Tuesday May 4, 2021 at 9:43 pm

Casinos and legal card rooms in the state of Colorado no longer have to cap cash games with the $100 max bet law. Voters in Colorado passed Amendment 77 which removed the $100 cap on all table games including poker. That means the poker action at casinos in Blackhawk, Central City, and Colorado Springs will pop off in the next few months after casinos re-opened with six-handed tables.

BlackHawkAmStarCoMay21
Ameristar Casino in Blackhawk, Colorado (Pic by Marco Esquondoles)

Get ready for juiced up gambling action in Colorado. If you've ever played poker in a casino in Colorado – either in Colorado Springs, Central City, or just outside Denver at Blackhawk – then you're aware of the weird law and rule at the tables in which you cannot bet more than $100 in a single wager. That antiquated law, which applied to all table games including poker, was created when gambling was legalized in Colorado in 1990. At first, Colorado instituted a $5 max bet rule. In 2008, the state bumped the limits to $100.

When poker was introduced, the max bet regulation made no-limit hold'em games problematic because you couldn't move people off hands with sizable raises. As a result, cash games in Blackhawk were a tad weird and you had to get used to the nuance about the capped bet. If anything, the $100 max bet rule prevented local grinders from earning a good living playing in casino cash games. If you wanted to grind cash in Colorado, you avoided the casinos and became an old-school rounder by delving into the underground cardroom scene in Denver and Boulder. You also had to know the right people to get invited to country club games in Cherry Creek and at other exclusive enclaves in other mountain towns.

Colorado never attracted the whale-induced true nosebleed action in the casinos due to the silly $100 max bet rule. That's why Amendment 77 was so important. Voters voted to pass it on the last election day in November, which had a huge turnout due to the Presidential election. Amendment 77 helped boost high roller action in Colorado casinos.

Now, deep-pocketed gamblers will zero in on Colorado casinos because there's no more $100 max bet. In the past, any locals who wanted big action flew to Las Vegas and Reno instead. The goal of Amendment 77 was to retain the local and mountain whales and have them stick around Colorado to gamble instead of letting all that potential revenue out of the state to Nevada and elsewhere.

The poker scene in Colorado will definitely and immediately benefit from Amendment 77. Without the $100 max bet hinderance, games can get juicy. Colorado should become a fun poker destination all year round. If you like to ski/snowboard and gamble, then Colorado is the place for you. If you love the outdoors, then Colorado is one of the coolest spots to visit in the summer with numerous national parks and numerous outdoor activities. Soak up the sun during the day and hit the tables at night.

Oh, and how could I forget... cannabis. Colorado has legal recreational marijuana, so you can get your THC fix while visiting the various cannabis dispensaries all over the state. The Colorado Green Rush brought in a ton of revenue to locals that also love to gamble it up. Take advantage of the Green Rush by fleecing degen budtenders and shattermakers at the poker tables, especially without a max bet.

The Ameristar and Golden Gate in Blackhawk are running NL and PLO cash games. Tables are six-handed. They spread $1/$3 with a $300 max buy-in and $5/10 with a $2K max buy-in. The GG spreads $2/$5 with a $1K max buy-in, whereas Ameristar's $2/$5 game has a $700 max buy-in. Next time you're in Denver/Boulder area, head up to Blackhawk and check out the heady action.

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