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Poker Room Review: The Silver Club, Sparks, NV

Poker Room Review: The Silver Club, Sparks, NV 0001

The Silver Club in Sparks, Nevada is the epitome of a nice, small, locals-oriented casino. They have a great single-deck blackjack game with favorable rules, including blackjack that pays 3:2 and doubling down on anything. The table's $2 minimum makes it even more appealing. The casino also has $1 craps and $.25 roulette, as well as a normal assortment of slot machines.

Its poker "room" follows suit. There really is no poker room, though they have a poker game three nights a week. It's a one-table affair, held in the pit with the other table games. Games are usually run on Thursday, and are always on Friday and Saturday nights, starting at 5:00pm when the dealer arrives. They play as long as they have a game, which means that they typically end by 12:30 or 1:00am.

The regular game is $2/4 limit hold'em. Sometimes they host a $3/6 and $4/8 game, if there's sufficient interest. I was there on a Thursday at 6:05pm and they were getting $2/4 hold'em game underway. The four players waiting to play were older, casual gamblers looking to pass time. Only one had played poker in a home game and he was just there to "see how it was done in a real casino."

The 10% rake is modest and sees only a $3 max. This is the norm in older casinos throughout the Reno and Sparks area, though some of the more modern and bigger rooms have a $4 maximum. They cut the rake when the game gets short, which I gathered was much of the time. The atmosphere is subdued, with only a little distracting noise from the blackjack and crap pit areas. Slots are too far away to be an annoyance, though not so far as to be out of the way if you or any in your party want to play.

They have one extremely modest promotion, where if you sign up to play between 5:00pm and 6:00pm, you get an extra $5 on top of your buy-in. They did not say that you had to play a minimum number of hours, and I wondered if some down-and-out gamblers sign up, buy in, play a hand, and then leave. Are there scammers willing to sink that low?

The casino itself is older, but very pleasant, with a coffee shop offering a $4 breakfast special: three eggs, toast, home fries, and ham, bacon or sausage. They also serve sandwiches, which run about $7. They run a great lunch and dinner deal for those who want a taste of alcohol with their meal: $4 for a hamburger and beer. The coffee shop is open from 5:00am until 10:30pm during the week and runs around the clock hours on the weekends.

Rooms are similarly inexpensive with rates ranging from $19 during winter months to around $99 on summer weekends. A quick survey of the folks I met during my visit revealed mid-week rates from $23 to $70. The quality of the rooms, so the guests said, were about what you'd expect at that price; clean, unspectacular, with thin walls and few amenities.

The location of the casino itself is very convenient for Sparks, with four other casinos within walking distance. Sparks is on the border of Reno, about a five-minute drive from the downtown area. There are great, inexpensive, Basque restaurants nearby, in addition to the standard casino food and fast food joints you'd expect to find in a gambling town.

I'd recommend the Silver Club to older tourists looking for a quiet and inexpensive place for their gambling vacation, who might be looking to dabble in a little poker on the weekend while they're there. There are many better places for serious or even not-so-serious poker players, though this place would be a good stop for low-limit action with poor opponents. It's also an ideal stop for a serious card counter who wants to take advantage of the favorable blackjack rules and the single deck.

{i}The Silver Club

1040 Victorian Ave

Sparks, Nevada


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