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Live Poker Room Reviews by ProfessionalRakeback

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Here at, we are primarily focused on delivering the best information regarding online poker sites. In addition to our main pursuit, we have also tackled related topics like online gambling, sports betting, and casino gaming.

As a part of our efforts to provide the best poker information on the internet, we have had our expert reviewers visit and review many live poker venues, mostly in the United States. This page is dedicated to listing all of our live poker reviews as well as providing additional insight into how we examine a poker room and what you should look for if you want to play live poker.

Live Poker Reviews by Professional Rakeback

What to Look for in a Live Poker Venue


When you're deciding where to play live poker, there are a number of critical aspects to consider. For most people, location is the most important factor by far. You can only travel so far from your home to comfortably play poker, so unless you're planning a specific trip, you probably want to look at the poker rooms nearest to you.

If there is more than one poker room in your area or in a location that you're traveling to, you may want to start looking a bit closer at what each room has to offer including the available stakes, promotions, poker variants being spread, and the rake.

Cash Game Blind Levels and Buyins

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One of the most important factors in choosing a live poker room is the stakes on offer and the buyins allowed. Usually, the lowest stakes you'll find feature either $1/$2 or $1/$3 blinds. The buyins vary from room to room, but it is common to see a minimum buyin of $100 with a maximum of $300-$500 for such games.

If you are looking for larger buyins and higher stakes, then it really depends on your location. In Las Vegas, you can easily find action at the $5/$10 and $10/$20 blind levels on a daily basis. In smaller areas, finding higher-stakes cash games and tournaments may be significantly more difficult.

Rake Considerations

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All poker rooms charge rake or a percentage of every pot played that will go back to the house. Most live poker venues tend to rake 5%-10% up to a certain maximum (perhaps $5 or $10). Of course, the lower the rake percentage and cap, the better this is for players in general.

In an instance where the pot is won preflop, it is customary that no rake will be collected from the pot. If you ever encounter a live poker venue that appears to be raking pots preflop, it is likely not a great room to play at.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule as some poker rooms will rake $1 or $2 preflop for specific promotions available like bad beat jackpots, leaderboards, or other high-hand promos.


Many live poker venues will offer high-hand bonuses or bad-beat jackpots at their cash game tables. In these cases, it is likely that the room will collect a small sum from each pot (this is in addition to the standard rake) that will contribute directly to such promotions.

For many experienced poker players, these kinds of promotions are not ideal. Luck is the primary factor for winning these types of promotions. Although Bad Beat Jackpots can certainly add to the excitement of the game, money being taken out of every pot will hurt your bottom line if you aren't lucky enough to benefit from these bonus funds.

More valuable for regular grinders are the comp points or reward points that you generally accrue while playing at the tables. At most cardrooms, particularly those connected to destination casino-resorts, you can spend these points for dining, entertainment, hotel rooms, et cetera. The points won't typically improve your returns drastically, amounting to no more than $1 or $2 per hour in most cases, but they do work as a kind of live poker rakeback.

At cardrooms that are part of large gaming conglomerates, like Caesars or MGM Resorts, your play might generate for you lucrative marketing offers. You might be presented with room discounts or comps, dining credits, and other perks not only at the location you played at but at others around the country owned by the same corporate group.


The vast majority of live poker venues run tournaments on a daily basis. The size and scope of these tournaments vary dramatically from place to place, but most live poker venues tend to cater to smaller-stakes tournament buyins of less than $100 for their daily events.

The benefit of running small events is that the live poker rooms will tend to attract new players and recreational players who want to play poker and have fun without risking much money. Although these kinds of tournaments actually do not make poker rooms much profit, they can act as a promotion of sorts or a catalyst for bringing in new players who will hopefully want to play cash games or buy into a larger tournament one day.

Major live cardrooms also host prestigious tournament series from time to time. The granddaddy of them all is the annual World Series of Poker, but throughout the rest of the year, there are various regional WSOP Circuit events, Heartland Poker Tour stops, World Poker Tour festivals, and other special series with big prize pools and exciting, multi-day poker tournament action.

Live Poker Venues

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Here at, our experts have traveled around numerous parts of the United States and beyond to play live poker. As a part of these efforts, we have reviewed many live poker rooms to help you decide if you should jump into the action and try out a specific cardroom. Please feel free to review our comprehensive list of live poker venue reviews below:

Play Online Poker From Anywhere


As many of our readers already know, our primary focus here is internet poker. Reliable and reputable online poker sites are widely available to players in the United States. To learn more about the best online poker sites, please feel free to review this US online poker guide.

Despite there being some questionability regarding the legality of online poker, rest assured that playing online at an offshore site is completely legal. To learn more about this topic, feel free to peruse this detailed page regarding the legality of playing online poker in the US.