Hawaiian Gardens card room, also known as Gardens Casino, is one of the newest card rooms in the state. It was founded in 1997 in Hawaiian Gardens, California. While its space was originally only 60,000 square feet, it now includes total square footage of 200,000 as per a 2016 expansion.
Today, it is one of the most luxurious and comfortable card rooms in the entire state, featuring hundreds of tables, and skillful dealers. Its collection of HDTVs brings modern entertainment to one of the oldest games in the world. Plus, with legal California sports betting turned down in the 2022 election, Hawaiian Gardens provides one of California’s few legal in-person gambling options.
Below we will dive deeper into what this CA card room has to offer.
Hawaiian Gardens Fact Table
|Address||11871 E Carson St, Hawaiian Gardens, CA 90716|
|# of Poker Tables||190|
|# of Other Games (est.)||7|
|Minimum Age to Gamble||21|
Popular Hawaiian Gardens Events
As a dedicated CA card room, Hawaiian Gardens primarily offers special poker tournament events rather than concert events or other entertainment activities.
Perhaps the most significant event, the Memorial Day Tournament, takes place during Memorial Day weekend in May. It includes over a dozen poker events, alongside eight dedicated trophy events that allow winners to take home big pots and actual trophies for bragging rights. Games are usually No-Limit Hold ‘Em, with relatively low buy-in rates around $40 and guaranteed prize pools totaling at least $10,000.
There are also other special poker tournaments and events, like the annual Hawaiian Gardens Poker Championship, which brings some of the best players in California to high-stakes tables. Another annual tournament is the OC LA Gardens Classic.
The World Poker Tour also has a yearly poker festival at Hawaiian Gardens. This is a fantastic tournament for poker enthusiasts, not only to play but also to meet some of the best poker players in the world.
Poker Games at Hawaiian Gardens
Hawaiian Gardens offers four main varieties of poker, and you can play them at the majority of the 100+ dedicated poker tables. These include:
- No-Limit Hold ‘Em
- Texas Hold ‘Em
- Omaha Hold ‘Em
- Seven Card Stud
Of these, the three Hold ‘Em varieties are pretty similar in terms of limits and buy-ins, and the Stud games usually have lower limits. Poker games are mostly found on the main outer floor, although there’s a special VIP area where you can find high limit games, particularly of the Hold ‘Em trio. They are usually found in combinations of 5/5 or 5/10+.
Although the legal California gambling age is 18, Hawaiian Gardens only accepts guests 21 and older because it serves alcohol.
Hawaiian Gardens offers daily tournaments in conjunction with its special events. These daily tournaments largely run on the weekends, although there are plenty throughout the week as well. Buy-ins are normally under the $100 range, though these can go a little bit above for special daily events. There are certainly other card rooms that offer more consistent daily tournaments if you enjoy making a living through poker, however.
The card room is open 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
Table Games at Hawaiian Gardens
While Hawaiian Gardens offers many staple or traditional poker games, it also lets you play several “Cal” or California games. These gambling legislation-friendly versions of classic table games feature slightly altered rules so they don’t break California law. Available Cal games include:
- Blackjack Poker
- Joker’s Wild Pai Gow Poker
- Pai Gow Poker
- Pai Gow Tiles
- EZ Baccarat
- Three Card Poker
- Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em
There are far fewer Cal game tables compared to the regular poker tables, but you shouldn’t have too much trouble ever finding space to play your favorite Cal game on most days of the week.
Poker Room Facility
One of the best things about Hawaiian Gardens’ set up is the over 220 flatscreen TVs that came with the recent 2016 renovation. These TVs are found at most of the major poker tables and allow you to watch broadcasted poker games from the professional circuits or check out daily poker news. The TVs are changeable so you can alter what you’re watching depending on your mood or the overall mood of the table.
Furthermore, Hawaiian Gardens includes personal food and drink services that come right to your table. A dedicated table food menu takes the place of an actual restaurant, which allows you to eat and drink while you continue your game. One nice bonus is that you can use cash or comps in order to pay for most food or drinks ordered from this particular menu. The only exception is alcoholic drinks, which are only purchasable through cash because of certain restrictions.
There isn’t a hotel, but there are rumblings that an additional expansion including one over the next few years might be in the works. For now, Hawaiian Gardens is an overall clean, easy-to-navigate card room with plenty to like.
Card Room History
Hawaiian Gardens began as a relatively small card room in one of the poorer parts of LA County. While it struggled to achieve true success for the first 10 years of its operation, 2016 saw it undergo a $90 million renovation allowing it to expand and truly revitalize its reputation.
However, 2017 saw more bad news. It almost lost its license after casino ownership admitted that they didn’t follow federal anti-money laundering laws. An agreement was eventually struck in 2019 when the casino paid several fines, and since then business has continued as usual.
Hawaiian Gardens FAQs
They eventually had to pay $5.9 million in total when all fees and charges were added up.
Yes, if you live in the Anaheim area or the southern part of LA. If you live in other parts of LA, traffic will make getting to this card room more difficult compared to Commerce Casino or the Bike.
Aside from the aforementioned TVs, each poker table includes several USB charging outlets.
Hawaiian Gardens offers both self-parking and valet parking depending on your preference.
While the legal gambling age in California is 18 years old, card rooms can still set higher age limits. They likely do this to avoid any accidental underage drinking since they serve alcohol on the premises.