Poker in Georgia: places to play in Tbilisi and Batumi
In the middle of 2010s Georgia was experiencing a poker boom: RPT, WPT, WSOPC — Tbilisi could be rightfully called the capital of poker in the Caucasus. Is poker in Georgia still as sweet today as it used to be a couple of years ago? Where should one search the play and why Tbilisi or Batumi is still worth the visit if you enjoy poker – in this PokerDiscover material.
Traits of poker in Georgia
Trait # 1 — Poker in Georgia is 100% legal
Development of poker and gambling in Georgia took place right after USSR collapse. Unlike the authorities of other countries, Georgian administration has made a decision to legalize gambling. Today poker clubs of Georgia are acting in strict correspondence of the current law.
Trait # 2 — Cash has a much bigger going in comparison with tournaments
Poker in Georgia develops at a very fast pace. Russian Poker Tour, World Poker Tour and even World Series of Poker Circuit took place here during the latest 5 years. Nevertheless, it is pretty difficult to find tournament poker in 2019. The activities of Georgian poker clubs are transparent and law-abiding. This calls for certain limitation today. According to law, in case of the tournament taking place, 20% of the prize fund goes for taxes. It does not make sense to host these tournaments. That’s why everyone plays cash game here (this is the main specialty of Georgian poker in comparison with the Ukrainian one, where the situation is the opposite – tournament (sports) poker is legal and cash is in the “grey zone”). Stakes are 1/3 - 2/5 - 5/5 - 5/10. The most popular currency is Georgian lari, they also play for dollars. 1 lari = $0,38.
Important note! Georgia has plenty of currency exchange points. We do not recommend making currency exchange in the center of the city and on the railway, bus stations and airports as the dollar rates are lower here. Count the money after the exchange as the rate tends to differ from the one that is usually claimed.
Trait # 3 — Most of the players are tourists
Georgia has the mutual border with Turkey, Azerbaijan and Russia: these are the countries where poker is prohibited or seriously limited. That is why tens of thousands players come to Georgia to play. That is why tourism is one of the priorities in country policy. Poker in Georgia is good with its fields. The typical guest of the poker club is a wealthy foreigner who plays poker for fun. In other words, people come to Georgia to relax, not to grind professionally. This is another trait of poker in Georgia – big numbers of foreign players and smaller numbers of locals.
Trait # 4 — Poker tables are situated in the casinos
Almost all the poker clubs in Georgia are situated in the casinos. Such placement provides with the stream of amateur players from other countries. All the poker clubs are situated in big halls that allow playing with the maximal comfort from the play.
Trait # 5 — Affordable accommodation, food and transport
Tourism is very well-developed in Georgia. Most of the hotels and apartments are very affordable. For instance, accommodation in the center of Tbilisi in 3* hotel costs just $20-$30 per night. Average café visit will cost you $8-$12. Also there are taxi services Yandex.Taxi and Taxi Maxim so the trip to any point of the city will cost no more than $5. Also, one is able to negotiate with the taxi driver about the cost before the drive. Pay attention that 6 to 8 pm is the rush hours in Tbilisi, so beware of traffic jams. That way, the success of Georgia as a poker country consists of two elements: local poker boom and a nice stream of tourists.
Georgia has two cities where one is able to play poker: Tbilisi and Batumi.
More details on poker clubs in Tbilisi
Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia. Strategically situated where , the city of Tiflis was the place of confrontation between different states at the Caucasus. But today Tbilisi is the poker capital of Caucasus that unites Georgia, Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and India. Tbilisi is the city with many centuries of history where cobbled streets are combined with the Orthodox churches and monuments of Soviet modernism. Tbilisi is all about Abanotubani sulfur baths, the Legvtahevi fall right in the middle of the city, walk street Shardeni, the Metekhi temple, the cable path and Narikala fortress. It is also about the Bridge of the Peach and Rike Part with Ronald Reagan monument. Certainly Tbilisi is also about khinkali, khachapuri, shashlyk and Georgian wine!
There are the following poker rooms in Tbilisi.
