Best Casinos in Northern California 2021

Northern California is known for its year-round sunshine, but it’s also becoming famous for its fantastic casinos.

There are nearly 70 casinos in the Golden State, as well as a few dozen tribal casinos. In Northern California, you are only ever a short drive away from slots or table games.

You can also get your fill of the best poker action at some of the biggest card rooms in the world.

Slots and video poker are permitted at many casinos in North California. However, state laws are more restrictive on games, including roulette and craps. Some casinos have come up with ingenious ways of navigating the strict rules.

Let’s take a closer look at the best places to play North of San Francisco.

Sweepstakes casinos for real cash prizes in California

California casino laws in 2021

Casinos were legalized in the Golden State in 1992.

The California Gambling Control Commission and the California Department of Justice oversee casino gaming in the state.

Native American casinos have flourished in North California under the Tribal Gaming Act of 1988. Most Native American tribes in the state operate at least one casino.

These offer thousands of slots and table games. House-banked games, including blackjack, are legal at tribal casinos, too.

Vegas-style roulette and craps aren’t permitted at non-tribal casinos. However, you will find card games, e.g., blackjack, baccarat, three card poker and Ultimate Texas Hold ’em.

You can play exciting card game variants at many Bay Area casinos that comply with state law. In Pure Blackjack, you must reach 21.5; not 21. You also compete against other players instead of the house. Each player pays a small fee to the house to play each hand.

Because roulette and craps are banned, some non-tribal casinos have come up with ways to adapt games to get around casino legislation.

Mystery Card Roulette is a cross between roulette and a wheel of fortune. You place wagers on a roulette-style table, but instead of numbered slots, cards are drawn at random on the wheel to determine the winner.

  • Legal age for casino gambling: It is 21 years or older (only 18 years for some forms of gambling).
  • Permitted games (tribal casinos): Games allowed include slots, poker, blackjack, table games, roulette and craps.
  • Permitted games (nontribal casinos): Games not allowed include slots, poker, Mystery Card Roulette and player collection card games.

Tribal casinos in NorCal

There are around 60 tribal casinos spread across California. Many of the best ones are in Southern California, but there is still a good selection in NorCal.

So far, tribal casinos have resisted attempts to legalize online casino gambling. However, that didn’t stop the Iipay Nation from trying to set up a regulated online bingo site in 2018. The Iipay fell foul of state gaming commissioners, however, and the site shut down.

Live poker rooms in Northern California

Poker rooms have been around in California since the 19th century. It’s no wonder that California is home some of the biggest and best card rooms on the planet.

In Northern California, you can play Texas Hold ’em or Omaha cash games and tournaments at a range of excellent poker rooms.

The Bay 101 in San Jose is a regular host stop on the World Poker Tour. The card room also runs daily big-money tournaments and cash games.

Best Northern California casinos — 2021

Casino Marysville

515 Fourth St., Marysville, CA 95901
www.casinomarysville.com
Games
: Poker, Pure 21.5 Blackjack, No Bust 21st Blackjack, pai gow, three card poker and Low-Ball.
Legal age
: At least 21 years.

The only casino in Marysville focuses on card games. Play hold ’em or Omaha in a spacious cardroom or try your hand at unique California casino variants like Pure 21.5 Blackjack.

Rolling Hills Casino

2655 Everett Freeman Way, Corning, CA 96021
https://rollinghillscasino.com
Games
: Slots, blackjack, pai gow, three card poker and Ultimate Texas Hold ’em.
Legal age
: At least 21 years.

Rolling Hills houses a casino with more than 800 slot machines, as well as Vegas-style blackjack and pai gow. The resort features restaurants, a lodge and a golf course.

Robinson Rancheria Resort and Casino

1545 State Hwy. 20, Nice, CA 95464
www.rrrc.com
Games
: Slots, bingo, blackjack, three card poker, Face Up Pai Gow, EZ Baccarat, River Hold ’em and Blackjack Switch.
Legal age
: At least 21 years.

