Located at the far south end of the Las Vegas Strip is the MGM-owned Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Opened in 1999, the Mandalay Bay Poker Room is a nice little room .
Adjacent to the sportsbook in its own elevated area stands the Mandalay Bay Poker room. With Roman-style pillars and ornate railings this is one of the smallest rooms on the Las Vegas Strip containing only ten tables. Nevertheless, the room spreads a variety of no-limit and limit Hold’em games, and runs three daily tournaments.
Unlike most Las Vegas poker rooms, the Mandalay Bay poker room is only open Monday through Thursday, from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 a.m. However, when the room is busy, management sometimes keeps it open for another hour or so. The poker room is open 24 hours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The Mandalay Bay poker room also offers free poker lessons for beginners Monday through Thursday at 2:00 p.m.
Despite being rather nondescript, this little poker room is quite comfortable. Each chair has its own USB port for phone charging, and all tables are equipped with automatic shufflers.
There are several large-screen televisions along the wall so players can keep an eye on sporting events, tournament information, current cash games, and waiting lists.
The poker room is in a relatively high-traffic area and attracts passersby from the sports book as well as people coming from the neighboring Luxor. Thus, it can get a little loud especially during popular sporting events. The room is non-smoking, and it is located such that smoke cannot waft in from other parts of the casino. Restrooms are nearby, just beyond the sports book.
While there is tableside cocktail service, there is no tableside food service. Players may get food from the deli, which is nearby, the pizza place, or elsewhere.
The Mandalay Bay poker room spreads several cash games, including $1/$2, $1/$3, and $2/$5 no-limit Hold’em (NLHE), all of which have optional or mandatory straddles, depending on the players. There is also a $3/$6 limit Hold’em game that runs fairly frequently. Buy-in amounts range from $30 to $2,000.
The most popular, however, is $1/$2 NLHE, and so players can always find one or more tables running. Wait times are generally not too long.
With enough interest and upon request, the room will spread other games.
The rake is a fairly standard $4 plus a $2 jackpot drop.
Mandalay Bay tournaments
While the Mandalay Bay hosts three daily tournaments, this is not the poker room to come to if you’re looking for large tournament payouts.
Tournament players are generally a mix of friendly and lighthearted tourists and locals.
Tournaments run at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m. The buy-in for each is $65 for 10,000 in starting chips. Late registration and re-entry are permitted through the first hour, and the blind levels are a quick 15 minutes.
One- and two-table group tournaments are also available. You can call 702.632.7790 or contact room manager Kay White at [email protected] for more information.
Mandalay Bay pays out an average of $2,000 per day in high hands and other promotions. The current daily high hand payouts are $100 for quads, $200 for straight flushes, and $400 for royal flushes. The room also has high hands with 1.5x, 2x, and 2.5x multipliers during swing shift, as well as daily rolling high hands during day and graveyard shifts. High hands are paid on a tiered system with a higher payout for flopping the hand as opposed to hitting it on the turn or river. Additionally, as is the case with virtually every other poker room, both of the player’s hole cards must play for a straight and royal flush, and the player must have a pocket pair for quads.
MLife members earn the standard $1 per hour in comps that can be used at any of the 14 restaurants in Mandalay Bay and Mandalay Place.
During football season, the room offers a number of NFL-related promotions.
Discount room rates are also available for poker players.
Mandalay Bay poker room staff
Many players report that the Mandalay poker room has some of the friendliest dealers, cocktail waitresses, and floor staff.
Despite some criticism of the room’s rules, those who frequent the Mandalay Bay poker room do so for the amicable dealers.
The bottom line
All in all, the Mandalay Bay receives above-average scores across the board. It’s a nice little on-Strip poker room. Perhaps the biggest complaint is that MGM properties recently started charging for parking. Sadly, this has limited the volume of players the room attracts.
One final thing to mention is that the Mandalay Bay poker room utilizes the Bravo Room Management System, so you can check ahead to see which games are offered, the number of tables, the current waiting list, and the room’s promotions and tournament schedule.
Have you played at the Mandalay Bay poker room? Please share your thoughts and experiences below!
Until next time!
Read more from Upswing Poker:
- Who is Jared Bleznick, and Why is He Controversial?
- The Top 20 Female Poker Players of All Time
- The 21 Best Poker Apps that Will Make Your Life Easier (And More Fun)
Natalie Faulk is a Las Vegas-based freelance writer/blogger and the author of several books. She is an avid low-stakes (for now) poker player and huge Vegas Golden Knights fan.