Going to Vietnam to play poker is often not one of the options for expats or for any poker player. Some people may even be skeptical since the local government is not that helpful when it comes to gambling. The country has existing guidelines that prohibit its citizens from any form of gambling.
When it comes to playing online poker in Vietnam, many expats and foreigners are often at a loss because the country does not have any legal online poker services but some still find a way to beat the system and enjoy playing poker. To get your online poker journey to Vietnam easy and truly worthwhile, read on our guide to the things to know before going to Vietnam to play poker.
Things to Know Before Going to Vietnam to Play Poker
Cost of living in Vietnam is low.
One of the first things to consider before going to Vietnam to play poker is whether playing can sustain your lifestyle. If you plan to live in the main city areas of Vietnam, prepare to spend around $1,500 monthly. The amount can already buy you a pretty decent and comfortable lifestyle. If it is okay for you to live in the countryside about 1.5 hours from the capital, your spending could potentially decrease to only about $500 a month.
Getting a Vietnam visa is easy.
If you plan to stay in the country longer, getting a Vietnam visa is pretty easy. Compared with Thailand, which requires foreigners to renew 90-day visas repeatedly, Vietnam has acceptable arrangements. If you are willing to pay a little extra, you can also get things done faster.
The Vietnam poker community is pretty tight.
One of the perks of going to Vietnam to play poker is its pretty tight community. There are not many poker players you can hang out with since Vietnam poker is still underrated. However, many online players are like hermits and often play online and earn money quietly.
Moving to Vietnam to play poker does not require knowing the language.
One of the challenges of going to a foreign country is the language barrier. In Vietnam, however, you can still play even without learning their language. Since many of them can already converse in English well. However, if you are the outgoing type who often go out and mingle, learning the language wouldn’t hurt. Some online sites offer free lessons.
It is important to know the local gambling laws and how it affects expats and foreigners.
Heading to this Asian country, one must know that the government is quite serious about punishing its locals when they are caught violating their laws. Vietnamese locals are restricted from gambling except for lottery. This may lead one to think that Vietnam has a pretty boring gambling scene. However, locals are creative when it comes to gambling. They have other gambling pursuits such as cockfighting, fish fighting, and a dice game, Bao Cua. The locals are also persistent when it comes to sports betting. In fact, the gamblers in the country bet about a billion dollars on soccer matches alone.
The country has casinos, which locals are not permitted to enter. Expats, however, are very welcome to spend their money in their casinos for as long as they can show a foreign passport. So it is quite safe to say that the country has a thriving legal live poker going on.
Poker, for one, is pretty popular in Vietnam especially with the Asian Poker Tour including a scheduled regular stop in the country. The rising popularity of poker among the locals have given birth to a number of underground poker rooms that accept even Vietnamese players.
Online poker is a good option to start in Vietnam.
For some people, live poker games are preferred more than online poker. However, since Vietnam still has a pretty limited casino offering and most casinos offer poker games against the house only, some poker players go online to challenge other players. Add to it the fact that the local government has some pretty lax law enforcement against online poker sites.
A number of top Vietnamese poker players started playing online including Scotty Nguyen and Men Nguyen. Going online to play poker is also a good option since it is quite popular among the locals. So, if you want to test your skills against a local, go online.
The best time to play online poker is the zombie hours starting from 10pm to 8am local time.
If you want to become one of the aggressive online grinders in Vietnam, the best time to play is when everyone else is asleep. During these hours, most online players like you are playing allowing you to rack up on games and earn more. However, living in Vietnam to play poker would not really require you playing longer hours to fund your lifestyle since Vietnam has one of the lowest cost of living in Asia.
Vietnam internet connectivity is pretty good.
Compared with other Asian countries, the speed is acceptable and a lot cheaper than what they can get from the Philippines, for example. Two of the best home service internet providers in Vietnam are Viettel and FPT. Viettel 3G is pretty affordable and can be used for mobile poker.
Opening a Vietnamese bank account requires lots of documents.
Over the years, opening a bank account in the country has become pretty challenging. Expats and foreigners must provide the bank with several documents including information about your living arrangements. The best route is to open an account with large international banks such as ANZ or HSBC.
Online poker sites are easily accessible from Vietnam.
If you prefer to play online poker in Vietnam, you must choose the one that accepts players from Vietnam. The great thing about these sites is the multiple options for betting. If you are on a poker slump, you can let off some steam by betting on some sporting events or go enjoy some slots. Most of these sites also offer live dealer casinos so you can enjoy live and online poker at the same time.