Baccarat Etiquette

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When one thinks of high-class gambling, Baccarat immediately comes to mind. It has long ranked as the most sophisticated of casino games, and those who play adhere to a correspondingly high standard of behaviour.

There are quite a few commonly accepted forms of table etiquette that new players will want to follow. The suggestions given below are intended to help make sure that everyone’s Baccarat experience is a pleasant one.

What to Wear – Dress codes are quite common at casinos offering Baccarat. Some may require formal wear in private rooms for high rollers, but smart casual clothing is appropriate almost everywhere else. It is a good idea to check with casino management to find out what’s acceptable. The private rooms of the Casino de Monte Carlo, for example, insist that gentlemen wear jackets after 8pm; no sport shoes, military uniforms or religious outfits are allowed.

When to Sit – For all versions of Baccarat, the most appropriate time to take a place at the table is during the shuffle or just before a new shoe is started. Mid-deck seating is not permitted at some casinos. However, observing the game is allowed and even encouraged while waiting to take a seat at the table.

How to Bet – Bets should not be placed until called for. When positioning chips for a wager, they should be neatly stacked, with the lower valued chips at the top and the higher denomination ones on the bottom. After the dealing begins, players are not permitted to touch their chips again until the hand is over and all bets have been settled.

Handling the Shoe – A few versions of Baccarat allow participants to deal the cards. In such games, cards are drawn from the shoe or sabot. A certain amount of skill and experience is required to pull just one card at a time so that its face remains unseen. Only those participants who are confident of being able to carry out this function properly should accept the deal when it is offered. It is quite acceptable to decline and pass the shoe on when it is offered.

Handling the Cards – Many versions of Baccarat, including Mini Baccarat, prohibit participants from touching the cards. That right extends only to the Dealer. However, in the “big Table” version played in private salons where cards are used only once and then destroyed, it is quite acceptable to bend, fold, crease, crumple and otherwise damage the cards in the course of turning them over. Note that in all forms of Baccarat, any up cards must be left facing up. Down cards should be turned over according to the House Rules.

Gathering Winnings – Chips should not be touched, including winnings, until all bets have been settled. Grabbing at the chips that have been won as soon as they are put down, as if they might be stolen by someone, is considered bad manners.

Don’t Interrupt – From time to time, more chips may be needed, or perhaps smaller denomination chips are desired. Many players like to order drinks, too, but all such “interrupting actions” should be undertaken between hands. Avoid interrupting the Dealer or the pace at which the game is played.

Be Social – Baccarat has always been a social game, where refined conversations are quite welcome among players. It is certainly appropriate to talk to others as long as discussions do not distract from play. Language should of course be civil and respectful of others. Those who use foul or abusive language may risk ejection from the game.

Take a Break – Players are allowed to “sit out” hands at the Baccarat table. It is not necessary to participate in every deal of the cards. Players may also excuse themselves from the table for brief periods, in which case chips should be neatly stacked on the table in front of one’s seat.

Tip the Crew – It is customary to tip a few chips to the Dealer to share with the crew from time to time, such as after a particularly large win. Tips can be given between deals or when cashing out of the game. Although the amount of the tip is up to the discretion of each participant, a common method is to tip half the average bet per hour, win or lose.

How to Cash Out – When it comes time to leave the table at the end of a session, smaller denomination chips should be combined and exchanged for larger ones. The proper time to do so is between deals, in order to cause the least disturbance to the game.

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