Suriname, formerly known as Dutch Guiana, is a very small country on the northern coast of South America. Suriname is the only Dutch speaking country in the Americas, being a long time possession of the Netherlands who gained their independence in in 1975, and now have a population of a little over half a million people.
Suriname is very ethnically diverse, with about a quarter of their people being of East Indian descent, a quarter being of African descent, and the rest being from various other countries in the world, mostly Chinese and Indonesian. The indigenous population makes up a small percentage, and there are still a few people of European descent around, although most left after independence.
Suriname’s economy is above average among South American countries, with a per capita GDP of almost $15,000. Most of the economy here is based upon mining, dominated by bauxite, which is used to make aluminum.
Suriname is pretty open to gambling and at one time had a total of 10 official casinos operating within the country, however it is down to just 4 now, which is still pretty impressive for a country of this small size, and all of them are located in and around the capital of Paramoribo, where over half the people in this country live.
At various times Suriname have been very aggressive in their pursuit of expanding gambling here, while other governments have been more restrictive, threatening to shit down all of Suriname’s casinos at one time, back in 2004. Some casinos were actually shut down during this time while the ones that remained were forced to comply with stricter regulations. (2)
The casinos that survived this are all said to be of very good quality and are popular with tourists and residents alike. Casino gambling in Suriname doesn’t just cater to tourists primarily like you see in a lot of Latin American countries, and they are well frequented by locals as well.
Suriname also is said to have numerous betting parlors that operate outside the law, and these are most certainly targeted toward Surinamese and not tourists, although as always, those not familiar with these establishments are advised to be very cautious, and since they aren’t regulated, one may also encounter less than legitimate run games, although this is probably overstated, as if the games were truly that unfair or dangerous than people would pretty much stay away.
Suriname doesn’t get a lot of tourists, so the casino boom in Suriname has been mostly aimed at local residents, although at one time in order for a Surimanese resident to be allowed into a casino, there was a law that required them to be accompanied by a tourist.
This law wasn’t really enforced though, but there was definitely a concern that a lot of the poor people in Suriname would be victimized by casino gambling, but as the country prospered, this has become much less of a concern now. So we’ve settled into some middle ground here, where we no longer see a lot of opposition to casinos, nor do we see it wanting to be greatly expanded either, and both sides of this story played out recently and now Suriname has settled into a modest amount of gambling that strikes a good compromise.
Suriname’s casinos offer many popular casino games, including slot machines, blackjack, and roulette, and one may also play poker at them. The most prevalent form of poker here is casino poker, like Caribbean Stud, pitting players against the house, and casinos are particularly fond of rolling out this form because it doesn’t require a quorum, one player is even enough.
However, a lot of poker players prefer to go head to head, as is the case with Texas Holdem or Omaha for instance, and casino poker is a fairly new variation of the old game, and not one that true poker players tend to fancy very much. The push these days is definitely toward Texas Holdem though, and you can also play that at Suriname casinos, and although the number of poker tables in the country is limited, that’s the case with a lot of countries and players in Suriname at least have access to some live poker anyway. (4)
In addition to playing poker in the regular casinos, the illegally operated ones are also said to offer some live poker as well, although the usual cautions that apply to playing at illegal establishments need to be taken into account. In spite of these places being against the law, the authorities don’t seem to care much, so this isn’t about being busted, but unregulated facilities like this do tend to have a greater element of risk.
There is also said to be a fair number of private games that go on here and this takes place a lot more in the open than in many countries, since the government doesn’t seem to object to these games running, and therefore you don’t need the level of secrecy that you need in many other locations. (5)
As far as online poker goes, there really isn’t anything stopping Surinamese poker players from playing online, other than the fact that some of the major poker rooms don’t take players from Suriname anymore, and it’s hard to say why, other than this being such a small market and not a country that has embraced online gambling by any means, and the popularity of poker in a country does seem to influence this quite a bit.
So it’s not a matter of poker not being popular here as much as it is how small the country is, and with only half a million people that’s not going to produce a very big poker community in any case, and it doesn’t here. Still though there are some good places that you can play at if you are from here.
Top Online Poker Sites for Players from Suriname
We have a couple of selections for you if you are from Suriname and want to play online poker, and both of these sites are top notch and both offer generous rewards to you for trying them out and making your first deposit with them.
888 Poker, our top ranked site in the world, doesn’t even require a deposit for them to pay you real money to try them out, although they do have even more cash for you if you are willing to make a deposit. This is a first class poker site all the way and the great news is that if you are from Suriname you can still play with the best.
While three of our top 5 picks as far as the best poker sites in the word have exited the Suriname market, Black Chip Poker isn’t one of them, and Black Chip takes players from almost every country in the world, and therefore can be counted on to continue to allow players from Suriname to play there. It’s also a very good site and not on the radar of a lot of players but it really deserves to be.
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