The Truth About Harrah’s Vegas Poker Room | Pros & Cons


I don’t know why, but when I think of Harrah’s Poker Room, I think of the real Las Vegas. I’m not saying that Harrah’s Poker Room is The Joint or anything of the sort. The natural vibe I get from Harrah’s Poker Room is because it’s not all fancy and opulent like so many other poker rooms in Las Vegas. It’s a little more down and dirty with an old school Las Vegas feel, even though it opened in 1997.

Harrah’s Poker Room | A Dirty Poker Room?

On social media, I recently posted a one-word description for all poker rooms in Las Vegas that I have played at. My word for Harrah’s Poker Room: dirty. However, I don’t mean that in a negative way. Now you’re confused, but I can explain.

If you enter Harrah’s through the south entrance, you’re going to find a piano bar to your left and a casino to your right. During the weekend or peak season on a weeknight, there is going to be a lot of energy and the place looks clean.
If you enter from the north entrance, you might have to work your way through some drug addicts and/or prostitutes, there is very little energy, and the entire property seems dingy.

The first time I walked into Harrah’s to play at Harrah’s Poker Room, it was through the north entrance. My immediate thought was that I needed to take a shower. But I couldn’t take a shower because I was going to play poker. Poker > Shower. But … I think this is a teachable moment. Let’s rewind.
When I played at Harrah’s Cherokee Poker Room in April, I remember both the player to my right and the player to my left smelling like body odor. It turned out that the player to my left hadn’t slept or showered for three days, and the player to my right was a hippie who lived in his van and didn’t believe in showering all the time. He told me he showered about one time per month.

Can you imagine sitting between these two people? The only reason I didn’t leave is because I was crushing it. This was one of the softest 2/5 NL poker games I had ever seen. After just four hours, I was up about $1,375. All it took was basic poker strategy. But let’s get back to the showers, and then well get back to Harrah’s Poker Room in Las Vegas.

Since I was a little disturbed and confused about the shower thing, I posted about it on social media. It turns out that only about 70% of people believed everyone should shower prior to playing poker. I’m in that camp. The other 30% believed that it was okay not to shower because some people were living out of their cars or didn’t have the money to pay for a hotel. Well … why are they playing poker?

I’ll let you ponder on that for a while. I’m willing to wager that if you bring this up at your next poker game opposed to poker strategy, you will be shocked to find that some people will defend the Body Odor folks.

Getting back to the Harrah’s Poker Room in Las Vegas, the reason the poker room feels dirty is because it’s located next to the north entrance. If it was located next to the south entrance, it would have a completely different vibe.
I don’t know the exact reason for the crowd found at the north entrance, but my best guess is that most people are entering through the south entrance. Not nearly as many people enter through the north entrance because it would be like going backward. But that’s just a guess. There could be another reason that only the Vegas street locals know about.

Obviously, if you want to play at the Harrah’s Poker Room in Las Vegas, I recommend entering through the south entrance. This is the first of several poker tips for playing at Harrah’s Poker Room in Las Vegas. Let’s take a look at the comps, promotions, and Texas Hold’em poker tournaments prior to getting to some other bonus material.

Promotions & Cash Games

Harrah’s Poker Room only has seven tables, making it one of the smaller poker rooms in Las Vegas. It’s a very airy poker room since you can literally hear, see, and smell The Strip from your table, but I’m not sure if it’s an “airy” you will like.

If you like the airiness found here, or if you’re going to play poker games and/or poker tournaments here anyway, then you probably want to know about the comps above all else. The comps only count for cash games. They are $1 per hour at 1/2 NL and 3/6 Fixed Limit, and they are $2 per hour and double tier credits at 2/3 NL and higher.
That’s pretty good on the $2 per hour comps. The only problem is that I have never seen 2/3 NL and higher poker games running at Harrah’s Poker Room. It’s possible that I was just there at the wrong times.

For promotions, there is a High Hand Bonus, which pays as follows…
• Quads $50
• Flopped Quads $100
• Straight Flush $250
• Royal Flush $500 + $50 to all players dealt in the hand.
There is a Weekly Freeroll tournament with a $12k prize pool for those who have played at least 15 hours over the previous week. The Weekly Freeroll tournament runs on Thursdays at 10 a.m.

That’s not the only freeroll poker tournament at Harrah’s Poker Room in Las Vegas. There is also a Breakfast Bounty Freeroll. You must have played for 20 hours between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. The prize pool is $2,750. This tournament runs every Monday at 2 p.m.

Since I didn’t know the Breakfast Bounty Freeroll tournament even existed, I called Harrah’s Poker Room in Las Vegas and asked them about it. They told me when it ran, but just like any other time I call a poker room for information, I picked up a little extra.

He said that the 2/3 NL game only really runs on Monday mornings prior to the Breakfast Bounty Freeroll because players are earning double the amount of points (hours played). That being the case, if you’re in Las Vegas and you have already played a decent amount of poker hands at Harrah’s Poker Room, you can head straight back there on Monday morning to qualify for a free tournament. The prize pool isn’t very big, but it’s free and you will gain experience.

