Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
Timezone: UTC+8 – UTC+9
Casinos with Poker
- Riyanda Poker Club
- Black and White Poker Club
Indonesia has the largest population of Muslims in the world. Out of its 264 million residents, 225 million are followers of Islam. That doesn’t mean much good for gambling. The religion of Islam condemns all kinds of games of chance, referring to them as “maisir”.
Thus, predictably, gambling is not legal in Indonesia. And their government is making a better effort than in most countries to curtail gambling. If you’re stopped by police, they can search your phone for any trace of illegal casino or card games.
Gambling.com points out that unfortunately, Indonesia is quite willing to go against the trends in its region. While the online gambling market in Asia is growing at a rapid rate, the Indonesian government does everything to exclude their country from that growth. Experts predict that the Asian gambling market can reach $80 billion in generated revenue in the next few years.
Despite the strict laws and the very real threat of prosecution, the black market for online gambling remains very popular in Indonesia. Their most favored choice is sports betting, especially betting on soccer games.
Famous Indonesian Poker Players
In a legal landscape like that, evidently, it’s hard for an aspiring poker player to go professional and reach global success.
One Indonesian man, however, has achieved just that. John Juanda was just 19 when he arrived in the United States to attend college. That was where he was able to make his fortune playing poker. He won 5 WSOP gold bracelets (one from the WSOP Europe) and has over $25 million in live tournament earnings. Also, he’s appeared on NBC’s classic show Poker After Dark where he battled against some of the biggest legends of the game, such as Daniel Negreanu or Johnny Chan.
In October 2011, he won the HK$1,000,000 Triton NLHE event in Macau for $2.870 million. That is his biggest single live tournament cash to date.
Juanda also played super high stakes cash games regularly on the now defunct poker site Full Tilt. According to an online database, he made over $500,000 in profit after playing 84,690 hands.
Juanda created one of the few popular poker memes on the internet. In a cash game at the 2008 Aussie Millions, Tony G flopped a Royal Flush holding KJ of diamonds while Juanda had three Queens by the river. Tony G bet and everyone folded. After Tony G turned over his Royal, Juanda proudly proclaimed “I had trips!”.
You can come across this funny quote from him in comments under many poker videos across the internet.
Evidently, there isn’t anyone on Hendon’s Indonesian all time money list who comes close to Juanda’s top spot. In second place is a player named Michael Sampoerna, who made a single cash for $307,660 at the 2008 Aussie Million in his entire career.
Darus Suharto was also born in Indonesia. However, he’s listed as a Canadian player on Hendon. He final tabled the WSOP Main Event in 2008, eventually busting in 6th place for $2.419 million. Suharto has two more ITM finishes from the WSOP Main.
– Playing Live Poker in Indonesia –
Live Poker Legislation in Indonesia
As we mentioned in our intro, there are very strict laws prohibiting any form of gambling in Indonesia.
And what’s even worse, breaking these laws carries serious repercussions. In October 2019, casino.org reported on a public flogging of an Indonesian man who was caught gambling illegally. According to the piece, such punishment is relatively common…
Live Poker Venues in Indonesia
Having said all that about Indonesian gambling laws, it’s evident we can’t recommend seeking out black market gambling houses in the country.
However, pokerdiscover.com still lists two public poker clubs in Indonesia despite all the reports about the illegality of gambling in the South-Asian country. These two venues are the Riyanda Poker Club in Semarang City and the Black and White Poker Club in the city of Kuta. It is somewhat telling, however, that neither of them has an official website.
There’s absolutely no information about Riyanda available online. Black and White, on the other hand, which is located in the popular tourist destination Bali, offers “offline” cash games every day. The stakes are $1/$2 and $3/$6, only No Limit Hold’em. These are details posted on their pokerdiscover.com page.
– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Indonesia –
Riyanda Poker Club
Black and White Poker Club
Online Poker Legislation in Indonesia
There is a big black market for online casino and card games in Indonesia that the government is actively trying to suppress with great efforts.
In 2012, the Indonesian ministries of Social Affairs, Religious Affairs and Communications & IT announced their plans to blacklist illegal gambling sites for their residents. However, despite their best efforts, many major gambling sites still remain accessible to Indonesian players.
That includes many popular online poker rooms as well. Rooms such as partypoker, Natural8, PokerStars or Unibet do not restrict Indonesian players from accessing their servers.
However, keep in mind that you could still face serious punishment if you get caught playing poker, live or online, in Indonesia!