Best California Casino: Den of iniquity now fun for him and her
San Pablo Lytton Casino
Up until a year ago, the venue once known as Casino San Pablo was a pretty typical California card room. And like all card rooms, the vibe was most decidedly male. Then came the slot machines. Eight hundred of them. The slots have attracted a decidedly more feminine clientele. The renamed San Pablo Lytton Casino is owned by the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, which wanted to install Vegas-style slots until a political backlash egged on in part by competing card clubs forced the tribe to back off. So it settled for "Class II" slots, which technically are not Vegas-style machines but electronic bingo machines. Nonetheless, San Pablo's one-armed bandits certainly have the same feel and sounds of their Nevada counterparts. As for the poker tables, there's a decided bias toward Texas Hold 'Em, with no Omaha here and only a couple of stud tables. As for Hold 'Em, there is everything from a $3/$6 to no-limit cash games. On weekend mornings, San Pablo hosts one of the more reasonably priced no-limit tournaments around. The buy-in is only $55 (no rebuys or add-ons). The tourneys usually get from fifty to sixty players, and you have to make the final table to be in the money. The top three finalists each win about $550. Tourney players should get there by 8:30 a.m. and sit at a limit table, since the casino gives sign-up priority to people already playing.