18 August 2020
United Kingdom
Hayley Grammer

UK casinos see change in poker rules

(UK).- While casinos across the UK were permitted to reopen on Saturday, new government regulations prohibit players from touching their cards in a bid to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19.

While upwards-facing cards are standard practice for games such as blackjack, dealers will now hand out all cards face up as part of safety measures.

This means in games like three-card poker where hands are traditionally dealt face down, players will now be able to see one another’s cards, giving them a better chance of working out the strength of the dealer’s hand against other hands dealt.

Despite this, casino operators claim the advantage will not be significant enough to lead to major losses and players are still allowed to handle their own chips.

“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,” said Simon Thomas, owner of London’s Hippodrome Casino.