Poker in Austria

History of Poker in Austria

Poker has a deep tradition in Austria, and the country has been one of Europe’s leading hotspots for decades, hosting most of the high-stakes action in the central European region. In fact many of the top European poker players from years gone by took their talents to Austria –sometimes to Holland as well—in order to earn a living.

Austria’s gaming tradition dates back centuries, and even if they only started playing poker in the mid 20th century, their gaming legacy is very deep. For instance Austria has been using the “modern” deck of playing cards since the early 19th century, and is credited with introducing the “Large Crown” style of playing cards –which are still visible on a number of today’s deck designs. This design is still the most popular card design in Austria and in Germany.

Casinos first started popping up in the 30’s and by the late 60’s Austria had a thriving casino industry. In 1990 the first European Poker Championship was held in the Baden Casino, and virtually every major online poker room makes a stop in Austria at some point during their season.

Famous Austrian Poker Players

Despite the countries rich tradition in poker, Austria has produced very few recognizable names in the poker world; for the most part it has been Europeans from across the continent heading to Austria to partake in the poker games offered throughout the country.

In fact, only five Austrians have cracked the million-dollar mark in career tournament earnings, and no Austrian has $2 million in career earnings! Although it should be pointed out that the country has a rich cash-game tradition, unlike other locales where players have grown up in No limit Holdem tournaments.

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

Markus Golser Markus Golser

  • Over $1 million in career tournament earnings
  • 2 WSOP Final Tables
  • Mainly a ring game player
  • Still hasn’t had that big breakthrough win


Niki Jedlicka Niki Jedlicka

  • One of the most well-known high-stakes online poker forums
  • Recently started shifting toward live poker
  • Over $500k in career tournament earnings
  • Final tabled the 2007 EPT Barcelona


Erich Kollmann Erich Kollmann

  • Nearly $1.3 million in career tournament earnings
  • #2 ranked European poker player in 2000
  • Full Tilt Poker Red Pro
  • Amazingly he has never won more than $100k in a tournament at this point in his career


Sigi Stockinger Sigi Stockinger

    • One of the top cash game players in the world
    • Full Tilt Poker Red Pro
    • 13 career WSOP cashes
    • Over $820,000 in live tournament winnings



Online Poker in Austria

Online poker in Austria has taken a bit longer to gain momentum than it has in other parts of Europe simply because Austrians have always had the capability to play poker, and have always known the game –where in places like Finland, Ukraine, and Denmark the game was virtually unknown until the Internet brought it into people’s homes.

Austria is another of the European countries that has not made a decision one way or the other when it comes to Internet poker. This puts Austrians in the same boat as countries like Portugal, Sweden, and Denmark, where online poker operators are barred from offering games, but since these companies are in foreign countries fall outside of Austrian jurisdiction.

For the players, there are no legal consequences for playing online poker in Austria.

Here is a look at the Top 3 online poker sites in Austria:

pokerstars PokerStars

  • Largest online poker room in the world
  • Sponsor a number of European poker tours including the EPT and Eureka Poker Tour
  • THE most respected poker site around the globe

party poker Party Poker

  • Over 10,000 players online at any given time
  • Large central European player base
  • Long-standing poker room with an excellent reputation

bwin poker bWin

  • Respected sports-book and online poker site
  • Eurocentric player base


Where to play poker in Austria

The hotspot of Austrian poker is in Vienna. The Vienna poker scene has produced perhaps more European poker professionals than perhaps any other city on the continent. Talented young players from across Europe have travelled to, or even moved to Vienna, in order to take part in the biggest games in Europe.

While other locales have sprung up to compete with Vienna, the city still has a certain aura about it.

Poker laws in Austria

Austria has fairly lenient laws when it comes to poker, be it online, in a licensed card-room, or even in a private home game. If you’re going to participate in live private games in Austria the main thing to remember is to avoid games where the house is collecting a fee, or profiting in any way. These games ARE illegal in Austria, and participants do risk being arrested –a slim chance, but still a possibility—and the organizers could face prosecution.

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