Texas Holdem Games Near Me
Another good name for this page may be how to find Texas holdem games, because we're getting ready to tell you the best ways to find the nearest games no matter where you're located.
The first thing that comes to mind for most players when they think about finding a place to play Texas holdem is the nearest poker room or casino. But the games running in a structured environment are just a percentage of the games running in private clubs, businesses, and homes around the world.
One problem is that it's fairly easy to find listings for public places to play, but it can be quite difficult to find private and home Texas holdem games. Learn more about how to find holdem games in each of the next two sections and then learn how to protect yourself when playing in private games.
Finding Poker Rooms and Casinos
We've built pages for each state and a few of the major cities like Las Vegas listing all of the public poker rooms and casinos that have poker rooms for your convenience. Most of the information is current, but over time rooms open and close so it's always a good idea to check ahead if you're traveling far to play.
Most large and medium sized casinos have poker rooms, but don't assume one has poker tables. With the availability of the internet on your home computer and on most mobile phones it only takes a minute to look up the web site of the casino to see if they have a poker room listed or to find the phone number to call.
If you're planning to play during the busiest times, usually the weekend evenings, you can often call ahead and get put on the waiting list. This can save a great deal of time waiting when you arrive. Don't waste too much money at the slots or other games while waiting to play Texas holdem. Your best odds to leave a winner are at the holdem tables, not at the slot machines.
Simply search through our section of Texas holdem games by state or city to see what's available where you live or where you pan to travel. Make a list of three or four different rooms and try them each out.
Depending in the time and day each room has different numbers of players and tables open. The overall level of playing ability can also vary from time to time in the same room.
We read a story about a poker pro who decided that they'd adjust their sleeping schedule so they could arrive at the tables late at night / early in the morning so they could take advantage of the players who had too much to drink and were tired.
When they arrived at the poker room they saw a number of other pros who had the same idea, turning a profitable situation into one filled with sharks.
Finding Private and Home Games
Finding private and home Texas holdem games can be more challenging than finding a game in a poker room. This is especially true if you don't live in the area where you hope to find a game.
The best place to start looking for a home game is by talking to other poker players. Many private games are by invitation only so even if you found them you might not be able to play. A recommendation by another poker player may be your only ticket into the game.
If you don't know any poker players where you want to play you may be able to find some online. Message boards and forums can be found where poker players hang out, but you need to be wary of any information you receive from someone hiding behind a user name in a forum.
One of the best places to find out about private Texas holdem games is in bars. Many bars run their own poker games, and most bars have at least a few people who play poker I them at any given time. But they're also wary of strangers asking questions because in most places it's illegal to run poker games in these establishments.
We don't know exactly how not to come across as a cop or other law enforcement officer, but this is the main obstacle to getting information in a bar or other drinking establishment.
Many communities run charity poker events, which can be a great place to get leads about private games. Make sure you talk to as many fellow players as possible while playing. The odds are high that you'll be invited to a few games or told where you can find out more.
Just make sure you stay safe and smart about how you get your information and where you go. The next section covers many of the possible pitfalls to playing in home games.
Private and home games are not the same as ones offered in poker rooms, so you need to be aware of some of the possible areas you can get into trouble while playing.
One of our editors tells the story about a private game he used to play in. It was well off the beaten path, off a one lane dirt road, up a winding driveway that passed a number of houses. He received an invite from a friend and knew many of the people who played, but it seemed like a place that was ripe for someone to rob the game.
When he asked one of the game's organizers about it, the reply was simple and to the point, and somewhat comforting.
"Did you see all of the houses you drove by to get here? That's all family, and anyone dumb enough to come up here with bad intentions would be lucky to get through all of them alive. We take care of our own issues up here. Not even the local law enforcement comes up here without calling first."
This is a comfort to some players but a scary situation to others. After all, what if they decided they wanted your money? If you haven't played in many private games you may think this type of situation is rare, but it's more common than you think.