While on the phone, I also asked about their 2/5 NL game. Based on the reaction, it pretty much never runs. If it does run, it’s not running for very long. This is a poker room you go to for 1/2 NL. The buy-in range is $100-$500, which makes it a Super 1/2 No Limit game. The “Super” comes from the $500 max buy-in, and it’s a much better game than a $200 max buy-in.

I found it funny when I was reading details about Harrah’s Poker Room in Las Vegas. They mentioned that they had cell phone chargers, cocktail waitresses, and masseuses. Do you see what’s wrong with that description?
If you’re getting a back and shoulder massage in a poker room, then you’re getting a massage from a massage therapist. If Harrah’s Poker Room in Las Vegas has masseuses, then let’s just say they’re hiding while working on you. There is another teachable moment here, it’s to never refer to a massage therapist as a masseuse.

Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty. We need to know what’s going on with the poker tournaments at Harrah’s Poker Room in Las Vegas.

Harrah’s Poker Room Texas Hold’em Poker Tournaments

I truly believe that the poker rake on tournaments tells the true story of the poker room management’s genuineness or lack thereof. The poker room management might act nice, but the proof is in the Benjamins. Are they treating you right with the rake, or are they ripping you off?
If they’re ripping you off, don’t worry, I got your back. I’m going to call them out. Not the type of person who will always write positively about every poker room. I’m going to spit the truth. This lets you know that when I write positively about a poker room, it’s genuine.

Harrah’s Poker Room runs six tournaments per day. They buy-ins are $65 or $100. Most of the poker tournaments here are $65, but the 7 p.m. event on Friday and Saturday have a $100 buy-in. Those $65 buy-ins all have a $41 Entry Fee and $24 in deductions. That is ludicrous. Who the hell in their right mind is going to pay 37% in rake? I will give you the answer to that question: People who don’t know and people who have no clue they’re being ripped off.

If I posted this rake to the poker community on Facebook, along with many other incredibly high rakes for Daily and Nightly poker tournaments in Las Vegas, it would have an impact. I might do it. I’m not going to shut down their tournaments or anything, but I can probably sway at least a few thousand people in the poker community. The $100 event has a 30% rake, which is still terrible.

One of the best poker tips I can give you is to never play in a Texas hold’em poker tournament with a rake higher than 20%, and to always look for a rake of 10%-15% prior to entering anything else. If you still want to play in the $65 Daily and/or Nightly poker tournaments, the structure details are below…

Buy-in: $65 (Entry Fee $41, Deductions $24)
Starting Chips: 10k
Starting Blinds: 25/50
Staff Bonus: $5
Staff Bonus Chips: 5,000
Re-Entry: First six levels
Blind Levels: 20 minutes
GTD: $500

The structure details on the $100 poker tournament are below…

Buy-in: $100 (Entry Fee $70, Deductions $30)
Starting Chips: 10k
Starting Blinds: 25/50
Staff Bonus: $5
Re-Entry: First six levels
Blind Levels: 20 minutes
Bounty: $25
GTD: $1,000

A $1,000 guarantee on a $100 tournament with a 30% rake isn’t good. Not at all. The $25 bounty helps a little. That almost makes it playable if burning $100 is no big deal to you and you just want to have a good time while drinking a beer or glass of wine. This will likely lead to you playing more poker hands, which can be bad news.
If you follow our poker rules for winning, then you know not to pay high rake unless you expect a big field with a ton of soft players. I don’t believe this qualifies because there aren’t going to be a ton of players in general.

The only real reason anyone would pay this kind of rake for a poker tournament is if they’re staying at Harrah’s. Finding affordable properties in Las Vegas that also offer good value will cut your costs while still allowing you to feel good. Cutting costs and feeling good fits into our poker rules for winning, but does Harrah’s fit the bill?

Final Thoughts

To answer that last question, not really. When I researched current and future prices for Harrah’s Las Vegas, I kept finding prices way above the norm compared to similar hotels in Las Vegas, and this included the weekdays.

I don’t know what’s going on here, but somebody might want to inform Harrah’s that their rooms and the overall experience they provide isn’t worth as much as they think. This shouldn’t surprise me considering Harrah’s Cherokee charges $400 per night on the weekends. At the same time, if you have a Total Rewards card and you play often, it’s possible to get rooms for as low as $35 per night on the weekdays.

Overall, I would only stay at Harrah’s for a steep discount, and while I would play low-stakes and freeroll poker tournaments at Harrah’s Poker Room in Las Vegas, I wouldn’t play their Daily or Nightly poker tournaments.


Harrah’s Poker Room – FAQs

Q: Does Harrah’s in Vegas have a poker room?
A: Yes. Harrah’s in Vegas has a poker room.

Q: What kind of poker do they have at Harrah’s in Vegas?
A: Harrah’s is best known for 1/2 Super NL. They will spread 2/3 NL once in awhile, but it’s not common. This is a decent place to play for a beginner, but it’s 1/2 Super NL, which just means a bigger max buy-in.

Q: How much money do you need to play poker at Harrah’s in Vegas?
A: The 1/2 Super NL buy-in range is $100-$500. The buy-in range for 2/3 NL is $200-$500.

Q: Does Harrah’s in Vegas have poker tournaments?
A: Yes. There are tournaments throughout the day, everyday of the week. Most of the are $65 buy-in tournaments, but the buy-in on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. is $100.

Author: Henry Brown