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Electronic Poker Tables

September 1st, 2007 | Filed Under: Poker Talk

Well I just returned from a cruise where the on-board casino has now done away with dealers and added electronic poker tables. These are tables where you sit and play Texas Hold ‘Em against other live players but use electronic chips and cards.

I’ve played on these at other casinos and I like them. No more dealer mistakes that cost you the pot, no more tipping dealers so you save money.

However, the brand of machine we were on was PokerPro and it was a piece of junk. Missing a lot of features it’s competitors have. But we’ll skip all that. What I did want to mention was a couple things I observed while playing.

For one, the game they had the table configured for was $3-$6 Limit Hold Em. The casino took a minimum rake of $3 and a maximum rake of $6 if the pot reached $60. If you ever played $3-$6 you’ll know the pot reaches that much most of the time, so we were paying about $5 to $6 per hand. Those cruise ships love to rip you off in the casino.

Another thing I noticed was that without a dealer, players were regularly reading the board for each other, telling each other who the raiser was. I guess for a small game like this if everyone wants to be friends that’s one thing. However,  at a professional level,  I don’t ever see these things working as there would be too much cheating going on and no dealer to stop it.

Of course even now with a dealer, I don’t see but maybe 5% of dealers even controlling the game. In fact many dealers, even help the players play their hand by reading the board for them or telling them who raised after the action is over. Both are violations of every casino I know of.

Where is the future of these tables going? Personally, I would like to see more of them with better features. They could take a lesson from online casinos and offer many of the same features. Since there are no dealers to run the table there also needs to be a floorman available to enforcen disputes regarding casino rules.

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