You won’t have to travel too far to find Texas holdem poker action in the state of New Mexico. With seven
rooms, the state offers plenty of cash games and tournaments and the rooms
themselves rival anything you can find at the smaller casinos in Las Vegas.
The main game in New Mexico is of course no limit Texas holdem, but you’ll
also be able to find limit games, Omaha, and even some crazy pineapple. Mixed
cash games are also quite popular.
If you love online play you’ll be disappointed though, as this isn’t
regulated in the state and is therefore considered an illegal form of gambling.
You can still play at some offshore card rooms, but you’ll be entertained a grey
area in respect to the law and it’s probably not a good idea to be doing this.
You can play at online casinos though and many people do. Some of these
welcome players from the US and they consist of US based online casinos and
international ones. So, you’ll have some options there.
New Mexico has a sensible approach to gaming with most forms permitted on
native Indian reservations. Aside from these, you can also gamble on the
lottery, in bingo games, and at the track via pari-mutuel betting on horse
The lottery is run by the state and allows you to play in major national
lotteries like Powerball and Mega Millions, plus several other draws and instant
win games, with all proceeds going to education causes.
Bingo is permitted also for play by senior citizens who are part of community
organisations. Finally, you can also bet on horse racing at the track provided
it’s not with a book maker and is via a pari-mutuel wagering pool. This gives
you some good alternative options to poker if you can’t make it out to a casino.
As you can see, the game of poker is alive and well in New Mexico and the
various native Indian casinos in the state mostly offer poker rooms. The game is
continuing to thrive and only saw a little bit of downsizing because of Black
Friday and the shutting down of the countries online poker giants PokerStars and
The game will benefit from the awakening of poker in other states and the
regulation of online poker in these, and this will also put pressure on current
New Mexico lawmakers to follow suit and regulate the game online. Until then,
you can find some great options around the state, so take a seat and good luck.
List of New Mexico Poker Rooms
Here is our compiled list of all the poker rooms you can find
in the state of New Mexico:
Buffalo Thunder Casino
Location: Sante Fe, New Mexico
Hours: Sunday to Thursday from 9am until 4am, Friday and Saturday open 24
Games: This poker room runs a daily no limit holdem tournament with a buy in
ranging from $30 up to $225. On Thursday’s they will change it up with an Omaha
8 or better event. If you are looking for a cash game you’ll find $1 / $3 no
limit holdem, $1 / $2 and $5 / $5 pot limit Omaha high, $4 / $8 limit Omaha 8 or
better, $20 / $40 limit holdem, $20 / $40 dealer’s choice and $2 / $6 spread
Ambience: This no smoking poker room is separate from the rest of the casino
and features blue felt tables with black trim in a modern decor composed of
stone brick walls, beige walls and colorful carpet. TVs are scattered around the
room to keep you entertained while you play.
Hospitality: You will receive cocktail and food service while you play in
this poker rooms, and comps are earned via the Lightning Rewards Players Club.
On top of this they also run a series of promotions which award players with
bonus cash and chips.
Players: You’ll come across some tough regulars in this poker room, as well
as some visitors and amateur players. Management and dealers are great and will
ensure you are welcomed and looked after. The overall vibe of the room is fun
and no one takes the game too seriously, which is always a good thing.
Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino
Location: Mescalero, New Mexico
Hours: Monday to Thursday from 11am until 2am, Friday and Saturday from 11am
until 4am, and Sunday from 10am until 2am
Games: No limit holdem tournaments are held on Friday and Sunday at 6pm and
2pm respectively. The Friday tournament has a buy in of $120 and the Sunday one
is $75. For the cash players, they spread $1 / $2, $2 / $5 and $5 / $10 no limit
Ambience: This clean and modern poker room is well-lit and completely no
smoking for your comfort. TVs are strategically placed around the room to keep
you up to date with all the latest sports scores.
Hospitality: Comps can be earned while playing cash at a rate of 60 cents per
hour through the Apache Spirit Club. On top of this they’ll serve you food and
cocktails at the table and you’ll be in the running to make some more cash with
their progressive bad beat jackpot
Players: This poker room attracts a group of local regulars as well as many
visitors due to the stunning mountain vistas that can be viewed from just
outside the front door. The play is decent so you’ll need to bring a solid game
to do well. The low limit cash tables are probably your best bet if you want to
find the biggest edge to exploit. Staff and dealers here are great with many
reports of excellent customer service.
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days
Games: You’ll find up to two no limit holdem tournaments each day in this
poker, with the odd no limit pineapple event played every now and then, the buy
in ranges from $15 up to $100 depending on the day. For the cash players, they
spread $1 / $2, $2 / $5 and $5 / $10 no limit holdem, $2 / $4 limit holdem and
$2 / $6 spread limit holdem.
Ambience: This no smoking poker room is clean and well maintained with
comfortable chairs and felt tables. The room has plenty of TVs to keep you
entertained between hands and is well-lit and easy on the eyes for long
Hospitality: You can earn comps in cash games at a rate of 75 cents per hour
through the Casino rewards program. At the table, you’ll also be provided with
cocktail and food service and the room runs a range of promotions and jackpots
to keep you coming back.
