Malaysia has extremely strict laws when it comes to gambling. Apart from a few government licensed lottery companies and the sole casino operator in Malaysia, Genting, it is hard to find a place one can safely and comfortably play any form of card games in the country.
Live poker Rooms in Malaysia
Live poker rooms in Malaysia still exist as of the writing of this article. However, it is hard to locate an active card room, as most do not market themselves due to legality issues. Hence, players rely on their own network of friends to get into games. Safety is the main concern here as there have been cases where poker rooms were raided by the authorities. Therefore, it is not advisable to play at live games in both Malaysia because technically, the authorities does not recognise it as a legal business. The safer bet would be organising your own home games with friends where only your inner circle of friends play.
You can find live poker games with a simple Google search which would lead you to forums or closed Facebook groups. Getting into the live games without knowing anyone in the inner circle is a huge challenge due to tight security measures at the venue.
Online poker in Malaysia has seen a huge spike in players in the past couple of years. Since many top poker sites such as Pokerstars or Full tilt does not cater to the South East Asian market, many local players have emerged.
Players can safely play without worrying about any issues as online players mostly stay anonymous. Many have chosen online poker as their top choice for playing poker. Players are not limited to their own group of friends to find a game; they play with people all over the world at multiple blind levels.
The majority of Malaysian players play at a lower blind level. These are mostly recreational players. A small percentage of players play at the higher stakes. A select few websites cater to both crowds.
As with the rest of the world, Texas Hold’em is the game of choice for most Malaysians with a a minority preferring Pot Limit Omaha.
Advantage of Online Poker
Online poker is fun and has many upsides. Here are some of the reasons why many poker players in Malaysia choose to play online
- Ease of finding a game.
- You play more hands. Speed of the game is significantly faster than live poker.
- Players get to play on multiple tables at the same time.
- Players play and test their skills against other players from different countries.
- Players can play anywhere anytime.
How to get started playing online?
First and foremost, you have to do your homework on which sites you would like to play on. Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself when choosing for the right online poker company for you.
- How reputable and safe is the site? Does it have the required licenses and random number generator? This is essential for fair gaming. Never play on a website that is not certified for RNG.
- What are the stakes on the website? Bigger and more reputable sites would have games for all blind levels. Smaller websites generally only have either big games or small stakes.
- Depositing and withdrawals. Do these companies provide instant withdrawals? Never play at a website that does not provide instant withdrawal services. If a site does not provide this service, it shows a lack of good management within the company. Remember, the money belongs to you; you should have the right to get it instantly.
- Do you prefer to play on your PC or mobile?
- Last but not least, do you think you can consistently win on the platform chosen? In other words, choose a platform with the most fishes. Through our experience, there are ways to spot a site with many fishes. Firstly, fishes like to play at the lower stakes tables due to obvious reasons. If a site offers many tables at low stakes such as $0.5-$1 blinds or lower, this shows that the site is potentially filled with beginners who are just trying out the game.
- A perfect example would be Pocket9. This platform has games for all blind levels. From the micro stakes to $20-$40. They have about close to 500 tables running catered to the lower stakes and about 50 tables running catered to mid and high stakes players. This shows that this platform could very well be filled with fishes. Stay away from websites that offer mostly high stakes games as there will be many grinders waiting to pounce on you.
The market in Malaysia relies a lot on agents providing credits to players. While playing on credit may sound like a good deal, there are downsides to it. Firstly, players tend to get out of control during bad runs and end up losing more than they can afford to pay. The second reason is more prevalent in Malaysia. Agents do not pay up your winnings. Imagine playing thousands of hands the whole week and winning a few thousand dollars only to have your agent bail on you during payday. Hence, we do not recommend playing under agents. Find a platform that receives deposits and provides instant withdrawal. There are only a handful of poker platforms that provide this service in Malaysia.
Tournaments and Sit n Gos
Most reputable poker sites offer some form of tournaments and sit n gos. Look for a site that provides daily freeroll tournaments to its players. Who doesn’t like freebies?
Is The Platform Part of a Poker Network?
A poker network is a group of online poker rooms that share the same software and players. The network of poker rooms keep the tables alive and active. Usually, a poker Network consists of poker rooms from all over the world. The companies have different branding and skins in different regions of the world. Choose a poker room that is part of a huge and reputable network for a peace of mind while playing.
A perfect example would be Pocket9 which is part of the IDN Poker network. IDN poker is the largest poker network in Asia and the second largest poker network in the world. Pocket9 caters for IDN’s South East Asian Market. The games run 24/7 across all blind levels. It is truly your one stop solution for all your poker needs.
As you would already have noticed by now, playing poker in this part of the world can be quite the challenge. Do your homework and make the correct choice for your online poker needs. Good luck, and may the flop be with you!