Pre-approved Florida poker games posted

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Florida’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering has posted its first list of pre-approved poker games leading up to the July 1 launch of true no-limit poker in the state.

The list is a new initiative from the Division, which formerly required cardrooms to apply and receive approval individually before they were allowed to deal certain games. It also eliminates past practice, which restricted games to a 1974 edition of poker games.

Starting July 1, rooms can deal any game on the pre-approved list without additional approval from the state (the cardrooms must update their internal controls to list which games they’ll offer, however). The list does not restrict the play of other games; rooms would just have to submit details of other games to the state for approval, which would extend to all other rooms in the state.

But it’s also hard to imagine any game with a following that’s not included on the pre-approved list, which includes dozens of variations of Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Stud and Draw, as well as mixed-game formats. (State law that goes into effect July 1 no longer restricts the manner in which any of the games are played, whether limit, no limit, pot limit or spread limit).

Notably absent, however, is Chinese poker, popular in California cardrooms. Also, badugi, an up-and-coming draw game, seemingly doesn’t fit into the pre-approved draw versions, since it’s played with four cards. But again, cardrooms can request to deal these two games, or most any other, if they wish.

One interesting addition: Three Card Poker. A handful of Florida rooms had previously received approval to deal a non-house banked version of this popular casino table game, but had to deal it in a confusing manner using the room’s jackpot funds. But now the game is permitted without jackpot funds (though not in a house-banked manner). Players are simply dealt three cards and, starting with the player to the left of the dealer button, players choose to raise or fold. The winning hand wins the pot.