Casino at the Empire

There’s no cardroom that’s more convenient to go to than Casino at the Empire. Located smack in the middle of Leicester Square, open 24/7, and you don’t even need to become a member to play. There’s always action, and very loose action at that.

Name :Casino at the Empire Address :5-6 Leicester Square, London WC2H 7NA, United Kingdom Other Address :5-6 Leicester Square London WC2H 7NA Contact no. :0203 014 1000 Website


Day Starts Buy-in Game Format Clock Stack Last Updated
Sunday 14:00 £50 + 8 NL Holdem Late registration and re-entry for first 3 levels 25 min 12000 2018-01-20
Monday 14:00 £30 + 8 NL Holdem Late registration and re-entry for first 3 levels 20 min 7000 2018-01-20
Tuesday 14:00 £25 + 8 + £5 bounty NL Holdem Late registration and re-entry for first 3 levels + Bounty 20 min 7000 2018-01-20
Wednesday 14:00 £30 + 8 NL Holdem Late registration and re-entry for first 3 levels 20 min 7000 2018-01-20
Thursday 14:00 £50 + 8 NL Holdem Late registration and re-entry for first 3 levels 20 min 12000 2018-01-20
Friday 14:00 £40 + 8 NL Holdem Late registration and re-entry for first 3 levels 20 min 7000 2018-01-20
Saturday 14:00 £25 + 8 + £25 bounty NL Holdem Late registration and re-entry for first 3 levels + Bounty 20 min 8000 2018-01-20

Tournaments are all self-dealt until the final table. All their weekday tournaments are turbo so best to keep that in mind. Their weekend tournaments have better structures. (Tournament details may change – please contact the cardroom directly to confirm tournament details)

Cash games

There is not a huge variety of cash games, but there are consistently tables to play at. You will normally find a few £1-£2 NL Holdem games and maybe a £1-£3 NL Holdem game. All are dealer dealt, and you won’t find yourself waiting too long for a game. All cash games are dealer dealt, and the rake is 5% capped at £10. (capped at £5 from 8am-2pm). Friday and Saturdays the place is packed with all kinds of people hanging around waiting for a games or just hanging out with friends. Not everyone likes the marketplace atmosphere but it is always busy, and there are always fish around.

The club takes £1 for pots over £25, that goes to their cash race and their bad beat jackpot – . 60p towards the cash race, 25p towards the bad beat and 15p for admin.



Bad Beat Jackpot – The first bad beat jackpot was finally hit in December 2010 after 10 months, giving away £222K in winnings with £111K going to the losing hand. Only two months later, it was hit again for £75K and over £34K going to losing hand. Click here for more information on the club’s rules about the jackpot And here’s some Youtube videos showing you how the hands played out. Lucky bastards.

Best hand giveaways – Every day at 7am, 3pm, and 11pm, a £50 is given away to whoever had the best hand during that 8 hour period.

New! Cash Race – They are also running a new cash race promotion alongside their bad beat jackpot. of the £1 they take for the bad beat. the breakdown now works.. 60p towards the cash race, 25p towards the bad beat and 15p for admin. Players recieve 10 points when they play on a thu-sat. They recieve 15 points from sun-wed. The top 45 players at the end of the month qualify for a freeroll – for August 2012 this is a guaranteed £25,000.


Casino at the Empire opened in early 2008 and has quickly become a hotbed of poker activity in London. Hosting the World Series of Poker Europe has certainly helped, and this cardroom has gone from strength to strength. It’s now open 24/7, has a full afternoon and evening tournament schedule, and cash games are always running.

One of the main reasons making Casino at the Empire so popular is its accessibility and convenience. It’s located smack in the middle of London at Leicester Square and you don’t even need to be a member to play. You can just walk in and start playing. And one of the upsides to this is you will have a steady supply of new and inexperienced players walking in from the casino, from work around the area, and even tourists looking for a game. If you’re willing to play patiently and smartly, it can be very lucrative.


Be a member or don’t. It doesn’t matter cause you can play here either way. You can become a member but it only helps if you are playing in the casino.

Solid action, good dealers, 15/06/2017
By John smith

I’ve been playing (tournaments only) at The Empire for 3 years now, on and off. It’s a good place to play, particularly if you’re wanting a daytime tournament. Good for beginners and experienced players alike. The dealers are extremely efficient, welcoming, chatty and skilled. They make new players welcome, are patient with beginners and people whose English language is shaky – with this being smack bang in the heart of Touristville, London, you get plenty of casual tourist players, as well as experienced players from all over the world who fancy a daytime tournament while they are working or holidaying in London. As everywhere, a good mix of regulars and casual players. No favouritism towards the regulars. Good range of tournaments – the schedule does seem to change a few times a year so it’s certainly worth checking out the website before going to play. They are very security-conscious, which is a good thing, given the prominent location, right on Leicester Square. You will have to check your bag in before going down to the guard room, and you can expect it to be checked on arrival. Free bag check for members, £1 charity donation for non-members (as of Jun ’17). The room always feels a little cramped – it’s not massive, and with around 10 tables and 90 chairs in there there’s not a great deal of room. The management are similarly efficient and friendly, in my experience. Never had or seen any problems that I didn’t think were handled impeccably there. The level of competition varies wildly. You are as likely to encounter someone who’s just come back from playing in the WSOP in Vegas as someone who’s always fancied a game of poker but never took the plunge before. Like everywhere, this distils itself down over the course of play, and the final table is likely to be good players; someone who wildly raises with trash over and over again will bust out within a couple of hours. Free soft drinks is a very welcome touch, and makes up a little for the VERY high cost of entering tournaments (currently £8 on top of the entry fee as of Jun ’17) – so you might wanna get your money’s worth. Tiny gripe is that communication with the waiters/waitresses can be a little difficult, but that’s down to recruitment, mainly. Difficult to criticise anything else about The Empire. It’s a good, solid place to play poker right in the heart of London, and a perfect place to make some money out of someone who might have had a boozy lunch and decided that a game of poker was a great idea…..