You can play slots and table games at the biggest casino in Lake County. The 10,000-square-foot gaming floor offers hundreds of slot machines and a high-stakes gaming room.

Casino M8trix

1887 Matrix Blvd., San Jose, CA 95110
www.casinom8trix.com
Games
: Poker, Pure 21.5 Blackjack, double hand poker, three card poker, Casino War, Pai Gow Tiles, Crazy 4 Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold ’em, Baccarat Gold 1.0 and Double Hand Poker Bonus Gold 10.
Legal age:
At least 21 years.

Casino M8trix is a 24-hour gaming resort situated in the San Jose Bay Area. The eight-story casino offers a dedicated poker room, plus Californian table games like Pure 21.5 Blackjack.

Bay 101 Casino

1788 N. First St., San Jose, CA 95112
www.bay101.com
Games
: Poker, Fortune Pai Gow, Ultimate Texas Hold ’em, Crazy 4 Poker and EZ Baccarat.
Legal age
: At least 21 years.

The Bay 101 Casino is the biggest and best card room in NorCal. It is open 24 hours and is a host stop on the World Poker Tour. Legal table games include pai gow, Casino War and Crazy 4 Poker.

Napa Valley Casino

 3466 Broadway St., American Canyon, CA 94503
https://napavalleycasino.com
Games
: Blackjack, poker, pai gow, baccarat, three card poker and EZ Baccarat.
Legal age: At least 21 years.

Napa Valley Casino is located in the heart of wine country. The casino features a fully operational card room offering Texas Hold ’em and Omaha. There is no player collection on some table games like 21st Century Blackjack and three card poker.

Graton Resort & Casino

288 Golf Course Drive W., Rohnert Park, CA 94928
www.gratonresortcasino.com
Games
: Slots, poker, baccarat, blackjack, pai gow, three-card poker progressive, Four Card Poker Progressive, Ultimate Texas Hold ’em and Let It Ride Progressive.
Legal age
: At least 21 years.

Graton Resort & Casino boasts more progressive slots than any other casino in the Bay Area. You can also play Vegas-style table games like baccarat and pai gow. There is a full card room offering hold ’em and Omaha cash games and tournaments.

River Rock Casino

3250 CA-128, Geyserville, CA 95441
www.riverrockcasino.com
Games
: Roulette, slots, video poker, three card poker, mini-baccarat, pai gow and blackjack.
Legal age: At least 21 years.

The Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians owns and operates the River Rock Casino, an award-winning establishment with more than 1,110 video slots and video poker machines, plus 18 tables featuring mini-baccarat and pai gow. Roulette is available and legal under tribal gaming laws.

Cache Creek Casino Resort

14455 CA-16, Brooks, CA 95606
www.cachecreek.com
Games
: Slots, video poker, single-deck blackjack, double-deck blackjack, baccarat, pai gow, poker and bingo.
Legal age: At least 21 years.

Cache Creek Casino Resort is a tribal gaming resort owned and run by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation. It started as a bingo hall in the mid-80s but has expanded to include more than 2,700 slots, a card room and more than 120 table games.

Twin Pine Casino & Hotel

22223 CA-29, Middletown, CA 95461
www.twinpine.com
Games
: Slots, progressive slots, double-deck Blackjack, Six Deck Shoe Blackjack, Three Card Super Shot Poker, War Blackjack and Poker Burnout.
Legal age: At least 21 years.

The Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California owns and operates the Twin Pine Casino & Hotel. As a tribal casino, Twin Pine can legally provide slots and table games. The establishment offers some of the best progressive slots in Northern California, including the record-breaking Megabucks game.

Coyote Valley

455 Coyote Valley Blvd., Redwood Valley, CA 95470
www.coyotevalleycasino.com
Games
: Slots, poker, blackjack, Ultimate Texas Hold ’em, Lucky Lucky, fortune pai gow and single 21.
Legal age: 18 or 21 years.

