The Brantford Charity Casino in Brantford, Ontario, has a pleasant room of 14 tables.
Brantford is located just off the 403, making it a reasonable stopover between Toronto and Windsor/Detroit -- or for that matter, Buffalo and Chicago. From the east, take Exit 38 south; from the west, Exit 33 south. The location does not have a hotel, nor is there one within walking distance; there is a cafe and a small, modest restaurant. The casino is well kept up and boasts about two dozen table games plus the usual assortment of slot machines. Parking is free.
Games And Promotions Edit
- $2/5 (rake of 10% with a max of $5) - No kill or Kill to $5/$10
- $4/$8 (rake of 10% with a max of $5) - No kill or Half kill to $6/$12
- $10/20 (session fee of $6 per 30mins) - Half kill to $15/$30
- $20/40 (session fee $7 per 30mins) - Half kill to $30/$60
- $50/100 (session fee per 30mins) - This game is only spread on weekends, usually beginning Friday evenings.
At all tables the kill is activated by a no kill pot reaching ten big blinds. The kill is maintained as long as the same player keeps winning, irrespective of pot size, and is removed when that player fails to win a pot, irrespective of pot size.
No limit isn't offered in Brantford. Tournaments are run every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday. Historically Brantford offered $5/$10 but this game was abandoned in 2014 and replaced with $4/$8 in the belief that game would be more popular, which is perhaps marginally true.
The bad beat jackpot minimum is quads defeated by a superior hand; both hole cards must play (but do not have to be a pair; A5 would qualify on a board of 555JJ, since the A held is the kicker.) Minimum requirements are four dealt in hands and $20 in the pot. The $50/$100 game is not eligible for the bad beat. The bad beat is split 50/25/25 between loser, winner and table share. Typically it rises quite high, having reached over $200,000 once and getting well over $50,000 on a regular basis. The room has no other high hand promotions of any kind.
Wait times Edit
Wait times can be extremely long at peak periods. Brantford is easily the busiest poker room in southern Ontario, especially when the bad beat jackpot is high; during holiday weekends or high bad beat times, it is not uncommon to have 30-40 people on each waiting list. Waits of 2-4 hours during peak times are not unknown; during offpeak hours and non-holiday periods wait times are reasonable, but it is extremely advisable to call ahead. Players club membership isn't needed to call in to the waiting list and it's a 90-minute window.
- Free alcoholic drinks are prohibited by Ontario law. Service is limited to drinks and snacks; the servers will not bring heated food, for some obscure reason. A reasonable selection of alcoholic beverages is available for prices that will seem high to the American tourist. The restaurant is small and has slow service but the food is fine.
- The poker room has a dedicated cage for chip purchase and cashout.
- The planet-themed chips, sadly, have been replaced with more conventionally adorned chips. The color scheme is standard North American. The pink $2.50 chips handed out at blackjack tables are not usable in the poker room.
- New players must post.
- One straddle bet is permitted.
- Meal buttons are given out by the dealer and last one hour plus rounded up to the next quarter hour (e.g. if you ask for a meal button at 6:05, you have until 7:15.) No more than one meal button per table at any one time.
- Players can be removed from the table if they miss two big blinds; this is strictly enforced if there is a waiting list and ignored if there is not.
- The quality of play is predictable based on level and the time of day. 2/5 players range from predictable to wild; 4/8 is somewhat more disciplined; at 10/20 the play becomes much tougher, and at 20/40 there are wily and dangerous regulars. Weekday play is dominated by retirees, who usually play like it; looser players arrive during evenings, weekends, and holidays.
- Dealing quality is generally surprisingly good. While there are always a few newbies and slower learners, many of the dealers are longtime and of very high quality. Note however that tips are not kept by individual dealers but are shared by all service employees; the casino, like all Ontario casinos, is a unionized environment and the employees are fairly paid and pool their tips.
- Like all Ontario casinos, cell phone use at the table is forbidden, and rest assured this rule is strictly enforced.
- All tables seat ten players. The tables are of middling quality and don't have drink holders.