For some people, the idea of sitting down and playing poker in Las Vegas sounds intimidating. We’ve all seen the tense, atmospheric card scenes in Hollywood movies gone by, but the reality is that poker is rarely like that in “Sin City.” There are plenty of poker rooms situated on the Las Vegas Strip that cater to newcomers to the game, hosting friendly tournaments and cash games that are packed with tourists just like you.
With that in mind, we’ve put together four of the best poker rooms on the Vegas Strip to try as a poker beginner, to help you acclimate. It’s good to stay in the same poker room until you feel you’ve outgrown it and are ready to graduate to a bigger, better room. It’s just like in football, when up-and-coming stars like Patrick Mahomes choose to earn their stripes somewhere like Kansas City – no offense Chiefs fans – before making a life-changing move to a bigger, more established franchise in the years to come.
Excalibur, South Strip
First and foremost, Excalibur is one of the few Strip-based casinos that offer free poker lessons to complete newbies. This is really great and an effective way of getting tourists involved in their daily tournaments, which all have very low buy-ins.
You can buy into all their daily tournaments for less than the cost of a decent rib-eye steak ($45). It’s also possible to rebuy into the action for another $45 up until the tournament’s first break. The dealers are also well-known for being understanding and helpful towards new players within the betting action, assisting with blinds and antes etc.
Flamingo, Mid Strip
The Flamingo is one of the oldest casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. Parts of it are starting to show their age, but the Flamingo’s poker room is alive and kicking.
It’s a place where many low-limit beginners go mid-Strip to play poker. Experienced local players rarely go there to exploit the tourists and the Flamingo offers a reasonable $2-$4 Texas Hold’em limit table, which can help to cap the action and give you more bang for your buck.
Bally’s, Mid Strip
If you’re someone that likes the idea of being involved in multi-table tournaments and playing for big cash prizes, Bally’s is another mid-Strip casino with modest tournament buy-ins in its poker room.
You can enter here for $60, plus the poker room offers a guaranteed prize pool of $500 for every event, regardless of field size. You also start with 10,000 tournament chips rather than the 5,000 you get at the Excalibur, which gives you more opportunity to bide your time.
Mirage, North Strip
A little further north of Bally’s on the Las Vegas Strip is the Mirage resort and casino. Like Flamingo, Mirage also offers Limit cash games that prove very popular with tourists and beginners alike (the lowest limit cash games are generally $3-$6).
Don’t be afraid to head into the Mirage poker room and watch the action unfold first, to get a feel for the atmosphere and the flow of the game.
Low-stakes poker in Vegas can be just as fun to play as those games in the VIP, high-limit rooms. You’ll get to meet opponents from all walks of life, with tourists coming from all over the world to say they’ve played cards in Vegas. Hopefully the four poker rooms above should give you a friendly, welcoming experience as a poker newbie.