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Playing Online Poker in the State of New Hampshire

Tags: poker
Outline Map of NH
New Hampshire Flag

Many New Hampshirites are less than satisfied with the sparse landscape for live card games within the state, and so they're turning to online poker in New Hampshire for the real money gaming they crave. Numbers gathered by researchers a few years ago in fact show that the rate at which citizens of NH partake of online poker is more than double the national average. Maybe it has something to do with the cold winters and lack of major metropolises. Whatever the case, when you play at a New Hampshire online poker room, you won't have to worry about getting dressed or leaving the house, and the range of stakes available is much wider than what you could find in one of the few NH charitable poker rooms. It's possible to head out to Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, but on the whole, playing through your internet connection is much more convenient and practical.

There are those who believe that online poker in New Hampshire is illegal, but nobody has ever been charged or arrested for any crime as a result of participating in this hobby. At the federal level, there are no laws criminalizing the game either. Some of the confusion stems from the fact that the wording of the Wire Act and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act could be interpreted as targeting online poker, but in 2011, the Department of Justice issued a memorandum that clarified that the Wire Act only applies to betting on sports, not poker or other forms of internet gaming.

If you're a newcomer to the world of online poker, and you live in the Granite State, then this guide is for you. We've compiled a lot of info regarding the best sites that are out there along with the laws that apply to the game, the history of gambling in the state, live poker venues, and more. Keep reading to have all your questions about online poker in New Hampshire answered.

Table of Contents

1.   Premium Destinations for Online Poker
      1.1. Ignition
      1.2. Chico Poker Network
      1.3. Intertops
      1.4. Winning Poker Network
      1.5. Grand Poker Network
2.   Poker Site Selection Guidelines
3.   Online Poker Payments
4.   Online Poker Laws
5.   History of Gambling in the State
6.   Chances of State-regulated Poker
7.   Live Gambling Options
8.   Conclusion
9.   Do you Have an Address in a Nearby State?

 

Online Poker Sites Available in New Hampshire

All of the virtual poker rooms that serve New Hampshire residents aren't created equal. Some of them have long histories of keeping their customers happy, but others have more checkered pasts. To prevent you (and your money) from falling into the clutches of disreputable operators, we've gone to the trouble of evaluating all of these sites and have presented the most trustworthy ones below. No matter which of them you decide to do business with, you'll benefit from competent customer service, fair shuffling and dealing algorithms, and the no-nonsense payment of your winnings.

 

    Ignition Poker

Ignition Poker's Positive Features

Plenty of people in the United States applaud the poker room at Ignition, which has led to it becoming the busiest internet poker destination for Americans. Upon your first deposit, you'll receive a 100% up to $1,000 poker bonus. This bonus releases its value at a rate equal to 30% rakeback in tournaments and sit n' gos. In cash games, the returns come at a slightly slower pace.

 Play Now cta for Ignition

Ring games await you at blind levels between $0.02/$0.05 and $10/$20 for No Limit Hold'em, Pot Limit Omaha, and Pot Limit Omaha/8. In fixed-limit formats, you can choose from LHE and LO8 up to $30/$60. There's another attraction to the Ignition Poker cash game lobby that's different from anything else you'll find at any other U.S.-based online poker room. It's called Zone Poker, and it features a fast-fold style of gaming. Whenever you fold a hand, you'll move right away to another table and get a new hand. This allows you to see many more hands per hour than you would at a regular poker table.

Sit and goes run from $1 + $0.05 up to $200 + $14. Apart from the normal types of SNG you'll encounter elsewhere, there are Beginners contests that pay a larger portion of the field than is standard and Triple Ups, which pay one-third of the participants three times their buyin. Multi-table tourneys come with $1.5 million in total guarantees each week. The largest of them is the $150 + $12 $100,000 Guaranteed, which takes place on Sundays and very often tops its guarantee by a significant amount. Several times per year, Ignition hosts tournament series, like the Golden Spade Poker Open, that hand out millions of dollars in prizes.

Ignition Poker calls the PaiWangLuo Network home. All the sites on this network operate an anonymous poker platform. This means that no user can see the screenname of anyone else, so savvy pros are unable to deploy their full suite of software aids to target newer players. The recreational-friendly environment that has resulted has led to tables that are much softer than the industry average.

