The Harrah’s New Orleans casino sits just outside the French Quarter in the greatest city in the world (calm down Paris!). At least that’s what Heather and I claim. We’ve visited New Orleans several times now, and even chose the city to get married. The combination of music, food, art, architecture, and people creates a vibrancy like no other American city. What makes New Orleans truly special is…wait, this is the Harrah’s New Orleans poker room review. OK, ok, let’s get on with that. More about why we love New Orleans above all other cities at a later date.
The Harrah’s New Orleans Casino is as downtown as it gets in New Orleans. It sits right on Canal Street, just steps away from the Mississippi River, the Riverwalk Outlet mall, and the French Quarter. As you may have guessed, we would suggest you spend several days in New Orleans. The weeks leading up to Mardi Gras in January/February are particularly fun.
A whole New Orleans travel/fanboy post is forthcoming. However, the short list of greatest New Orleans hits includes music hopping at venues on Frenchman Street, art galleries on Royal St., the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park, beignets at Cafe Du Monde, fried chicken lunch at Coops on Decatur, and dinner at Commander’s Palace in the Garden district (well worth the $100+ per person you’ll likely spend on 3 courses plus wine/drinks). For that last one, book reservations far in advance. Also, the National WWII Museum is one of the best museums we have visited in the country.
Harrah’s New Orleans offers a full-service casino with slots, table games, and a Sports Book with massive viewing screens (right next to the poker room of course). The casino floor feels very spacious, with plenty of room to navigate easily through its aisles. Harrah’s also hosts a large hotel where you’ll pay at least a couple hundred dollars for a room on weekdays and several hundred on weekends. They also have a concert venue, the Fillmore, and a bowling alley.
Unsurprisingly, there are a multitude of good food options at Harrah’s New Orleans. Emeril Lagasse offers both a Brasserie and a Petit Brasserie. There is an upscale Japanese restaurant, Nobu, a high-end steak house, a Pho Bar, and a Manning’s Sports Bar & Grille. Even the small “Food Hall” veers toward the high-end, with Bobby’s Burgers, a nice Creole spot, and a very good pizza place. Once again, New Orleans brings the food!
Harrah’s New Orleans Poker Room Comfort
The 20-table poker room at Harrah’s New Orleans sits on the exterior edge of the main gaming floor, but with only a half wall separating it from the casino. Similar to the Beau Rivage casino that we visited en route to New Orleans, the room is very loud from all the slot play and busy casino foot traffic. But there is no smoking in the Harrah’s casino, so that was pleasant at least. The ceilings are also very high, which gives the room a sense of spaciousness. Tables are well-lit. The room in general is attractive and modern with very nice carpeting.
The chairs are reasonably comfortable, although they do not have wheels and are not adjustable. However, they are at least well-padded. The tables are attractive and clean, with reasonable spacing. Tables feature a padded rail, functioning USB ports, and auto-shufflers, but not drink cups.
The chips, cards, and felts are all clean. Play is nine-handed, but the tables are large enough that everyone has some elbow room.
Poker Room Staff
The Harrah’s New Orleans poker room staff is very pleasant. The floor circled frequently and was engaging with delaers and players. The dealers were very fast and knew what they were doing. Dealers fluctuated in how social they were, but one of mine was among the most talkative I have had. Yet her chattiness never distracted me from her dealing. Wait staff were hopping on this busy Friday night, but no one seemed lacking for drinks.
Players at Harrah’s New Orleans Poker Room
The players at Harrah’s New Orleans poker room were quite diverse in age and ethnicity. A few women were playing across the nine active cash tables. Players seemed very focused and serious about their play. Most were quiet, with little bantering. Pots on my $1/$3 table got big quickly as most involved large pre-flop raising, followed by large c-bets. If you got into a pot, you’d better be prepared for aggressive play.
As of this writing, the Harrah’s New Orleans poker room offers tournaments on Monday and Wednesday nights and one at 11:15 Saturday morning. The Monday night event is $140 for a 7,000 starting stack and 20-minute blinds. Wednesday night is the same structure for $200, but includes a $50 bounty. Saturday morning also requires a $200 buy-in, but for a12,000 starting stack with 20-minute blinds.
In our tracking of tournament activity, the Harrah’s New Orleans poker room tournaments are reasonably well attended. Monday typically gets around 30 to 40 players. Wednesday and Saturday tournaments approach 50 players.
Cash Game Activity
On this Friday evening, the Harrah’s New Orleans poker room was running 6 active cash tables of $1/$3, one of $2/$5, and two PLO. From our recent tracking of cash games (see our cash game activity update), Harrah’s New Orleans sees anywhere from 4 to 8 tables of $1/$3 cash on weeknights and through most of the weekend. Some nights you may see a single table of $2/$5 but that’s not reliable. PLO games will also crop up, and there can be as many as two tables on Wednesday and Friday nights. Most days few other games are going on; however, on Sunday afternoons you might see a $4/$8 Limit game or an Omhaha/Big O game.
Overall Assessment of Harrah’s New Orleans Poker Room
The Harrah’s New Orleans poker room is an attractive and well-run venue in a top-flight casino in a great city. The poker room’s openness to the casino floor is a notable drawback. It is very loud while you play. The chairs being well-padded old-school banquet-style is not ideal either. But the excellent staff and attractiveness of the room overall make up for these comfort issues. If you are in New Orleans, and at some point you need to be in New Orleans, definitely stop by Harrah’s to play a few hands.
The Harrah’s New Orleans poker room is an attractive and well-run venue in a top-flight casino in a great city. Being open to the casino floor is a notable drawback. But the excellent staff and attractiveness of the room overall make up for these comfort issues.