— 50 lari bonus to the first four Hold’em players (at 19-00);
— Free transfer on the territory of the city
— PokerHouse is the only poker club in Tbilisi places outside the casinos. The club is situated nearby the center of the city (like all other poker places in Tbilisi), the play is available at three tables. Every day the play begins at 19:00 and continues up to the noon of the following day. Game currency is lari. Stakes are 1/3 – 2/5 – 5/5 – 5/10 – 10/20 – 10/25 Hold’em, Omaha. Rake is 2-3%.
The club serves tea and coffee free of charge as well as Welcome Drinks. There is its own cuisine. Club routs for the game integrity so if there is a foreigner at the table, Georgian speak is prohibited at the tables. The visitors of PokerHouse Tbilisi note the comfortable club atmosphere and well-organized game.
— The biggest poker club in town;
— Visitors from India, Iran and Israel;
— To avoid hit & run there is minimal play time for winning players which is 2 hours.
— Jewel Poker Room is the new poker room for 7 tables which is situated in the spacial hall at Jewel Casino, As a rule, they begin to play after 21:00.Game currency is US Dollar. The stakes they play at are 5/5 – 5/10 Hold’em, Omaha. Rake is 3%, $50 cap.
Most of the visitors of Jewel Poker Room are the representatives of Georgia, Iran, Israel, India. Poker room managers try to balance the tables with equal numbers of locals and foreigners. There is its own cuisine, free food and drinks. Jewel Poker Room has a rule: to avoid hit & run, winning players have to play for at least two hours after the big play.
Adjara Poker Club (Tbilisi)
— The cash festival once in three months.
Poker club is situated at the end of the hall of Adjara Casino and it is 4 poker tables. Usually play starts not earlier than at 20:00. As a rule, 2 tables are active. Game currency is US Dollar. The stakes are 1/3 – 2/5 – 5/5. Once in three months, cash festival with an international field.
Aviator Poker (Tbilisi)
— Tournaments for regulars.
The club is situated in Aviator casino. 2 tables. Game currency is US Dollar. Sometimes there are tournaments for the regulars.
More details on poker in Batumi
Batumi is the city situated on the shores of the Black Sea. It is important as a cultural, tourists and economic center of Georgia. Ferris wheel, Alphabet Tower ($34,000,000 cost for the city), Argo cable road, Moving sculpture of Ali and Nino (Georgian Romeo and Juliette), shore park, new boulevard, singing fountains – it is hard to place all the sights of the city in a single paragraph. Batumi is Georgian Las Vegas. There are not so many poker rooms here, though.
— Poker club on two levels of the casino
— Hold’em Bad Beat Jackpot;
— Cash Battle on Fridays and Saturdays;
— free buffet table 24/7.
Eclipse is the poker club placed in the casino of the same name. 6 tables, each of them has shuffle machines to keep up high play tempo. Usually games start at 19:00 and ends in the morning. Game currency is US dollar. Stakes that are played regularly: Hold’em 1/3 – 5-5; Omaha 5/5 – 5/10. Open-Faced Chinese Poker is also available.
Poker club Eclipse has Bad Beat Jackpot that grows with every day. Bad Beat Jackpot is played if the player loses with the combination А-А-А-10-10 and better and 2-2-2-2-3 and better. The combination has to contain both hole cards and has to be played till showdown.
Cash Battle is 1,5 hours of play with 15-minute levels. Buy-in is $110. Cash Battle ends when 3 players remain in play, or as time expires.
Poker club Eclipse often has 24/7 play. Batumi is the tourists’ city so the average club player is the international visitor with above-average income who takes poker as resort and entertainment. There are very few professional players.
Players have 24/7 buffet at their disposal, all the club visitors are able to have free food for as much as they want. Also the casino has the restaurant where club guests enjoy 50% discount. Poker club Eclipse may also provide 50% discount for 5* “Euphoria” hotel accommodation to the selected players.
Why is Georgia an excellent option for poker tourism?
This region develops very fast. Tourism provides poker clubs with amateurs from Georgia, Russian, Iran, Israel, India, Turkey. People play cash poker in Georgia, tournament poker is not that well-developed here. The average rake is 3%, game currency is US dollar, or lari. Players are very loose in Georgia, willing to take the risk and get maximal action, so they create it madly.
Georgia is the country to recommend to everyone. Poker players will be able to find good play here and tourists will enjoy affordable accommodation, tasty national cuisine and warm welcome of the locals.
Poker in Georgia is waiting for you!