Ask any casual observer where you’ll find the best poker rooms in the U.S., and nine out of 10 will tell you that they’ll be in Vegas. But those of you who live closer to the East Coast will know that Atlantic City offers as much poker than its more famous counterpart. New Jersey is fast becoming a well-known destination for poker lovers, and aside from the air quality, it’s easy to see why.
Not only are there tons of great casinos in the city, but the entire state of New Jersey has embraced the gaming culture for what it is. And that’s a chance to play cards and have fun. With legislation even allowing for nonresidents to play online poker in the state, there’s now more than one reason to visit our great state.
Interestingly enough, the success of New Jersey’s foray into online poker has seemingly brought even more attention to the state, with poker tourism now believed to be at record highs. Industry heavyweights such as 888poker, who run their online operations from New Jersey, have undoubtedly helped up the ante, so to speak. As we said, there are now plenty of reasons for poker players to come here, but when it comes to live poker venues, they’re probably here to play at one of the poker rooms we’ve listed below.
WSOP Poker Room at the Wild Wild West Casino
With 42 tables in a bustling poker room, there’s no shortage of live action in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) room at the Wild Wild West Casino. Buy-ins start from $50 while there are regular tournaments with prize funds of up to $5K on offer. Regulars at the WSOP room have mentioned that while the staff is quite professional, it lacks that friendly atmosphere that you’ll find at one of our other poker rooms on this list.
Open 24/7, the poker room has a nice, modern feel and is extremely well-maintained, as it should provided it’s only been open for about five years. For a decent choice of games and a clean environment, this is a great option.
Harrah’s Poker Room
Coming in a little smaller than the WSOP room at the Wild Wild West Casino, Harrah’s poker room boasts 40 tables open 24/7. The room runs a bad beat jackpot and a Hand of the Hour prize of $350 from 12 p.m. right through to 10 p.m. It’s a nice touch that makes guest players feel welcome and part of the local crowd.
Harrah’s is clean, and the tables are well-looked after, with highly skilled staff throughout the room. The daily tournaments set this poker room apart, making it a great choice for players looking for something a little more challenging than a regular game. It’s not quite as popular with the last poker room on our list, and at times, some of the tables are quiet but don’t let that fool you. This one is still a great poker room.
Golden Nugget Poker Room
As one of the smaller poker rooms on this list, the action at the Golden Nugget is somewhat limited. There are only nine tables, so that means you may need to wait for a seat to get a game. However, the smaller venue makes for a real cozy atmosphere and a friendlier vibe from both staff and regulars at the tables. We like the smaller venues, but for some, smaller can mean poorer quality tables and less professional staff. Thankfully, that’s not the case here.
Yes, we’re here for the poker, but we have to mention that for four hours of cash play on Friday and Saturday, you can take advantage of a free buffet. And it’s not your usual not-very-tasty, free food buffet. It’s delicious, and there are plenty of options available. Yep, that’s great poker in a friendly environment with free food to go with it. It doesn’t get much better than that! Well, it does.
Borgata Poker Room
Set in the luxurious Borgata Casino Resort & Spa, the Borgata poker room has over 80 tables. That means that no matter when you arrive, you’re likely to find a seat at a table for some Texas Hold ‘em. The poker room is quite modern and is one of the most hi-tech and cleanest in the city. It’s also home to two stops on the World Poker Tour, and as such, has some of the most professional staff you’ll come across.
With so many tables open 24 hours a day, there’s always a great buzz about the room. This atmosphere tops off by the fact that there are some great bonuses and comps to be had for people that sign up as members. You might even get an invite to a regulars-only party. By all accounts, this is the best poker room in the city, and we have to say, we agree. For the sheer volume of games going on at any one time, this place tops the list as the best room in the state. But add to that the fact that it’s a well-managed venue with great promotions and wonderful staff, and you could have one of the best poker rooms in the country.
So, where are you having your weekend home game this time around? Are you sticking to the same old home game playing for chips and pennies? Or are you thinking that it’s time to get out there and see where the real action is? Grab your buddies, get your gaming clothes on (sunglasses are a must!) and get over to one of the poker rooms on our list. As far as we’re concerned, you won’t find better rooms in the city than the ones listed above. But remember, if you win big, it was us that sent you there!