The United States has a lot to offer poker players, and there are plenty of casinos best suited for those who love the game. I hear a lot of chatter in gambling circles about the poker boom being dead. I don’t disagree that the latest big boom has passed. But I see a problem with the way it’s phrased for a couple of reasons.
First and foremost, while the substantial influx of new players has slowed, poker continues to grow at rates that are faster than almost any point in history.
Secondly, it makes it seem as if real money poker is on the decline. Walk into any poker room around the world on a busy night or during a tournament, and it’s clear to see poker has a lot of life left.
I recently had a discussion on the poker boom with a colleague. We started piecing together a list of our favorite casinos in the US. Here are the 10 best US casinos for poker players.
1 – The Wynn Encore (Las Vegas, NV)
I want to be clear with you that I’m not necessarily ranking these casinos in order. If I were, the Wynn Encore Resort in Las Vegas might still be in the number one spot.
This fantastic casino resort is a gambler’s dream, and the poker players are at the top of mind at Encore.
The poker room boasts a collection of nearly 30 poker tables where you can find a game 24/7. You aren’t stuck to Texas Hold’Em either, which is nice when you need a break.
The daily tournaments at Encore have prize pools that regularly exceed $35k with a buy-in of only $550. If you want to play against some of the best poker players on the planet, the Encore gives you your shot.
2 – WinStar World Casino (Thackerville, OK)
WinStar World Casino is the largest casino on the planet, with over 400,000 square feet of amazing gaming space. With nearly 9,000 electronic gaming machines and dozens of table games, you may think the poker players are overlooked.
That couldn’t be further from the truth. WinStar has a beautifully appointed and spacious poker room dedicated to the sharks and the fish alike.
Incredibly, the room can feel so intimate while holding close to 60 poker tables. The poker room has played host to major events with purses in excess of $3 million.
When you’ve had your fill of poker, make your way across the street to the excellent golf academy that offers player’s two awe-inspiring 36-hole courses to choose from. Or be like me and play both.
3 – Seminole Hard Rock Casino (Hollywood, FL)
The Seminole Hard Rock Casino is a must-visit poker destination in the area. The Seminole has the most enormous poker room in the entire state and is the setting for regular WPT events.
For those of you that wish to take on the pro ranks, the Seminole holds several events throughout the year that bring players from around the country and the world.
However, it wouldn’t be on the list of best poker rooms if you couldn’t make a little money. Florida has a booming tourist industry without the casinos.
So, few would consider Florida solely for the casinos. However, the weather can’t be beaten, and that brings a lot of wallets from colder climates.
I’ve seen a lot of players around the poker tables out of sheer boredom. That makes an excellent avenue for making some severe cash at Seminole Hard Rock.
The Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida is just one of the six Seminole casinos in Florida!
4 – Commerce Casino (Los Angeles, CA)
Most recreational poker players have never even heard of the Commerce Casino. Located in Los Angeles, it’s off the radar for most casino gamblers.
Still, if you know, then you know. This unassuming casino is one of the preeminent poker rooms on the planet.
Everything Commerce Casino does is geared to the savvy gambler. The table games have soft rules that encourage players to bet more money and have a legitimate opportunity to take home a little cash.
However, don’t ever get the impression that poker doesn’t sit at the throne as king in this casino. The games range from small stakes $1/$2 games to the $500/$1000 high-stakes game.
Many of your poker idols have made their way through the Commerce Casino on their way up, and many can still be spotted there pretty regularly.
If you want a poker-centric gambling adventure, make the trip to the Commerce Casino. You may bump into someone you know.
5 – The Borgata Hotel Casino (Atlantic City, NJ)
Atlantic City doesn’t get the love it once enjoyed. The epic proliferation of casinos across the country has left areas like Atlantic City and Reno competing vehemently with new and more convenient casino destinations.
Regardless the Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City remains one of the most dominant casinos in the US for poker players. The small stakes no-limit tables at Borgata can make an advantage for gamblers entire month.
Don’t let that detail scare you off as a mid-level player. There are plenty of scraps to go around for everyone, thanks to the deep pockets of the Borgata’s clientele.
However, you should recognize your place and understand that some tremendously talented players will have no mercy.
6 – Golden Nugget Lake Charles (Lake Charles, LA)
Lake Charles, LA, has been devastated by hurricanes and flooding several times over the past few years. Yet, the region continuously bands together and rises like a phoenix.
So, I’ve got to show a little love for the resiliency of the people of Louisiana by including the Golden Nugget Lake Charles on the list.
Trust me, this casino has more than enough to offer the poker player to make it on their own accord. The Golden Nugget’s poker room has a wide selection of games and stakes to choose from, and it’s located near the buffet.
So, you’ll never need to go hungry during the long grind of a session at the tables.
7 – The Bellagio (Las Vegas, NV)
The Bellagio is widely held in esteemed regard from top to bottom. The casino doesn’t cut corners in any area of its property, and that holds especially true for the poker room.
Probably any legitimate poker player you run into will know all about the big game at the Bellagio. The buy-in for the infamous game starts at $20k, but that’ll hardly get you through a few rotations.
The blinds regularly grow as high as $4,000/$8,000. You can see why the legends of poker come here to play.
Best of all, the game is available for anyone to watch without having to fork over 20-large for the privilege.
The games for us mortals are also fantastic on a less grand scale. The opportunity to watch their idols play for huge stakes draws a large tourist crowd, and that means steak dinners for the savvy players.
8 – Beau Rivage Resort & Casino (Biloxi, MS)
The Beau Rivage Resort & Casino ranks pretty high on my list of favorite casinos in the United States. The poker room is no exception.
Players can enjoy games from 10 am to 4 am daily. You’ll have your pick of five games in a smoke-free environment.
There are tournaments daily with buy-ins starting as low as $25, and the table-side beverage service will keep you plenty hydrated during the grind of tournament poker.
The Beau Rivage provides a personal feel in a small but exceptional package.
9 – The Mirage (Las Vegas, NV)
MGM Resorts definitely know poker and the Mirage Resort & Casino makes another of their casinos on the list of best casinos in the US for poker players.
The poker room has over 30 tables in a professional yet cozy setting. The space sits near one of the main entrances, and because of this, it’s prone to higher foot traffic than you may be accustomed to.
The no-limit games start at $2/$5, which is great because of the sheer volume of novice players pouring through the doors by the hour.
There’s an opening for any reasonably skilled player to win some serious cash at the Mirage without garnering too much attention from the heavy-hitters in the room.
10 – ARIA Resort & Casino (Las Vegas, NV)
I won’t hardly make a trip to Las Vegas without spending a few nights at ARIA Resort & Casino. The casino gives player’s the entire selection of fantastic gambling, dining, entertainment, spa amenities, and shopping in a single exquisite package.
The poker room at the Aria is more intimate than many of the others on the list. For a casino resort of such magnitude, there are only around 20 tables in the poker room.
This gives players more of the feeling of exclusivity that the ARIA is proud to provide. Unfortunately, it can lead to unbearable waitlist times for players late to the party.
However, once you find a seat, you’ll enjoy games with accommodating blinds and a decent rake. Take your significant other to the ARIA, and they’ll let you play poker until you drop.
Our Final THoughts on These Casinos
There are dozens of contenders when looking for the 10 best land based US casinos for poker players. I chose to include the casinos on this list for the reasons I’ve mentioned above.
There are plenty of attractions casinos offer to lure in gamblers and tourists. The casinos noted here will have a particular penchant for catering to the poker players, which is why you should consult this list before your next poker trip.