It's possible to download the Ignition poker client on a Windows or a Mac. Furthermore, you can log into a web-based poker solution to play from your iOS or Android device. There aren't any tournaments or sit-n-gos in the mobile poker room, however, just cash games. Whenever it's time for a short break from poker, you can play the hundreds of games contained in the casino. There's a 100% up to $1,000 casino bonus that you can obtain in addition to the poker bonus.

ProfRB's Ignition Banner CTA

Set up your Ignition Poker account today by clicking through our link above. For more information on the room, take a look at our detail-rich Ignition Poker review.

 

        Chico Network

Icons Showing Chico Poker's Advantages

BetOnline is on the Chico Poker Network, which has the third-largest poker traffic of any poker operation open to New Hampshire's populace. It grants newly depositing players a 100% up to $2,500 poker bonus, which clears at a 33% cashback rate.

Play Poker at BetOnline

The tables in the ring games tab consist of NL Hold'em, PL Omaha, and PL Omaha Hi-Lo. The blinds range from $0.01/$0.02 to $5/$10. At some NLHE tables at $0.50/$1.00 and higher, there's a Bad Beat Jackpot running. It pays out whenever someone takes JJJJ to showdown and loses. This jackpot has been hit before for $650K, so there's the potential for you to walk away with hundreds of thousands of dollars if the right cards come up.

Single-table events are present from $0.05 (with no house fee) up to $500 + $25. There's another one starting up every few seconds, and you should have no trouble getting your choice of SNG to fill except maybe at the very highest levels. There's a lot less happening in the MTT lobby, and what games do start tend to be for $33 and less. This isn't true on Sunday, though, because that's the day when the $90 + $9 Main Event runs, and it awards the winners no less than $50,000. On the final Sunday of each month, the Main Event instead costs $100 + $9 to enter, but the minimum prize pool is doubled to $100,000.

You can install the BetOnline poker software on your PC or Mac computer. There's also a mobile client, which we have reviewed and found to be superb. The graphics are well done, and you can join almost all of the games that are accessible from the regular desktop client.

There are three leaderboards every week (for cash, sit-n-goes, and tourneys) that distribute a total of $20,000 to the top placers. They're divided into categories based on blind level or buyin, so this cash doesn't all go to the high-stakes users. Another way to boost your profitability is through the comp points program. You can trade these points in for tournament buyins at a rate of approximately 5% rakeback.

BetOnline Highlights CTA Image

Click on our banner link above to begin playing at BetOnline today. Read our comprehensive BetOnline Poker overview for further info. Or you can check out our review of Sportsbetting.ag, BoL's sister site.

 

    Horizon Network

Positive Features Graphic for Intertops

Intertops is the flagship site of the Horizon Poker Network. This isn't the largest poker organization around, but don't let this fool you into thinking that it's not a fine place to play. Intertops has been around even longer than the internet, starting its business in the '80s as an offline bookie before developing one of the first online sportsbooks. New poker players get a 200% up to $1,000 bonus with their initial deposits.

Horizon Network: Play Now Banner CTA

The clearance speed of your bonus will depend in large part on the specific games that you play, but it can reach as high as 27% value back. This comes on top of the 36% dealt rakeback that all of our readers qualify for. As a new depositor, you'll also get 100 free lines to use on casino games and a ticket to the monthly $1,000 depositors freeroll.

If you're eager to start working on your bonus, you'll be able to do so in cash game NLHE poker and tournaments. Sit-and-goes are also present, but only a couple of games run at any given time, and they tend to be denominated at $5 and lower. By contrast, there are typically a good dozen or so cash tables active although most of them are at $50NL and below. The multi-table tourney section at Intertops is perhaps where most customers prefer to go, and there are dozens of events scheduled every day. Most of them are micro- and small-stakes affairs, but there is a $50 + $5 hosted daily called the Sundowner. It guarantees $1,500 except on Sundays when this increases to $2,500.

