There are 60 California live poker rooms to choose from, all offering a mix of Hold’em, Omaha, and Stud, as well as major tournaments such as the WPT and WSOP Circuit.
Most of the top California poker rooms are centered around Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Some cardrooms offer the widest range of cash games and tournaments that you’ll find outside Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
Stepping into Commerce Casino, you’re entering a world of high stakes and high rewards. Since its opening in 1983, this casino has been a mecca for poker enthusiasts. The gaming floor, sprawling over an impressive 89,000 square feet, is one of the largest casinos in the world that spreads poker.
A huge total of 330 poker tables greet you, ready for action around the clock. From Texas Hold ‘Em, Seven-Card Stud to Omaha Hi/Lo, you’re spoilt for choice.
Don’t miss out on the California games either, with Pai Gow Poker, blackjack, and baccarat on offer. Cash games? The Commerce has you covered with a variety of stakes to suit all bankrolls.
The Commerce Casino also hosts big tournaments like the LA Poker Classic, drawing in seasoned professionals and ambitious amateurs alike. In addition to WPT specials, the Commerce runs its own seasonal events, such as the California State Poker Championship and Commerce Hold’em Series.
Bounties and Sit ‘n Gos are plentiful, adding to the thrill of the game. It’s not uncommon to see the casino packed with cash players, as it can comfortably accommodate hundreds of people simultaneously.
Customer reviews are a testament to Commerce Casino’s quality. The hotel and casino consistently receive high praise for its top service and vibrant atmosphere. Guests laud the cleanliness of the rooms and the variety of dining options available.
The rewards and loyalty schemes are another highlight. The Commerce Casino Players Card rewards regular players with points redeemable for dining, merchandise, and more. For those looking for a deal, the happy hour specials are a must-try, offering discounted drinks and appetizers.
Parkwest Bicycle Casino is a premier destination for poker enthusiasts and casual players alike. Opening its doors in 1984, this iconic California establishment has been a hub of thrilling gaming experiences for nearly four decades.
Spread across a massive 100,000 square feet gaming floor, the Bicycle Casino is home to 185 poker tables. Whether you’re a fan of Texas Hold ‘Em, Seven-Card Stud, or Omaha Hi/Lo, you’ll find your favorite game waiting for you. Don’t forget to try the unique California games like Pai Gow Poker without the house bank.
The casino offers an extensive range of cash games to suit every budget, from high-stakes showdowns to friendly games for beginners. The adrenaline rush doesn’t stop there, with big tournaments, bounties, and Sit ‘n Gos available regularly.
The Bicycle Casino is also the home of the popular Live at The Bike TV show, the first and only regularly scheduled online-streamed cash game poker show. This allows you to not only play but also to be a part of poker history.
One of the standout features of the Bicycle Casino is its loyalty schemes. The rewards program offers a plethora of benefits, from dining discounts to exclusive gaming promotions. Don’t miss out on their happy hour deals, which provide excellent value for your money.
With the capacity to accommodate thousands of cash players comfortably, the casino is often buzzing with energy and excitement. This is reflected in the glowing customer reviews, with many praising the high-quality service, diverse gaming options, and overall ambiance.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more exciting poker destination in California than the Bay 101 Casino. Since its grand opening in 1994, Bay 101 has been a magnet for poker enthusiasts, with its 68,000-square-foot gaming floor buzzing with energy and anticipation.
At Bay 101, you’ll find an impressive array of 49 poker tables, each one promising a thrilling game of skill and strategy. If you’re a fan of California games, you’re in for a treat. This casino offers an array of state-specific games, ensuring there’s something for everyone.
The heart of Bay 101’s appeal lies in its extensive cash game offerings. From high-stakes games for the seasoned pros to friendly matches for beginners, there’s a game to suit every skill level and budget. For those seeking a more competitive edge, Bay 101 regularly hosts big tournaments, bounties, and Sit ‘n Gos, promising high-octane poker action.
Bay 101 is also the proud host of the World Poker Tour’s Shooting Star tournament, an event that attracts some of the biggest names in poker. This is your chance to pit your skills against the best and maybe even become a shooting star yourself.
