Top 8 European Poker Destinations

Table of Contents

Poker is a casino favorite enjoyed by people around the world. But some parts of Europe take the game to the next level. Their spectacular backdrops and jaw-dropping poker rooms attract people from around the globe. Let’s look at some destinations where you can have a poker-based holiday. 

1. Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has become an integral part of the European poker scene. You can find a fun game year-round, playing in some of the most jaw-dropping poker rooms on the planet. Namely, the incredible King’s Resort.

This venue has around 200 tables, making it the largest poker room in Europe. Because of this, there is always plenty of poker action occurring. Some of the richest tournaments in the world are held here. If you aren’t a high-roller, don’t worry. There are plenty of affordable daily competitions, with buy-ins starting at less than 500 pounds. 

The Czech Republic has even more poker-related delights to explore. Don’t forget about the beautiful King’s Casino. This is built next to the Hilton and plays host to European Poker Tour (EPT) events, where professionals play for millions. 

2. United Kingdom

London is the pinnacle of poker in the UK. It is home to some beautiful casinos. For example, you can visit the Empire Casino or the Hippodrome Casino. These are both located near the middle of London, making them popular destinations for tourists.

However, if you don’t mind a short drive, you should try the iconic Dusk Till Dawn. This is the largest poker room in the United Kingdom. Poker players can look forward to a wide array of tournaments and plenty of cash games. Many of the tournaments have a relatively low buy-in, starting at between 20 to 150 pounds

3. France

This country is among the most popular gambling locations in the world, featuring over 200 casinos. Most of these will have a poker room, so finding a game will be easy. Even better, poker festivals are held routinely throughout the year. The most high-profile example is the France Poker Series. In these high-stakes games, the prize pool can swell to over 1 million Euros. 

4. Monaco

Panoramic view of Monaco and Monte Carlo with the od town, port and Prince's Palace

The poker scene in Monaco can be a little seasonal. Most of the year, the casinos are popular, so there shouldn’t be too many problems finding a cash game. But, when the EPT events start, the poker scene goes to the next level as people travel from around the world to play. 

If you’re visiting Monaco to play poker, you should stop at the Casino de Monte-Carlo. This is one of the most famous poker rooms in Europe. Interestingly, it’s also earned a place in pop culture through frequent references to the James Bond franchise. There's just one wrinkle. You will need to present a passport before you can start gambling. 

5. Italy

There was a time when poker would have been illegal in Italy. But changes to the gambling laws in 2011 meant that the game was permitted. Since then, the casinos have wasted no time establishing poker rooms and tournaments to appeal to international tourists.

In particular, the Italian Poker Tour (IPT). This is fairly affordable for recreational players, with a buy-in of 700 euros. While the poker rooms might not be as large as other European countries, they make up for this with friendly locals and great service. 

6. Malta

Malta might be one of the smallest countries in Europe, but it has made a large impact on the poker world. It is home to multiple events, like the Malta Poker Festival, which is held at the Portomaso Casino. However, the premier event is the Battle of Malta.

Unlike many other global events, this isn’t aimed at professional players. It is designed for low to mid-stake players, allowing them to test their skills without blowing the budget. Because of this, it commonly attracts thousands of entrants, creating a prize pot worth millions of euros.  

7. Ireland

This is a more seasonal poker destination. This game is highly regulated. However, poker tournaments are allowed. These events are held frequently throughout the year, catering to players of all financial backgrounds.

For example, the Dublin Poker Festival allows players to qualify with just three pounds. Another notable example is the Irish Poker Open. This event has a long history, stretching back 43 years. This makes it the longest-running poker event in Europe. It’s also one of the most popular, regularly attracting thousands of entries to create a prize pot worth millions. 

If you want to have a longer stay, some casinos that offer regular cash poker games. However, to satisfy Irish law, casinos are members-only clubs. As a result, these matches tend to feature a lot of local poker players. 

8. Spain

Like many other European countries, Spain only recently legalized poker. Standardized gambling laws only came into place in 2011. Despite the slow start, they have been able to create a thriving poker scene. In particular, Barcelona and Madrid offer some exciting places to play.

The crown jewel is Casino Barcelona. This is where the Spanish leg of the EPT is held. This venue also hosts regular cash games. You just need to make sure to bring along your passport so they can verify your identity. 

Madrid is also home to some spectacular poker rooms. The most prominent is the Casino Gran Via. This is where the World Poker Tour (WPT) hosts their Spanish events. If you are interested, you will need a 1,100 euro buy-in. However, that isn’t your only option.

You can also try the Casino Gran Madrid and Gran Casino Aranjuez. Although these are a short drive from the city center, they offer a good mix of cash games. Most of the time, the poker action starts to kick off at 4 to 5 pm. 

Conclusion

You don’t need to travel to Las Vegas to play poker. A European vacation can also deliver plenty of excitement. Expect to find plenty of gorgeous casinos with bustling poker rooms. Plus, each country hosts plenty of tournaments. 

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