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The Best Poker In Vegas | Play Poker Today!

Las Vegas is the best place to play poker. This is subjective based on my experiences, but I have played in most poker rooms on the East Coast and almost every poker room in the south. I haven’t played on the West Coast yet, but I know many people who live and play out there, and they say the same thing: Poker in Vegas is #1.

Las Vegas Poker Appeal

It begins when you look out your airplane window and see the Vegas skyline. Your adrenaline pumps as you anticipate what new adventure awaits you for this trip. It’s always better to win, but one thing most people don’t understand about life is that it really doesn’t matter if you win or lose. That matters right now, but it won’t matter in the future.

What matters is that you took the trip, which will create a memory. As the saying goes, “The only bad trip is the one you didn’t take.” With that in mind, at the end of this article, take out your phone, look up Vegas properties with poker rooms, and book it! Booking the trip fits within our poker rules for winning. Either you win or you gain experience. Either way, it’s a win.

Even walking up and down The Strip in Las Vegas makes you feel alive. As you’re walking, you’re not only passing poker room after poker room, you also feel an energy that can’t even be felt in New York City. In NYC, people are working and moving hectically to get to one place from the next because everything is based on time. In Vegas, everyone is on vacation. It simply makes you feel happy. Add poker to the mix and you have found paradise.

Ship It!

If you want to ship it while you’re in Vegas, then you’re going to need to know where to play. But first you need to know what ‘Ship It!’ means. When someone says, “Ship It!” in poker, it means they won anything from a poker hand to a poker tournament.

If you plan on playing low-stakes poker games in Las Vegas, then you should bring at least $400. This is a small amount, especially if you’re traveling across the country. I’m only writing that amount for poker in Vegas because I don’t want you to get crushed on your first trip and never return. If you can afford to bring more, then I recommend bringing $800-$1,000 for low-stakes poker games.

If you’re seeking low-stakes poker in Vegas, then begin journey at Flamingo, Planet Hollywood (a.k.a. PH), or Bally’s. Nobody has classified Beginner Poker Rooms in Las Vegas yet, so I might as well do it here. If you’re a beginner and you’re looking for soft low-stakes poker in Vegas, then go to one of the three Beginner Vegas Poker Rooms: Flamingo, PH, or Bally’s.

I’ll break this down a little so you know what to expect at each location. I’ll also throw some poker tips in there.

Poker In Vegas: The Flamingo

The Flamingo is right in the heart of The Strip. It’s also a favorite of my friend/fan Keith. I know he’s reading this article because he reads all of them. This is my first shout out.

What you don’t know about Keith is that he’s important to you. I’ll tell you why. He used to suck at poker. Then he listened to The Perfect Range. He listened to it again and again. He has listened to it so many times (probably a few hundred) that he understands SPATS better than me at this point.

After promising himself that he would apply SPATS 100% for a year no matter what, he won $80,000 over that year in 2/5 NL games and small poker tournaments. He then brought his game to the Flamingo and crushed it. He recently stayed there for about a week. I think he won 6 out of 9 poker tournaments or something crazy like that.

If you’re a beginner poker player and you have time to apply SPATS at the Flamingo poker room over the course of a week, you should leave with at least a few hundred, but it’s more likely to be a few thousand. Keith has fallen so in love with this process that he has invested in a Las Vegas condo.

One thing here, though. If Keith likes peanut butter, he’s going to eat peanut butter. He’s not going to mess with jelly, butter, or cream cheese. I don’t know his diet to that extent, but my point is that Keith sticks to what he likes. He doesn’t know shit about PH, and he only has an idea of what to expect at Bally’s.

Poker In Vegas: Planet Hollywood

PH is a whole other world. While the players at the Flamingo are simply atrocious and have no idea what they’re doing, the players at the Planet Hollywood poker room might have a small clue about what they’re doing. The only problem (for them) is that they’re often intoxicated.

If you play at PH at night on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, then you will almost certainly find someone at your table who is drunk. Your job to make money here is very simple. Sit back, wait for premium poker hands against this player, and attack. They will most likely call.

If you don’t already know, drunk people tend to call. If drunk people annoy you, then I wouldn’t recommend PH, but would you let someone annoy you for a few hours in exchange for about $500? I think yes.

Poker In Vegas: Bally’s

Bally’s is yet another type of experience. It’s much tamer than PH, and the players a little better than at Flamingo, but they’re still not great, and this could be a good thing.

Bally’s poker room is filled with low-end Medium Players. This means they know the game and apply very basic concepts and poker strategy. At first glance, you might think this is bad and you would prefer to play against terrible players at the Flamingo.

That might be a good way to play it for you, but if you have been reading the poker strategy articles on this site and really absorbing the poker tips I’ve been writing about, then you’re going to know exactly what your opponents at Bally’s are doing.

The simpler version is this. Since the majority of players at Bally’s understand the basics of the game, they’re easier to read. When it comes to poker in Vegas, there is nothing easier to read.

If you’re playing a 1/2 NL game and your opponent raises to $6, it’s something like KJ. If they raise to $10, it’s probably AJ or KQ. If they raise to $12, it’s likely to be AK or JJ. If they raise to $15 or higher, it’s very likely to be AA or KK.

They will raise based on the value of their poker hands. This is a game you can destroy.

Ego and Greed

If I lived in Vegas (many people think I do), I would play here all the time.

