The Bicycle Casino is one of the most popular card rooms in California and the US as a whole. It’s also one of the earliest card rooms to legally operate in California and has since been the site of both legitimate tournaments and scandalous federal investigations.
And, without legal sports betting in California, the Bicycle Casino offers one of the few legal, real-money, in-person gambling options in the state — alongside Indian casinos.
Below we will delve further into the card room’s rich history.
Bicycle Casino Fact Table
|Name||Bicycle Hotel & Casino|
|Address||888 Bicycle Casino Dr, Bell Gardens, CA 90201|
|Number of Poker Tables||185|
|Number of Games (est)||~15|
|Minimum Age to Gamble||21|
Popular Bicycle Casino Events
The several federal raids and the inevitable push of time have caused the Bicycle Casino to no longer be the most toured poker or card room in the world. However, it’s still quite relevant thanks to the above California online poker broadcasts and its famous card room events.
For instance, it offers a daily tournament schedule with various buy-ins ranging from around $30 to upwards of $90. These are frequented by cash grinders and general poker enthusiasts alike.
In addition, exclusive tournament series are offered every week and month. Other tournament series or major, well-known tours are frequently offered. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) hosts several circuit events at the Bicycle Casino from time to time, as does the World Poker Tour Legends of Poker (held in July and August).
The LA Poker Series (held in June), which is a big deal in card rooms around the LA metropolitan area, also has tournaments here from time to time. The Mega Millions Series (held in January) and Winning O’ the Green (held in March and April) tournaments have games at the Bicycle Casino as well.
Lastly, the WSOP offers “Academy Seminars” at the Bicycle Casino every so often. These are great opportunities for beginners to get into professional poker and interact with some of their heroes. The games frequently have low buy-ins but high cash prizes or pools.
Even though the legal gambling age in California is 18, the Bike is 21+ because it serves alcohol.
Thanks to its 185 poker tables, the Bicycle Casino offers a plethora of cash poker games that you can play 24/7 so long as the establishment itself is open.
Staple poker games like Texas Hold’Em and 7-Card Stud are offered. Pot-Limit Omaha, Mexican Poker, and more are available as well. Both No-Limit and Limit varieties for all the above poker variants can be found, with buy-ins ranging from anywhere to $10 up to around $500 depending on the table.
During more popular playing seasons or on the weekends, waiting times for specific tables can be quite extensive. This is especially true for lower-level cash games, which tend to be inundated with beginner or unskilled players that flood the tables as they practice.
The Bicycle Casino has three main daily poker tournament categories.
The first is called Quantum Reload. It runs Friday at 12:00 pm and 2:10 pm with a $3,000 guaranteed prize pool (GTD), Saturday at 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm with a $15,000 GDT, and Sunday at 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm with a $10,000 GTD.
The second is with Mexican Poker. It runs Thursdays at 8:00 pm with a $15,000 GTD.
Finally, Late Nite Madness runs Thursday to Saturday every night at 10:00 pm with a $2,000 GTD. The last version is the most popular due to its recurring schedule and the low GTD, which is associated with low buy-ins and a lower level of play.
See our complete Guide to California Poker Tournaments.
The Bicycle Casino includes several California games across over 50 tables, affording decent space and low wait times. Games include EZ Baccarat, Chinese Poker, Pai Gow Poker, and No Bust 21st Century Blackjack. There are also other games including:
- Crazy 4 Poker
- Pai Gow Tiles
- Fortune Pai Gow Poker
- Dai Bacc
- Ultimate Texas Hold’Em
- Super Pan 9
- Three Card Poker
Poker Room Facility
The Bicycle Casino features an over 100,000-square-foot facility that includes an attached hotel. The hotel is relatively recent, having only been constructed in the fall of 2015. It includes several restaurants and a cocktail lounge, as does the original casino facility.
Other amenities and entertainment venues include a brewery and a concert hall where live entertainment shows occasional crop up. Several other restaurants ancillary to the hotel but still attached to the general property are available as well, as is an outdoor bar with a sundeck. A fitness center rounds out the hotel’s amenities.
Bicycle Casino History
The Bicycle Casino first opened its doors on November 30, 1984. Initially, the only legal poker game in California was Draw Poker (though Hold’Em became legal shortly thereafter). In 1987, Bicycle Casino took advantage of court rulings that allowed poker variants like Stud and Omaha Hold’Em.
Bicycle Casino rode the wave of California’s rapidly growing poker industry. During the 1990s and 2000s, Bicycle Casino became one of the most popular card rooms in the entire world. Celebrities from all over Los Angeles flocked to the casino for its games and its well-known poker tournaments.
In 1987, however, the Bicycle Casino came under investigation for money laundering and racketeering through Sam Gilbert, one of the men in charge of the establishment. In 1990, the Bicycle Casino was seized after federal authorities found money within the card room’s cash circulations that originated from Florida drug smugglers.
Later, the Bicycle Casino made history as the first brick-and-mortar casino to broadcast a live poker cash game over the Internet. Live at the Bike help solidify the casino’s history and continues to run today, five nights a week. It includes poker pros and celebrities.
In 2015, the Bicycle Casino underwent a massive renovation and expansion for its hotel component, which now features seven stories of livable space and other features. More recently, 2017 saw the casino raided again by federal authorities who were investigating a money-laundering operation.
Bicycle Casino Card Room FAQs
The Bike is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year, with occasional exceptions.
Yes. There is both self-parking and valet parking.
Yes. There is over 10,000 square feet available for meetings and events. Reservations can be started at the Bike’s main website.
There are approximately 100 rooms in the attached hotel.
Yes. It’s called the Bike Players’ Club. This includes several benefits like free meals for those who play for at least three continuous hours, plus automatic access to any tournaments at the Bike.