Poker players aren’t convinced that four-handed poker will work

Posted on: May 25, 2020 09:03 PDT

New poker table rules in Vegas after the coronavirus are creating dubious poker players

Because of the usual formats in which live poker is played, most likely, it will be the last activity to reopen in gambling venues after the coronavirus pandemic. The typical scenario includes one dealer plus nine to ten players sitting shoulder to shoulder around an oval table, all of them touching the same cards and chips. It even includes some people eating at the table - and maybe licking their fingers before passing the chips. For this reason, casinos and poker rooms are working on different guidelines to play poker is safer environments; however, some players are not yet convinced of how attractive these new conditions can be - especially the new four-max table policy.

The opinion is shared by several pro players who are having doubts about this measure. They said that it is unlikely that they will go back to Las Vegas immediately after live poker rooms start operating again. More than preparing for future tournaments, players are wondering if live poker action will feel more similar to what it was before the pandemic, and how long it will take.

According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the new guidelines call for poker to be played at four-max tables. "There’s no point in opening if that’s the guideline," poker pro Danielle Andersen of Henderson said. "Recs (recreational players) don’t like playing super-shorthanded."

On the other hand, it is still uncertain which are the poker rooms that are about to reopen for business. The Venetian did confirm last Friday that its reopening plans are set for June 5, as long as Governor Steve Sisolak approves. But for instance, Station Casinos confirmed its rooms won't be opening until further notice. Other casinos don't seem to have opening plans yet.