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Friday, 11 May 2012

Poker in Nicaragua

So, I hear you ask. Im in Nicaragua, and i'd like to play poker and there is NOWHERE on the internet that actually gives you any decent advice about here it is, your definative guide!


Managua is the only real place theres any regular poker. There are 3 poker clubs with regular cash games and (awfully structured and not really worth playing) tournaments.

1. Pharaoh Casino, Masaya Road. This is the city Pharaoh casino, not the one at the airport. There's a good nightly cash game from 7pm here, up at the back of the casino (just go to the back and its round the corner.) Theres often a smattering of gringo 'hustlers' who actually usually aren't even that good. It's $200 buy-in and no-maximum and a $2/4 NL Hold Em game. The regular players are quite predictable - just a fun game with no-one dangerous.

2.Princes Casino. Up the back, this is the biggest game in town, and rolls at 6pm on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday. Again minimum is $200 for a $2/5 game but people often buy in for $400-600 and the game gets some pretty big action. I'd say the best players in Nicaragua play here (but that doesn't mean much!) and you get some decent $2000-$3000 pots, even with guys with no cards.

3. Casino Nicaragua. Starting at 8pm, and usually going all night, this is the biggest and friendliest game in town - there are always 2 tables going and its $40 minimum, $1/2. There are a lot of young kids playing here and pots get surprisingly big (especially when the beers flowing) so it's the kind of game you can just sit back on those small blinds  and wait for a hand.

All the Managua poker venues, it's possible to come away a thousand or two in profit on a night (or loss!) it just depends on what mood your in - i'd suggest trying out all three.


There is a small poker club here, just across from the 'La Perla' Casino (next to the hotel on the corner.) It runs on Friday and Saturday (and thursday if they get enough interest) It's an awful Karaoke bar the other nights. Buy-in is tiny, about $20 minimum, but the night i played it did heat up a bit, perhaps because they wanted to show off to the Gringo (me) When I played here, I made $40 to about $800, against one guy who kept getting credit from the bar, but to be honest, it felt a bit sketchy and I really do not think i would have got home safely if i'd won the all in that was $1600 there - thats about 6 months salary in Leon. I think in reality they didn't have the money to pay that out, so there was a lot of relief there that night when my KK didn't hold up against this random locals 9 10 ;o)

They play the cash game with those 'home game' poker chips that you get in vegas, so if you have some at home (i'm sure you do!) and want to a risk a kneecapping, then feel free to bring them into the cash game here and sneak them on!


Cafe Euro, just off the main square, has a weekly poker tournament in the back every thursday night. Its $10 with unlimited re-buys - total bingo! It's a nice mix of expats and locals and could be a good way to meet new friends if your new in town.

There isn't a casino but the guys tend to play a cash game afterwards. I didn't play that because i was accosted by a pesky glue sniffer when walking round the backstreets trying to find it. Luckily i turned the potential robbery into a reverse mugging by running at the guy clapping my hands and shouting, and he got the shock of his life.

But seriously, don't walk around the back streets in Granada after dark, it's even more stupid than rushing a glue sniffer clapping your hands.

San Juan Del Sur

Republika bar (look it up) has a poker game going on once a week, on tuesdays. The guys I spoke to who play are all expat gringos, but seemed a decent bunch, its the usual friendly home game style, small money and a few beers.


  1. nice post alan
    I have a similar one here
    Hope you are back in Nicaragua soon to join the play

  2. In san juan del sur have opened a poker room with tables and professional croupiers, 3 days per week playing