting event, but the interpretation used here is a strict one, and therefore it requires specificity which serves to limit the scope to contests which were encouraged by the Prophet Mohammad.
Playing Poker in Iran
Poker Online Real Money Iran Free
Needless to say, there are no casinos or poker rooms here. There are no bars either, this is a very conservative country, and drinking in public will get you thrown in jail actually.
Playing poker for money is simply forbidden, whether that is at a public poker room or playing for money in a private or home game. Gambling is not permitted here under any circumstances, even so called social gambling, keeping in mind that this does not include betting that is defined as predicting. They don’t consider poker to be predicting, it is seen as a game of chance, and does have chance as an element of it at in fact.
Poker hasn’t been a popular game in Iran at all historically, and most people even today aren’t very familiar with the game, due to not really being exposed to it. In spite of the laws against it though, Iran does have an underground live poker scene, although it’s not all that significant, and underground gambling in general in Iran is not seen as much of a problem.
If you’re caught playing poker for money here or engaging in any other form of gambling, you face up to 74 lashes or imprisonment for up to 6 months, and if the gambling is done in public, both punishments are carried out. As well, if you operate a gambling establishment you can spend up to 2 years in prison. So this likely does affect how willing people are to engage in land based gambling at least. (6)
Online Poker In Iran
Iranian residents have been known to travel to neighboring countries to engage in gambling though, where the laws may be more liberal towards it. Other than that, there’s ample opportunity to play poker online in Iran, and the government does not perceive this as a big enough problem to take any action to limit people’s access to these sites, probably believing that their religious beliefs will be enough generally to keep this in check.
That’s probably true with a lot of people but in a country as large as Iran, a country with around 80 million people, there is still a fair bit of interest in gambling, and now that the internet has made gambling far more accessible than it has been in the past, going from being able to access virtually no gambling apart from the approved forms to all the gambling you could ever wish for through online access, this has certainly changed the scene here.
Iran is one of the countries that has been caught up in the movement away from so called grey market countries, and Iran is certainly grey market, and this has caused several major poker rooms, including PokerStars, to cease accepting Iranians.
This doesn’t mean that all of the online poker sites have pulled out though, and there are several that simply don’t care about any of this stuff and will take players from pretty much anywhere, including Iran.
So online poker may not be a very popular pastime at present, but as more people become exposed to the game, which is a very slow process since most Iranians have not even played poker for fun let alone for money, the game may continue to grow at least somewhat.
Two of my favorite poker sites that accept Iranian players are 888 Poker and Natural8 Gaming. You can check out the reviews at the very top of this page for more information. BOTH offer nice rakeback deals just for signing up and have TONS of shared Asian and Euro traffic that keep cash games very, very loose and fishy.
So it’s clearly illegal to play poker for money here and that includes playing online as well, although the authorities here appear to be less concerned about what goes on in private. For instance, drinking alcohol in public in Iran will get you jail time, but drinking it in secret is not a crime.
It doesn’t get any more secret than playing online poker at home, this is not something you probably want to do on your phone in public, but online poker at home is already well beyond the reach of the law anyway generally, as it’s extremely difficult to catch people doing this.
So people in the most conservative countries play online poker, and Iran is no exception, and there are some options available to those who wish to do so.
1. Betting in Iran
3. Gambling in Iran
4. When Is a Bet Not a Bet?
5. Online Poker Sites in Iran
6. Iranian Codes
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Hello there! Worldpokerdeals is well known for bringing poker players from around the globe professional poker solutions, and today, we are covering a very important topic for our poker players who live in Middle Eastern countries like Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Pakistan among others.
In this article we will cover some of the most important topics for online poker players from Middle Eastern countries, including where can they play online poker, how to handle the online money (including withdrawals) and the best recomendations from the rakeback rockstars!
I'm living in Middle Eastern country (Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan), can I play online poker?
