The world is slowly starting to open up again with people all over the globe starting to turn their attention towards holiday plans after a tough, tough year.
If you are one of those lucky enough to be planning a vacation that combines culture with fun, Prague, the capital of Czechia should be high on your list of possible destinations.
As the country’s largest city, Prague has an awful lot of attractions to keep you occupied and is also a great city to visit if you are looking for the perfect gambling experience to unwind in the evenings. Read on for your ultimate poker guide to one of Europe’s most historic cities.
In Czech the word ‘Herna’ means ‘Casino’, but in reality to call these bars casinos would be somewhat of an exaggeration. Herna Bars then, can be found all over the city of Prague and are usually small, crowded bars with fairly basic casino facilities. An ideal location to try the best of Czech liquors and take in everything their culture has to offer.
If you’re from the UK, think of them as a Czech equivalent to a small town centre pub with a couple of poker tables and the odd slot machine. Don’t let that put you off visiting one though, as a trip to a Herna Bar can be a truly unique experience.
You will find a great range of characters in these places and at times, a high level of opponents at the mainly cash tables. To get the lowdown on your nearest Herna Bar be sure to ask one of the locals when you check in to your hotel.
They will be able to guide you to one of the better bars in your area, some of which have really come on leaps and bounds since the 2017 smoking ban forced many to change their layout and the services on offer.
Location: Na Příkopě 959/27, 110 00 Staré Město
If a small bar with some questionable characters is not really your thing, then you’ll want to visit Banco Casino which is at the complete other end of the spectrum to Prague’s Herna Bars. The Banco is just one of two luxury casinos in the city, but it is unique in that it is distinctly Czech.
Unlike many casinos in the world, the Banco does not fall into the trap of pretending to be a bustling Las Vegas gaming centre. Instead it celebrates everything Czech, the stunning interior décor is distinctly Czech as is the warm welcome you will receive from the staff.
In terms of gaming facilities the Banco has everything you could possibly want from a modern casino and regularly plays host to some heated and hard-fought poker tournaments. The standard of the players in this venue tends to be quite high, so knowing when to fold will be vital. What differentiates the Banco though is the owner’s emphasis on making the casino a great place to relax.
After you’ve finished playing poker or spinning the reels on the slots, you will be left to your own devices to eat, drink and be merry away from the fast-paced feel of the gaming tables.
Location: V Celnici 1027, 110 00 Nové Město
If your trip to Prague is your first holiday in some time you might want to treat yourself by booking in to the 5-star Marriott hotel, which by British standards is relatively cheap. A
double room in this luxurious hotel will set you back around £75, leaving you with more than enough loose change to play poker at the Viva Casino.
The casino, which is run by an English management team can be found within the hotel and will provide you with a familiar feel of home when you step through the doors. Whilst Viva is slightly smaller than the Banco, that doesn’t detract from the fun that you can have when you visit.
The Viva is renowned all over the city for its regular live daily events and tournaments which attract players from well beyond the city’s borders. If you’d like to play poker on your trip to Prague but don’t want to prioritise it above everything else a stay at the Marriott and a visit to the Viva could be ideal.
Location: Václavské nám. 840/5, 110 00 Můstek
Of the 20 or so casinos in Prague, the Casino Ambassador in Vaclavske is probably the biggest and best of the lot. The casino itself is owned by a multi-national company with venues all over Europe, most notably in London.
Therefore this venue has much more of an American-style feel to it, but it is done a way as to not make it tacky or too overbearing. If you want the glitz and glamour along with the challenge of playing against some of Czechia’s best poker players, this is the venue for you.
If you’re not quite as advanced, fear not as there are plenty of low-stakes cash tables that are great for novice players. In terms of refreshments, the venue has a great range of drinks, cocktails and food options to take advantage of when you’re sitting out the occasional hand.
There you have it, your ultimate guide to the best places to play poker in the Czech capital of Prague. If you’re a local or even a regular visitor and have any tips on venues to visit, be sure to let us know in the comments section below.