Macau Texas Holdem Poker Rooms
Poker in Macau is nothing like poker in Las Vegas and the United States. You'll struggle to find Texas holdem poker rooms at most Macau casinos, although they still do exist in some parts. The experience on the whole will be a lot different to the United States and you'll need to adjust your expectations when looking for a game.
First and foremost, the waiting lists for cash games in Macau are crazy. It's not unheard of to wait up to 6 hours for a spot at the table. Even though most poker rooms only have a few tables open, they let lists accumulate up to 60 or 70 people and won't even open more tables. Poker is a bit of a spectacle here and isn't treated like a table game that should be offered for players on demand. It's treated more like a service or amenity that the casino and hotel offers, much like they offer a valet service or room service. On top of all of this, the number of table games a casino offers is strictly regulated by the Chinese government and the fact is poker just doesn't make as much money as a baccarat or blackjack table.
The one exception to this is the Pokerstars Live room in Macau. This is more of a player's poker room and is the closest you'll find to a United States or Europe style poker room. Closely following this room is the Wynn and Venetian poker rooms; they obviously run great poker rooms in Las Vegas. They've had to slightly change it up for the different market though.
In general, the poker play in Macau is quite tough. When poker arrived on the scene here in the mid-to-late 2000's the games were very juicy. Since then the newcomers to poker have returned to other games and the players that persevered have become much more skilled and harder to beat. You can still certainly find good games at a wide variety of stakes; however, you won't get the baccarat players basically giving away their hard earned cash at the table like you did in 2008.
Pokerstars Live Macau Poker Room
- LocationLevel 2, City of Dreams, Macau
- Hours24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- GamesYou'll find a good mix of cash games and tournament play at the Pokerstars Live Macau poker room. At any given time, you'll be able to find a no limit Texas holdem cash game running, usually with stakes of HK$25 / $50 and HK$100 / $200 and higher when there's demand from players. In US dollars this is about $3 / $6 and $13 / $26. These limits are quite high although everything is like that in Macau when it comes to gaming. For the tournament players out there you'll find some major events taking place in this poker room including Macau Poker Cup "Red Dragon" series, Macau Millions, the PokerStars Championship PSC Macau and Asia Championship of Poker ACOP. On top of this they usually run a major tournament on Saturday's and Sunday's with satellite entry tournaments to these running all through the week. The standard weekly tournaments range from HK$1000 US$130 buy in up to HK$4000 US$515. Most tournaments are no limit Texas holdem with the odd Omaha one running from time to time.
- AmbienceIt's all about the red and black of Pokerstars here. The room is huge, open and airy and provides a great playing experience. The tables are covered with black felt and the black leather chairs clash nicely with the red carpet. The room is connected to the rest of the casino so some noise and smoke will get through, although it's pretty well ventilated. This is a great place to play poker which is no surprise considering Pokerstars is involved.
- HospitalityYou'll need to request service while playing poker in this room, although water, tea and coffee will be provided most of the time free of charge. Alcohol wise you will struggle to get complimentary drinks here although some report when they asked they did receive beer. This seems to be hit and miss and the service certainly won't be anything like you would get in Las Vegas.
- PlayersThe players are quite good and competition tough in this poker room. The game has certainly reached a maturity point where the remaining regulars are of a higher skill than in the boom day in the late 2000s. You can still find the odd soft table here and there and during major tournaments you'll find a lot of good action. Generally speaking the players in Macau will be friendly. We've heard reports they have been welcoming and the table and room has had a generally fun atmosphere.
Poker King Club Macao
- LocationVenetia Casino, Macau
- Hours24 hours, 7 days
- GamesBoth cash games and tournaments are offers in this poker room. Cash game wise you will find no limit Texas holdem games running almost always. Stakes offered are HK$25 / $50, $50 / $100, $100 / $200, $200 / $400, $500 / $1000. For tournament players you'll find a wide range on offer usually with buy in's at the higher stakes. They run Asia Poker Tour events here and some World Poker Tour affiliated events. They once offered a big game tournament which had a prize of $50 million, which is crazy high. It's safe to say this hasn't happened again and probably won't anytime soon.
- AmbienceThe Venetian is a wonderful casino with bright beige filled rooms which are well ventilated and welcoming. The poker room is new and is smoke free, which is a major bonus considering smoking is almost always permitted in poker rooms in this city. The bright blue felt of the table contrast well with the beige fittings and plush carpets. The chairs in this poker room are leather and comfortable. You will also be able to view a TV from most seats at the tables, as well as charge your phone via USB charging ports.
- HospitalityYou'll get around the clock table side food and beverage service in the Poker King Club at the Venetian casino. This is another rarity in Macau, as poker is almost the second class citizen to other more favorable games.
- PlayersThe players here will be quite tough and the games usually at the higher limits. Because of casino regulations in China they really need to make some bang for their buck and that's why most limits are a little bit higher than you would expect to find in poker rooms in the United States. You'll still be able to find juicy tables in the Poker King Club during peak times.
Wynn Macau Casino
- LocationRua Cidade de Sintra, Macao
- Hours24 hours, 7 days
- GamesThe Wynn poker room in Macau offers cash games and tournament play. For the ring game players, you will find no limit Texas holdem at medium and high stakes as well as pot limit Omaha. Stakes range from HK$25 / $50 up to $500 / $1000. Remember you get about HK$8 for each US$1. The Wynn poker room won't offer many tournaments. However, they do run special events on occasion with a range of buy in's.
- AmbienceThe Wynn in Macau is very similar to the Wynn in Las Vegas. Steve Wynn won't allow his brand to diminish in value or integrity at all and as such the poker room here is very nice with great décor and well maintained seats and tables.
- HospitalityTea, coffee and water will be free for players here. If you want alcohol you may be able to get a free beer while you pay, but most drinks must be ordered from the menu and will attract a charge. You can also order food and eat at the table while you play.
- PlayersThis is a wildly popular poker room and as a result you will sometimes have to wait hours for a table. Book a seat many hours before you plan on playing and you shouldn't have a problem. Because of this, the poker is tough and you'll need to be playing very solid poker to do well. The vibe is quite serious due to this but also a lot of fun at times, particularly on weekend evenings.
Macau Billionaire Poker Room
- LocationBabylon Casino, Macau
- Hours24 hours, 7 days
- GamesThis poker room currently offers no limit holdem cash games at various stakes. While they are aiming to offer higher stakes you will most likely be able to find HK$50 / $100 and $100 / $200 games running more frequently. They run tournaments on occasion including their Jade series which features a HK$2000 buy in event.
- AmbienceThis is a nice poker room which features gold and beige colors on the wall with ruby and gold carpet. It's a nice place although it is near and on the casino floor so can be quite smoky at times. The blue felt tables are basic with gold wrapped simple seating. Regardless it's still a decent poker room.
- HospitalityYou will get basic drinks provided including water, tea and coffee. If you want anything further you will need to request for a server to come and take you order and you'll usually be paying full price off the menu.
- PlayersThe quality of play in this poker room will usually be quite good. This is because it's such a niche market now in Macau and as such you won't get as many amateur players trying out poker. That's not to say you can't do well if you put in a few solid sessions playing decent and straight forward poker.
Macau is a different experience for players used to poker rooms and casinos in the United States. But if you're planning a trip you can still find some good Teas holdem games. Just plan well ahead and be prepared for extended wait times in some rooms.