Players: Although this room is full of the same regulars every day they are
still very welcoming and the game is quite soft. So, if you have a solid game
you should be able to find a good edge in most the games that run. Although they
have 9 tables, usually only one to two will be running cash games and they will
only get one or maybe two running in the tournaments. It’s well worth a visit if
you are in the area but probably not worth a specific trip.
Route 66 Casino
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Hours: Open 10 until 4am on weekdays and 24 hours on weekends
Games: Up to three no limit holdem tournaments are held here each day
except Tuesday, with the buy in ranging from $28 to $33. For the cash players,
they spread $1 / $2 and $1 / $3 no limit holdem and $2 / $6 spread limit holdem.
Ambience: This no smoking poker room features TVs on the walls to keep you
entertained and automatic shufflers to keep the game moving. The room itself is
has blue and brown felt tables with black trim amongst a modern decor. The room
is partially separated from the rest of the casino for your comfort.
Hospitality: Comps can be earned at a rate of 50 cents per hour through the
Ultimate Rewards program. They also run a bad beat jackpot, which can be won in
tournaments as well as cash games, and they will provide you with food and
cocktail service while you are playing at the table.
Players: You’ll find a lot of locals playing the cash games and tournaments
in this poker room. This means the standard of play is decent and they will
usually focus on the amateurs and visitors first, don’t let this dissuade you
though as you can use it to your advantage, especially with some well-timed
squeeze raises. Overall the vibe of the room is fun and welcoming and management
will go out of their way to make you feel comfortable.
Sandia Resort & Casino
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days
Games: Regular tournaments are held on
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday with the buy in ranging from $5 up to $75.
On top of this they run some special event tournaments each month, so make sure
you call ahead to check. For the cash players, they spread $2 / $4 and $4 / $8
limit holdem, $1 / $2 and $2 / $5 no limit holdem and $4 / $8 Omaha high low.
Ambience: This no smoking poker room is well-lit and features green felt
tables with black trim amongst a beige and brown decor. The room is separate
from the main casino and they have plenty of 55-inch plasma TVs to keep you
entertained between hands. Tables also have automatic shufflers to keep the
games moving along, which is vitally important in fast level tournaments.
Hospitality: This room runs a progressive bad beat jackpot and offers players
comps via the Peak Rewards program. You’ll also be provided with cocktail and
food service at the table so you need never miss a hand.
Players: This poker room is very well run and is one of the best in New
Mexico. It attracts a good and even mix of regulars and amateurs which ensures
the play is lively and you can find action on most days of the week. Management
and dealers are exceptional here and will make sure everyone is having a good
time and is happy while they are playing. Overall, it’s a great room and well
worth a visit.
Santa Ana Star Casino
Location: Bernalillo, New Mexico
Hours: Sunday to Thursday from 8am until 3.30am, Thursday to Saturday open 24
Games: No tournaments are offered here and you’ll only usually find a $1 / $2
no limit holdem cash game running. This may change to $2 / $4 or $3 / $6 limit
holdem if there’s player demand for it.
Ambience: This no smoking poker room features colorful pattern carpets and a
clean and well maintained table surrounded by comfortable chairs. The table is
located amongst the main casino area, just to the right of the entrance. You can
see TVs from most seats at the table to keep you up to date with the latest
Hospitality: Comps can be earned through the Star Rewards Club at a rate of
$1 per hour in cash games. on top of this they run a range of promotions to keep
you coming back and provide cocktail and food service at the table.
Players: It’s random when it comes to the players you will meet at the poker
table at this casino. Sometimes you’ll come across complete amateurs and it will
be easy pickings, at others times you’ll join a table full of sharks and it will
be tough. So, choose your spots and timing wisely.
Sky City Casino
Location: Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico
Hours: Friday and Saturday from 6pm
Games: You won’t find any tournaments here and the only cash game that
usually runs is $4 / $8 limit holdem.
Ambience: This poker table is in the main casino area and it’s well
maintained and clean with comfortable seats. No smoking is permitted at the
table and they have TVs around to keep you entertained between hands.
Hospitality: You’ll get food at the table in this poker room, and some basic
cocktail service every now and then and that’s about it.
Players: It’ll be quite random in respect to the players you come across
here, with a few regulars taking to the felt amongst mostly amateurs and
visitors. The play will be slow and soft, yet it will be quite fun on occasion
and you could do quite well if the variance goes your way and you have a solid
New Mexico offers a wide range of poker rooms for Texas holdem players. The
two largest rooms, with 15 and 10 tables respectively, are located in
Albuquerque, but other parts of the state also offer poker games.
Tournaments run at the larger rooms on a regular basis and cash games are
plentiful. If you live in New Mexico use this guide to find the nearest poker
rooms and if you plan to travel to the state you can find a room close to where
you plan to stay.
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