Where to Play Poker on the Bulgarian Riviera
Following a change to tax laws in 2014, operating casinos has become a considerably more profitable endeavour and gambling is an increasingly popular past-time among tourists and wealthy Bulgarians.
This suits the Bulgarian government (with over $99m collected in taxes in the first nine months of 2018) and gambling continues to grow as a major element of the country’s tourism industry.
With its 27 casinos and literally hundreds of gaming halls, Bulgaria has a game to offer everyone. However, here we’ll focus on the venues available to tourists as they travel along the Black Sea coast, from Burgas to Varna.
Royale Palms Casino - Burgas
Open 24 hours a day, the Royale Palms Casino welcomes both members and non-members to play its various games and enjoy its facilities. Its relaxed dress code makes it an ideal destination for tourists with a limited wardrobe, providing they can pull together something clean and smart-casual - Flip-flops and swimwear are not permitted!
Players have the choice of a number of table games with Royale Palms offering various iterations of poker, including:
Caribbean Poker (a variant of five-card stud played against the house)
Casino Hold’em Poker (a variant of hold’em played against the house)
Russian Poker (a six-card game played against the house)
Nobo Poker (similar to Russian poker, but with greater winnings)
Three Card Poker (a three-card game played against the house)
With so many poker variants on offer, it might be worth reading a few poker tips before your holiday!
Burgas also offers an archaeological museum, a huge mall, historic monuments as well as many restaurants, bars and clubs
Platinum Casino and Hotel - Sunny Beach
The largest casino in Bulgaria, The Platinum Casino offers players a huge variety of games, including Blackjack, American Roulette, Ultimate Poker, Three Card Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, Baccarat and Omaha as well as over 100 slot machines. This means there’s plenty to keep an avid poker player’s companions happy as they immerse themselves in their favourite game!
Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, The Platinum comprises both casino and hotel - so if you’re visiting Bulgaria for business or pleasure, you can be guaranteed a comfortable stay close to the best gaming in the area. Its restaurant also offers a variety of cuisines, meaning that you don’t have to venture too far from your favourite gaming table to find a good dining table!
Sunny Beach itself is a very popular seaside resort and known as a vacation destination. Just 35km from Burgas (see Royale Palms Casino, above), those wanting to take in more than one casino during their trip can easily travel between the two cities in just over 30 minutes.
Black Sea Casino - Varna
The biggest casino in Varna, there’s live poker games on offer 24/7 here, including:
Texas Ultimate (another player versus dealer variant)
The Black Sea Casino (or Casino Cherno More, in Bulgarian) also offers luxury hotel rooms, a restaurant and cocktail bar. All of which means that guests can dine, rest and play all under one roof and a stone’s throw from Varna’s main beach.
If you’re keen to explore the other entertainment on offer, Varna itself is home to 5 universities, making its population young and its nightlife lively!
Other highlights of or near the city include:
The Seaside Garden - Said to be the largest landscaped park in the Balkans
The Cathedral - The third-largest in Bulgaria
The Aladzha Monastery - A medieval, Orthodox Christian monastery, carved into the rock itself
The Stone Forest - A natural phenomenon, comprising multiple limestone pillars rising vertically from the ground.
The International Hotel & Casino - Varna
Located approximately 20km along the coast from Varna itself, The International offers a five-star experience to guests and players.
The International’s mezzanine level houses its own, exclusive poker room. Here you can find regular daily tournaments, everyday cash game tables, and major international poker events. Complimentary beverages are offered for players.
If you want a little time away from the table in the great outdoors, then you might consider visiting Zlatni Pyasatsi Nature Park, which offers hiking trails, picnic areas and panoramic views of the coast.
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