The casino can comfortably accommodate a large number of cash players, making it a popular choice for both locals and tourists. The customer reviews are a testament to Bay 101’s commitment to providing an exceptional gaming experience. The casino and its attached hotel consistently receive high ratings for its service, comfortable accommodation, and atmosphere.
As a regular player at Bay 101, you can take advantage of its rewarding loyalty schemes. The more you play, the more you earn, making every game even more worthwhile. And don’t forget to check out their happy hour deals for some great bargains.
Stepping into the California Grand Casino, you are entering a world of high-stakes excitement and entertainment. Opened in the 1800s, this legendary cardroom is not just a part of California’s rich gambling history, but it’s also a vibrant, modern destination for poker enthusiasts. Its fame was further amplified when it was featured in the mockumentary “The Grand”.
Spread over 20,000 square feet, the California Grand Casino is a poker player’s paradise. With 19 poker tables, you’ll never be short of action. You can immerse yourself in a variety of California games, each offering its unique thrill and challenge. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a novice, the California Grand has a game for you.
If you’re a cash game enthusiast, you’ll be in your element. The casino offers a wide range of stakes to suit all budgets, and the action never stops. For those who thrive on competition, the California Grand regularly hosts big tournaments, bounties, and Sit ‘n Gos. The casino can accommodate a large number of cash players, ensuring a lively and dynamic atmosphere.
Customer reviews consistently praise the California Grand for its exceptional service and facilities. The casino’s hotel is renowned for its comfort and convenience, making it a perfect base for your poker adventure.
As a valued guest, you’ll be rewarded through their loyalty schemes. The more you play, the more points you’ll earn, and these can be redeemed for a range of fantastic benefits. Don’t forget to check out their happy hour deals, which provide excellent value and add to the overall enjoyment of your visit.
Stepping into the Gardens Casino, you are immediately enveloped in a world of high-stakes excitement and unrivaled entertainment. Opened in 1997, this cardroom has quickly become a cornerstone of California’s vibrant gambling scene.
Sprawling across a staggering 200,000 square feet, the Gardens Casino is a veritable playground for poker enthusiasts. With an impressive 300 gaming tables (110 of which cover classic poker games), you’ll find no shortage of action here.
This cardroom offers a plethora of California games too, each providing its unique thrill and challenge. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just cutting your teeth, there’s a game here that’s perfect for you.
If you’re a cash game enthusiast, the Gardens Casino is your dream come true. The cardroom offers a wide range of stakes to suit all budgets, and with the capacity to fit a large number of cash players, the action is non-stop. For those who thrive on competition, the Gardens Casino is a regular host of big tournaments and championships, bounties, and Sit ‘n Gos.
The customer reviews for the Gardens Casino are glowing, praising everything from the quality of the games to the exceptional service. The casino’s rewards and loyalty schemes are particularly popular, offering regular players the chance to earn points and rewards for their play.
The Gardens Casino isn’t just a cardroom – it’s a community. A place where poker enthusiasts come together to test their skills, enjoy great company, and experience the best that California’s gambling scene has to offer.
California is home to over 60 cardrooms offering live poker options around the clock. Most cardrooms are commercial ventures that don’t offer slots (unlike tribal casinos). However, the larger California poker rooms do spread non-banked table games too.