The promotions at Intertops aren't just for new customers; returning users have plenty of ways to get value too. There's a $4,000 rakerace every week that issues free money to the top 100 players. Reload bonuses can be had about once a month. The Loyalty Levels scheme lets you pick up some complimentary cash every time you hit a points target while the gold chips spendable currency can be traded in for no deposit bonuses. Throughout the year, Intertops runs online step satellites to prestigious live tournaments, and you may be the beneficiary of a considerable overlay if you attempt to win your next poker getaway by this means.

Intertops Highlights Banner CTA

Follow the banner above to visit Intertops now. You can peruse our well-researched Intertops Poker review first if you want to learn more about what to expect.

 

     Winning Network

Positive Features at ACR

Observers of the U.S.A. online poker industry have been delighted as the Winning Poker Network has risen from obscurity to become the second-biggest poker site in the market. The most well-known network brand is Americas Cardroom, which welcomes new players with a 100% up to $1,000 bonus and $50 in tourney bucks to use on Jackpot Poker SNGs.

ACR Poker: Play Now!

The cash tables at Americas Cardroom run the gamut from $0.01/$0.02 to $25/$50 in NLHE, PLO, and PLO-8. There are also some limit games: Hold'em, Omaha/8, Seven Card Stud, and Seven Card Stud/8. These limit betting formats each have tables going up to $30/$60 and, in some cases, beyond.

Sit n' goes include both standard-issue games as well as a couple of unique variants that are specific to the Winning Poker Network. The first of them, Jackpot Poker, is a three-handed competition that uses a randomized multiplier to decide what the prize pool will be. You could find yourself playing for up to 2,500 times the buyin. Don't forget that you'll be able to enjoy $50 worth of Jackpot Poker for free when you make your initial deposit. SNG 2.0 is the other bespoke sit-n-go format here. This nine-max SNG uses a pregame round to determine the total prizes and the number of winners. The multi-table offerings at ACR are fairly robust, headlined by the $200 + $15 Sunday Special, which guarantees $150,000 every week. From time to time, there are big MTT series, such as the Online Super Series, that let you test your skills in multiple types of poker.

ACR maintains two leaderboards that are each worth tens of thousands of dollars in cash and satellite entries per week. The Beast is for cash gamers while Sit & Crush rewards sit-n-go enthusiasts. In addition to these game-specific promotions, the room has implemented an Elite Benefits system that disburses free cash the more you play regardless of the particular forms of poker you like to grind.

Call to Action Banner for Americas Cardroom

If all of this sounds good to you, click on the link above to register at Americas Cardroom. You may wish to examine our thorough Americas Cardroom review page for further material on this excellent site.

Americas Cardroom is part of a poker network as opposed to a standalone site. Therefore, it's not limited to its own resources when running its poker division but rather can count on the assistance of all network partners. Some of the other leading sites on the Winning Poker Network are: BlackChip Poker (read review), True Poker (read review), and PokerHost (read review). Because of our contacts within the network, we can offer rakeback to new users who sign up through us. For all the details, browse through our page on WPN rakeback specials.

 

        Grand Network

Positives of the Grand Network

The 5Dimes group is a renowned online real money gaming firm that has been in business for more than two decades. It mainly focuses on other gambling products besides poker, and it used to hire the services of outside poker companies to bring card games to its customers. This all changed in 2014 when the site opened up the Grand Poker Network, which uses its own software. This poker application has been ported to many platforms, including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. There's also a Flash version that works with pretty much every up-to-date device.

You'll see No Limit Texas Hold'em poker available from $0.05/$0.10 through $1/$2. The total number of games with players seated at them is most often less than a dozen, which may be a bit disappointing if you're eager to multitable. However, the quality of the games tends to compensate for this issue. Many of the opponents you face off against are mainly sports bettors and casino game fans, and they're not necessarily very skilled at poker.

Tournaments may be an even bigger draw than ring games at 5D because there are a few events every day that don't have any house fees. Moreover, there's a $500 freeroll every Sunday that only has a couple hundred entrants each time. The only problem with the tourneys here are that the buyins are limited to $5.50 max, so the prize pools are pretty small. Still, it's a great room if you're just starting out or have a limited bankroll. When you sign up through our links, 50% rakeback will be applied to your account automatically.

5Dimes banner link

Opening an account at 5Dimes is easy – just follow the above link. We've written a Grand Poker Network overview in case you wish to find out more about the organizations that are members of it.


