Poker in L.A.―the source of getting something from nothing

Poker is one of the oldest games in the world. Although it all started as a simple game of cards, it has now reached remarkable popularity. Poker can be played offline, in casinos, and the frequency is pretty impressive. According to statistics, global casinos and online gambling businesses reached 4,305 in 2023. At the same time, compared to last year’s dynamic, in 2023, the number of these businesses has increased by 5.1%, a considerable number of companies that provide gambling services.

Poker is played all over the world, but there are no other experiences like the one in Los Angeles. The large poker rooms, the multitude of games and the variety of players will amaze you and make you feel like you are playing in Casino Royale next to James Bond.

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Origins of L.A. Poker

Poker started being a thing around the 19th century. Shortly after, Californians were the most devoted players, but that had to stop after a while when poker was prohibited by law by the new legislature. Although in many American towns, poker was merely tolerated, something happened in Los Angeles. The people were hooked by this fascinating and mathematical game, which resulted in permitted poker clubs all around L.A.

Playing poker back then was quite different. For example, no drinking was allowed, and the bets were limited to a maximum of $1 or $2, while check cashing and playing on credit were often limited by certain rules. Another interesting standard was that husbands and wives weren’t allowed to play together.

As years passed, the game’s rules changed, but so were the people playing it. Around the late ’90, seven-card stud became legal, which has made playing poker even more enjoyable. The rule allowed bluffing when players knew they had stronger cards than the opponent.

Among the old cardrooms, nowadays you can only find two of them in Gardena: The Hustler and Lucky Lady Casino. These casinos don’t provide slot machines or roulettes, and not everyone is appealed by their aesthetics anymore. However, you can still play the traditional poker variations, such as the seven-card stud and Texas hold ‘em.

The current trend in poker games

There is a certain way to play poker in Los Angeles. First of all, you’ll see fewer tourists compared to Las Vegas. That’s because the locals are embedded in the game’s history, and poker simply finds its roots here rather than elsewhere. Therefore, you need to learn that playing against a local is quite challenging. But there are many “tourist rooms” where you can play various poker games and test your strategies and abilities with other players. There is a known rule that playing in the morning and the evening are two different things. So, if you only want to play for fun, morning poker is best, but evening poker is made for earning cash.

L.A. poker rooms: the big three

In Los Angeles, there are three notable categories of poker rooms. Each has different features and is made for diverse poker playing styles. That’s because, in poker, it’s best to play with people on the same level, which is why these rooms are especially dedicated to specific audiences.

The Bike

First, there’s the Bicycle Hotel Casino from Bell Gardens. This is the place where some of the best players participate in tournaments that you can watch on the YouTube channel “Live at the Bike”. The casino has quite an interesting history. Founded in 1984, it was one of the most popular poker casinos but was often raided for supposedly being financed by drug laundering money.

Despite these continuous impediments, the Bike remained one of the most appreciated poker businesses. Its 100,000 square feet space and the 185 poker tables allow you to enter the poker heaven because the facility also provides massages, T.V.s, and Wi-Fi. As you can find automatic card shuffles, check cashing and other amenities besides the games, tournaments always take place at the Bike.

The Commerce

The Commerce casino is considered the biggest poker room in the world as it leverages more than 2000 tables. It’s also popular due to its association with important events, such as the World poker Tour. Professionals like Phil Ivey and Phil Hellmuth can also be found at the Commerce, who are honored to be final-tablists at these events.

The Commerce Casino is always like a beehive, and there are so many games played at the same time that every quadrant has its own information screen to provide insight into the current game played. The Commerce is also the most varied in terms of games, where you can play pineapple, spread the classic hold ‘em or PLO cash games.

The Gardens

The Gardens casino is one of the smallest, with only 110 tables, and the game variety is also more limited compared to the previous casinos. Blackjack poker, 13 card poker, mixed games and Phai Gow Poker are only a few card games that you can play at the Gardens. The casino doesn’t provide any other forms of fun, but it’s a vital tournament location where the WPT Gardens Poker Championship usually takes place.

Inside the Gardens, you can also participate in significant and special series events. However, what makes the Gardens stand out is the triple 7 restaurant, where gourmands can have a great time after a poker match. The menu includes American, Thai, Mexican and even Italian dishes that you can engulf. Specialties such as handcrafted cocktails and locally sourced wines are a delicacy for all players.

Bottom line

Poker is one of the most popular card games in Los Angeles. Although the history of this game is a bit disputed, nowadays, you can freely play your favorite type of poker in unique places that provide good food and other amenities. And as legislation changes, we’re expecting the L.A. gaming environment to improve and offer players more safety and fun at the same time.

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