|The Commerce Casino & Hotel
|6131 Telegraph Road, Commerce, CA 90040
|Parkwest Bicycle Casino
|888 Bicycle Casino Dr, Bell Gardens, CA 90201
|Hollywood Park Casino
|3883 W. Century Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90303
|The Gardens Casino
|11871 E. Carson St, Hawaiian Gardens, CA 90716
|1000 West Redondo Beach Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247
|Larry Flynt’s Lucky Lady Casino
|1045 Rosecrans Ave, Gardena, CA 90247
|Golden West Casino
|1001 S. Union Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93307
|Club One Casino
|3950 N. Cedar Ave, Fresno, CA 93726
|500 Club Casino
|771 W. Shaw Ave, Clovis, CA 93612
|Bay 101 Casino
|1788 N. First St, San Jose, CA 95112
|California Grand Casino
|5988 Pacheco Blvd, Pacheco CA
|Graton Resort & Casino
|288 Golf Course Drive West, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
|Lucky Chances Casino
|1700 Hillside Blvd, Colma, CA 94014
|Oaks Card Club
|4097 San Pablo Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608
|123 East Artesia Blvd, Compton, CA 90220
|Ocean’s 11 Casino
|121 Brooks Street, Oceanside, CA 92054
|5469 Casino Way, El Cajon, CA 92019
|1887 Matrix Blvd, San Jose, CA 95110
|2100 Redding Rancheria Rd, Redding, CA 96001
|Thunder Valley Casino
|1200 Athens Avenue, Lincoln, CA 95648
California live poker rooms spread some of the best action in the US. Sizes vary, but the largest cardroom locations offer hundreds of tables to cater to tournament and cash game players alike.
|Number of Tables
|The Commerce Casino & Hotel
|Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, Big O, Mexican Poker, Stud, Stud Hi/Lo, Lowball, Mixed Games
|LA Poker Classic, California State Poker Championship, The Commerce Hold’em Series, LA Poker Open
|Parkwest Bicycle Casino
|Hold’em, Mexican Poker, Omaha, 7-Card Stud
|Legends of Poker, WPT, WSOP-Circuit, Summer Poker Series
|Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, Pai Gow Poker
|Thunder Valley Casino Resort
|NLHE, Bounties, series events, Omaha, cash games ($1/2 to $5/10 Hold’em, $3/6 to $4/8 Omaha)
|WSOP-Circuit, WPT Deepstacks, WPT Main Tour, Anter Up World Championship
|California Grand Casino
|$60–$1,000 NLHE, Progressive Bad Beat Jackpots
|The Gardens Casino
|NLHE, $125 Sit ‘n Gos, Seven-Card Stud, Omaha, Pai Gow, Blackjack Poker
|WPT Satellites, 1-Day Bounty
|Hollywood Park Casino
|Texas Hold’em, Chinese Poker, 7-Card Stud, Mixed Games, Omaha Hi-Lo
|$300,000-GTD Series, Super Deepstacks
|Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, Fortune Pai Gow Poker
|Weekly GTEs, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, Mexican Stud, Three-Card Poker, Pai Gow, $1/$2 to $5/$10 NLHE cash games
|Central Valley Poker Championships, $10,000-GTD Freezeout, $30,000-GTD Labor Day Event
|NLHE, Omaha Hi-Lo, 7-Card Stud, Omaha jackpots, bad beat jackpots
|Graton Resort & Casino
|NLHE, Pot Limit Hold’em, morning tournaments
|Progressive Bad Beat Jackpots, weekend $250 tournaments
Every good California poker room offers hotel rooms and suites if you need to stay the night after a long session at the tables.
|Number of Rooms
|The Commerce Casino & Hotel
|Parkwest Bicycle Casino
|Graton Resort & Casino
|Pechanga Resort & Casino
|Thunder Valley Casino Resort
Every good California poker room offers a blend of familiar Texas Hold’em cash games and tournaments alongside Omaha, Stud, and mixed games. You can also try out unique California games where you play poker against your opponents, not the house. All California poker rooms use good responsible gambling practices to protect their players.
Texas Hold’em is the most popular game in California’s cardrooms. The game involves two hole cards dealt face down to each player, followed by five community cards dealt face up in stages.
The stages consist of a series of three cards (“the flop”), an additional single card (“the turn”), and a final card (“the river”). Players aim for the best five-card poker hand.
Betting limits vary, with no-limit, pot-limit, and fixed-limit games available. Cash games are common, offering various stakes. Satellites, smaller tournaments offering entry into larger ones, are also prevalent. Larger tournaments, including the annual California State Poker Championship, feature Texas Hold’em prominently.
Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo are also favored in California’s cardrooms, especially in cash games. In Omaha, you receive four hole cards and share five community cards with the other players. The aim is to make the best five-card hand using two hole cards and three community cards.
