What Makes the Ultimate Poker Room?

What Makes the Ultimate Poker Room? My experience is limited to home games and two great entries at the Fargo Poker Tournament at Mohegan Sun. Many of you frequent poker rooms. What do you look forward to in a good poker room?  This is what I’ve found about best casino poker rooms.    Related Posts – FARGO Poker   and   PLAYING CASINO POKER FOR THE BEGINNER

PokerAtlas.com is a Great Poker Resource Poker Rooms and Tournaments

Six New England casinos have poker rooms. Changes have taken place with a few as well. For example, Mohegan Sun & Foxwoods have moved their poker rooms. For information about games, tournament, and general info, check out the following links:

Related Post – 12 Poker Rooms in New Hampshire – an Update

“What Makes the Ultimate Poker Room?”

Finding a consensus on what makes a good poker room was not easily. However, poker players do agree on the following Characteristics of the Ultimate Poker Room.

1. The Rake / Bad Beat Jackpots

Poker Rooms the RakeThe “rake” is the scaled commission fee taken by a card room operating a poker game. It is generally 2.5 to 10 percent of the pot in each poker hand, up to a predetermined maximum amount.  Obviously, most players prefer a lower rake %.  Low rake is sometimes switched with time charge, especially in the early mornings. Some players actually had decisive limits – 5 percent rake and a $3 maximum per hand, 10 percent with a $4 maximum is the highest that should be charged.

Also, a “Bad Beat Jackpot” is not preferred. What is a “bad beat jackpot”? It’s  when a poker room pays out an amount of money if a very good hand (usually Quad Eights or better) ends up losing to another hand. This “bad beat jackpot” is usually divvied up between all of the players at the table who participated in the hand that was played. In most circumstances, the loser of the hand will receive 50% of the bad beat jackpot, the winner of the hand will receive 25%. The remaining players will split the remaining 25%.  The “bad beat jackpot” accrues over time and grows based on how much rake the poker room is collecting.  The low rake combined with fewer BBJ’s are preferred.

2. Comfort / Atmosphere

Poker Rooms
MGM Springfield Poker Room – most comfy in New England?

Most players like a comfortable place to play. When I asked one player “What Makes the Ultimate Poker Room?” he said, “The poker room exists to generate rake and the best way to generate rake is to provide an atmosphere that people enjoy. If I ran a poker room, I wouldn’t be in the “Poker” business, I would be “hosting a party and a party atmosphere” Make the poker room fun. If the room is more fun it increases your drop.”

In particular, quiet is most conducive to a comfy atmosphere. The room should be clean, good-looking, and well-lit, with nice chairs and cushions, and bathrooms. Many players admitted they prefer a poker room with space, especially at and between the tables.

When it comes to smoking, most players seem to be changing towards a non-smoking poker room. One forum member said “I’ve  played in rooms where smoking is allowed and it’s horrible.”

3. The Management of a Poker Room in the Ultimate Poker Room

The first part of what management controls is getting to the table. An almost unanimous response was that it was important to quickly get from waiting list to seated at a table.

What Makes the Ultimate Poker Room? Good Management
Foxwoods Resort Casino. Waiting for a game.

Every room needs someone on duty 24/7 who knows all the games, all the correct rulings and have accessibility to both dealers and players.

Great managers are guys who know when to intervene and guys who know when to let the players handle their own situations. Staff members who approaches situations professionally and makes informed decisions will please more people in the long term. Floor staff can make correct decisions and still be pleasant.

The sign-up desk should be warm and friendly, welcoming its players. “Greeting people poorly is a very common problem in poker rooms,” said one player. “If you aren’t a people person, don’t work the sign-up desk.”

4. Good Dealers are a Must

What Makes the Ultimate Poker Room? Good Poker Room Dealers

The best poker rooms should have great dealers. Being a good dealer is not that easy. Here are “good dealer traits”:

  • Most of the dealers have been here at least 4+ years.
  • Good dealers deal a decently paced game
  • Don’t talk too much
  • Know the game left and right
  • Very courteous especially to the losing players.
  • Provide a consistent experience as other dealers (which suggests better training by management)
  • Treats 1-2 (limit) players like 10-20 (limit) players. (i.e., treating all players like they’re important)

The Games

What Makes the Ultimate Poker Room?
Poker Room at Hollywood Casino in Bangor, Maine

The Ultimate Poker Room must have a wide mix of games. Good games seem to be the most important factor, one that the house has little control. Players who make good games tend to flock to the best run rooms. So, the clientele ultimately plays the most important part of good games. What a revelation!!!

Service Counts

What Makes the Ultimate Poker Room? - Wait Staff
Service with a smile.

Being treated well by wait staff was more important than comps, according to my inquiries. Promotions, and all the amenities were important, but not if the place was a mess, run poorly, and made the players uncomfortable with the game. SERVICE COUNTS. It’s the same old thing we have been saying for years, as we see casinos change to a business first model instead of the service / hospitality model we were used to in years past.  Happy players means repeat business of the best kind.  It seems so simple. Too bad it’s more often a thing of the past….and that’s the rest of the story!



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