A Guide to the Poker Rooms in Tunica Mississippi
A poker player perspective on where to play in Tunica, MS. A guide for the most action, variety and options for your gambling destination travel.
Tunica, MS is the world’s third largest gambling destination. With nine resort sized casinos, it’s no wonder it’s also the southern capital for poker in the United States. Of the nine properties in north Mississippi, six feature poker rooms. Here, we’ll offer a player’s perspective of each card room and what you might enjoy during your visit.
Poker in Tunica follows a distinct cycle. Usually one of the main poker rooms is the popular place, and will offer more games and a wider variety of action than the others. This cycle appears to rotate every six months or so, with the bulk of regular and local players shifting to whatever the current hot spot is. The three largest poker rooms; Horseshoe, Goldstrike and Harrah’s, are perpetually in competition to be the busiest and best in the region. Because of this, they each offer competitive promotions, tournaments and poker hotel room rates.
The benefit of playing in one of the “Big Three” is a broader choice of game variety and player base. The downside is a presumed higher level of skill, as talented players tend to follow the action. The three smaller rooms offer less competition, but with fewer options.
The Big Three
Goldstrike Casino is owned by MGM Corporation, and features a second floor smoke-free poker room. Removed from the hustle of the main gaming floor, this makes the room a quiet oasis with reasonably close bathrooms and regular cocktail service. The ‘Strike, as it’s affectionately called, regularly spreads $1/$2 no limit hold ‘em and $4/$8 limit hold ‘em, with the occasional pot limit Omaha and 7 card Stud game thrown in for variety. Twice daily tournaments at both 11 am and 6 pm, with low buy-ins, usually draw between 25 and 55 players. The action at Goldstrike can be a dice roll. Some days they’re absolutely slammed, and others it’s a bit on the quiet side. The biggest benefit to playing at Goldstrike is the close proximity to Horseshoe, giving the player an ability to move between the two poker rooms at both properties in just a five minute walk.
Horseshoe, part of Caesar’s Entertainment, is largely understood to be the best poker action in Tunica. The only poker room to regularly spread $20/$40 limit, $2/$5 no limit, and $2/$5 pot limit Omaha, they are also a reliable source for the more standard lower limit games. The ‘Shoe is liberal with comps. If you’re playing, they’re going to take care of your dinner. The poker room features 16 tables, with an additional pit of tables to accommodate their daily 7 pm poker tournament. Saturday’s tournament guarantees a $10,000 prize pool. The only $10K guarantee tournament in Tunica, this tournament regularly draws well over 100 players.
Harrah’s, also owned by Caesar’s Entertainment, is an official stop for the World Series of Poker which visits Tunica every January. The poker room is beautiful, decorated with large portraits of the best in the poker world. Action here can be a bit dicey. Because this casino is the first in the line of resorts, a lot of the tourist traffic stops here. The local and regular players are also known to visit, to pick off a few of the “fish”. The standard games spread at Harrah’s include $1/$3 no limit and $4/$8 limit. The poker room staff is some of the nicest in the business, and the property features three hotels with rates as low as $35 a night for poker players. Calling in advance to book the “poker rate” is recommended. Though this isn’t always the busiest of the three big rooms, it’s definitely worth a visit.
Smaller Rooms, Softer Action
Hollywood Casino has a very cool poker room, with an Indiana Jones theme. The feel is as if you’re playing in a well lit rock grotto, with bathrooms conveniently located just a few feet away. This poker room really only spreads $3/$6 limit hold ‘em. Though they’re open to playing no limit, they very rarely get the crowd. For beginners or lower limit players, this is an excellent comp room with professional staff and friendly dealers.
Sam’s Town, located across the street from Hollywood, features the only $15,000 guarantee monthly tournament in Tunica. This event can pull up to 200 people and is always a fun structure to play. Live games can be a gamble. Sam’s Town has a core group of regulars that play almost exclusively in their poker room. If the regulars are there, the games will run. Otherwise, you might wait awhile for something to get started. Once they get going though, this is an enjoyable place to play the standard no limit and limit varieties of poker.
Tunica Roadhouse is rather new to the poker scene in Tunica. Another Caesar’s Entertainment property, Roadhouse has recently added two poker tables which almost exclusively offer limit poker. Though the games typically only run on Friday and Saturday nights during prime time, most of the players are casual enthusiasts and often prove to be easier to beat. It is yet to be seen if Roadhouse will continue to grow their poker action, but sharing a parking lot with Horseshoe and Goldstrike makes this an easy bet. If the game isn’t what you’re looking for, it’s a very short walk to larger poker rooms.
Regardless of where you play, your visit to Tunica will be enjoyable. With some of the most hospitable staff anywhere in the gaming industry, Tunica takes care of poker players. For specific room promotions, visit each gaming property’s website or call in advance for details.