Bellagio’s Six-Handed Poker Spurs Changes in Other Rooms

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Bellagio’s move to six-handed poker games is leading other rooms in Las Vegas to take measures that will allow them to offer the same.

Bellagio poker behind plexiglass
The Bellagio Poker Room installed plexiglass dividers at its tables, which made masks for players optional and allowed the poker room to play six-handed. (Image: Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Six-Handed Poker Now the Standard at Bellagio

The Las Vegas Review-Journal notes that the use of dividers allows Bellagio to permit one extra player per table over the standard five-handed games now taking place in Nevada, and makes masks optional rather than required.

Garrett Okahara, poker room manager at The Orleans, told the Review-Journal he has ordered dividers and hopes to install them by the end of this week so his room can also offer six-handed poker.

Like the handful of other poker rooms that have reopened, The Orleans has seen big business, with more than 20 games running at times on the weekends. That poker room opened on June 4, as was one of the first in Las Vegas to resume operations.

“Although I assumed there would be pent-up demand upon opening, the demand has certainly exceeded my expectations to this point,” Okahara said in an email to the newspaper. “It can only get better with six players, too!”

CardsChat could not reach Sahara poker room manager Steven Pique for comment on Monday, but he previously told us he hopes to implement measures that will allow the Sahara to increase the number of players per table.

“If there are further safety measures I can take that will allow the (Nevada Gaming Control Board) to ease restrictions quicker, yes,” he told CardsChat last week.

To Plexiglass, or Not to Plexiglass?

Caesars Palace, which saw double-digit tables running over the weekend, indicates that it will stick with five-handed poker for now, telling the Review-Journal that the room is “getting plenty of business” without dividers, and that “the players are happy.”

The Venetian and Golden Nugget have also not indicated plans to add dividers to allow six-handed poker.

The NGCB announced last week that casinos must require gamblers to wear masks when plexiglass dividers aren’t installed. Before that requirement, visitors reported that the vast majority of casino patrons didn’t wear masks, even though casinos encouraged face coverings.

South Point, the other Las Vegas poker room that reopened in June, requested to run six-handed poker without dividers. Poker room manager Jason Sanborn told the newspaper he believes the new mask requirement negates the need for plexiglass.

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