Robinson outside

Exterior of Robinson Rancheria

Hours Wed-Sun 6pm-2am
# Tables 3
Address 1545 East Highway 20, Nice CA
Region Lake County, California, USA
Phone 800-809-3636

Nice (pronounced NEESE, like the city in France) is a small, remote, farming community on the north shore of Clear Lake, in Lake COunty California (about two hours north of San Francisco). Robinson Rancheria is the local casino which has grown from a bingo hall in the 80's to a "Bingo Hall & Casino" in the 90's to "Casino & Bingo" in the 2000's. Older chips are still in play that have the name reversed ("Robinson Rancheria Bingo & Casino"), reflecting the change in emphasis over the years. They've only recently expanded into a full-fledged (if still small) resort, with a hotel and restaurant connected. They still have their bingo hall, and that huge room still contains the only 24-hour food service (a small little cafe) on site, but the aim is clearly to eventually become a full-service casino with bingo on the side.

Robinson Rancheria hasn't advertised much and basically depends on word of mouth from the locals but is still slowly growing.

Games Edit

Limit hold 'em: 3/6 full kill. Blinds are 1 and 3.

No-limit hold 'em: 100-300 buyin. Doesn't always run.

Rake is taken post-flop: $3+$1 jackpot for games with 5 or more players.

Game Character: Generally energetic, with a few tricky players, a few gamblers wnadering in from the main casino, and a few loose passive players. Opponent skill level varies greatly.

Posting: New players do not need to post.

Shuffling: All tables are machine-shuffled.

Wait Time: Generally, only one table is in operation for cash games. At even the busiest times, there's still only two tables running, so the wait can be highly variable, anywhere from 0-60 minutes. They will announce your name over the casino PA system when your name comes up on the board, but it can be hard to hear the PA in some parts of the casino, so you can easily miss your call.

Tournaments Edit

  • Thu 7pm signup (7:30 start?). NLHE 20+5, no rb, no ao.

Jackpots and Promotions Edit

  • Royal Flush Bonus = $500
  • High Hand of the Week = $100
  • Bad Beat (AAAJJ or better beaten by anything): $34K (in Sep 06)
  • Aces Cracked between 10pm-2am: $50 (limited to only the first two aces cracked in each day's time period)

Atmosphere Edit

The regulars here explain that Robinson used to have a great, gorgeous poker room, with huge glass and brass doors and etching on the glass, etc. But they closed it and tore it down in 2002 to put in more slot machines. That was just before the poker boom of 2003. Now they're trying to recover the poker business, but haven't spent much money to do so, and a lot of poker players just drifted elsewhere and haven't come back. Accordingly, they've only got a half-hearted effort to have poker here, and it shows. Consider the fact they don't even bother opening the poker area on Mondays or Tuesdays.

Robinson inside

Interior of Robinson Rancheria's poker nook

They've torn out a corner of a back room of slot machines and put in three poker tables and a low half-wall to separate them from the hoi polloi. It looks like they tried to take the most inaccessible slot machine area to turn into poker, and they kept the size to a minimum, turning it into more of a "poker nook" than a poker room. The walls are painted with unusual bold colors, and two big LCD TV's are hung on the wall. Because of the low half-wall, the "no smoking" sign in the poker area is a joke - chainsmoking patrons are standing not five feet from you, puffing away as they pump coins into slot machines. Smoker players need only stand up and take two steps away to be "outside" the room and smoke while they wait for the current hand to finish, so therefore many do so. Smoker players would find this a hospitable place to play, since you can smoke right next to the table, if not actually at it.

Neighborhood: A remote area on the northern shores of Clear Lake (probably closer to the town of Upper Lake than Nice itself), Robinson Rancheria is a nice smallish casino that's trying to turn into a resort and is making a bit of a go at it -- but it's still pretty small. It has perhaps 80 hotel rooms and an OK restaurant with a reasonable buffet for breakfast.

Parking: Quite a bit of parking in the largish lot out front. Perhaps 200 spaces total.

Tables and Chairs: Standard 9-seat tables with decent felt, nice vinyl, and a clear commit line. Chairs are huge, padded leather deals - quite comfortable, though not very adjustable. They've got unusual "tables" for players to set their drinks on while at the table - they're plain wooden stools with holes drilled into them and cup holders placed into the holes. So you're placing your drinks in cup holders drilled into wooden barstools. Kinda cool, but kinda odd, too.

Service and Comps Edit

Occasional standard casino service as cocktail waitresses wander through. Service stops around 1am. No comps that I could see.

Links and NotesEdit

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