We interviewed SNE Limit Hold’em grinder ‘donjuanmt’ about playing online poker in Vietnam. He has grinded there since 2011, helping many others get set up and answering questions on forums.

Bạn đang xem: Poker in vietnam: playing live and online

Why Poker in Vietnam

– When / why did you move to Vietnam?

I moved here from Philly right after Black Friday. Since I am Vietnamese American it seemed like an easy choice with knowing the language. I was actually one of the first poker players to move here April 22, 2011.

– Is Vietnam a third world country?

It’s still being developed in a lot of places. It’s awesome here though, very comfortable living.

Timelapse video of Ho Chi Minh city

– How would you rate safety in Vietnam?

Pretty safe for guys, petty criminals like bagsnatchers don’t usually target men in general. I would say road accident rates are pretty bad, maybe comparable to Thailand.

Vietnam Poker

– Any problems accessing poker sites in Vietnam?

Some sportsbetting is blocked by the government but no poker sites or casino sites that I know of. It was smooth getting back onto PokerStars. They haven’t pulled out of Vietnam yet (they did from Singapore & Burma).

– Best times of day to grind?

Zombie hours for me, 10pm til 8am local time. Not that you need to grind that much to afford living here at all.

– How do you deposit onto / cash out from poker sites?

Set up bank account and wire both ways. Usually takes 2 days with no fee. I posted an email from Stars support about wire info here. Some also use Neteller / Skrill ewallet.


The Grand Ho Tram Casino & Hotel, home of APT Vietnam

Vietnam Gambling Laws

– Is online poker illegal in Vietnam?

Gambling in Vietnam is restricted but not completely outlawed. Online poker is certainly no issue, the government has better things to do than worry about that. No ISPs block online poker in Vietnam.

– Casinos in Vietnam?

There are several brick and mortar casinos, and in 2015 the Asian Poker Tour added a Vietnam leg, with a $1k main event and $2k high roller. Locals aren’t allowed to gamble in Vietnam casinos, only foreigners can. The government is getting close to changing the laws on that though.

APT Vietnam is held at the Grand Ho Tram Strip, a beachfront resort. Then there are a few more casinos in Ho Chi Minh City centre, mostly in five star resorts e.g. Rex Hotel and Caravelle Hotel. Most are electronic casinos, as croupiers aren’t allowed. Vietnam is trying to compete with Macau but it has a way to go yet.


Don’s HEM graph on an average month pre See his blog thread and coaching vids

– Live poker in Vietnam?

The Grand Ho Tram had soft cash games around APT time. Bunch of wealthy foreigners.

Besides that there is one electonic table at New World Casino, $2/$4 No Limit with a 4% rake. Not sure how often it runs anymore. There are huge private cash games but you need to know the people since it’s mostly rich businessman. There have been some police raids of home games.

A friend blogged about playing poker in Vietnam cardrooms, e.g. see post #727 of this thread onwards.

Vietnam Internet

– How is internet speed in Vietnam?

It’s a lot cheaper than most countries and the connection is usually pretty good. One of the problems is internet slowing down when the undersea water cable snaps which happens every 3 months or so. The government is trying to invest in more cable line so it’s getting better.

FPT or Viettel are the two best home internet providers in Vietnam.

– Options for mobile internet in Vietnam?

Yeah pretty cheap and you can grind solely on it if you just use it for poker only. Most use Viettel 3G.


Vietnam is amongst the fastest South East Asian nations for internet

Living in Vietnam

– How much does it cost to live in Vietnam?

I’d say if you go out 2x / week and want to live in the main city areas, you can live for 1.2 – 1.5k usd comfortably. At one point I moved out to Tay Ninh to live the country life, 1.5 hours outside the capital. It was impossible to spend more than 10 million Dong (500 usd) a month living there.

You can go low end which is just fine imo or high end and anywhere in between. From a one dollar street vendor meal that consists of a small portion of rice, meat of your choice with some veggie sides and a small cup of soup (still very good if you know where to go) to going to a 5 star hotel and paying $100 for a meal.

Xem thêm: Cách Bổ Dưa Hấu Nhanh Và Thông Minh Nhất, Không Tìm Thấy Trang Này

– Post by ‘djle’ in the Vietnam thread

– How much are Vietnam apartments?

In terms of best location anywhere from 250 usd for one room to 1.5k for a 3 room apartment.

– Any poker houses in Vietnam?

Usually the poker guys here are more reserved so I don’t know of any poker players sharing places. Probably partly due to the fact everyone has 3 – 5 girlfriends each and they are lazy when it come to opening door late at night with the way door locks work here.


Poster ‘_UM’ on the forums wrote a great BBV thread on Vietnam poker & dating – Read it here

Where to live in Vietnam

Da Nang

I would say Da Nang is in the top spot just because the local government is trying to make it the best area for foreigners to live and invest in. It has a nice beach area and is the cleanest out of all Vietnam. The night life is so much better and very foreigner friendly. I would even say it’s better than Nha Trang to live.The only time that sucks living here is during stormy season which is late Sept – Nov.

