New Game: Face Up Pai Gow Poker

California Grand Casino gives you the best game variety and bonuses! That’s why we’ve introduced our new game- Face Up Pai Gow Poker – a new and exciting take on the game of Pai Gow, also known as Double Hand Poker. With Face Up Pai Gow Poker, players can win big.

The rules are simple, make a five-card hand and a two-card hand rank higher than the player-dealer’s five and two-card hands.

What makes Face Up Pai Gow fun and profitable is the dealer’s hand is shown to you first before you set your hands. This gives you the advantage of knowing what hands you must beat! When a player-dealer has a seven-card Ace-high hand, then all of the players’ hands will push (or tie) and your wager is returned to you.

You can make the Ace High bonus wager on the dealer having an Ace-high hand. We have better payouts on the Ace-high bonus bet, up to 45 – 1 v. the 40-1 payouts elsewhere!

With our Fortune Bonus Bet on your hand and win up to 5000 times your wager and also win an Envy payout on other players’ winning hands.

That is why we are your Best Bet in the Bay Area.  With so many opportunities to win and have fun, you’ll want to keep playing our newest game! Learn more about Face Up Pai Gow Poker and stay as long as you’d like in our 24/7 facility. Take the chance to order food and drinks at our on-site Grand Café in between games. We look forward to having you visit California Grand Casino!

california grand entrance

Welcome Back!


We opened again in late January with Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, Hot Action Blackjack®, Three Card Poker with better odds than Vegas, Pai Gow Poker and EZ Baccarat. We are open 24 hours and 7 days a week with Free Valet Parking.

We have games inside and in our outdoor climate controlled facility, together with a waiting area, sign up board and food service areas where players can order food and beverages. Our waiting, gaming and dining areas are smoke free.

Come in for cash jackpots, great games, fantastic food and friendly service, all without having to leave the Bay Area. We have been voted Best Casino in the East Bay seven years in a row! We hope you have a great experience here.

The California Grand is located at Highway 680 and Highway 4 in the East Bay, near Walnut Creek and Concord, 20 minutes from Oakland and the San Francisco Bay Bridge.

Thank you to all our customers who have returned, our new customers, Contra Costa County for helping us to get open, and to all our staff that have worked very hard to make this a great and safe experience for everyone.

Calirfornia Cardroom

What is a California Cardroom?

California cardrooms have evolved from the old western saloons of the Barbary Coast to modern casinos while keeping the basic idea that players have the chance to play card games against each other.

California Cardroom History

In the old west, saloons had card tables where players could play card games against each other, with the players taking turns being the dealer.  The California Grand Casino has been offering games like this since it was a Pony Express Stop in the 1850s.

In 1872, California prohibited “banked” card games, usually understood to mean games where the players play against the house. For more than 100 years after that, regulation of cardrooms was left to local governments.  At one point, there were over 300 card rooms operating in the state.

In the early 1980s, cardrooms also began to offer non-banked versions of card games such as Pai Gow Poker, which was invented at a cardroom in Los Angeles.  In these games, players could take turns playing the dealer hand against the other players. While casinos of the type operating in Nevada and New Jersey are not allowed in California, the California courts determined that these “player-dealer” games where the players can wager against each other are legal.  As a result, a unique structure took shape in California.   The cardrooms supply the dealer, tables, chips and cards.  And at least every two hands, the player-dealer position is offered to a different player.  There also are independently owned companies whose employees take the player-dealer position when it’s offered.  But every player at the table still has the right to take the player-dealer position and bet against all the other players. In 1997, the Gambling Control Act was adopted, which created the California Gambling Control Commission to regulate California cardrooms and it now also regulates these third party companies.

Today cardrooms exist in a special place for most Californians.  The laws create a fun, competitive gaming atmosphere that is separate and distinct from a casino.  As one player who travelled from out of state said: “At first, I thought it was strange having the dealer position offered around, but when I realized I could bet on the dealer hand and enjoy the odds, I loved it.”

What’s The Difference Between a California Card room and a Casino?

Unlike tribal or commercial casinos, cardrooms do not offer slot machines or video poker.  But in addition to poker and Texas Hold’Em, they offer cardroom versions of newer card games like Blackjack, Baccarat, Three Card Poker and Pai Gow Poker.  In these games, each person has the opportunity to wager on the dealer hand against the other players, rather than betting against the house.

How Many Card rooms are there in California?

There are 66 cardrooms operating in California ranging in size from one table to nearly 300 tables, offering many of the same games played all over the world, and hosting tournaments and events.

When you arrive at the California Grand Casino, we’ll greet you, ask you what game you want to play, and help you find a seat.  We can explain the games to you.

