United Kingdom

No need for your poker face! Casino dealers will hand out cards face up as part of Covid measures

Gamblers who have spent years perfecting their poker face will be disappointed to hear they will no longer need one.

As the government finally allows casinos to reopen from today, dealers will hand out cards face up as part of safety measures to stop players from touching the cards.

It will help reduce any potential spread of coronavirus within gaming venues but some have said they will still allow their customers to handle their own chips.

As casinos open, dealers will hand out cards face up as part of safety measures to stop players from touching the cards

The move is said to suit card games like Blackjack and it could make others like three-card poker easier.

Usually, players are handed the cards face down and they make a bet if they believe they can beat the dealer.

The dealer's cards will still be hidden, although the added advantage of seeing the other's cards could help them work out what the dealer holds.

Simon Thomas, owner of the Hippodrome Casino in London, told The Times: 'It gives customers a slight advantage but it's a necessary move.

Owner of the Hippodrome Casino in London's Leicester Square, Simon Thomas, said: 'It gives customers a slight advantage but it's a necessary move'

'We've put Perspex screens at the table and all gambling will be done seated. The key thing is to ensure everyone feels secure without it being oppressive.' 

It is believed the advantage will not be significant enough to lead to major losses.

Sarah Sculpher, of Caesars Entertainment said: 'It's very marginal.' 

As they arrive to the casino, gamblers will be met with thermal imaging systems and greeted by staff wearing face visors.

One game called craps, where large groups gather around a table to bet on how the dice roll, can no longer go ahead due the new arrangements to stop the spread of the virus.

'We couldn't find a commercial solution with enough players to justify it,' Mr Thomas said.

The government has also allowed beauty salons and bowling alleys to open after a two-week delay when coronavirus infections began to rise.

Some casinos have said they will still allow their customers to handle their own chips

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