While there are plenty of great gambling destinations around the world, there’s no
questioning Las Vegas as the center of the poker universe. Not only is the World Series
of Poker located here, but many of the biggest and best poker rooms in the world can be
found on the Las Vegas Strip. And while Macau can now boast some of the biggest cash
games around, you’ll still find the world’s best professional poker players playing in the
Bellagio and other hot stops around Vegas.
When picking a poker room, there are a few factors to consider. First of all, do they
spread the game you want to play? Of course, if you’re looking for Texas Hold’em,
you’re likely to find that anywhere; however, other games might be harder to come by,
especially in smaller rooms. If you like playing tournaments, you’ll want to make sure
that your room has them, too. Higher limit games aren’t spread everywhere, so if you’re a
serious player, that will limit your selections as well. And everyone should take a look at
the rake that’s charged in various rooms; a difference of $1 might not seem like a lot, but
over a long poker session, it can be the difference between winning and losing.
We took all of those factors in mind when picking out the casinos that made our list. With
the number of great poker rooms in town, this wasn’t easy to decide, but here are our
picks for the best Vegas casinos for poker!
Bellagio Poker Room
Hands down, if you can pick one place to play poker at in Vegas, it should be the
Bellagio. You can play your typical low limit games here, but there are also huge big
money games that make this room a real hot spot for professional players. The most
famous of these is “The Big Game,” a mixed game that attracts some of the biggest
names in poker. If you want to play there, it’s going to take some serious cash; the blinds
typically start at $2,000/$4,000, and often go higher. For mere mortals, there are daily
tournaments and plenty of smaller cash games that range from $4/$8 limit to $25/$50 no-
Venetian Poker Room
While the Bellagio gets the most hype, many regulars believe the Venetian to have the
best poker room in town. With 39 tables, there’s always plenty of action, but the wait
times are manageable even during the busiest periods. Like everywhere else, Texas
Hold’em is the dominant game, but Omaha, Stud, and mixed games can are certainly
spread here as well. There are also daily tournaments that are fairly affordable, with buy-
ins starting at around $140. High limit action is somewhat limited, but you’ll be able to
find most other games at all hours of the day.
Wynn Poker Room
The selections at the Wynn aren’t quite as diverse as at the other two rooms we’ve
talked about so far; for the most part, you’ll only find Texas Hold’em here. But if you’re
looking for a comfortable room with great atmosphere, then it’s hard to beat this classy
casino. They feature great dealers, excellent daily tournaments, and solid management
personnel that really know what they’re doing. If there’s one downside, it’s that a room
this well-maintained definitely attracts a crowd that knows the game; the competition
tends to be very tough here.
Hard Rock Casino Poker Room
The Hard Rock Casino is an easy choice for players looking to move off-Strip for their
poker action. They only spread Texas Hold’em, but there’s a lot of it (18 tables in total).
The action is all relatively low-stakes, too; generally, you’ll see $1/$2 and $2/$5 no-
limit, and often a $3/$6 limit game as well. One thing we really like that they offer two
extremely affordable poker tournaments each day, at 1 pm and 9 pm. There’s hardly ever
a wait, and the players tend to be loose, making this a great destination for good amateur
players who want to make some cash, but aren’t interested in playing for high stakes.
Binion’s Poker Room
The former home of the World Series of Poker, Binion’s is the class of the Downtown
poker rooms. It has a classic Vegas feel, several tournaments each day, and a history
that can’t be matched. You’re not going to play for high stakes here (though the $1/$2
no-limit game has no maximum buy-in, so big pots are possible), and the competition
is fairly tough (or at least tight). The room is also a tad on the small side, with only 10
tables available for play, all of which are usually spreading Texas Hold’em. But even if it
doesn’t quite measure up to some of the biggest Strip rooms, Binion’s is still a huge part
of poker history, and the room is more than good enough to be worth a visit for any poker
fan who wants to see where the poker boom began.
There’s no shortage of great poker rooms in Las Vegas; singling out just five for special
consideration was a difficult task, because there are dozens of places in town where poker
is an enjoyable experience. With that in mind, here are some of the other great poker
rooms around town that you might want to check out.
- MGM Grand
- Treasure Island
- Golden Nugget
- Green Valley Ranch
- Red Rock Casino
- The Palms
- Boulder Station