I Like My Poker Spicy
South America’s fascination with the mind sport
Ah, South America… Land of breathtaking beaches, ancient Inca citadels, waterfalls gushing from sky-high cliffs, Christ the redeemer, the Amazon jungle, Easter Island Moais and… poker? Unknown to some travelers, poker is also an attraction in this perpetually sunny side of the continent.
Passionate poker players will find the sport alive and well in Argentina, which has the most casinos in Southern America. The Trilenium Casino de Tigre is the largest casino in the country, containing three floors filled with games of all kinds. It houses around 1,900 slot machines and 74 board games including blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and of course, poker. The Trilenium offers three kinds of poker: what they call the ‘Central Poker Three” involving three-card hands, Texas Hold ‘Em, and Video Poker. Another lavish place which offers poker is the Casino Central in Mar del Plata, which is a well-known gaming house as well as a landmark with rich architectural history.
Uruguay, though one of the smaller countries in the region, has some of the biggest casinos around. In fact, Punta del Este is a constant venue for the Latin American Poker Tour. This year, the tour will be held at the Punta del Este’s Mantra Resort Spa and Casino.
Colombia provides many variants of poker, offering Caribbean Stud Poker aside from the common Hold ‘Em variation. If you’re going for large casinos, the biggest you can find here is the Casino Caribe in Medellin which has 400 gaming and video poker machines and 16 tables. A word of advice, however: three-card monte is illegal in the country, so don’t participate in this game unless you’re willing to be fined or brought to prison, because Columbia is quite strict about gambling.
On the other hand, Oasis Poker is the prevalent variation in Peru. Oasis Poker is simply a similar version of Caribbean Stud Poker, with the same rules except for one: exchanging cards is permissible before the players raise or fold (for a price, though).
Those who like the idea of simultaneously enjoying the pleasures of the sea and the thrill of playing poker will be happy to know that casino cruises are also popular in Latin America, especially those that are headed for the Caribbean, where sun, smiles, and rum await the passengers.
You’ll never run out of places to play poker in South America because the natives themselves love the game. In fact, the World Poker Tour, sponsored by the brand responsible for partypoker.com and an event where poker champions come together, has seen many great players from the region.
Poker doesn’t get much better than it does in South America, with the region’s beautiful people, wonderful weather, and spectacular sites.