 

How to Choose the Right New Hampshire Poker Site

All of the above sites have their own particular selling points, and they all have their drawbacks too. This makes it impossible for us to direct you toward the best site because this is largely a decision that you'll have to make for yourself after evaluating your preferences and habits. While we cannot inform you of the room that's right for you, we can give you a list of factors to think about as you ponder your options.

✦ If you always want to have plenty of games to jump into, then you'll appreciate the player volume at Ignition and WPN.


✦ If you'd like to take advantage of a massive bonus deal, then there's $2,500 for you at the Chico Poker Network.


✦ If you're looking to bet on sports and casino games in addition to poker, then Chico, Horizon, and Grand might be the places to be.


✦ If you want to play from a Mac or mobile system, then Chico, Ignition, and Grand have the software to make this possible.


✦ If you seek regular rewards as you put in the time at the tables, then the Elite Benefits at Winning and the Loyalty Levels at Horizon are worthy of your attention.


✦ If you'd like an excellent rakeback setup, then Horizon's 36% and Grand's 50% offers might fit the bill for you.


✦ If unusual forms of gameplay appeal to you, then Ignition's Zone Poker and WPN's refreshing sit-n-go configurations ought to leave you satisfied.

 

Online Poker Payouts

Currency Bills

Hopefully, you'll accumulate a significant amount of cash on your online poker quest. You'll have no problem cashing it out because all of our recommended sites are ready to send you a check for the sum of your withdrawal. At some of them, additional methods are available, like debit cards and bank wires. The best payment processor to use is probably Bitcoin because it lets you avoid some of the delays that come with certain other cashout options, and the fees involved are very small. All of the rooms we deal with support Bitcoin, and you can read our step-by-step guide to Bitcoin for online poker if you haven't yet familiarized yourself with this digital crypto-currency.

 

Online Poker Law in New Hampshire

Legal Book

Anyone looking for clear guidance on whether or not online poker is legal in New Hampshire will undoubtedly be disappointed by the nature of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes. You see, they don't really specifically tackle the subject of real money online gaming at all, likely because most of them were drafted before the internet even existed. The laws that relate to gambling in the Granite State are listed under Title LXII - Criminal Code, Chapter 647 - Gambling Offenses. There are only two laws in this chapter, one dealing with lotteries and another covering other types of gambling. Let's look at the some of the text of 647:2, more specifically the definitions contained in the section:

(d) "Gambling'' means to risk something of value upon a future contingent event not under one's control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that something of value will be received in the event of a certain outcome. For the purposes of this subparagraph, the phrase "something of value'' shall include a sweepstakes ticket or other item obtained in conjunction with the purchase of goods or services that entitles the holder to a share or chance in a sweepstakes where, but for the opportunity to enter the sweepstakes, the value of purchased goods or services is insufficient to justify the purchase or the inducement to purchase the goods or services is the opportunity to play on a gambling machine.

A hasty reading of this passage may incline one to think that poker is included as a type of gambling. However, there are a couple of phrases that tend to indicate otherwise. “A future contingent event” makes it seem like only betting on future happenings, like in sports-betting, is prohibited. However, the awarding of pots in poker games takes place at showdown or when all opponents fold, both of which occur after any given bet is made, so this could be considered a future event for the purposes of this law. Also, if the intent behind the legislation was to ban unlicensed casino games among other gambling endeavors, which seems likely, then the wagers placed on roulette, craps, and similar games would have to fall under its provisions, and any interpretation of “future contingent event” that includes these casino table games would certainly apply to poker as well. A more solid argument could be made that the words “not under one's control or influence” aren't applicable to poker because a player certainly does have some control over the outcome. The problem is that it's not clear whether the event must be completely under one's control or what degree of control is necessary to satisfy this test. The usual verbiage that we encounter in state laws against gambling, like “material element,” “luck or skill,” and “predominantly,” are absent from 647:2. There's thus plenty of space to argue the question in either direction, and there haven’t been any recent New Hampshire court decisions that have attempted to make a determination on this matter as it relates to poker.

Let's return back to the text of the law to see what the penalties are for gambling:

I. A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if such person knowingly and unlawfully:
(a) Permits gambling in any place under the person's control.
(b) Gambles, or loans money or any thing of value for the purpose of aiding another to gamble.
(c) Possesses a gambling machine.