Omaha Hi/Lo splits the pot between the highest and lowest hands (if a qualifying low exists), with the low hand requiring five cards of 8 or lower. Betting limits range from no-limit and pot-limit to fixed-limit games.
Cash games are widely available with diverse stakes. Satellites provide opportunities to gain entry into bigger tournaments. Major events like the Los Angeles Poker Classic often feature Omaha events.
7-Card Stud is a classic poker game played in California’s cardrooms. Each player is dealt seven cards throughout the hand, but only the best five-card hand possible for each player is used to determine the winner.
The larger cardrooms, such as The Commerce, also spread Stud Hi-Lo, where the pot can be split between the best high hand and the best low.
Unlike Texas Hold’em and Omaha, there are no community cards. Betting limits vary from low to high stakes to cater to all types of players. Cash games are prevalent, with buy-ins suiting different bankrolls.
Satellites offer a chance to secure spots in larger tournaments. Tournaments such as the Bay 101 Shooting Star in San Jose feature 7-Card Stud events, providing a platform for enthusiasts to compete.
Mixed poker games in California offer a variety of variants in a single session, including Texas Hold’em, Omaha, 7-Card Stud, and others. These games are popular for their dynamic nature, testing a player’s skill across different formats.
Betting limits cater to a wide range of players, from low stakes to high roller tables. Cash games are common, with varying buy-ins to accommodate different bankrolls. Satellites provide opportunities to qualify for larger tournaments.
Numerous tournaments, like the Los Angeles Poker Classic, include mixed game events, allowing players to showcase their versatility and compete for substantial prizes.
Live poker in California isn’t restricted to just Hold’em and Omaha. The top California poker room sites spread games like Stud Hi-Lo, Big O, and California Lowball.
If you love Stud, you’ll like the local variety – Mexican Poker. The game is played in a similar way to 5-Card Stud, but only 40 cards (plus the wild joker) are employed.
Mixed games are also available in California cash games. The game variant changes after every orbit, and these may include Hold’em, Omaha, Razz, Stud, and Lowball as standard.
Every decent California poker room spreads a mix of cash games and tournaments. Most tournaments are run as freezeouts with late entry allowed. Larger events carry re-entries to allow those with bigger pockets to buy back in if they want. Always check the gambling age by state before you step foot in a CA poker room.
Cash games have set small and big blinds and can be played as Limit, Pot Limit, or No Limit. Small-stakes games are available at smaller cardrooms, but the larger casinos also spread cash games from $1/$2 and up.
The biggest California poker rooms, such as the Parkwest Bicycle Casino, spread Hold’em cash games up to $25/$50. However, you can usually find mixed cash games at much higher limits, around the $300/$600 level.
California poker tournaments are available throughout the day at many of the best cardrooms. Look out for big-money guarantees on weekly specials and seasonal events.
Morning tourneys are usually played as Texas Hold’em and start around 10 a.m. However, night-time games are offered across the board.
The larger California poker rooms run satellites into bigger live events. You can also play in stops on the WPT (World Poker Tour) and WSOP (World Series of Poker) Circuit. The Commerce Casino runs its own branded WPT stop every year: the LA Poker Classic.
Some California live poker rooms also run promotions where you can earn points while playing your favorite daily tournaments. Your points can give you access to entries into larger events, such as the World Poker Tour.
Sit ‘n Gos in California aren’t as prevalent live as they are online. However, some of the bigger CA cardrooms run special single-table tournaments that begin as soon as every seat is full.
Bounty poker tournaments are a popular format in California, adding an exciting twist to traditional poker. In these tournaments, each player has a bounty on their head, which is a cash prize awarded to the player who eliminates them from the game. This incentivizes aggressive play, as players aim to collect as many bounties as possible.
Satellite tournaments at live cardrooms in California are a gateway to larger, high-stakes poker events. These tournaments have lower buy-ins, making them accessible to a wider range of players.
Winners often receive entry into more prestigious tournaments that would otherwise have a substantial buy-in. From the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles to Bay 101 in San Jose, many of California’s cardrooms offer satellite tournaments, providing opportunities for players to compete at higher levels.
