Desert Diamond Glendale Az Poker Room

Desert Diamond Casino West Valley's brand new non-smoking 36-table poker room is open 24/7. The spacious cardroom has 27 big-screen TVs, and offers table-side food and drink service with cell phone charging ports at every table, as well as a complimentary beverage station for players. More than 1,100 silent slot machines with colorful displays sit beside dozens of blackjack and poker tables still covered in shrink wrap, lining the floor inside the new Desert Diamond Casino West.

I played at the new Desert Diamond this weekend and was very disappointed having waited more than a decade for poker to come to the West Valley. The aesthetics of the room are incredibly pleasing, which is the only nice thing I can think to say about my experience.

I was initially dismayed by how the host was unable to tell whether or not the open seats being advertised on the Bravo Poker screens were actually available. Being that this was opening weekend for the casino I expected a few hiccups but it was clear that this person had very limited experience, if any at all hosting at a casino poker room.

The next thing that hit me was the inexperience of the dealers. During the three hours that I was there, the game had to be paused for 2-3 minutes at a time on multiple occasions so the dealer could explain the house rules, call for the floor, call for chips, etc. We couldn't have been averaging more than 15 hands an hour.

The worst of it was when our table broke down to only five people, one having been absent for about 10 minutes. Those of us that remained had decided we wanted to be split off onto the other tables instead of playing four handed and began racking our chips.

The floor manager comes over and immediately barks out 'You guys wanna play?' We all answer yes. 'Well then why are you racking your chips?'

Now at this point, I was immediately irritated by the managers attitude but chose to explain myself. 'I'm sorry, I thought you were asking if we wanted to be moved to a different table. I do not want to play four handed.' 'It's not four handed, it's five' was the managers response to me, completely serious. 'Ok, I don't want to play five handed.' then mumbled under my breath that I didn't appreciate being spoken to like a 'f*cking idiot'

Well, hearing the 'F' word being spoken NOT in his direction was just too much for this man standing in a 21+ over room who had no problems speaking down to me for our entire conversation. I was then told to leave the room because he didn't appreciate my candor to which I was happy to oblige as I was longing for the Talking Stick experience at this point.

I then proceeded to stand in line for 10 minutes because the one operator behind the cage had the same experience and skill level at her position that was being demonstrated by everyone else in the room.

I wouldn't recommend this poker room and would suggest spending the extra time driving to TSR or Wild Horse Pass until the day comes where this poker room is staffed with friendly and experienced staff that won't dampen the experience of the game.

You can find video poker games to play at 13 different casinos in Arizona.

But many of the casinos in Arizona don’t offer video poker variations that
educated VP players want to play. The payback percentages are too low.

Here at, we encourage our readers to stick with video poker
variations with a 99% or higher return to player. Of course, you’ll need to
master the correct strategy for these games to achieve that theoretical return.

Below, we’ve listed the 13 casinos in Arizona with the most prominent video
poker presence. Some of these casinos don’t offer any games worth playing, but a
few of them have some interesting offerings. We cover all the VP options in AZ
in detail below:

Arizona Casinos with Video Poker

We were easily able to find information about video poker at the following
casinos in Arizona:

  1. Bucky’s, Prescott, AZ
  2. Casino Arizona 101 & Indian Bend,
    Scottsdale, AZ
  3. Casino Arizona 101 & McKellips,
    Scottsdale, AZ
  4. Casino Del Sol, Tucson, AZ
  5. Cliff Castle, Camp Verde, AZ
  6. Desert Diamond Casino Sahuarita,
    Sahuarita, AZ
  7. Desert Diamond Casino Tucson,
    Tucson, AZ
  8. Fort McDowell, Fountain Hills, AZ
  9. Harrah’s Ak-Chin, Maricopa, AZ
  10. Hon-Dah, Pinetop, AZ
  11. Mazatzal, Payson, AZ
  12. Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort, Flagstaff, AZ
  13. Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, Chandler, AZ

Several of those properties have literally nothing worth playing. When we say
a video poker game isn’t worth playing, we mean that the pay tables are so tight
that you’re better off playing somewhere else. We look for 99% or better payback
percentages, but we’ll settle for something in the high 98% range.

