Tahoe poker is a strong alternative for gamblers looking for action outside of Las Vegas.

There are twelve casinos within a short drive of the Tahoe region, though only five have legitimate poker rooms. Some of them "rope off" a section of the pit games area and call it a poker room from night to night, but real poker room action in Tahoe is at Harvey’s, Lakeside, Montbleu, Cal-Neva, Grand Sierra, and the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe.

Curiously, there are no Sit n Gos in the Tahoe poker region. All of the poker rooms hold tournaments and you can find cash games at all five rooms.

Harvey’s is the biggest poker room in Tahoe, with twenty tables and the earliest opening time — 9 AM. The poker rooms at other Tahoe casinos open at noon at the earliest, with a handful opening around 6 PM. The buy-in range for No Limit tables at this non-smoking poker room is from $50 – $1000 depending on the night of the week.

Lakeside is probably the weakest Tahoe poker room with just three tables and a serious need for renovation. No poker action until the sun sets — 7 PM — but No Limit buy-ins are a bit easier to swallow here, starting at just $30 and topping out at just $200. Lakeside’s poker room would be a good place for a beginner to learn the game.

With only six tables, the poker room at Montbleu isn’t much better than that at Lakeside. Sunday nights at Montbleu are dealer’s choice with $100 buy-ins.

The Hyatt actually located in Incline Village, has a "periodic" poker room at best — usually only open from Wednesday through Saturday. There are a few tournaments, but lots of video poker near the poker room which is just a sin in my opinion. The Hyatt resort is a "classy" place to play. North Shore poker doesn’t get much more hoity-toity than this.

All the poker rooms in the Tahoe region are non-smoking — I guess this is becoming the standard in casinos in America. You can get any poker room to play any poker game as long as there are enough players — the restrictions aren’t as tight here as in Vegas or Atlantic City.

Tahoe poker rooms run three types of Texas Hold’em poker tournaments — shootout, No limit with one rebuy, and another No limit Texas Hold’em game without a re-buy. Make sure you know which game your Tahoe poker tournament is going to play before you get there

To learn more about Tahoe Poker in general, visit that link.

By Tony Shepard
Vegas a home that home doesn’t know about.