Commercial cardrooms in California have found interesting ways of bypassing the state laws on house-banked games. While they are prohibited from offering classic casino games like blackjack (these are restricted to tribal casinos), cardrooms have come up with ‘California Games’. These are card games where each player acts as the “dealer” and the house simply takes a rake.
California poker rooms usually offer some sort of loyalty scheme for regular players. Start by applying for a Player’s Card, then accrue credits every time you pay a cash game rake or tournament fee.
You can redeem points for comps, including food, hotel stays, or spa visits. Some bigger CA cardrooms also let you use points to enter exclusive freerolls.
In California, home poker games are legal under specific conditions. The law allows social gaming as long as the house does not take a rake or charge a fee for participating. This means the game must be a fair contest between players, with no one making a profit from operating the game.
Stakes are not specified in the law, so they are generally agreed upon by the participants. However, the law does stipulate that gambling must not be the house’s main source of income. Therefore, high-stakes games that could lead to significant profit for the host could potentially cross into illegal territory.
It’s also important to note that all participants must be 21 years or older, the legal gambling age in California.
California offers a mix of commercial and tribal casinos. While California’s tribal casinos also offer poker, they are permitted under state compacts to supply slot machines and blackjack too. Non-banked card games are also available.
Despite California’s mature live poker scene, the state has been reluctant to pass any laws on online poker.
That’s not to say some parties haven’t tried: the Ilpay Nation of Santa Ysabel attempted to open its own online poker site recently but was forced to close it after a legal challenge.
Find out more details about gambling in California:
Such is the size of the poker scene in California, the state has been able to host some of the largest tours on the planet.
While the annual World Series of Poker is held across the border in Nevada each summer, there’s still room for The Golden State to get in on the action. California cardrooms regularly muscle in with WSOP Circuit events throughout the year.
California has long hosted some of the biggest stops on the World Poker Tour since its inception in 2002. The LA Poker Classic (held at The Commerce) and the Bay 101 Shooting Star are among the most prestigious televised poker tournaments in the world. Many of the world’s biggest poker stars have cashed in or won these CA-based WPT stops.
The larger CA cardrooms, such as The Commerce and Bay 101, hold their own poker championships during the year. As well as the LAPC, The Commerce hosts the annual California State Poker Championship that runs for a whole month.
The series features around 30 different events, including freezeouts, mystery bounty tournaments, and turbos. You can also win your entry into the main event through various satellites.
California has produced some of the most successful live poker players in the US.
In California, all gambling winnings, including those from poker, are considered taxable income. This applies to both residents and non-residents who gamble within the state.
The tax rate depends on the individual’s total income, which includes gambling winnings. To report this income, one must fill out a W-2G form if the winnings meet certain thresholds.
It’s crucial to keep accurate records of all gambling activities, including dates, locations, and amounts won or lost. If you participate in high-stakes games or tournaments, the organizer may withhold taxes from your winnings. However, you are still responsible for reporting all income on your tax return.
As of 2024, California has a progressive income tax which means rates are based on income brackets. The rates range from 1% on the first $8,932 of taxable income, up to 13.3% on income over $1,000,000.
These rates apply to both single and joint filers. It’s important to note that California’s top marginal rate is the highest state income tax rate in the country.
Playing online? Check out our online gambling tax guide for more information on how to keep records when you play.
Under the California gambling laws, live poker in California is deemed to be a game of skill. That means it’s entirely legal for licensed cardrooms to offer cash games and tournaments for real money.
Licensed California poker rooms don’t have to be tribal, either: privately owned commercial casinos operate quite freely across The Golden State. However, tribal casino operators have more freedom in what games they can offer.
Currently, tribal casinos offer games like slots and blackjack, while commercial cardrooms are restricted to offering poker and pari-mutuel betting on horse races.
Cardrooms bypass this by offering special ‘California Games’. These include peer-to-peer, or non-banked, games like Pai Gow and Mississippi Stud.