Sure you can! And with our help will became easier, but of course, is going to depend of the country you reside now. Legally speaking, is forbidden to play poker in most of the Middle Eastern countries. It depends on the country of course, but as a general rule, it is not legal to play and major poker networks are not available. Please add us in Skype so we can give you detailed information about your country gaming regulation and give you guidance about how to play online poker from Middle Eastern countries.
Can you make an example please? I live in Pakistan
Well, online poker in Pakistan is not massive, you guys have very well-known players as Owais Ahmed, who won a WSOP bracelet in 2011. In Pakistan, the government is more focused in legislations about sports betting than online poker, and in the country you can even find legal lottery and horse races. Neteller and Skrill are available in Pakistan which is a great advantage for our poker players living there. But of course, as Middle Eastern country we recomend to be careful and use a VPN to play online poker, and only in the online poker rooms we can recomend to you via Skype.
How about Iran? Can I play online poker from Iran
Iran has more restrictive laws about online poker and in general about betting. But, we need to be straight: most of the laws that affects public acts, like drinking in the streets and playing poker in a casino (of course, there are no legal casinos in Iran), but, it seems that the government doesn't pay that much attention to private activities, bottom line, you may drink and play poker but in your house only. In Iran, we can only recomend to do money transactions using Bitcoin, as regular payment methods like Skrill and Neteller are not functional in Iran. You will need a VPN to play online poker from Iran.
Please give me detailed information about online poker regulation in my country
You can always add us in Skype to compliment all the information we present in our website, but, here we can do a short resume about online poker regulation in Middle Eastern countries:
- Pakistan Online Poker Regulation: Online or live poker in Pakistan is not very popular, but that does not mean there are no poker players living in Pakistan. Usually, the websites of online poker rooms are not blocked by the internet services, and this is because the authorities are more focused in sports betting. Is not legal to play online poker in Pakistan, so if you decide to do it, you need to be careful enough.
- Iran Online Poker Regulation: We can say Iran is currently a grey market for online poker. Major poker rooms as PokerStars are not available, and it is certainly not totally legal to play online poker, but authorities are not really concerned about it, especially if we are talking about private games.
- Iraq Online Poker Regulation: Iraq seems to be a permissive country regarding online poker games, and actually the internet gambling is legal. Poker is totally legal in Iraq and you can play any poker site that allows Iraq online poker players, but the thing is that not much online poker rooms takes Iraq poker players, and here we can help, showing you a whole new world of online poker rooms.
Tell me more about processing payment methods
Not long time ago, it was very difficult for Middle Eastern poker players to handle their online money. Skrill and Neteller does not service most of countries (being Pakistan like one exception), but Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq are not functional. But nowadays, with cryptocurriencies like Bitcoin, poker players from all the world can conveniently handle their money using them. We encourage you to add us in Skype to give you advice about how to handle your money in Middle Eastern countries.
So, let's get to it, what are the best poker rooms available for Middle Eastern Poker players?
Chico Poker Network
Chico Poker Network takes Bitcoin as main deposit option, offering the best of both worlds for Middle Eastern poker players: lots of good traffic and Bitcoin accepted for deposits and withdrawals. The flagship of Chico Poker Network is Tigergaming.
Winning Poker Network
Winning Poker Network is also one the the biggest poker networks available for countries as Iran. It offers one of the best traffics currently available, including US players (meaning some good fishy traffic) and takes Bitcoin as payment method. The flagship of WPN is PokerKing.
How about the best Chinese poker room available? If you live in a Middle Eastern country, you are welcome to play in Lianzhong Pokermonster, actually named the 'Chinese PokerStars'. In Lianzhong you can deposit using Bitcoin, becoming this one of the most important factors.
And that is not all! This is just a resume! If you want to know more about the best poker rooms available for Middle East countries as Iran or Afghanistan, please add us in Skype to give you more information!
And please, always remember to game responsibly and always to make sure about your country regulations to play online poker safely!
Poker Online Real Money Iran Today
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Juan, Worldpokerdeals team