Las Vegas Poker Room Review: The Orleans

Las Vegas Poker Room Review: The Orleans

By Loki Luchs of

One of the best kept secrets in Vegas is the Orleans, a shabby old joint about a mile off of the strip. When I first moved to the city, I lived right by it at the corner of Decatur and Tropicana; I was consistently amazed at how packed this place was! It is mostly a locals casino, but it is never hurting for business. This is true on the floor, but it is the rule in the poker room!

The Orleans has been well known for its poker for a long time, but they just finished a large renovation in 2008. The casino itself is a little grungy, but the poker room is spacious. Even with 35 tables, there’s plenty of room to stretch out and there’s still room to walk! They’ve added in a very nice concierge desk with the cage attached right to it. Additionally, they have 20 plasma screen televisions surrounding the entire pit.


The Orleans offers limit hold em with a half kill from 2/4 to 8/16. Frankly, I think it would be easier to just make a 10/20 game out of the higher limits, but that’s just me. Their no limit games include a $1/2 and a $2/5 game. These games are consistently harder than those on the strip, as they are played by many regulars who aren’t as loose, or at least as stupid, as a lot of the players on the strip. They consistently offer a 4/8 omaha hi-low with a half kill and during peak hours might break in a 8/16. For those players that miss the olden, but golden days of seven card stud, The Orleans has a 1-5 and a 2-10 spread limit. It is a small game, but one of the only ones available in town. Allegedly, they will occasionally play seven stud hi-low, but I’ve never seen it actually played there.

One of the real reasons why this is such a great room is the tournaments that are offered. There are daily tournaments at noon and 7pm daily, but while most rooms only offer no limit tournaments, The Orleans also has Limit hold’em tournaments on Wednesday, and Omaha Hi-Low tournaments on Monday, Thursday, and Friday. Omaha tournaments are hard to find and are a lot of fun to play in! They are typically very loose and aggressive, so even a mediocre player has a chance to make it deep in the event! Buy ins for all tournaments are $50, with the exception of the Friday and Saturday tournaments which are $110. Due to the size of the room, half of which is dedicated to the tournaments, the prize pools get much larger than in most of the other rooms. For an experienced player, this means making it deep will happen more often and for more money!

One of their huge incentives for local players is the “Player of the Month” award. Players earn points depending on their rankings in the tournaments throughout the month, and the top four players receive a plaque and a cash reward! The top player of the month earns $4,000, second place receives $2,000, third place takes home $1,000, and fourth steals $500. It’s a great way to add a little more desire in the locals.. which also ensures that EVERY tournament sells out!

Despite all of the positives, one of the things I don’t like is the rail. The room is now smoke free, but the ventilation still needs improvement. The railbirds and players on break can smoke at the rail, but the smoke seems to come directly into the room itself. Another issue with the room is that while their staff is generally good, it is worth mentioning that there was a scandal with a dealer who had not passed gaming board policy. Rumor has it that he had been fired in Atlantic city for collaborating with players, and was still hired here in Vegas. While this is unsubstantiated by the casino, I believe the story and insist that a more stringent personnel check be in place. I’m sure that the issue has been handled appropriately, but it’s something that hurts their reputation.

Overall, The Orleans has a room that is highly regarded in the poker community. The level of play is more difficult in the cash games, but the tournaments are among the best regular games in the city. With the new renovations, tourists might want to take a cab down and check out the action. For locals, it definitely is worth playing here for the player of the month competition. All things considered, my rating for this room is a B+.