Florida Poker Rooms: Fast Poker
Florida was that I had to hit ever poker room in Florida and attempt to turn a profit. This was extremely challenging because Florida is kind of a big state. I found myself rushing from one Florida poker room to the next, which didn’t allow me to apply any real poker strategy. In some cases, I would only have one hour, which is an insanely short amount of time for a cash game.
When you play any kind of poker games, you need to make sure you have enough time to execute a game plan, even if that game plan is as simple as playing tight and waiting for the right spots. By rushing from one poker room to the next, I didn’t apply any kind of real poker strategy and lost. Actually, I lost so badly on that trip that I doubted my ability as a poker player at the time.
Florida Poker Rooms: Slow Poker
Poker tip, never rush when you’re playing poker. If you have any type of time constraints, you’re not going to play your A game. Poker games are already tough to beat. If you have time constraints weighing on your mind, it’s going to lead to poor poker decisions. What I’m trying to tell you is this: Don’t make the same mistake I made. Play Fast Lose, Play Slow Win.
Florida Poker Rooms +/-
Florida was my worst state for poker in regards to +/- until I went back earlier this year and won three poker tournaments in one week at Coconut Creek during the WSOP Circuit. I was in the zone that week. I also cashed one of Tampa Hard Rock’s poker tournaments a few months ago. That wasn’t a big cash, but I’m now in the black in Florida, which feels kind of like sunshine.
Alright, let’s get to those 11 Florida poker rooms. I’ll keep it simple while also telling you what you need to know. This article won’t be about what cash games and poker tournaments are available. It will be more about what you should expect in general at all Florida poker rooms listed below. You’ll see what I mean.
Hollywood Seminole Hard Rock Poker Room
This is by far one of the most popular Florida poker rooms. It’s a gorgeous room, and since it’s the Hard Rock, everything is done with class, including the restaurants, bars, and pool.
In this poker room, it’s not just the décor that’s appealing. This location is surrounded by money: Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Ft. Lauderdale, etc. This means a lot of whales. Yes, whales! As in very big fish. Technically speaking, whales are warm-blooded, so they’re not actually fish, but they are very big fish in the poker world.
If you’re not looking to squish the big fish (or the little fish) in the cash games, the Hard Rock runs an incredible amount of poker tournaments. These poker tournaments are also referred to by some as the best in the world due to prize pools and low rake.
On top of that, the cocktail service, massage therapists, Floor, and dealers are usually on point. I use the word ‘usually’ because I did come across a dealer once at a cash game that was rude to the players. This was an aberration, so don’t worry about it.
If you play cash games here, what you need to know is that these fish/whales play a lot of poker hands. This is excellent news for you. All you have to do is play slow and wait and pick them off. In the lower stakes games, they don’t think about your poker range, playing style, or any of that. They’re just playing a game. Take advantage of this opportunity.
Win or lose, playing at the Hollywood Hard Rock Poker Room is quite an experience.
Tampa Hard Rock Poker Room
I’m going straight to the Tampa Hard Rock Poker Room so you don’t get confused. Having them right next to each other offers more clarity. A lot of people believe that the Hollywood Poker Room is the nicest of all Florida poker rooms. I’d say it’s a close second to the Tampa Hard Rock Poker Room.
The Tampa Hard Rock Poker Room is kind of like a huge and beautiful underground hangout. It has everything from high ceilings to chandeliers to beautiful tables to tons of action. You can play any kind of cash game, and there are always poker tournaments. In fact, they run a $200 buy-in/$200k guarantee every single weekend.
That’s perfect because most people can afford it, it’s fun, and there is money to be made. That said, there is one negative to these poker tournaments, which is that they are top-heavy. This means that the top few spots get paid a lot, but the remainder of the people who get paid receive less.
That really shouldn’t weigh in your decision. In addition to everything above, the Tampa Hard Rock Poker Room is extremely well run, which includes the Manager, Floor and dealers. I would highly recommend playing here. And while the Hard Rock scene outside of the poker room here isn’t quite as lively as the Hollywood Hard Rock, it’s still livelier than most casinos.
Isle Pompano Park Poker Room
This used to be a highly active and popular poker room in South Florida. It has slowed down in recent years because the Hollywood Hard Rock continues to run a lot of enticing tournaments, and because Coconut Creek hosts the WSOP Circuit (I wouldn’t recommend Coconut Creek unless the Circuit is in town).
Isle Pompano Park is an incredibly gorgeous poker room. You go up an escalator to get there. When you arrive at the top, you’re likely to be shocked by what you see, which will be a lot of marble, mahogany, and space.
