Casino San Pablo has been in the news of late because of the currently dormant plan to open an Indian casino with Vegas-style games. As far as California-style card rooms go, though, no place in the East Bay beats the action found at the Oaks. Walk in there almost any time -- it's open 24/7 -- even mid-afternoon on a weekday, and the place is buzzing. Depending on your mood and your finances, you can opt for a variety of games at different stakes. There's usually a mellow $2/$4 seven-card stud game preferred by retirees, a $4/$8 Omaha table for more daring gamblers, and $15/$30 Texas Hold 'Em for those who have the nuts. ("Nuts" is a term poker players use when they have the guaranteed best hand: "I've got the nut flush.") On Saturdays and Sundays, be prepared to wait a little while for a seat to open up. The club does have a decent bar and buffet to kill some time while waiting to get on a table. You can also order food at the table while you're playing. Free and valet parking available.
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