How to behave correctly at the Baccarat Tables
On the casino floor, Baccarat tables can get quite crowded. With simple bets and lots of people, wins can be greeted with cheers and the games can feel quite social. There are still a number of things to avoid in this game, so as not to upset the other players at the table or break the rules of the casino. Etiquette is a simple enough process, and simply requires that you observe the unwritten rules, as well as the written ones.
This article takes you through the key aspects of maintaining good Baccarat etiquette. First of all, the importance of learning the basics of the game before you arrive at the table is discussed. Next, handling chips, money and cards is covered. After that you will find help on a good tipping strategy for this game – including both the dealers and the waiting staff. Finally, some words about general behavior at the table, including decorum and respect for the other players.
Baccarat Etiquette – Learning the Basics
Before you arrive at the table, it is a very simple task to understand the basics of the Baccarat rules. This means you will understand how the flow of the game works and when it is your turn to act. You will also know what bets are available so that you do not need to stop and ask the dealers about this – which can slow down the game.
If you are genuinely confused by something that happened at the table, you can feel free to ask the dealers. The key point of etiquette is that you should at least do enough in the way of preparation that you are not unnecessarily slowing down the game.
Baccarat Etiquette – Chip and Money Handling
There are some rules which apply to all casino games when it comes to handling your chips and money.
First of all, the dealers can change money into chips, though they will not be able to take money from your hands – even when this is obviously and freely offered. When changing money you will always need to place this on the felt. I recommend you wait until the current hand is over, and then push the note(s) towards the dealer and ask for chips.
Chips that you have bet should never be touched once they are in-play. This is a security measure designed to stop players adding chips to winning hands and removing them from the losers.
In this game, the dealers are the ones who handle the cards and there is no need for the players to touch them at all. Ordinarily it is a breach of both etiquette and security to move cards anywhere over the edge of the table.
Baccarat Etiquette – Tipping
In some games, you can tip the dealers in obvious spots when you get a big win. With Baccarat, the wins are normally small and incremental. This means that there are fewer points in the game which are obvious spots to tip the dealer. In any casino, dealers are paid a very low hourly rate and will be relying on tips to make their living. This makes it important to tip, and to make this as generous as you can afford without going to crazy. In a standard $5 game, you should be tipping between $5 and $10 per hour. Since nobody feels like tipping when you are losing money, I recommend that you are a little more generous those times you go on a winning streak. This should balance things out over time.
Waiting staff also rely on tips to make their living. The standard casino protocol is to give them a dollar chip or note every time you get a drink. If you run out of change you can always ask the dealer to change up a chip especially for tipping purposes. They understand what this is for and will usually be more than happy to oblige.
Baccarat Etiquette – General Behavior at the Tables
The message here is clear enough – don’t end up being ‘that player’. People from all walks of life and many different personality types come together at the Baccarat tables to enjoy the game. Many will not appreciate that drunk, loud and boisterous behavior that you thought was just ‘having a good time in Vegas’ at all.
Some Baccarat tables can be fairly social, many players will win together in each hand, and this can create a friendly atmosphere. What you do not want to do is spoil this by going too far with comments or other interactions.
To sum it up, Baccarat is a popular game and one that attracts people from all walks of life. Your enjoyment will be improved by ensuring that you know the rules before you join the game, that you tip generously and appropriately and that you keep your behavior within respectful boundaries.