How to Avoid Looking Like an Amateur at the Baccarat Table

Nobody heads to a casino intent on sticking out like the proverbial sore thumb.  Looking like a rank amateur rarely makes for an enjoyable social experience.

This is particularly true when playing games like baccarat, where a certain degree of decorum is expected. It’s far from a stuffy or pretentious game, but knowing how to conduct yourself is still important.

Hence, if your goal is to look like a pro during your next baccarat session, here’s how to ensure you don’t look like an amateur:

1 – Be Friendly

First up, don’t make the mistake of taking the whole thing too seriously. At least, in the sense of coming across stuffy, boring and antisocial. You’ll know what kind of crowd you are looking at as soon as you set eyes on the table. If it’s a friendly crowd and the conversation is flowing, make the effort to be friendly and sociable.

Of course, if those around you are sitting in steely silence and clearly do not want to be disturbed, being friendly means leaving them be. The same also applies to the dealer, who depending on the casino you’re in could be anything from relentlessly chatty to stone-faced and silent. 

2 – Dress Appropriately

Dressing appropriately means knowing where to draw the line between casual and formal attire. Prior to heading out, be sure to check whether the casino has any published dress code you’ll need to follow. If not, it’s up to you to ensure you look the part, without taking things too far.

For example, turn up at a casual baccarat table in a tuxedo worthy of James Bond and nobody will be able to take you seriously. Just as turning up in shorts and flip flops to a more formal game isn’t a good idea. Keep things smart yet casual, ensuring you’re completely comfortable with what you’re wearing. 

3 – Familiarise Yourself With the Game

This should actually be the number-one rule in the list, as nothing matters more than ensuring you have a good grasp of the basics. These days, there’s really no excuse for heading to a casino without a clue how the games work. There’s a world of online casino action available at the touch of a button, which should be your first port of call before heading out. 

Thankfully, baccarat it is one of the simplest casino table games in existence.  You simply bet on your hand or the dealer’s hand, and await the outcome. No complexities and no real skill involved, as the whole thing is a game of pure chance. 

What matters is getting to grips with how the game plays out, what to do when it’s time to place your bets and so on. Simply playing for an hour or two online (free of charge if preferred) can make all the difference during your first casino experience. It’ll certainly give you the confidence needed to get much more enjoyment out of real-life baccarat. 

4 – Avoid Focusing On the Previous Results

At the baccarat table, you will often see a clearly displayed list of previous results. Far from an informative insight into the potential patterns, this is actually a clever trick on the part of the casino. The simple fact of the matter is that each and every outcome when playing baccarat is random. All the previous results in the world have no bearing whatsoever on what happens next.

What the casino is attempting to do is trick you into thinking there are indeed patterns to be found and predictions to be made. As this simply isn’t the case, placing bets based on this ‘scoreboard’ is illogical. It’s also indicative of somebody who doesn’t really know what they’re doing. 

Tempting as it may be, it’s best to ignore this list of previous results entirely. 

5 – Place Your Bets When Called 

Jumping the gun has a tendency to rub dealers and players up the wrong way.  Even if it’s a genuine mistake based on inexperience, it can still make for an awkward experience. Consequently, there are two things you need to be aware of when it comes to placing bets at the baccarat table.

Firstly, under no circumstances should you place your bets until the stakes have been called by the dealer. The dealer makes it abundantly clear when it is time to place your bets, so keep a firm grasp on your chips until this time. 

Secondly, you must keep your hands well and truly off your chips while the hand is taking place. Only when the hand is done and winning bets have been paid can you then touch your chips once again. One of those unspoken yet important rules that separates the pros from the noobs. 

6 – Don’t Touch the Cards

Likewise, there’s no reason whatsoever why you would need to touch the card when playing baccarat. It’s the dealer that handles the cards and oversees each hand, so touching the cards is a big no-no. It’s expressly prohibited at most baccarat tables, though may not be clearly indicated.

It sounds like a simple rule, but it’s surprising how often autopilot kicks in.  Without even realising it, you’re suddenly reaching over and touching, tapping or moving around the cards you shouldn’t be going anywhere near. 

With comparatively few exceptions, there really is no reason or excuse for touching the cards when playing baccarat.

7 – Keep Your Emotions in Check

Last up, the hallmark of an experienced baccarat player is the ability to keep control of their emotions. This is something that applies at both ends of the spectrum, as baccarat tends to be a game of dizzying highs and crushing lows. 

Irrespective of the size of the prize you pocket, you need to keep your smug satisfaction under control. Remember that those around you may not have been nearly as lucky. Likewise, throwing a tantrum when facing heavy losses is indicative of a rank amateur.

However things go, you need to take it in your stride and maintain the same decorum. Tricky when things get exciting, and practically impossible when exploiting the casino’s complimentary drinks policy.

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