Poker in Essen:
Live, Cashgames, Tournaments

If you want to play for real money poker tournaments in Essen in Nordrhein-Westfalen with 583.109 (31. Dez. 2018) inhabitants, you will need to go to a authorized casino.

Only in the official casinos in Nordrhein-Westfalen are real money tournaments of Texas Hold'em allowed, because according to legislation in Deutschland poker is a game of luck. On this website we inform you about all the various ways to play poker in Essen and show you the legal framework in Nordrhein-Westfalen.

We show you how and where you can play Poker Essen
We show you how and where you can play Poker Essen .

Legal notice: Is it legal to play poker Essen ?

Legal notice
Legal notice: Is it legal to play poker Essen ? © Unsplash

Poker can meet in Nordrhein-Westfalen and thus as well in Essen the criminal offence of illegal gambling §§ 284, 285 StGB. Punishment based on these regulations is if one hosts a public game of chance or plays in it based on § 285 StGB.

Is poker a game of chance or not?

There is still no consisten decision whether poker is a game of chance or not. It is enough to know that the legislation in Deutschland and therefore also in Essen rates poker as a game of chance. The difference is that state casinos in Nordrhein-Westfalen have a allowance under § 284 I StGB. Playing poker there is allowed.

The derogation of the non-cash prize tournaments

The only form of poker that is not defined as gambling in Essen is participation fee tournaments, also called prize tournaments. The tournament winner will receive a non-cash prize as a prize, which is not allowed to be cashed out of the registration fees. This version misses the constituent element of the offence stake and after the legislation in Deutschland there is therefore no gambling. The maximum tolerated amount of the entry fee is hotly contested, however, with 15 euros one is as an organizer or participant of non-cash prize tournaments in Essen but usually on the secure page. In this case the relevance of the stake is missing.

Poker in pubs in Essen

Caution pubs & hosts! There is the danger of losing the official permission to operate a restaurant in Essen if you make yourself liable to prosecution under § 284 StGB.


  • Playing poker for real cash is generally forbidden in Deutschland and therefore also in Essen, unless you do not play in public places or by habit.
  • An exception are the prize tournaments in Essen, because following the legislation there is no gambling due to lack of stakes.
  • The casinos in Deutschland have a state licence.
  • Mostly it is very challenging for the authorities in Essen to evidence prohibited gambling.

Please note that the information provided does not constitute legal advice under the law and cannot replace legal advice, as such advice always requires knowledge of all individual circumstances, in particular of the specific individual case.

Cashgames: Real money poker games in Essen

Cashgames: Real money poker games in Essen © Unsplash

In Essen you are unfortunately not allowed to participate in a poker game for real money in public. You must travel to one of the many casinos in the area. If you don't want to enter a casino but still don't wanna give up poker cash games, you can switch to Home Games, which are strongly regulated.

Poker tournaments in Essen

Poker tourneys in Essen are legal under specific circumstances. Tourneys are accepted as long as there are prizes and not real money to be won. In Essen and the surrounding area there are regular poker tournaments. For an fast overview of the current tournaments in Essen, please search for our tournament schedule. Did you know that, at the German Poker Days you can poker for a ticket to the King's Poker trip with the King's Special in Nordrhein-Westfalen. On top there is also the Poker Bundesliga, which was likewise already in various cities in Nordrhein-Westfalen to guest.

Poker Clubs: The best poker rooms in Essen

Further options are offered by the various poker clubs & rooms with poker events in and around Essen. The poker scene in Essen is organized in many clubs & rooms and every year live poker events come to the city. Here is a good selection:

  • Entertainment Poker Hürth e.V.
  • Texas Hold'em Club Bochum
  • Allin-Pokerfreunde Niederrhein e.V.
  • Angry Dice e.V.
  • One-Out-Club Willich-Anrath e.V.
  • Poker Live Köln
    Weidengasse 54, 50668 Köln, Germany
  • Deaf Poker Wiesbaden e.V.
    Hessenring 8, 65474 Bischofsheim, Germany
  • Mülheim Poker und Integrationsverein e.V.
    Goethestraße 19, 45468 Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany
  • Big ALs Poker e.V.
    Hanns-Lamers-Platz 2A, 47533 Kleve, Germany
  • Shark Poker
    Sodinger Str. 561a, 44628 Herne, Germany
  • Halle37 - Clubhaus vom Pokerclub und Rennbahnclub
    Heinkelstraße 37, 48712 Gescher, Germany
  • Poker-Freunde Ratingen e. V.
    Fichtenhain 11, 40885 Ratingen, Germany
  • V.I.P. Pokerverein e.V. c/o Ismail Bulut
    Bachstraße 54, 41239 Mönchengladbach, Germany
  • Cyber Lounge Poker Club e.V.
    Kölner Str. 248, 40227 Düsseldorf, Germany
  • Down-Under-Poker-Verein e.V.
    Saarbrücker Str. 42, 42289 Wuppertal, Germany
  • Pokerverein Wupper Poker e.V.
    Kapellenweg 73, 42285 Wuppertal, Germany
  • Hold em Cologne e.V.
    Barbarastraße 3, 50735 Köln, Germany
  • Astro Poker Hürth e.V.
    Severinusstraße 42, 50354 Hürth, Germany
  • OTC-Pokerverein Viersen e.V.
    Gladbacher Str. 189, 41747 Viersen, Germany

Live poker in casinos near by Essen

You can hardly play live poker in Essen in any casino in the city center. Nordrhein-Westfalen located its casinos generally in smaller places and outside the city center. It is however easy to visit them by car or public transport. Most have additional their own shuttle busses. If you decide to use your own car, all casinos offer extensive park possibilities for poker players. Today you can join a large variety of poker tournaments in each casino in Deutschland. There are both tournament series and Poker Events where you can register. On our site you'll see a list, organized by federal states, of every places running poker with their particular offering and all important infos. Near Essen you will see minimum two casinos with decent driving times and good live poker games.

Best Poker Players from Essen

The following list shows you the Top 10 poker players with the highest tournament winnings from Essen.

Homegames: Pokern for real money in Essen in private locations

In Essen the judisdiction of the federal state Nordrhein-Westfalen is in effect. In order be allowed to play poker home games in Essen you must follow of the following:

Is it a public poker round?

The poker game must be hosted in public to establish criminal liability. A poker game is public after the jurisdiction in Nordrhein-Westfalen, if "it is made outwardly recognizably accessible to a not firmly closed circle of acquaintances". An example of this is the poker for high amounts of money in Essen's pubs, which usually anyone can enter. Attention, this is forbidden!

Does the homegame take place in Essen as usual?

Based on case law in Nordrhein-Westfalen can: "However, a closed society in which a game of chance is customarily held is also considered public according to § 285 II StGB". If the poker game takes place regulardy, it is not allowed in private rooms in Essen as well as in public. So, if cash games are held for every week on the similar day, it does not matter if it is a private room or public. Both are prohibited.

The best Online Poker Rooms in comparison

The fastest and not prohibited way to play poker in Essen is online poker. There are some well known providers where you can play poker for real cash. After some twenty years of online poker history, several providers have emerged as the most reliable and stable. We strongly recommend opening an account with these sites and playing poker there. The poker tables on offer are excellent, the choice is large, the players are numerous and the rake is reasonable. lists the most important and best providers in comparison.