The recent pandemic has changed our lives in ways many would have never imagined. People are desperately trying to get to a new normal, and vaccinations seem to be providing a glimmer of hope.
Casinos had to deal with rough times, and while some games were able to reopen, things were a bit more difficult for table card games, especially poker. The game is communal by nature and requires a certain level of proximity. Then there’s the constant contact between cards, players, and dealers. All of this can lead to contamination and make playing poker live risky. However, there are things that both casinos and players can do to reduce contamination risk. Here are a few of them.
Before casinos start worrying about things like capacity and sanitizer, they should work on improving ventilation. Air replacement rate is one of the most important factors of contamination for air-borne diseases. This is why you will need to invest in a better system with better filtration now and for the future. You also have to make sure that ventilation is perfect everywhere in the building, not just the playing areas. This means that areas where dealers have to change or communal areas have to be properly aerated too. Contact between staff should also be curtailed to prevent contamination.
We could also see a future where poker tables will have physical barriers to protect players from each other and your dealers as well. Poker tables with plexiglass are already being used to allow players to have a certain level of interaction without fearing contact with respiratory droplets.
Tips for Players
Players should also be given instructions on how to play safely and your dealers will have to play a part in enforcing rules. You might have to ask for the sanitizer to be applied after a certain number of hands, for instance. Players should also learn how to protect themselves and reduce the chances of contamination.
One of the best things a poker player could do is invest in a few N-95 masks. These are a bit easier to find right now. You also have various face mask models that can provide N95 level protection, and many are reusable. Surgical masks provide a level of protection to the people around you, but they don’t protect you from contamination.
In addition, you should consider using a face shield when playing if you really want to protect yourself. If you don’t want to go that far, try to limit any contact with your face. Make sure that you wash your hands as often as you can, and have some sanitizer with you.
Also know that you can always play online if you can’t spend as much time at the casino. While you won’t be able to work on your tells, you’ll be able to understand things like pot odds and betting patterns better.
These are just a few tips casinos and players should follow if they want to keep play as safe as possible. Both need to do their part to prevent infections.