The minimum age for playing poker in California is 18, as set out in California Penal Code Sec. 330. However, most casinos and cardrooms that serve alcohol won’t admit anyone under 21. Check out our full guide to US gambling laws by state.
As for online poker, the dark shadow of UIGEA still looms large over legislation. California has not yet joined states like Nevada and New Jersey in opening up its industry to licensed online poker rooms.
Although the restrictions of the Federal Wire Wager Act have largely been lifted, it could be some time before The Golden State regulates online cardrooms. Certainly, the state’s tribal casinos are hugely opposed to online poker sites taking away potential business.
Poker has been legal in California since the late 19th century. Non-banked card games are permitted through the state’s Penal Code and can be offered by licensed poker rooms.
There are around 60 brick-and-mortar cardrooms in California. Cardrooms offer a mix of cash games, tournaments, and satellites in addition to non-banked card games. The larger CA cardrooms run special championships on tours like the WPT and WSOP.
The California Grand Casino has been offering poker of one kind or another since the 19th century. The biggest new cardroom to open is the Commerce Casino, which opened its doors in 1983.
The Commerce Casino & Hotel is the largest cardroom in California. This California poker room boasts 330+ tables spreading cash games and tournaments 24/7. It’s also home to one of the largest stops on the World Poker Tour: the LA Poker Classic.
You can’t play online poker at gambling sites that are licensed in California. The Golden State currently has no regulated poker rooms that run online. However, you can play Hold’em and Omaha at offshore poker sites that are available to players in California.
The official legal age for playing poker in California is 18. However, most cardrooms won’t let you in if you’re under 21. You certainly won’t be able to buy a drink in a cardroom if you’re under 21.
Most cardrooms in The Golden State have a smart-casual dress code. You may need to wear a shirt, and sandals or shorts may be prohibited. Always check the cardroom’s website before you travel to the casino.
Most of the bigger California casinos and cardrooms are open 24 hours. However, tournaments may only begin after 10 a.m. CA cardrooms publish schedules of opening hours and tournament start times on their websites.
Absolutely. Some California poker rooms run WSOP Circuit events that award real-money prizes and coveted gold rings to winners. Most cardrooms also run seasonal championships that cover dozens of individual tournaments.
Yes. Home games are legal in California provided the organizer doesn’t take a fee or rake, and games aren’t held for profit. Social poker games and other games of skill are also permissible under California Penal Code 300 PC.
You may be eligible for tax on poker winnings if you have exceeded the threshold as laid out by the IRS and state tax authorities. You will be issued with a Form W-2 G by the cardroom that includes details of your prize payout.
Of course. The Golden State provides a range of treatment centers and helplines offering help to anyone who has a gambling problem. The Office of Problem Gambling (OPG) provides 24/7 help, text support, and counselor chat.
Many big-winning poker players hail from The Golden State. Brian Rast has won tens of millions of dollars live and online by playing poker. Jamie Gold, David Rheem, and David Pham have also won fortunes at the tables in California.
Rake is the fee charged by the cardroom for every hand or tournament played. You are usually required to pay a rake on every cash pot that qualifies. You must also pay a tournament entry fee when you enter the game.
Absolutely. You can try freerolls without risking a dime of your cash. Some CA cardrooms also run freerolls exclusively for high rollers or loyalty customers who’ve accrued enough points.
Yes. Cardrooms in California reward points whenever you pay to enter a tournament or play a raked cash game. You accrue loyalty points on your player’s card, then redeem them for hotel and meal comps or free entries into other events.
Yes. Some CA tribes operate casinos that spread Hold’em and Omaha cash games and tournaments. They also offer traditional casino games, such as slots and blackjack, as well as Mystery Card Roulette.
No. In May 2023, Gov. Gavin Newsom passed AB 341, which prohibits the expansion of live poker rooms in The Golden State. The law holds for another 20 years, but smaller casinos will be allowed to slowly expand their cardrooms.
Are you ready to take your online gambling experience to the next level? Sign up for the LetsGambleUSA newsletter and get the latest news, exclusive offers, and expert tips delivered straight to your inbox.