Thunder Valley Casino Resort
1200 Athens Avenue
Lincoln, CA 95648
Recent expansions at Thunder Valley Casino have rendered it the largest one in the Sacramento area. Among other things, they’ve added a 300 room hotel, parking garage, spa, pool, fitness center and outdoor concert venue. Pano Hall, a 10,000 square foot event space, can be used for weddings, meetings, and extremely large toothpick architecture conferences. They’ve also expanded the gaming area that now holds 3,000 slot machines. Add 125 different table games and you’ve got yourself 144,500 square feet of gambling nirvana. Not to mention the self-serve beverage and coffee bar (delicious Douwe Egberts for you coffee concentrate snobs). Yes, there is a food court, buffet, and steak house, but what stands out in this no-clock venue is the delicious food options late at night. Fat Burger and Thunder Cafe are both open 24 hours and the food quality at the Cafe exceeds what one might expect at four in the morning. Meanwhile, the Koi Palace (try the General’s chicken, seriously) stays open until 2am on the weekends.
Red Hawk Casino
1 Red Hawk Parkway
Placerville, CA 95667
A beautiful cascading waterfall greets you when you pull up to the main entrance of Red Hawk Casino. The valet guy welcomes you with a smile. Another uniformed person opens the entrance door for you. And wishes you good luck. Of course, you can also park in their convenient covered garage. Red Hawk offers 2100 slot machines and 75 different table games with a separate lower level dedicated to non-smoking gaming. Multiple self-serve beverage areas are convenient for the terribly thirsty. They also have several restaurants, an hourly child care service, and a children’s arcade with only non-violent games.
Cache Creek Casino and Resort
14455 Highway 16
Brooks, California 95606
Cache Creek has over 2,000 slot machines and 122 different table games. As a resort, they also have a hotel (with gorgeous views of the Capay Valley), a spa, and a conference center. Their mini-mart is open 24 hours, which is great for that sudden craving for peanuts in the middle of the night. Other food cravings can be satisfied at any of the eight restaurants. If you need a break from the casino, you can play a round of golf at the nearby Yocha Dehe Golf Club.
2052 Auburn Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95821
If you’re not interested in slot machines, perhaps Casino Royale is more up your card table. And closer to home. Games include Texas Holdem, Omaha, Blackjack, Pai Gow Poker and Pai Gow Tiles. Playing one hour of Live Poker will get you free steak, pizza, burgers, Italian food…it just depends on what day of the week it is. Tip: Saturday is Surf and Turf! The Royale Bar & Grill offers pizza, appetizers, soups and salads, and breakfast is served 24 hours a day.
411 N 16th St
Sacramento, CA 95814
Located downtown, this casino offers Texas Holdem, Pai Gow Poker, and Pai Gow Tiles. The daily poker tournaments are smoothly and professionally run. Overall, the staff are friendly and helpful. Many people come here for the post-bar, very reasonably priced, late-night food at the cafe. They serve American and Asian cuisine. The Asian Menu is offered until 3am, while their deli is open 24 hours a day.
Phoenix Casino & Lounge
5948 Auburn Blvd.,
Citrus Heights, California 95621
Games at this card room casino include Texas Holdem, Omaha, Pai Gow and Nevada-style “No Bust” Blackjack. Poker tournaments are scheduled daily and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable. On Sundays you can hang out at the Sports Lounge and watch football all day while chowing down on their popular steak sandwiches.
– Margaret Andrews is a blogger living in Sacramento. You can see more of her work on her blog, NannyGoatsInPanties.com.