Finland is located within Western Europe. The country consists of two cities. The only legal land based gambling entities within the country are its two casinos; the PAF Casino which is located within the Arkipelag Hotel which is situated in the center of Åland Island and the Ray Casino Helsinki, located in Helsinki.
If you’re a native of Finland, and looking for a poker site that you can call home, you might prefer a poker site that offers their software in Finnish or in Swedish. Chances are you’re also looking for a poker site that not only allows you to make deposits using a payment processor that supports Euro’s, but it’d be nice to find a site that allows play in Euro’s as well right?
Online Poker in Finland
The most popular online poker sites for Finnish players are PokerStars, Power Poker, and Party Poker, and of course the countries domestic poker sites.
Finland actually launched its own Government run online poker site back in November of 2010. The poker site is called simply RAY. This was right around the same time that Sweden launched its own poker site, SvenskaSpel.
There are of course good and bad sides to playing at a domestic only poker site. With the largest negative being the severe decrease in player volume when compared to a poker site that operates in the international market.
Finnish Online Poker Deposit Options
There are quite a few methods of deposit available to Finnish residents including those below:
- Credit Cards
- Bank Transfers
Those players using Skrill are able to fund their Skrill accounts free of charge using one of the following local payment methods:
- Bank Transfer (Players may still incur fees from the bank itself)
- Online Bank Transfer
Players using a cheque to fund their Skrill account will be charged $3.50 USD for processing. Players using Visa will pay a $1.80 flat fee in USD. Players using other cards to fund their Skrill accounts in Finland will pay 1.9% of their deposit. Ouch!
PokerStars Offers Regulated Finnish Poker
Finnish poker players are able to play poker tax free so long as they’re playing at a poker site that is licensed and regulated licensed within of the European Union. What that boils down to is this: Poker sites licensed by the Isle of Man, like PokerStars.com can offer play to players in Finland, however, those players would be liable for paying tax on any winnings, and the tax is actually pretty steep.
If players from Finland login to PokerStars.eu however, which is licensed and regulated by the government of Malta, then Finnish, and Swedish for that matter, players pay tax free. They’re still playing on the PokerStars network, they’re still earning the same VIP points, they’re just going to a different URL to download their poker software.
Poker sites Licensed in Malta
- Blackchip Poker
- Carbon Poker
- Lock Poker
Poker Sites that Support Suomi
- Party Poker
- Titan Poker
- William Hill Poker
Brick and Mortar Casinos Offering Live Poker
Grand Casino Helsinki in Finland
Formerly The Grand Casino, Grand Casino Helsinki features six different poker varieties including:
- Texas Hold’em
- Omaha 5
- Seven Card Stud
- Dealer’s Choice
The Game of Courchevel – An Omaha Poker Variant
Courchevel, which is played in Casino Helsinki in Finland, is very similar to the popular poker game Omaha, which is of course a Texas Holdem variant. In Holdem we’re dealt two cards. During a game of Omaha, each player is dealt 4 cards, and when playing Courchevel each player is dealt a total of 5 cards before the flop.
Each player must use exactly two of their hole cards to create the best possible 5-card poker hand. Then, the first community card is dealt, before any betting begins!
The Game of Soko – A 5 Card Stud Poker Variant
The game of Soko, which is also known as Canadian Stud or Scandinavian Stud is played at the Casino Helsinki in Finland. Basically, Soko is played exactly the same was as Five Card Stud is played, but with a little twist. There are two new winning hands added to the hand rankings for 5 Card stud. One of these is a 4-card flush and the other a 4-card straight. Two pair, in a game of Soko, beats a 4-card flush, which beats a 4-card straight.
The new hand varieties add bit more action to the game, or so say the natives.
Soko Poker games can also be found online at Fortune Poker.
Dealers Choice Poker game at Grand Casino Helsinki
Dealers Choice is probably one of the most fun ways there is to play poker. Many of us played poker like this as kids. At The Grand Casino Helsinki, each player in turn gets to choose which version of poker they’d like to play when the choice comes around the table to them.
If you plan to play poker here, be sure you’re carrying your passport, as everyone is required to show identification upon entry. You might also want to comb your hair, as your photograph will be taken up entry, as will your coat, regardless of your preference.
The PAF Casino – Located within Åland
There are three different varieties of poker available at PAF Casino in the Arkipelag Hotel in Åland:
- Texas Holdem
- Omaha Holdem
- Crazy Pineapple
“Crazy Pineapple” – A Texas Holdem Poker Variant
Playing Crazy Pineapple is very similar to playing Texas Holdem. However at the start of each hand, players are each dealt 3 cards instead of the 2 you get when you’re playing holdem. Then after the flop is dealt, each player discards one of their hole cards. At this point you mentally have to make the decision to chase or not to chase, to go with the solid hand you have, or try for something different. It’s called “Crazy” but it does require some extra thinking.
Finnish Mobile Poker Sites
The most popular way to play poker is still via a laptop or desktop computer, however, mobile poker is quickly gaining in popularity all over the world. We will be listing more popular options for Android-powered smart phones, iPhones, iPads and other tablets in the near future as we gather more information for them in Finland.
PokerStars Mobile Poker for Fins
If you’re in Finland and looking for a mobile poker option, PokerStars is probably the most well made, and easy to set up choice. On top of being the best online poker site in the world, they also offer amazing support, quality software and the biggest selection of cash games and tournaments ANYWHERE.
PokerStars offers mobile poker for iPhone and Android mobile users as well as options for a multitude of netbook options. Just set up an account and download via your smartphone or tablet and you’ll be well on your way to playing cards via your mobile device.
Finnish Poker Law
The only legal places to play poker in Finland are at the casinos within the country. There aren’t any smaller poker rooms, and any home gambling would be considered illegal. Playing poker online is legal in Finland, so long as the player either pays taxes on their winnings, or plays at a legally licensed entity approved by the Government.
Famous Finnish Poker Players
- Patrik Antonius
- Juha Helppi
- Sami “LarsLuzak” Kelopuro
- Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies
- Jani Sointula
- Ville Wahlbeck
- Jens Kyllonen
Finland World Series of Poker Results
There were no bracelet wins by Finnish players during the 2012 WSOP. There were some Finnish players in attendance however. In fact, players from Finland won a total of $126,623 in cash prizes during the event.
Article Written by Cathy Roberts AKA LadyHoldem