February 17th, 2010


Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
Commonwealth Tower, Strawberry Square
303 Walnut Street, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101


Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

Gaming Control Board Approves New Regulations For the Training And Play of Table Games

HARRISBURG, PA: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today unanimously approved a number of table games regulations, including those that define training requirements for dealers and the game specifications for a number of poker games.

The regulations for dealers require that they be trained in each type of table game in which they would deal, receiving the training either at an accredited school or a licensed casino facility, or have at least 6 months of table game dealing experience in another jurisdiction.

In particular, the regulations approved today at the Board’s regular public meeting require dealer training in the following areas:

  • the proper use, control and shuffling of playing cards for authorized games that involve the use of cards;
  • the proper use and control of dice for authorized games that involve the use of dice;
  • the proper use and control of tiles for authorized games that involve the use of tiles;
  • procedures for opening and closing tables for gaming, including the proper security procedures regarding table chip inventories;
  • procedures for distributing gaming chips or plaques to, and removing gaming chips and plaques from, gaming tables;
  • procedures for accepting cash at gaming tables;
  • procedures for the acceptance of tips and gratuities from patrons;
  • procedures for shift changes at gaming tables;
  • procedures for the proper placement of wagers by patrons, the proper collection of losing wagers and payment of winning wagers;
  • training in recognizing problem and compulsive gamblers at table games and procedures for informing supervisory personnel;
  • training in cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

The regulations also require minimum hours of instruction particular to the type of table game:

Blackjack and other banked card games120 hours over a six week period
Craps160 hours over a six week period
Baccarat and Mini-Baccarat80 hours over a four week period
Poker80 hours over a four week period
Roulette80 hours over a four week period
Pai Gow Tiles160 hours over a six week period
Pai Gow Poker80 hours over a four week period

Casinos are also required to submit their training programs to the Board and are required to have all prospective dealers pass a live table test before the dealers will be permitted to conduct table games at a casino.

In addition, the Board also approved regulations containing the rules for a number of nonbanking poker games and banking poker games that may be offered at casinos. Nonbanking table games are games where the players compete against each other, not the casino, and for which the casino collects a percentage of winning pots or a fee. Banking table games are games where the players compete against the casino.

The regulations include separate sections which contain the specific rules for five nonbanking poker games that can be offered at casinos (Seven-card Stud Poker, Hold’em Poker, Omaha Poker, Five-card Draw Poker, and Five-card Stud Poker) and six banking poker games (Caribbean Stud Poker, Four Card Poker, Let It Ride Poker, Pai Gow Poker, Texas Hold ‘em Bonus Poker, and Three Card Poker).

Each section of the regulations contains further requirements that relate to all aspects of these games including:

  • the layout of tables used for poker;
  • the decks of cards to be used;
  • the ranking of poker hands;
  • the opening of poker tables;
  • the procedures for shuffling, cutting and dealing, and wagers;
  • the general rules applicable to all poker games and how irregularities in play are to be handled;
  • rules for player conduct;
  • announcement of available games and seats at tables;
  • the rules for Bad Beat payouts, if they are offered by the casino;
  • the different wagers that may be made;
  • the procedures for the actual play of each game;
  • the collection of losing wagers and payment of winning wagers; and
  • the minimum payout odds that may be used.

This is the second Board approval of new regulations related to table games since the passage of legislation less than 6 weeks ago approving the addition of table games at existing Pennsylvania casinos. At its January 27, 2010 meeting, the Board approved rules for other popular table games along with minimum surveillance requirements that are to be met by a casino.

About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, established in 2004 with the passage the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act, is Pennsylvania’s first new state agency in nearly 40 years. The Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state’s casino industry. To date, with nine of a maximum fifteen casinos in operation, legalized gaming in the Commonwealth has created over 8,000 new living wage jobs, revenue that has provided property tax reduction in each of the past two years for all homeowners, and funds that have reinvigorated Pennsylvania’s horse racing industry. Information about the Gaming Control Board and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at Any organization interested in having a speaker from the PGCB attend an upcoming meeting can also make a request at the web site.

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