Poker play, 03/03/2014
By Ko'c

was here last year but only went back today, bigger and better than the first time i was there, the staff excellent and friendly punters. Exactly what the dock ordered and ill be back tomorrow. Itl take a lot to keep me away now

Great cash game, 06/10/2013
By Barry g

Regardless of what anyone tells you about this poker room, I can guarantee that this is the Ultimate place to play 1/2 and 2/5 cash games regardless of your level of skill. The game has great poker and entertainment value. The dealers are generally good and occasionally attractive if that gets you going!!

Best place, 11/03/2013
By Urmas

24/7 running tables. I went there 3 times and there was players at daytime too not only at nights as usual, 7 tables running (mainly holdem 1/2) and waiting list move fast. For newbies with small bankroll its good aswell. There are lot of regulars but fishes too. Wery comfort seats to sit long time, also massage availible. When game is too grazy for you, you can always change table, playing style of some person not pokerrooms fault. Wery friendly staff and players.

Do you like to gamble or make money?, 15/01/2015
By Rich willoughby

Either way, this is the best card room for you! If you fancy a gamble, there’s always people willing to “gamble” with you. If you want to make money, there’s always people willing to “gamble” with you. Staff are really friendly, welcoming and knowledgable.

Empire Card Room, 14/05/2012
By Jimmy page

Been there a few times, always get a warm greeting from the staff, feels like a poker room should – busy

Refurb has helped, 10/12/2015
By Mike

Played here occasionaly for the last few years. Before the refurb the room was REALLY dingy, even though what they’ve done is pretty subtle, it’s helped a lot. The dealers and TD’s run a good room, the dealers are quite chatty and in a way cliquey with regs but I actually don’t mind it here, it never seems underhand. It’s been said many times and is well known in the community but the play at the Empire is LOOSE, it’s often loose with a clue and sometimes even a plan but it can be swingey, I’ve had a £300 -> £60 -> £1,000 4 hour session here before,, which I’m sure is far from uncommon!! They’ve also started early evening tournaments that I’ve played one and been playing cash and taking note another and there seem to be a lot of beginners, so for a fun profitable night out, could be worth a try.

First time in 2 years, 25/08/2015
By Joshua

It was my first tournament style game in 2 years and it was fun. Everyone was welcoming and the play was soild while still being fun.

Do you have the nerve?, 30/01/2013
By Mike

There are lots of reviews here saying there are too many gamblers at the Empire …….. that’s good!! If you don’t have the nerve (or roll) to play against someone who will call a turn all in when they know they are 80-20, then The Empire isn’t the place for you but if you can take the swings, there is a lot of value at the tables. I would agree that it’s cramped and dingy though and not the most inviting of places (it’s very uninviting to be honest). Also, I wouldn’t want to be walking through Leicester Square at 3am if I’d booked a big win!! If you want the gamble but a nicer environment and better location, then the Hippodrome is very close and the players aren’t quite as crazy!

By Poker pete


EMPIRE, 18/07/2012
By Gee

Although I am a higher stakes player, I go down to the Empire occasionally and I am always impressed by the range of players from good to very bad. Good place to blow off steam. People complain about the deco and some of the small stackers but they either are poker snobs or dont have a clue. I do believe it runs the best 1-2 games in london, if not UK, and its 24/7

Empire card room, 13/05/2012
By Angela

Hated the card room. Been playing poker for 20 years and the Empire is the worst place i’ve ever played. The room is small, cramped, and dingy. The play is like bingo, full of people with more money than sense. Avoid unless you are prepared to lose as much as you make.

Read, 02/11/2011
By Luke j

poor place to play poker a real nightmare all full of rich donks playing bingo dont play cash game here unless you go with a min of £800, the worst place ive ever played poker, been playing 9 years and up lots but this ant a place to make cash

Help others finding the most helpfull review. Was this review helpful to you?

Tournament nightmare, 06/12/2010
By Kristaps

Playing in this card room is like nightmare. Worstest tournament that I have ever played. Tournaments are self-dealt. It is taking to much time and blind structure are terrible. 15 mins very level. Sometimes players can’t decide who will be dealer and time is running out. Better is to play Bingo lotto games than going on this poker room.

Not the friendliest atmosphere, 21/09/2009
By Johng

I have only been at the Empire a couple of times, and although it is quite busy, I did not like the atmosphere at the tables I was playing. Last time I went, there were a couple of regulars who were talking about hands in progress when they’ve folded, insulting the fish, generally being a bit cocky and rude. Who knows maybe i was just unlucky, but I prefer playing at the International, much friendlier atmosphere over there.

Juiciest low stakes game in London!, 06/06/2012
By Chuck

The best £1/£2 game in the world! I love how the 1 star reviewers are complaining about rich donks with more money than sense….erm?!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note: we expect you to write a proper review of the cardroom. Use the criteria above to help you. A review can be negative, but we reserve the right to not publish reviews that sound like an angry rant. To post your review, you will be asked to subscribe to our newsletter. We will never send spam, and you can unsubscribe anytime.