These casinos don’t have any video poker games that qualify:

  1. Bucky’s, Prescott, A
  2. Casino Arizona 101 & Indian Bend,
    Scottsdale, AZ
  3. Casino Arizona 101 & McKellips,
    Scottsdale, AZ
  4. Cliff Castle, Camp Verde, AZ
  5. Desert Diamond Casino Sahuarita,
    Sahuarita, AZ
  6. Desert Diamond Casino Tucson,
    Tucson, AZ

This does, however, leave 7 casinos in the state with video poker games worth
writing about and (better) playing. Here’s a breakdown by casino:

Casino del Sol, Tucson, AZ

The only video poker games worth playing at the Casino del Sol are available
for $1, so you’re looking at $5 per hand if you bet max coin. (You should always
be betting max coin, of course.)

Our 2 favorite games at Casino del Sol are Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild.

The Jacks or Better games are available with the 9/6 pay table, which has a
99.54% theoretical return. (This assumes, of course, that you play with almost
correct strategy.)

The Deuces Wild games are the “not so ugly” variety, with a theoretical
return of 99.73%. The strategy for Deuces Wild varies wildly from Jacks or
Better, but the extra 0.2% return is worth the effort of learning it.

We also like the Bonus Poker game with the 99.11% payback percentage. Failing
that, you could also try the Double Double Bonus Poker game with a 98.98%
payback percentage. It comes close enough to our 99% target that we often
include it as a playable option.

You’ll find a half dozen of each machine near the high limit rooms.

Fort McDowell, Fountain Hills, AZ

Fort McDowell has multiple good video poker games to choose from. Our
favorite here is the full pay Jacks or Better game with its 99.54% payback
percentage. It’s only available in the $1 denomination, but most people know the
strategy for this game already. You’ll find these games right in the middle of
the casino.

The property also offers “not so ugly” Deuces Wild, which is easy to play
correctly and which also offers an even better payback percentage than Jacks or
Better, at 99.73%. These games are available for a quarter or a dollar, so if
you’re a low roller, the Deuces Wild game is probably a better fit for you.

This is not even the best Deuces Wild game, though. Fort McDowell also offers
DW44, which is a pay table with a theoretical return of 99.96%. This version of
Deuces Wild is found near the Lucky 7 Saloon.

But they offer even better games than this, with higher theoretical returns.
Their Double Double Bonus offers a theoretical return of 99.96%, and it’s
available for 25 cents or a dollar. Expect subtle strategy differences, though.
You should learn the correct strategy, or you’re better off playing a game with
a lower theoretical return that you can play correctly. They also have the
inferior-but-still-good pay table with the 98.98% return. You’ll find the Double
Double Bonus games near the New York Deli.

Unusual games like Super Aces are also available. This pay table offers a
99.94% payback percentage with correct strategy. It’s only available in a
quarter denomination, though. You’ll find it near the buffet.

Their version of Double Bonus Deuces Wild also has a 99.81% payback
percentage when played correctly.

They also have Triple Bonus Plus with a theoretical return of 99.8% and
Triple Double Bonus with a 99.58% return. These are located in the center of the

You have lots of choices, most of them at 25 cents or a dollar. They don’t
really offer any top-notch game variations for more than a dollar, though.
Still, props to Fort McDowell for having such a wide variety of games with such
excellent pay tables.

Harrah’s Ak-Chin, Maricopa, AZ


Harrah’s Ak-Chin only has a handful of games worth mentioning:

They offer 99.11% Double Bonus, but only if you’re playing for $5, which
means $25 max coin. This is the best game in the house, but it’s probably only
appropriate if you’re a reasonably high roller.

