JACK Cleveland Poker Room Review

The JACK Cleveland Poker Room is housed in a moderate-sized casino sitting in the middle of the action in downtown Cleveland.  Walking through the first two floors of the casino initially didn’t generate much enthusiasm for what we expected to find in the third-floor poker room. When we finally got there, however, we were pleasantly surprised.

JACK Cleveland

Setting and Non-Poker Amenities

On one side of JACK Cleveland sits the Public Square, replete with statues, fountains and, on a busy day, street vendors. Really the JACK is in the middle of everything: historic buildings abound, restaurants sit every few feet, and the three stadiums that house Cleveland’s major sports teams all are walkable from JACK. Very few casinos are this central to a city’s hub as is JACK.  As in most cities, take caution walking around at night in the area. It’s easy to find yourself in some isolated poorly lit streets.

Hotel options are plentiful of course. While JACK does not have their own exclusive hotel onsite but does partner with the nearby Ritz-Carlton. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Cleveland at the Arcade which is just a few hundred yards from JACK. The historic Arcade offers a spectacular setting and the hotel wrapped around is very nice. Be aware that events can be held in the evenings in the arcade, as on the night we stayed, and it can be quite loud until they wrap up (10pm the night we were there).

Hyatt Regency Cleveland

Entertainment options are plentiful in this area. Just about a mile away is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame which is a must-see for any music fan. We bought our tickets online and spent about 2 hours there the morning after our visit to JACK. Well worth the time and money, and 2-3 hours is a reasonable time-frame to take in the exhibits. Don’t miss the 15-minute film of highlight performances from induction ceremonies through the years.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

JACK Cleveland has a convenient parking garage on the corner of Ontario and Prospect Ave from which you can access the casino on an enclosed walkway over the intersection. If you are in the casino for more than 2 hours, rates will run you from $15 on weekdays to $25 on weekends.

JACK also abuts a small mall with a food court. That’s a good thing when it’s open, because the dining options in the casino are very limited. The “food court” consists of two options, one of which (Stack’d) was closed on the evening we were there. That left the American Burger Bar, which was mediocre if we’re grading on a fast-food hamburger curve. The atmosphere to sit down and eat may have been worse than the food itself.  Elsewhere in the casino, there is a buffet that is open 5 days per week, and a Wahlburgers that conveniently closes at 7 pm every night. In short, eat elsewhere before you go to JACK.

The casino offers two floors of slots and table games. It was one of the loudest, darkest, and most congested casinos we have visited. But it was packed and active on an early Sunday evening. It certainly did not offer the relaxing environment that some more upscale casinos manage to achieve. A nice-looking bar runs along the edge of the gaming floor on the second floor.

JACK Cleveland poker room is far nicer than the casino that surrounds it. An attractive playing space with excellent dealers and wait staff make it a very pleasurable playing experience.Click To Tweet

JACK Cleveland Poker Room Comfort

The 23-table JACK Cleveland poker room is accessed by an escalator to the top floor of the casino.  There is little else up there, so while it is not totally enclosed with walls (and some noise from the casino can be heard), it is fairly self-contained. The poker room is a large rectangle, rung by large TVs and pictures of famous poker players like Scotty Nguyen and Joe Hachem. As unattractive and visually and auditorily unpleasant as the gaming area is, the poker room is the exact opposite. The ceilings are high and the air quality is good. The tables are well-spaced, and the long rectangular room divided by square pillars is attractively designed.

The tables are clean and attractive, with padded rails, auto shuffler, and USB ports. The chairs are comfortable, padded, on wheels, and adjustable. Even though the seats are well-padded, extra cushions are available as well. The room has soft lighting, so is a bit dim, but the lighting directly above the tables is excellent. The cards were branded but a bit small, and light for a nice card room like this. The chips could use a good wash and/or be replaced as they were pretty beaten up.

JACK Cleveland Poker Room

Poker Room Staff

The front desk staff of the Jack Cleveland poker room was not high on customer service. They brusquely directed me back down to the second floor to get chips for cash play, which does not seem like a convenient system. But they did get me a $1/$3 seat right away. The dealers were both extremely good and very friendly. They dealt fast, did not make mistakes, and engaged players well. My second dealer even added a little flair as he flipped the cards high, but accurately, to players.

When one of the female wait staff circulated for drinks orders I asked her if I could have one of the waters she had. She enthusiastically replied “You can have two, honey”!  The wait staff continued to circulate frequently and players seemed pleased with the service.

 



 

Players at JACK Cleveland Poker Room

There were 10 -12  cash tables active on this Sunday night. High hands were active and players were very conscious of  the current high hand status. Players ranged in age and ethnicity, but there were no more than one or two women in the entire room. While there were some limped pots, others were raised to $15. There was a mix of post-flop play; a couple of big pots got started with a large c-bet. Some guy turned his underpair into a bluff and got looked up. Players were initially fairly quiet, but friendly when they spoke. As the evening wore on we were joined by a player or two looking to mix it up verbally as well as with their play. But, overall, nothing out of bounds occurred, as we had recently seen at the Resorts World Catskills.

Tournament Structures

JACK Cleveland poker room is not currently (September 2021) running regular tournaments.

APT

Overall Assessment of the JACK Cleveland Poker Room

While housed in a casino with one of the more unpleasant atmospheres we have seen, JACK Cleveland poker room itself is quite enjoyable. Excellent dealers and friendly wait staff aid in the ambiance of a nicely appointed room. Although the room could use an upgrade in chips, and maybe a bit nicer cards, these are fairly small drawbacks. While not a destination casino overall, if you find yourself in the Cleveland area, head straight for the poker room and you’ll likely enjoy yourself.

 

 

  • Comfort
  • Personnel
4

Summary

While housed in a casino with one of the more unpleasant atmospheres we have seen, JACK Cleveland poker room itself is quite enjoyable. Excellent dealers and friendly wait staff aid in the ambiance of a nicely appointed room. Although the room could use an upgrade in chips, and maybe a bit nicer cards, these are fairly small drawbacks. While not a destination casino overall, if you find yourself in the Cleveland area, head straight for the poker room and you’ll likely enjoy yourself.

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