On our return trip from Maryland to Massachusetts recently, we decided to circumvent our normal 95/New Jersey Turnpike route and instead drove inland on a less trafficky path. In doing so it just so happened that, the Wind Creek Bethlehem poker room came into our sights. Just a quick stop off Route 78 past Allentown, it seemed like a good spot to break up our trip. And, as Paul would find out, a good stop it was.
The Wind Creek Bethlehem casino (which was a Sands property until about 2018) is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania which is just a few miles east of Allentown. The casino lies a little over an hour north of Philadelphia and about an hour and a half west of New York City. Allentown, as all Billy Joel fans know, is a historically industrial city, and the third-largest city in Pennsylvania. Allentown is particularly associated with the steel industry, and in fact, the casino is on old Bethlehem Steel grounds. As you approach Wind Creek, you will see Wind Creek pay homage to this heritage with a massive steel structure displaying its name. This is one of the most striking casino signs you’ll see outside of Las Vegas.
The Wind Creek Bethlehem poker room is a full-service casino with slot machines, table games, and a sports book. The casino, sadly allows smoking on the casino floor. The structure is a massive, cavernous open-air facility that feels like an aircraft hangar, so that helps with the air quality a bit. In addition to smoky, the casino was quite loud, even though it was not particularly crowded. The Baccarat tables were hopping and a couple of crap tables were running, but other table games were a bit slow on the Monday morning we visited. Banks of animated colorful lights were suspended from the ceiling, which was kind of a cool effect.
The Wind Creek Bethlehem casino has its own 281 room hotel/resort complete with a spa and salon. The casino offers multiple dining options, including a chop house, buffet & grill, Chinese restaurant, and a bakery. There is also a small adjacent outlet mall that has a food court with a variety of food options. This mall also offers some nice family-friendly features like an arcade and an escape room. It also has an axe-throwing club which may be offer a nice release after taking a bad beat. Wind Creek also has a moderate-sized event center with a slate of diverse upcoming acts like chef Alton Brown, Foreigner, Rick Springfield, and Engelbert Humperdinck (he’s still around?).
Wind Creek Bethlehem Poker Room Comfort
The Wind Creek Bethlehem poker room has 14 decently-spaced tables. Right now the “room” is set on the edge of the gaming area, completely open to the casino. Thus, unsurprisingly, it was very loud and a bit smoky. However, Wind Creek is actively building new room nearby, which I was told by a dealer would be finished by the end of November. Some players scoffed at that timeline as optimistic since previous deadlines have been missed. So, this review is a bit of an “incomplete” until we can return to see the new room in all its glory. The current space was quite dark overall, although the tables were decently lit.
The tables feature auto-shufflers, padded rails, drink cups, and USB ports. Cash play was 9-handed and generally offered plenty of room. The felts, chips, and cards are all branded. Some of the chips could use a good cleaning, but cards were clean and of decent quality. The chairs had no arms but were adjustable and had wheels. They were padded but a bit stiff.
Poker Room Staff
The desk staff at the Wind Creek Bethlehem poker room was polite and found me a seat fairly quickly. The dealers are very good, personable, and fast. They did a good job controlling the action when people would try to act out of turn. There was a moment of overzealousness when a dealer grabbed my hand to stop me from acting (I was in the 1 seat) even though the action was indeed on me (he missed that the 9 seat had folded). He quickly apologized for his mistake and we laughed about his “assault” on my hands.
A waitress showed up about 30 minutes after I arrived, but then brought someone at the table their drink within a few minutes of ordering.
Players at the Wind Creek Bethlehem Poker Room
The players at the Wind Creek Bethlehem poker room on this early Monday afternoon played with a variety of personal styles: some players were quite chatty and friendly and others at the table never said a word. There was a fairly good range of ages in the room. However, the playing style was fairly consistent: loose-passive pre-flop action ruled the day. The first two hands I sat down for were limped with nearly everyone at the table playing. When I got AA in this $1/$2 game, with 3 limpers in front of me, I raised to $16 and got one caller who quickly folded to my flop bet. Folding to post-flop aggression also was fairly common, there was very little defending of the pre-flop raiser’s aggression.
Cash Play Activity
There were seven cash tables running on the early Monday afternoon that we visited Wind Creek Bethlehem. On weekday evenings, the Wind Creek Bethlehem poker room generally gets 6-7 tables of $1/$2 and 1-2 tables of $2/$5 Hold’Em. On the weekend, volume increases to 7-9 tables of $1/$2, with 2-3 tables of $2/$5. PLO makes a notable appearance on weekends with 2-3 tables running as well. If you are interested in cash poker play in the region, be sure to check out our Poker Room Cash Activity Map.
Hourly high hands were running Monday through Wednesday from 12pm to 10pm and on Friday and Saturday for 12pm to 5pm. On Sundays, they run from 6pm to 11pm.The Wind Creek Bethlehem poker room has a good location and excellent dealers, but the room is in transition to something off the less-than-ideal casino floor, so this reviewer gives it an incomplete for now.Click To Tweet
The Wind Creek Bethlehem poker room is not currently hosting tournaments.
Overall Assessment of Wind Creek Bethlehem Poker Room
The Wind Creek Bethlehem poker room has excellent dealers currently plying their skills in a subpar atmosphere. The open casino floor poker room is never a great experience, with lots of auditory and visual distractions. However, there is a new room on the way so, as I said before, this review is currently incomplete. Wind Creek Bethlehem sits in a convenient location, right off Route 78 not far from NYC, Philadelphia, and the heart of the Poconos. It also has an active cash game scene, so you’ll almost always be able to find multiple tables of action.
The Wind Creek Bethlehem poker room has excellent dealers currently plying their skills in a subpar atmosphere. The open casino floor poker room is never a great experience, with lots of auditory and visual distractions. However, there is a new room on the way so, as I said before, this review is currently incomplete.