Coyote Valley is a small casino situated five miles north of Ukiah on Highway 101. Single deck and multi-deck blackjack are available, and you can play new additions like single 21, fortune pai gow and Ultimate Texas Hold ’em. Coyote Valley offers a handful of classic slots machines, too.

Bear River Casino Resort

11 Bear Paws Way, Loleta, CA 95551
www.bearrivercasino.com
Games
: Slots, progressive slots, double-deck blackjack, craps, Six Deck War Blackjack, Spanish 21, three card poker, Ultimate Texas Hold ’em, Bear River Craps, Mystery Card Roulette, pai gow and baccarat.
Legal age: At least 21 years.

The Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria runs Bear River Casino. As a tribal casino, Bear River can legally host table games and slots. You can try your hand at more than 365 classic slots and HD video slots. There is also a high-limit room featuring progressive slots with $100,000+ jackpots.

Blue Lake Casino & Hotel

777 Casino Way, Blue Lake, CA 95525
www.bluelakecasino.com
Games
: Slots, progressive slots, poker, blackjack, Spanish 21, three card poker, pai gow, Premium Hold ’em, Mystery Card Roulette and Three Card Super Shot Poker.
Legal age: 18 or 21 years.

Blue Lake Casino & Hotel is located five minutes from Arcata and is owned and operated by the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe. The casino houses more than 600 slots and table games on its main floor. If you are 18 or older, you can play around 70 slots on the PlayStation 777 gaming floor.

Cher-Ae Heights Casino

27 Scenic Drive, Trinidad, CA 95570
www.cheraeheightscasino.com
Games
: Slots, bingo, roulette and blackjack.
Legal age
: 18 or 21 years.

The Cher-Ae Heights Casino overlooks the Pacific Ocean and features lots of gaming, dining and entertainment. You can play Vegas-style table games on the “only real roulette wheel on the North Coast.” In addition, you can try your luck on more than 300 slots or blackjack. The bingo hall is open those 18 years or older.

Elk Valley Casino

2500 Howland Hill Road, Crescent City, CA 95531
www.elkvalleycasino.com
Games
: Poker, bingo, slots, pai gow and blackjack.
Legal
age: At least 21 years.

Elk Valley Casino is situated along the Northern California coast and is open to players 21 years or older only. The casino holds regular bingo sessions and poker tournaments, and you can play hundreds of video slots for 1 cent a spin.

Elk Valley offers exciting multiplayer slots, including the Jackpot Party Ultimate Party Spin slot series with 55-inch HD screens.

Lucky 7 Casino

350 North Indian Road, Smith River, CA 95567
https://lucky7casino.com
Games
: Slots, poker, bingo and blackjack.
Legal age
: At least 21 years.

Lucky 7 is a tribal casino offering 24-hour table games, slots, and poker. It is one of California’s northernmost casinos and is operated by the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation. You can play bingo, poker, slots or one of three blackjack games at $3-200 a hand.

Thunder Valley Casino & Resort

1200 Athens Ave., Lincoln, CA 95648
thundervalleyresort.com/home
Games
: Poker, bingo, blackjack, Criss Cross Poker, Mystery Card Roulette, Ultimate Texas Hold ’em, Spanish 21, Zappit Blackjack, three card poker, four card poker, Blackjack Switch and Chase the Flush.
Legal age
: At least 21 years.

Thunder Valley is one of NorCal’s biggest casino resorts. It features a hotel, spa and golf course, as well as a casino with progressive slots and a high-limit room. Thunder Valley is also a host stop on the World Poker Tour.

Gold Country Casino & Hotel

Olive Hwy., Oroville, CA 95965
www.goldcountrycasino.com
Games
: Poker, bingo, slots, Spanish 21, Tre’ Card Stud, Double Deck Pitch, Face Up Pai Gow, Vegas Style 21 and Lucky Lucky Blackjack.
Legal age
: At least 21 years.

You will find more than 900 slot machines as well as keno, table games and poker at the vast Gold Country Casino & Hotel. Traditional table games like Vegas Style 21 are permitted, and you can win big with the side bets in Lucky Lucky Blackjack.

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