Poker in Norway

History of Poker in Norway

Norway is another of the Scandinavian countries that has arrived late to the poker party, but has made its presence felt in the poker world almost overnight. Norway didn’t take to the game of poker until No Limit Texas Holdem boomed on the Internet, and the Norwegians are now considered some of the top NLHE tournament players in the world.

In recent years the Norwegians have also made their mark in the high-stakes online poker games, playing both NLHE and PLO. Despite a not-so-friendly government, poker has continued to gain popularity in the country thanks to a number of world-class Norwegian poker players like Annette Obrestad, Johnny Lodden, and the online cash-game legend Andreas “skjervoy” Torbergsen.

Famous Norwegian Poker Players

If you were going to form a team of poker players and had only one country to choose from, Norway would have to be at the top of the list. With players like the aforementioned Torbergsen, Obrestad and Lodden, as well as Andreas Hoivold, Dag Martin Mikkelson, Kevin Stani, and Sigurd Eskeland, you could make one hell of a poker team using just Norwegians.

With players like Obrestad (Annette_15) and Torbergsen (skjervoy) as well as Lodden and Stani it’s obvious that Norwegians tend to cut their teeth in the poker world very early on, by playing online poker –both Lodden and Obrestad were already millionaires thanks to poker before turning 18!

Here is a look at some of the most well known poker players from Norway and their career accomplishments:

[sws_grey_box box_size=”510″]Annette Obrestad poker Annette Obrestad

  • Team Full Tilt Poker Pro
  • Youngest ever WSOP winner
  • Won the 2007 WSOP Europe Main Event
  • Considered one of the top female poker players in the world
  • Online legend as a teenager, playing under the screen-name Annette_15
  • Allegedly won a 180 man S&G without looking at her cards once


[sws_grey_box box_size=”510″]Johnny Lodden poker Johnny Lodden

  • Credited with being the first “Lodden Thinks” participant –which would explain the popular game being named after him!
  • Nearly $1 million in career tournament earnings
  • Top high-stakes cash-game player
  • Team PokerStars Pro


[sws_grey_box box_size=”510″]Andreas Torbergsen poker Andreas Torbergsen

  • One of the most successful high-stakes PLO players in the world
  • Plays online under the screen-name “Skjervoy”
  • Finally cashed in the 2008 WSOP main event
  • Full Tilt Poker Red Pro


[sws_grey_box box_size=”510″]Kevin Stani poker Kevin Stani

  • Over $700k in career tournament earnings
  • One of the best young players in poker
  • Won a PokerStars Sunday 500 in 2009
  • 2010 EPT Tallinn Main Event winner


[sws_grey_box box_size=”510″]Andreas Hoivold poker Andreas Høivold

  • Has earned over $1.5 million in live tournaments
  • 2007 EPT Dortmund Main Event winner
  • Played on the High Stakes Poker TV show on GSN
  • 3rd place in the 2006 Party Poker Million V


Online Poker in Norway

As soon as Norwegians got a taste of online poker it was “Game ON” as a slew of young Norwegians turned the poker world on its head, and became some of the most fearsome online players in the world.

Although you might think that with so many talented young players that online poker would be fully legal in the country, you’d be wrong. Norway is one of the European countries that have yet to make a final determination regarding online poker, so it currently resides in that pesky legal “gray” area, like so many other countries.

Norwegians should be very aware that similarly to other Scandinavian countries tax laws regarding online poker can be very steep.

Here is a look at the Top 3 online poker sites in Norway, and why Norwegians choose these sites over the numerous others:

[sws_blue_box box_size=”560″]powerpoker Power Poker

  • Scandinavian centric online poker room
  • Available for download in Norwegian
  • Part of the huge iPoker Network

Full Tilt Poker

  • Second Largest online poker room prior to Black Friday
  • Known for numerous high-stakes action
  • Numerous famous Scandinavian players on the Team Full Tilt roster

party poker Party Poker

  • Top online poker room in Europe
  • Traded on the London Stock Exchange
  • One of the best reputations in online poker history


Where to play poker in Norway

There is barely a pulse in all of Norway when it comes to live gambling, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to learn that there is not a single registered card-room in the nation. Which is why, despite the government’s best efforts, Norwegians are still avid online gamblers.

Poker laws in Norway

Norway has passed legislation to ban online poker (in a similar manner to the UIGEA legislation passed in the US, banning banks from processing online poker transactions), but because of their inclusion in the European Union this law has yet to go into full effect –and it remains to be seen if the law will ever be enacted since it flies in the face of EU trade laws.

When it comes to private poker games, players have little to fear in terms of prosecution so long as there is no house fee or other profit taken from the game.

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