In recent years, playing poker online has become more popular, with app downloads rising astronomically because of the pandemic. In fact, this is a legal sweepstakes poker site that many have started to frequent. In comparison, going into live poker rooms for the very first time can be intimidating. Not only does the environment feel foreign, but gameplay is affected since you’re not playing behind a screen anymore. Every smile, grimace or hesitation counts when your opponent is honed into your expression.
That said, while playing or watching others play online is still exciting, nothing beats the adrenaline rush of playing in live poker rooms. It’s a whole different game — from the palpable tension in the air, to the feeling of awe that many great poker bluffs have occurred right where you’re standing. If that interests you and you’re looking for places to get started and practise, here we have the top eight live poker rooms in America for you to consider:
1. The Commerce Casino, Commerce
You won’t have to worry about fighting for a seat at a table, with Commerce Casino having one of the biggest poker rooms in America. We’re talking about 200 tables at once! The highest-stakes games can fetch close to $500, but usual cash games limits can be as low as two dollars for those worried about pulling at purse strings.
The size of the poker rooms also means that it has a very inclusive environment that caters not only to the pros but to the recreational and ameteur players as well. As such, the playing field is quite diverse, attracting people from all around America, even from around the world, to this suburb in Los Angeles.
2. Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket
With six gaming floors covering 300,000 square feet, this place easily makes the list of the best live environments. With 125 poker tables, you can choose from a huge range of games, including the ever-popular Omaha and Hold’em games, as well as some novelties like 7-card stud cash games. If you want to join a tournament, Foxwoods also has daily tournaments with huge grand prizes that regularly go into the tens of thousands.
Another perk is the easy accessibility of other games like slot machines, roulette, blackjack and craps to go to if you ever need a change of scenery.
3. Binion’s Horseshoe, Las Vegas
Poker fans will find this casino familiar, perhaps as to where the famed players like Chip Reese and Doyle Brunson have played before. In fact, Binion’s Horseshoe has a long history of being home to some of the pioneering poker tournaments like the World Series of Poker, with some even calling it the birthplace of modern poker competitions. The feeling of nostalgia is unbeatable.
That said, players on the fussier side may be hard-pressed to find a suitable game, due to a limited selection and only ten poker tables. However, if you enjoy a simple cash game with low stakes, this iconic place should be on your to-do list.
4. FireKeepers, Michigan
Widely considered to be one of the best places to play outside of Las Vegas, FireKeepers has 26 tables to enjoy alongside their renowned amenities and service. Situated out in the midwest, it keeps poker players coming back with lots of attractive promotions and deals which will definitely benefit both new and seasoned players.
If you’re a more experienced player, you can even go to their poker tournaments that have million-dollar grand prizes, and a buy-in rate of only slightly above $1,000, making it an excellent place to start entering tournaments.
5. The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, Atlantic City
If you started playing poker online, you may have heard of The Borgata from their legal online poker platform, which was made available a few years ago. The physical casino and hotel itself, however, is one you should check out at least once in your lifetime. Not only is the poker room huge, with around a hundred tables, it has also hosted tournaments like the World Poker Tour World Championship.
Apart from poker, other games available include slot machines and, well, more table games to tire you out — after which, you can retreat into one of the over 2,000 rooms available in the hotel. Talk about a perfect poker getaway!
6. The Venetian Poker Room, Las Vegas
Just by looking at pictures of this place, you can’t miss the luxe vibe that this poker room in Las Vegas gives off. With expensive and elegant furniture, luxurious finishings and high-tech facilities, you can look forward to a pampered poker experience.
With 39 tables, the majority of them are for recreational players, while 10 are reserved for high-stakes games. The biggest wins from here, however, come from their DeepStack Poker series, a poker festival with three tournaments playing at the same time. Whether you participate or watch from the sidelines, this place is truly action-packed.
7. Harrah’s Cherokee, North Carolina
A regular venue for the World Series of Poker, this casino is known for incredible tournaments, not to mention a Jackpot that can be as high as $300,000. It’s also the perfect casino for poker players who prefer low-stakes games, or who just want to practise their poker skills with real people at a relatively low cost. Note that the popularity of this casino means you’ll have to reserve well in advance before heading down to the 20-table poker room!
8. The Bellagio, Las Vegas
No list of poker rooms to visit is complete without The Bellagio, the world-famous casino that attracts the top talent from around the globe. The pros play million-dollar games there on a daily basis (Bobby’s Room), including the likes of Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen and Doyle Brunson.
If the sound of that intimidates you, rest assured there are plenty of games for us normal folks as well! When there are no tournaments like the World Series of Poker going on, cash games can start as low as $1/$2, including Texas Hold-em and Pot-Limit Omaha.