The “poker face” has gone from UK casinos – the industry’s permission to restart operations has come with a rule that prevents players from touching their cards, although they may still touch their chips.
It means that hands dealt will have to be done so face up, but in games like three-card poker players traditionally have their hands dealt face down. Then they make a wager if they think they can beat the dealer and adopt the famous poker face.
Now everyone can see one another’s cards, giving them a better chance of working out the strength of the dealer’s cards.
Said Simon Thomas, owner of the Hippodrome Casino in London’s Leicester Square: “It gives the customers a slight advantage but it’s a necessary move. We have placed screens at the table and all gambling will have to be done seated.”
One game, craps, is a victim of the precautions, however. The game, which traditionally involves large groups of players around a table to bet on how the dice roll, has no logical way forward.