Poker is very different from other casino games. It is a game where you can make money by being a skilled player. A player that is better than the other players at the table. The casino does not have an edge and they do not earn money from you losing money. They simply charge a rake, a percentage based fee, for providing the table and the dealer. They charge rake on all hands played that reach the minimum requirements for the rake to be charged.
This makes it very important to choose the right poker room to play in and to chose the right table to sit down at. I highly recommend that you research different poker rooms before you travel to Las Vegas and you chose a hotel near the poker room you think you are going to play in.
This guide focus on Texas Hold Em poker. Other venues might be good options if you want to play another poker game.
If you want to play in a poker tournament such as WPT or a WSOP tournament then you know which poker room you are going to play in. All WSOP tournaments are held in the same casino, Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino. They have been held there since 2005. Before that, they were kept at Binion’s. WPT events are held at different casinos. All tournaments during a single event are held in the same casino.
If you want to play in a tournament then you should try to stay in the hotel connected to the casino that operates the tournament or a nearby hotel. There are many benefits to choosing to live in the hotel operated by the casino operating the tournament. It is often possible to get access to certain discounts if you register yourself for one or several tournaments and book your hotel at the same time. Some hotels offer packages that contain accommodation and the buy-ins to certain tournaments.
Poker on the Strip
There are many good poker rooms on the strip. It is one of the best places to find action. A lot of players on the strip are very good and you might find it harder to win money here than you do in other areas of Las Vegas. Beginner and intermediate players might find better venues on the Boulder strip. All players should be able to find a good table on the strip provided they make sure to choose a good table. A table with other players on the same or a lower level than yourself.
Some of the best poker rooms on the strip are:
- Bellagio: Bellagio offers a large and very well run poker room. It is one of the best if not the best in Las Vegas. A lot of poker stars like Doyle Brunson and Phil Ivey play here. They have a very well run and famous high roller room called ‘Bobby’s Room”. The room is only open for high rollers that have been invited. You can arrange access to the room in advance if you are a true high roller. There is no set limited to how much money you have to be willing to bet to get access to the room. It will, however, be in the hundreds of thousands or more.
- The Venetian: The Venetian offers a well-run poker room with about 40 tables to play on. The room is devoted almost exclusively to Texas Holdem. The poker room offers very popular deep stack tournaments.
- Binion’s: Binion’s is a historical site for poker players and it remains a very well run casino. Binion’s used to host the World series of poker and has housed all of the poker greats. All poker players should visit Binion’s at least once.
Other good poker rooms on the strip include MGM Grand, The Mirage, Caesars Palace and the Rio all suits.
The Golden Nugget
The golden nugget is the most famous poker room in Las Vegas. It has featured in countless TV shows and movies. It remains a very good poker room and is well worth a visit. The Golden Nugget is an old establishment and is not located on the Strip. The poker room is instead located in Downtown. The area that was the center of gambling in Las Vegas before the Strip was established. I Highly recommend that you visit the Golden Nugget at least once.
The Strip is usually the best place to stay if you want to play poker. The exception from this is if you primarily want to play in The Golden Nugget.