Pay Attention to the Cards!

Discussion in 'Baccarat Tournament Strategy' started by gronbog, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    Being relatively new to baccarat tournaments and never playing the game at all otherwise, I have never bothered to learn the rules used to deal the player and banker hands. After all, we're merely betting on which hand will win, and/or if there will be a tie and how much to bet in each case. There are no playing decisions to be made.

    This is all perfectly true, as long as the dealer does not make an error. However, the rules for dealing the hands are somewhat more complex than, say, blackjack and dealer errors are then correspondingly more likely. I've seen electronically enhanced shoes which have lights on them to signal the dealer as to whether to draw another card and, if so, for which hand. When the hand is over, the shoe also indicates which hand is the winner, or if there is a tie.

    I bring this up because of something that happened at my table yesterday at

    It was early in the round, perhaps 10 hands into a 28 hand round. The dealer was being careful, not hurrying and taking the time to help the players with the nuances of the tournament betting conventions. I was not watching the cards at all, since I don't know he rules for dealing anyway. I was concentrating on my opponents' bank rolls and their betting styles. Many of them were using the hand history to decide on their next bet and I always try to figure out what their methods are. This tournament has a secret bet on the final hand of the round, and knowing the tendencies of the players who bet in this way can help you to increase your chances of matching or opposing their bet(s) as appropriate on that critical hand.

    Anyway, the point is that I was not watching the cards and didn't even know which hand was the player hand or the bank hand. The dealer made this last point worse by dealing the cards on top of the labels on the felt which identified each hand. On this particular hand, after it was dealt, the dealer announced "player wins" and started to collect the banker bets. He had collected about half of them when someone called out, "Wait!, That's a banker win!". Sure enough, the cards had been dealt correctly, and the banker hand had the higher total, but the dealer had erroneously announced a player win. Fortunately, the table supervisor and the dealer managed to replace everyone's bets as they had been.

    Now, in baccarat this kind of error would cause an improper swing for every player at the table. In this case, it would have been even worse because one player had an all-in bet on player. He wasn't low on chips, he had just decided that he wanted to gain what he felt was a sizeable lead on the rest of us. If the mistake had not been caught, he would have been successful in gaining this lead vs being eliminated. Now that's a significant swing!

    The moral of the story is to pay attention to everything that could affect you at the table. Even those things that on the surface seem like they don't matter ... and I will definitely be learning the rules for dealing the hands before my next event!
  2. London Colin

    London Colin Top Member

    Also, work on your poker face for those times when you are set to be the beneficiary of such an error!:)
  3. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    Well, now, that's a whole different topic for discussion, if it hasn't already been covered. I have been known to correct minor dealer errors, even when the error is in my favour. I honestly don't know what I would do in a case like the one above, where it meant certain elimination.

    As for the actual fellow, he had no need of a poker face, as he wasn't paying attention to the cards either. His face rose and fell equally with the announcement of the player win and the correction of the error.
  4. London Colin

    London Colin Top Member

    I don't recall being in this sort of position in a tournament; I too am not sure what I would do.

    But I do know from the few times I have been overpaid at live tables that my face is an open book. I tend to freeze and look puzzled, while I try to work out whether it is me or the dealer who has got something wrong.

    On one occasion, after I had spent an age staring at the chips in front of me, the player next to me whispered "just take it" (which I duly did). Had the dealer been paying any attention at all, she would surely have realised something was amiss!
  5. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    I always correct dealer mistakes at live tables. At my local, I've seen the suits come charging down to reclaim as little as a $25 mis-pay. Having to deal with that is something I generally don't need!

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