Desert Diamond Glendale Az Poker Room

They also have a version of Deuces Wild called “LV Airport/Illinois”. This
pay table offers a 98.91% payback percentage if you play correctly. Unless
you’re a high roller, this is the only reasonable choice in the casino. It’s
available for $1, which means $5 per hand when you play max coin.

They do not offer full pay Jacks or Better, but they do have a $5 Jacks or
Better game with a 98.45% payback percentage.

Most of these games are in the video poker room, although the Deuces Wild
game can be found near the front door.

Hon-Dah, Pinetop, AZ

The video poker offerings at Hon-Dah are weak but not awful. They have 2
games worth playing here:

  1. 98.45% Jacks or Better
  2. 98.01% Bonus Poker

Both these games are available in the following denominations: 25 cents, 50
cents, and $1. You can find them in the “More Slots” room located across from
the bar.

Desert Diamond Glendale Az Poker Rooms

Mazatzal, Payson, AZ

The only playable video poker games in Mazatzal are located near the
restaurant there, The Grille. And there are only 3 games worth considering:

  1. 2 Pair Joker Wild is the best
    game available, with a payback percentage of 99.92%. It’s available in $1
    and $5 denominations. Keep in mind that the expected return is based on your
    ability to play with the correct strategy. This is not the most common
    variation, so you might make some mistakes and see a lower expected return.
  2. Double Bonus with a 99.11%
    payback percentage is the 2nd best game available. It’s available for the
    same stakes in roughly the same location of the casino. Double Bonus with a 99.11%
    payback percentage is the 2nd best game available. It’s available for the
    same stakes in roughly the same location of the casino.
  3. Double Double Bonus with a 98.98%
    expected return is also available for the same stakes in the same location.

We should also point out that the casino only has a couple of each of these
games available.

Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort, Flagstaff, AZ


Twin Arrows Navajao Casino Resort has a nice variety of games with good pay

The Triple Triple Bonus games near the main entrance are the best deal in the
casino. The expected return on these games is 99.75%. They have 10 of these
games with a sign near them that reads “over 100% payback”. They’re only
available in the 25 cent denomination.

Desert diamond casino poker room

They also offer “not so ugly” Deuces Wild, which you already know has a
99.73% payback percentage. These are located in the same area near the entrance
as the Triple Triple Bonus games. Some of these games offer progressive
jackpots, too. These are also 25 cent machines.

In the same location, you’ll find progressive Jacks or Better games, which
have a 99.54% payback percentage which goes up as the progressive jackpot goes
up. These are also in the “over 100% payback” section. They have 10 machines,
all of which are available in 25 cent denominations only.

Bonus Poker with a 99.17% payback percentage is also available-same location,
same stakes.

Double Double Bonus Poker with a 98.98% payback percentage is also available,
but it should probably be your last choice, since you have so many other
attractive options at hand.

Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, Chandler, AZ

Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino is like the Hon-Dah Casino-it offers some
playable options, but there are way better options in the state.

Desert Diamond Casino Poker Room

They offer 2 video poker games worth playing, but they have plenty of those
machines available.

Desert diamond glendale az poker room facebook

The first is Double Double Bonus with a 98.98% payback percentage. It’s
available for $1, $2, or $5.

If you’re a lower roller, you’ll probably prefer the Double Bonus games, even
though they have a lower theoretical return. They’re available for 25 cents and
have an expected return of 98.01%.

Like we said, nothing to write home about, but not awful, either.


Twin Arrows Casino Resort clearly offers the largest selection of excellent
video poker pay tables in Arizona, but they only offer these games in 25 cent
denominations. They’re fun, but only if you’re not wanting to play for large

Fort McDowell also offers a lot of options with a wider variety of stakes
available. They’re worth checking out, too.

Several casinos offer video poker games so bad we don’t even bother to review
them. Then there’s the bulk of the casinos, which lie somewhere in the middle.

The most important thing is to learn the correct strategy for the game you’re
playing. We suggest starting with Jacks or Better, since that’s the easiest and
most basic game to learn. It’s also easy to find JoB games with a good pay