There were 31 Las Vegas poker rooms before the closure. So far, four have reopened. The casinos hosting live poker right now are Golden Nugget, Orleans, South Point and Venetian.
Gaming regulations originally only permitted four players per table. South Point led the way in getting that increased to five. All Las Vegas poker rooms are now spreading at least five-handed games. Aria and Bellagio poker tables may seat six players due to partitions that separate players from each other and the dealer.
On June 17, Nevada gaming regulators added a requirement for masks at table games. This includes live poker.
Venetian was the first poker room to announce its return. However, it opened the day after the rest of the casino did.
Venetian offers cash games and single table tournaments. The hours are 9am to 1am.
The no limit Texas Hold’em tournaments have a $100 or $230 buy-in. The winner takes it all, though chops are allowed. The prize pool for the $100 is $425. The $230 is $1,000. The house and dealers split the rest. These are dealt in the part of the poker room to the right of the cage.
According to Bravo Poker, the main cash games are no limit Texas Hold’em and pot limit Omaha. The rake is capped at $3. There is a $1 drop for a bad beat jackpot.
South Point’s poker room, the last to close before the shutdown, opened with the casino on June 4. It operates 24 hours a day.
The South Point poker room is dealing cash games with a $3 rake and $1 promotional drop that covers freerolls and high hands. The cash games offered are no limit Hold’em, fixed limit Hold’em and pot limit Omaha.
Texas Hold’em high hand payouts are $50 for four of a kind, $100 for a straight flush and $250 for a royal flush. For quads, a pocket pair must be used. For straight and royal flushes, both hole cards must be used. In Omaha, the high hand pays $50 for a flopped four of a kind, $100 for a straight flush and $250 for a royal flush.
The poker room at Orleans opened with the casino on June 4. Its hours are 8am to 4am daily. The rake is capped at $3. There are no promotions available until further notice. The Orleans poker room has the widest variety of cash games. These include no limit Texas Hold’em, fixed limit Texas Hold’em, pot limit Omaha, fixed limit Omaha hi/lo and fixed limit Omaha Hi.
Golden Nugget was the fourth poker room to open in Las Vegas after the COVID-19 closure. Cash games of no limit and fixed limit Texas Hold’em are spread. The max rake is $3. There is a $1 jackpot drop. The room is open 24 hours.
The jackpot drop is used for progressive high hand bonuses for four of a kind, straight flushes and royal flushes. A pocket pair is required for quads. Straight and royal flushes must use both hole cards. The progressives are tied to the card for quads, the highest card in the straight flush, or suit for royal flushes. Jackpots are doubled between 8am and 2pm daily.
The Sahara poker room reopened on June 18. The rake will be capped at $3. There will be a $1 jackpot drop. The hours will be 6pm to 2am. The Sahara poker room will remain open after 2am if there is a game running. Food will be delivered to the table. However, it will all be prepackaged. Masks will be required at the table.
Bellagio opened its poker room at 10am on June 18. The poker room was installing dividers at its tables during our last visit. The poker room manager says tables will be six-handed.
Caesars Palace’s poker room is open Thursday through Sunday starting June 18. Cash games will be 1/2 and 2/5 no limit Texas Hold’em.
The Aria poker room opened with the casino on July 1. It will use 15 of its tables. These are partitioned so six players may be seated per game. The standard Aria cash games will be spread. No tournaments will be offered at this time.
MGM Grand’s poker room reopened on July 3. Its hours are 4pm to midnight seven days a week. The tables are six-handed with plexiglass dividers.