An individual playing poker over the internet might be held to violate (b) above depending, again, on whether or not poker is a gambling game in New Hampshire. According to NH law, any crime that's designated a misdemeanor without specifying the class is a class B misdemeanor, and so this is how gambling is treated. The punishment for a class B misdemeanor is a fine of up to $1,200. There is no possibility of jail time.

It's pretty good to know that it's impossible for anyone to go to jail in New Hampshire for playing card games. Even the monetary fine is seldom or never levied. There's an exception to the law for social home games that was added in July 2017, but even before this amendment passed, anecdotal reports suggested that the police in New Hampshire almost never busted up home games. This was probably a consequence of the “Live Free or Die” culture of the state – if you mind your own business and don't make a nuisance of yourself, nobody is going to come barging through your front door with guns drawn. When we contemplate the officials' laxity in leaving live home poker games alone, even when they were technically illegal, and attempt to gauge the probability of the gambling laws being used to prosecute online players, we conclude that there's almost no risk of this happening. History tends to bear this out because there has never been an arrest or conviction for playing online poker anywhere in New Hampshire. You're perfectly at your liberty to enjoy internet poker without getting into legal trouble.

The laws are a bit stricter for those operating gambling enterprises illicitly within the state. They could be charged with class B felonies, which incur a term of incarceration between 3½ and 7 years along with a fine of up to $4,000 for an individual criminal. If the party found guilty is a corporation, then the fines can climb as high as $100,000. Also, anyone promoting gambling on a gambling machine will incur a fine of at least $5,000 for every day and for every separate gambling machine involved.

The offshore poker sites that serve Americans aren't deterred by these aspects of the NH law. They've undoubtedly been advised by their legal counsel that the prospects of actually being found in violation of the law are remote. Virtually none of the internet poker rooms that accept players from the United States fail to include New Hampshire in their service areas.

 

 

Gambling History of New Hampshire

Hourglass

New Hampshire was one of the original 13 colonies of the United States, and its gambling history dates back almost to its founding as a distinct political entity. Attempts to control this activity were no less ancient. In 1680, just a year after the original royal charter was granted, the General Laws and Liberties of New Hampshire were passed by the General Assembly. Among the provisions of this code was one prohibiting “Unlawful Gaming in Publique Houses” and another banning playing “at cards, dice, or any such unlawful games wherein there is Lottery, at any private house or elsewhere in the Province.” This legislation was evidently deemed inadequate, and so we find in 1721 a further “Act for the Preventing of Gaming in Publick Houses.“ It reads, in part, as follows:

Whereas it is very obvious that many persons often Resort to Publick Houses to Spend their Time in Gaming to the Great Scandall of Religion…Be it Enacted…That no Taverner, Inn-Keeper, Ale House keeper or Victualler, shall have or keep in or about their Houses, out Houses, yards, Back-sides, Gardens or Places to them belonging any Dice, Cardes, Nine-pins, Tables, Bowls, Shuffle board, Billiards or any other Implements used in Gaming…

Clearly, although poker had not yet been invented, there was plenty of real money being exchanged across the card tables in taverns and inns. This makes sense because they were often the only non-religious meeting places within small towns and villages. Their status as way stations along commonly traveled routes also meant that there was a fair bit of mingling between people who would otherwise have had no contact with each other, and so it's no surprise that they would take the opportunity to gamble a little bit regardless of the stern disapproval of the Puritan authorities.

Colonial Lottery for Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College Lottery Ticket, 1784

The other main form of gambling during the colonial era was lotteries, which were usually held to benefit local improvement projects. Hard money was scarce, taxes were unpopular, and modern financing tools, like bonds and loans, were mostly unavailable. The state and towns thus viewed lotteries as a type of voluntary tax, and participation was seen as a civic virtue. After the American Revolution, lotteries continued to used for funding public spending. For instance, Dartmouth College held a lottery in 1784 to build Dartmouth Hall although the available historical evidence suggests that it didn't raise as much money as was hoped. In the mid-19th century, however, lotteries began to get a bad reputation, and they were discontinued in New Hampshire.

