SA Card House

SA Card House Poker Room Review

Following a brief stop in Houston and visits to Texas Card House Houston, Champions Club, and Legends, we traveled to San Antonio. The primary motivation for this spot was to experience a couple of weeks in 70-degree weather, rather than the depths of a New England winter. However, we of course planned to visit a couple of poker rooms in San Antonio along the way. A tournament at SA Card House was one of our goals.

Casino Setting 

The SA Card House is quite easy to get to from anywhere in San Antonio. The Card House sits on the north side of the city, right off Route 281. It is housed in a free-standing building which shares its parking lot with a small strip mall. Every room we visited in Texas was housed in a strip mall, except for the Champions Club (which is in a hotel). The SA Card House building was well kept and felt safe.

SA Card House

Non-Poker Amenities

As we have mentioned in previous articles, poker rooms in Texas are just that. Gaming is generally illegal in the state. So you will not find slot machines, table games, or sports books along with your poker in this state, apart from the rare Native American casino like Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino (which is pretty limited in its poker and has slots but no other table games).

Texas poker rooms navigate the state law is by selling “memberships” to their clubs. You are simply a “member” paying a visit, and playing some cards while you are there. This membership replaces the traditional “rake” in cash. However, some places like Legends in Houston don’t seem to follow that guideline. At the SA Card House, there is a $20 initial one-time membership fee. Daily fees to play are then $5, or $50 for a month. If you play tournaments, you just buy in to the tournament and they hold a piece of that entry fee for the house just like anywhere else. For cash, you pay a $12 per hour seat fee (and nothing is raked from the pot).

SA Card House offers a nice attached restaurant (Foster’s Bar & Grille). The menu is extensive, including everything from breakfast items to pastas, steaks, Asian dishes, salads, and a whole lot of appetizers. Regulars at the table reported that the food is quite good.

SA Card House Poker Room Comfort

The 18-table poker room is a very comfortable size. The room is brightly lit, minimally decorated (other than numerous medium-size TVs), and offers generous space around each table. The ceilings are high enough to create decent circulation, and are a fairly typical industrial black. The temperature was comfortable and the light was bright enough to see the board across the table.

There is no smoking allowed in the room. Despite the frequent chatting in the room, the sound was just a pleasant low din. There was also the dull thud of music coming from somewhere, but it was hard to tell where.

Sa Card House

The chairs at SA Card House have wheels, are adjustable, are decently padded, and comfortable. The tables are attractive, clean, and branded. The tables also feature a nice padded rail and drink cups, but lack USB ports or auto-shufflers.

The chips, cards, and felts are all clean. Play is nine-handed, but the tables were large enough that everyone had plenty of elbow room. There was a point in the tournament when a 10th seat was added to a table temporarily. There were not enough players to open a new table, so the new registrant was accommodated at an existing table. But that was short-lived, going back to nine handed as soon as players started to bust.

Poker Room Staff

The SA Card House staff is solid. The dealers dealt reasonably fast and made few mistakes, but they were fairly quiet and serious. At one point, a dealer got into a debate with the floor about why we were not at 2 tables when there were 18 players. Turns out there were 19 and the board was wrong which the floor corrected quickly. The dealer got a bit testy about it and had this discussion in front of players while he dealt.

The registration staff at the front desk featured one woman who was highly competent and a gentleman who seemed a bit confused. He may have been new or unfamiliar with the computer system, but he also was the person who ran the tournament. There were no big issues during the tournament, but as stated the floor did lose track of the count at some point, and did not carry himself with a great sense of authority.

There was only one wait-staff person on this Wednesday afternoon. She seemed to be keeping up with orders well.

Players at SA Card House Poker Room

Most of the players were clearly regulars. However, they were among the most welcoming and chatty to newcomers of any room we have visited. When I busted, the players nearest me used my name and wished me well in our travels. In the tournament, the age of players skewed quite old. There was only one other woman besides Heather in the tournament. The cash players were younger and more diverse, and a few women played cash as well. The cash tables seemed to be having fun, with a special drawing that was happening that day. Tournament players were solid, making few mistakes, and a few were quite aggressive with raise sizing.

Tournament Structure

As of this writing, the SA Card House offers tournaments every day. Buy-ins range from $20 to around $200. Starting stacks range from 15,000 to 30,000 chips. In tournaments below $100, structures are fair for those price points, at around 20 S-points. Higher buy-ins can run double that, around 40 S-points, allowing for some decent play.

In our tracking of tournament activity, the SA Card House tournaments vary by day of the week. Our Wednesday 12:15pm tournament ended up with 28 entries. But many evening and weekend tournaments can get 50 to 70 players.

Cash Game Activity

On this early Wednesday afternoon, the SA Card House poker room was running four $1/$2 NLH tables and one NLH $5/$5 and one $5/$10 limit table. From our recent tracking of cash games (see our cash game activity update), the SA Card House generally sees 4 to 7 $1/$2 tables on any evening with the peak being Friday night. They’ll sometimes have a table of $2/$5 or $5/$5 and often have a table or two of something else – most often a Dealer’s Choice bomb pot, which sounds like a lot of fun


Overall Assessment of the SA Card House Poker Room

The SA Card House is a very attractive, comfortable poker room in San Antonio. The players are among the most welcoming and friendly at any room we have played. Daily tournaments offer a nice array of price points for players to find their comfort level. The staff is solid, but there could be some additional training and smoothing of dealer and floor style. Overall, SA Card house is definitely worth a stop if you are in San Antonio.

  • Comfort
  • Tournament Structures
  • Personnel


The SA Card House is a very attractive, comfortable poker room in San Antonio. The players are among the most welcoming and friendly at any room we have played. The staff is solid, but there could be some additional training and smoothing of dealer and floor style. Overall, SA Card house is definitely worth a stop if you are in San Antonio.

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