New players also receive special bonuses.  If you want to play poker, you can buy in for $20 and receive $50 in chips.  For the player-dealer games, you will receive Four $10 Match Play Chips and $10 in free food on your first visit, with the same again when you return a second time.  You can take both the poker and Match Play bonuses on your first visit.  Come in and see why the California Grand Casino has been voted best casino in the East Bay for seven years in a row.


casino chips

Cardroom Safety and Coronavirus


On June 5, California’s Governor issued State guidelines for the re-opening of california cardrooms. The guidelines address sanitizing, hand washing, distancing or alternative measures such as plexiglass barriers, the wearing of masks, and other safety procedures. Before re-opening, cardrooms will need to be in a County that has met State readiness requirements, need to develop written safety plans, and coordinate their opening with local public health orders.

Under the guidelines and local public health orders, what will the experience be like for our customers?

At least at the beginning, customers will have temperature checks and wear masks. The cardroom games also may look different. There may be plexiglass barriers, and movement around the cardroom may be subject to marked lanes. It may be difficult to operate short-handed poker games with only a few players per table, so poker games may not open immediately. Some games may be dealt face up so players don’t have to touch their cards. And don’t be surprised if the game mix changes and there are new games to try that are easier to operate under the new procedures.

Of course any procedures will be subject to public health orders and guidance, which may change over time. But hopefully our customers will understand and become accustomed to the new procedures, as well as exploring new games.

The new health and safety protocols may initially include:

  • Temperature checks
  • Using masks
  • Hand washing and sanitizing
  • New cleaning procedures before a customer takes a chair
  • Removing chairs or using plexiglass partitions between seats
  • New air systems that kill many germs
  • Health checks on employees
  • New procedures for signing up, waiting for a seat or using the cage
  • Food service changes
3 card poker at the California Grand Casino Bay area card room

When Will California Cardrooms Open?

When will California Card Rooms Reopen?

UPDATE January 2022:

The California Grand Casino is OPEN with Texas Hold ‘Em, Pai Gow Poker, Hot Action Blackjack, Three Card Poker and EZ Baccarat.  We offer the best games and the Best Action in the Bay Area!  We look forward to seeing you.  New Players receive $100 in Match Play for table games and poker players get $50 in chips for $20.



Best casino the East Bay

Casino Near Richmond, CA

The Bay Area has so much to offer that the City of Richmond is often overlooked. The climate is the Goldilocks climate of the Bay Area, not too hot and not too cold. That weather makes the turn along 35 mile long Richmond Bay trail excellent for Hikers, Bikers, Walkers and Photographers. The bay views give some people an entirely new perspective on the Bay Area’s majesty. If you are coming, don’t forget the pooch! Richmond has three separate dog parks so that bowser can get his exercise.

In town, Richmond features numerous breweries, coffee shops and art. There are 13 Museum and Art Centers in Richmond. The Rosie The Riveter memorial park and visitor center was started as a local art’s project. It was so successful it was turned into a national park site, featuring an outdoor walk that memorializes the contributions of women during World War II. Inside the Visitor center are fun and educational interactive exhibits that make a stop here fun for the whole family.

The Best Casino In Richmond, CA

The Casino that locals love is the California Grand Casino. In nearby Pacheco, California Grand has been around for over a hudred and fifty years and now features the latest in gaming action. A long time favorite, California Grand has been voted the best casino in East Bay each year from 2012 to 2019. Come see why people from Richmond, and all over the bay come to California Grand.

Just a short drive down highway 4, into Pacheco you will find the California Grand. If you’re looking to play check out our Directions page now and come by anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have free valet parking, great food and are smoke free. Our games include Texas Hold ?Em poker, Pai Gow Poker, Hot Action Blackjack, Three Card Poker and EZ Baccarat.

Background for California Grand Casino

What To Do In Concord California

Concord California

Concord California, located in the East San Francisco Bay Area, is a city with a rich history and charming downtown area. Todos Santos Plaza is the center of the action in Concord, with a charming farmer’s market twice a week, live music on summer evenings, and a collection of excellent restaurants and bars open year-round. 

The Concord Pavilion is a great place to see shows and concerts. Some of the Country’s biggest bands have played there, including Maroon 5, Incubus, and Santana.

One of the best things about Concord is its location. It’s only minutes from San Francisco and San Jose, giving residents and visitors plenty to do all around the Bay Area. It’s also just a few minutes away from the California Grand Casino, the Bay Area’s premier Cardroom.

California Grand Casino in Concord

At the California Grand Casino you also can play all your favorite table games, like Texas Hold’Em, Three Card Poker, Hot Action Blackjack, Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, and Omaha Poker. Many of the games have with better odds than Vegas. In our Three Card Poker game, you can see one of the dealer’s cards before you make a play bet. In our Pai Gow Poker, our joker is fully wild. In Hot Action Blackjack you don’t bust on 22 if the dealer also has a 22, and you can win up to 200 times your Buster Blackjack bet. Players win double their money if their first two cards are suited Aces. In EZ Baccarat, you can win up to 40 times your bet.  California Grand Casino has been coted the best bay area Casino annually since 2012, and it’s the casino that locals love – stop on in!

