ANZPT Sydney: It's poker with a snap!
Nothing frustrates players more than slow dealers. It's the thorn in the side of live poker. Slow hand rates, cards flying off the table, exposed cards, misdeals. It doesn't happen online, but also doesn't happen (often) here in The Star Poker Room.
The dealers here are a pretty friendly mob and they're also pretty efficient at their job, thanks to a handy little device that is similar to a Blackjack dealer shoe.
Once the shuffle machine does its thing, the cards are loaded into the shoe and slid swiftly across the felt to each of the players. The cards barely kiss the surface as they are accurately pitched every time without a hint of any flash of the card face. Some of the more experienced dealers can do this extremely quickly which ensures that hand rates are maintained at a consistently high rate.
"I'm a big fan of the shoe," said gaming consultant and Baccpo extraordinaire Rob Huxley who we spotted on the rail. With decades of experience working with dealers in casinos across Las Vegas and around the world, "Hux" is a man in the know.
"They never expose any cards like sometimes happens when dealers pitch at an angle," he added before we went on to take a look at the other unique dealer act that we see here at The Star.
"I'm not such a big fan of the 'snap'," said Hux.
You'll find famous Star 'snap' echoing through the poker room when many of the poker dealers deal the turn and river. The card is squeezed between two fingers and then released face up onto the felt which gives an impressive snapping sound as the bent card extends when it lands on the felt.
As a poker fan, I find the snap pretty cool and adds a nice bit of flare to the dealing without affecting any of the play, but as Hux explained the snap has a soured history.
"Many of the old school players don't like it. The snapping sound resonates with the days of card mechanics who dealt in back room games, where that sound was a sign when someone wasn't dealing the top card from the deck," Hux explained.
Hux had raised an interesting point, but that is obviously never a problem here in the casino where a single card is removed from the shoe before its snapped into place.
Hux also admitted that the snap did alleviate his pet dealer peeve - that is when a dealer slowly reveals the river, showing the card to himself first before the table. Basically the dealer's version of the slowroll. With the snap, the card is exposed to all players and the dealer at the very same time.
While there are a few mixed opinions, the 'snap' certainly adds something different to the usual, monotonous dealing routines.