The card tables had fresh felt, the poker chips looked newly minted and the players leaned over the craps table, watching a pair of flying dice.
All that was missing at the so-called Royal Diaz Casino were cocktail waitresses.
But this isn't a typical gaming floor. It's the state's newest tool in fighting casino crime.
Built in the new Department of Public Safety building in Des Moines, the faux-casino is a life-like training floor.
"It allows our agents to stay at the top of their game, if you will," Eugene Meyer, the agency's commissioner, said Thursday at an event held to unveil the game room.
The room will help in the training of officers in the Department of Criminal Investigation who are assigned to 17 state-regulated casinos.
Officials dubbed it the Royal Diaz in honor of a retired agent, Joe Diaz, who helped establish the gambling unit.
There are new or restored blackjack tables, slot machines and a roulette wheel.
Agents are trained to spot everything from simple cheating, such as slipping a card into a deck, to more complex schemes. Agents have broken up card stacking rings that involved dealers and visitors who teamed together, as well as rigged craps or roulette games.
They won't talk strategy though - they don't want give the cheaters any ideas.