But the other side of playing in private games is some of them are vulnerable to being robbed. Doyle Brunson tells stories about being robbed and held at gun point. You need to be aware of your surroundings and careful about what you do and don't do and where you go.
Most private games are cash only so you're carrying a bunch of cash, often into a blind or unknown situation. Sometimes the only thing you can do is only carry enough for the game and hope for the best. If someone points a gun in your face what are you going to do? When you're faced with the question of your money or your life have you thought about what you plan to do?
Most people give up the money and pray they get to keep their life. While we hope you'll never face this situation, if you play private Texas holdem games you need to at least consider the possibility.
Another real danger in private Texas holdem games is the possibility of being cheated. While a few players try to cheat in regular casinos and poker rooms, you're more likely to run into it in private games.
The first area you need to watch is when the cards are being dealt. In many private games the players shuffle and deal, which creates a perfect situation for someone to try to cheat.
In order to cheat during the deal the player usually first needs to stack the deck, so watch how the cards are collected and placed for the shuffle. Then watch how the cards are actually shuffled. It's fairly easy to learn a false shuffle and to shuffle cards in a way that leaves a number of cards on the bottom or top.
Next you need to watch for the way the cards are dealt from the deck. Most players deal with the deck held in one hand. A player dealing cards from the bottom or holding the top card while dealing the second, also called a mechanic, can be tough to spot. The best cheating dealers are almost impossible to catch.
Don't always expect the dealer to give themselves the best hand, as many players work in teams of two or more. The dealer may be giving strong hands to someone else at the table and splitting the win at the end of the night.
Sometimes players also secretly exchange information about what they hold to other player's they're working with. This is often a simple as adjusting the way they hold the cards.
If a player has a strong hand they hold their cards in their left hand and if they have a weak hand they hold them in their right hand. The number of fingers held in front of the cards also indicates a second piece of information. The third piece of information is shown by the way the hand not holding the cards is held on the table.
Each finger has three knuckles which can be assigned different values, so each one can be assigned a value.
Imagine the elaborate communication system you could devise using all of these things simply using your hands.
Add in the possibility of moving chips in your stack you add a fourth piece of information and you're starting to reach the place where you can almost show another player the exact two cards you hold.
Unless you play with the same players many times it's almost impossible to pick up on these types of signals unless the cheaters are sloppy. All you can do is keep your eyes open and try to track any players who seem to have too much information.
We've also seen pairs of cheaters sit beside each other and exchange cards. If the duo is especially good the only way you can even see evidence of their cheating is by watching them from behind.
When they switch cards their shoulders that are against each other dip at the same time. From behind the player on the left has their right shoulder against the left shoulder of the player on the right. If they dip at the same time frequently the odds are that they're exchanging cards. But be warned, just because you see it doesn't mean you can prove it, so it's probably going to start a fight and they won't admit it anyway.
Of course how you react is up to you, but the safest course of action is to quit playing and leave as quickly as possible. Consider the possibility that whoever is organizing the game may be in on the cheating or receiving a cut. You could be in real danger if you start accusing someone of cheating.
The last danger to consider is one involving legal issues that may come up if the local law enforcement becomes involved in the game. Most people don't even consider if it's legal or not to play Texas holdem in a private or home game. But in most places it's illegal to gamble outside of a licensed business.
We aren't lawyers and we don't offer legal advice so you need to know your local laws and make your own decisions. In many areas local law enforcement and even judges play in private poker games. But this doesn't automatically protect you legally.
Finding Texas holdem games near you is often as simple as keeping your eyes and ears open and talking with everyone you know. Start talking about poker and you'll often find that others are just as interested as you and play. They can lead you to private and home games that you won't be able to find any other way.
If you want to find a holdem game in a poker room or casino use our directory of Texas holdem games by state. We have a page for each state and major poker hot spots like Las Vegas. Simply find the area you're interested in and follow the link.