The capital (formerly Saigon). A lot of expats live in District 1 (D1), around Pham Ngu Lao area. It can be noisy at night though. Best bet get a hotel and look around to work out where you want to stay. Decent options as cheap as $10 with wifi good enough for poker. Ben Thanh Market and Bui Thi Xuan are in the centre.

The Manor 1 and Saigon Pearl are some solid apartment options 2km from the city centre. I used to stay at Manor 2. There are a lot of signs for rent on every street corner put up by owners. Prices online are a bit inflated on agent websites, you could try Vietnam Craigslist to get in touch with owners directly. On a $500 budget you’ll have no problem getting a decent apartment in D1. $1000 plus for a luxury place.


9th floor river view from a poker player’s ~$350 apartment near District 7, Ho Chi Minh – View more

If you’re ok with being 15-20 minutes out of the center, you’ll find cheaper apartments in D2 or D7. A friend recommended Sunrise City Apartments in D7. People tend to move out there if the pollution and congestion gets to them. Still a lot of expats there. D3, D5 and D10 are also popular as they’re close to D1.

There are many real estate agencies in Ho Chi Minh with reasonable prices. Especially in District 7. Don’t waste your time checking overpriced websites. I personally live in Sky Garden area where I have a 70sqm with 2 bedrooms and living room for $550 a month.

– Post by ‘MystikRiver’ in the Vietnam thread


Not many poker players in Hanoi because it’s quite strict regarding night time activity, everywhere closes early. Close to Halong Bay pictured at the top of this page, one of the first places to visit in Vietnam for tourists.

Nha Trang

Nha Trang beaches are pretty clear and Mui Ne beaches are kind of rocky/white sand but you can still swim. Local people don’t like to be in the sun so the beaches are usually pretty empty most of the time unless at a tourist area. Been to Nha Trang a couple times it’s fun during the dry season but not sure if you want live there during the rainy season. Better to live and grind in Saigon and go to Nha Trang for a few days and relax.

Vietnam Visas / Banking

– Possible to stay long term on Vietnam visas?

DJ: Yeah probably a better situation than Thailand (don’t need to leave the country to renew 90 day visas over and over) and other places especially if you are willing to pay a little extra to get things done quick.

– How to open a Vietnam bank account?

I think it’s a bit harder now than when I first came here 4 years ago. You need documentation of your living arrangements. I opened mine with HSBC. A friend opened his with ANZ and even told them he was a poker player, they didn’t care. Those are the two largest international banks. There isn’t any complicated paperwork like verifying where your money came from (like in the US when depositing >$10k).


A poker player meetup, Don pictured far left

Lifestyle in Vietnam

– How big is the Vietnam poker community?

Not that big I think. Off the top of my head there are like 5 guys that want to hang out every other month. The rest are like hermits and they mostly just grind. The thread is kind of dead, would be nice to get more people out here, Vietnam is so underrated imo. Partly because it’s super hard to search info online.

The tourism board doesn’t make as much effort as e.g. Thailand, where everything is mapped out and a lot easier to navigate as a tourist. There also isn’t a free 30 day visa exemption on arrival unlike there or the Philippines.

– Do you need to speak Vietnamese?

Nope I know guys that have been living here for years that can only say hello and they seem to get along just fine. Although I would recommend learning Vietnamese in general if you want to do more stuff then just hanging out with foreigners or the 5% of the population that speak fluent English. There are some free lessons on

– How to meet Vietnamese ladies?

Unless you come off super creepy you will have no problem whatsoever with meeting woman here. As I said when I first came everyone I knew had at least 3 – 5 girlfriends at a time. The only problem I see is the language barrier because Vietnamese women are more reserved on the outside but that doesn’t mean they are innocent. You can meet and hookup within a day here.


I remember when I first came here I thought there were so many hot girls esp. living in U.S where everyone is fat. It was so silly how I was like damn I could marry this girl or that and thought I had no chance or whatever but after like a few month you get to realize that the foreigner have a lot of leverage when it come to the dating game. I mean if a short/skinny dude with bad acne like me can pick up girls everyone has a chance.

Xem thêm: Cách Làm Cá Hồi Áp Chảo Sốt Cam Vừa Thơm Vừa Ngọt, Cả Nhà Đều Mê Tít

On a scale of girls in Korea being 10 in difficulty I would say in Vietnam is around 3 if you understand how things work here. They tend to think all foreigners are weathly/higher class etc. which helps too.

All Playing Poker Abroad Interviews
ThailandPhilippinesCosta RicaCambodiaHong KongPokerRefugees
Costa RicaCanada    

Share this article to inspire more people considering poker in Vietnam to make the move!