Texas Card House Austin

Texas Card House Austin Poker Room Review

After our thrilling experience at The Lodge, we were hopeful that Austin would bring more quality poker experiences. A couple of nights after visiting the Lodge, we journeyed up the road to the Texas Card House Austin. While this room is part of the Texas Card House chain (which we visited in Houston), it is only recently so. As such, it requires a separate membership card and fee. TCH Austin inhabits a small but busy room in the nearby suburbs of Austin.

Card Room Setting 

The Texas Card House Austin is yet another Texas room in a strip mall along a busy road. It has a simple storefront and is surrounded by a variety of stores and restaurants. It falls in the middle of the spectrum of Texas cardrooms ranging from creepy (Legends) to upscale (The Lodge.) While the area was not scary, there was a homeless man sleeping across the storefront of the neighboring business.

TCH Austin offered a small entryway with the obligatory armed security guard. The room manager fixed us up with a daily membership for $10 apiece and pointed us toward the cage for our tournament buy-in.

Texas Card House Austin

Non-Poker Amenities

On our journey, we found that most of the Texas card rooms we visited had some interesting quirk or offering in addition to poker tables. At Texas Card House Austin, we found two mini-pool tables and a large chessboard. These were tucked in the front of the room along with a poker table set up for streaming. There was no real food on offer here, but you could buy snacks at the front desk. In the back, filtered water (hot or cold) and coffee were available for free. You can see them below on the weird wall of deer (?) antlers. We did not see alcohol being sold here, and there were no waitresses.

Texas Card House Austin

Texas Card House Poker Room Comfort

The 12-table poker room feels snug but not crowded. The room is dimly lit but manages to feel cozy rather than creepy. There is plenty of space between tables, and the general decor is attractive (at least other than those weird skulls). The temperature was comfortable, but the low light made it a challenge to see the board across the table.

The chairs are neither adjustable nor on wheels. However, they are well-padded and reasonably comfortable. The tables are attractive and clean, feature a nice padded rail, and drink cups. The chips, cards, and felts are all clean and branded. Play is nine-handed, but the tables were large enough that everyone had plenty of elbow room. There was blissfully no smoking in the room. Noise levels and air quality were both good.

Poker Room Staff

The Texas Card House Austin staff seemed stretched a bit thin. The dealers are accurate, fast, and friendly. The floor seemed busy, with several cash games running along with the tournament. However, there were no significant glitches with the tournament.

Texas Card House Austin

Players at Texas Card House Houston Poker Room

There was a range of players, both in age and ethnicity. There were several women in our approximately 20-player tournament. Most players at my starting table were fairly quiet. However, I happened to make it to the end of this tournament, and the final table became much more chatty and friendly. By the end, we were all sharing our favorite movies and discussing the beauty of Portugal and the Azores. The playing style leaned toward loose- passive, and the players mainly seemed like regulars who knew each other. No one was terribly upset when they busted or acted chippy at the table.

Tournament Structure

As of this writing, the TCH Austin offers tournaments on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. They range from the cheap $20 entry on Monday and Friday evenings to a $120 Megastack with $2.5k guaranteed on Saturday. On Monday evening the entry fee is $20, with 15-minute blinds and a 20,000 chip starting stack. Rebuys are 20,000 chips for another $20. At break, you can add on $20 for another 25,000 chips. The structure is quite aggressive, as befits the price. The $120 tournament offers 50,000 chips for your money and 20-minute blind levels. Additionally, the structure is a bit shallower, offering more play for your game. More importantly (for us), there are no rebuys and no add-ons. This one is a classic freeze-out tournament. Our favorite.

In our tracking of tournament activity, the Texas Card House Austin tournaments vary by day of the week. For NLH, they get about 30-45 players. On the day of our visit, however, there were only about 21 players by the end of registration.



Cash Game Activity

On this Monday evening, the Texas Card House Austin poker room was running three active cash tables of $1/$2 (with a bomb pot, of course) and one of PLO. From our recent tracking of cash games (see our cash game activity update), Texas Card House Austin generally sees anywhere from 3 to 5 tables of $1/$2 at any given time and maybe one other table of $2/$5 or PLO. And bomb pots galore. As I write this on Saturday afternoon, three tables of $1/$2 with bomb pot are currently running.

APT

Overall Assessment of the Texas Card House Houston Poker Room

Texas Card House Austin is a comfortable, if dim, poker room with regular affordable tournaments. They have consistent cash activity, and their daily tournaments are at least modestly well attended. The Lodge is clearly the category killer in Austin, but TCH seems to hold its own among a group of regular players. The poker room staff is professional and friendly. TCH is certainly worth a visit while you are in Austin.

  • Comfort
  • Tournament Structures
  • Personnel
3.3

Summary

Texas Card House Austin is a comfortable, if dim, poker room with regular affordable tournaments. They have regular cash activity, and their daily tournaments are at least modestly well attended. The Lodge is clearly the category killer in Austin, but TCH seems to hold its own among a group of regular players.

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