That last sentence is a very important point. As you know by now, I play a lot of poker, and I usually play at the Mid-Major level. You will never hear/read someone with my experience say/write that they would play at Bally’s every day if they lived in Vegas. Can you guess why? If you said, “Ego,” you nailed it! If you said, “Greed,” you still nailed it!

Professional poker players don’t want to be seen at Bally’s for image purposes, and they don’t want to play at Bally’s because there is no big money available. That comes down to Ego and Greed. I look at it differently. If the competition at Bally’s is easy to read and I’m much more likely to make money, then it’s exactly where I want to be.

If 99.9% of professional poker players want to be seen at Aria, Wynn, Venetian, and Bellagio and never want to be seen at Flamingo, PH, and Bally’s, then where do you think you should play poker in Vegas? This is easy stuff, people!

What’s amazing is that you can use the Ego and Greed of professional poker players against them without them even realizing you’re doing it. You not playing on their turf isn’t going to hurt them directly, but you’re certainly hurting them indirectly by not giving them an opportunity to take your money.

There is one more way to look at it before I move on to Texas Hold’em poker tournaments in Las Vegas. Let’s say you’re a wrestler in high school and your goal is to have winning record by the end of your career. Someone tells you that you can choose the division you want to play in.

You can either play in Division A, which has all the best wrestlers in the county, or you can play in Division B, which has all beginners. If your goal is to have a winning record, which Division are you going to choose?

The answer is so simple, but Ego and Greed are THAT powerful. Professional poker players are human beings, and human beings make mistakes. Don’t give professional poker players too much credit for their decision making because their decision to play in the strong-competition poker rooms is Class A Stupid.

They don’t even realize that by playing against the same skill level, they are decreasing the skill factor, which leads to them paying more rake over the long haul.

Poker In Las Vegas: Texas Hold’em Tournaments

I’m not going to write about all poker tournaments in Las Vegas here, but I will give you all the information you need to know before visiting. Poker tournaments are a little different than traditional poker games when choosing where to play poker in Vegas because of the prize pools.

When you play in the bigger games, your likelihood of succeeding will be lower, but if you do succeed, the payoff will be higher. If you play in the smaller poker tournaments, you will have a better chance of winning, but the payoff will be smaller.

If you want to go for the big payoff, you should go straight to the Wynn Poker Room. When it comes to poker in Vegas, nothing compares to the Wynn Poker Room. If there is a paradise within a paradise, it’s the Wynn Poker Room in Las Vegas.

I know what you’re thinking based on what I wrote before. Yes, the competition here will be tougher, but we’re talking about tournaments now. All Daily/Nightly poker tournaments at the Wynn Poker Room have buy-ins between $150 and $200. The guarantees range between $5k and $30k.

You will not find that anywhere else in Las Vegas for Daily/Nightly poker tournaments. A $30k GTD for a Daily is so outrageous (in a good way) that almost seems like it should be against the poker rules, but it’s a good thing for you.

The most popular place for poker in Vegas is The Venetian. It’s the biggest poker room in town, and it attracts even more players for its poker tournaments than the Wynn Poker Room. However, The Venetian poker room doesn’t offer guarantees for its Daily/Nightly poker tournaments. The buy-in range for poker tournaments at The Venetian is $125-$200.

Caesars is a good place to play poker tournaments because the buy-in range is $100-$150, there are guarantees (up to $2k), and the field is mostly comprised of Medium Players that are relatively easy to read.

The same can be said for Golden Nugget (GN), and there is a $5k GTD on Sunday with a $125 buy-in. The only problem is that GN is Downtown, which might be a hassle for you. If you’re already staying Downtown, then it’s a no-brainer.

Other poker rooms offering good value for their Daily/Nightly poker tournaments include Aria, The Orleans, South Point, Red Rock, and Bellagio. If you want softer competition and don’t mind paying higher fees, look at Flamingo, PH, and Bally’s (as you might have expected).

Final Thoughts

Poker in Vegas is amazing. I’m writing this even though poker in Vegas threw me for a setback this past summer. That happened because I played in a few big buy-in poker tournaments. So, despite winning a poker tournament at Bally’s and only being in town for six days, I still had a losing trip. Do you see what happened there? Greed got me!

I might not be Phil Ivey, but I understand big-picture strategy as well as anyone else out there. I am telling you with absolute certainty, your two biggest enemies are Ego and Greed. If a poker player looks back at any downswing they have experienced, they will be able to point to one of those two things. Therefore, when you go looking for poker in Vegas, leave Ego and Greed back home.

♠ pokerjournal.org / Tyler Nals

Poker In Vegas – FAQs

Q: Where can you play poker in Las Vegas?

A: Tons of places, especially on The Strip. If you’re a beginner, then I would highly recommend playing in one of the three softest poker rooms in Vegas: PH, Bally’s or the Flamingo.

Q: How much money do you need to play poker in Vegas?

A: If you play at the Flamingo, you can bring $100. If you play at Aria or Wynn, you are going to need at least $300 to even have a fighting chance. It really just depends on the venue.

Q: What kind of poker do they poker in Vegas?

A: Las Vegas is unique because it’s the only location I have played that has different playing styles. It depends on the venue. For example, they play soft-passive at Bally’s, there is a ton of drunk gambling at PH, there is cluelessness at the Flamingo and then there is great play at the Wynn.

Q: What are the best poker rooms in Las Vegas?

A: The top three places to play poker in Las Vegas are The Aria, The Wynn and The Venetian.