The action here isn’t what it used to be, but it could come back because the platform is there. The lack of action could also work in your favor. Due to the lack of action, they sometimes offer a $400 high hand. I have hit it twice in two sessions simply because there weren’t many people in the room. One was quad nines, but the other was aces full of jacks, which isn’t that big of a hand (for a High Hand).
I definitely recommend playing here. It’s a nice atmosphere. Some of the players are a little pretentious, but it’s easy to ignore them.
Hialeah Park Poker Room
This entire location (not just the poker room) is known for its architecture, which is Old Spanish. It’s very unique. The poker room itself is comfortable. You will get tons of action here, and they let you run it twice in cash games.
The crowd is going to be mixed between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking, which makes for a different experience. Everyone is friendly, and the Floor is exceptional. I think the biggest benefit to playing here is space. If you’re a poker player and you’re in Florida, you need to play here at least once.
Palm Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room
This is one of the ugliest Florida poker rooms, which is strange because it’s located in Palm Beach. The reason it makes this list is simple: You will find more action here than anywhere else in Florida. It’s not even close. Many of the regulars who play here are maniacs with money to burn. If you can play slow and remain patient, you can find some good spots.
The tricky part is when you have a good (not great) hand, the pot has ballooned, and they put pressure on you. I would highly recommend basing your decision on the player who is doing the betting. If it’s an aggressive maniac, call. You won’t be correct every time, but you will be correct more times than not.
BestBet Jacksonville Poker Room
BestBet in Jacksonville is seen by many as the best poker room in Florida. To be honest with you, I don’t get it. I have played here many times, and while it’s a good poker room, it’s just … big. It’s well run and everything, but there is nothing that really gives it unique character. If you’re simply looking for a place to play where you can find different types of stakes, then go here. But don’t expect anything like some of the poker rooms mentioned above.
BestBet does run a lot of Texas Hold’em poker tournaments. It also hosts more than one poker series. You might want to consider playing in one of these because of the amount of players BestBet attracts. Due to its location in Jacksonville, BestBet attracts players from several states.
BestBet Orange Park Poker Room
BestBet Orange Park is smaller than the BestBet in Jacksonville and attracts more regulars. It also smells like hamburgers due to the grill that is practically inside the poker room. If you’re not a regular, the players here are going to know. It’s one of those situations. If you like to be challenged, go for it. If not, you might want to avoid.
Silks Poker Room
I sometimes write about poker rules for winning. In this situation, I’m going to tell you one of the best poker rules for not losing: Don’t play at the Silks Poker Room. I know that sounds harsh, and I can’t prove anything, but I have played here many times and have continuously noticed that the dealers and Floor tend to lean toward the regulars.
I wasn’t sure if this was just me until I posted about it on Facebook to the poker community and learned that many other people felt the same way. I would not recommend playing here.
Derby Lane Poker Room
This is one of the softest poker rooms in Florida. That’s because it’s in a tourist area (St. Petersburg). Since this is more of a middle-class tourist area, the people are friendlier, and they tend to play a little more on the passive side.
Since they don’t play as many poker hands, it’s your job to apply pressure, but don’t go overboard! You want to apply pressure at the right times and in the right spots. Basically, raise instead of limping any time you sense weakness, but not if you have a marginal hand and there are several players behind you.
Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track
This is also one of the softest poker room in Florida. You can do very well here on the weekends, and they do a High Hand on Wednesday, which attracts tons of players. That should tell you something. If all of these players are showing up for a $500 High Hand promotion, then $500 is very important to them. Apply pressure but use some caution because some of these players will be playing for the High Hand.
Daytona Beach Racing & Card Club
Well … I think we should add one more soft poker room to this list. The players here are very soft in the passive sense. If you play low-stakes and want to crush it, go to the Daytona Beach Poker Room (how poker players refer to it). This is the ideal poker room for someone who likes to steamroll their opponents.
I used the 11 Florida poker rooms above because they are either the most popular, they offer good value, or they are somewhere I believe you shouldn’t go. I would highly recommend bookmarking this list for your Florida poker travels. Good luck on your journey.
Florida Poker Rooms – FAQ
Are poker rooms legal in Florida?
Yes. There is a gray area with the racetracks now that dog racing has been banned (a good thing), but they are still operational, and the Seminole properties are 100% legal.
Can I play poker online if I live in Florida?
No. You can only play legal online poker via regulated sites in Delaware, New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania.
What kind of poker games do they offer in Florida?
Everything you can imagine. The poker scene in Florida is huge.
What is the best place to play poker in Florida?
There are many options to choose. In my opinion, Tampa Hard Rock is the best poker room in Florida. Some would say Hollywood Hard Rock, BestBet in Jacksonville or Hialeah Park in Miami. If you want to play in a soft poker room in Florida, I recommend Dayton Beach or Derby Lane.