The Eldorado Casino in Reno is home to a great poker room, particularly for cash games. Nearly all week long the casino spreads a small $1/2 no-limit hold'em game which has a $60 min and $300 max buy-in. The casino also runs a $3/5 game on the weekends with a $100 min and no max, which occasionally gets spread during the week as well.
The room also hosts a constant $3/6 limit hold'em game with a full kill. It was a tight affair on the two occasions I visited, both times taking place during the week. The players and poker room manager all assured me that it livened up at night and on the weekends.
The Eldorado's poker room is also one of the only rooms in the Reno-Sparks-Lake Tahoe-Carson City area that spreads a seven-card stud game on a regular basis. Admittedly, with $1/5 limits, it's a relatively low-stakes limit game, yet it runs nearly all the time. I found the game to be very tight and passive, especially after I was able to raise a few times by $5 and on each occasion everyone folded, winning me the $1 bring-in in this ante-less game.
There are tournaments too, though not as many as some of the other rooms in the area. You will find a nice $20 tournament (with two $20 rebuys) on Tuesday nights and a $40 affair on Wednesdays with a $20 bounty for every player you knock out. Both start at 6pm and both are structured to give the players a decent amount of time, with play lasting between three and four hours for the winners. The house rakes $5 from the buy-in, though the rebuys and add-ons are not raked. There's also the typical $5 additional buy for extra chips at the start of the tournament that everyone generally takes, with all the $5 buys going to the dealers.
The poker room is kind of dark, with awful chip racks but decent cards and chips. The décor struck me at the time as something out of the 1970s, but I later learned that the room was created in 1998. If you're an interior designer, you could have a field day making suggestions. But for me, the seats were comfortable, the game was well run, the dealers were attentive and efficient, and I had a good time.
The games are raked reasonably with a $4 maximum in the lower limit games which is taken out more slowly than normal: $1 at $15, $2 at $30, $3 at $45, and $4 at $100. So, on large pots, the rake is 4% or less. At the higher-stakes games the rake is even lower, with the maximum being $3.
There's also a $1 comp, per hour, for all live players with a using their free player's card. The room will be running promotions over the winter, according to the poker room manager, Margie Heintz. She claims to be planning freerolls and free jackets for players who put in 50 hours or so, as well as other bonuses for frequent players not yet decided upon.
Currently, the house has a high hand bonus and bad beat jackpot which is funded with an additional $1 drop from the pot. There's no room rate for poker players, but rates at the Eldorado were only $39 when I checked, with the likelihood of reductions over the winter.
All in all, I would certainly recommend this room. There's not a lot of glitz or glamour to it, but there are solid games of all types. Margie runs the room very professionally and has been working in the poker industry since 1974; clearly she knows what she's doing. I plan to stop in and play a while the next time I visit Reno.
Eldorado Hotel Casino
345 N. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89501