Background for California Grand Casino

Casino Near Walnut Creek, CA

Activities in Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek in San Francisco’s East Bay is full of outdoor sports opportunities, cultural activities and nightlife. This fun, family friendly town just minutes from San Francisco has great weather, great restaurants as well as The Lesher Center of the Arts, outdoor parks, open spaces and many golf courses and hiking trails throughout Contra Costa County. People in Walnut Creek lead an active lifestyle, and when they want a little fun and relaxation, they head to the California Grand Casino, which is just minutes away

At the California Grand Casino you also can play all your favorite table games, like Texas Hold ‘Em, Three Card Poker, Hot Action Blackjack, Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, and Omaha Poker. Many of the games have with better odds than Vegas. In our Three Card Poker game, you can see one of the dealer’s cards before you make a play bet. In our Pai Gow Poker, our joker is fully wild. In Hot Action Blackjack you don’t bust on 22 if the dealer also has a 22, and you can win up to 200 times your Buster Blackjack bet. Players win double their money if their first two cards are suited Aces. In EZ Baccarat, you can win up to 40 times your bet.

Casino Minutes away From Walnut Creek

The California Grand Casino is located only 10 minutes from downtown Walnut Creek and is just off of interstate 680

If you’re looking to play at the casino that locals love, check out our Directions page now and come by anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have free valet parking, great food and we are smoke free.

Poker table with cards

Preflop Play in Omaha 8 or Better Part 2

Best Omaha Preflop Hands

In part 1 we discussed different types of A2 hands, and what qualities we look at when comparing them.

In this part we will look at some other types of hands, and consider when and how they might be played.

Wheel Aces with High Potential

These are the bread and butter hands of Omaha 8 or Better. Hands with an A that can make a wheel for the low, while also having cards with some high potential. Hands like:

A key concept with hands like these is that they will often play better with fewer players in the pot. As we discussed in part 1 the ability to make the nuts with a hand shoots dramatically up in importance as the pot goes multiway.

Hands in this category are excellent hands to play in pots with 2-3 total players. 

High Hands

High hands, or hands that cannot make a low, are dangerous hands in Omaha 8.  They will very rarely see a “clean’ flop where they know they will never have to split the pot with a low, and also rarely flop a hand so good that they can never be beat for high.

That’s why it’s important to only play the very best hands in this category, and be selective about when to play them.

Consider a hand like QsQcTs9h.  In Omaha Hi this hand is a premium, hovering around the 5% rank.  But in Omaha 8 or Better this hand is closer to the 35% mark, and it’s easy to see why.  Let’s look at some flops:

Jh8h5s:  This is one of the better flops for QQT9 where we flop an overpair an open ended straight draw, but against a reasonable 20% range of hands we are not even a favorite with only 43.5% equity.

K54:  On common board types like this with a possible low and overcard our hand has only 30% equity and cannot continue.

J98:  A slam-dunk board for us, and we still only have 75% equity against a reasonable range of 20% of hands.

We can actually graph how often our hand will be a favorite on the flop:

When evaluating high-only hands it’s important to remember a few points:

  1. They don’t do well in two player pots
  2. They don’t do well when your high cards will rarely draw to the nuts (IE AKQJ is much better than QJT9)
  3. They don’t want to pay a high-price preflop because they will frequently have to fold on the flop

Low Cards Without an A

Hands like: 2345 2456 3568

These hands fit into a category that is similar conceptually to high hands. They will rarely hit a flop in a very strong way, and will often have to fold immediately on the flop. They perform poorly in two player pots. 

Just like with high hands it’s important to be very selective with which of these we play, and when we play them.

We want to make sure we plays hands that can hit flops hard, and that we are in position to maximize when we do. This means only playing the lowest, most connected versions of these hands. Hands like 5678 are complete trash and should always be folded. And it also means only playing these cheaply before the flop in hands that are most likely to go multi-way.


Bay Area poker players love the California Grand Casino. We have the best poker and the liveliest action in all of Northern California. For seven years in a row, the California Grand has been voted “Best Casino in the East Bay” and “Best local Gaming in the East Bay” by the readers of the Bay Area News Group, which includes the San Jose Mercury News, the East Bay Times, the Marin Independent Journal and  That is why they call it Hot Action Poker.™

Our Bay Area casino is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with fast paced Hold’Em and casino game action. We focus on what everyone wants: great games and service. Our staff is friendly and experienced, and as a result our poker games here are considered by many to be the best and with the most action in the Bay Area.



Poker table with cards

California Grand Casino: Poker Games with the Best Jackpots!

California Grand Casino: Poker Games with the Best Jackpots!

If you want to go after some really big jackpots, you want to play poker games at California Grand Casino!

Check out all of our chances to win, and note that the jackpots increase daily, so the excitement is always building! Take advantage of the great chip bonuses we offer; get more chances to play with these awesome bonuses. Note that 1st 10 players only eligible for $20 bonus.

Play Poker Anytime at 14 Tables.

Wow! California Grand Casino is open 24 hours a day, year-round with 14 tables dedicated to poker! It’s always the perfect time to play at California Grand Casino!