There wasn't any legalized gambling in the Granite State for about a century until a bill was signed in 1933 to authorize pari-mutuel wagering on horse races, and Rockingham Park soon became the place to go for thrilling gambling action. In 1949, charities were allowed to host bingo and pull tab events. In 1964, New Hampshire became the first state in the union to institute a modern lottery, and it is still going strong today. Greyhound racing was added to the pari-mutuel menu in 1971, and Seabrook Greyhound Park opened up shortly thereafter. In 1977, the charitable gaming rules were amended to allow casino table games, including poker. In 2009, greyhound racing was banned, and horse racing soon ended as well due to economic difficulties. A couple of racetracks still exist, but they only offer simulcast wagering on out-of-state races along with charitable gaming.

Under the original rules for charitable poker, no bet could exceed $4, making only low-stakes, fixed-limit games really feasible. However, in 2015 the charitable gaming regulations were amended to specifically exempt poker from this limit. Today, the size of a blind or ante still cannot be more than $4, but bets are limited only to the amount of money a player has in front of him or her. In these table stakes games, the players are restricted to buying in for a max of $150. The original $4 threshold remains in place for other casino games, like blackjack and roulette.

 

Online Poker Regulation Possibilities

File Folder

There are a lot of contradictory elements to factor in when talking about the prospects for state-supervised internet poker in NH. One the one hand, the state was a trailblazer in the lottery field, starting its lottery as early as 1964. On the other hand, this didn't translate into other types of real money gaming popping up, and repeated attempts to permit land-based casinos in New Hampshire have failed. In addition, pari-mutuel race wagering has effectively all but disappeared from the gambling environment in the state. There are, however, several promising signs for the future. The governor signed HB 580 into law on July 18, 2017 to establish a regulatory framework for daily fantasy sports. AN ACT allowing online gambling is currently working its way through the legislative process as of Oct. 2017. This document would simply add internet gambling to the list of activities not covered under the NH anti-gambling laws. In many ways, this would be even more desirable than a licensed online poker market overseen by the state because there wouldn't be any need for real money gaming firms to obtain licenses from the state or pay taxes. While it's too early to tell if this bill will pass or not, it's apparent that the lawmakers in Concord are definitely open to the idea of gaming online. We believe that New Hampshire could soon join the roster of states that boast legalized online gambling.

 

NH Brick-and-Mortar Gambling

Logo of Manchester Poker Room

Things at first appear grim for fans of live poker in New Hampshire because there aren't any commercial casinos. Because the state doesn't have any federally recognized Indian tribes, there are no tribal casinos either. As far as legalized offline gaming goes, you're limited to the New Hampshire Lottery, pari-mutuel betting on out-of-state races, and charitable gambling. It is this last category that brings hope to the aspiring poker player. You see, the laws are fairly liberal as to the charitable games allowed, and poker definitely fits into this category. There are a handful of poker rooms that are licensed to spread poker with a maximum buyin of $150 and blinds of no more than $4. The most prominent are probably the Manchester Poker Room and the Poker Room at Hampton Falls. Both of them have 30 tables each with a variety of low-stakes poker games and tournaments several times a week. Promos, like high hands and bad beat jackpots, are frequent. Other charitable games in New Hampshire include casino table games, pull tabs, and bingo.

 

Conclusion

You're not restricted by the very limited B&M poker scene in NH because New Hampshire online poker is alive and well. The law won't go after you for participating in online card games held over the internet. Select a good site for online poker in New Hampshire, and you can begin playing today.

 

 

Do you have an address in a nearby state?

New Hampshire and Nearby States

If you are lucky enough to have another address in a nearby state, be it your business address, vacation property, second apartment, family home, etc, you may have other online poker options available to you. Here is a list of the states that border New Hampshire and Professional Rakeback's review on each of them: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont. If you're interested in some other state or the country as a whole, then it might be a good idea to look through our guide to online poker for U.S. players.

There's a lot of ignorance in New Hampshire regarding online poker. You can help spread knowledge about this fascinating game by sharing this page with any of your family or friends whom you think might be curious about this topic.



This post first appeared on Professional Rakeback, please read the originial post: here

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Playing Online Poker in the State of New Hampshire

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